Escolta is a neighborhood that is already familiar, especially to the regular readers of the Urban Roamer. For the past few years, we have roamed this neighborhood and looked at some of the interesting spots in the area which used to be the city’s financial and commercial center, with some no longer standing today while others manage to survive albeit struggling to find their place in a city constantly endangered by unchecked urbanization.
In the past there have been events like monthly Pasyal activities and the Saturday Future Market which were conceived to get people visiting Escolta again. While there was some successes made, they were sadly not enough and it became clear that more is needed to be done. Thus just last week, Escolta saw what could be described as the next phase in the ongoing fight for the district’s rehabilitation. It was the opening of the HUB: Make Lab at the First United Building.
HUB: Make Lab can be considered the next chapter in the continuing efforts to revive Escolta, after the monthly Saturday Future Market events that were being held also at the First United Building, made possible by the same folks who organized it and have tirelessly worked on Escolta’s hoped for revitalization. This makes HUB: Make Lab no longer be just a monthly thing but is hoped to be, at least, a more permanent venue, especially for startups and creatives who hope to make it right at the what was once Manila’s old shopping district.
At the bare ground level of what was once Berg’s Department Store, HUB: Make Lab sprang forth not just as the newest commercial space in the city, but more so as a venue where budding entrepreneurs and creatives now have a venue where they can showcase their stuff, whether it is clothing or coffee to crafts or even vintage items. And being a place dedicated to startups and creatives alike, the terms to be part of this thriving community are not that bad too from what I heard.
There is even a restobar (albeit not yet fully operational at the time of posting) in the venue where one can unwind and listen to some good music as well.
HUB: Make Lab may be an oddity in this old neighborhood, but its vitality and unique character may be the shot in the arm Escolta needs right now to attract more visitors and businesses in the area and make it a living, thriving district once more. More so, a venue like this is something needed so more enterprising and creative individuals would have a place they can call their own and be able to make it a fast-changing environment that we have today.
HUB: Make Lab is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 AM to 8 PM. For more information, you can check out their Facebook page.