BONTOC, Mountain Province – Children and teenagers ages 8-15 had their first of its kind experience of learning arts and crafts free of charge at the Municipal Library, 3rd Floor of the Bontoc Municipal Capitol during “Makerspace Pop-Up” which ran from April 28, 2022 to May 1, 2022. 

  The Bontoc Local Government Unit, through the Municipal Library in collaboration with the VIVITA Philippines, initiated the “Makerspace Pop-Up” aimed to nurture the imagination and creativity of children by providing them with learning platforms, experiences, and equipment. 

VIVITA Philippines is part of the corporate entity of VIVITA, an organization first founded in Japan that specializes in empowering children and the youth. It has been established in seven countries. The VIVITA Philippines has established its VIVISTOP Baguio, a physical space where children aged eight years and above are able to explore their own curiosities, develop their creativities at their own pace, and bring their ideas to life. The sessions are free of charge. 

  According to Candice Alipio, creative director of VIVITA Philippines, the “Makerspace Pop-UP” in Bontoc, Mountain Province is the first pop-up outside of Baguio City. She mentioned that Bontoc was chosen with the available space conducive for learners and young artists. 

  It is to be noted that Bontoc is the only municipality in Mountain Province that has a public library and a plantilla position of a librarian. The Bontoc Municipal Library has always been the most frequented place for students and the public to read and research. Also, four units of desktop computers are now being used by the public free of charge at the Bontoc Municipal Library for internet surfing, Microsoft Office applications, and others purposely for information and education.

  Alipio added that they were elated by the positive response and high number of participants who registered and their enthusiasm for all the arts and craft materials. 

  Municipal Librarian Chamrein Casiwen mentioned that in compliance with health protocols, the first-come, first-served basis was implemented. Also, this is to give opportunity to all participants who registered to have first-hand experience to learn, imagine, discover, and create with the use of 3D printers, laser cutters, circuits machines, robotics, and other arts and craft materials.

  In a separate interview, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey, who had a first-hand experience of making his button pin, mentioned that it was a worthwhile experience since it was his first time.

  Vice Mayor Eusebio Kabluyen who designed his T-shirt expressed happiness about the rare opportunity.

  Mayor Odsey and Vice Mayor Kabluyen both mentioned that they did not have those experiences in their childhood and are glad that various arts and crafts activities are being introduced to the children.

  Both the officials lauded the Bontoc Municipal Library and the VIVISTOP Baguio for initiating the activity that would promote creativity among young artists. 

  Likewise, Odsey and Kabluyen encouraged the children and the youth to visit the Bontoc Municipal Library and take part in activities such as the Makerspace Pop-Up. 

The materials were provided by VIVISTOP Baguio along with the manpower to assist the learners in the use of arts and crafts materials and equipment. 

  For its counterpart, the Bontoc LGU shouldered the accommodation and meals of the staff from the VIVISTOP Baguio. – Alpine Killa- Malwagay, Bontoc LGU