Naysayers like to say that our culture isn’t making it on the world stage because of our ultra confused heritage. But a certain, “Toto” from Negros dared to say otherwise and actually made it on the stages of Broadway. “Toto” is Eduardo Sicangco and he is a multi-awarded scenographer- the person in charge of creating the look of a stage performance. This goes from how the curtain opens, to the transforming sets, down to everyone’s costumes.


I picked up this inspiring bit from his interview on Flow Magazine:

How much of your roots do you channel when you design?
My Filipino roots are a given. They inform my sensibility and sensitivity as a designer and as an artist. And what advantageous roots! Malay/ Pacific Islander, Spanish. European/Latin,  Asian/Oriental, American/Hollywood, even Muslim. For a designer, the Philippines is fortuitous and lucky place to be from, specifically in terms of frames of reference. Look around: Spanish cathedral and cobble-stoned streets, mosques and minarets, McDonalds and Startbucks, pagodas and nipa huts, primitve tribal art and Juan Luna! Short of African. I am fortunate enough to possess a naturally affinity for most sensibilities required by various projects. Now take all these and combine with the ultra-sophisticated mindset of a world-class city like New York and you have quite an edge.

Here Sicangco talks about his creative process on Adobo Magazine:
“From the script and story, as a designer you get a blurry image in your mind. And you try to make that image clearer and clearers. I procrastinate and procrastinate and I turn to sharpening my pencils so it feels like I’m working – and finally I just do it. That’s when it starts to flow. Creative chaos. That’s how I work. Like a bomb exploded in my apartment is an apt description. My apartment will never make it to Architectural Digest. Never.”

I love how his work is infused with the Pinoy fiesta aesthetic. If you’ve been to Philippine fiesta and watched our floats and our handmade costumes, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

All photos were taken from his website.