Lakbay sa Cagayan: A Workshop and Art Tourism Project

23 – 27 June 2015

The trip to Cagayan by IWS Philippines’ co representatives Warlito Brion Ballaran and Erwin Mallari was arranged by Tuguegarao artist Jen Utleg Consumido. Because of the terrain of the Philippines (we are an archipelago) and because member artists from outlying provinces are unable to attend meetups in the country’s capital where majority of our members are located, we have been considering the creation of sub groups presided over by provincial representatives. This will make it easier to connect with artists in distant regions and will make coordination for projects easier. We also wanted to explore art tourism – tour planning with the needs of the artists in mind. When we researched, we found there exists already historical tours, eco-tours, tours catering to foodies and themed tours but not one with the needs of artists who want to paint while visiting a location in consideration. Some concerns we want to address: accessibility, affordability, and safety. Artist Jen Utleg Consumido was enthusiastic about the concept for he has beenwanting to share with fellow artists, the beauty of his province. An art tutor himself, he has also been promoting the idea of interesting the youth in the arts and a workshop with IWS Philippine artists may help in this endeavor. He
presented the concept to the Office of Cagayan Provincial Museum and they took to the idea enthusiastically. They arranged for our two co-representatives to fly to Cagayan. While there, Erwin, Lito, and Jen introduced IWS Philippines to local artists and conducted a workshop that catered to beginners and advanced artists alike. In between, Erwin and Lito were taken on tours around the city, were shown the major tourist attractions and choice painting spots and with the rest of the class painted on site. Some locations required a boat ride to reach. The rest of our members following online enjoyed the trip too and are planning to join the next time a trip is planned. We would like to thank the Office of Cagayan Provincial Museum, the local artists and the workshop and plein air participants for the warmest welcome and unforgettable hospitality they have extended to IWS Philippines. We are also happy to announce that our Cagayan provincial chapter is growing as Jen reported an increased interest in watercolor painting. We hope to use the experience in Cagayan to develop the model we would use for other provinces. To see glimpses from the Cagayan trip and to see the beauty we have discovered,