Tagged: laguna

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.

PH Coco Coir now a sustainable and marketable material for export

Local and foreign visitors flocked to HallONE’s Coco Coir Exhibit and Material Showcase at the 63rd edition of Manila FAME.

Local and foreign visitors flocked to HallONE’s Coco Coir Exhibit and Material Showcase at the 63rd edition of Manila FAME.

HallONE, the year-round sourcing facility and creative space of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM), proved coco coir as a unique, sustainable, versatile, and marketable manufacturing material by generating more than PhP 20 million potential export orders of coco coir products at the recently concluded 63rd edition of Manila FAME last April 21-24, 2016 held at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

Uplifting the humble fiber from its traditional use in horticulture and soil management, HallONE showcased newly developed and innovative coco coir products for the home, fashion, lifestyle, and seasonal décor, drawing remarkable interest from its local and foreign buying companies and receiving a total of 213 inquiries during the Manila FAME event. The HallONE exhibit featured resort footwear, ladies’ shoes, Christmas ornaments and table tops, mats, carpets, mattresses, hanging and table lamps, vases, magazine organizers, storages, pet products, side by side with its traditional applications in the country.

"The trade fair (63rd Manila FAME) is a mark of an improvement. Despite the smaller number of exhibitors as compared to the past editions, the quality and creativity of the products remain excellent!" said David Faivus (right), one of the top level hosted buyers of Manila FAME from the US and owner of the pet toy brand Planet Pleasures. Faivus recommends the coco coir exhibit for sourcing as he is drawn with natural raw materials and handcrafted items. As a regular buyer at Manila FAME, he maintains a good rapport with the locals of Bicol where he sources most of his items.

“The trade fair (63rd Manila FAME) is a mark of an improvement. Despite the smaller number of exhibitors as compared to the past editions, the quality and creativity of the products remain excellent!” said David Faivus (right), one of the top level hosted buyers of Manila FAME from the US and owner of the pet toy brand Planet Pleasures. Faivus recommends the coco coir exhibit for sourcing as he is drawn with natural raw materials and handcrafted items. As a regular buyer at Manila FAME, he maintains a good rapport with the locals of Bicol where he sources most of his items.

In cooperation with the regional offices of the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), and the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), the newly developed coco coir products were designed and produced by the Philippine exporters and manufacturers from the home, fashion, lifestyle, and agri-industry sectors based in the provinces of Laguna, Quezon, and Bicol. These include Pilipinas Ecofiber Corporation, Coco Technologies Corporation, R. Cabrera’s Gifts and Collections, Charles and Clara’s Footwear, Ai-she Footwear, Jhaz Footwear, Sarilikha Handicrafts, Yarnyaa Handicrafts, Likhang Liliw Footwear Cooperative, Rolyolikha Atbp. Handicrafts, KAP-WESL Multipurpose Corporation, Martha’s Handicrafts, and Sowerscrafts Enterprises.

Miniature animal ornaments with strings and sticks, and animal-inspired Christmas trees made from coco fiber and coco peat were among the fast-selling products during the show, along with the ladies’ sandals, men’s slippers, beehive and nipa hut-inspired hanging lamps, cat houses and toys, and doormats as secondary favorites by foreign and local retailers and wholesalers.

“The products are very interesting and cute. The use of coco coir as raw material is something new to us buyers,” said Margie Adrada, a Filipina based in Seattle, who owns five Dekorasyon retail stores in the US, and never fails to visit every Manila FAME for product sourcing.

Initial orders from the US, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Japan were also placed through HallONE, while some serious orders are under negotiations with possible factory visits from Russia and Norway.

“It’s very surprising that the coco coir products would get this much attention and interest from foreign buyers and even from the local community. This is our first time to participate in this event, and we’re extremely happy with the outcome,” said Ramonito Bernales of Martha’s Handicrafts.

Besides the exhibit, HallONE’s Material Showcase, in partnership with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PhilCOA), and Timbermate-HMT Industries Corporation, also attracted buyers who checked and studied the featured raw materials available in the Philippines. The guests found the information from the books, magazines, and the online material database prepared during the exhibit very helpful especially with regard to each of its biological origins, production characteristics, supplier information, and relevant application and manipulation techniques.

“It’s an excellent showcase! Exhibiting the materials that can be found in the Philippines is a very good idea. I’m very happy that I was able to see and feel each of the local raw materials that are being utilized in this event,” Charles Ting, a CEO of a company who manufactures wall coverings from Taiwan, exclaimed.


HallONE is located at the International Trade Center (ITC) Complex, Roxas Boulevard corner Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Pasay City. It is a sourcing venue for features high-quality export products from the Home, Fashion and Food industry sectors. To visit its design-driven venue, contact its secretariat office at telephone number (+632) 831- 2201 local 253/600.

Manila FAME Highlights: Day 3

World-renowned Chilean designer Nelson Sepulveda to participate in Manila FAME October 2016 edition

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Chilean designer, scenographer, and stylist Nelson Sepulveda presents his creative ideas on his would-be special setting in the October edition of Manila FAME during his recent visit in the 63rd edition of the trade show this April. He spoke about the importance of ‘romanticizing the handmade and abstracting everyday objects’ in doing design before a group of students, exhibitors, members of the press, and representatives of the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). For the October 2016 show edition, Sepulveda will collaborate closely with the international trend consulting company Edelkoort Etc. to develop designs for Philippine handcrafted baskets using natural materials, with the possibility of expanding the product lineup to include other everyday objects.

RIPPLES Plus highlights globally competitive SMEs at Manila FAME

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The Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES) Plus is a partnership program of the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) with the Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operations Development Group’s (DTI-RODG) Export Pathways Program (EPP). It enables the regional and provincial staff to handhold potential exporters through capacity-building trainings and provides direct interventions (e.g., product designs, market info seminars, compliance with market requirements, export marketing activities, and international trade fair participation) to potential and existing exporters enrolled under the EPP. The program aims to expand the supply base of globally competitive products and services as well as increase Philippine exports and international market shares. The RIPPLES Plus enrollees for 2016 include Calfurn Manufacturing Philippines, Inc.; Globeasia Nature Industries, Inc.; Jalikee Arts & Craft, JER Shellcrafts Creation International, Jhaz Footwear Store, Markalex Creative Crafts Corporation, Melquiades Ceramics, Shelmed Cottage Treasures, Starcrest Asia Corporation, and Tadeco, Inc.

The Artisans Village tells the stories of crafts from the islands

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Lifestyle designer PJ Arañador teams up with product specialists Imelda Datul and Rachel Dagñalan in a creative collaboration with the local governments, regional offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and 45 SMEs from Albay, Cagayan, Davao, and Laguna. The Artisans Village plays a significant role in protecting, preserving and promoting the arts and crafts of the islands. It aims to celebrate the work of local artisans and master craftsmen highly skilled in weaving, wood carving, metal forging, and other various forms of traditional crafts. The Artisans Village at the 63rd Manila FAME is open until April 24. It remains to be one of the favorite trade show highlights of Manila FAME trade buyers and guests alike.

UAP Convention Exhibits deemed a success

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The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Convention Exhibits (CONEX) Organizing Committee presents a token of recognition for CITEM’s participation in CONEX 2016 at the Manila FAME Pavilion in SMX Convention Center. The Manila FAME Pavilion was a curated lounge which served as a promotional platform for the featured Philippine furniture and lighting manufacturers. The sophisticated presentation was well received by architect delegates, architecture practitioners, and the general public. UAP CONEX 2016 is the Philippines’ premier building and construction exhibition. In photo are the CONEX Organizing Committee members (from left); Architect Bryan Patrick Tan, CONEX Adviser; Architect Eduardo S. Casares, CONEX Adviser; Oliver Rempillo, Senior Exhibition Designer of CITEM; Architect Richard Garcia, CONEX Director; Architect Alejandro Cua, CONEX Adviser; Cristalle Bernardo, Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist of CITEM; and Architect Gary Chung of CONEX Marketing.

Design Trails by Bambike at the Design Week Philippines

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Design Trails by Bambike offers an exciting and unique opportunity for Design Week Philippines (DWP) visitors to rediscover the history, culture, and art scene of Intramuros through a guided bamboo bike tour of the Walled City. The DWP April 2016 celebration was well received by design aficionados from here and abroad. The Bambike tours will run until April 24. DWP 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 fosters connections between creative industry practitioners and design enthusiasts in an interactive sharing of knowledge, ideas, and trends. It has become a national agenda that nurtures the creativity and design capability of the Philippines to usher in trade opportunities.

Local craftsmen take center stage in international exhibition Manila FAME

Artisans from Albay, Cagayan Valley, Laguna, and Davao are ready to meet big retail firms at the Philippines’ premier trade fair in April

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Handcrafted furniture, home décor, and accessories from different Philippine regions get a design update through the Partner Province Program of CITEM in collaboration with internationally acclaimed designer PJ Arañador.

With support from PJ Arañador, lifestyle designer, local manufacturers from Cagayan Valley, Laguna, Albay, and Davao are getting ready to exhibit their finest furniture, home décor, and accessories at The Artisans Village in the boutique edition of Manila FAME this April.

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.

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The new products will be showcased at The Artisans Village, one of the highlights of the Manila FAME April 2016 Boutique Edition, to be held on April 21-24, 2016, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

Arañador leads The Artisans Village as the program’s creative director. He is the owner of the PJ Aranador Design Studio One; the Nautilus Boutique in Boracay; WAWA, Iloilo’s First Heritage Restaurant; and Escuela de Artesanias de las Filipinas, a crafts school. His creations are sold across Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, and Middle East. Arañador is an international environmental design activist and a consultant for Go Green Philippines, an environmental program that aims to revitalize the Philippine ecosystem and uphold the country’s fashion accessories industry. He is a leading social design entrepreneur in the Philippines, helping the poor in many rural communities through crafts production. He also advocates trade fair, ethical livelihood, preservation and advancement of indigenous materials, and innovative use of traditional techniques with green technology. He has been an exhibit curator for fairs in Colombia, Peru, and India.

PJ Arañador with Alex Cueva and Arlene Cueva of Disenio De Craftico in Albay

PJ Arañador with Alex Cueva and Arlene Cueva of Disenio De Craftico in Albay

Arañador is conducting visits to Cagayan Valley, Laguna, Albay, and Davao to hold product development and one-on-one prototype checking sessions, with the assistance of seasoned design and product development specialist Imelda Datul, and rising designer Rachelle Dagñalan.

In addition, Arañador is coaching the exhibitors on the ins and outs of the export business, covering topics such as identifying the target market; selecting the right colors for products; determining the proper pricing and costing; marketing the products offline and online; executing product displays; and handling operations, income, and billing. As a mentor, Arañador not only focuses on the technical side of business, but reminds the exhibitors to be vigilant against frauds as well.

With 25 years of professional experience in designing and exposure to products and designs around the world, Arañador believes that one of the factors that sets Philippine products apart from those of other countries is the resourcefulness or ingenuity of the Filipinos. “While the technology may not be as advanced, with so much less, we become very creative. And I think that’s a good position because crafts are after all made by hand. That’s when the soul of the products reflects more,” he said.


Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle trade show, will be held on April 21-24 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City. For more information on The Artisans Village and Manila FAME, please log on to www.manilafame.com.

Young designer creates fresh holiday décor for Manila FAME April 2016

Nina Santamaria

Nina Santamaria

Nina Santamaria, interior designer and principal of the Grupo Santamaria design firm, is joining Manila FAME for the first time this April as a product specialist of the holiday décor and fashion sectors for the event’s boutique edition.

Currently, Nina is exploring organic forms and textures, metallic colors, and holiday hues to develop fresh and unique product designs for several manufacturers from different parts of the country, such as Quezon City, Laguna, Davao, and Pampanga.

Nina is also collaborating with Philippine designers Ito Kish and Stanley Ruiz for Manila FAME April 2016’s Spring Forward special setting, which will feature the three designers’ creations and some of the finest seasonal indoor and outdoor products of certain Philippine manufacturers. With the creative genius of these three designers, trade buyers and visitors can expect product collections that are classic and traditional yet with a dramatic twist—fresher designs, shades, colors, and materials.

As a product specialist for holiday décor and fashion sectors come Manila FAME April 2016 show, Nina feels pressured but at the same time thrilled about her assignment. “It’s very challenging yet also very exciting because I get the chance to work right there at the heart of where the action is—in the factories where the ideas are being developed and the materials are being explored, tried, and tested. Even if the work is a little behind-the-scene, I feel that it is such an important responsibility,” she said.

Nina’s early years played a big part in her career as an interior designer. At the age of seven, she was acquainted with art through learning from Philippine National Artist Jose T. Joya. As a small child, Nina also enjoyed playing with building blocks, playing house, working on coloring books, and reading her mother’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine collections. She was naturally curious about beautiful places and spaces as well. Growing up with these influences, she chose a career in interior design.  In 1999, she started designing after getting her license as an interior designer, and after a few years, she founded her own design firm, the Grupo Santamaria. The company has been operating for 10 years now, providing interior design for commercial, residential, institutional, and offices spaces, as well as events. Nina’s experience in designing various retail spaces—from bag and shoe retail stores to cafés and art galleries—helps her create designs for Manila FAME exhibitors.

To Nina, travel has always been a source of inspiration when coming up with designs. The places she visits open her eyes to different materials, cultures, and ways of life. “Travel is important; research is important. Even if you don’t travel physically, it’s good to travel through reading or surfing the internet, or just talking to people—getting to know their experiences. These things make up the fabric of how you approach holiday design,” she said. Nina is also inspired by the works of craftsmen and other designers in architecture and interior design.

Nina already knew about Manila FAME even before she was asked to become a product specialist for the trade show. In fact, she is a regular Manila FAME visitor who goes with her staff every year to look into the new collections of designers, both experienced and new. “[I love] the creative buzz of all the exhibitors and also the interest of the Filipinos—the growing interest of the Filipinos in attending and supporting these exhibitions. It’s great to see students lining up at Manila FAME; it’s great to see visitors from all walks of life: senior citizens, students, mommies, housewives. It’s not just limited to interior designers or architects or buyers,” she said.

Nina also offers some valuable pieces of advice to those who want to become designers as well. “Humility is always a good advice to other people, especially those who are starting out, because you can’t really buy or speed up expertise, experience, or knowledge in mastery of your craft. Whether you’re a furniture designer or a bag designer or a shoe designer or lighting designer, you have to keep on learning and you have to acknowledge that there are years of experience ahead that you have to go through in order for you to really master your craft. But with perseverance, you can really excel. And you have to be open to the criticism of others, but also stay true to your mission. And if you do that, you will come out as unique and strong. And remember always that you’re also representing your country and you’re doing a service to your country because it is an international exhibition. With all of that in mind, you will really feel humble and yet you’re one fish in a big sea of designers,” she said.


The April 2016 show edition of Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event, will be held on April 21-24 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City, Philippines. The event is organized by the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). For more information, visit www.manilafame.com.

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.

The Artisan Village showcase of Philippine crafts opens at Manila FAME

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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.

Visit www.manilafame.com for more information.