Tagged: abaca

Regional Specialty: Liliw Laguna Home of Export Quality Footwear

  • Manila FAME October 2019 features the stories of two rags-to-riches shoe-makers from one of the shoe capitals of the country.

Upon reaching the quaint town of Liliw, Laguna, you will already see rows and rows of footwear makers and distributors lined up along the cobbled street of Gat Tayaw. Here, they offer different shoe designs in export quality that became one of the many if not the main reason tourists are attracted to Liliw.

Determined to make it big in the shoe industry, two homegrown shoe makers heed the call of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to join trade exhibits not only to widen their market but to hone their entrepreneurial skills.

Ai-She Footwear

Just a year in the business, Ai-She Footwear already made its first foray in Manila FAME. Owner Corazon Coligado’s marketing approach was to actively join DTI’s regional and national trade fairs. This paved the way for opportunities she never imagined could happen on her first year and first try in Manila FAME.

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Corazon Coligado in her shop in Liliw, Laguna.

“Because of Manila FAME, we are now a long way from retaining two employees and having a small nipa hut as a makeshift factory. Our first exhibit in the Manila FAME marked our very first export to Panama,” Coligado excitedly said.

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Ai-She Factory in Liliw Laguna

After the success of her first participation in Manila FAME, it has become a yearly ritual for the Coligado’s. Her husband no longer needs to work as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and can stay with the family to help manage a growing company with workers that grew from two to 10 and now 60.

Ai-She’s mere nipa hut turned into a full-blown factory located in a vast land where the Coligado family now lives and where their employees have a place to raise their families.

“In Manila FAME, we meet new foreign clients every year. We were also able to join international exhibitions like the China-Asean Expo,” Coligado added.

Ai-she’s main raw material is abaca, a leaf fiber abundant in the Philippines. They use it for their most famous product, the espadrilles.

“To keep the interest of our local and international clients, we keep on developing new designs. We also source from areas such as Zamboanga and Ilocos as they deliver high-grade raw materials perfect to maintain the quality of our products,” Coligado explained.

“Our shoes are specially handcrafted and fully Filipino. I think that is our edge in the global marketplace. But, having a platform like Manila FAME to showcase our products is really the secret to our success that is why I am urging other aspiring SME’s to join Manila FAME,” she shared.

Jhaz Footwear

“Shoe-making is already in my blood, that is why at the first test of fate, I came back to this industry that I love most,” said Nephtali Moneda, Owner of Jhaz Footwear.

Jhaz has an interesting story to tell. As teenage love blossomed to couple Nephtali and Elvira, they felt the heavy burden of supporting a family. Opportunely, the livelihood that saved them also led them to great success.

The business started from just borrowing shoe stocks from friends and reselling them to different provinces around the country. The income generated were used to support their growing family, but they made sure to save, enabling them to open their own shoe stall at a then bakery stand.

In a place where throngs of creative shoe-makers were everywhere, Nephtali needed a venue to market his shoe designs and elevate his game. He found an opportunity when he was introduced to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

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Nephtali Moneda, owner of Jhaz Footwear.

Nephtali’s first Manila FAME was way back in 2011. This edition introduced Jhaz to a Japanese buyer who has been their client ever since.

“Manila FAME made a big impact to our little shoe business. My mind was opened to export possibilities and opportunities and we were obligated to further develop our factory and our products,” Mr. Moneda added.

The success they reaped from hard work and smart ventures rippled in their community. Aside from employing 20 people in their factory, they also support households composed of 90-100 individuals who handle their abaca braiding, embroidery and other side jobs they can offer.

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“We met clients in Manila FAME that really appreciate and patronize Filipino products. That is really different from just waiting for clients to visit your store. It really pays to have a channel to present your products,” Moneda ended.

The Manila FAME is slated on 17-19 October 2019, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City, Philippines. It is positioned as the country’s best platform to discover Filipino design and lifestyle products.

Manila FAME is one of the longest-running trade shows in Asia-Pacific and the first trade event in the country approved by the Union des Foires Internationales (UFI), the global association of the world’s leading tradeshow organizers and fairground owners, exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry.

CITEM, the export promotion arm of DTI, organizes the Manila FAME as a signature event dedicated to Philippine design and craftsmanship.

Manila FAME is a launch pad for new Filipino export products and advocates for the promotion of Filipino talents in the global design industry.

Learn more about Manila FAME on www.manilafame.com. To receive show updates, follow Manila FAME on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Modernizing Philippine Crafts

CITEM, the LGUs, and PJ envision a new era for the Philippines’ traditional crafts with an audacious and promising product design and development program that works directly with the country’s artisans and craft manufacturers in each participating region.


The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is collaborating with the local government units (LGUs) of Albay, Cagayan, Davao, and Laguna, and international lifestyle designer and co-founder of the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines, PJ Arañador, in recreating the crafts showcase, The Artisans Village, for the Manila FAME April 2016 Boutique Edition.

CITEM brings back PJ who is one of the pioneering design and merchandise consultants for Manila FAME and CITEM-organized participations in fairs across Australia, Europe, and North America.  As product development specialist of The Artisans Village, PJ is setting the path for the highly anticipated crafts landscape, visualizing a display of sustainable “storied crafts” that echo the interior design, tourism retail merchandise, and fashion forecast for 2016-2017. PJ is working with a team of designers including Imelda Datul, a seasoned design and product development professional, and rising talent Rachelle Dagñalan.

With PJ’s creative guidance and the local artisans’ heritage skills, The Artisans Village will highlight the natural charm of cultural crafts created with the modern feel of brilliant and spunky color palette, prints, and patterns.

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PJ writes this friendly and fruity shade of orange on top of the list. Essential for the new year, Spring Papaya lends woven crafts and fashion items a contemporary allure. A luscious and exotic color, it combines well with white accents and indigenous materials like abaca and piña to create a neat contrast.

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Then PJ and the creative team play with the brightness of Spring Papaya by mixing it with a powerful Cobalt Blue, creating a dreamy aura. Applied in Philippine crafts, this color combination introduces an imaginative spin on the earthy/neutral tones of natural fibers, reminding one of bright galaxies and mystical dreams.

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The warm and sunny Buttercup, Mango Lassi, and Mustard accent the tropical tones of 2016. Ideal for establishing a vivid juxtaposition in a look, these shades are selected by PJ to create handmade crafts that add a radiant energy to any urban apartment home or workspace.

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Blending a sense of relaxation and serenity, these shades of blue utilized in native crafts bring the tranquil ocean to the home. The focal look for PJ’s Spring-Summer 2016 collection, this color bundle interprets the iridescence of rich Philippine marine life and distinct local materials such as mother-of-pearl.

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Soft and feminine pastel colors are making a come back in home décor and interiors. They create a relaxing atmosphere in living spaces and add a 70’s glamour to the dining area and the kitchen. PJ handpicks these subtle and versatile colors as they pair well with natural materials like bamboo, rattan, and seagrass.

The Artisans Village is one of the highlights of the Manila FAME April 2016 Boutique Edition which will be held on April 21-24, 2016, at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, Philippines.


Organized by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Manila FAME is the country’s only premier design and lifestyle event for the global market. A bi-annual trade show, Manila FAME is dedicated to holiday and fashion sectors featuring hundreds of exporters, manufacturers, and designers.

For more information on Manila FAME, log on to http://www.manilafame.com.

FILIPINO VIRTUOSITY: AN EXCLUSIVE MANILA FAME SCENOGRAPHY

The Filipino Virtuosity emerges from the idea to mount a special setting against which the new Manila FAME will be styled. On one hand, it is observing the intersection of artisanal production in various Philippines villages and, on the other, the interventions to “modernize” this production. The objects created are typically “crafts” – made by people who have lost the skills of their ancestors and who have thus been part of the fragmentation of their own cultures – which are marketed at the low-end or middle-range outlets of the First World.

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Marian Roces, Principal Partner and Lead Curator of TAO Inc.

The endeavor of Marian Roces, Principal Partner and Lead Curator of the pioneering museum development and curatorial services corporation, TAO INC, is to mark a shift from the new and normal today – from forcing virtuosity into the mass-production funnel, to giving virtuosity the proper stage for elegant presentation and reception at the Manila FAME April 2016’s halls.

There’s a museum world to which I belong…and there is a world of designers and artists… I think that these two worlds are not really meeting even if they look like they belong to the same world. The point of the exhibit that I’m preparing is to marry these two worlds — to allow the designers to work with traditional artists, to work in a context of their own societies,” Roces explains.


As of this writing, Roces is working intensively with virtuosos in traditional goldsmithing, silversmithing, leatherworking, beadworking, weaving in cotton, weaving in pina, abaca and silk, in woodworking and embroidery in different islands in the Philippines.

CITEM teams with Albay, Southern Mindanao, and Zamboanga Peninsula to sustain traditional crafts and develop export-ready artisanal products

The Center for Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), with the local government of Albay, the provinces of Southern Mindanao (Region XI), Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), and their respective regional Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) units, are working on an extensive Partner Province program that encourages and inspires Philippine artisans to promote their heritage crafts through a more fun entrepreneurial strategy for the local and international markets.

The product collection developed through the program will be a unique show feature at the 62nd Manila FAME, scheduled on October 15-18, 2015, at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Philippines. Dubbed as the Artisan Village, it aims to shine the spotlight on Philippine craftsmen and their significant contribution to the country’s rich culture as well as to the nation’s economic growth.

With full support from the provincial government, the craftsmen from Albay come from a strong community of weavers who create abaca handbags, houseware and home décor, furniture, carpets and rugs.

Participating artisans from Mindanao provinces are developing a diverse set of crafts including exotic leather, jewelry, pearls, mats from natural fiber, soap and other organic products from the madre de cacao plant, as well as exquisite textiles by the Yakan people.

CITEM, the owner and organizer of Manila FAME, understands that the worth of fine artisanal crafts is not only monetary but also social and cultural. They have a distinctive value woven together with the beliefs, traditions, and customs making up the fabric of a nation’s identity. “Our goal is to reach out to the local makers and equip them with up-to-date business knowledge so that they can maintain the relevance of their crafts to the community, recreate their art, sustain livelihood, and be at par with the top players in the industry,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos.

With the help of the country’s young designers, whose innovative ideas will modernize the crafts of our local makers, the Artisan Village, along with the entire Manila FAME show, will offer a curatorial and meaningful exhibition that displays the fine work of Philippine artisans.

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A signature event of CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Manila FAME is the country’s bi-annual design and lifestyle trade platform that is approved by Union des Foires Internationales (UFI), the global organization for the leading trade show organizers, fairground owners, and major national and international association of the exhibition industry.

Log on to www.manilafame.com for more information.

Manila FAME’s Craft Spots: Telling the Story of Abaca

Ever the diverse hub of craftsmanship, the Philippines is ingrained with the tradition and art of various craft forms. Generation to generation, the craft culture of the Philippines is passed down, kept thriving by the craftsmen and elevated by those who are constantly inspired by the heritage of distinct artisanship, transcribing these craft forms in a language that is relevant today.

This October, Manila FAME, in partnership with PhilFIDA, showcases the Philippines’ Art of the Craftsman through a special setting called the Craft Spots. Manila FAME’s Craft Spots is a showcase that brings to life the craftsmanship of the Philippines, featuring live demonstrations of traditional crafting techniques, taking local materials and transforming them into extraordinary shape and form. This time around, the Craft Spots puts the spotlight on the versatile abaca fiber, telling its story – from its humble roots to its journey of becoming one of the most popular and well-used fibers in the world.

Craftsmen working abaca into shapes and forms for different products

The indigenous abaca, known worldwide as Manila Hemp, is the Philippines’ premier fiber. Long before colonization, the use of the fiber was already prevalent in the country. Early Filipinos used abaca to create clothing and footwear, and weaving of abaca was widespread.

The abaca became well-known as one of the strongest materials for marine cordage, superior in tensile strength and durability. With keen interest from the U.S. and Japan Navies, abaca became an important export commodity of the Philippines.

With breakthroughs in technology and production processes, new uses for abaca continued to surface. The fiber was used as pulp for producing specialty papers products like teabags, filter paper, currency paper, and others, as well as material from non-woven disposables like linens and bed sheets. The development of the fibercraft industry in the country added another dimension to the versatility of abaca with fibercraft products such as rugs, doormats, hats, coasters, hot pads, and handbags becoming very in demand abroad.

A doily made from abaca, an example of fibercraft product

The Improved Handstripping (Hagotan) Device for the abaca fiber

Organic and renewable, the abaca fiber answers the demand for biodegradable materials and fits perfectly with the growing trend of sustainability and eco-friendliness. Its many uses – cordage, pulp and paper production, fibercrafts, furniture, fashion, and so much more – indicates an adaptability and utility that serves many needs.

Abaca remains one of the most enduring materials in the world and at Manila FAME’s Craft Spots, its story unfolds.

See the craftsmanship behind abaca, plus Philippine design and creativity at Manila FAME on 17 – 20 October 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

The Creation Stations: Philippine raw materials and artisans under the spotlight

For the first time in Manila FAME International’s history, various artisans and craftsmen all over the Philippines were invited to showcase their skills in working with the country’s different raw materials. They will create texturized, conceptual, architectural, and monumental works of art during FAME’s four-day event. These Creation Stations were a collaborative effort of different organizations and Manila FAME to shine the spotlight on our country’s indigenous materials and the Filipino artisan.

People who visited FAME were awed and impressed by the display. At each station you could see people crowding around, watching and asking questions. The Philippine artisans would offer you a ready smile and gladly answer your questions.

The Creation Stations made quiet an impact to the public, a few people have said that FAME this year is all the better because of these stations. The displays have helped in bringing people to the trade event and the appeal of the creation stations was definitely palpable during the event.

All photos used in this post are the property of CITEM.