Fifteen creative hub leaders from the Philippines have been selected to become Creative Innovators Fellows. Eighty-four applicants from three key cities within the Philippines applied to a highly competitive open call launched by British Council, DTI and partners last June 2018. A selection panel composed of artists and creative industry leaders narrowed down the list, based on the creative hub’s potential to scale impact, long-term plans, and narrative, among others.

The Fellows will ­undergo a professional development programme for over a year. The Fellowship will include a hub management training by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation; a study tour in the UK; a creative skills bootcamp by Thames International and foundation; mentoring sessions; and network-building activities within the Philippines, ASEAN and the UK.

Cherame Lopez

Formerly Creative Operations Officer / Designer, ANTHILL Fabric Gallery Cebu City


Working with: Weaving communities in the craft sector

Hub features: Gallery, retail space, workshop, training programme 

Under the mentoring and support of Princess Ant Anya Lim, Cherame utilises her education and learning experiences from internationally acclaimed Filipino designers, Kenneth Cobonpue and Vito Selma, to hone her creative and social entrepreneurship skills. Cherame wants to set up and formalise a PRD (Product Research & Design) Center where continuous innovation and creativity flourish along with designers, thinkers and artisans.

Don Senoc

President, Film Producers Society | Mandaluyong City


Working with: Film producers, filmmakers, government agencies, NGOs, alternative screening venues, universities, film festivals

Hub features: Promotion and marketing of independent films

Don is a regional filmmaker from Mindanao and one of the Philippine Ambassadors of Goodwill of the JENESYS 2015 programme, which aims to build a strong foundation for solidarity within Asia through large-scale youth exchange. His goal is to create a hub where stories come to life, and strangers regardless of gender, economic status and cultural differences come together to experience the best of cinema.

Emi Englis

Project Leader, Artisanal Heritage Studies and Creative Enterprise Center (Philippine Women’s College) Davao City


Working with: Students, faculty, local designers, artisans and MSMEs across creative industries

Hub features: Training facility

Emi is a fashion and lifestyle product designer, a culture-based creative entrepreneurship advocate and a passionate educator for multidisciplinary design. Emi would like his hub to become a venue for culture-based design ideation and business incubation, moving up from a school-based to a community-wired creative entrepreneurship hub.

Gino Cariño

Co-Founder, Makerspace Manila | Sta. Rosa, Laguna


Working with: Makers of all ages across creative industries

Hub features: Makerspace, consulting services

Gino left corporate life three years ago to build a makerspace, and has since been pushing for a paradigm shift in the Philippine education system. He aims to establish long-term relationships with schools in building in-campus makerspaces and co-develop a curriculum that bridges theory to application via making.

Ian Tamara

Instructor, Toon City Academy | Mandaluyong City


Working with: Animators in the paperless animation industry

Hub features: Training facility

Ian is a professional animator, instructor and currently heads animation works of a few creative content shorts done by Toon City Academy (TCA) alumni. He plans to transform TCA into a training and creative content development facility with the intent to share stories to an international audience.

Jodinand Aguillon

Executive Director, Pineapple Lab | Poblacion, Makati City

Website: Pineapple Lab's Facebook

Working with: Local and international artists, including the LGBTQ community, across creative industries

Hub features: Gallery, performance, multi-space

Jodinand is a Manila-based multi-disciplinary artist, entrepreneur, and a proud ambassador of Poblacion, Makati’s hyphenate arts communities. His dream for Pineapple Lab is to become a safe space for LGBTQ communities for artistic expression and creative enterprise, and an incubator of original work and content.

Karla Maria Ana Batiquin

Manager, Holistic Coalition of the Willing (HoliCOW)

Website: HoliCOW on Facebook

Working with: Designers and artisans in the craft and design sector

Hub features: Retail space

Kae grew up familiar with the furniture industry in Cebu. Her communications and literature background provided a 'Third Perspective' towards value-adding and storytelling in what used to be an industry known only for manufacturing. HoliCOW wants to foster and encourage sustainable creative entrepreneurship through authenticity, community and the Filipino identity. 

Kenneth Biunas

Project Officer, Design Center of the Philippines Manila / Nationwide


Working with: Designers and MSMEs across creative industries

Hub features: Gallery, programming 

As Project Officer, Kenneth directly oversees the events management unit of the agency to foster the development of creative cities, districts, and the creative environment of Intramuros. His hope is to establish Design Center as the preferred partner of the Philippine creative industries and with a strong international recognition and visibility, similar to the Thailand Creative and Design Center.

Ma. Roma Agsalud-Agsunod

Co-Founder, Common Room | Metro Manila (Quezon City, Makati, Alabang)


Working with: Artists, makers, MSMEs in the craft and design sector

Hub features: Retail space

Breadwinner and eldest to a family of seven, Roma built a local arts and crafts business with her sister, Maan, with only PhP 5000 as initial capital! She would like to learn more about how creative hubs operate and apply these lessons to ensure the sustainability of a bigger Philippine creative park that can house more communities of artists and makers in the future.

Maria Bianca Paula Holganza

Community Engagement Officer, HUB:MakeLab Escolta, Manila


Working with: Artists and makers across creative industries

Hub features: Retail lab

Bianca is a maker with a background in fashion, journalism, retail, performance and teaching. Bianca’s hope is for the HUB:MakeLab to be firmly established as a makers’ playground where anyone can learn craft, business and the balance of both.