BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan welcomed the latest feather on the cap of Baguio City after it was named as one of the sixty four cities worldwide to be part of the prestigious Creative Cities Network of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The local chief executive, who is in his final leg of his visit to the sister cities of Baguio in China, Canada and the United States over the past two weeks, said that UNESCO’s latest recognition given to Baguio will serve as a motivation for local officials and the concerned stakeholders to strengthen various programs related to crafts and folk arts considering that the people practice diversed culture and traditions.
“We are elated to learn about the latest recognition given by UNESCO to Baguio city which will serve as a good motivation for local officials and the people to continue strengthening various government led and private sector supported programs in arts, crafts, culture among others,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, UNESCO released the list the new batch of Creative Cities that included Baguio city which joined US, Mexico City, Chiang Mai in Thailand, Yamagata in Japan, and Istanbul in Turkey.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova announced on October 31 that 64 new cities from 44 countries were included in the network. Since 2004, the network has highlighted its members’ creativity within 7 fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music. The 64 new member cities join 116 previous other cities from 72 countries.
Baguio City, which was cited for crafts and folk art, is the first city in the Philippines to join the exclusive club.
Chiang Mai, which was also chosen for crafts and folk art, is the only ASEAN city to join Baguio this year. The other ASEAN cities already in the network are Phuket in Thailand for gastronomy, Singapore for design, and Pakalongan and Badung in Indonesia, both for crafts and folk art.
“These new designations showcase an enhanced diversity in city profiles and geographical balance, with 19 cities from countries not previously represented in the Network,” Bokova said.
Mayor Domogan said it is high time for the local government, in coordination with the concerned stakeholders, to revisit existing programs in crafts, arts, culture and heritage to incorporate the needed strategies that will sustain its inclusion in the coveted list of the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.
According to him, appropriate innovations must be introduced to complement existing programs and projects for the local government to be at part with other similarly situated cities in the global village in uplifting the promotion of crafts, arts and culture for the benefit of the present and future generations.
Baguio, the gateway to the Cordilleras, was created as a hill station by the Americans more than a hundred years ago. The famous architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham set up the blueprint for the city, which was declared as the Summer Capital of the Philippines in 1909.
Since then, it has become the country’s premier city for tourists. In 1988, artists Bencab (Benedicto Reyes Cabrera), Santiago Bose, Tommy Hafalla, Roberto Villanueva, Kidlat Tahimik, David Baradas, Willie Magtibay, and Luisa Igloria founded the Baguio Arts Guild, which established Baguio City among the art hotspots in Asia.
The 64 new members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network are: Alba (Italy) – Gastronomy, Almaty (Kazakhstan) – Music, Amarante (Portugal) – Music, Auckland (New Zealand) – Music, Baguio City (Philippines) – Crafts and Folk Art, Barcelos (Portugal) – Crafts and Folk Art, Braga (Portugal) – Media Arts, Brasilia (Brazil) – Design, Bristol (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Film, Brno (Czechia) – Music, Bucheon (Republic of Korea) – Literature, Buenaventura (Colombia) – Gastronomy, Cairo (Egypt) – Crafts and Folk Art, Cape Town (South Africa) – Design, Carrara (Italy) – Crafts and Folk Art, Changsha (China) – Media Arts, Chennai (India) – Music, Chiang Mai (Thailand) – Crafts and Folk Art, Chordeleg (Ecuador) – Crafts and Folk Art, Cochabamba (Bolivia [Plurinational State of]) – Gastronomy, Daegu Metropolitan City (Republic of Korea) – Music, Dubai (United Arab Emirates) – Design, Durban (South Africa) – Literature, Frutillar (Chile) – Music, Gabrovo (Bulgaria) – Crafts and Folk Art, [City of] Greater Geelong (Australia) – Design, Guadalajara (Mexico) – Media Arts, Hatay Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey) – Gastronomy, Istanbul (Turkey) – Design, João Pessoa (Brazil) – Crafts and Folk Art, Kansas City (United States of America) – Music, Kolding (Denmark) – Design, Kortrijk (Belgium) – Design, Košice (Slovakia) – Media Arts, Kütahya (Turkey) – Crafts and Folk Art, Lillehammer (Norway) – Literature, Limoges (France) – Crafts and Folk Art, Łódź (Poland) – Film, Macao Special Administrative Region, China (Associate Member, UNESCO) – Gastronomy, Madaba (Jordan) – Crafts and Folk Art, Manchester (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Literature, Mexico City (Mexico) – Design, Milan (Italy) – Literature, Morelia (Mexico) – Music
Norrköping (Sweden) – Music, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) – Crafts and Folk Art, Panama, City (Panama) – Gastronomy, Paraty (Brazil) – Gastronomy, Pesaro (Italy) – Music, Porto-Novo (Benin) – Crafts and Folk Art, Praia (Cabo Verde) – Music, Qingdao (China) – Film, Québec City (Canada) – Literature, San Antonio (United States of America) – Gastronomy, Seattle (United States of America) – Literature, Sheki (Azerbaijan) – Crafts and Folk Art, Sokodé (Togo) – Crafts and Folk Art, Terrassa (Spain) – Film, Tétouan (Morocco) – Crafts and Folk Art, Toronto (Canada) – Media Arts, Tunis (Tunisia) – Crafts and Folk Art, Utrecht (Netherlands) – Literature, Wuhan (China) – Design and Yamagata City (Japan) – Film. /By HENT/PIO