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The city government of Baguio is working closely with several government agencies to fortify efforts in enlivening programs and projects relative to culture, arts, crafts and heritage.
This was announced by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong in his 2021 State of the City Address delivered during the celebration of 112th Baguio Charter Day on September 1 at the Baguio Convention Center.
For the hard infrastructure, Magalong said the city government is pursuing the conversion of the old Diplomat Hotel at the Dominican Hill into a Culture, Arts and Heritage Center. A master development plan is being worked out but this would require a whooping budget of P323 million due to major engineering works. The mayor said the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) committed to support the project that will enable the establishment of a Baguio Academy for Culture and the Arts.
Also being worked out is the Cultural Mapping Project of the city under the guidance of the NCCA and we will institutionalize the following noteworthy activities: Ibagiw Festival, the Montañosa Film Festival, the Mangan Taku, Sabsabong ti Mayo Floral Sculpture and the Mandeko Kito.
The city likewise partnered with the Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) in order to support the project on upgrading of the loom weaving industry in Baguio.
Early this year, city officials signed Ordinance No. 45, series of 2021 that formalized the creation of the Creative Baguio City Council (CBCC) and consequently sworn-in the officers and members of the group with Adelaida Lim, representing the weavers’ sector, as chairperson and Raymundo Rovillos, representing the academe, as vice-chairperson. Mayor Magalong is co-chairperson.
The CBCC will spearhead the development and implementation of strategic plans and programs on crafts and folk arts pursuant to the city’s commitment with UNESCO as a creative city for crafts and folk arts in 2017, the first ever in the Philippines for a city to be vested with the honor of being one of the 44 countries that constitute the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
“We should strengthen our efforts to flourish not only on crafts and folk arts but expansively on other artistic expressions that are home-grown in Baguio,” the mayor said. – Jessa Samidan