I first read about Ili-likha Artists Village in 2016, while I was poking around the Internet for Baguio City finds. You see, I’ve been coming back to Baguio for summer and Christmas vacations since the late 1990s, and I’ve had my fill of horseback rides, bike rides, and visits to the usual tourists spots my parents would bring us to. So for the past several years, I was happy to just lounge around at our home in Kias, watching movies or reading books while enjoying the cool Baguio air.
Looking for a bit of adventure, I Googled “What to do in Baguio City” that year and found a listicle that included this magical place at Assumption Road. I was instantly fascinated, and I included it in my itinerary that same year. I wasn’t able to visit the place until early January of 2017, though.
Things I love about Ili-Likha Artists Village:
- Where some business owners might have cut down the overgrown trees in the area before building a multi-level establishment, Ili-Likha, owned by director and screenwriter Kidlat Tahimik, was built around it. It’s like the artsy tree house of my dreams (I never had one as a kid), and the first time I entered it, I knew I could just sit there for hours and feel at home.
- What makes Ili-Likha so charming is how eclectic every bit of art piece in it is. There are rainbow-tiled stairs, walls made out of colorful old bottles, stained glass windows that filter the sunlight in ever so beautifully—and more! Even the chairs and tables here, mostly made out of wood, have their own character, and I love that about this place. It could be a bit too much for the senses, but once you focus on things one by one, you’ll be charmed. And you’ll find yourself wanting to come back every time.
- I have not yet sampled all of the dishes and delicacies the various food kiosks here offer, but I can say this about those that I’ve tried: They’re tasty, inexpensive, and healthy. Most, if not all, of the food concessionaires here offer vegetarian alternatives, so if you’re looking for vegetarian food in Baguio City, give Ili-Likha’s food stalls a try.
- Ili-Likha’s dining spaces can get a bit cramped, especially at the 2nd and 3rd mezzanines. If you are traveling with a large group, you might have to break up so you could all get decent seats. (The place is also usually packed around lunch and dinner time, so picking a time between those two peak hours might be better.)
- Toilets are cramped and sometimes, the flush isn’t working. I know some people are very particular with this, so if you’re one of them, you might want to skip this one, or relieve yourself in the mall washroom (there’s one nearby).
And here are some photos I took from my last visit! (Please bear with the quality; it was already almost dusk when we got there.)
Ili-Likha Artists Village is located in Assumption Road, Baguio City, just 350 meters away from Baguio Cathedral. According to their official Facebook page, they are open every day from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, so do make time to visit this amazing place if you’re in town!
Did you know? I loved this place so much the first time I visited it that I vowed to include it in one of my books, and I did! Ili-Likha Artists Village appears in Like Nobody’s Watching as a location for a video series the main characters Pio Alvez and Audrey Alonzo were shooting.
You may check out the book below. (It’s also available in print!)