MANILA -- A Filipino designer is changing the image of Philippine furniture with edgy and modern pieces made from local and recycled materials.
Noel Tanada brings nature back to life as he transforms indigenous and recycled materials into unique pieces of practical art in his store EcoHome Art.
The store sells furniture, lighting fixtures, and home accessories with sustainable design.
Tanada uses materials from underprivileged Filipino communities and hires local workers to provide livelihood for the poor.
Some of the materials that he uses in his designs are mats woven by typhoon Yolanda victims in Tacloban, bamboo from Bacoor in Cavite, and water hyacinth, commonly known as "water lily," to help alleviate flooding caused by these plants in water systems.
Tanada also pays it forward by using doypacks -- which are commonly used for ready-to-drink drinks -- from KILUS foundation, a Pasig-based organization for women and by designing solar panels for the poor people of Albay, Bicol.
"What I really want to do is share with the Filipino people the Philippine materials they have [so] they can come up with their own designs and furniture," Tanada said.
EcoHome Art is set to open its new showroom in San Juan at the end of October.