By: Pigeon Lobien
BAGUIO CITY — The park that will define the city’s new moniker as a creative center for crafts and folk arts may finally be unveiled on May 31, four months after its supposed completion.
The 655-square meter City Hall park has been closed for almost 10 months for renovation to further beautify the heart of Baguio, that will be a reflection of the city’s status as a “Creative City”, as conferred by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
It will house works of well-known stone sculptor Gilbert “Gano” Alberto, whose 17 stone statues will apparently guard the Baguio City Hall once the upgrade is completed.
Alberto, an Ifugao-born sculptor in Baguio, is an internationally-awarded artist. Among his recent awards were the two major prizes at the 2013 Symposium International de Sculpture in Switzerland where he got the “Prix du Public 2013-Bois” with his “Swiss Wind” piece that was chosen from among the works of sculptors from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East and the “Prix des Artistes 2013”.
In 2011, Alberto also won two awards in the same competition, using stone as his medium of work.
Alberto is a self-taught artist and believes in the spiritual world as a means to effect social change. He prefers to use environment-friendly materials, such as driftwood, for his sculptures
Gano will have 17 figures measuring 4 to 6.5 feet that will adorn the 655 square meter park which will complement the adjacent Burnham Park that serves as a view from the City Hall ground.
His works are local figures in local garb that are placed beside the park’s walkways. Riprap walls have started to sprout which will later be adorned with flowers, like roses.
Once completed, the park will also have an amphitheater, with the steps that serve as seats adorned with native groove patterns. The city was earlier listed as Creative City for crafts and folk arts by UNESCO.
Circular benches will also be placed around standing trees that can be used by park goers mostly city hall visitors, students, as well as the parents waiting for their children’s dismissal.
“Though the budget is low, I took it so that my works will be immortalized right at the heart of the city,” Gano said.
Lawyer Leticia Clemente, city budget officer and chair of the bids and awards committee, added that they were assured by the contractor “that it will be finished by the end of the month”. (PNA)