Buri and nito planter (P200), design by Maco Custodio for Kinuris Crafts, buri and nito hat with handpainting, P750, 0919,2242945, Kinuris Crafts. Photograph by William Ong
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Manila FAME puts up a good show despite news it will be cut down to a once-a-year event

Despite the downsizing, the show displayed no signs of pulling back.
Devi de Veyra | Oct 20 2019

The announcement of Manila FAME’s downsizing, with just one show every year instead of the usual two, didn’t dim the participants’ spirit as seen in its latest exhibition which closed Saturday, October 19. 

Over 300 local brands and manufacturers were featured, alongside participants from Asian countries.  In response to the theme of Reimagined Heritage, a new and exciting Filipino style or look seems to be taking shape – more current, polished and courageous.

Divider, My Souvenir Banig de Pasey; Abaca bag, Andre Chang for Larone, 632-889-57752; accent chair, More Than a Chair, 045-8931915

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One of Manila FAME’s highlights, the Design Commune installation, featured some standouts that convey the new look. Amid a peach-toned forest of pastel fabric strips, More Than A Chair’s statement piece, an armchair with brass frame and carved wooden back stood against the graphic patterns of a banig divider. In one obscure corner,  Goltrio’s side table made form salvaged wood topped by a mother of pearl tray led to a handsome wood and solihiya cabinet by Artesania.

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Drop light, Arte Cebuana, 6332-4205008, arte-cebuana.com; Wood and mother of pearl side table, Goltrio, 632-2945857/5549, goltrio.com.ph; Shagreen box, La Galuche, (032) 4020105, lagaluche.com; Wood cabinet with solihiya panels, Artesania, 0917-328-9238. 

Ikat Trumpet lights, P16,100 (large), P12,600 (small) made from buri midribs, bamboo beads and abaca fabric, by Christina Gaston and Andre Chang for Hacienda Crafts, haciendacrafts.com

Katha Awardee, Best in Product Design, Hush Hush metal drop lights,  design by Jerby Jiao for Schema, P20,000, 632-7365641, schemaproduct.com

Zen bar stool, P7,000, Modern Ethnic Jar, P1,800, Mid-century Tribal stool, P6,200, made from volcanic ash, designs by Shirley Dy and Douglas Dy, Southeast Metro Arts Inc., 0948-434-0348. 

Rattan hamper (P2,500, large, P1800 small), and tray (P2,500), Hininang Tu (meaning ‘our craft’ in the Manobo language), 0929-303-9820. 

Leather platform sandals with fringe, P3,500, black rubber sandals with stone accent, both by Ramir, 09153284800, [email protected] 

Arezzo Mini, leather bag inspired by the Tetrapak packaging, P5,200, Quiddity,0916-456-7337, shopquiddity.com

Skirt with banig digital print, P5,000, Edgar Buyan, 632-2982011, 0919-999-6228; Tie-dyed cotton t-shirt with Bagobo pattern, P1,500, Nino (enye) Franco, 0917-716-7671.  

Brass and Yakan fabric earrings, P1,000, Campos Jewelry Collections, 0908-811-8465; Belt made from Langkit fabric with brass buckle, Maranaw Collectibles.  

Carabao horn frames, P1,250, Elm’s Accessoria de Casa Inc, 0908-951-1078; Pastillas bag, made from wooden beads, P6,500, Baul, 0917-891-9131, [email protected] 

Terracotta Christmas Tree Forest, P2,200, Red Slab Pottery, 0917-683-1223, redslabpottery.net

The E-Fashion Retailers’ showcase displayed some strong and promising brands, among them Baul’s Pastillas bag which was designed and made by a maximum security inmate from one of Metro Manila’s correctional facilities for women. Genevieve Go’s triangular bag was actually inspired by the iconic tetrapak packaging. On show too were amusing takes on traditional motifs, like Edgar Buyan’s digitally-printed banig skirt, and a hand-painted buri and nito hat from Antique’s Kinuri Crafts which evoke the 70s-era Mabini art vibe. 

Manila FAME’s latest edition wasn’t just about modernity. Various traditional crafts showcased in the Artisan’s Village gave the guests a glance back at where it all these began.


Photographs by William Ong