Events And Nightlife

Passing The Torch In World Class Filipino Creativity And Culture

Metro Manila

Gari Sy Rivera
Gari Sy Rivera | Oct 17, 2019

Photos by author

As the bi-annual lifestyle and trade event that showcases world-class products of design, Manila Fame, will be holding its 70th edition on 17-19 October at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila. Their theme “Heritage Reimagined” is directed towards celebrating the traditions of Filipino craftsmanship with modern interpretations, along with the businesses and designers who have grown with the trade event throughout the years.

Through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Manila FAME has always aimed to promote the Filipino excellence in creativity and culture, even as they look forward. “We have a wealth of inspiration and an abundance of skill, talent, and imagination to find new meaning in our heritage and transform them into new products that will carry Filipino design to the future,” says Pauline Suaco-Juan, CITEM Executive Director.

In line with its theme, exhibitors will share their journey of how they started their businesses and exports, how their companies grew, and how the next generation of entrepreneurs and designers are keeping these businesses alive with Manila FAME in today’s market.

[related: Weaving A Stronger Fabric Of Filipino Identity Through Traditional Textiles]

“We started the company in 1984, we started really small, and we started with manila fame when they did too,” shares Jennifer Lo of her Family-founded handbag business, Laron Crafts. The 2nd generation manager who has grown up with the business shares that the bi-annual trade supports them and their market reach, “Through Manila FAME we’re able to expand the business, being able to meet more buyers so we join Manila FAME every year until now,” she adds, “With the help of Manila FAME and CITEM, we’re able to show our collections internationally.” Their product line today uses indigenous materials such as raffia and wicker.

Janice Chua, 2nd generation Marketing Manager of natural material-made jewelry and bags manufacturer Cyprea International, recalls attending Manila FAME every year when she was younger with her parents who were exhibitors, “I always thought that I’d be a part of it, I grew up in the business,” she recalls, “I would just always be hanging out in the factory.” Learning the ropes of their business throughout the years, she explains that the platform connects them to customers. “Trade fairs such as Manila Fame have always been essential to us," she adds.

[related: This Proudly Pinoy Furniture Brand Tells the Story of the Philippines Through their Masterpieces]

Attendees of the trade event can anticipate many new products that haven’t been seen in past trades. The line up of exhibitors includes Shell Arts housewares, Acento Collections lighting and décor, JB woodcraft furniture, and more that had humble beginnings with Manila FAME. 

As Manila FAME showcases its exhibitors’ legacy that moved from past to present generations in its 70th edition, Pauline reveals how these designers must continue to support each other in furtherance of Filipino excellence in design. “We need to work together, we need to be a team in order to move the Philippines upward to the world stage. Little by little, that’s what we’re trying to do with Manila FAME, to build a community: the design and fashion community,” she encourages, “Let's go on into the world and fight for team Philippines.”

ALSO READ: INSPIRING PINOY: Negrense Turns Hobby into Successful Woodcrafts Business

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