The Philippines has joined the global discussion on how our interactions with nature have affected our existence during La Nuit de idées or The Night of Ideas.

Following the French cultural tradition of exchanging thoughts and questioning everything, the French Ministry of Culture, through the Institut Français and the network of French embassies and Alliances Françaises in the world, invites thinkers, politicians, professionals, stakeholders, civil society and the general public to gather in one evening in the year to address issues that concern humanity.


Products of TenTwenty Kids.


On 5 October, the Embassy of France, in cooperation with the Alliance Française de Manille and the National Museum of the Philippines, hosted such an evening of intellectual discourse at the National Museum of Natural History to see how humans have occupied the Philippine archipelago and for thousands of years cultivated the land to serve their needs.

Titled “Tao Pô: Reconciling Mankind and Nature for a Sustainable Future,” the Night of Ideas 2023 in the Philippines gathered distinguished speakers, including archaeology researcher Hermine Xhauflair; museum curator Marian Pastor Roces; economist and former NEDA chief and chairman of Brain Trust Inc. Cielito Habito; Design Center executive director Rhea Matute; Angel Bautista of Philippine Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture; Coffee Science Center expert Rich Watanabe; and founder of Fibers Pamela Mejia, to share their knowledge, experiences on the different aspects of man’s interaction with nature and suggestions toward a more sustainable future. Journalist and documentary maker and producer Howie Severino moderated the discussion that highlighted issues on food security and the conservation of heritage to ensure sustainability.


Archaeologist Dr. Hermine Xhauflair, esteemed museum curator Marian Pastor Roces, French Ambassador to the Philippines Marie Fontanel and National Museum of the Philippines director Jeremy Barns.(Photographs courtesy of Embassy of France to the Philippines)


In true French fashion, and in time for the Paris Fashion Week, the Night of Ideas included a fashion show that featured clothes and textiles crafted following traditional and sustainable principles, particularly by designers Twinkle Ferraren, Muni Muni by Lara Rapanan and Alyanna Pfeider, Maison Métisse by Adrienne Charuel.

In the Marble Hall of the museum was an exhibit of sustainable and upcycled products presented by Artifeks, Maison Métisse, Everything Green and Gree-ne-las, Twinkle Ferraren and Style Isle, TenTwenty Kids and Barrio Studios.