The Escolta Block Party started back in 2016 as a means for people from all walks of life to come together and celebrate Manila history and heritage. In just the past three years, the event and the community it has fostered has only continued to grow bigger and bigger. So now, it only makes sense that for this year, the one-day party has turned into a month-long festival throughout November packed with exhibits, performances, talks, and more.

Beginning November 9, the Escolta Block Festival offers something for everyone: from musical sets on the main street to exhibits on urban planning and Baybayin workshops, there will certainly be an upcoming event that caters to you.

Since we’re right in the swing of things, let’s catch you up on what’s already happened:

On November 9, Escolta Block kicked it off with two series of talks: Revision, which focused on the importance of failure and rejection in the creative field, and Making Better Cities, on taking action on bettering our public spaces.

A regular event from the past Block Parties, this year’s Love Parade was dedicated to late tour guide and activist Carlos Celdran, celebrating his life and legacy.

The first day was then capped by musical performances by UDD, Giniling Festival, AOUI, and Lenses.

While most of the events per weekend are different, you will be able to catch the Block Market, Block Bakery, and Open Studios on all days of the Festival. Block Market offers anything from art, apparel, and food from local artists and vendors, while the Block Bakery pop-up on the other hand exclusively offers pastries by Baker on East and drinks by Jacob’s Well. With the large number of creatives performing, giving talks, or exhibiting their works, Open Studios gives you the opportunity to meet and collaborate with them.

While there will be festival constants throughout the month, most of the unique events will only be happening for one day or night. Make sure to catch Tipong Pilipino: a Typography Exhibit, which challenges local designers to interpret the festival’s theme, “Future Forward” and imbue their designs with distinctly Filipino historical influences. The launch will be happening on November 16 from 1 pm to 12 mn at Escolta Exchange.

Alienated Spaces, a collaboration between artist Leeroy New and urban planner Julia Nebrija, is a mixed-media exhibit that highlights ignored and decrepit areas of our city waiting to be transformed. The exhibit will be launched on November 16 and will spread across Escolta Street.

Gayborhood, presented by Pineapple Lab and Fringe MNL is a party that celebrates queer artists, DJs, and performers from 6 pm till late on November 16 at Escolta Street.

Proto: An Object Fair provides a platform for the handmade craft in the age of hyper consumption, showcasing anything and everything from toys to furniture to office-wares. Proto will be happening at the 5th floor of First United Building on both November 17 and 24 from 11 am to 5 pm.

If you feel like dancing and breaking a bit more of a sweat than usual, try checking out Zumbang Gabi on the 17th from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. While Zumba might not be the first thing we’d expect to be seeing or doing in the middle of busy Escolta Street, we do have to admit it’s a fitting activity for an event that celebrates Filipino culture and interests.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a true celebration of Escolta without the legendary and biggest Escolta Block Party yet, which will be happening on the last day of the jam-packed festival, November 30.

You can check out the full lineup of events here and follow their Instagram account for further details and updates.

Photos by angelathejedi

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