Poblacion, Makati: Design district after dark

    Pedro Tap House is located in Matilde Street in Poblacion, Makati City
    Pedro Tap House is located in Matilde Street in Poblacion, Makati City

    Design Week Philippines highlights Poblacion as a Creative Environment in its celebration of its 11th edition from October 12-20 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.

    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.”

    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.

    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.

    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, participated in Design Week Philippines 2019.