The Antipolo City brass band welcomes DOT regional directors Jovita Ganongan and Marites Castro, and Rizal Provincial Tourism head Dr. Corazon Laserna with the signature folk song “Tayo na sa Antipolo.”

When visual artists from the northern and southern regions of Luzon meet, expect a feast for the senses with the convergence of overflowing talent, diverse cultures, and artistic philosophies.

Held in various art galleries and museums in Rizal and Cavite, the three-day Department of Tourism’s Artists’ Exchange Program (AEP) was hosted by the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Calabarzon and local art groups in the Southern Tagalog region. 

The visiting delegation from the Cordillera region consisted of 12 young artists from three Baguio-based groups, namely Pasakalye, 23 Sampaguita, and the Tam-awan Artists Village.

DOT Cordillera-Calabarzon Art Exchange Program in Angono

“Art exchanges provide a meaningful way for artists to think more creatively and gain expertise from peers from a different culture and school of thought. It also adds value to lives by inspiring new forms of artistic expression,” says DOT Calabarzon acting regional director Marites Castro.

She added that the AEP draws on the collective skills and experiences to develop collaboration on culture and the arts, drawing on the themes of integrity, sense of community, and resilience, among others.

Exchange participants visited the Kaulayaw Cafe, Hinulugang Taktak and Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City; the residence-gallery of National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, the Blanco Family Museum, and the Nemiranda Arthouse and Atelier Galerie in Angono; and the ArtSector Gallery in the hilltops of Binangonan.

Figurative sketching session with the Angono Ateliers Association

As part of their collaborative effort, the group held a figurative sketching session led by Nemi Miranda, one of the founders of Angono Ateliers Association. The eminent painter-sculptor also offered an extensive three-day immersion program to the Baguio artists which will give them a more holistic experience on the art scene of Angono and the neighboring towns of Rizal.

In Cavite, the group visited the Ifugao-inspired Shambala Living Museum in Silang, Alitaptap Artists Village in Amadeo, Yoki’s Farm in Mendez, and the Orlina Museum of noted glass artist Ramon Orlina in Tagaytay City.  

The event is the second phase of last year’s Exchange Program held in Baguio City and Benguet province hosted by the DOT-Cordillera Administrative Region and local art groups led by National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik.

Alitaptap Artists Village in Amadeo, Cavite

Baguio City takes pride in being declared by UNESCO as a Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts in 2017, the first Philippine city to be included in the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) because of its vibrant groups in the different arts.

“The AEP builds working relationships and cultural appreciation between the two art communities, and emphasizes on innovations on the continuing professional development for artists,” concludes DOT-Cordillera regional director Jovita Ganongan.

The Art Exchange Program, which forms part of Calabarzon’s Green Corridor Initiatives Experiential Tours, also provided insights in enhancing  marketing and promotional strategies of arts- and culture-based tourist attractions and destinations.