Cubao eXpo is evolving…

I got an email one day from a Time Magazine writer, asking me to confirm if Vintage Pop closed down. I got confirmation that Bong’s Vintage Pop closed down last week of July. Bong is migrating to Canada. The Black Soup Project of Avic Ilagan, Ellen Ramos, Ricky Orellana, Robert Quebral and Neil Daza closed down last week. They are transferring Black Soup to UP Teacher’s Village. (Can anyone confirm this?) So, only Pablo is the last remaining Art Shop from the original group that started the Cubao-X culture.




The Cubao X Culture


Cubao X. The artist community. A state of mind, a sense of place. A term coined by a filmmaker during a gathering (no staid, formal meetings here, just people sitting back, relaxing, drinking the drink of their choice and chatting unhurriedly with likeminded people), Cubao X refers to the group of artists running their own shops inside the historic Marikina Shoe Expo at the Araneta Center, but it has since come to mean the epitome of creativity and cooperativism…” (Cubao X Original Blog Site)

Is Cubao X dead?

I met Bong when we did the interview for the City by City – Manila Episode. During that time, I got to meet one of the men behind the Cubao X movement. I also had a text conversation with Avic, who shared with me how everything started and the conflict between the Original Art Shops versus the New Art Shops. (I know I don’t know the full story but maybe you can share your point of views in the comments section…)

From Marikina Shoe Expo, the new management (represented by Budjim Aquino) rebranded the place to Cubao Expo to capitalize on the Cubao X popularity. After the original art shops, Mogwai and the popular I Love You store in Makati moved in. This started the evolution of Cubao eXpo…

We will surely miss Vintage Pop and the Black Soup Project! (Can you share your fond memories of Vintage Pop or Black Soup Project?)

I’m dedicating the next few blog posts to the Indie Scene Evolution in Cubao eXpo!


Live an Awesome Life,  



Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009. 


prof. blog:

mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 

email: [email protected]





P.S. Can you share your secret discoveries in Cubao Expo?