By Roy Mabasa
The Philippine Embassy in London has gathered close to a hundred Filipino and British creative hub managers, social entrepreneurs, artists, and designers in the British capital to network, share ideas and discuss future collaborations to boost the Philippines’ creative economy.
At the recent launch of the 1st Philippine Embassy Hangouts, Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo said the Embassy’s Cultural Diplomacy Section has been actively forging collaborations with new partners such as museums, art galleries, universities, and independent movements to support the efforts of young Filipinos in raising awareness on Filipino culture and the arts.
“We have become a meeting place for different people who are all eager to help others understand through the arts what it means to be Filipino,” Lagdameo said in a statement.
Among those invited to grace the Hangout event were 15 creative innovators fellows who traveled from Manila to London to take part in the Creative Innovators Program spearheaded by the British Council Philippines and the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Design Center.
While maintaining strong political and economic ties between the Philippines and the United Kingdom remains a major component of the Embassy’s mandate, Lagdameo stressed the importance of taking every opportunity to share with the world the outstanding elements of Filipino culture and arts.
“In doing so, we hope to tell the compelling story of how the Philippines has the makings of a creative and cultural power,” he said.
This year, the Embassy has strengthened its efforts in public and cultural diplomacy by creating platforms such as the Philippine Embassy
Platforms such as Hangouts aim to bridge members of Philippine and British creative sectors toward forging strategic partnerships, particularly through people-to-people connections.
Among the creative innovators who flew from the Philippines to exchange best practices in managing creative hubs with their British counterparts in Manchester and London were Ma. Roma Agsalud-Agsunod (Common Room), Jodinand Aguillon (Pineapple Lab), Karla Maria Ana Batiquin (HoliCOW), Kenneth Biunas (Design Center of the Philippines), Regil Kent Cadavos (ASPACE), Gino Cariño (Makerspace Manila), Emi Englis (Artisanal Heritage Studies and Creative Enterprise Center), Maria Bianca Paula Holganza (HUB:MakeLab Escolta), Cherame Lopez (ANTHILL Fabric Gallery), Patricia Kyle Mendoza (Materials Innovation Center Cebu), Maria Diana Ofrasio (Craft MNL), Paul Orpiada (Karaw Craft Ventures), Don Senoc (Film Producers Society), Maria Unicka Sta. Ana (Zapateria), and Ian Tamara (Toon City Academy).