Cebu creatives mount “Cebu Design Week” online



CEBU CITY – Cebu’s creative industry mounted its 3rd edition of “Cebu Design Week” (CDW) via online at with around 5,000 participants from all five sessions lined up for the CDW 2020: The Great ReCREATE from October 26 to 30 and all other activities and programs to support and help develop the creatives in Central Visayas.

Despite its drawbacks the creative industry in Cebu continues to thrive in a world of shifting polarities, according to the CDW organizers that in times of physical distancing and social solidarity, it was reported that the highest concentration of practitioners is in the creative sector.

The Cebu Design Week created this platform and built a launchpad for the community to share ideas and collective movement that economic development can come from creativity, the organizers said.

Cebu Design Week was borne out of a need to develop and unite the creative sectors of Cebu as well as to propagate a thriving creative economy.   Cebu Design Week is a non-stock, nonprofit organization that was originally started by the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF).

It has become a catalyst for the city’s creative industries, instrumental in shaping its dynamic domestic economy. It has continuously nurtured the city’s design community by connecting its people and cultivating the landscape of innovation.

According to Dr. Jasmine Geeson President of the Cebu chapter of the Interior Designers that Cebu is considered one of the country’s design hubs and Cebu Design Week can increase awareness and foster connections between clients, business owners, industry professionals, artists and the educational body.

“In effect public awareness and pride of Cebu’s vibrant design scene has increased and created a demand for authentic homegrown products and service,” Geeson said.

She went on that CDW has created a credible platform that supports local products and sheds light on the viability of its potential in the market.  Geeson pointed out though that her favorite product from Balik Batik is the Hablon de Argao made by habloneras in the municipality of Argao.

“Domestic businesses like Balik Batik help us preserve Filipino culture.  Veronica Baguio, owner of Balik Batik, works with local weavers, artisans and designers to help promote Filipino clothing. Veronica has an affinity for these products because of the beauty in its diversity,” Geeson said.

The organizers said that Cebu Design Week is the reason behind the bid to be recognized by UNESCO as there was renewed interest in Cebu’s creative industries when CDW was first launched in 2018.

To be a Creative City of Design is not an accolade, it is a promise to make creativity a core strategy in creating a more meaningful tomorrow, said Butch Carungay, one of the chairpersons of Cebu Design Week and National Consultant of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

“We, as creative problem solvers, must assert the importance and value of our unique skill sets, work closer with one another, align with the government and reach out to creatives in other regions and abroad.  It is only by doing this that we magnify your impact, come up with what makes sense, and forge our way to a better paradigm that is respectful of nature, each other and ourselves,” Carungay added.

The Cebu Design Week team has been trying to stay creative in the past few months, initiating solutions to the limitations brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.   Cebu Design Week has always been more than a trade fair, Carungay said.

CDW Marketing Chairperson Laurie Boquiren said that the event’s activities that educate and empower artists, entrepreneurs, and the young generation continues online. When Cebu City joined the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in 2019, it was more than just a recognition, it was a pact to put creativity and the creative economy as the core of their urban development plans.

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According to the organizers that the 3rd edition of Cebu Design Week has lined up the following topics for their acclaimed Design Summit entitled “The Great Recreate”:

October 26, at 1:30 PM: “Asa na si Lapu Lapu? A check in with Cebu Creatives” featuring stories of resiliency and struggle, community building, and rediscovering the ties that bind us with speakers Happy Garaje of Happy Garaje Studio; Allen Tan from Arts Council Cebu;  Dave Overton of Symph; Cattski Espina  of 22 Tango Records & Room Eleven Recording Studio; Lutgardo Labad of the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts; Cary Santiago of Cary Santiago Studio and Robert Booth of Mehitabel Furniture Inc., Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation.

October 27 at 9:00 AM: “Opportunity from Adversity: Individuals – Success Stories/Market and Maker with speakers Ivy Almario, Atelier Almario; Angelica Berrie, Russell Berrie Foundation; Robert Panko, PS Spaces Interior Design and Joanna Arong, Old Fools Studio, Independent Film Director.

October 27 at 2:00 PM: “Opportunity from Adversity: Organizations – Where to find help/network” with speakers Lai Del Rosario, Arts Manager of British Council; Bea Montenegro, Banilad Homemade Marketplace; Jaypee Soliman, Unionbank and Kar Arbola, Muni Cultural Creatives Inc.

October 28 at 9:00 AM: “Rethinking Tomorrow: Institutionalizing Creativity” with speakers Cong. Christopher De Venecia, Arts and Culture and Creative Industries Bloc of the 18th Congress; Paolo Mercado, Creative Economy Council of the Philippines; Butch Carungay, UNESCO Creative City of Design; Domi Chua, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation and Laurie Boquiren, Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc.

October 28 at 2:00PM: “Rethinking Tomorrow: Emerging Futures” with speakers Tomas Diez, FABLAB Barcelona; Jacks Yeo, Good Design Research; Reese Fernandez, Rags2Riches and Dan Mejia, H&M.

The event is also pushing through its Blue Mango Awards (BMA) along with other affiliate events that runs until the 30th of October.  Over Php 200,000 in cash prizes are in store for winners of BMA this year which is co-presented by Cebu Land Masters and Smart Telecom.

The CDW 2019 has generated revenue of around P4 Million from the 3-day main event exhibit and Makers’ Market, the organizers said.

Sellers and buyers online negotiate on Facebook while the CDW Makers’ Market and CDW Home and Interiors Market are free Facebook communities where creative individuals and creative industries can make their passions sustainable.