Two separate ordinances have been filed before the Baguio City Council for the institutionalization of two city-wide events, the Mandeko Kito and the Saleng Festival.
Mandeko Kito, an Ibaloy phrase that means “let’s sell”, is a trade show initiated by the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. (BACCI) and the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) together with other sponsoring agencies which features the craftsmanship of Baguio and the Cordillera region, bringing together a collection of premium quality crafts.
This artisans’ fair was started on June 15 to July 15, 2020, at the oblation grounds of UPB in an effort to highlight the city as one of the members of the UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts. It was also one of the events conducted during the Ibagiw Creative City Arts Festival in November 2020.
It currently had its third run on June 15-20, 2021 at Berkeley School. Mandeko Kito has been conducted biannually. However, upon the approval of its institutionalization, the organizers may opt to conduct the event whenever they may deem proper and wherever they will be welcomed subject to the approval of the Baguio Creative City Council. It will be held for at least one week and at most a month.
The proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Lilia Fariñas stated that minimum health protocols and sanitation standards shall be strictly observed as prescribed by the city government and the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force.
The very first Saleng Festival was launched on May 24, 2021, with the theme “Restoring Our Ecosystem Together” during the Baguio City Hall Flag Raising Ceremony where the schedule of activities prepared by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) was also unfurled.
According to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the Saleng Festival was brought into existence to highlight the importance of the cooperation and commitment of the community in preserving the environment.
From June to September, the city government lines up activities to educate and encourage the local community to be involved in the city’s urban forest management program. These activities include multi-sectorial tree planting, a celebration of the World Environment Day, launching of the Tree of Life, the Tree Cart parade and exhibit, a celebration of World Day, National Arbor Day, and World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, among others.
Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan proposed to institutionalize the Saleng Festival. According to her, it will further the commitment of the city in balancing agriculture, economic activity, and environmental protection.
The two proposed ordinances were approved on first reading last Monday and were referred to the concerned committees for review and recommendations. –Jordan G. Habbiling