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.
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.
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.
Through the years, the Philippines has made a name for itself with its myriad of traditional crafts and age-old disciplines that transform natural materials into unique handcrafted creations. At Manila FAME, deeply-rooted tradition is once again brought to the forefront through live demonstrations of traditional Philippine crafts at the Crafts Spots.
This edition puts the spotlight on bamboo and its use as a source material for handicrafts. With the current global shift towards sustainable materials, bamboo is gaining popularity because of its versatility, durability, and sustainability.
Bamboo Basket Weaving
Manila FAME’s 57th edition opens today! A stunning visual feast, Asia’s Design and Lifestyle Event brings forth new and exciting features once again. Manila FAME will be showcasing the Millennial Home, Manila Wear, Cafe Elle Deco + DEDON, the OTOP Marketplace, Craft Spots, and the Creative Hotspots as part of its goal to strengthen the country’s positioning as Design Philippines.
The Millennial Home
A setting that addresses the “new consumer” – the Millennials! Read more HERE!
A showcase of exquisite, bold, exotic and stunning fashion creations from the best and brightest talents. Read more HERE!
Café ELLE Deco + DEDON
Manila FAME partners with Elle Decoration and DEDON to bring a new concept of a branded Café to the show. Read more HERE!
The One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) Marketplace
A product-focused setting envisioned to reinforce the country’s efforts to strengthen the local Small and Medium Enterprises’ export capability.
GreenCrafts for Creative Environment
A special setting that features people-positive and earth-friendly products. The GreenCrafts project is an initiative to foster design awareness and appreciation among local communities. Read more HERE!
Filipino artisans demonstrate sculpting, wood shaving and basket weaving using the versatile bamboo. Read more HERE!
Representing the metro’s creative scene, each Creative Hotspot brings something different to Asia’s Design and Lifestyle Event. Read more HERE!
Manila FAME will run until 17 March 2013 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Be sure to drop by and see exceptional designs, excellent craftsmanship, and pure Filipino talent.
Manila FAME, the Design and Lifestyle Event, is back with its crowd favorite segment in this upcoming edition. Continuing to uncover the elegance of the artisanal process duly undertaken by each and every Philippine craftsman, the highly anticipated Craft Spots will once again provide live demonstrations of the thriving creativity and skill found in various parts of this country. This March, artisans will share their narratives with both local and foreign audiences—seeking to kindle their passion for Filipino tradition—through the specialty of wood manipulation using the iconic raw material, bamboo.
Not only is bamboo engraved in local culture as having multi-faceted uses in craft items and architecture, but the wood—once dubbed as poor man’s timber, is now gaining popularity worldwide with the current global trend shifting towards the use of sustainable materials for product development. We will be introduced to three different craft techniques transforming this raw material into outstanding eco-friendly creations, which are both intricate and durable.
Wood Shaving (Singkaban)
During a fiesta or grand celebration in the Philippines, it is common to find a decorative arch adorning the entrance of a town or barangay signifying the jovial mood of the people. This elaborate craftsmanship employs the skill of wood shaving—and in the case of the Bulakenyo—bamboo shaving, where the expertise extends to the creation of decorative patterns found in lanterns and topiaries on top of these vast entry arches called singkaban. The town of Malolos, Bulacan aptly celebrates this craft in honor of the patron saint of the province, Our Lady of Victory, in its annual Singkaban Festival.
Wood Carving (Lilok)
The people of Paete, Laguna in the southern part of Luzon and the Ifugao province up north share the skill of ukit or lilok, which pertains to traditional Filipino woodcarving. In the absence of good quality soft and hardwood, bamboo places a great alternative material for continuing the livelihood of these artisans, thus allowing the natural regeneration of forest resources as well. From this, local carvers are adept at creating ornate sculptures, dolls and a variety of curiosity pieces.
Weaving is crafted with a wide variety of materials, such as the local nito vine in buon-buon and the buri palm leaf in bay-ong sinuluyan, both of which are basket products commonly made by the Mangyan tribe of Mindoro. Blackened bamboo is also a viable option for these artisans specializing in weaving, along with the widely popular rattan. The people of Puerto Princesa, Palawan likewise employ the use of such materials in their basket products.
Catch all the local artisans display their craft in the 57th edition of Manila FAME on 14-17 March 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Craftsmanship is a deeply rooted tradition in the Philippines where various craft forms are ingrained in the rich culture, and the art of the craftsman is passed on from generation to generation. Staying true to the theme “The Art of the Craftsman = The Soul of the Philippines,” Manila FAME’s Craft Spots brought raw craftsmanship to the trade show’s audience and told their story through live demonstrations, giving life to the country’s natural materials by creating extraordinary shape and form.
Bobbin Lace of Santa Barbara, Iloilo
Bobbin lace is a craft form of using bobbin or spindle to braid and twist thread to form intricate designs that result in beautifully made handkerchiefs, coasters, table cloths, mantles, and lace appliques. Through the organization Women United Through Handcrafted Lace and Embroidery (WUTHLE), this craft became a source of livelihood for ex-Hansenite (ex-leper) women and their relatives in St. Barbara, Iloilo.
Rice Baskets of Palawan
The Pala’wan Rice Baskets are made by weaving soft bamboo strips on a rattan frame. There are three variations of the rice basket: the “tibong,” the biggest, stores up to a cavan of rice; the “tabig,” a basket of medium size and, like the first, it is mainly used for transporting and storing rice; the “tingkop” is the smallest basket which can sit on the palm of the hand and is used to carry rice seedlings ready for planting.
Giant Lanterns of San Fernando, Pampanga
The Giant Lanterns are crafted from readily available material – from wood, metal, Japanese paper and colorful plastics. First come the form, usually made of a strong metal wire, then wiring the light bulbs within the lantern, and finally covering the form with festive paper or plastic. Craftsmen are capable of creating the smallest to the largest of lanterns, some of which measure up to 15 feet or more. In San Fernando, Pampanga these lanterns come to life during the annual Giant Lantern Festival.
Taka of Paete, Laguna
Taka is the art of papier-mâché from Paete, Laguna. Taka comes in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Designs are seasonal and are requested by clients – from Christmas motifs of Santa Claus, reindeers, and snowmen, traditional Filipino icons of carabaos and Maria Clara dolls, to the more modern designs of cherubs, soldiers, and animals.
See more of the country’s craftsmanship at Manila FAME on 14 – 17 March 2013. Save the dates!