THE second iteration of the Design Cebu Gateway (DCG), an online converging point, resource repository and enabling platform for the design and creative sectors in Cebu and beyond is now online at with much more robust social media functionalities and nearly 200 registered users.

The DCG is a dynamic, inclusive and customizable online portal that will provide a robust experience that facilitates resource exchange, co-promotions, active networking, and impactful collaborations. It is a project that is fully funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and was developed with Zai Design Hive, Bertech Integration Services and Cebu Unesco City of Design.

DCG rationale

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digital adoption and forced knowledge workers to adopt new ways of working with each other, the need for a virtual platform for Cebu’s design and creative communities was already identified. It was, in fact, one of the main components of the 2019 Unesco Bid. However, for this platform to be impactful, it could not be just a static website, but a rich and powerful means for people to connect, co-create and cultivate with social media functionalities.

DCG structure and implementation timelines

The DCG has two main modules: The first being an admin-generated section that includes information about Cebu, the creative movement, the Unesco bid, business frameworks, links as well as spotlighted news, events, and stories; the second is a crowdsourced, search engine optimized, and versatile module where registered users can upload their profiles, portfolios, events, and marketplace listings.

The DCG utilizes a two-tier database structure that consists of an admin module which contains news, background information, statistics, frameworks, studies, profiles, and links. The crowdsourced and search engine optimized user module will allow registered user to upload their profiles, portfolios, events, and marketplace listings. The DCG was previewed during a mini–creative Cebu summit which was held concurrently with the Visayas Art Fair at the end of November 2021.

Developed, tested, and piloted in Cebu, the DCG is open to all creative practitioners, stakeholders, enablers, collaborators, and customers. Once fully realized, it is also meant to be replicated in other creative hotspots in the Philippines to scale its scope and reverberate its value.

This portal has been many years in the making and is the result of intensive benchmarking, research and consultations with industry experts and stakeholders. It also contains a lot of information taken from the 2019 Unesco application and the 2020 UN Desa projects.

Currently the DCG Dashboard, Profile, Portfolio, Directory and Events are live and can onboard users who are allowed to upload a total of five portfolios with six pictures each.

Because user info is search engine optimized, the Directory is filterable by type of user and creative discipline. Social media functionalities have also been introduced so users can follow, like and message each other.

The Admin Pages offer a wealth of info, resources, links and has an updated feed for relevant news.

They also contain fun facts and trivia that one normally does not know about Cebu.

Periodic newsletters will also be mailed out to registered users and will be uploaded to the site on a regular basis to keep the content fresh and current.

Currently, the DCG has nearly 200 registered users but the onboarding campaign to reward users with the best profiles will be carried into 2023. Ultimately, DCG is hoping for thousands of regular users from all the different design and creative domains from Cebu and beyond.

The DCG is meant to be a powerful, informative, and fun platform that will hopefully spark many new and exciting projects and collaborations for those who choose to be part of this groundbreaking community. (PR)