Design Week Philippines 2016: A celebration of creativity in the walled city


LOST IN the beat of quality indie music, and entranced by gripping spoken word performances, the crowd sat in a cozy huddle and tuned in to various stories of life told through a one-of-a-kind fusion of music and poetry.

Ex Vivo: From Beginning to End brought together some of the country’s most popular spoken word poetry groups: Ilustrados, White Wall Poetry, and Lakambini Poetry. Vibrant local bands such as Oswald Sleeps Tonight, Kissling, and Caffeine and Taurine also filled Intramuros with good music.
The Spoken Word Poetry and Independent Music Festival held last April 16 at Maestranza Plaza, Intramuros, Manila, was part of Design Week Philippines, an annual celebration of design and creativity organized by Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

“[Spoken Word Poetry] is very millennial. Design Week Philippines is about planting the seeds of creativity and innovation—bringing the creative confidence of the Filipinos. So we’re really looking at the youth because you are the future of this country. We want [your] multiple expressions of creativity and nurture [them],” said CITEM’s Deputy Executive Director Maria Rita Matute.

Meanwhile, Slac Cayamanda of White Wall Poetry said that their group’s goal is to introduce the walled city to the new generation. “Kasi usually, when you’re part of the community, you don’t really explore the community…as much as tourists would do. Nagiging dayuhan [ka] sa sariling bayan. Since yun (din) yung target ng Design Week sa Intramuros, they asked us to partner with them,” he explained.

Aside from Ex Vivo, numerous workshops, exhibits, public art installations, and a weekend market also occupied the stretch of General Luna St.

“What [we’re] doing is an ecosystem of design. [There’s the] commercial buyers of design, the commercial manufacturers…but [we] also have events that help nurture creativity and design consciousness in ordinary people, because creativity is equal to innovation. [Our] goal is to have a population that is committed to the innovation process. Whether you’re a lawyer, a doctor, or an accountant, creativity is an important trait to any professional now. So that’s basically design week, we wanna have that innovation culture in the Philippines,” Matute said. F  CHARISSA MAE M. NEMIS

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