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Sin-Agi climate action wall Wednesday turn over to kick off February art month

READY FOR TURN-OVER. Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr. interviewed by RNG Luzon’s Ren de Guzman Monday morning at the eight by 100 feet Biking Mobility portion of the Climate Action Wall at Leagarda Road as the mural is set for turn over to the city on February 1 after its completion with the logos of those responsible in its out up have been completed and application of a topcoat. The turn-over also marks the start of Art Month and the Baguio Art Festival to be staged at the Baguio City National High School to involve high school students here. Pigeon Lobien

The city’s celebration of the art month starts with the launching the of the Sin-Agi artists-led Climate Action Wall along Legarda Road with its launching and turn over ceremony to the city on February 1.

The turn over ceremony of the eight feet by 100 feet biking mobility wall depicting 22 riders with the Mounts Cabuyao and Santo Tomas as backdrop comes 47 days after its start on December 15 last year during the birthday of mayor Benjamin Magalong, who seeks to promote healthy lifestyle and reduce carbon footprint.

Gladys Labsan, one of the four main artists of the biking mobility mural, practically put the final touches last Sunday when she painted the logo of Sin-Agi and the artists involved in the project – Ged Alangui, Wigan Lopez Nauyac, Mich Gimolo and councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr.

“We actually took it slow and had it finished in time for the February 1 opening as requested by city administrator Bonifacio dela Pena, my teacher in college. So we had it moved to February 1, which is also the start of the art month,” Yangot told RNG Luzon Monday morning after meeting with Baguio City High School Special Program for the Arts teachers in the staging of the Baguio Arts Festival at said school.

Yangot was also bed ridden for the first two weeks of the year after contracting a pulmonary disease that made work come to almost a grinding halt when it was first envisioned that it will be finished on the first week of January.

The painting was supposed to show nine bikers with the mountains as backdrop, but 13 more figures were added, most of which were done by student artist-apprentices, all product of the free arts lessons at the park, which Yangot spearheaded with members of the Baguio Educators Arts Guild, teachers from the city’s public schools.

“But most of them (BEAG) are busy now with them pursuing higher education – masters and even doctorate – so we instead tapped the Sin-Agi artists, which he also convened and now are based at the Baguio athletic bowl where a space under the grandstand is used as an art bank and future gallery.

Last week, personnel of the Baguio Fire Department and police interns from the University of the Cordilleras apprenticed with the Police Station 5 helped Nauyac and Alangui in cleaning the wall prior the application of a top coat to protect the art work from the elements – rain, sun and even soot from vehicles coming and going to Marcos Highway.

Yangot noted the heavy pollution at the area, especially vehicles coming from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center where the junction is a steep climb forcing vehicles to rev up, thus the heavy smoke.

Yangot also thanked Davies Paints for providing the paint and the top coat, FCLaranang Construction for the scaffolding which has now been moved to the portion of the wall leading to the police station, which will be later painted with the Buyog Watershed.

The launching Wednesday is the 47th day since its launching during Magalong’s birthday in December 15 last year and also the natal day for KZ Labsan, daughter of one of the artists.

The mom was supposed to skip the launching with her youngest celebrating her first year but was was prodded by Yangot to join the Wednesday afternoon festivity even offering to bake a cake for the baby.

“I can cook and bake,” said Yangot, who is also behind the Urban Gardening Advocates of Baguio, Inc., a private group promoting gardening at home which became popular during the height of pandemic. Yangot also has a cooking lessons and competitions, using produces from the said farms.

“Baguio is the first creative city in the country and we must encourage our young artists to be part of the creative movement,” said Yangot, named artist-councilor of the year by the city’s and region’s most popular publication, the Baguio Midland Courier.

“Who said that there is no money in art?” added Yangot, who recently sold some of his paintings worth in the six figures.

Wednesday marks also the second month of the Sin-Agi which will lead along with the BEAG and the BCHS SPA for the staging of the ArtFest to be hosted by the biggest public high school in the country.

Yangot met BCHS SPA head Francis Lumiwes and his teaching staff earlier Monday to finalize the month long ArtFest which has been given the go signal by the Department of Education – Baguio Division Office led by Superintendent Federico Martin.

Workshops on literature – poetry, essay and fiction writing, painting – acrylic, watercolor and urban sketching, theater and acting, dance and music are eyed for the festivity that will start on February 4 and will conclude on March 11 during the awards.

Noted Baguio artists into those art expressions are eyed to facilitate the workshops which will be followed with competition late February and early March.

“This will be an annual undertaking soon with a corresponding ordinance to effect and support the project to help young creatives to improve their craft,” said Yangot, who also eyes support to the artists including sale of their works, thus the creation of art banks and creative spaces around the city.

Alumni of the oldest and biggest public high school in Northern Luzon are also invited to be art of the festivity with artists-alumni invited as facilitators, Yangot added.

On Friday, Yangot will join the BCHS SPA faculty and students in their exhibit at the Baguio Museum and which will be part of the month-long ArtFest.

Meanwhile, Yangot is looking at the remaining 50 foot portion of the Legarda wall below the Europa Condominium and before the Baguio Police Station 5 for the Buyog Watershed mural. The mural is a call to stop tree cutting and encroachment at the watershed which is one of the city’s main sources of water and agreed upon with Magalong during a meeting last year.

“We want a stop to tree cutting at the Buyog watershed now,” cried Magalong as he expressed sadness at the plight of the watershed which every year is dwindling as concrete structures continue to grow in numbers.  Pigeon Lobien

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