Food parks and co‑working spaces are two of the trendiest businesses right now. Now a team of millennials from University of the Philippines, Diliman brings you a co‑working space on the second floor of a food park, so you can get your food and your unli‑internet/coffee too.
WIP PH is a co‑working space located on the second floor of Streat Food Park at Maginhawa Street. Charging ₱40 per hour, this cozy co‑working space made from two recycled container vans has found itself fully booked most of the time from the influx of walk‑in students and freelancers. And they’re hardly even a month old!
What sets WIP apart from other co‑working spaces is how the co‑founders utilized their background in theater to create diverse, versatile spaces which maximizes their limited floor area. As a whole, WIP can accomodate 40 people, but clever use of sliding doors and curtains can divide the space into two to three rooms that can seat eight to 20 people, which can be rented as a whole. The dark curtains can also turn WIP into a blackbox theater, making it perfect for film showings.
“Theater required us to be on our feet all the time, and to be sobrang productive,” WIP co‑founder Chic San Agustin told SparkUp. “And then we need to be able to come up with solutions quickly. So I think when we did our research for WIP, we automatically knew what we had to do differently, what we had to fix.”
“So that’s why we applied that here. You’ll see that we have a lot of rooms and spaces that you can explore,” San Agustin said. And indeed there are a lot of set‑ups to fit your needs. Do you want to relax from time to time? There’s a space with beanbag chairs that’s right in front of a window overlooking the food park. Do you take power naps? Feel free to nap on the rug under the short, Japanese‑style tables—no one will judge you. There’s the default table and chairs for a more classroom‑style session, and a communal tall table with tall stools for people who need that extra push to get serious.
Because WIP is also open for rent for events like a recent cactus and succulent workshop by The Midnight Hardinero, or for students who want to have their own room for their group work projects, the chairs and the tables can be dismantled and folded easily to maximize the area.
Part of their research was to compare the prices of their competitors vis‑à‑vis prices that would attract customers, whether or not they should offer food when you can buy food from the food park downstairs, and whether or not the term “co‑working” was working for them.
“We didn’t want to compare ourselves to Makati co‑working spaces which house start‑ups,” San Agustin said. “Here we want to cater to individuals and freelancers.” So that’s why the rates are affordable, without skimping on the amenities like internet, charging cables, and free flowing coffee. As for food, customers are allowed to bring food from the food park downstairs (they’re friends with Streat’s owner after all) as long as they don’t bring something smelly. (Sorry, grilled squid fans.) But due to the demand of some customers to have something on hand, WIP offers ₱25 milk teas and ₱85 sandwiches with a side of banana chips. Super affordable.
The term “co‑working” though, hasn’t caught on with the Maginhawa crowd. “It hasn’t been digested yet,” San Agustin said. “So sometimes we have to explain that WIP is a study and work space, and then slowly explain to our customers what co‑working means.” But considering how popular they are right now, people are bound to get what it means.
“We want people to feel like they’re coming home, like they can relax while they work,” San Agustin said about their plans for WIP. Other plans include sound‑proofing the place (surprisingly, the noise mostly comes from the Maginhawa tricycles and not from the food park downstairs) and an all‑women event next February called Women In Particular.