The third mini-maker faire was held on April 22-23 in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The Mind Museum, which is the venue, is a children’s science museum that offers hands-on exhibits of science. The Mini Maker Fair, which attracted 150 exhibitors, was a heartwarming experience filled with the cheerfulness and design unique to the Philippines in the south, and the expectations for the future unique to emerging countries.

 

Above: The people of Witech (Women in Technology). When music was played by the speakers in front of the stage, They were dancing for a long time without having anything to do with the exhibition.

The Manila Mini Maker Faire triples in three years. This year’s fair is a grand scale with 150 exhibitors and 4,000 visitors.

Maker events in Asia are increasingly strong, particularly in the education market.

The heat of maker events throughout Asia is rising. In Asia, “Maker Faire” and various other maker events such as Maker Carnival Shanghai and Maker Extrabaganza (Strava is a science-related trade fair, meaning something similar to EXPO etc. The number of events and the number of exhibitors are also increasing.

The social situation in which the world is becoming flat with the Internet, and “whether or not it is possible to work with skills that can be used internationally” is more important than ” in which country they were born” in developing countries. Educational booths also stand out at the Maker Faire in Manila.

Marion, a woman in red at Manila Science High School, is displaying a project that brings lights, GPS, and an activity tracker to make the staff of the old people more secure. At the same time as presenting posters at an academic conference, they are repeating prototypes aiming at entrepreneurship.

 

The students who exhibited the game made with Scratch.

Rapid economic growth in the Philippines. Manila’s Third Maker Faire.
The first in 2017 was 50 exhibitors and 2018 was 100 exhibitors. The Mini Manila Maker Faire has now attracted 150 exhibitors. It is the same scale as Ogaki Mini Maker Faire in Japan. With two days free of charge and more than 4,000 visitors, Manila has extended its movement to a stage where it is no longer a “mini”.

Maribel, a curator at the venue’s Mind Museum, described the aim of opening the Maker Faire.

“Making” has always been a subculture of Filipinos because we are not a rich country so we are very creative in “picking up the pieces” and combining them to make new things or to repair things. “Making” is natural to us but because of the increased and more widespread access to technology, what used to be called specialized guilds could now learn from each other to make new and better things. So this subculture has been remade and now we want to catalyze this kind of rebirth in the making culture in the Philippines.

Maribel’s Mind Museum is a hands-on science learning facility that is like the San Francisco’s exploretorium. It is higher than the price of 995 pesos for adults and 475 pesos for children (about 18USD and 9USD respectively) but it was booming with many parents and children and groups of children during the weekend of the Maker Faire.

The Mind Museum is full of children.

The Philippines’ economy has been rapidly developing on the back of abundant young population and IT. The Bonifacio area around the Mind Museum, which has become the venue, is lined with high-rise buildings built in recent years like Singapore, maintaining the security that women can walk alone until midnight.

Many roadside stores, including Japanese and Western shops, show that the wealthy locals usually enjoy delicious meals.

The refinement and development of such a city was surprising from the perspective of one of the world’s most involved in the Asian Maker Fair. I have visited the resort several times in the Philippines, but the capital city of Manila is the first time.

The Bonifacio area is lined with newly built luxury condos and shiny shopping malls. People are coming and going at night, too, and the goodness of security can be realized.

Superior organization that incorporates performance and hand crafts into the maker faire
Manila has neither a huge software company like Google nor a huge hardware company like Huawei. There are many cases where talented engineers are active overseas only in the Philippines, which has many English speakers, and although the number of programmers is increasing year after year, it is not a country known for startups.

However, in the Philippines, there is a tradition of handwork and handcrafting, as was mentioned by Maribel. There are many sales booths within the Maker Faire, where hand-made hand soaps, leather and shoes are sold. The shops that were creative and making their own were gathered, and in some places it looked like a DIY design event. By including such a booth, it was wonderfully curated as an event.

A mountain sword transmitted to the Philippines. The swordsmith, who was inspired by the Japanese sword, made improvements, and he was performing fixed-cut performance at the venue.

 

A shopping mall in the Bonifacio area also has a shop for hand-operated arts, and as the Bonifacio Art Artisan, many pairs are exhibited at the Maker Faire.

 

Designer shop to upcycle waste to furniture (new term for better recycling vs. recycling)

 

Technology from the Philippines
Although it is less than other maker fairs, there are also a number of projects where technology has come to the fore. The most inspiring personally was this project, rebelmaker, which is a 3D printer that collects three pre-owned CD / DVD drives for a personal computer and applies them to the respective axes of XYZ. It is also good to use the AT power supply for personal computers as it is.

rebelmaker. I can print a 40mm square cube. How to make is published very carefully on the web site.

 

Manila tech startup kumu. It operates a service that combines live streaming and live commerce.

 

Gadget Lab’s Arduino Amp Shield. It’s a hardware startup that started in the Philippines and moved to Shenzhen in China.

The attractiveness of Manila is also a cool and optimistic place. There are things that are not in other countries.

Performance of hanging POV LED on DJI Phantom series of Drone Philippines and drawing characters in the air.

At Maker Faire Manila, of course, there is the complexity of a developing country. For example, in a mature country where the performance of hanging a motorized POV  sign on a drone not equipped with a rotor guard and flying it over the crowd not be allowed. If an accident occurs, it will be a problem in this country. I think it will be an issue in the future.

The entire Maker Faire is not dangerous, the people of the Drone Philippines are doing this performance over and over, they don’t hand over the control to others, and some other people are securing their safety as well as the pilot. The (I think I can not fly in Japan, though)

In addition, a small drone experience maneuver was being carried out in another room in the venue, but that was safe enough. Although the criteria are different, I felt that “I’m not thinking about anything.”

Such social and organizational skimmers are also the room to generate some kind of innovation, and when I visit a foreign maker fair, I’m seeking “something that can not be seen in the ordinary environment”. It is a fact.

The Maker Faire in Manila was filled with great brightness as a whole. There are many cheap flights from Tokyo and Kansai, and there are many attractive resorts in the vicinity. We hope to see more visitors from around the world next year.

This report originally published in Japanese at the tsumug edge site. TAKASU Masakazu interviewed and wrote both Japanese and English.