design week

Imagine this: exploring Old Manila topped with activities aimed to encourage the youth to take on both old and new forms and practices of art. Yup, not only can you witness works of art, you also get to participate and make one yourself.

To celebrate art and design and to further promote and enrich Filipinos’ creativity, artistry and brilliance in this industry, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) organized a week-long event last April 16-24 which was composed of photography workshops, calligraphy, urban sketching, graffiti art and a whole lot more of activities for Design Week Philippines. In line with this, Intramuros was launched as the first Creative Environment in the Philippines.

CITEM also devised a Design Week Event Passport or Pasaporte where attendees can collect stamps from the different activities offered. The first few to submit a completely-stamped pasaporte will win consolation prizes while the grand prize was a trip for two to a secret, creative destination. Sadly, I lost mine. 😦

Moving on, here are some of the activities I enjoyed:

1. Intramuros Photo Walk

It was my first photo walk, yup! Thanks to Leif and EJ for serving as guides and models since I’m new to this photography-thingy. Uploaded some of my shots for reference.

2. Street Photography Workshop by Fujifilm

X-photographer, Mr. Rommel Bundalian, taught us a few things and tips about Street Photography. Here are some:

  • Go out of your comfort zone.

What’s good about Street Photography is that its main component is authenticity. Where can you find authenticity? Definitely outside the streets of business districts and private subdivisions.

  • Blend in with the environment.

Meaning, don’t wear colorful outfits, big bags, etc. You wouldn’t want to distract your subjects or worse, get the attention of thieves and snatchers by looking like a flashing road sign, would you?

  • Don’t take photos the way you see it.

By this, Sir Rommel meant you should capture things not by the way it looks but the way it feels. Practicing your eyes to look for similarities in the environment is a good start. I’m still working on it though, wish me luck!


3. Sketchwalk by Urban Sketchers PH

It was also my first sketch walk which wasn’t surprising for someone who doesn’t really know how to draw. Kudos to the organizers for being super encouraging. They also provided the sketch materials. I drew Barbara’s, a heritage restaurant in Intramuros and thanks to Urban Sketchers, I found out that I can actually draw. Yay me! They also stamped my drawing after and I must say, I felt like a preschool student who got a star!


4. Davies Street Art

Davies Paint also participated Design Week PH. They initiated the move to colorfully paint and artistically design the pedestrian and bike lanes. Yay to painting, walking, and biking! Nay to carbon footprints!


5. Street Performances

More specifically, this awesome guy who danced with a glass ball – amazeballs! But hey, there were also local singers, graffiti makers, etc. who did a good job.


What else? Weekend Market, food stalls, local beers, Bambike tours, indie music gig, Spoken Word Poetry, Manila Fame, Street Art by Gerilya and a whole lot of other creativity-inducing activities.

All in all, I’d sum up my first Design Week PH experience as a 10/10.

Design Week Philippines

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