Cebuanos know how to have a good time. I’d like to think it’s because Cebu is like Manila, only better. The traffic there is worsening, yes, but it won’t last you more than an hour. Beaches are an escape from the encroaching CBDs, but the shores are just 30 minutes away. The people are kinder, more approachable, and very laidback.
And the design—the design! Good design manifests itself almost everywhere in Cebu. Cebuanos are a little bit braver and more playful with their creations, because nothing holds them back. Just check out their tiny cafés decked out in designer furniture, ancestral homes-turned-dining-destinations, downtown graffiti that mimic hip artwork, and entire buildings that resemble origami. Try that in Manila and the conservative client will shake his head, declaring his fear that his customers won’t like it. In Cebu, they don’t think of that; they build a crazy-looking spot and crowds rush to it.
The Cebu design industry is also undergoing significant changes. Furniture companies that have been long- time international exporters are slowly opening up to the local market. This would be a great opportunity for the rest of the country to enjoy the great design talent Cebu is known for. And we can definitely learn a thing or two from them, design-wise— number one: be brave; number two: read the rest of this issue!