BAGUIO CITY – (10 June 2021) – “Let us be determined to have creative expression as a full-strength endeavor. That is why we aim to raise our artists and artisans to make them educationally well-equipped in upgrading their young skills, to train them well in perfecting their artistry, and making them good entrepreneurs.”

Thus, declared Mayor Benjamin Magalong during a Creative City Educational Initiatives roundtable dialogue, June 9, at the Baguio Convention Center with National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chairman Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher De Venecia and Baguio Rep. Mark Go.

“I appreciate everyone’s kind attendance and solidarity towards our shared goal: to grow the local creative economy and to flourish even more the artistic aspirations of the different creative sectors. Your kind presence strengthens the resolve to strive further in making our artists, artisans, and creative workers the best they can ever be from what Baguio and the Cordillera can offer,” he said.

Discussed were the proposed creation of secondary schools for the arts in Baguio, Region I and Cordillera Administrative Region; update on the proposed cultural mapping of Baguio; the Diplomat Hotel as a cultural hub and venue for art education; and more.

In 2017, Baguio was the first Philippine city chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), for crafts and folk art, to be included in the Creative Cities Network that promotes cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

“With all the support being given our local initiatives, there is no reason why education in culture and the arts cannot take off. All it takes is for all of us to be in unison to make culture and the arts become exciting enterprises in the coming years,” the Mayor said.  

He cited the success of the previous Ibagiw Creative Festivals that put the city’s rich heritage and artistic gems in the spotlight and also gave hope to local artisans and craftsmen who contribute in making Baguio’s culture unique. 

 Also in the meeting were NCCA deputy executive dir. Marichu Tellano, Baguio Tourism Council chairman Gladys De Vera and city planning and development officer Donna Tabangin (both via zoom), city tourism officer Aloysius Mapalo, Council for Baguio Creative City members Roy Rovillos and Ferdie Balanag, including other local officials and representatives from the tourism and creative sectors . – Gaby B. Keith