Category: 62nd Manila FAME

Philippine-design jewelry shines in ASEAN competition

“Serpent,” a wearable objet d’art by Philippine designer and entrepreneur Milagros “Mila” Imson was selected as one of the winners at the ASEAN Jewelry Design Competition 2015 held last September in Bangkok, Thailand. The jewelry set, handcrafted from silver and embellished with carved lapis lazuli blooms, presents a remarkable, modernized display of delicate jewelry metalwork that is distinctive in its asymmetry and intricacy.

“Serpent” by Milagros “Mila” Imson

Mila Imson, owner of the Kit Silver Jewelry company which manufactured the prize-winning “Serpent”, was awarded with an opportunity to showcase her creation at the 56th Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair on 10-14 September. She was also presented with a trophy as well as a study visit to the prestigious jewelry firm John Hardy in Bali, Indonesia.

Mila Imson, owner of the Kit Silver Jewelry

Mila Imson, owner of the Kit Silver Jewelry

Organized by the ASEAN Intellectual Property Offices in collaboration with the European Union, the ASEAN Jewelry Design Competition is part of the ASEAN Project on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights conceived to motivate creativity, excellence, and research in high-class, top-quality fashion jewelry, and to uphold original, innovative design as a significant marketing instrument among the ASEAN business community.

Participants to the competition include jewelry designers, artists, professionals in the fashion industry, students, and apprentices from ASEAN member-countries Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

From the hundreds of entries sent for the contest, five (5) designs were selected to be the national finalists by the Philippine panel of judges comprised of jeweler Mr. Hans Brumman, fashion icon Ms. Lulu Tan-Gan, Design Center of the Philippines Executive Director Myrna Sunico, and Architect Daisy Palattao of De La Salle University – Dasmariñas’ Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO).

From these five jewelry designs that qualified for the regional stage, Mila Imson’s “Serpent” was named by the ASEAN regional judges as the winner from the Philippines alongside the winners from other member-countries. The regional judges are composed of experts in the jewelry, design, and fashion industry from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Spain, and Thailand. 


Kit Silver Jewelry: leading the ranks in design excellence

Mila Imson’s company Kit Silver Jewelry was founded in 1980 in Meycauayan, Bulacan. Designing and manufacturing primarily gold accessories, the company expanded by adding silver and brass to its line of products and quickly acquired a bigger market. From selling in local bazaars, Kit Silver Jewelry has grown into an authoritative name in the industry of jewelry design and manufacture, exporting high-quality customized jewelry and accessories overseas to countries including France, Italy, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Kit Silver Jewelry collection

Kit Silver Jewelry collection

Despite its impressive and still growing list of stable clients abroad, Kit Silver Jewelry regularly exhibits at the bi-annual trade show Manila FAME to showcase new product designs, meet new buyers, open new and promising business networks and opportunities, and discover new design inspirations. In the recently concluded 62nd Manila FAME, Kit Silver Jewelry unveiled a vivid collection of fashion accessories abounding with a sense of luxury and grace that interplays with the organic beauty of nature, which is always an infinite source of inspiration for Mila Imson.  

The 62nd Manila FAME, which ran from 15-18 October, featured fashion apparel and accessories, furniture, home decor and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, lamps and lighting crafted by Philippine SMEs for global export. To know more about the 62nd Manila FAME and the upcoming edition on April 2016, visit

Red Box Talents reveal four grand winners for 2015 design competition

The prestigious design development program initiated by DTI-CITEM culminated last night, 15 October 2015, with the awarding of the four grand winners out of the 140 aspiring designers who joined the competition. Under the mentorship of celebrated design icons Budji Layug and Lulu Tan-Gan, the four winners together with 10 other finalists, were immersed in a unique and intensive design and development process involving in-depth industry exposure and close collaboration with manufacturers.

Red Box aims to nurture the next generation of Philippine designers. In every edition of Manila FAME, Red Box continues its work with emerging talents by matching them with local manufacturers to create fresh concepts that reflect their unique design sensibilities.


In photo, from left: Lulu Tan-Gan, Mentor, Apparel & Fashion Accessories; DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo; Kristel Blancas, Grand Winner, Home Accents; Jim Torres, Grand Winner, Home Accents; Micki Olaguer, Grand Winner, Fashion Accessories; Thian Rodriguez, Grand Winner, Apparel; DTI-CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos; and Budji Layug, Mentor, Furniture & Home Accents.

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ARTBLOCK: Pop-up exhibit of Philippine contemporary art at Manila FAME

Manila FAME, as a purveyor of design, inspiration, and creativity, unveils on its 62nd edition an exhibit that explores a vibrant lineup of contemporary art set to spur enthusiasm among artists, designers, discerning collectors, and trade visitors, on 15-18 October 2015, at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Featuring works of both established names and promising newcomers in the Philippine art scene, ARTBLOCK is a provocative and engaging pop-up showcase of novel, avant-garde works handpicked from the progressive art galleries in the country such as Artlab, Avellana Art Gallery, Silverlens, The Drawing Room, and Tin-aw.

Word Paintings: Self Portraits by Chati Coronel is one of the various works to be featured at ARTBLOCK. Coronel received a Freeman Asian Fellowship Grant from The Vermont Studio Center in 2000. In 2013, she participated together with four other artists in the Louis Vuitton 20th Anniversary Exhibit in Manila. Her Singapore exhibit The First Kiss on Earth was listed in Artnet's Top Ten International Summer Shows of 2014.

Word Paintings: Self Portraits by Chati Coronel is one of the various works to be featured at ARTBLOCK. Coronel received a Freeman Asian Fellowship Grant from The Vermont Studio Center in 2000. In 2013, she participated together with four other artists in the Louis Vuitton 20th Anniversary Exhibit in Manila. Her Singapore exhibit The First Kiss on Earth was listed in Artnet’s Top Ten International Summer Shows of 2014.

Artists Cesare and Jean Marie Syjuco own and curate Artlab, the family’s atelier that houses a large collection of artworks they have created and brought together over the decades. The art facility was a dynamic center for multi-media experimentation during the 1990s. Now located in Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City, it merges the studio and exhibition space that is eight times bigger than its previous site on EDSA in Makati City.

Brimming with an assortment of works on display through the year, Avellana Art Gallery is a showcase in a 1950s-style house situated in a tranquil compound in Pasay City. Owned by Albert Avellana, the gallery began as the storehouse for his art brokerage firm dedicated to visual arts in 1991, but in 1997 he transformed it into a gallery which has now gained a loyal crowd of supporters. Avellana Art Gallery has helped in the advance and success of many emerging and well-known artists in the country.

Established in 2004 by Isa Lorenzo and Rachel Rillo, Silverlens is known as a top-ranking contemporary art gallery by artists and collectors throughout Southeast Asia. Its roster of artists include Patricia Eustaquio, Yee I-Lan, Luis Lorenzana, Gary Ross Pastrana, and Maria Taniguchi. Silverlens Galleries are located in Manila and Singapore.

The Drawing Room, founded by Cesar Villalon Jr. in 1998, started as an expert venue that managed the revitalizing of artworks on paper. It supported the works of local draughtsman and eventually expanded to include other artistic formats of contemporary art. Besides its monthly exhibitions of its stable artists which include Juan Alcazaren, Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, Miguel Aquilizan, Yason Banal, Vermont Coronel, Gaston Damag, Roderico Jose Daroy, Kawayan De Guia, Kiko Escora, Roberto Feleo, and Alvin Gregorio, The Drawing Room regularly joins significant international events such as the Hong Kong Art Fair, Singapore Art Fair, and the Scope Art Fair in New York, Miami and Basel. The gallery was also an exhibitor in Pulse Los Angeles (2011), India Art Summit (2010, 2011) and Slick Paris (2010).

Launched in 2008, Tin-aw Art Gallery showcases artworks of influential Philippine and Asian artists such as Alfredo Esquillo, Mark Justiniani, and Joy Mallari. The gallery presents solo and group shows by both new and established artists in a humble space in Makati City. Although exhibitions at Tin-aw are often dedicated to paintings, art enthusiasts can also expect to view works in other media like sculpture, installation, and video, especially during group shows.

“The Philippine art scene is lively—as indicated by the active and remarkable art galleries all over the country. Our local artists are being praised in events abroad and their works are given high value in international auctions. We must give them our full support – provide them with more platforms to showcase their exceptional talent and connect with art collectors, investors, and enthusiasts. ARTBLOCK is a venue especially for that purpose,” said Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos of CITEM (Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry.

ARTBLOCK will be open for the expected 5,000 foreign and local trade buyers and visitors who will attend the 4-day run of Manila FAME to see the vast collection of export-quality products for home, fashion, and luxury lifestyle crafted by the small and medium enterprises from all over the Philippines.

ARTBLOCK will be open on 15-18 October 2015 in Manila FAME: The Design & Lifestyle Event, at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

The Artisan Village showcase of Philippine crafts opens at Manila FAME


A collaborative project of DTI, DTI-CITEM, DA-AMAS, PhilFIDA, and the local governments of  Albay, Laguna, Cagayan Valley, and Davao Region, The Artisan Village, a special showcase of heritage crafts and fibers of the Philippines, was launched yesterday, 15 October 2015, on the opening day of the 62nd Manila FAME. In photo, from left are: DTI-CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos; Albay Governor Joey Salceda; Quirino, Isabela Vice Mayor Victor Emmanuel Callangan; DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo; DTI Region II Director Ma. Esperanza Bañares; DTI Undersecretary of Management Services Group  / Chief of Staff Nora Terrado; DTI Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Director Ruben Diciano; Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness Leandro H. Gazmin; DTI Undersecretary of Consumer Protection Group Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba;  DTI Isabela Provincial Director Ma. Salvacion Castillejos; and DTI Region XI Director Maria Belenda Ambi, posing for a group shot after the ceremonial opening of the special setting.

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PH ingenuity recognized at Katha Awards October 2015


Out of the 400 exhibitors that showcase their products at the 62nd Manila FAME Design & Lifestyle Event, six (6) companies were chosen for their innovative and design-forward products by a panel of respected designers and artists.

The Loopy Chair by Industria Edition was named the Best Product Design for Furniture. Industria, a company based in Pampanga, specializes in the manipulation of steel into visually stunning furniture. The Twist, which won the Best Design for Home Décor, is a playful home piece crafted from wood by veteran furniture maker Vito Selma. Alchemista, Inc. won the Best Product Design Fashion for its Roma Collection of Ring Stands designed by Georgina Teng.

Crafted by Marmol Stone Work and designed by Janina Firmalo-Herrera, the Marble Tray was chosen as Best Product Design for Holiday Décor and Gifts. P&B Valises et Compagnie, Inc. took the Best Booth Display citation, while MASAECO was given the Special Citation for Best Eco-Design for its Gold Paper Bowls designed by Jinggoy Buensuceso.

In photo, from left: Matthew Brill, P&B Valises et Compagnie; Vanessa Gaston &Evelyn Selma, VITO SELMA; Jinggoy Buensuceso and Wataru Sakuma, MASAECO; Jude Tiotuico, Industria Homes; DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo; Janina Firmalo-Herrera, Marmol Stone Work; PhilExport President Sergio R, Ortiz-Luis Jr.; DTI-CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos; and Georgina Teng, Alchemista, Inc.

In photo, from left: Matthew Brill, P&B Valises et Compagnie; Vanessa Gaston &Evelyn Selma, VITO SELMA; Jinggoy Buensuceso and Wataru Sakuma, MASAECO; Jude Tiotuico, Industria Homes; DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo; Janina Firmalo-Herrera, Marmol Stone Work; PhilExport President Sergio R, Ortiz-Luis Jr.; DTI-CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos; and Georgina Teng, Alchemista, Inc.

Katha Awards gives distinction to ingenious designs and encourages exporters to raise their design standards for Philippine export products and pursue a skillful exploration of new materials/processes.

Since its inception in the early 80s, Katha Awards has been distinguished as a hallmark of Philippine product design excellence and innovation. It is an emblem and statement that seeks to inspire and challenge exporters and designers to constantly create and develop original designs for furniture, home décor and furnishings, holiday décor and gifts, and fashion complements relevant in the global market.

The prestigious award is one of the highlights of Manila FAME, a bi-annual design-driven event organized by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Manila FAME 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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Aurora: A Light Imprint by HYBRID

HYBRID presents a Northern Lights-inspired lighting installation at Manila FAME

HYBRID, an art and design group composed of Jinggoy Buensuceso, Wataru Sakuma, and Stanley Ruiz, joins the 62nd Manila FAME this 15-18 October 2015 for a lighting installation that is conceptualized and developed to promote the Philippines’ unique interpretation of light—capitalizing on Filipino artisans’ design skills, creativity, and high-quality craftsmanship. The installation is also made in in celebration of United Nations’ proclamation of 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies.


Buensuceso, Sakuma, and Ruiz collaborate on “Aurora—A Light Imprint,” an installation that fuses light and time to form an enchanting 3D imprint mid-air that mimics the colors of the Aurora Borealis, a natural phenomenon of bright dancing lights of the aurora that result from collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. These three designers explore materials to create objects that exist between (and beyond) furniture, product, sculpture, architecture, and media arts. They also adhere to process as the essence of their collaboration.

Using glow sticks that are activated and chain-linked to each other, the designers will place short-term light sources on structured panels, hanging in mid-air from the ceiling of the SMX Convention Center. The structured panels provide an impression of free-flowing movement in mid-air, while the flat, black panels above them serve as the night sky background against the activated glow sticks. The Northern Lights-inspired installation is in an enclosed setting to allow Manila FAME buyers and guests an immersive experience on the use of light-based technologies to translate messages to consumers.

HYBRID wants to promote lighting as more than just illumination.  They want to initiate an exploration of art designs that capitalize on light-based technology. HYBRID hopes to strengthen the lighting industry in the Philippines, by providing a source of inspiration that can spark innovative ideas from the sector.

Jinggoy Buensuceso is a visual artist and sculptor whose works, characterized by the use of clean lines with organic forms, evoke stories and statements of oneself, culture, and way of life. A three-time Mugna awardee, Buensuceso is considered an emerging figure in furniture design where he has created functional art pieces meant to evolve design into art.

Wataru Sakuma is a Philippine-based Japanese designer who has four KATHA Awards under his belt. His “REBAROQUE” collection, in collaboration with Stonesets, a furniture manufacturer in Cebu, was awarded the Mugna Transitional Design Award.

Stanley Ruiz has been working in the design industry since 1999, developing products for manufacturers in various regions of the world, including China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. His recent project includes a newly-released lighting collection for the Cebu-based manufacturer HIVE.


The 62nd Manila FAME, Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event, is organized by the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions, the export promotions agency of Dept. of Trade and Industry. The event will run through 15-18 October 2015 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. For more information, please log on to

Manila Wear goes bridal at 62nd Manila FAME

Manila Wear will unveil its Bridal Wear collection at the 62nd edition of Manila FAME on October 15-18 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

On its 8th edition, Manila Wear will showcase a collection of finely crafted bridal wear to promote the Philippine traditional craftwork such as handloom, weaving, beadwork, among others in designers’ pieces that are both ethereal and feminine. Manila Wear’s collective designers are set to capture what the local fashion is all about: Filipino and global at the same time.

“Bridal wear has become a staple merchandise for the local fashion industry. A country with a rich wedding tradition, the Philippines records a daily average of 2,000 nuptials, generating a positive shift in the country’s wedding business,” said Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos.

The Bridal setting features a Blush motif that will set out a palette of an all-white and barely-there shades. It is a collection of timeless and romantic bridal wears, accenting classic lines and pleating with hints of Victorian-bold construction, feminine cuts meant to show-off figures, elaborate beadwork, lacey insets and panels, soft and tactile constructions, intricately embroidered, and ornate patterns in voluminous silhouettes.

Under the central theme Blush, the Iconoclash (the clash of icons) is a bridal wear exhibition that mirrors the different generations’ design principles, inspiration, and aesthetics. It is where masters of the romantic trends of the past meet the iconoclastic design principles of the young. Iconoclash will feature the creative works of the The Millennials (Happy Andrada and Joel Escober), The Breakthroughs (Jaggy Glarino, John Herrera, and Tony Evan), and The Masters (Rhette Eala, Randy Ortiz, Rajo Laurel, and JC Buendia).

“The Philippines has a large wedding industry. It’s a very good idea that Manila FAME is now having this Bridal setting, as this would bring the local bridal industry to the next level,” said fashion design master JC Buendia.

Manila Wear’s individual booths will house seasoned designers and the new generation of fashion talents who will present a fresh take on contemporary trends in the local and the global market.

Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Manila FAME features finely selected furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories designed and crafted in the Philippines for the global market. It continues to inspire with a strong statement on what is design-forward, popular, artisanal, and soulful.

Manila FAME is the second longest-running trade show in Asia Pacific and the only trade event in the Philippines approved by the Union des Foires Internationales (UFI), the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

For more information on Manila Wear at Manila FAME, interested parties can visit or email .