Baguio’s Mandëko Kito Artisanal Fair Showcases Local Artisans & Crafters
As a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts, Baguio strengthens the creative economy through the Mandëko Kito Artisanal Market the runs from June 15 to 20, 2021, at Berkeley International School. The arts and crafts fair is a project of the Baguio Arts and Crafts Collective, Inc. (BACCI) and is held twice a year in the City of Pines. Every year, BACCI invites other regions to participate in sharing their local crafters’ best.
BACCI launched Mandëko Kito to support creative entrepreneurs during the COVID pandemic and is a symbol of solidarity for artisans while pushing the artistry and design innovation of the Cordilleras forward. For Mandëko Kito’s third run, BACCI coordinated with 32 participating local artists, artisans, crafters, and food entrepreneurs from Baguio, Benguet, Mt. Province, Pangasinan, and Sagada. Anyone who comes to visit will be welcomed by this trove of handmade crafts and art from silver craft, pottery, custom-designed shirts, woodcarving, weaving, bamboo craft, knitting, and artisanal food, among others.
Mandëko Kito: A By-Word for Inclusivity of Creativity
Mandëko Kito means “Let’s sell.” With that said, the fair has become a way for creative entrepreneurs to share their creativity and innovation while helping them bounce back and continue their journey to building a thriving business. Because of this advocacy, Mandëko Kito is a catalyst for the inclusivity of creativity. It has also become a good market for local artisans.
Everything the exhibitors have on display is vetted so you get nothing short of the best premium handmade products that reflect a cherished sentiment: “Anything handmade is made with love.” Anyone who visits can talk with the crafters and artisans to get to know their stories.
The individual stories and narratives behind each product are just as important and interesting as the product themselves. With such a strong sense of community, each conversation or purchase will contribute to someone’s livelihood and instantly bring a smile to someone’s face.
Mandëko Kito is a platform for artisans to showcase and sell premium crafts and arts that everyone can enjoy. Investors can meet with local artisans and find potential products that can penetrate high-value crafts’ local and international markets. Filo Artisan Trade is currently working with some of the artisans so we can make their crafts available in Australia.
The Mandëko Kito Artisanal Market is a creative space where people can discover the beauty of local artistry and design innovation while elevating the status of the creative economy.
About the Writer: Kaye Leah Sitchon is the first prize winner for the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Awards 2020 for her essay, "Sinanglaw for Breakfast." She is a communications instructor at Saint Louis University, Baguio City, a freelance content writer for various websites, as well as an editor and module developer for REX Publishing (REX Bookstore). She describes herself as “passionate about the written word.”