When I was in high school, a classmate brought his acoustic guitar and left it in class for anyone to use. My musically inclined friends were picking up the guitar and playing riffs from familiar songs. This captured my imagination and I spent every spare moment trying to learn how to play. Guitar playing might have been one of the most important skills I learned in school.
I didn’t realize it then, but I enjoyed it because we were actually creating something. Well… sorta. We played covers, but we always had composing new music in the back of our heads. The idea was to get good enough to finally start making our own songs.
Back then, it seemed like creating something out of nothing was out of my reach. I didn’t see the opportunity of a blank page as a canvass. Creation always seemed to be coming from far away factories or uber talented individuals.
When I got an invite from the folks from Café Caw, it piqued my interest. The invite was to an afternoon of workshops with some of the best creatives; Gizelle Faye Bunagan of Cuckoo Cloud Concepts (she styled our engagement photos!), Meream Pacayra of Bored and Crafty, and illustrator graphic designer Sam Despi. These ladies know a thing or two about creation. They are honest to goodness professionals making a living from their craft every day.
Instead of participating in the workshop myself, I invited my niece and cousin, Leah and Sabi, to come along.
In the workshop, they got to work on creation. First up was learning how to style and put together a crown of flowers, then painting on a blank canvass, and lastly, making stamps from scratch. There are some memories that stand out more than others. Hopefully, this workshop will make an impression on these two.
It was heartwarming to see plenty of folks interested in the workshop. Events like this help encourage and cultivate a culture of creation.
Here’s an opportunity for the Philippines, we may not be a country where you can get the cheapest and fastest stuff out of our factories. We may not have the lowest wages. We may not even have the most skilled workers. But we do have an abundance of creative people doing creative work.
The Philippines, the bastion of creative work.
*Drop by the Café Caw to get a taste of the culture of creation. They recently launched the Happy Shop, a craft exhibit and shop where Cebuano artists and entrepreneurs such as Glitchgrafiks, Raw by Rogue, Crafts at Saffron, Lilila Primitive Art, and a lot more display and sell their products.