TRY to catch the art exhibit at Malcolm Square.
It is composed of just thirty panels depicting the Baguio City Market. It was curated by Kawayan de Guia featuring stories, pictures, infographics, paintings, posters and vintage ads about the market.
The first to confront you (if you are coming from Session Road) is a picture of a lone pine tree with the market as a backdrop in the 1950s. The accompanying text, however, is about the avocado tree at the vacant lot at Session Road.
Poet Mel Magsanoc penned the poem entitled “In Anticipation of the Death of an Avocado Tree”
“There is an avocado tree that has grown through the years inside the ruins of the Bombay Bazaar along Session Road. It has always been a ruin as long as I remember it,” the poem starts.
“I watched the tree grow, almost every day that I queue and wait, sometimes for long hours especially when the city is besieged by tourists, for the Lucnab or Minesview jeepneys that offer me just a butt space for me to go home.”
The long poem ends: “The jeepney barker still insists on packing us like 555 Fried Sardines ensuring the revenue the jeepney must generate during that trip and the tip he’d receive. And when finally, I fit my butt in my seat and has gone a few meters away from the ruin I try to etch in my memory everything that soon, I will never ever see.”
There is an ad of Baguio Oil.
Another is a painting of National Artist Fernando Amorsolo of the idealized Baguio dog market.
Another is a short report about the many vegetables that the market offered in 1908.
A brief note about the Igorot’s dog trade with a postcard of the Baguio dog market.
An essay by Padmapani Perez illustrates a 1950 photo of the market with two foreign visitors.
“There are markets and there is the market, economies of places and places of economy. I want to share stories about the market place – the Baguio public market – as cosmopolitan, exotic or exoticized, historical, human, home, hostile, changing. The market as a mirror,” began Padma’s essay.
Another is an infographic of the advantages of public markets.
“You can trace the timeline of the town’s history (and culture) via the history (and trade) of the town’s public market. In Baguio City, there is a replica of the 18th-century photograph of the typical exchange of goods at a central part of the City which would become the site of the public market, until now,” goes a blog by TheColorofRed
A photo of the city after the carpet bombing has an article mentioning the late Maria Cordoviz, the oldest barangay captain in her time, and how she and her husband built their market stall from the bombed market.
““What if the market disappears? The Baguio market was carpet-bombed at the end of World War II. Only the present rice and tobacco sections remained intact. I remembered interviewing 91-year-old Kagitingan Barangay Captain Maria Cordoviz and she recalled that after the war, she and her husband salvaged whatever galvanized iron or other building materials from the wreckage to start their own stall. Cordoviz never left the market, ruling as the teniente del barrio since 1962. “It never crossed our minds to start the market elsewhere. The market will always be here,” she said.”
There is a photo about the artist’s art event called the Markets of Resistance.
There is a photo of a series of paintings by Rocky Cajigan called the Ayuda Series.
“Public markets are the cornerstone in a community. It is a lively gathering place, a small business catalyst, a food security provider, and indeed, an opportunity-incubator: the opportunities for people to live, exchange, share and feel a sense of belonging,” Peggy Liao said in another panel.
Only thirty panels, but more than enough to tell us how important the Baguio Market is and why it should be preserved.