Reimagined Traditions

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The Philippines pavilion for the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016, after years of bringing the country’s top shelter brands to the fair, will usher Fashion Philippines’ debut on the international stage. This will be the first time ever that an exhibit will be devoted solely to fashion accessories in MAISON&OBJET PARIS, ably represented by 10 fashion-forward Philippine brands. The participation is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, or CITEM, an agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

The country’s showcase, which is entitled Reimagined Traditions, will highlight present-day iterations of Philippine jewelry and bag-making crafts which trace their roots to ancient times. A landmark exhibit titled Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchange held at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris three years ago showed an elegant assemblage of artworks that could be befittingly called traditional Philippine culture. It included an array of accessories that held symbolic meanings or served various functions—as ceremonial accoutrements, signifiers of social status and wealth, markers of rites of passage, utilitarian objects, or simply decorative vanities.

While paying homage to generation of craft skills and techniques, and inspired by the Quai Branly exhibit, the 10 brands this September are present day design ambassadors of the Philippines who come from the country’s main regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao — each represent the diversity that is the Philippines but united and reflect an intertwined story of passion and crafts. For the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016 edition, the 10 brands draw from this well of methods and styles as they express their own confident voice on contemporary fashion.

Crystal Seas is based in Davao in the Mindanao region, home to the indigenous T’boli people. The brand borrows the T’boli cloth’s T’nalak patterns for its MAISON&OBJET PARIS presentation. It veers away from literal interpretations, reappropriating the patterns to non-woven forms instead. Materials native to Davao—Paua shells, metals, abaca fibers (Manila Hemp), mother-of-pearl alongside snakeskin—will endow the brand’s pieces a unique sense of place. Hands of artisans from Mindanao will help realize the brand’s designs, with metalsmiths from one of Davao’s mining towns melding, plating, and polishing the various components of Crystal Seas’ jewelry and clutch bags.

Cebu, an island province that lies south of Manila, is recognized as a main hub for fashion accessories with its rich natural resources that yield a wide range of components, and its renowned handcraft capabilities. The province is expected to put up a strong show with four home-grown brands showcasing an expansive range of Cebu’s jewelry and bag-making traditions that honors the province’s exuberant tropical sensibilities.

For Avatar CEO Butch Carungay, the fair will be a momentous event as he is set to unveil his company’s reincarnation as ZAI Design Hive. He says that they will be presenting “a more refined aesthetic which combines cutting-edge materials, traditional Philippine craftsmanship and excellent attention to detail – all with the quirky idiosyncrasies that have characterized our work over the years.”

Mia Arcenas will reveal her Spring 2017 collection, a series inspired by technology and nature with the designer highlighting her signature materials—brass, shells and resin. Arcenas’ line typifies the contemporary approach adapted by Cebu’s designers, melding modernity, natural elements and handcraft techniques. “It is about nature as being the source of all things beautiful, and with the help of technology, we are able to adapt these organic ideas to our ever-changing world,” the Arcenas disclosed.

Floreia’s collection for MAISON&OBJET PARIS embodies the brand’s commitment to sustainable fashion. Floreia brings its conscientious slant to the fore with a series of casual jewelry and bags that are handcrafted using Floreia’s award-winning, patented materials—Nucast®, which is made from recycled paper products, and Naturecast®, made of agro-forest debris.

MegaBijoux completes Cebu’s stellar contingent. Its expertise in metal-plating and resin lamination will be fully exploited in a special collection that express MegaBijoux’s flamboyant—and playful—design philosophy.

Just a short drive from the country’s capital, Bulacan is a province renowned for its more than five centuries-old jewelry industry. Two brands harness the Bulacan’s jewelry-making skills to create contemporary styles. Lush metalwork defines Ann Ong’s design identity—a reinvention of the maximalist concept, tamed and polished for modern times. Ong says that she will be showing her signature pieces which make use of bamboo and salvaged wood, lavished with intricate handmade detailing.

Kit Silver is based in Meycuayan City, which is also in Bulacan. The brand exploits the Meycuayan artisans’ mastery of the filigree craft–skills passed on by the Spaniards during its colonial rule–for its initial presentation at the fair. A series of evening bags and jewelry accompany Kit Silver’s centerpiece for the exhibition—a bold reimagination of Philippine-Hispanic accessory, the balabal, or shawl, rendered in metal brass.

Three Manila-based brands capture the vibrant spirit of a fast-growing metropolis. Beatriz sets the agenda with bold colors and geometric patterns. For the brand’s casual line, texture and angled forms are created with fine yarns painstakingly attached to the pieces’ skins. The brand’s evening collection continues with the angular concept, this time expressed using metal with the surfaces lightly hand-polished and buffed to add a hint of understated glamour.

Jennifer Lo takes cues from her grandfather, using his favorite material, rattan for a collection of fashion accessories. Lo infuses drama with a broody palette of neutrals, black and gold accented with abaca, gold macramé and stones.

Michelline Syjuco brings a daring edge to the exhibition with a style philosophy that has captivated mavens who have sported the brand’s funky skulls, daring cuffs embellished with macabre creatures and other intriguing forms. The brand borrows from Goth elements which are lavishly enhanced with baroque treatments.

10 brands are set to regale the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016’s audience with spirited expressions of contemporary Philippine style. CITEM, through Fashion Philippines, invite visitors to examine and explore a new expression of national identity and the generation’s design sensibilities.

With the virtuoso workers’ indigenous knowledge on the different craft skills and commitment to traditions and the designers’ new interpretations to these artisanal crafts, MAISON&OBJET PARIS will be the focal point to experience Fashion Philippines’ Reimagined Traditions.

See you at Hall 7, Scène d’ Intérieur, Stand F 198 – G 197.

Manila FAME welcomes exhibitors and international buyers to a bigger show in October 2016

The Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event is expanding the show for October 2016 – with more venues, extended exhibit hours, more SME exporters, and more special showcases for new artisans, designers, and products

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Four venues to accommodate more exhibitors

The 64th edition of Asia-Pacific’s second-longest running trade exhibition, Manila FAME, will be held in four large venues to accommodate the growing number of participating SME exporters and the deluge of international trade buyers joining every edition to source unique products of Philippine artisans.

The upcoming show in October 20-22, 2016 will be held at the World Trade Center (WTC) Main Hall, which will house the holiday and home exporters, and the WTC Tent, which will feature fashion, textile, and apparel brands. The Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) will exhibit arts and crafts, and start-up and retail companies, while HallONE will be the venue for the Design Week Philippines’ (DWP) Creative Marketplace.

Design Week Philippines, held concurrently with Manila FAME, is a multifaceted fête of the arts and design aimed at fostering creativity and spurring innovations. It is highlighted with activities that speak of Filipino ingenuity and design breakthroughs that strengthen the Philippines’ position as Asia’s design capital.

In addition to the special DWP events to be held at HallONE, more activities initiated by the Design Center of the Philippines will take place in Manila’s historic center, Intramuros.

Extended exhibit hours to let in more trade buyers and visitors

Manila FAME October 2016 edition will extend its operating hours from the original 9:00AM-6:00PM to 9:00AM-7:00PM. The change was made in response to trade buyers’ request for longer business hours that would allow them to meet with all their target suppliers in Manila FAME, examine new products at the show, and maximize their visit in Asia, which will have other trade events scattered across the region.

New special showcases and daily events to update trade buyers and visitors on what’s hot

Exciting showcases to look forward to in the October show include New Generation Weaves, Bamboo and Coconut Special Setting, Lamps & Lighting, and Icon Setting: Peacock Redux.

Lively daily events to update trade buyers on on-trend designs and products as well as inspiring and creative workshops and business fora will be staged for a multi-sensory, comprehensive, and diverse trade show experience.

Furthermore, the 64th Manila FAME will be made even more momentous with the celebration of the ASEAN Master Craft Design Festival and the participation of the ASEAN Master Craftsmen who will present their creations in a special pavilion called ASEAN Crafts to the World. The first group of the ASEAN Master Craftsmen, coming from the countries Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, will unveil new designs and progressive applications of native materials and traditional techniques in home furnishings, gifts and housewares, garden accessories, and fashion apparels.

“CITEM is continuously shaping Manila FAME, not just to meet the demands of the changing industry with its new generation of buyers, entrepreneurs, consumers, designers, and artisans, but to exceed expectations, bring new ideas to the table, and most of all to showcase what the Philippine SMEs can do with training and assistance,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos.

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The 64th edition of Manila FAME will be held on October 20-22, 2016 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), and HallONE. Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event and attended by trade buyers from all over the world, features finely selected furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories, designed and crafted in the Philippines for the global market.

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Manila FAME is a bi-annual showcase of craftsmanship in Philippine products. It features finely selected furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and accessories, designed and crafted in the Philippines for the global market.

Organized by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Manila FAME is the only trade event in the Philippines approved by the Union des Foires Internationals (UFI), or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded 90 years ago in Milan, Italy, on April 1925.

RED BOX Design Program Searches for New Talents on Its 2nd Cycle

RED BOX, a designer development program initiated by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), has now opened the second cycle of its search for the country’s next design talents. CITEM calls on Filipinos aged 21 to 30 years old who have not yet received major home- or fashion-related awards to bring their passion and talent for design to a higher level through the RED BOX program.

The RED BOX program is a platform to harness talents and nurture them to become the next generation of Philippine designers. From its first cycle, four young designers were awarded as grand winners, and represented the Philippines in select trade shows in London, Milan, and New York City.

“RED BOX started out as a show feature of Manila FAME in 2011. Designers featured back then were handpicked by CITEM to showcase their creations in the trade fair. Three years later, RED BOX has evolved into a designer development program,” CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos shares.

“The Philippines is full of talented young creatives. RED BOX opened its doors to them, so they can further develop their skills under the mentorship of Filipino design icons,” Gaetos adds.

redbox-posterThe RED BOX design program is now open for applications to the second cycle of its search of Philippines’ next design talents.

In 2014, RED BOX introduced a shortlist of 14 design talents who were trained and guided by Budji Layug for furniture and home accents, and Lulu Tan-Gan for apparel and fashion accessories.

The design talents underwent an in-depth immersion in the local home and fashion industries, including seminars and workshops on design; exposure to craft techniques through regional factory visits; and development of product collections in close collaboration with manufacturers. Cycle 1 of the RED BOX program culminated with the designers’ collections showcased in Manila FAME October 2015, where a jury selected the grand winners based on a prescribed criteria.

Thian Rodriguez, who considers being named as RED BOX Cycle 1 grand winner for Fashion Apparel as the most memorable highlight in his career as a designer, is grateful to be part of the program. “The program helped me widen my perspective in arts and fashion. Red Box helped me find my own identity as a designer and build my own name in the industry,” he says.

Rodriguez cites the mentorship under Lulu Tan-Gan, and the exposure to fashion design principles, the industry, and the market as great learning experiences that developed his craft. Rodriguez is one of the four designers who represented the Philippines in the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) in London, United Kingdom in February this year.

Jim Torres, RED BOX Cycle 1 grand winner for Home, also attributes his growth as a designer to the industry exposure, shares that it is through the RED BOX program that he was able to discover his design identity by interacting with different people such as clients, manufacturers, and co-designers.

“You must know how to adapt—that’s why Red Box is a mentorship program. Being a designer is more than just designing and building things; it’s about being able to communicate and inspire through design,” Torres adds as an advice to aspiring, young designers. Torres’ Escapade collection, a lighting installation made of shredded stainless steel, was featured in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York, USA in May 2016.

Cycle 2 of the program will also give aspiring talents the opportunity to participate in international trade fairs, workshops or short courses.

CITEM has partnered with the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), a technical agency of the DTI mandated to promote industrial design as a tool for improving the quality and competitiveness of Philippine products. The partnership between CITEM and DCP aims to sustain development of the next generation of Philippine designers.

Applicants may submit entries for any of the following categories: furniture; home accents; apparel; and fashion accessories. Only one entry for a maximum of two categories will be accepted. Deadline of submission of entries is on 19 August 2016. For more information on the application process, please visit http://www.citem.gov.ph/index.php/developmental-programs/red-box.

DSCF2324RED BOX Design Talent 2015 Grand winner for Home Jim Torres showcased his ‘Escapade’ collection at the ICFF 2016 in New York, USA and at the RED BOX showcase in Manila FAME April 2016.
MickiMicki Olaguer, grand winner for Fashion Apparel, featured her mother-of-pearl and gold and silver jewelry in the Fashion Utopias: International Fashion Showcase in London.
ThianThian Rodriguez presented a collection of brass grommets and bullet finials cut out dresses in the Fashion Utopias: International Fashion Showcase in London.
20150813141413With mentor Lulu Tan-Gan, the Red Box Design Talents 2015 for Fashion visit FF International Manufacturing, manufacturer for The Natori Company, to see the labor intensive production of high-end fashion garments.
IMG_2274Red Box Design Talents 2015 Home finalists strike a pose with Kenneth Cobonpue after a tour around his factory.
IMG_5034The RED BOX Design Talents 2015 Fashion finalists try their hand at devoré, a fabric technique that uses chemicals to “burn” a semi-transparent pattern on a solidly woven fabric.

Design Week Philippines partners with Davies Paints for a street art project

 

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CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos, Viva Manila Executive Director Julia Nebrija, Intramuros Administration Administrator Atty. Marco Sardillo III, DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, Intramuros Administration-Tourism Promotions Division Chief Sandra Martinez, and Gerilya artist Janno Gonzales paint Itneg textile patterns in the street in front of Palacio del Gobernador.

Davies Paints Philippines, Inc. partnered with the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) to co-celeberate Design Week Philippines (DWP) as it launched Intramuros as a Creative Environment, a hub that caters to the country’s creatives and young entrepreneurs as they infuse the Walled city with new energy and enrich it with innovation. In line with this vision, Design Week Philippines converts Manila’s historic core and oldest district into a walkable city.

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Viva Manila Executive Director Julia Nebrija, Intramuros Administration Administrator Atty. Marco Sardillo III, DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, Davies Paints Philippines Marketing Communications Manager Jo Ann Viriña, CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos, and Gerilya artists Janno Gonzales and Martin Rios celebrate Design Week Philippines with Davies Paints Philippines.

“Design Week Philippines’ efforts to promote Intramuros as a creative environment resonates the vision and mission of our own campaign called ‘Colors of the Philippines,” says Jo Ann Viriña, Marketing Communications Manager of  Davies Paints Philippines. The campaign features a selection of colors inspired by the numerous scenic views that the Philippines has to offer, with collections of colors for the vintas in Zamboanga and the blue waters of Camiguin beaches as an example. “Our country’s tourist destinations and iconic cultural objects are expressed in vibrant colors and hues, which mirrors the rich story of the Filipino people. It serves as a wealthy source of creative inspiration for everyone.”

Gerilya, an artist collective that makes use of art in reference to Filipino culture, history and the current social and political landscape, was tapped to produce the designs to be painted on the streets of Intramuros.

The General Luna Street, stretching 900 meters from Muralla to Sta. Clara Streets, now bears traditional Filipino patterns and designs from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The street in front of Fort Santiago and Palacio del Gobernador is enlivened by Itneg textile patterns from Abra while street along Manila Cathedral commemorate the traditional art of pastillas wrapper making (or pabalat) from San Miguel, Bulacan. Pintados tattoo from Tacloban mark the way to Villa Immaculada while banig patterns from Sulu and Tawi-tawi add fun to the pathway in front of Plazuela de Sta. Isabel. Subanen beadwork patterns line the streets along Silahis Arts and Artifacts. Gerilya also pays tribute to famous Filipino heroes to celebrate Philippine Independence as the walkway in front of the Department of Labor and Employment office bears the faces of Jose Rizal, Gen. Emilio Jacinto, Gen. Antonio Luna, Lapu-Lapu, and Andres Bonifacio.

Design Week Philippines is a multi-faceted platform that brings together creative visionaries from diverse backgrounds and disciplines in a series of programs and events that celebrate design and artistry. It has its roots from Proclamation No. 277 signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III where it has become a national agenda to nurture creativity and design capability in the Philippines in order to spur innovations directed towards ushering in of trade opportunities, and positioning the Philippines as Asia’s design destination.

Lighting pieces that spark inspiration at Manila FAME trade fair

Light up your home with these locally made lamps.

The recent Manila FAME delivered some eye-catching lighting pieces that attracted trade buyers and guests from all over the world.

The Cherry Blossom Pendant Lamp by Venzon Lighting

The Cherry Blossom Pendant Lamp by Venzon Lighting

Venzon Lighting’s newest star collection, the Cherry Blossom Pendant Lamps, marries natural materials, such as translucent capiz shells, with branches fashioned from aluminum.

Whether clustered at an entrance foyer to welcome guests, or lined above a rectangular dining table, the Cherry Blossom Lamp designed by Cris Venzon creates an organic elegance and warmth to any room in the house.

Venzon Lighting has collaborated with many industrial and interior designers like Stanley Ruiz, one of the Rising Asian Talents at the March 2016 Singaporean edition of MAISON&OBJET, and Jim Torres, Red Box Talents Grand Winner for home accents category in October 2015 Manila FAME, to produce every season new lighting designs that are engineered for precision manufacturing.

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Venzon Lighting worked with designer Stanley Ruiz through CITEM’s Design for Exports Program to create a new line of lighting pieces that was launched in Manila FAME 63rd edition held last April at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

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The Urban Pendant Lamp by SCHEMA

The contemporary-industrial Urban Pendant Lamp is designed by SCHEMA’s Celia Gamboa Jiao, who has mastered the art of metal weaving, allowing her to create innovative and modern pieces that give character to various spaces.

At SCHEMA, lamps, furniture, and home accents are not manufactured by machine, but handcrafted by artisans in their workshop, and as such, every piece is unique.

Made from galvanized iron wire in powder-finish, the versatile Urban Pendant Lamp complements an industrial- or urban-themed environment and provides a modern addition to a traditional-style home.

The Decima Pendant Lamp by Native Crafts and Arts Industries, Inc.

The Decima Pendant Lamp by Native Crafts and Arts Industries, Inc.

Native Crafts and Arts Industries, Inc. uses natural materials – bamboo and rattan peel – to create the Decima Pendant Lamp, which was featured in designer Ito Kish’s curated landscape Spring Forward, one of the highlights of last April’s Manila FAME. The piece was designed by Napoleon Chan and Bernice Chan-Juan, with nature and simple elegance in mind.

A veteran in the industry, Native Crafts and Arts Industries, Inc. has been making and exporting eco-friendly handicrafts for over 40 years to countries including the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Spring Forward

Spring Forward by Ito Kish featured lighting pieces by Native Crafts and Arts Industries, Inc., along with many other top quality and high-concept furniture and home accents made by local companies.


Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle event, is organized by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Philippine and international SMEs manufacturing home, holiday, and fashion products are encouraged to join Manila FAME in its 64th edition to be held in October 20-22, 2016. For more information, log on to www.manilafame.com.

JunkNot! features upcycled furniture made from waste materials

JunkNot’s bangko made from reclaimed woods and repurposed plastic waste are featured in the 63rd Manila FAME: Boutique Edition.

With a brand name giving away a hint on what it is about, JunkNot! definitely proves that there are more things you can do to trash than just throwing them away.

At the recent Manila FAME, JunkNot! gained introduction to and contact with local and foreign buyers. “We asked the assistance of the local DTI offices in Laguna and Region IVA because we needed a venue to market our products. Manila FAME gave us the exposure we looked for,” Willie Garcia, the brand’s founder, comments. She added that their trade show experience was tremendously positive, with a good amount of inquiries from foreign trade buyers. In fact, the brand have sale negotiations with buyers from the United States, the Netherlands, Italy and the Middle East underway.

A small-scale brand hailing from Biñan, Laguna, JunkNot! promotes and produces eco-creative products through refashioned and repurposed waste materials. Garcia says, “JunkNot! is my little way to reverberate the belief that there is no such thing as waste, only resources that are out of place.” When the brand began in 2009, JunkNot! produced fashion accessories such as earrings, necklaces, bags, and purses made from woven foil wrappers and rolled papers.

Four years after, Garcia, who is an interior designer, decided to focus on home furnishing, wherein she applies her practice of green interiors.

These napkin rings made with braided strings out of junk food and foil wrappers are handmade by women in Laguna.

JunkNot’s upcycling method was borne from Garcia’s desire to address the plastic waste pollution in the country. Her first step was teaching communities about proper waste segregation. “Ninety percent of solid waste materials are recyclable, and we can profit from it,” Garcia cites. “We teach the residents how to manually make braided strings and ropes and woven mats out of the junk food wrappers, sachets, and foil wrappers collected from community schools and sari-sari stores.”

“Those ropes are the base materials for JunkNot’s upcycled products, and we buy the materials from them,” Garcia narrates. With pieces of reclaimed wood from old houses working as frames, the braided strings made of plastic waste are weaved into chair seat or back rest.

Aside from plastic residual waste mitigation, JunkNot! also advocates for community empowerment.

Most of Junk Not’s products are handmade by a community of women from Cavite and Laguna. “Junk Not provides a means of livelihood for women by buying the raw materials from them,” Garcia shares. JunkNot! also has a training and development program for these communities, in addition to the percentage of sales proceeds that they give back to the community. A pilot community in Taal Volcano was provided with workshops and programs sponsored by the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). JunkNot! is also adopting communities to ensure the sustainability of their livelihood.

With junk food wrappers, sachets, foil wrappers, water hyacinths, screws, magazines, and reclaimed wood, JunkNot! is investing on numerous creative ways to transform regular and everyday waste into eco-creative products. The enterprise showcased their upcycled furniture, home and fashion accessories in the 63rd edition of Manila FAME under The Artisans Village-Laguna Pavilion and the OTOP Marketplace.


The Artisans Village is a partner province program that aims to help regular and new Manila FAME exhibitors market their products in the global export scene. It is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with LGUs (local government units) and different DTI regional and provincial offices that share CITEM’s aim to promote island crafts and celebrate Filipino craftsmanship.

GIGA: From garage business to global enterprise

Giga Natural Products Specialist Corporation (GIGA) started as a garage business established in 1999 by husband-and-wife tandem Marcos Jose “Peping” and Rowena Joyce “Joy” de Villa. With an initial capital of Php30,000, the pair developed a variety of products which soon became a hit to consumers from here and abroad.

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Jocelyn Bacay, sales coordinator of GIGA, poses with a variety of natural personal care products in their booth at the 63rd edition of Manila FAME.

Before GIGA, the couple was into selling ladies’ ready-to-wear clothing and accessories from 1986 to 1999. This grew to be a lucrative effort for some time until they decided to close the business and embark on a new industry line. Thus, the establishment of GIGA (which stands for “God is good always”): an enterprise that manufactures natural personal care products made from plant-based and locally sourced ingredients.

Since its inception, GIGA has developed a variety of natural products such as soaps, scalp conditioners, massage oils and rub cream, baby soaps, body sprays, and dog shampoo bars which generated a generous amount of revenue at the company’s participation in the recently concluded 63rd Manila FAME at the World Trade Center last April.

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The Massage Rub Cream, GIGA’s best-selling product for almost 10 years.

The company’s best-selling product, the Massage Rub Cream, was a hit among local and foreign trade buyers visiting the company booths at the Department of Agriculture (DA) Pavilion, which was supported by the DA-Agribusiness Marketing Service (AMAS).

Using virgin coconut oil as base, the company boasts of a wide array of plant-based natural ingredients used in its products such as peppermint, tea tree, lemongrass, ginger oil, virgin coconut oil, beeswax, and seaweed.

“Our products are composed of 99.5 percent natural ingredients which make them really effective. We do not advertise in TVs or in magazines. The effectivity of our products speaks for themselves,” said Jocelyn Bacay, sales coordinator of GIGA.

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Yolanda survivor Jocelyn Bacay talks about how GIGA helped her rise from the disaster that hit them in 2013.

 The company’s partnership with DA and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) gave GIGA an opportunity to touch base with its regular local and foreign clients as well as introduce its new products at Manila FAME.

“I am amazed by the comments made by our regular buyers; those who already used our products. I am also overjoyed to introduce them to the first-timers. As a sales staffer in GIGA, meeting these people makes me so proud!” exclaimed Bacay.

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Aromatherapy soaps, one of GIGA’s pioneering products.

From being a single proprietorship company, GIGA has already expanded and built its presence in the local and international market. The company has established several retail outlets in select supermarkets and contracted a number of resellers nationwide, including the locally based online shops Lazada and Cudsly.

GIGA also has arrangements with foreign distributors in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia and is seeking distribution to countries particularly in the Middle East.

“The company stood strong not just because of its products. It’s also about the people behind GIGA, who are Bible-believing Christians who have a heart in managing their staff,” added Bacay.

Bacay shared that she is a survivor of the super typhoon Yolanda that hit the country back in 2013. A month after the disaster, she moved to Manila and found refuge at GIGA, where her career as a sales coordinator blossomed.

“I started at a low salary. But after three months, my superiors noticed my performance. They let me visit the different branches of the company and appointed me as an assistant in their office. Now, I am here and I am thankful that they are giving me their full trust. I am truly blessed to be part of GIGA!” said Bacay, who solely manned GIGA’s booth at the DA Pavilion in Manila FAME.

GIGA won an auspicious award at the 35th Agora Awards for the Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship in the small-scale business category held at Manila in 2014.

The Health & Wellness section of the DA Pavilion features body care and wellness products by select grassroot communities supported by AMAS.

The Health & Wellness section of the DA Pavilion features body care and wellness products by select grassroot communities supported by AMAS.