The Katha Awards at Manila FAME–Honoring Excellence in Philippine Design

Just some of the  beautiful finds at the 2015 Manila FAME
Just some of the beautiful finds at the 2015 Manila FAME happening at SMX up to March 16, 2015

In the Philippines, furniture trade shows are actually more like lifestyle events— catering not only to buyers and exporters, but also to shoppers and consumers– most who seek to further their home collections or wardrobes– with artisan, one-of-a-kind wares not commercially available at the next mall. (Tip: Most exhibitors sell their wares as early as Day 1, especially the fashion booths– and they sell out FAST! I recommend you doing your “shopping” here as the products are really so beautiful, well-made and proudly Filipino. :))

This is what makes the Manila Furnishings and Apparel Manufacturers’ Exchange, better known as Manila FAME, so popular– and something to look forward to every year. It’s a showcase of some of the best designs in our country– from furniture to fashion, hence I felt so honored and kilig when I was invited to be a judge for the 2015 Katha Awards!

Stemming from the Filipino word “katha” or creation,” the Katha Awards has inspired local manufacturers to develop new design products for the international market since 1983. It is special distinction presented to exporters, designers and artisans whose products embody exceptional quality. I have a personal advocacy of championing Filipino talent and I was so so so happy to be able to contribute in recognizing some of the finest talents in the country to the world!

2015 Katha Awards Judge- Cheryl Tiu
Was really kilig and honored to have been invited to be part of the jury this year. As in, really!
2015 Katha Judges- Furniture & Home Decor- Mitch Shivers, Mawen Ong, Cheryl Tiu, Alicia Sy, Isabel Berenguer Asuncion, Maja Olivares-Co, Jappy Gonzalez
Honored to have been part of such an accomplished roster! The 2015 Katha Awards judges: Mitch Shivers, Mawen Ong, Cheryl Tiu, Alicia Sy, Arch. Isabel Berenguer-Asuncion, Maja Olivares-Co, Jappy Gonzalez

We spent all of Friday the 13th going around the entire SMX (yes! The first shot of exercise I’ve had in over a month– and it didn’t even feel like it :)) And here are the winners of the 2015 KATHA AWARDS:

BEST PRODUCT DESIGN- FURNITURE Louis Chair by Vito Selma (Stone Sets International, Inc.)

These chairs are multi-purpose.. they can be used as tables (notice the middle chair which has been set up as one; and is also a lamp (underneath the headrest)-- so well-thought of and creative, and also a space saver in small apartments and rooms! Bravo, Vito! SUPER well-deserved!!!
These chairs are multi-purpose.. they can be used as tables (notice the middle chair which has been set up as one) and also as lamps (underneath the “table top”)– so well-thought of and creative, and also a space saver in small apartments and rooms! Bravo, Vito! SUPER well-deserved!!!

BEST PRODUCT DESIGN- HOUSEWARE/ FURNISHINGS Wicked Broom Set by Tisha de Borja-Samson and Patricia Perez-Eustaquio (E.Murio, Inc.)

It's sooo chic just hanging on the wall like that. We judges were saying instead of hiding the brooms when guests come, it makes you want to display them to be seen! (Photo taken from E.Murio Instagram account)
They are soooo chic just hanging on the wall like that. We judges were saying that while it’s always been the norm to hide brooms and dust pans when we have visitors in the house, these ones make you wanna display them for all the world to see! (Photo taken from E.Murio Instagram account)
And just as chic when used to clean! We love how they turned our everyday mundane objects into something so pretty! (Photo taken from E.Murio Instagram account)
And just as chic when used to clean! We love how E.Murio turned our everyday mundane objects into something so pretty! (Photo taken from E.Murio Instagram account)

BEST PRODUCT DESIGN- FASHION Victoria Clutch (from Space Collection) by Carissa Cruz-Evangelista (Beatriz Accessories)

Carissa Cruz-Evangelista's gold- and brass- plated Victoria clutches are simple and beautiful. (Photo by Alex Vergara)
Carissa Cruz-Evangelista’s gold- and brass- plated Victoria clutches are simple and beautiful. (Photo by Alex Vergara)

BEST BOOTH Tadeco Home by Maricris Floirendo-Brias

This is not the most accurate photo of the Tadeco booth, but this is the only photo I have at the moment. I love how they weave abaca into their pillow designs!
This is not the most accurate photo of the Tadeco booth, but this is the only photo I have at the moment. I love how they weave abaca into their pillow designs, too!

BEST ECO-DESIGN AWARD Bambike by Bryan Benitez McClelland (Bambike Revolution Cycles)

Apart from being such an innovative product (and now Bryan has different kinds of Bambikes from city to beach to mountain), he works with a Gawad Kalinga community in making these bikes. And they do Bambike tours in Intramuros! (Photo courtesy of Alex Vergara)
Apart from being such an innovative product (and now Bryan has different kinds of Bambikes from city to beach to mountain), he works with a Gawad Kalinga community in making these bikes. And they do Bambike tours in Intramuros! (Photo courtesy of Alex Vergara)

Congratulations to all the winners!!! Really well-deserved! :)

Apart from the winning pieces, here are some others that I likewise fell in love with at Manila FAME– which runs til March 16 (Monday) before the next leg in October– so you still have time to drop by SMX!

Not for Hire by Stanley Ruiz for Hacienda Crafts

I fell in love with these the moment I saw these– as they are so my style. And even more so when I found out they were made from repurposed metal sheets from bodies of sugarcane trucks from Negros Occidental, which haul cane to the mills from the fields all year. The embellishment “Not for Hire” indicates that the trucks are privately owned.

Not for Hire by Stanley Ruiz for Hacienda Crafts
I adored Stanley Ruiz’s Not for Hire series so much! And the fact that they are made with social consciousness makes them even more admirable!

Adante Leyesa’s Clutches and Necklaces

I’ve been a big fan of Adante Leyesa since he first began selling at the bazaars in Rockwell, thanks to my friend Stephanie Singson, who introduced me to him. (I often wear his vintage-looking skull neckpieces during parties and events.) He has since soared massively and has even caught the eye of Suzy Menkes, been featured in Vogue Italia and been invited to present at Harvey Nichols. Adora in Greenbelt 5 also carries his pieces.

I adore this so much, I bought it on the spot! I love how Adante juxtaposed our local mother of pearl with vintage rock n' roll
I adore this so much, I bought it on the spot! I love how Adante juxtaposed our local mother of pearl with vintage and some rock n’ roll
This bamboo clutch is a collaboration between Adante and Joel Escober.. also bought it on the spot!
This bamboo clutch is a collaboration between Adante and Joel Escober.. also bought it on the spot!

Ann Ong’s Bags and Accessories

Just like Adante, I also adore Ann Ong’s pieces. I wear her necklaces on an almost daily basis, and her clutch, which won the 2013 Katha Awards, I use very frequently during balls and galas. This year, she has “dedicated her artistry to the forest, which is magical for me in many ways. It’s time to give back to nature and I have designed 50 new clutch bags and 100 pieces of necklaces and cuffs all dedicated for the joy of nature.”

The lovely Ann Ong at her booth, which is always very popular every year-- selling like hotcakes like there's no tomorrow!
The lovely Ann Ong at her booth, which is always very popular every year– selling like hotcakes like there’s no tomorrow!

T’nalak Tables by Hacienda Crafts

T’nalak is a traditional cloth found in Mindanao made by a group of people in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato called T’bolis. While the traditional cloth, hand-woven made of abaca fibers, is often used in clothes or garment, I loved how Hacienda Crafts turned it into a table and made it modern by sealing it with lacquer– and also to better preserve for posterity!

The T'nalak tables by Hacienda Crafts are both Pinoy and modern at the same time!
The T’nalak tables by Hacienda Crafts are both Pinoy and modern at the same time!

Ribonette Lamps by Vito Selma

I really loved a lot of Vito Selma’s pieces– and especially that they have stories behind them. These Ribonette lamps are fashioned like stars– in fact you can configure them to look differently– as he says you don’t know what kind of star you will land upon.

Actually, apart from the lamps, I really liked all the pieces at Vito Selma's booth! He's really so talented!
Actually, apart from the lamps, I really liked all the pieces at Vito Selma’s booth! He’s really so talented!

Manila FAME is held at SMX at Pasay City. For more inofmation, visit their website <manilafame.com>

 

4 Comments

  1. Just what I am needing! I happened to buy my own house and I am searching for unique designs for my furniture! May I ask on how to contact Mr. Vito Selma and Hacienda Crafts author? Is there any other events that they might show their products? I really appreciate this blog for the information! I will definitely share this!

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