Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Organizations Joined Baguio Artists to Create a Park

Funded by a Japanese Non-governemnt Organization, several groups joined a tree planting activity as part of a 3-year project to create Baguio Artists Forrest Park at Km. 4 Asin last Monday, September 17, 2012.

Lead by Baguio Artists and the Lagud School of Living Traditions, the group composed of the Philippine National Police, One Nature One Community (ONOC), Katribu, Dap-ayan ti Kultura ti Kordilyera, Save 182, La Trinidad Shutterbugs, students from SLU Laboratory Elementary School and several online groups planted about 2,000 assorted seedlings.

The park is a project of the Greenfields Network Philippines and funded by National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization, a Japanese non-government organization. The Baguio City Police Office also contributed about 400 assorted seedlings to the project.

The 1 hectare area is owned by Baguio Artist Kidlat Tahimik and was believed to be a Japanese camp during World War two from the war relics previously dug on the site. Leading the project is artist Santos Bayucca who said that Tahimik allowed the artists to plan and develop his lot as a haven for artists and tourists by transforming it into a park.

Bayucca said the first part of the project is to plant 10,000 trees or more to the site. “We asked the Japanese NGO to help finance the project because we believe the Japanese army cut many of the trees around the area during their occupation in the Philippines,” Bayucca said.

“Next phase of the project is to create native huts from the authentic original designs and the creation of a Dap-ay. There are also several caves that can be developed as tourist attractions, a possible replacement to the once popular Crystal Caves,” he said.

It’s not just another tree planting activity where the planted trees are abandoned after being planted. Bayucca said that they might charge those who want to plant trees and be part of the project in the future for the maintenance of the trees. “The artists will make sure that the trees are taken care off to ensure their growth and add beauty to the park,” said Bayucca.

Several art works were already installed inside the planned park like a replica of the hanging coffins of Sagada, wood carvings overlooking the park and a view deck with a uniquely design toilet using a refrigerator door at the entrance. A shrine was also created for the deceased soldiers in the area during 2nd World War.

Carl C. Taawan