How I Learned About The Ibagiw Arts Festival 2019
While breezing through my social networks late one night, I got a private message inviting me to participate in in a video shoot to promote an upcoming local art event. I was curious, intrigued, and thrilled! It turned out that this art event was THE art event to watch out for. Last year, Baguio was chosen to be one of UNESCO’s Creative Cities in the world. This is the second time that the city of Baguio would be celebrating this event and the theme this year would be ‘Made in Baguio’. Without hesitation, I replied that I would be honored to be a part of this prestigious event. Little did I know that I would embark on a truly wonderful journey to personal, as well as business, growth and enlightenment.
For nine days, I would sell my art and handmade pieces at the historical, Diplomat Hotel. The old structure was a work of art in itself and to hold the prestigious event here was a very good decision, in my opinion. For many years, the old hotel was just unused and was marketed as a haunted house to tourists coming to the city. I’m glad that its gigantic walls would now be home to art pieces made by Baguio’s local artists.
In truth, I didn’t know what to expect from the Ibagiw Arts Festival. For sure, I was expecting that it would be physically challenging to sell in a limited, cramped space, with my booth neighbors so close by, and for straight nine straight days.
In fact, it was only my second craft show so I wasn’t that experienced with selling at a public space. The first fair I joined was just a 2-day event, and the booths were a little bit farther from each other. I thought that nine days would be physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging. But I was optimistic! And even with some words of concern from my husband, I made the final decision to sign up.
The first and second day went by quickly, with lots of tourists and locals visiting the area. I sold a lot of my products and made a good profit. But by the third day – a work day, the number of visitors dwindled. The following days were no different. A few visitors meant low sales. So what now?
Making Life-Enriching Connections
The first thing I noticed was how genuinely friendly the other exhibitors were. Everyone was helpful to each other. Tacks, pins, scissors, duct tape, and such were readily lent to whoever needed it. Food was shared and we all looked after each other’s booth when one had to go to the restroom. We even helped with the selling of each other’s crafts. As slow days went by, the ‘bazaaristas’ felt more at ease with other. We visited each others booths, shared tips, joked around, and some even learned to crochet!
Happy I Took the Chance
When the Ibagiw Festival finally concluded, I was very happy that I took the chance when the opportunity presented itself. The overall experience was very rewarding for me. I learned a lot about running my business but most of all, I learned from the experiences, from the stories of the new people that I’ve met during the festival. I feel that my life is enriched and I will take with me only the beautiful memories that were made during my adventure there.