It is the artists and artisans their turn at trading their works at the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) Oblation Grounds with an arts and crafts fair dubbed “Mandëko Kito, Artisans Market” scheduled every Monday and Tuesday 9:00am-12:00nn starting June 15.
Convenor of the activity, UPB faculty member Dr. Analyn Salvador-Amores said the activity will cover a month-long period or up to July 15 and is an offshoot of the farmer’s market being held in the same venue from Wednesday to Friday.
Dr. Amores, former director of the UP Baguio Museo Kordilyera said the activity aims to provide a venue for artists and artisans to market their merchandise since their livelihood had been heavily impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It also taps into the concept of creative economy espoused by the city’s membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
UPB chancellor Raymundo D. Rovillos said the artisans’ market is a university initiative that serves as a “continuity of its engagement in the creative cities endeavor.” He added that support to artists and artisans is even more imperative since arts and crafts is now emerging as a new paradigm for sustainable tourism in Baguio.
“If we hope to recover and bounce back from the debacle of this pandemic, the city’s decision-makers must incorporate creativity, innovation, and sustainable development into its plans and programs for economic recovery,” the chancellor said. The arts and crafts sector could provide an outlook for a gradual post-pandemic recovery.
The artisans market initiative embodies a regionwide scope that includes artists and artisans from the Cordillera. The participating artists and artisans and their products include Ifugao Nation, Can-eo Bontoc Weavers, Dye Indigo Abra, Pasakalye, Knitting Expedition, Narda’s, John Frank Sabado, Tam-Awan Artists, Pine Gypsy, Everything is Pine, Ibagiw Tublay, Basketweavers, Butatow Artists, Museo Kordilyera, Asin Woodcarvers, Loakan Crafters, Masalingga Arts and Crafts Kalinga, Cafe by the Ruins, Pilak Handicrafts, Marge Gomez, Made by Flor, Battallna Ga’dang, Armstrong Mina, and Indi Socks.
Products include silvercraft, custom-designed shirts, hand-embroidered face masks, and hand-woven ikat, bamboo craft, woodcarving, weaving, and knitting among others. The coordinating group for participating artists and artisans is the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. (BACCI).
Heightened health security protocols are still observed at UP Baguio. Shoppers are reminded to cooperate and observe basic sanitation practices by wearing face masks, follow physical distancing guides measures, and to also bring their own shopping bags or containers.
(Text and photos by Roland Rabang and J.L. Lazaga, UP Baguio Public Affairs)