The Hub: Make Lab—a space in Escolta for independent sellers, artisans, vintage lovers, and craft and art hounds—celebrates its first year with a drag fair this weekend.
The Hub is located at First United Building, which was the former Berg’s Department Store, one of the very first department stores in the Philippines. The structure itself, built in 1928, is an architectural marvel carrying the grand art deco style.
Its iconic location, Escolta Street in Sta. Cruz, was once called “Queen of Manila’s Streets” and is the site of historic Regina Building and El Hogar.
A first of its kind event, the Escolta Drag Fair happens on Saturday, May 27, and kicks off at 3 p.m. through 11 p.m.
According to a press announcement by organizers, The Hub’s first anniversary celebration embraces and features “an oft-overlooked sub-culture: the drag community. If there’s anyone who embodies high energy, artistry, and imagination, it’s drag queens—a perfect fit for The Hub’s clarion call for promoting an inclusive, diverse, and accepting society.”
Shahani Gania, one of the event’s organizers and who is also known as Superstarlet XXX in drag circles, shares, “We’re doing it to turn the spotlight on this overlooked art form in the Philippines. Drag culture is now enjoying mainstream success worldwide due mostly to the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race, so we want to put up an event in Escolta that will further solidify and introduce the drag culture we have here.”
Gania, who has been doing drag since he was 17 years old, elaborates that drag “is not a sexual nor gender orientation. It’s not just a lifestyle; it’s more than just an art form, it is a spirit. It’s the nerve to go out there in spite of all the odds and be gloriously present—a caricature of femininity perhaps, but definitely a strong presence.”
Celebrate the spirit of fun, freedom, and glam—as only this revived Old Manila street can—with various activities that include a drag makeup tutorial by GIGI Valentine of Obar sponsored by Team Magazine; a voguing workshop by House of Mizrahi Philippines; a Kokedama workshop; drag DJ sets, and a drag bazaar, among others.
For inquiries about booths and activities, contact (+63) 926-0356647 or e-mail ShahaniGania@gmail.com.