kalye artisano copy.jpg

Programme Summary

Objective: The objective of the programme is provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of their chosen industry, and to do so within the context of a sustainable island community. Throughout the five week programme, while you spend time exploring the realities of your desired profession and building contacts with industry professionals, you will also be immersed in new cultures, experience new ways of approaching and overcoming challenges and contribute to the future of sustainable living .

Duration: 5 weeks (1 week orientation, followed by 4 week corporate internship)

Dates: 11 January -  15 February, 2020

Internship Company: PioPio

Internship areas: Fashion, Design, Hospitality and Tourism, Communications and Marketing, Sustainability and Business

Programme Cost: USD 2,525

Location: Kalye Artisano, Lio Tourism Estate, El Nido, Philippines


Kalye Artisano is an artist’s village, owned by PIOPIO and housed within the Lio Tourism Estate, an Ayala-owned tourism property that covers 325 hectares and the first eco-masterplanned development in El Nido, Palawan.

Kalye Artisano is pilot concept aimed at empowering and harnessing the trade of local craftsmanship and knowledge in areas that are in danger of being taken over by globalized touristic demands and needs. To achieve this, PIOPIO created a physical space in a vicinity within the Lio Tourism Estate that plays host to a variety of retail and hospitality concepts that promote everything local, working with local communities, artists and local entrepreneurs to harness the tradition and culture of a place. 

About PioPio

PIOPIO is a Palawan-based lifestyle brand. Born out of a desire to reignite and celebrate Philippine culture, PIOPIO is is an experience company that develops new retail and hospitality concepts, using local culture and arts as the main anchor to help connect visitors to their surroundings. 

PIOPIO works with local communities to showcase the best of what Filipino craftsmen, farmers, designers and artists have to offer, giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in local culture through a broad range of experiences.

The company is comprised of five experiential areas: Live/Wear (a home and clothing collection), Eat (a juice and salad bar), Explore (local tours and activities), Educate (community workshops and events), and Sleep (an artist-designed bed and breakfast). 

In late 2016, PIOPIO Lifestyle was launched through a clothing range. Items featured the work of traditional Filipino weavers, Upcycled Denim, vibrant embroidery and funky patterns.

The Background: The PIOPIO team includes Paloma Urquijo Zobel, Ina Estacio and Therese Tiosejo. It was born from Paloma’s mother, Bea Zobel’s long standing connections with Philippine communities and artisans and the lack of interest in their traditions. Taking the Ilocos region’s inabel as an example, a blanket using this woven fabric takes one month to make and there are less than a 1000 looms left in the country. PIOPIO aims to restore interest and appreciation of these cultural heirlooms, in turn supporting the livelihood of Philippine communities and reinforcing the identity of Filipinos. Paloma takes the lead in marketing and strategy, Ina spearheads design and production, and Therese manages planning and coordination.


An interview with the founders:

The Programme

The programme is split into two phases:

  1. Introduction week: The programme will begin with a one week induction, in which students will be welcomed by the programme hosts and given an overview of the Philippines from both a professional and cultural perspective. This involves a welcome dinner, a number of professional site visits to local companies, cultural experiences and a one day workshop at the PIOPIO headquarters in Manila. This will provide an overview of and context around PIOPIO, the internship company.

  2. Internships: The students will spend four weeks interning with PIOPIO in El Nido, where they will be based at Kayla Artisano in the Lio Tourism Estate. This is a retail hotspot, designed to support the trade of local crafts people and facilitate the exchange of products and ideas between communities.

    Here the students will be assigned to different departments, based on their expertise and interests. For example, design students could intern in any of the following areas - product design, spatial design, textile and fashion, photography and content, and website and communications.

    Students will be assigned specific projects to deliver over the course of their internship and will have clear roles and responsibilities. In addition, they will have the opportunity to work with the local artisans of El Nido, gaining an understanding of both western techniques and a local / traditional way of working.

Weekly catch-ups:

  • Once a week, the local organizer and PIOPIO representative will bring the group together in a unique setting designed to drive further inspiration and collaboration amongst the students. The aim of this gathering is not only pastoral, bringing the students and the programme coordinators together to share their experiences and have a “check in” from both a programme and governance perspective, it is also to provide the students with a broad cultural and gastronomical experience. 

The programme cost - what’s included?

  • All accommodation (shared dorm rooms)

  • Welcome dinner

  • Three meals a day during the PioPio internship in El Nido

  • Return flight from Manilla to El Nido, Palawan

  • Site visits in Manilla

  • 1 cultural experience per week in El Nido (4 in total)

  • All internal transport and transfers are (excluding flight to and from Manilla)

So, what’s not included?

  • Inbound and outbound flights (return to Manilla)

  • Food, unless stated (we recommend budgeting ~NZ$40 per day)

  • Travel and health Insurance. It is compulsory that all students taking part in the programme are appropriately covered;

  • Any additional (optional) activities



The programme is open to any student who is:

  • Currently studying an undergraduate degree at an Australian or New Zealand university;

  • An Australian or NZ citizen, or permanent resident in either country;

  • Currently enrolled in any of the following courses:

    • Design (including Visual Communication Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Industrial Design, Photography, Spatial Design, Creative Media Production)

    • Hospitality or tourism

    • Communications or Marketing

    • Business

Deadline for applications: 12th October, 2019

To Apply:

Interested students are requested to send their resume, a cover letter and a portfolio of work (design students only) to

Name *
Area(s) of interest (for internship) *