@Alchemy, April 25, 2-6pm

This edition’s theme was Why Not Be True? Tribute to Pinoy Subculture Tribes.  It focused on why it’s good to stay in the country and how we could make something out of our passion and use it to contribute towards making ourselves, other people, and our country better.  Speakers included Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, Bong Rojales of LomoManila, Gabby Dizon of Flipside Games, Phil Cahiwat of Level-Up Games, Rej Layug of New Worlds Alliance, and director Floy Quintos.  “Tribes” were also present, with representatives speaking about their advocacies and/or showcasing their works.  There was the performance by Tribo Manila, live doodling by WeeWillDoodle, and live painting by Pilipinas StreetPlan.  Other tribes present were YTrip, Cosplay.ph (some members came in full costume of course!), JZone, YVote, One Tama, EntrepBuff, and comic book creators.   

Tribo Manila performance:

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Lego Man (who refuses to utter even a single word while wearing his mask because after all, Legos don’t talk):

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The wall art behind me and Florence was the result of the live doodling.

Each of the speakers and the tribes posed a “Why Not?” question, and some of the more interesting ones were Phil Cahiwat’s “Why not play with yourself?” (this one drew a lot of guffaws from the audience), Bong Rojales’ “Why not shoot without thinking?”, and Floy Quintos’ “Why not learn the rules so you can break them?”.

Floy Quintos’ talk was my favorite, and probably the most relevant to me.  He identified 10 items that define pop culture, and explained why they can equally be a positive thing and a trap.  He also had some words on the eternal struggle of creatives – that of reconciling the need to create “high art” and the struggle to pay the bills (or, as he says in the vernacular, “ang mag-benta ng sabon“).  He only had a simple advice:  “Get in, do the work, and get out.”  He also warned against being consumed by either extreme.  The key is to find a way to balance both worlds.  He also shared about “Aling Tasing” – representative of the common mass audience – (pretty much like “Juan de la Cruz”) a fictional character that the creatives in the entertainment industry refer to whenever they brainstorm for TV shows, etc.  When coming up with a concept, they would always ask themselves, “Maiintindihan ba yan ni Aling Tasing?” (Would Aling Tasing get it?)  Again, there are merits as well as disadvantages to that.  Someone from the audience raised the question of how Aling Tasing’s taste has changed over the years, or if it even has changed.  Floy Quintos said that yes, it has changed, but only up to a certain degree.  There is still that elevation threshold that hasn’t been breached.  He cited an example, but he wanted it off-the-record.  Let’s just say that what everyone thought was infallible was actually not.  The follow-up question was whether that taste elevation barrier would eventually be broken, and he was confident that it would – but not now.  “It will happen when you’re in your 40s,” he said.  Most of the people the room were in their twenties, so do the math.

It was a good forum, with a mix of idealism and a healthy dose of reality.  It’s not about finding answers, but rather about finding options and ideas that we may not have thought of before.  Learn more about it here.  I think the videos of the talks will eventually be posted.

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