Tag Archives: Filipino design

The Best One Yet!

Ever since my first ManilaFAME experience, I’ve been hooked!  Imagine an event showcasing two floors of the best locally made furniture, home accessories, bags, jewelry and fashion–gosh, this is what heaven looks like for a girl like me! Hahaha!  So I’ve made it a point to troop down to SMX for every show since, for a little dose of happy and inspiration :).

And even after 3 expos, the giddiness I feel every time I visit has not died down one single bit.  In fact, after the recent show held last Oct 17-20–their best one yet–I’m still on a high and totally inspired by everything I saw!

As expected, the furniture and home furnishings were truly extraordinary!  No wonder our local artisans are considered to be design trendsetters, and have truly sparked global interest in and demand for our products :).





While I think there were less participants this time around compared to last March, the booths and the products were definitely nothing short of spectacular! Here were some of my personal favorites… 🙂


Ito Kish

Don’t you just love the wall treatment?  And those Busilak Jars are LOVE :).


Kenneth Cobonpue

I have nothing else to say but his booth was impressive as always :).  This shot was my paparazzi moment.  Hahaha!  Was hoping to meet him but this interview took a while :(.


Balay ni Atong

Those lamps made from pieces of inabel cloth and wire were TDF!!! I also fell in love with a woven blanket, but it was a bit out of my budget :(.



Those colorful stools/side tables made me drool!!!  I want one badly!!!


Schema by Kalikasan Crafts

The pendant lamps are a project for our dining room next year!  Excited!


Vito Selma

*Sigh* His Geo coffee table has been on my wish list for like forever!!!



I always love their booth display, and this time was no exception 🙂



Aren’t those light installations gorge? 🙂



They won the Katha Award for Best Booth Design :).


Triboa Bay

Another favorite of mine.  Their pieces are so well designed, yet very functional!  Their trestle table is another one on my wish list!

This time around, there was also a special showcase called The Red Box, featuring the work of the rising stars of local design.  These designers are part of a developmental program “aimed at harnessing Filipino creativity with the use of sustainable raw materials to produce design-forward products for the world.”


Loved these tables and the lighting by Leah Sanchez.  Incidentally, aside from being an architect by profession, Leah is also one half of the duo behind Resurrection and Found Objects Gallery :).


It was so nice to see the work of my favorite ladies from Bungalow 3oo on display during the show!  Bravo!

Even the Manila Wear section, now on its second year, had such a strong showing from its participant artists.  I noticed a lot of fashion designers combining regional craftsmanship with their own unique aesthetic and style, setting the stage for next year’s trends and must-haves :).

It truly makes me happy to see the Philippine aesthetic finally having its time in the spotlight :).  I’ve always been a fan of native arts and crafts, and it is quite wonderful that many designers have started incorporating not just local materials into their products, but traditional elements into their designs as well. Coupled with a modern twist or interpretation, the results are exquisite artisanal items that are really something to be proud of! 🙂

Here is a small sampling of my favorite brands at Manila Wear…




These bags are not just so “now”, but I love the use of the traditional fabric!  It was so nice to meet the designer and owner of the brand, who truly impressed me with her style and go-getter attitude :).




Such beautifully crafted accessories from last year and this year’s Katha Award winner, Ann Ong.  I’m not sure if I could wear the grasshopper on wood neckpiece, but I was definitely wowed by the intricacy of the design :).


It was so wonderful to bump into Dennis Lustico!  I am a longtime fan of his dress designs, and it is so nice to see how he has branched out into accessories–specifically, bags!  Aren’t they bee-yoo-ti-full? 🙂  I super loved that yellow “bayong” he is standing next to with the acrylic handles, as well as the blue beaded clutch at the bottom of the picture.  Ang ganda!!!!


I also finally got to meet accessory designer, Ken Samudio, and had a fan-girl moment!  Hahaha!  To say I love his stuff is an understatement.  More about it in my next blog post! 🙂



Another uber wonderful and cool accessory designer is Adante Leyesa.  Not only does he have talent by the bucket-loads, but he’s super humble too!  I just love his statement neckpieces and clutch bags!  They are definitely showstoppers!!!



I think my most favorite accessory designer of all time has to be Joyce Makitalo, though.  Actually, between my mom and I, we have 5 of her gorgeous necklaces!!!  I can’t wait to see her new collection which is coming out very soon!  I am so sure it will be amazing!


These barong dresses by Amarie first caught my eye at the MaARTe bazaar.  I would love to own one of these someday too :).


Filip + Inna’s booth, and the various pieces they had on display totally took my breath away!  Not only did I love the colors, but the embroidery designs were so exquisite!  Hard to believe these are traditional designs from the tribes in Lake Sebu–they look so modern and contemporary!  Again, more on this in another blog post :).

To be honest, I could go on and on about the amazing things I saw during ManilaFAME, but it would be even better if you guys had a chance to see the expo for yourself (watch out for it in March 2014!!!)!  These pictures are but a fraction of all there is to see!  As it was, I actually didn’t have much time to go through the entire show :(, so I had to breeze past other sections such as the OTOP (One Town, One Project), which features products from various regions all over the Philippines.

Don’t you agree, though, that Filipinos are soooo talented and creative? 🙂 Coming to a show like this will truly make you feel proud of our culture and heritage!  I’m sure it won’t be long before the world starts appreciating it as well :).


Manila FAME {Part 1}

Dubbed as “The Design and Lifestyle Event”, Manila FAME is one of the longest running trade shows in the Philippines, featuring the latest trends in furniture, home accessories, gift items, holiday decor, and fashion.

Manila FAME stands for Furnishings and Apparel Manufacturers’ Exchange. Organized by the Center for International Trade, Expositions and Missions (CITEM)–DTI’s export promotions arm–it aims to put the spotlight on Philippine design, creativity and artistry, and introduce our country as the next emerging design hub in Asia.

Manila FAME is only one of several events that are planned for Design Week–a week-long, bi-annual national celebration showcasing Filipino craftsmanship and talent.  Being a lover of local art and design, I knew this was an event that was not to be passed up.  After a quick text to my partner-in-crime, M, plans were finalized to visit Manila FAME early Saturday morning :).

Upon our arrival at SMX, M and I decided on a strategy to tackle the massive expo area, and to maximize our Manila FAME experience.  According to accounts from friends who had already been to the expo, the ground floor was where all the furniture suppliers were located, while the second floor housed the home accessories, gift items and fashion booths.  Since we only had a couple of hours to spare, and since we were not really in the market to buy any furniture, we decided to start with the second floor.

As we stepped off the elevator, this was one of the several murals that greeted us. Rendered grafitti-style, I thought it was very quirky and creative :).  Instant inspiration!!!  It immediately put me in a good mood, and I took it as a sign of all that was yet to come–that M and I were in for one really great experience!!! 🙂

Unfortunately, while M and I really intended to blog about our Manila FAME experience, many suppliers did not allow us to take photographs :(.  We did, however, manage to capture a few snippets of the gift items, furniture, and some of the home accessories…here they are!  View and drool…hahaha!

M and I immediately fell in love with these papers from TADECO of Davao. Made out of banana fibers, they are perfect for gift wrapping!  And you know how much I loooove wrapping paper :).  Hahaha!  But sadly, because we were at Manila FAME on the last day, we could only purchase a couple of pieces of the designs we liked.  The rest were sold out :(.  On the bright side, it is possible to order them from Davao.  M and I were thinking we may just do that!

TADECO had another booth in the show, this time featuring other types of home furnishings made from local materials.  I was particularly drawn to this hanging lamp.  I loved the drama and impact of this piece!  It’s the type of item that immediately draws attention, but not in a negative way.  Too bad my home is quite tiny, and a lamp of this size would definitely not be given the space it deserves.

Budgi Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue’s collaboration in this showcase called DEXIGN was one of the expo’s highlights.  I love love love the work of these two artists, and I feel both proud and lucky to own some of their furniture pieces :). Seeing their new designs, however, made me want to redecorate my entire apartment!  Hahaha!

Beautiful, right? 🙂

Here are pictures of Kenneth’s (eeh, close!) booth…

I just love how clean his lines are!  Each of his pieces are like a work of art–so simple, yet the design reflects such high taste and quality :).

Another booth I enjoyed very much was Masaeco.  From afar, this is how it looked like (left photograph)…

Up close (photograph on the right), this is how the pattern looked.  I was immediately enamoured when I saw it. *Sigh* How I would looooooove to have walls that look like this in my apartment!!!  What amazed me about this is that it is simply made out of paper!  It can be used to dress up walls as cascading panels, or it can also be framed into artwork!!!

Another inspiring and drool-worthy booth was the one selling Inabel from Ilocos.

Abel Iloko, as it is traditionally known, is the art of weaving that hails from the Ilocos region.  In this art form, a loom is used to create designs on a cloth that is then turned into clothing or blankets.

I love how they are starting to expand  and modernize the uses of Inabel cloth to other items such as these lampshades.  Aren’t they purdy? 🙂

I seriously wanted to go home with an inabel tablecloth, or any inabel item for that matter :).  However, I didn’t realize how expensive these things were!  The tablecloth I wanted cost about 10 grand!!!  Oh my :(!  Unfortunately, I knew that this would cause the H to raise an eyebrow so I sadly left the booth emptyhanded :(.  Oh well :(.

As you can probably tell by now, Manila FAME was truly an awe-inspiring experience that both M and I enjoyed!  It is truly a celebration of the Filipino’s talent, creativity and ingenuity!  Both M and I felt really proud albeit a bit wistful that many of these wonderful products were not available to us locally, as most of them were for export only.

In my next post, I’ll show you guys some of the other featured sections in Manila FAME.  Stay tuned! 🙂