SAGADA, Mountain Province -- The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Cordillera News Agency (CNA), and a local family here have put up a native house they call "Dogo Siwang Art Hub," to serve as a meeting venue for local artists and tourists.
“A lot of artists come to Sagada. We have built this hub so that there will be a venue for artists to meet," said Sonia Daoas, a retired college professor and university executive, who is the NCCA’s project grantee.
Daoas said the place will also serve as a venue to teach young people on culture and the arts, so they will not forget the cultural practices and traditions of the town.
"This is a place, where artists can go. This is not a museum but a venue of art that will propagate the culture not only here in Sagada but of others as well," she added.
The art hub had its soft launch on Dec. 13. It aims to champion knowledge on indigenous culture, arts, and heritage.
Named after the place where it was put up, quite far from the rice fields, the art hub is maintained by the Daoas family and the CNA, composed of veteran newsmen.
It will serve as a place where artists coming to Sagada can commune with nature and concentrate while making their artworks, they said.
“This will enhance the creativity of the locals and the tourists, artists, and artisans through various lecture and workshops in an ethnic setting,” Daoas said, adding schools can also use the place to give lessons on architecture, sculpture, painting, literary writing, music, performing arts, and film.
Dogo Siwang is located in Barangay Patay, a few meters away from the main road before reaching the town’s center. It is lined with pine trees and rice fields. The place also has its eco-trail, where orange picking and mountain tea leaves picking can be done.
Lawyer David Daoas, who was a former chairman of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), said: “Our hometown is visited by a lot of artists. In Sagada, a lot of talents of artists are being maximized with the many mystic places, where they can meditate and concentrate, allowing them to come up with their art.”
He said since Sagada is a tourist spot, he sees the need to showcase its culture and art. "I think this is also the first step for the youth to continue learning and preserving the local culture,” he said.
Patterned after the Tam-awan Village in Baguio, the Dogo Siwang is seen by the NCCA, CNA, and the Daoas family as a venue also for artists going to the Summer Capital.
They said they also home that like the Tam-awan Village, Dogo Siwang will also be able to offer sketching sessions with live models, displays of Cordillera arts.
The art hub is open to the public by appointment. (PNA)