The ones to watch: Cebu’s creative set | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


First of two parts



An unbridled artist, a nostalgic filmmaker and two sisters who are championing Filipino design. Their passions are varied, but the passion for what they do is what they have in common.


Cebuanos are known as a creative people, and these emerging talents lend truth to that. We talk to some of these rising stars:


Jewelle Yeung, 31, artist


My paintings are a representation of the intermediate space between emotional events and how these transcend into dream-like forms, creating somewhat an emotional landscape.


The colors and blends I use are inspired by nature as an uncontrollable force. I like to add pieces of nature and animals,


incorporating them into the mix to fuse the familiar with the unfamiliar.


I normally start a piece by letting the paint do all the work, seeing how the colors and consistencies react to the different levels of chemicals. I also tend to play with light and dark to bring out the dramatic side of emotion. Everything else   takes form after that.


How did you get into painting?


It just sort of happened. I was always a dreamer, doodling and painting as a child. I guess it was my form of escapism, a place no other could go but myself, my own private universe. It wasn’t until I moved to London when I was 12 that I really honed in to where painting could take me.


What do you enjoy most about it?


The freedom. There are no rules or regulations, no boundaries. There’s something so daunting and so liberating about an empty canvas, no limits to what you can create and what can manifest from a single feeling or idea.


Your art philosophy:


CO-CREATIVE Studio’s Holly vase
CO-CREATIVE Studio’s Holly vase

Don’t think. Just do it. It sounds like a Nike ad, but hey, it works! Sometimes thinking too much can stop us from doing anything, so why not just go for it?


Your mentors:


I don’t have a mentor per se, but my dear friend, fellow artist Issa Salliander, has always been there to guide me.


Don Gerardo Frasco, 28, filmmaker


About your company:


Waverly Pictures Inc. is a motion-picture company that produces feature-length films. It recently completed “Waves,” its first feature-length project to be released in the first quarter of 2015.


How did you get into filmmaking?


Cameras, computers, pictures, stories, alcohol. Initially, I was fascinated by the technology. The captured memories

CO-CREATIVE Studio’s Roma vases, Cabana sideboard, Fan Coral bowl, Antoinette lamps
CO-CREATIVE Studio’s Roma vases, Cabana sideboard, Fan Coral bowl, Antoinette lamps

evolved into a certain affinity with visual storytelling. When I got deeper into filmmaking with our first short films, it came with a certain lifestyle, and I could see myself spending my life doing it.


What do you enjoy the most about what you do?


Being on set—the lighting and camera work.


What is the one thing you wish you didn’t have to deal with as a filmmaker?




What is your film philosophy?


I believe that films have a substantial impact on society and its culture. Regardless of the subject matter, I care about films that are heartfelt and insightful.


Who are your mentors?


JEWELLE Yeung’s “Time Lapse”
JEWELLE Yeung’s “Time Lapse”

I learned techniques and the craft from classmates and teachers in film school. I also got a lot from the Internet. When it comes to storytelling, I’d consider life experiences and my environment as my mentors.


What’s the filmmaking scene like in Cebu?


There’s not much of an industry yet. With other filmmakers, I’m hoping Waverly Pictures can help improve it.


Co-Creative Studio creative directors Vikki and Paula Rodriguez, 28 and 27, respectively


Tell us a bit about your brand.

VIKKI and Paula Rodriguez of Co-Creative Studio
VIKKI and Paula Rodriguez
of Co-Creative Studio


Co-Creative Studio is a design, market and community-oriented brand that hopes to inspire an appreciation of Filipino design. We push innovations with our furniture and home décor, using natural materials. We enhance and support local craft, while paving the way for creative collaborations with clients and aspiring designers.


How did you get into furniture and home accessory design?


Our interest started when we joined a workshop in high school held by Cebu’s best designers, including Kenneth Cobonpue and Debbie Palao. This workshop lasted for months so we were able to really delve into the design process and found that we enjoyed it!


What do you enjoy most about what you do?


Paula: The designs that mean the most to me are those where I collaborate and work closely with the community or the craftsmen. These skilled craftsmen spend the most time with these materials, and working with them to develop a good product is always challenging and interesting for me.


CO-CREATIVE Studio’s Mestisa tea lights
CO-CREATIVE Studio’s Mestisa tea lights

Vikki: I enjoy the whole process, from concept to prototype. I love working with my sister and with a team of “imagineers” where we share ideas, talk about possibilities and understand limitations. I learn something new every day from different people, and we grow with each other and with our designs.


What is your design philosophy?


Our philosophy in design has always evolved around being a good Filipino designer in particular. As Filipino designers, we aim to appreciate and utilize the natural materials and skills we are blessed to work with in the Philippines.


Who are your mentors?


We cannot say that we have one mentor. We learn so many things from everyone we meet in our field, from our parents, colleagues and clients, to the people we work with every day.


What’s the design scene like in Cebu?


Cebu has some world-renowned designers, and leading exporters and manufacturers who produce top-quality products. We believe we have a great pool of artists and factories to make up a globally competitive industry.


Learn more about our brand at:



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