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City to institutionalize Ibagiw festival

12  November 2020 - The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the Ibagiw Baguio Creative Festival every November and providing funds for the said purpose.

City legislators stated that the annual Ibagiw Baguio Creative Festival every November shall ably project the rich cultural, artistic, and creative values of the people of the city, as well as those within the Cordillera.

Further, the festival activities shall reactivate events and activities worth pursuing as endeavors that celebrate community life, raise public morals, uplift human spirit, and showcase resiliency as part of the overall economic recovery efforts undertaken in primordial consideration of basic health and safety practices.

The Council added that the festival shall likewise showcase the works of the artists and artisans of the city which will endeavor to make creativity a way of life of the people not only of the city, but also the region in general.

The Ibagiw Creative Festival Committee shall formulate the guidelines in the conduct of the proposed activities, to organize and to manage the staging of the festival and the same shall be constituted by the City Mayor.

According to the Council, the Office of the City Administrator–City Tourism and Special Events shall be the overall coordinator for city-level offices, groups and individuals.

The Council proposed that an initial amount of P2 million be appropriated in the annual budget of the city as the city government’s contribution in the conduct of the festival.

Bagiw is an Ibaloi term acknowledged as the origin of the name of Baguio City referring to a kind of moss that originally abundantly grew in the city.

On October 19, 2020, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong issued Executive Order (EO) No. 152 series of 2020, that declared November this year as the Creative Festival Month in the city and that the same shall be known as the 3rd Baguio Creative Festival in the city.

On October 31, 2017, Baguio City was designated as Creative City in the category of crafts and folk arts by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) naming the city the first city in the country to be included in the elite Creative Cities Network.

The said network was created in 2004 to aggressively promote cooperation within and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Earlier, Magalong also issued Executive Order No. 161 that created the Council for Baguio Creative City to spearhead the development and implementation of strategic plans and programs on crafts and folk arts, pursuant to its commitment with the UNESCO.

The city partnered with the different creative groups to implement its commitment in sustaining its status as the Creative City for crafts and folk arts as the same is subject to evaluation and assessment by UNESCO on the fourth year of implementation of the said status. - Dexter A. See