Baguio City—a town with deep history and cultural clout—has been a popular locale for creative souls throughout the years.
Owing much to its amicable climate and charming simplicity, many of these artists consider Baguio their home and an endless source of inspiration for their creative endeavors and daily living in general.
As a son of renowned artist Willie Magtibay (who was part of the first-wave artist transferees during the mid- 80’s), Leandro Magtigbay grew up in a community of creative individuals who took their practice and intertwined it with their existing environment. This gives life to an unprecedented art movement the Philippines is too lucky to have.
We took a moment to chat with this artist, musician, and environmental advocate on Baguio City and his current art practice.
DGT: What do you love about Baguio?
Well first off, it’s a mountain range. The climate is beautiful. For those who stop and take a moment, the scenery will always take your breath away. Cold nights wrapped in the arms of your comforter and lovely nights by the fire.
DGT: What inspires you to make art and play music?
Fire has always been a part of life here a practice and a commodity. There are times when one loses him or herself to a fire and every experience is different to each individual. That experience has been my inspiration, to capture that feeling and place it in my work.
DGT: How does Baguio influence your practice?
Growing up in Baguio as a son to artists opens many doors of crazy opportunities and encounters. Watching the process of individual artists is as intriguing as it is different for every individual.
I've always put thought into making art. It's only recently that I've been pushing through with manifesting creative ideas to reality.
DGT: How has Baguio changed compared to 10 years ago?
Baguio right now feels like a can of sardines. I can’t blame the city though. It’s a melting pot for people seeking education and jobs. Compared to 10 years ago there weren’t many buildings, nor cars for that matter. And far more trees.
DGT: Top 3 things locals and tourists must do in Baguio?
- Respect the mountain.
- Bring your own bag when you go to the market or groceries. Avoid plastic bags.
DGT: Top 3 things you wish people knew about Baguio, but don't?
- On ‘ber’ months, sunflowers bloom everywhere.
- Sunflowers always face the sun.
- Minesview has one of the best sunrises.
7) Could you tell us more about respecting the mountain?
Respect it for what it is rather than how you want it to be. Some people want to turn our fields into parking lots and our parks into malls.
[I'm one] of the locals fighting for sustainable preservation rather than industrial renovation of the mountain. Sustainable preservation is more on protecting the city, our marvels, our trees, the architecture and our way of living.
There's been so much development in Baguio. The city has been growing rapidly that the art of living on a mountain has been lost with the people. Cultural divide is inevitable between the youth, but knowing our history and truly loving it can help the future.
DGT: Final thoughts?
When you get the chance, come see my art!
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