METRO333: An In-depth Overview of Young Creatives

TAGUIG, PHILIPPINES – The creative mind must never be silenced, and the young creatives from METRO333 held by SoFA Design Institute are clearly child prodigies in their own ways.

When I first saw them, I just knew they were creative and when each of them spoke, they spoke with firmness and confidence and I could absolutely see what SoFA Design Institute has developed in them!

Summer Villaluz

Summer “Luz” is one of the exhibitors of Metro333, she presents these magnificent pieces that blew us away. I must say that how she stands and how she talks clearly shows of how she portrayed all of her works!

“My work is suppose to represent the growth I had in the past few years. I used to be an insecure person I was very shy totally – not confident about any part of me. But for the past 2 years thankfully from SOFA My overall experience is that I’ve grown a lot more comfortable on my skin.”

Luz explaining her works in the exhibit

Judge me all you want, but I know that my monumental ego that roars like thunder is something I should never be ashamed of.


Nev dela Merced

Nev gave an interesting approach to his works as they’re clearly different that I don’t usually see. His paper works remind me of my school projects wherein I also made moving papers and his works were revolutionized!

Ever seen paper that you could interact with?

My work was suppose to be a self-portrait – it is – it shows me a bunch of weaponry it’s supposed to show the skills I’ve grown throughout the year. It’s supposed to show what I’ve done in the past and in the present. I love learning new things – I love being competent and able.
SoFA has been amazing with me through that because it has let me learn these things – it let me have new skills – has let me sharpen my blade.

Nev discussing about his collection

These pieces were inspired by pop-up books – as a child I always love them. I was also inspired by a bunch of Atomica like robotic works – I love them. So, I wanted to incorporate an interactivity and a method of movement within my pieces – and I think these pieces do very well with them.


Carla Louise Peña

Carla’s collection was striking – for me, her works look like they’re straight out of a psychological revenge drama with a female protagonist! Really initiates and screams the girl-powerness in it that could never be trampled on.

As I walk towards the old meadowed rose garden,
lush and rich with blossoms
I found myself stricken with elegance and power.
 The captivating entity that smelled like lavender, blooming out of the vanilla orchid sea.
 She spoke to the florist she had only met.
 With such confidence befriended, tranquil like her mind
She carried herself with utmost boldness and respect;  

She was truly— one of a kind.

Carla’s “Bella Donna” Synopsis

My work is inspired by the past, present and future self. The past kind of reflects the type of person that I was when I wasn’t able to really express myself but I managed to outgrow that by really conquering my fears and for my present artwork, it talks about learning to become being able to escape your comfort zone. Because to me, I believe that if you’re stuck [in] your comfort zone, you wouldn’t grow as a person because it doesn’t give you the opportunities and doesn’t give you the risks that makes you learn as an individual.

Carla explaining her collection.

SoFA has changed me as a person. Back then, I wasn’t [as] expressive – I really didn’t trust my talent as an artist but then SoFA kept giving me challenges and that kind of reflects my present self: escape your comfort zone.


Senna “Mikey” Purugganan

Mikey displayed a very interesting approach too, wherein there’s a TV playing a repeated GIF that caught my eye. It reminded me so much of Rick and Morty with the art style and made me feel paralyzed at some point as this is the first collection I laid my eyes on!

Mikey’s inspiration was Franz Kafka who wrote about the effects of bureaucracy, capitalism, and industrialization on the human population wherein one of Franz’s stories, they could relate as a man transmogrified into a giant bug. His initial thought wasn’t “What the hell happened?” but “I’m going to be late!”

Mikey shares that this is how they felt with the daily hassle of public transportation to go to school and wanted to portray it in their collection. “I experience, on average, five eldritch horrors on my daily commute, only to show up (or end up) ten minutes late” Mikey shares.

For me, [my ideal future] it’s calm, safe, and stable. I crave peace and security. The jacket’s color is not loud or bright; it is safe. The jacket has many zippers so that it is versatile and can be worn in different ways. That is how I imagine my career will go.

Mikey explaining their fashion piece (not shown on photo)

[Before] going into senior high school, I was home-schooled all my life and my first choice was a different school. But my mom and I attended the open house of SoFA and she really liked the way they view their student body versus the teaching body, the relationships you build like how you grow as a person. It was very focused on the students and building who you are as an individual – your own creativity, your own arts tyle and I made a lot of good friends here. I’m actually very happy it helped a lot on my confidence.

Mikey explaining their experience in SoFA

Icha Logaring

I just love how the vibes of Icha’s collection – it felt like looking into Jade West’s small portion of her room – a rebellious, woman-empowered determination with a sense of strength and boldness. With that being said, his collection has a story.

My piece represented how the sort of aspect being such a turbulent journey that some days you feel that you’ve been free from your hurt and your past that is often negative in a sense but sometimes there are these days when you are constantly consumed by your regrets, pains from the past and it showcases the turbulence into that. My fashion piece envisions how I want to envision in the future wherein it’s all about being secure in myself, my aesthetic that I aspire, being adventurous enough to explore new things and not be afraid of that. And being happy in a sense that I’m happy with what I do and enjoy being with people I’m around.

Icha explaining his collection

The piece [Queencard, the fashion piece] channels the “Babygirl” energy often associated with him brought to “a hundred”, along with some early 2000s influences. It shows how the artist views his imagined future self as more secure, adventurous, free from his past restraints, and happy with himself; living authentically and confidently.

Icha’s synopsis of Queencard

Christine Callahan

How many of you thinks curly hair is beautiful? I know I do! Christine’s collection showed her empowered confidence despite of her bullying experience with her curly hair. Having to express her strength, her collection speaks volumes of making a stand.

My past self was unable to build confidence and that still has an impact on who I am today. The story behind this piece begins with the bullying that I experienced because of my appearance, mainly my hair, and that deeply affected my self esteem. The white yarn and cloth on the hair represent how I mustered up the courage to make a change. I moved to a new environment and welcomed the transformation. Working on my self-esteem and confidence was a long process.
Now, I am able to manage my emotions and make choices that are in alignment with what I know is best for me.

Tin’s synopsis of her piece, Best of Me

SoFA has helped me to improve my confidence – everything here [about] the past, the present, the future, it’s all about building confidence and I am that person that’s very hard to adjust in terms of self-esteem and confidence. So SoFA helped me build me knowledge about arts and fashion – and I am that person that loves fashion and arts. And I think that SoFA is one of the best schools that I have been to – I really admire it.

Tin expressing her gratitude to SoFA

Bianca “Yang” Torres

Bianca’s collection made me feel like looking through a portion of an escape room or the Dungeon in Star City – it was eye-catching as it was horror-themed! It gives off a different eerie vibe wherein I can’t explain enough through words – it is something felt even you just use your sense of vision for it.

Horror has been a huge [thing] I’ve been interested since I was small – it started off with horror games and horror movies. I think what draws me into it is the feeling of I know it creeps me out but I can’t stop looking – I love that unsettling feeling.

Yang expresses her feelings about horror, the concept of her collection.

SoFA helped me develop – helped me a lot in discovering a lot about myself and really just improving how I could present things and show my works better. Honestly, being in SoFA I have noticed that my art just changed a lot and I’ve become more confident in it.

Yang expresses her experience in SoFA

Maximhari Sales

Max’s collection spurred out like a peacock wanting attention – to me, it looked like giving life as the colors are bright and life-giving. The materials used seemed different and the color combinations are something else!

Photos of her collection can’t load before this article was uploaded.

The main topic of my works is giving colors to express my journey in life. I really love colors and using them in my artworks. I really like exploring more on the manipulation of the fabric and the materials I use.

Max explains her artworks

Max also expresses that her works talks about her past, present and future self.

I really enjoy studying in SoFA because they push you more into your limits and [be comfortable] out of your box and they’re very helpful. It means a big thing for me to have big support from the school itself.

Max shares her experience in SoFA

Chaitanya Labayog

Chaitanya also gave an interesting feels about her work – it was totally something that spooked me aside from Bianca’s collection. I love how she incorporated her old artwork from before and made something else coming out of it as something like an evolution, like it’s title!

I recreated it to make it look like it was coming out. ‘Cause from this whole school experience, it has taught me to explore things and so, the latest thing I have done was a mini-sculpture next to it.
People really liked it and I really wanted to incorporate that as my present ’cause the present me has evolved that’s why it’s called The Evolution. It has evolved like from the first time I went to SoFA and turned it to something like that. SoFA has helped me realize what things I should use and how to use them.

Tanya explaining how SoFA helped her develop.

The Experience

Overall, the experience was fun and amusing! As a fellow art enthusiast, this gave me joy that a school like SoFA Design Institute was able to bring out the best in their students – to widen their expertise in different media and to study, discover, and learn more about themselves.

It’s a big opportunity for them, and as the hope of the nation, education is must be something to be progressed – even if – most especially if it’s in the field of arts!

Read more about SoFA Design Institute here!:


About Danielle Bayani 19 Articles
Writing since the age of 2 and have been fascinated with it ever since. Grateful for the undying support from my parents. I write because it’s a God-given gift to me; for everything, to God be the glory.