Tagged: Manila

Contemporary meets artisanal crafts at Manila FAME April 2018 show


Manila FAME, the country’s premier lifestyle and design trade event, is set to open its doors once again to deliver a curated show built upon the intertwine of Philippine culture, design excellence, and export promotions on April 19-21, 2018 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

Now on its 67th edition, the show will stand as a collective of creative enterprises, featuring versatile artisanal products attuned for the modern setting from the country’s top home, fashion, holiday, and gifts designers and manufacturers.

More than 1,200 products were launched during the October 2017 show and the Center for International Trade Exhibitions and Missions, the proud organizer of Manila FAME, is aiming to increase the number of new products in its April 2018 show through multiple product development programs.

“CITEM seeks to further elevate the marketability of local crafts to cement the Philippines as a premier sourcing destination for lifestyle and design products,” said Ma. Lourdes D. Mediran, CITEM Deputy Executive Director.

“Working together with some of the country’s best designers and other government agencies, we provide support to our micro, small, and medium enterprises to stand in the international market through incorporating local traditional materials and techniques with contemporary design aesthetics,” she added.

A number of show features from the 66th edition of Manila FAME will return to the April 2018 show, including the highly praised Design Commune: Patterns and Palettes and the GREAT Women Project 2.

Multi-awarded and internationally acclaimed designer Tony Gonzales will serve as the creative director for Manila FAME and lead for its product development programs.

Design Commune will continue to explore design and market trends for its second installation, working with some of the best and emerging designers and manufactures from across the country.

Following the themes Ethnic Nomad Autumn and Spring, Neutral Metals, Neutral Blues, and Tints of Green for its second installation, the setting will deliver a versatile collection to match a variety of material requirements, techniques, and price points set by the international market.

GREAT Women Project 2, an effort by the Philippine Commission on Women and the DTI Project Management Team, will present artisanal products from local women-led enterprises in support of women empowerment and businesses.


Showcasing contemporary furniture, home decors, and fashion pieces, the Artisans Village, a staple of Manila FAME, has stood as a platform for MSMEs to introduce their products to global audiences.

Another Manila FAME constant, Manila Wear will collocate the Philippines top and most promising designers. The special setting aims to promote the country as an advocate of individualized and personal style of fashion.

“Through these program, we look to nurture and further hone the crafts of our design talents. We want to support the sustainability of our grassroot communities and push forward the design imprint of our country,” said Mediran.

GIGA: From garage business to global enterprise

Giga Natural Products Specialist Corporation (GIGA) started as a garage business established in 1999 by husband-and-wife tandem Marcos Jose “Peping” and Rowena Joyce “Joy” de Villa. With an initial capital of Php30,000, the pair developed a variety of products which soon became a hit to consumers from here and abroad.


Jocelyn Bacay, sales coordinator of GIGA, poses with a variety of natural personal care products in their booth at the 63rd edition of Manila FAME.

Before GIGA, the couple was into selling ladies’ ready-to-wear clothing and accessories from 1986 to 1999. This grew to be a lucrative effort for some time until they decided to close the business and embark on a new industry line. Thus, the establishment of GIGA (which stands for “God is good always”): an enterprise that manufactures natural personal care products made from plant-based and locally sourced ingredients.

Since its inception, GIGA has developed a variety of natural products such as soaps, scalp conditioners, massage oils and rub cream, baby soaps, body sprays, and dog shampoo bars which generated a generous amount of revenue at the company’s participation in the recently concluded 63rd Manila FAME at the World Trade Center last April.


The Massage Rub Cream, GIGA’s best-selling product for almost 10 years.

The company’s best-selling product, the Massage Rub Cream, was a hit among local and foreign trade buyers visiting the company booths at the Department of Agriculture (DA) Pavilion, which was supported by the DA-Agribusiness Marketing Service (AMAS).

Using virgin coconut oil as base, the company boasts of a wide array of plant-based natural ingredients used in its products such as peppermint, tea tree, lemongrass, ginger oil, virgin coconut oil, beeswax, and seaweed.

“Our products are composed of 99.5 percent natural ingredients which make them really effective. We do not advertise in TVs or in magazines. The effectivity of our products speaks for themselves,” said Jocelyn Bacay, sales coordinator of GIGA.


Yolanda survivor Jocelyn Bacay talks about how GIGA helped her rise from the disaster that hit them in 2013.

 The company’s partnership with DA and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) gave GIGA an opportunity to touch base with its regular local and foreign clients as well as introduce its new products at Manila FAME.

“I am amazed by the comments made by our regular buyers; those who already used our products. I am also overjoyed to introduce them to the first-timers. As a sales staffer in GIGA, meeting these people makes me so proud!” exclaimed Bacay.


Aromatherapy soaps, one of GIGA’s pioneering products.

From being a single proprietorship company, GIGA has already expanded and built its presence in the local and international market. The company has established several retail outlets in select supermarkets and contracted a number of resellers nationwide, including the locally based online shops Lazada and Cudsly.

GIGA also has arrangements with foreign distributors in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia and is seeking distribution to countries particularly in the Middle East.

“The company stood strong not just because of its products. It’s also about the people behind GIGA, who are Bible-believing Christians who have a heart in managing their staff,” added Bacay.

Bacay shared that she is a survivor of the super typhoon Yolanda that hit the country back in 2013. A month after the disaster, she moved to Manila and found refuge at GIGA, where her career as a sales coordinator blossomed.

“I started at a low salary. But after three months, my superiors noticed my performance. They let me visit the different branches of the company and appointed me as an assistant in their office. Now, I am here and I am thankful that they are giving me their full trust. I am truly blessed to be part of GIGA!” said Bacay, who solely manned GIGA’s booth at the DA Pavilion in Manila FAME.

GIGA won an auspicious award at the 35th Agora Awards for the Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship in the small-scale business category held at Manila in 2014.

The Health & Wellness section of the DA Pavilion features body care and wellness products by select grassroot communities supported by AMAS.

The Health & Wellness section of the DA Pavilion features body care and wellness products by select grassroot communities supported by AMAS.

Y’ARÌ: Haute katutubò at April Manila FAME

A radical departure from previous designer interventions in indigenous communities will be unveiled in the product exhibit Y’ARÌ, at the April 2016 edition Manila FAME. The line of couture and accessories, as well as select pieces of home décor, will be the outcome of clinics integrating haute design within the range of possibilities of the refined work of three Mindanao villages.

The Lamlifew Tribal Women's Association members, when doing fine beadwork, work in their museum premises.

The Lamlifew Tribal Women’s Association members, when doing fine beadwork, work in their museum premises.

Each high-end piece of wear and home accoutrement began with a selection of artisans capable of achieving the exquisite quality of work of their own grandparents among the B’laan and T’boli of Southern Mindanao. What followed was careful curatorial guidance to firmly recover the old (and often eroded) virtuosity, simultaneously as traditionally important materials are searched for throughout the Philippines and brought to the partner villages. Meanwhile, Manila-based and foreign designers were obliged to deeply understand the traditions, the old measures of quality, and the social dynamics of community life, prior to design interventions.

Changes of materials were guided by the intention to match the high quality of artisanal production with high quality materials. The curatorial direction consistently emphasized respect for the traditions of indigenous people; hence changes were only introduced which further elevated measures of quality recognizable, first of all, by the virtuosos themselves—instead of automatically imposing the “international” on the local.

The Association members, as part of grants received, maintain personal sets of traditional clothing and new versions in an effort to present themselves to visitors with integrity.

The association members, as part of grants received, maintain personal sets of traditional clothing and new versions in an effort to present themselves to visitors with integrity.

The Y’ARÌ exhibit at Manila FAME was conceptualized as a laboratory that brings together disparate worlds: not just the global, capital cities, and village designers, but the artisanally-based producers of material, such as diaphanous piña cloth, silk, and cut mother-of-pearl, all Visayan products of industry, in support of katutubò virtuosity in Mindanao. Moreover, the laboratory involves support artisans, equally proficient, from Luzon. The outcomes have taken on completely cosmopolitan, indeed cutting-edge, looks—markedly distant from folksy design idioms. And yet their deep connection with the source culture are also equally overt.

“Through Y’ARÌ, CITEM aims to develop high value objects in collaboration with indigenous communities and showcase the marriage of culture and commerce in products that will be appreciated in the export market. It will provide Manila FAME global trade buyers and guests a perspective on the quality and level of skilled virtuosity and ethnological art tradition in the Philippines,” said Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). The export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), CITEM is the owner and organizer of Manila FAME.

The association was founded by Helen Lacna Lumbos, who recently passed away, and to whom the Y'ARI exhibit with TAO INC, presented by CITEM, is fondly dedicated.

The association was founded by Helen Lacna Lumbos, who recently passed away, and to whom the Y’ARI exhibit with TAO INC, presented by CITEM, is fondly dedicated.

Curatorship for the laboratory is provided by TAO, Inc., the Philippines’ only museum development and curator-led corporation. When engaged by CITEM for this project, TAO, Inc. immediately chose to collaborate with a village in Sarangani with whom the company has had significant collaborations for an entire decade. The village of Lamlifew, a barangay of Malungon, Sarangani province, is a small settlement of a language group known as B’laan.

TAO, Inc. builds Y’ARÌ—which is intended to produce high end products for haute markets—on more than a decade of work with the Lamlifew Tribal Women’s Association, a group of women of the B’laan ethnolinguistic group. TAO, Inc. assisted the group in establishing the Philippines’ first museum initiated and operated by a village. The museum is going to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2017, and the collaboration with TAO, Inc. in Y’ARÌ is dedicated to the association head, Helen Lumbos, who has recently passed away.

TAO, Inc. curated Y’ARÌ on the basis of long-term, enduring relationships with indigenous peoples, to best bridge social and cultural divisions that are often impossible to surmount when design interventions are attempted with new relationships. In Y’ARÌ the design world meets up with the development world of community organizers, organic leadership at the grassroots, identity politics, and cross-cultural actors. (By Marian Pastor-Roces)

Y’ARÌ 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 Metro Manila, Pasay City, Philippines.

Manila FAME is the Philippines’ only premier design and lifestyle event for the global market. A bi-annual trade show, it is dedicated to home, holiday, and fashion sectors featuring hundreds of exporters, manufacturers, and designers.

For more information on Manila FAME and Y’ARÌ, log on to www.manilafame.com.

Internationally acclaimed Filipino designer lights up Manila FAME April 2016

Stanley Ruiz

Stanley Ruiz

Stanley Ruiz, one of the Rising Asian Talents at the March 2016 Singapore edition of MAISON&OBJET Asia, comes back to Manila FAME for its April 2016 boutique edition.

Industrial designer Stanley Ruiz is currently collaborating with 10 exhibitors from Pampanga, Cebu, Davao, Negros Occidental, and Metro Manila to develop functional, stylish, and commercially viable lighting products. Together, they are exploring the themes of post-industrial design and Philippine heritage taken on a more modern-day level.

At the same time, Stanley is working with respected Philippine designers Nina Santamaria and Ito Kish for one of Manila FAME’s highlights this April: the Spring Forward special setting, which will showcase the three designers’ products, along with several Filipino manufacturers’ finely crafted seasonal indoor and outdoor product collections for the home. In particular, Stanley will be designing light and home accent pieces to complement the Spring-themed presentation.

Stanley, who took up Industrial Design in UP Diliman, discovered his passion for designing when he was a student. After learning about materials and the essentials of design and being able to apply what he learned, he embraced his major and began taking on designing projects for small and medium enterprises in the provinces while still studying in the early to mid-2000s. His efforts eventually paid off, and so he decided to work in the design industry.

As a designer, Stanley has limitless sources of inspiration. He gets ideas from everyday life, local industries and materials, and nature to name a few, and he transforms them into clever and exceptional design patterns. He shares some pieces of advice to other aspiring young designers: “Take it seriously, explore on your own, think outside of the bounds of the academe, read a lot—not only about design, but other disciplines like music, film, arts, social sciences because these all come into play eventually. It’s not only about being good at drawing, colors, or computer software. There is a lot that you can apply if you know the world more. So, travel—just expose yourself. That’s what I did.”

Today, Stanley is an internationally awarded designer who owns his own studio in Manila, the Estudio Ruiz Design Consultancy. Some of the awards and recognitions he has received include being listed by New York-based Surface Magazine as one of the Avant Guardians of 2010, getting the Bronze Award at the A’ Design Awards in Italy in 2013, and receiving the Outstanding Asia Talents award at the Bangkok International Gift Fair in 2014.

In spite of his accomplishments in the global design scene, Stanley continues to return to Manila FAME. “I love Manila FAME because this is the venue for local companies to show their prowess. It’s actually a showcase of real industry—what our resources are, who we are as a people, and what our crafts are all about, which are basically part of our culture,” he said.

Lighting pieces by Stanley Ruiz for the March 2015 show edition of Manila FAME.

Lighting pieces by Stanley Ruiz for the March 2015 show edition of Manila FAME.

Stanley has been participating in Manila FAME for six editions now as a product specialist, creating product designs for Philippine manufacturers under the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions’ (CITEM) Design for Exports Program, which aims to assist Philippine manufacturers in creating globally competitive products with design support from some of the country’s top design experts.

“We get fulfillment out of it, like collaborating with companies. I learn from them. I was able to impart some of my knowledge with them to come up with some new products for their collections. In fact, that’s one of the main goals of my design studio here in Manila: to be able to contribute to the local design landscape. And by doing these consultancy projects, I think I’m partly on my way to achieving my goals,” said Stanley.

Aurora—A Light Imprint, designed by Stanley Ruiz, Jinggoy Buensuceso, and Wataru Sakuma.

Aurora—A Light Imprint, designed by Stanley Ruiz, Jinggoy Buensuceso, and Wataru Sakuma.

At the October show edition of Manila FAME last year, Stanley worked with Filipino visual artist and sculptor Jinggoy Buensuceso and Philippine-based Japanese designer Wataru Sakuma to create the northern lights-inspired installation titled, Aurora—A Light Imprint. Inspired by the ‘Aurora Borealis,’ the dreamy natural lights spectacle in the northern hemisphere, the ingenious display was made of over 20,000 chain-linked colorful glow sticks hanging from the ceiling.

The 63rd show edition of Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event, is scheduled on April 21-24 at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. The trade show 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, please visit www.manilafame.com.

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 http://www.manilafame.com.