Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DESIGN | Wishing I had spent more time at Manila FAME

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Fell in love with this beautifully crafted lighting fixture at the Kenneth Cobonpue and Hive special setting at Manila FAME. Unfortunately I can't have it; otherwise our dining area would have to be Japanese style, the one where you sit cross-legged on the floor. Whether I can afford it, though, is another question.

This is such a belated post as it's been two weeks already since the March 2015 staging of Manila FAME wrapped up. But I felt I just had to document my experience somehow no matter how late. Well, I did an interim outfit post to fill in the gap, which was about what to wear to an event where business attire is encouraged but not required but where you still want to play it safe.

Moving on, Manila FAME is considered the country's premiere design and lifestyle event. Held twice a year, it's a showcase of Philippine products ranging from furniture to holiday gifts and fashion. It's one of those events I've meaning to attend for some time now and finally last March 15, I was able to with Kwittiegirl.

So what did I see? A lot actually. Though some booths do not allow taking photos, here's a sampling of what was there from among those that allowed cameras.

Installations and special exhibits
The entire 2nd floor of the SMX Convention Center was devoted to Manila FAME. While the real product showcase was behind the doors of the multiple exhibition halls, there was already a lot to excite visitors outside.

For one, there were four installations by Red Box designers using the show window concept of highlighting product concepts developed with partner manufacturers. Red Box is a design development program of CITEM that aims to nurture the next generation of Philippine designers. Here are some of them:

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At one of the Red Box installations, by Rachelle Dagñalan if I remember correctly. The geometric design of this one is definitely eye-catching.

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At the Joseph Rastrullo installation, where the designer experimented with resin, plastic, acrylic, and other materials. These lights would be perfect in probably any ceiling.

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Still at Rastrullo's setup. I sat on that stool for a few seconds of make-believe piano playing.

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We don't know each other. Or we may but we were intentionally ignoring each other. This was at the Lilianna Manahan installation (that is if I hadn't mixed hers up with Dagñalan's).

Opposite the Red Box installations was a special setting for a variety of Philippine designs, though dominated by furniture. Inside the main halls were more special installations and exhibits, including one for light and shadow by Jinggoy Buensuceso, Stanley Ruiz, and Wataru Sakuma. At least here cameras were welcome.

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A splash of orange in different takes.

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Some interesting side tables but which can also be your center table when positioned together.

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A very homey tabletop setting.

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The effect is mesmerizing, won't you agree? This was at the Light and Shadow Lighting installation.

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In my effort to capture the little details on that piece on the left, the one on the right ended up dark. Took another shot with a different adjacent piece.

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And here is that piece all alone in the frame. It's designed by Stanley Ruiz with Triboa Bay. I sure recognized it was Triboa because of the wood.

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More lights. These ones are from Wataru Sakuma.

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Whether hung from the ceiling or just laid down on the floor, these lamps are great, though I probably would want the one on the right more.

Lighting and furniture
There was no shortage of lamps and other lighting fixtures at Manila FAME, and I wasn't complaining. Furniture was likewise aplenty, though we were most drawn to the display booths of Industria (with collaborations with Eric Paras, who was responsible for the furniture and interior design of The Henry Hotel Manila) and of course, of Kenneth Cobonpue and Hive.

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Working with wires and taking inspiration from plants and flowers. This was at Prado Filipino Artisans.

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We thought these would be perfect for our dining area. But due to space issues, maybe just two of these in different sizes would do. These Miguel Aguas pieces were made with wrought iron, by the way.

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More wrought iron beauties at Miguel Aguas.

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At the Cobonpue and Hive booth. It's supposed to be green but it appears more yellowish in the photo.

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A rather quirky Cobonpue creation. I sat on it and surprisingly it was really comfortable.

Arts and crafts
There were also a lot of good stuff in this department but the clueless me was surprised to see loads of Christmas decor. It's understandable, though, as they're catering to exporters and wholesale buyers. Unfortunately for almost all booths here, they wouldn't allow picture-taking.

Ah, my soft spot. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, the booths were mostly for women. While I enjoyed my time with Kwittiegirl looking at jewelry and accessories, especially at Ken Samudio whom she knew back during his Multiply online selling days and is now getting noticed in Europe, I only found one booth that was just for me: Maco, who does custom handmade shoes and is now branching out into bags.

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Some really interesting footwear at Maco.

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The Filipiniana gets an update with some costume jewelry.

Time was not on our side that day. We weren't able to really scour the entire floor, as the event closed promptly at 6pm. I realized that half a day wasn't enough at all. But at least I finally got a taste of Manila FAME and I'm already looking forward to their next event in October.

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Our small loot from Manila FAME.

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Let's do better next time, Kwittiegirl. At least we've learned our lesson.



  1. i like the hanging lamp by Cobonpue and Hive. reminds me of waterlily leaves.

    1. i'm not sure what leaves they're supposed to be but yeah, probably water lilies. (gabi kaya?)


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