There is one activity in the city that I miss and that is the street art. Literally, the pavement is a free-for-all blank page for anyone to draw on. Let met take you back two years ago when there was no pandemic yet. I imagine you can still remember how that feels like? We are all free to roam and we do the things that we want without restrictions, without masks or face shields, without worrying about getting infected. Let us go for a stroll up and down Session Road, Baguio City.
(Note that this was posted in other blogging site (click here) and re-posted here with revisions, addition and subtraction. All contents are mine.)
Session Road is one of the major roads in Baguio City. It got its name from the fact that this road leads to the old Baden Powell Inn where the Philippine Commission held its first session in Baguio City in 1904.
Session Road is nearly 2 kms and alongside it are shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, banks, offices and other business establishments and is a major road of Baguio City.
Sadly, the old Baden Powell Inn is crumbling and the marker seems to be given no importance. Establishments were built beside the marker and if you are not observant enough you will miss it. Put a cloth over it and no one will know what is that.
It is obscured by some of the establishments decorations and signages. It is like a house decor that you do not like but it is mandatory to display it for your mom will surely raise hell if you do keep it.
Every Sunday, the stretch of lower Session Road up to rotunda is closed to vehicles. Different activities were held every Sunday, after which the road is then turned into a sketch pad for everyone to write or draw and express their artistry.
Who can recognize these characters?
This activity was started back in 2019. We have done it before but not this extensive. I think it was once or twice. It was widely accepted then as it was now. Since its re-introduction, every Sunday the city is looking forward to this.
Baguio City is known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Another title it holds is that the city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. This group was formed in 2004 and are focused on developing its creative culture such as crafts, arts, food, literature, music, etc. Baguio City is the first city in the Philippines to be named UNESCO Creative City in 2017. In 2019, Cebu City became the second city to be part of this group.
Vehicles were re-routed to give for this day-long event. Aside from encouraging creativity, this is one way of urging all to walk and exercise more for even just once a week. Seeing these arts drawn on the road will be a pleasurable walk indeed. You just have to bring your umbrella to shade you from the heat in some areas where there is no shade.
I truly appreciate how inclusive this event is. All walks of life are invited and encouraged to participate. You are free to draw or if you are like me, just be there to appreciate. Of all, I like how kids are exposed to this. As we all know, it is extremely important for us to let young minds open up to being creative. We need minds who are able to think outside the box and open their minds to possibilities. They will be thinkers who will come up with solutions to our problems because of their creativity.
Every week we see various lovely drawings circulated online. Some brought their own chalks while others bought from sellers on the road. This has created opportunities to business minded people. Chalks can be bought by box or per piece. The stores will not sell per piece so you have to buy by box. To say you money, you can buy from those who sell them in the streets and you can buy it per piece. This is good practice for you just have to buy what you need. I even saw others giving their used and unused chalks to those who don't have once they were done with their drawings. So you see, it also involves the act of sharing and giving what you have.
This is easy to clean. These drawing do not last long for a few minutes after a masterpiece is done, it fades away mostly because of foot traffic. Thus, giving way to another blank canvas for someone to draw on. So some of the drawings posted online cannot be seen anymore if you want to check it out because it would have been erased. Lucky you if it was not.
Freedom of expression can be seen here, within the bounds of positive and kid friendly aspects. Who knows? Maybe we will find our next Picasso or Van Gogh here in the city.
This is one of the reasons why I miss this activity in the city. Since they decided to continue this activity, I made sure to visit even for few minutes and check what surprise I will see. I have taken more photos but I cannot find where I posted it. It must be in one other blogging sites that closed and I was unable to keep the originals.
As we all know, when pandemic hit, all activities were stopped. We surely missed a lot. When they starting easing restrictions, we now have market encounter every Sunday. I was hoping this street art will resume soon.
We had a quick visit today at Session Road. Quick because we did not know that it was a community outreach program by private sectors and business owners this day. So we had to leave because the program was about to start. I don't know how the screening process was but people are lined up at a registry booth when we went there. There are different stalls for free groceries, food packs, fruits and vegetables. Not only that but they were also offering free massage, haircut and other services. Military personnel were there to assist in the said program.
As a bonus, we saw this guy with his horse.
I'm pretty sure it is not for free to pose with the horse as it is common here but I did not ask to verify.
Aside from market encounter, this is also packed with people every Panagbenga Flower Festival. Lots of people will line up the road some even before the sun is up to get the front seat to watch the street dancing and float parades which was an annual event before pandemic.
Do you like to draw? If you see your kids getting interested in arts, let them, encourage them and support them.
Thank you once again for dropping by.