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Season’s best in Filipino houseware

Francine M. Marquez

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Siegrid Bangyay Pottery. Available at HABI Fair.

Safe, clean and with little excuse to have boring rooms. This is what the global pandemic has also made as creators and sellers of furniture and home décor join the wide, wide world of e-commerce as well.

What was first thought of as a difficult wall to crack in terms of bringing out items out there is now the new normal: the virtualization of practically anything, from webinars, fashion shows, parties, workouts, bazaars and now, expositions.

With much thought on how to sustain the cultural, social and economic survival of its wholly Filipino enterprises, three major online events featuring the best in home furniture and accessories are now ongoing. One just needs to click the respective sites to appreciate and, at best, purchase beautiful items from all over the Philippines.

Here’s where to support local, buy local from first-rate events that we almost missed.

MaArte @ Zalora
zalora.com.ph/maarte
16 October to 31 December
Shop for a cause and the benefit of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines Inc. and the National Museum’s projects. The much anticipated MaArte Fair that has been previously enjoyed at The Peninsula Manila has now gone online while partnering with fashion retail platform Zalora.

According to MFPI president Albert Avellana: “We are happy to have ZALORA Philippines on board as a partner for the 12th staging of the MaArte fair. Their e-commerce platform offers the best solution to the restrictions caused by this pandemic by providing safe, easy, and contactless interactions between our vendors and patrons. More importantly, the staging of MaArte @ ZALORA will hopefully introduce our exhibitors to a wider market. We see this as a great opportunity to raise awareness for fundraising activities of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines.”

MaArte @ ZALORA includes houseware favorites like O & M Home, Oscar Mejia Fragrances and WVN Home Textiles. More exhibitors are expected to be on board before the two-month run concludes. Visitors can also download the Zalora app, available on iOS and Android.

Siegrid Bangyay Pottery. Available at HABI Fair.

HABI Fair
www.shophabifair.com
21 to 27 October
Have a piece of handwoven creations of local artisans and indigenous groups from various weaving communities in this yearly gathering by The Philippine Textile Council. Going on the digital platform, www.shophabifair.com, Likhang HABI Online Market Fair showcases 30 sustainable and ethical fashion and lifestyle products from 30 merchants.

“There are many beautiful fabrics from the different areas in our country. One of our main goals at HABI is to make sure that traditional textiles will still be a part of our modern lifestyle as we transition to the new normal,” shared HABI chairperson Maribel Ongpin.

Besides great shopping opportunities, the series also includes a four-day online summit titled Mga Hibla ng Pamana: A Summit on Weaving as Intangible Cultural Heritage. Habi Fair will also have its 3rd Lourdes Montinola Piña Prize, which recognizes the best Filipino artisans who are able to either weave, dye, embroider or embellish piña into a fine piece of art.

For more information on Likhang HABI Online Market Fair, the series of webinars and other HABI advocacies, visit www.habitextilecouncil.ph or follow www.facebook.com/HabiThePhilTextileCouncil and @habifair on Instagram.

Manila FAME+
www.manilafame.com
22 October thru October 2021
Manila FAME is the country’s biggest Philippine design exposition has always been held at the Philippine World Trade Center but has now gone digital.

The long-running trade show, now on its 35th year, gathers the country’s top manufacturers, brands and artisans annually to engage with prospective buyers, enthusiasts and supporters of proudly Filipino works and designs. Mounted under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the expo aims to boost creative enterprises and artisan communities to strengthen their online presence and be reinvigorated in the new normal.

According to CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan, “Manila FAME’s venture to digital is the new direction of Philippine design. If Manila FAME were to grow and attract more buyers and more prestigious trade exhibitions abroad, we need to invest in and strengthen its digital presence. FAME+ is the realization of the government and private sector’s collective effort to become more competitive with the rest of the world.”

Besides its catalog of exhibitors, the online show also includes an e-magazine called Touchpoint, which insights about the participants and the stories behind their products. FAME+ has around 100 exhibitors.

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