Design Week PH: A Creative Crawl Guide to Poblacion, the Metro’s Emerging Design Community 

Makati, Philippines — Recognizing how the creative community has alchemized one of Makati’s oldest district into a gold mine of creative vibe, Design Week Philippines highlights Poblacion as a Creative Environment in its celebration of its 11th edition happening from 12-20 October 2019

Poblacion, Makati with its gritty backstreets and flashy neon lights in the backdrop, has reemerged as one of the metro’s creative centrals.  With its streets spilling with high concept food and speakeasy bars, restaurants, and even artist spaces, Poblacion at present is a far cry from the lull of an old downtown, residential area that it used to be, and is slowly shedding its eclectic, unpolished façade as a former red-light district.

The Poblacion frequented now is at the exciting intersection of arts, culture, and gastronomy catering to the new generation of workforce from all around the metro. Its city night lights now complemented with the vibrance of artistry and creativity.


Design Week Philippines sees Poblacion’s transformation a perfect fit to this edition’s theme of Design Kaleidoscope, where creative communities and hubs leverage on diverse strengths and perspectives that pave the way for artistic and communal chemistry to spark change. 

 “There is a different energy permeating in the backstreets and alleys of Poblacion that has really changed its urbanscape, and creativity is indeed a big part of it,” said Rhea O. Matute, Executive Director of Design Center of the Philippines. “The evolution of Poblacion can be seen as a celebration of individual talents and skills that complemented each other, thereby growing the community into a unique combination of cultural and business artistry.” Matute adds that the creative vibe feed on each other, encouraging the birth of more creative pursuits in the area, whether it’s gastronomy, craft beer, third wave coffee, or performance art. 

“Design Center’s work in the recent years focused on collaboration with numerous creative hubs as part of the agency’s advocacy to nurture a thriving creative economy in the Philippines,” shares Matute. “We envision more creative cities in the country, and creative hubs and communities contribute significantly to this goal.” It is in this light that Matute also commends the support extended by the City Government of Makati to the creative scene, citing it as a confidence booster to the growing communities and creative hubs. 

Centers of Creativity and Craftsmanship

Aside from its Central Business District, Makati is home to advertising agencies, co-working spaces, creative hubs, retail shops, galleries, museums, among others—all of which are brewing pots for creativity, design, and craftsmanship. 

Pineapple Lab, a gallery space in Poblacion, is one of the creative collaborators that Design Center is constantly working with in the recent years. In fact, their Fringe MNL festival is part of the Design Week calendar in the past editions, according to Matute.

Pineapple Lab space located in Poblacion, Makati.

As a creative space and gallery especially for newbies, Pineapple Lab prides itself as a safe space for artistic experimentation. In this DWP edition, Pineapple Lab joins the Design Hub Hoppin’, a curated itinerary of Poblacion’s creative hubs, and is set to feature Shorts and Briefs Cinco: A Theater Festival of concise plays, and WTF PH!, an exhibit of artists bannering today’s youth spirit, creative resistance, and cultural expression of identity.

Meanwhile, a boutique design and manufacturing studio in Alfonso St., Poblacion, The Workshop, offers local, sustainable and handcrafted products like tote bags, wallets, aprons and even jewelries. It also offers another reason for people to enjoy their Fridays through its gin buko, a cocktail popular in the provinces, which is a mix of buko and the infamous Ginebra San Miguel Kwatro Kantos.

The Workshop with its product offerings located in Alfonso Street in Poblacion, Makati City.

Another thriving business in the area is the Pedro Tap House in Matilde St., run by husband-and-wife tandem Jaime and Nadine Fanlo, together with their friend Jill Borja. They serve their own freshly brewed crafted beers, the Pedro Brewcrafters, which are currently available in market shelves.

Pineapple Lab, The Workshop, and Pedro Tap House are just a few of the galleries, retail shops, and bars that creatives frequent in Poblacion. More Poblacion-based creative hubs, and other creative entrepreneurs in the metro, are set to participate in Design Week Philippines, particularly in a one-day design fete on 19 October 2019. Expect design talks, creative workshops, design film screening, exhibitions and pop-ups that aim to spark inspiration as Design Week Philippines takes Museo ng Makati for a different creative spin!

Known for its locally crafted beers, Pedro Tap House is located in Matilde Street in Poblacion, Makati City.

Outside Poblacion, Design Week Philippines is collaborating with other key cities in fostering creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation. This includes the 70th Manila FAME in Pasay City happening from 17-19 October 2019 in Pasay City. 

Anchored on the theme Heritage Reimagined, Manila FAME promises to unleash the most iconic and forward-looking pieces from its collection from the past thirty years and infuse them with the vision of the new. 

Meanwhile, in Taguig City, Pursuit Fair Volume 6: In Creatives We Trust will be happening on 19 Octobver 2019 at the SM Aura. Pursuit Fair is grounded on three principles: creativity, commerce and community. Discover local thought brands that breed a thoughtful community in their one-day fair.

Design Week Philippines is supported by McDonald’s, foodpanda, Slimmers World International, Pare Shirts, Beanhi Coffee House, and Pioneer Adhesives. Media partners are,, Wazzup Pilipinas, Rakista Radio, ANC, and Metro.Style. For more information about Design Week Philippines, please visit Design Center’s page on Facebook.

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