(SPOT.ph) Quiapo is known for its sketchy crowd, heavy traffic especially on Fridays, and street vendors that peddle herbs and other thingamajigs. The Q Festival on August 12 to 20 aims to shake off this infamous reputation by holding various events around Manila. The event also celebrates the 125th inaugural year of the San Sebastian Basilica in Quiapo.
San Sebastian is not just any other church. Completed in 1891, it is the first and only church in the Philippines that is made entirely of steel. Q Festival does not only promote San Sebastian's beauty and heritage but also puts Quiapo back on the map by shedding light on this hidden gem.
The nine-day festival, spearheaded by the San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation Inc., is done in collaboration with over 30 partners, including local barangays, heritage sites, schools at the University Belt, and local parishes. It is co-presented by the Manila City Hall and the Department of Tourism. Their festival calendar is a bit full but we narrowed it down to the following pocket activities you can check out for free!
Exchange books and ideas at the Book Stop
The Book Stop, the famous bite-sized pop-up library, moved to Plaza del Carmen, right in front of San Sebastian Basilica, in C.M. Recto on July 18. It will be there until September 15. The Book Stop’s mission is to encourage reading and passion for literature through exchange of books and ideas in a dynamic space.
View a photo exhibit about Quiapo
In case you missed it at the Ayala Musuem, catch Rick Rocamora’s critically acclaimed exhibit, Blood, Sweat, Hope, and Quiapo: Rodallie S. Mosende’s Story, in front of San Sebastian Basilica all day from August 12 to 20. Mosende herself will be giving a free guided tour of her exhibit on August 14, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Check out artworks by university students
The newly rehabilitated and renovated Laperal Apartments along C.M. Recto will be holding a free sidewalk art fair featuring works of students from the University Belt on August 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. While the exhibit begins at the Q Festival, students are welcome to exhibit their art all year round for free.
Whip our your sketchpads and sketch away around Manila
Urban Sketchers Manila presents a free-for-all sketchwalk on August 13, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Meet up and regroup for show and tell is at the entrance of San Sebastian Basilica.
Go crazy on Instagram
Sino Pinas presents a #SiQuiapo Instameet on August 13, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for an opportunity to explore the often-overlooked neighborhood of Quiapo. Meet up is in front of San Sebastian Church. You can register via Google Docs.
Q Festival also has other events you may enjoy (but with a price), such as a walking tour by students from the Far Eastern University, chocolate tasting experience with Moulinet Chocolat, and a series of talks on Philippine culture. Event venues are at San Sebastian Basilica (C.M. Recto Avenue), Plaza del Carmen (Bilibid Viejo Street), Bahay Nakpil Bautista (432 A. Bautista Street), Far Eastern University (C.M. Recto Avenue), Casa Consulado (San Sebastian Street), Laperal Apartments (C.M. Recto Avenue), Tanduay Fire Station (Legenda Street), and Padilla Gallery (Z.P. De Guzman Street) in Quiapo, Manila.
For more information, visit Q Festival on Facebook.
Photos courtesy of Q Festival and The Book Stop