Reflections: Creativity breathes with beaming pride of place

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AS WE conclude the month-long 2020 IBAGIW Creative Festival, we look back and reflect on its merits and how the festival has been faithful to the fundamental objectives it had envisioned to achieve! In retrospect.., Did the Festival provide opportunities for Baguio’s Artists and artisans and cultural workers to showcase and uplift their craftsmanship?

The festival was multi-dimensional with strategic focus on our artists and artisans as the celebration allowed participation and platforms for improvements and standards-setting through the arts and crafts Innovation Competition. There was incredibe creative craftsmanship, making it exceptionally difficult to judge how awesome the creative use of available materials had been.

Innovation, Function, Relevance and Appeal! The festival provided a 2-day workshop for creative mentoring through online and physical lectures and hands on workshops where crafters gained insights on the latest trends in design, brand innovation, use of technology and the value of cultural identity and its eventual creative application and adaptation!

Did the festival raise awareness, inculcate interests and encourage direct point of sales and purchase of crafts and arts?

Adopting to the dictates of current pandemic protocols, the Festival platform provided digital opportunities for e-commerce to flourish. Venues for well-safeguarded physical interaction were also well-appointed and the health standards well-fostered.

A classic example was the crafts market encounters at the Mandeko Kito in all weekends of the festival month. Greater patronage readily took place, no doubt encouraged by the strategic timing of the festival happening in the proximity of the anticipated holiday season. But more than that, there was a noticeable influx of visitors who just wanted something new to acquire, something indigenous and creatively assembled.

Did we rekindle interest and positive reputation of Baguio as a creative city trailblazing and inspiring other cities?

The Festival was the perfect incentive and opportunity to start striking a balance between being trifled by a pandemic and the will to survive and get through the crisis! Baguio needed to provide a creative haven for its citizens and make it possible for the creative sector to showcase their proud spirit to overcome, to get over the hump, and to win!!

And win we did through creative resiliency, sustainability and innovation .

The City needed to reinvent its famous selling proposition and branding. The perfect timing and opportunity was simply there for the taking, for the creative sector to lead the rebound with a reminder that it is essential to BREATHE!!!

And so it was the perfect incentive to visit the City whose fresh air and cooling temperature, whose abundant nature and healing mountains, and world class creativity could only be the incentive!!! And it worked!!!

November saw an increase in the people’s resiliency, attracting high value arrivals who mustered the safety protocols to experience a renewed creative city!!! And more so with increased interests and response to the digital platforms.

What a difference a month has made in the lives of our creative community!!!!We close the IBAGIW 2020 on a high note with renewed hope, resurgent enthusiasm and soaring motivation! We shall continue to Breathe in Art, Breathe in Culture, Breathe in Nature, Breathe in Inspiration and BREATHE IN BAGUIO.

The UNESCO Creative City of Baguio pulled it through and decidedly WON. Not just over the pandemic, whose threat palpably remains. Not just over the fears, anxieties and uncertainties of every moment. Not just over doomsayers readily frightened by mounting challenges. Baguio is a city like any other, truly blessed as the only Philippine city nearest the skies.

Ibagiw — taga Baguio o dito man sa Baguio — makes us proud, confident, hopeful.