23 February 2024 | National Museum of Fine Arts, Manila City

His Excellency President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, colleagues from the government, our esteemed guests, a pleasant afternoon to all of you!

In fifty years, we have witnessed the birth of iconic Filipino designs that have adorned our homes and public spaces and become the symbols of our identity. Today is not just about reflecting on the past; it is about embracing the limitless possibilities of the future.

We, Filipinos, have been blessed with a wealth of creativity that spans generations. Our artists and designers transform emotions, stories, and cultural richness into tangible forms that captivate the soul. The authenticity in every creation makes Filipino talent in arts and design genuinely exceptional.

This journey of Philippine design is a remarkable tapestry woven with the vibrant threads of our people’s spirit. It reflects the resilience, creativity, and ingenuity ingrained in our culture throughout history.

The design has also opened new avenues for our micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to attract consumers and foster patriates for locally made products. The first making-design count report revealed that the design industry has emerged as a significant and rapidly growing contributor to our nation’s economic wealth. With a significant economic impact of 1.2 trillion pesos in gross value added and supporting jobs for approximately 705,000 people, the design economy contributes 6.6 percent of our national economic value and 1.8 percent of our total employment. These contributions firmly established Philippine design as a crucial part of our economic landscape.

The 50 years of Philippine designs and beyond celebrates our heritage while embracing modernity, continually adapting and innovating to meet the demands of a changing world. The diversity of our landscapes, traditions, and narratives serves as endless inspiration, fueling the boundless creativity that defines Philippine design. Each piece tells a story, echoing the voices of generations past and present and serving as a testament to the enduring spirit of our people, and our vision for a transform future, a Bagong Pilipinas.

Salamat po, at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Ladies and gentlemen, at this point, I have the honor to introduce the President of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ♦

Date of release: 23 February 2024