Nestled in the mountains of Northern Luzon, Baguio City (pop. 350,000) is a colourful, multicultural city full of diversity. Baguio City’s artistic culture ranges from crafts and folk art expressions to woodcarving, silver craft, weaving and tattooing. Today, 56 local institutions are directly devoted to the sector, totalling a gross receipt of US$1,113,258 million. Although crafts and folk art represent an essential cornerstone of the city’s local trade and creative tourism economy, Baguio City works towards developing the sector’s sustainability through intergenerational transfer of knowledge and skills.
The Panagbenga Flower Festival is the main creative platform, engaging artisans from different linguistic groups such as the Tuwalis of Ifugao for woodcarving and Benguet for weaving. This festival is a joint initiative organised by the Municipality and the creative sector, aiming to enhance international exposure of the local crafts industry. With a view to further promote and protect the traditional know-how of the Cordillera crafts, Baguio City has set up a series of villages and centres that serve as spaces for creation, production and training, targeting young people in particular.
The Baguio City Government and its partner organisations are actively supporting the city's creative sector, with a particular focus on crafts and folk art, through capacity building, incentivizing innovation, and providing market opportunities both locally and internationally. The Rev-Bloom Urban Redevelopment Campaign also illustrates the city’s commitment to culture-based development and multi-sectoral collaboration. By engaging with its communities and propelling creativity for urban renewal and economic vitality, the City intends to foster a more sustainable and responsible creative tourism.
As a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art, Baguio City envisages:
- initiating the development of Creative Centres dedicated to supporting crafts and folk art, offering workshops, studios, design laboratories, exhibit areas as well as open collaborative spaces for creators and the general public, thus strengthening Baguio’s creative ecosystem;
- setting up the Baguio City Creative Circuit (BCCC) that will physically link existing buildings and venues to showcase Baguio City’s creative spirit, directing the general public towards creativity as an essential element for sustainable urban development;
- involving Creative Cities of Crafts and Folk Arts, as well as members from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (or ASEAN), to take part in the festivals and activities, and providing them dedicated spaces to display creative crafts and folk artworks; and
- developing partnerships with members of the Network in order to share best practices and promote mutual understanding.