by KRISTOFER PURNELL
Sculptor Kigao Risamo has turned Luisa’s Cafe on Baguio’s Session Road, which had been home to Baguio and Benguet media for almost 20 years, into the month-long arts exhibit “Ibagtit,” with National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik, Baguio’s tourism officer Aloysius Mapalo, and Baguio’s Creative Council vice chairman and University of the Philippines-Baguio chancellor Rey Rovillos officially opening the exhibit featuring 90 works from 40 artists of the city.
“This is a throwback to when Baguio and its creative people was at its peak,” says Rosimo, referring to the late 1980s when renowned Baguio artists founded the Baguio Arts Guild (BAG). “There were real galleries in the city. We held the opening on a full moon, the title connotes something crazy, luna thus lunatic.”
“Ibagtit” is a multi-medium exhibit featuring painting and sculpture, performances, literature, music, and photography—the latter to help boost Baguio’s hold as a creative city that includes artists like Kidlat Tahimik, fellow National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, sculptor Roberto Villanueva, Santiago Bose, and Dave Baradas.
Some of the artists on display include stone sculptor Gilbert Gano Alberto, Leonard Aguinaldo, and noted Ibaloy painter Roland Bay-an and his small ink on paperwork of an Ibaloy mother with her child bundled at her back. Poetry will be provided by the Baguio Writers Group led by two-time Palanca awardee and the exhibit’s co-organizer Frank Cimatu.
Rosimo adds that the exhibit also encourages a new wave of artists to pursue art. Some among them include Kidlat Tahimik’s second child and installation artist Kawayan de Guia, artist Benjie Mallari’s grandchild Ryelle and her oil pastel paperwork Filipina, and 11-year-old Sakura Alangui, the youngest participant of “Ibagtit.”