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Cebu seeks UN ‘Creative City of Design’ status

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By Minerva Newman

CEBU CITY – Cebu wants to raise and reassert its desire to become a “Creative City of Design” as it sponsors a bid for a UNESCO nomination, relying on its vaunted creative design reputation in the furniture design, manufacturing, and other creative crafts.

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“We want to raise to the whole world how good Cebu is and the Cebu Design Week 2019 is a wonderful platform to take off for our application bid to UNESCO,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) regional director Asteria Caberte told media in a press conference over the weekend during the launching of the Cebu Design Week (CDW) 2019 at Seda hotel here.

Why a nomination bid for UNESCO? Caberte asked. With the advent of animation and the digital technology, the creative industry here is difficult to lose, we would like to put creative design of the Cebuanos at the forefront, she said.

City of design is the bragging rights for Cebu. Part of the bid is a five-year plan for the creative design industry which starts with mounting the Cebu Design Week 2019 on September 8-15 which is a fully-packed weeklong event to include exhibits, makers’ market, Design summit, workshops, speed networking, daily live performances, Blue Mango Awards & Creative festival, among others, according to Butch Carungay CDW Affiliate and Blue Mango Awards Chair.

Cebu Design Week 2019 launching

According to Mari Booth, CDW 2019 overall chair that the Cebu Design Week is an annual event spearheaded by the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (CFIF) with the support of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) and the Province of Cebu.

Booth said the CDW aims to connect, create, and cultivate the business and design sectors in Central Visayas. The event targets the province’s creative ecosystem to strengthen its design industries and reassert its position as the country’s premier destination for creativity and innovation.

CDW 2019 opens on September 8-15 at the IC3 Pavilion, VisMin’s biggest convention center at Cardinal Rosales Ave, Cebu City. It is expected to gather around 15,000 people composed of government representatives, business owners, industry professionals, start-ups, artists, creatives and university students.

UNESCO estimates the creative industries represent three percent or some $2.2 trillion of the world’s GDP and employ 30 million people worldwide and experts say the creative design is resistant to automation, Caberte stated.

Josefin Hey, CDW marketing co-chair, said CDW 2019 is a launch pad to prove that Cebu has a deeply rooted and flourishing creative ecosystem and that “we deserve a place in the world’s design map.”

“For the Philippines to be able to catch up with the global economy we have to innovate and CDW 2019 can fuel innovation through creativity and help Cebu to leapfrog over other similar economies,” Hey said.

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