Design talk in Escolta

Will Escolta ever get a major makeover, to make it shine once again, as a distinctive landmark of Manila?

I went to Escolta recently to attend a media event about the annual @Design Week Philippines observance that will end on Oct. 22.

I was so looking forward to the visit because I remember reading somewhere, when @Yorme Isko was talking about all his big plans to restore Manila to its old glory, that Escolta, the old fashion, commercial and business hub of the metropolis – perhaps even the Philippines – before everyone moved to Makati City and beyond, would be a major part of this overhaul of the country’s capital.

Escolta was going to get a major make-over to make it shine once again, as a distinctive landmark of Manila, Yorme declared. I thought Escolta, with several buildings designed by architects who had become National Artists, was a fitting site for the event, if Yorme had indeed delivered on his promise. 

Obviously three years was not long enough for Yorme to clean up Escolta, much less the whole city. But apparently three years was more than enough time to play the role of the capital’s top local official.

 Escolta is now indistinguishable from other streets in the Binondo, Santa Cruz and Quiapo area.

Or did the Yorme plan to do the restoration if he was elected president? I don’t remember what other promises he failed to keep as he rushed to quit his post and embark on what seemed like a foolish and futile pursuit of the highest office in the land.

Major art event

At least the venue for the formal announcement of @“EULAT for Culture Philippines: Filipino Design Links with Europe, the Americas, and Asia”, the First United Building, had retained the charm of Manila’s celebrated architectural creations befitting a discussion of design.

The annual Design Week has brought together groundbreaking architects, textile/fashion designers, digital/multimedia experts and gastronomy specialists for presentations, workshops and conversations.

With the theme, Design for All, the event aims to celebrate design as a creative tool for positive impact; a robust vehicle for inclusive, sustainable growth; and a rich, diverse expression of Filipino culture and identity.

The week-long event is under the auspices of the EUNIC cluster in Manila and RIDCULT, together with the Department of Trade and Industry-Design Center of the Philippines. The Embassy of Spain Manila initiated the project and the Instituto Cervantes in Intramuros is the venue of the multi-national discussion series on design thinking for a complexly challenging world.

Independent curator and critic Marian Pastor Roces is conference director.

Design Center Executive Director Rhea Matute said the Embassies of Spain, Austria, Chile, and Mexico, together with Instituto Cervantes, Alliance Française de Manille, Philippine Italian Association and Goethe-Institut selected and facilitated the participation of important personalities in design from their countries.

Dr. Javier Galván, Director of Instituto Cervantes, considered the Philippines the correct location of the EULAT project “because of the Filipino talent at reshaping what comes from outside the country”.

Design Week aims to showcase Filipino design and creativity. National in scope, talks, workshops, tours, and experiences and satellite events are being held throughout the country until Oct. 22.

In EULAT for Culture, European and Latin American speakers, as well as Filipinos, will share driving ideas from their practices at the forefront of their fields.

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *