In the early 90’s, the Baguio Arts Festival, then run by the Baguio Arts Guild, was among Baguio’s biggest tourist attractions, drawing both participants and audiences from here and abroad. But sadly, the annual holding of one of the country’s most successful art festivals seized with the last festival that was held back in 2002. Since then, no major artistic and cultural even has been held in the city. Or maybe there were, and I just missed them.
Baguio has always been an art haven, it is a fact that the city is home to many renowned artists. As another matter of fact, its artists are among Baguio’s greatest treasures. I’ve said it before, our city officials often mention this fact in their speeches and pitches, yet nothing much is really being done to develop and promote the local art scene. I really believe that only the artists themselves can revive the vibrant artistic and cultural skyline of Baguio.
I am dreaming of holding a week-long arts festival within Baguio’s Central Business District. The festival shall feature various artistic and cultural events with the various business establishments and institutions along Session Road and its environs as venues. The festival aims to promote the local art scene and at the same time help the local economy by attracting audiences/visitors to the city.
I am dreaming of photographs and paintings and installtion art pieces in banks, bookstores, hardware shops, poetry to go with your coffee, music to go with your family dinner, films out in the open, different stories that hopefully will provoke its audiences, the community, into taking a more active role in making Baguio a better place.
I dream that the festival may open with a parade along Session Road by the participating artists. With the local performing and visual artists at the forefront, this parade promises to be a real multi-sensory experience. I dream that during the festival proper, the community will be treated to exhibits, theatrical performances, performance art pieces, book launches & poetry readings, film showings and concerts held in the various establishments along Session Road as well as out in the open.
I dream that in closing, the last day of the exhibit, hopefully with Session Road closed to traffic, may feature a grand outdoor exhibit and performance.
I dream of all this happening right in the heart of Baguio City - Session Road.
Isang Daan – The First Session Road Arts Festival, a collaborative effort between the private sector and the city’s creative minds, joining hands to express the beauty, the dreams and sentiments of a century-old city, reviving the once world-renowned arts and culture scene of Baguio City.
Isang Daan – one hundred.
Isang Daan – a road.
Isang Daan – one common goal.
Hopefully, the city will wake up one November morning to find this dream becoming a reality.