Seriously, what the heck is Project Iloilo?!
Before I answer your question, let me thank you for visiting Project Iloilo, and here’s the lazy pitch for this website: it is an arts, culture, and lifestyle website dedicated to Ilonggos, with content produced by Ilonggos. Easy enough to understand what it’s supposed to be, yes?
However, to reduce Project Iloilo to being a mere “lifestyle pages” clone—because, let’s face it, when the word “lifestyle” is being bandied around in local publishing, it’s almost always equated to the scions of high society more than anything else—is to insult the time and talent our writers and contributors have volunteered for the website. Point is, all of us have agreed to this—ahem—“project” in the first place because we’re trying to do the one thing that no one here is doing in the first place: celebrating Ilonggo culture in ALL of its aspects.
You noticed that I put the word “all” in huge, freakin’ caps, did you? Well, you’ll know why in an instant; as Editor-in-Chief of Project Iloilo (it’s a position that can also stand for ‘Editor-By-Default’ because I’m the only one insane enough to go through the dozens of content produced by the team on a monthly basis. Not that I’m complaining, though.), it’s really tempting to say we’re doing what no one else is doing here.
Thankfully, my sense of ego knows where to give credit when it’s due: Iloilo City is now entering what is arguably its own version of the Renaissance, thanks to the numerous creative outlets that have predated the current “growth” of the city by a good couple of years. We’re not going to reference these “outlets” by name, but it’s not hard to miss them—they’re the ones you see on the busy streets and the public parks interviewing people, covering events, and shooting photos and videos which promote contemporary Ilonggo culture in their own little way. Because of these trails they have set up for outfits like Project Iloilo to follow, I personally am eternally grateful for the work they have been doing, most often even for little to no recognition at all.
So, with that said, we believe now is the perfect time to launch a venture that should finally account for all the things Iloilo is known for—the food, the beaches, the churches, the warm hospitality, the historical legacy—and all the things Iloilo is NOT known for—the subcultures, the social advocacies, the “niche” scenes, the weird creative projects that seemingly sprung up out of nowhere. ‘I Am Iloilo’, you say? Well, we aim to tell THE story of Iloilo as narrated by you, by us, and by everyone else who have passed through this city on their way to somewhere else. It is social and ruminative, collective and personal. This, I believe, is Iloilo City in a nose-shaped nutshell.
On this note, we are very fortunate to have a team comprised of talented people hailing from different “scenes” in the city: artists, musicians, foodies, techies, geeks, creatives, thinkers, and all-around enthusiasts. Each one of them brings something unique to our monthly creative processes, and they are equally passionate about the movements they belong to. Nevertheless, all of them have the same goal for this purpose: to ensure that Iloilo finally gets to grow into a proper cultural hub as much as an economic one. And one of the most simple and best ways to doing so? By writing about it, of course. New-school technology, old-school style.
So, while I admit that I invented this tagline purely from a marketing standpoint—“Documenting Culture, Spreading Culture, Creating Culture”, you know, THAT one—I’m now sure that these are the ideals that encapsulate what Project Iloilo is all about. We share other people’s stories by also sharing ours, and it’s about time you start sharing yours, too.
This is your—OUR—Iloilo. Time to speak up about what we’re awesome at.