During my last trip to Baguio, we were treated by the beautiful people from Azalea Residences to a one-of-a-kind tour around the city. On our first day, we were brought to the Ili-likha Artist Village, an interesting hub where creatives from all over the country gather to create and bring more light to Baguio City’s art community. It’s also a great place to grab some healthy grub, and interact with artists and fellow travelers alike.
What is there to see?
Although it looks like a rundown place from the outside, coming in at Ili-likha Artists Village is like being transported into a whole new dimension. The place is a multi-level tree house of sorts, with cafes and studio inside its small space. Each corner is decorated with art, from mosaic tiles to woodcarvings and recycled sculptures. Honestly, it felt like a mishmash of everything colorful and creative, but somehow, that kind of concept works perfectly well, creating a homey sanctuary for everyone.
Their colorful stairs
The reason behind its ingenious use of trees is the place’s advocacy of preserving what they have in their surroundings. They use their spaces unconventionally and has only proved that they have nothing but creativity flowing through their bloodstream. Just going around the area will already give you more inspiration than you could ever imagine.
One of the interesting pieces inside the village
What’s in store for your tummy?
One of the many food stalls where you can get some grub: Cafe Cueva
The village is home to Kiwing na Kahoy Community Food Hub, a group of food shops that offers hearty and healthy meals for everyone. They serve a variety of dishes, from pasta to salads to even sizzling plates, but rest assured, everything is served fresh and with your health in mind. The food is also affordable, so you need not worry about your budget. Price ranges from PHP 50.00 above.
During our visit, we were served with a fresh salad with strawberries and toast. They are extra fresh (which I really loved) and they taste heavenly! 🙂
Who else will you encounter?
Tattoos of performance artist Tara Natividad
Aside from appreciating the place’s interesting architecture, you can also interact with artists and ask them about their works. I’m the type of person who’s really fascinated to the different creative processes of artists, so it was such a delight that we were able to talk to them and ask them questions on how they find inspirations and motivations to finish their pieces.
Cheson – Bamboo Instrument Maker
One of the people that we were able to talk with was Cheson, an artist who pursues the craft of creating traditional bamboo musical instruments and learning it straight from the tribes. He shared the story of how this is a dying practice, and as a native, he wanted to preserve and uphold the beauty of their heritage through music.
Serk Dayuda – visual and tattoo artist
We were also able to sit down with Serk Dayuda, a visual and tattoo artist who decided to live in Baguio and pursue his projects in the city. Before moving in at Baguio, Serk was also a part of the band called “Elemento”, which uses metal scraps as instruments. As of the moment, he is working on some personal projects, and has pursued exploring visual arts like paintings and installations.
While we were enjoying our merienda, we were also serenaded by some of the village’s musicians, playing some fun tunes that would make you want to stand up and dance on your feet.
One thing that makes me love the place more is how welcoming everyone is. It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist, an art enthusiast, or a passer-by, the village is open for you to visit. Some of the artists that we’ve encountered are staying in the village and uses it as a place to create their works. They are also open to all artists who are interested in immersing with them, no matter if you’re a Filipino or even a foreigner.
Want to experience the beauty of it all? Don’t forget to drop by the village whenever you’re in Baguio! They opened in 2014 and is still continuously making an effort to expand and create more space for everyone.
Ili-likha Artist Village
#32 Assumption Road Brgy. Kabayanihan, Baguio City
Operating hours: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM