Home Top News Welcome to Poblacion’s newest creative hub

Welcome to Poblacion’s newest creative hub

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IF you find yourself in the mood to get a tattoo, ask a tarot card reader a question, have a drink, learn how to DJ or play an instrument, and go to bed surrounded by art, there’s now one building you can go to that conveniently houses all of that within its limited space.

Standing tall on Poblacion’s Fermina Street (near the corner with Kalayaan Ave.) is 5969. On its first floor is 11:11 Tattoos and Curiosities, a tattoo studio, accessories shop, and art gallery all rolled in one, which also hosts a tarot reading table. There are shelves lined with trinkets, and walls adorned with colorful art which invite visitors to look around as tattoo artists and the tarot reader offer their services.

The fun thing about Poblacion in Makati is that there is something for everyone, be it party animals, restless creatives, or simply curious passersby. A few people have randomly wandered in and decided to get a tattoo (a minimalist one costs P1,111, in keeping with the studio’s name, while a regular-sized one starts at P2,500).

The owner of 5969, Mark “Mendy” Mendoza, said that while the neighborhood is already vibrant and teeming with nightlife, he just had to grab the opportunity to put up the creative hub of his dreams. This itch to start his passion project took off when he found the building on Fermina with reasonably priced rent.

“I thought that there’s no need to wait for the right time to make things happen when we can easily do it now,” said Mr. Mendoza at 5969’s official launch on May 11.

After browsing through the contents of 11:11 on the first floor, BusinessWorld was ushered up the stairs to the second floor, where a visitor is faced with two doors. The one on the left opens to Modular Studios, a space that hosts various artistic disciplines, from podcasts and video productions to workshops and photo shoots.

The room is exactly as its name suggests — economical, professional, modular. At the launch it had an easygoing, chill vibe, with DJ Bryan Halo filling the space with soft tunes and steady beats while visitors perused the artworks and video projection on the walls. But Modular Studios is versatile enough to be transformed into however the user want the room to be used.

“What we want to do with Modular is cultivate music appreciation and education. We offer lessons in DJ-ing and instruments like guitars, drums, keyboards, taught by really cool instructors,” Mr. Mendoza said.

The DJ 101 workshop is a four-hour intensive session priced at P3,800. But those who want to get serious can opt for four sessions costing P9,000.

Across Modular Studios is 5969’s casual speakeasy, Dim Dim. Upon entering, the visitor is greeted by a dimly lit yet lively bar where partygoers chat over dumplings and cocktails. As with other components of the building, artworks spruce up the interiors, lending a sophisticated character to the space.

Dim Dim is Fookien for “drink, drink,” an invitation to consume alcohol in a joyous social context. The menu echoes this Chinese inspiration, with pork and shrimp dumplings being a comforting order along with their drinks. The Chunli Spritz is their specialty, a mix of gin, lychee, jasmine, and coconut.

Mr. Mendoza explained that the goal is for the lounge to have the “discreet charm” that speakeasies are known for, though on the weekends the Poblacion crowd makes it livelier than usual. During the launch, it played host to various activities, from a trivia night to DJs and live music sets with Pope Fiction, Margachi, and Ezzrei & Joseph performing.

Finally, at the top floor is The Kin House, a handful of rooms that make up a boutique hotel. It’s the calmest and coziest of 5969’s tenants, yet it espouses the same love for creativity — each room has a mural painted by an emerging Filipino artist.

The opening saw The Kin House transform into a series of viewing rooms, since each room also has its own projector. Critically acclaimed shorts like Stephen Lopez’s Hito, Bea Mariano’s Dominion, and Che Tagyamon’s Lola Loleng were screened during the launch for the curious guests of 5969.

The newest kid on the block, The Kin House will be welcoming its first overnight guests this May, usually those who want a place to come home to after immersing themselves in the Poblacion nightlife.

“These places have been operational since last year, but it took eight months to put all of this together for us to finally launch 5969 for real,” Mr. Mendoza said.

“We just want people to come here to have fun and let loose!”

5969 is located on Fermina Street in Poblacion, Makati. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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