I lived in Naga City, Bicol for almost two decades. In all those years I’ve seen and met many people who are not only intelligent but are also very creative. Although Naga is one of the most prosperous cities in the region, there seemed to be a lack of venues for the thriving art community to showcase their work. Restaurants and bars have appeared like mushrooms in different parts of the city the last time I visited, but not once did I see a cafe filled with books, films, art pieces, or anything educational that the youth can actually learn from. Most people are either online or at a crowded place like Starbucks-Magsaysay, while only a handful of people would visit the art show at Avenue Square or attend the book launch of a nationally recognized Bicolano poet.
I’ve always had this dream for my hometown about a platform which my fellow Bicolanos could utilize to show their work. So when an old classmate of mine who is so passionate in promoting FIlipino culture and fashion pushed through with the idea, I was glad that finally that dream can now be realized.
A Greek word meaning ‘a public place’, AGORA “was formed with the desire to showcase the best of Bikol and cultivate a sense of panache and a forward-thinking taste among homegrown talents with a local and global audience. AGORA Magazine is a non-profit online magazine dedicated to become a platform for up-and-coming Bikolano artists in the fields of Photography, Fashion, Beauty, Music, Literature, Film, Visual Arts such as Painting and Illustration, Theatre, Industrial and Interior Design and other fields of creativity.”
Here are a few of my favorites among the teasers posted on the magazine’s Facebook page:
The maiden release, called ‘The Paper Issue’, “looks into the paper as a weapon, as a tool, as a means for expressing creativity; and as the translated ‘papel’, we look into the roles we play in cultivating Bikol Art into a global, social community of acquired tastes.”
The best thing about AGORA magazine is it’s crowdsourced. If you are a Bicolano artist dying to show your talent to the online public, shoot the team an email at agoramagazinebikol(at)gmail(dot)com. AGORA Magazine is a tri-monthly magazine and accepts contributions in the form of Feature Articles, Fashion and Beauty Editorials, Photo Journals, Illustrations and Art Installations, Essays and Critiques
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