We recently got invited to visit the City of Pines to attend the opening of Cordillera Weaves Exhibit and Weavers Bazaar in Baguio City through the invitation of the Tourism Promotions Board.
The bazaar, which showcases the creativity and craftsmanship of Cordillera weavers, was created to open opportunities for Cordillerans. It was held to honor weaving as a craft as it is an integral part of the cultural identity of the Cordillerans. Luckily, we got to see the beautiful weaves up close from different weaving communities of Cordillera Administrative Region!
The bazaar was held at the DOT-CAR compound and ran until December 1. Tourists, locals, and other visitors like us could check out and buy various woven items for clothing, accessories, and home decor. Of course, we didn’t pass up the opportunity to shop for their artistic products to support the locals and small business entrepreneurs!
Different participants from CAR’s weaving communities, including Baliga Cababuyan Weavers Association, Bulbulala Weavers Association, Kiyangan Weavers Association, Narda’s Handwoven Arts and Crafts, Mabilong Weavers Association, Can-eo Weavers Association, Lepanto Weavers Organization, and Namarabar Natural Indigo Dye Producers Cooperative were part of the bazaar.
The best part of visiting the bazaar was learning about Cordillera’s rich culture of weaving– a tradition that has transcended generations. To many weavers, weaving is a relationship between man and nature. Traditional weavers take pride in their slow fashion, see weaving as a way of life that advocates for sustainable art and fashion.
Although united to preserve this tradition, different weaving communities still have their own styles and designs. For example, in Ifugao, they have ikat, where the textile uses a resist dyeing process before threads are woven to create the design. For Ilocanos, it’s Inabel, which uses a wooden handloom to develop designs through colored yarns. Meanwhile, Kalinga is known for its red stripes, geometric patterns, and symbols of nature in its woven fabric design.
About the Ibagiw Festival 2021
To celebrate the culture of Cordillera weaving, the Ibagiw Festival 2021 was held month-long last November with the theme “Create. Integrate. Elevate.” The festival promoted Cordilleran creatives, craftsmen, artisans, and weavers and highlighted arts and crafts such as carving, basket and textile weaving, and yarn craft. Other exhibits such as traditional tattoo contemporary art and performance art were part of the festival that aimed to feature the creative culture of the Cordillera.
In October 2017, Baguio was recognized as a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts. This city currently promotes sustainable and responsible creative tourism, emphasizing its local craftsmanship through crafts and folk art.
Part of the festival is the Mandeko Kito located at Berkeley School, a trade fair of local artisans that showcases Cordilleran crafts that you can shop for. There are exhibits here, too!
Support locals and see the beautiful art of Cordillera through The Mandeko Kito, which runs from November 19 to December 13, 2021.
Visiting Baguio soon? Don’t forget to drop by Mandeko Kito at the Berkeley School and see traditional handicrafts made by the local artisans of our very own UNESCO Creative City!