Pay with your presence at this weekend’s Type Fair Philippines

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This is what you’re doing this Saturday.

You’re going to make your way to that part of Makati that lies near the old train tracks. You’re going to find yourself along Pablo Ocampo Sr. Extension, and just before you irreversibly drive past it on the busy one-way street, you’re going to see the boxy structure that seems to have been built in a decade different from the city-structures that surround it. A single stairway out front leads deeper into the back, teasing of secrets that might lie behind the solid front. You turn left into a lot, where other cars have just parked, still warm. You’re going to find that stairway again, the one you saw from out front. You’re going to follow where it leads. You’re going to find yourself in the middle of the first ever Type Fair Philippines.

This December 2, under the creative leadership of Manila Middle Ground, Type 63, and Kookie Santos, we’ll be experiencing the country’s inaugural Type Fair PH (TFPH). I am deeply excited by community-organized fairs like TFPH because they more often than not work like a central train station for artists from all over. They’re exciting grounds for creative cross-pollination across disciplines, mediums, cities and regions. And there’s no better place for this kind of thing than Comuna, really—it’s exactly the kind of venue our cities so desperately need.

Comuna — which one could interpret as ‘com’ + ‘una’ or ‘community first’ — is an airy pocket in dense Makati, giddily ‘wasting’ lease space in exchange for grass and gathering space.

Expect a Saturday packed with talks, workshops, and presentations by Type artists Kookie Santos, John Misael Villanueva, Lloyd Zapanta, Jad Maza, Aaron Amar, and Jo Malinis. There will also be 2 Live Artists (Edwin Tayao, Merch PH), 24 Type Art Exhibitors, and 9 Type Merchants that will be selling their merchandise.

Personally I’m looking out for Lloyd Zapanta’s talk “An Intro and A (Slight) Goodbye to Baybayin”—the premise intrigues me, given Baybayin’s “trendiness” in recent years, thanks in part to the Filipino diaspora—and the live brush lettering by Edwin Tayao, a sign painter from Tondo, Manila whose design work for jeepneys, etc. spans decades.

Just a few more things before you go—

TFPH is free—no tickets or reservations needed, with a first-come, first-served system. In the event that the venue reaches full capacity, fair-goers will have to queue up and wait for their turn to enter the fair. 

Yes, there will be food and drinks (and coffee, which is always my personal concern). Food and Bev will be brought to you by the good folks at Palm Tree Abbey, Goto Monster Filipino Eatery, and Ani Cafe.

Your fur children are welcome and I am excited to meet them! (Just make sure to pick up after them, etcetera, you know the drill.)

TFPH opens at 9 am and wraps at around 7:30 pm. Stay and hang out after though! There’ll be drinks and good company well into the evening.

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