Divisoria Night Café: Showcase of Public Space Renewal in Southeast Asian Urban Context
This study deals with festivals manifested as the Night Café in the Southeast Asian City of Cagayan de Oro (CDO), Northern Mindanao, the Philippines. From 2003 until 2013, Mayor Vincente »Dongkoy« Emano together with the city councillors enacted Ordinance Number 8920-2003 that established the weekly Night Café in the public space of Divisoria. The Night Café offered leisure and entrepreneurship activities. Vendors and other informal sectors converged to provide dining, shopping and entertaining activities. It strengthened the informal economy through the generation of employment and livelihood. The Night Café also symbolised CDO as the »City in Blossom, Bloom and Boom«. The activities and symbolism showcased renewal of public space; however, they were solely intended for economic consumption. This paper argues that the renewal process utilised cultural references to advance economic interests. Thus, this paper aims to trace the main civic actors, key drivers and the role of the city government in conceptualising the Night Café.