Category: Design Center of the Philippines

Top design and lifestyle brands take center stage at Manila FAME October 2018 Edition

Now on its 68th edition, the country’s premiere trade platform for exports and design, Manila FAME, will gather the country’s best micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on October 19-21, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City, Philippines.

Limitless possibilities abound in Manila FAME 2018

The bi-annual trade show will continue to stand as a blank canvas for the country’s skillful artisans, providing a platform that nurtures creative freedom among entrepreneurs. It showcases the distinct design imprint of the Philippines to the global audiences.

For its October 2018 edition, Manila FAME will anchor on the shades of off white and ivory, the palest pinks and skin-toned hues. These soft colors are basic, discreet, timeless and classic. The perfect base that leaves plenty of freedom to add more.


                                  CITEM Executive Director Paulina Suaco-Juan

“To emphasize the teeming ingenuity of local designers and entrepreneurs, Manila FAME serves as a springboard where they can explore their imagination. This will help us take Filipino craftsmanship to the next level,” said Paulina Suaco-Juan, the newly appointed CITEM Executive Director.

Manila FAME will put together exporters, designers and retail brands from all over the country under one roof to highlight Filipino artistry in the global marketplace. It will gather the best products from homegrown MSMEs in the home, furniture, lighting, holiday and gifts, fashion, visual arts and “food as gifts” sectors.

Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, Manila FAME aims to strengthen the country’s position as a viable source of high-quality, and design-forward home décor and houseware products.

Design forward special features to behold in Manila FAME


Design Commune

The upcoming edition of Manila FAME will feature the third edition of Design Commune. This special setting was conceptualized to establish a steady designer-manufacturer relationship where designers understand the skills of manufacturers, and manufacturers recognize the significance of product design and development.

This collaboration will conceive a constant output of well-designed products, creating an extensive showcase that meets the buyers’ expectation of a sourcing destination. The products to be developed will be segmented towards various markets including Europe, U.S. and Japan.

The main special setting will be designed by award-winning artist Tes Pasola who previously worked as a co-curator in the Product Design Consultancy Program during the April 2018 Edition of Manila FAME. During the same period, she was commissioned to make paper art collages for the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manila.  She is part of Movement 8, a group of the country’s finest and choicest designers that seeks to establish the Philippines as a serious player in the international high-end consumer market.

Artisan Village

A staple of Manila FAME, the Artisan Village is a venue for masterfully made handcrafted pieces designed by Filipino MSMEs to be introduced in the international market. As part of CITEM’s commitment to promote the participation of local communities in Manila FAME, handicrafts from Antique, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, and Marawi will be displayed to showcase the artistic capabilities and product selection of local artisans.

Bamboo Extreme

Taking after the youthful energy of today’s generation, the Bamboo Extreme program pushes the use of bamboo as a raw material for high-end lifestyle pieces. It seeks to provoke and renew interest in the local resource, veering away from bamboo’s reputation as a “poor man’s material.”  Spearheaded by the Design Center of the Philippines, the program is a disruptive, conceptual presentation of the bamboo material as it speaks of adventure, exploration and experimentation through the application of bamboo into product collections that capture the millennials’ way of life.

Home and Wellness Pavilion

Another returning special feature for this edition is the Home and Wellness Pavilion. This special area will showcase a wide range of gourmet gifts, health & wellness products and services, and other fiber based goods manufactured by select grassroot communities supported by the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness Marketing Service (DA-AMAS).

KATHA Awards

To continue the tradition of giving recognition to design-forward local enterprises, Manila FAME will also hold the annual KATHA Awards, the hallmark of product design excellence and innovation. It will distinguish the most innovative local fashion and lifestyle industries among the Manila FAME exhibitors who continue to develop and redefine the prestige of Philippine design.

Interested buyers and exhibitors can check out the official Manila FAME website at for more details. You can also follow Manila FAME on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.


DTI, GREAT Women partner to elevate PH women-led artisans in the int’l lifestyle scene

mf2Women artisans of Resilience One Butterfly Enterprise, one of the GREAT Women beneficiaries of Manila FAME April 2018

Women micro entrepreneurs will receive additional capability support as they prepare to showcase their products in the upcoming Manila FAME show on April 19-21 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

In time for the national women’s month, the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions and the Design Center of the Philippines, partnered with the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for Transformation of Women Project 2 (GREAT Women Project 2) to develop the export capabilities of 30 female-led companies.

Women micro-entrepreneurs under the program will undergo a series of need-based capability building and training sessions, as well as product development and management mentoring from CITEM and Design Center.

GREAT Women Project 2 is a development and enterprise platform launched by the Philippine Commission on Women in collaboration with the DTI Project Management Team and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The initiative highlights the importance of bolstering the capacity of women as entrepreneurs while providing them with support in developing new products to target specific markets and raise their businesses’ overall competitiveness. Additionally, it seeks to promote women’s economic leadership and empowerment as it develops women leaders through small enterprise development initiatives.

“Empowering women entrepreneurs and artisans will lead to the empowerment of the businesses ensuring that economic progress in developing countries like Philippines is linked to individual prosperity, gender equality, and shared opportunity,” said GREAT Women National Coordinator Marcelina Alcantara.

She added that the project provides women companies with a wider venue for national and international promotions, business-related trainings and workshops, and, most importantly, enhances their self-confidence, economic decision making, and social empowerment.

Manila FAME creative director Tony Gonzales will head the initiative and will work with design experts from Design Center. One collection between five to seven items will be worked on per company to be debuted at the upcoming Manila FAME show.

 “It’s all about maximizing what the buyers can purchase from the Philippines. We’re working with these women micro-enterprises to expand their product selections and offer a wider range of items for the trade buyers this upcoming Manila FAME,” said DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

“Working with the Design Center of the Philippines will provide these women with essential export capabilities in terms of design and quality, essentially supporting their sustainability and standing in the international market,” she added.

In addition, Design Center noted that the project goes beyond just product development. It looks to provide business opportunities to MSMEs when they join Manila FAME, while also highlighting the design capability of the Philippines as a supplying nation.

mf3Sen. Bam Aquino with GREAT Women Project 2 officers at their special setting during the 66th edition of Manila FAME

Under Gonzales’ creative guidance, the GREAT Women Project 2 will adopt the Manila FAME’s direction in incorporating Philippine aesthetics with mainstream design trends as a means of raising the marketability of the companies to international buyers.

The Manila FAME April 2018 show will mark GREAT Women Project 2’s third participation at the Philippines’ premier lifestyle and design event.

The Center for International Trade expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the proud organizer of the Manila FAME – the second longest-running trade show in the Asia-Pacific, and the only trade event in the Philippines approved by Union des Foires Internationales, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded 90 years ago in Italy.

Manila FAME is a bi-annual business sourcing platform of export ready and finely crafted furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories. It showcases the best of Philippine design and craftsmanship. For more information, please visit


Design Center of the Philippines presents innovative, sustainable, and retrospective designs at Manila FAME

The Design Center of the Philippines envisions to become the “leading advocate of design innovation in the Philippines.”

The Design Center of the Philippines (Design Center) showcases various innovative designs, sustainable crafts, and reflective creations through five informative and engaging exhibits at the recently concluded Manila FAME Boutique Edition on April 21-24, 2016 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.

Driven to promote innovation and increase productivity in the design industry, Design Center is the country’s primary design servicing agency.

“Mandated to promote design, the Design Center takes the opportunity to present the agency’s collection of innovative, sustainable crafts and designs in Manila FAME where global buyers and leading international designers turn for inspiration this side of Asia-Pacific,” said Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos, also Design Center’s Officer-in-Charge.

In cooperation with CITEM, the organizer of Manila FAME, Design Center is exhibiting Balay Sisidlan: Architectural Baskets, Likha Kawayan: The Philippine Bamboo Showcase, Bamboo and Coco Coir Material Showcase; Sinag Papel: Paper Lamps; and, A Retrospect.

Balay Sisidlan: Architectural Baskets

With the vision of expressing the heart and soul of Filipino craftsmanship, the Balay Sisidlan features a line of baskets inspired by the architectural styles of different countries. The house baskets were launched in the late 1980s and were recently reinvented, with combined handwoven techniques and 3D printing for molds.

Balay Sisidlan reflects industrial designer Stephen Buñi’s reinvention strategies that address the decline in the demand of handwoven baskets and other Philippine rural crafts.

For the Manila FAME Boutique Edition, the Balay Sisidlan exhibit introduces a new addition to the architectural houses collection — handwoven and handpainted hanging and table lamps that also use natural and sustainable materials.

Balay Sisidlan house baskets are crafted by Design Center’s team of designers and researchers in collaboration with manufacturer That One Piece Enterprise.

Likha Kawayan: The Philippine Bamboo Showcase

In 2010, then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 897, which specifies the use of bamboo for at least 25% of the desk and other furniture requirements for public and elementary schools. Design Center’s The Philippine Bamboo Showcase, in collaboration with the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC)  and the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), in compliance with EO 897, is an exhibit of high quality school chairs crafted from bamboo.

The Likha Kawayan  exhibit at Manila FAME showcases home and school furniture and furnishings that used metal-veneered, wood-veneered, flattened, and engineered bamboo. Val Padilla was commissioned as designer, consultant, and mentor to Design Center’s designers. Also featured were cross veneered bamboo tiles, bamboo pole tiles, and an engineered bamboo console table.

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Bamboo and Coco Coir Material Showcase

Another exhibit by Design Center in partnership with HallONE: Design for Exports promotes the innovative uses of sustainable materials bamboo and coco coir, a natural fiber extracted from coconut husk.

The Bamboo and Coco Coir Material Showcase stages a collection of floor tiles and wall panels using veneered, flattened, engineered bamboo, and art deco-inspired wall panels.


Sinag Papel: Paper Lamps

Design Center’s young industrial designers under the agency’s mentorship program crafted eco-friendly paper lamps from available scrap paper. The suspended lamps are minimalist and uses subtle color and lighting. Similar to making papier mache, several layers of recycled paper were shaped into globes and cones to create the lamps. The project promotes recycling, upcycling, and sustainability.

A Retrospect

The exhibit A Retrospect reflects Design Center’s long history of product development and innovation. Featured in this showcase are an array of pottery molded from well-mixed white clay and finished using different firing methods to display the aesthetic potential of the material. Several pieces incorporate the use of narra lids, giving the objects an organic charm. 

The contemporary ceramic bowls and containers were designed in 1983 while the vessels inspired by traditional pottery forms were designed in 1988 by Joel Enriquez with Ceramika Enzon.

The staff manning the Design Center exhibit at Manila FAME are young industrial designers from the agency’s designer immersion program. They regularly attend various workshops conducted by the top industrial designers in the Philippines and participate in workshops on materials manipulation. Exposure to different clients in the industry, design consultations and seminars are also a part of their learning program in Design Center.

“Our country has a strong design culture and we are blessed with talented and creative young people who are enthusiastic in learning more about design and creating solutions for current, real world issues. The Design Center contributes by intensifying its efforts in training and nurturing the country’s young minds and ensuring that the future has a ‘solid and vigorous design community,’” explained Gaetos.

The Design Center exhibit is one of the highlights of Manila FAME Boutique Edition.

Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle trade show, ran from April 21-24, 2016, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City.

For more information on Design Center and Manila FAME, log on to