Creative-Entertainment Summit to be held in Cebu City in March

Creative-Entertainment Summit to be held in Cebu City in March

THE Cebu City Government is set to hold the first Creative-Entertainment Summit in Cebu on March 30-31, 2023.

The event, which will gather all the experts in the field of creative and entertainment, aims to make and strengthen Cebu’s creative positioning in Asia and in the world.

“We realized that we need to make Cebu City a creative hub or district in the Philippines. We saw a lot of potential when ‘Almost Paradise’ filmed their two seasons here. I talked with one of their producers and he said they spent around P500 million to shoot per season here... The potential to the economy and employment for the people here is big,” said Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia. “But the thing is, we don’t have the facilities.”

“Almost Paradise” is an American crime drama television series produced by Dean Devlin and Gary Rosen. The series is the first American television series to be filmed entirely in the Philippines.

Garcia believes Cebu’s hosting of the creative and entertainment summit will address Cebu’s deficiency as a creative hub as it will convene all investors and stakeholders to discuss Cebu’s strengths and opportunities. It will initially zero in on industries like film, animation, game development and original content.

The summit will likewise open more opportunities that will eventually lead to the progress similar to the rapid and robust growth of the information technology-business process management sector (IT-BPM), Garcia said.

“That’s the direction. We feel that Cebu is ready now,” he stressed, adding that the growth and success of the IT-BPM sector in Cebu was a product of the collective effort of both the public and private sectors back in the day during the time of his father, former Cebu City mayor Alvin Garcia, when he called for an IT summit.

“In 2000, my father did it (IT summit). He wanted to have an IT district in Cebu, a hub for business process outsourcing industry. When he was no longer in government, the private sector continued it. Ayala built an IT Park following the vision of my father... and look where it is now,” he said.

“The IT Park now employs 150,000 to 200,000 employees and it all started with one summit,” he stressed. “Imagine if we can do the same for the creative and entertainment industry here.”

Garcia said if the summit succeeds and attracts investors then Cebu can have its own business district for this sector that can be set up at the South Road Properties or in front of SM City Cebu, where Cebu City owns properties so it could host more players.

Cebu has long been known as a creative and design hub after being tagged as the “Furniture Capital of the Philippines.” It had been the host of annual furniture shows.

Its standing as a leader in creative and design was boosted after Cebu City was named one of the new “creative cities” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in October 2019.

The city joined 65 other cities as a new member of the global initiative that highlights creative and cultural development.

The Creative Cities network, now composed of 246 members, aims to feature cities that base their development strategies on creativity -- including music, arts and folk crafts, design, cinema, literature, digital arts and gastronomy.


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