My Square Meter

The perfect place to view the latest design movements

/ 11:40 PM March 15, 2013

ASIDE from featuring wealth-enhancing pieces, my living room also holds remedies for negative energy.

Ongoing this weekend at the SMX Convention Center, Manila Fame is about craft, creativity and connectivity. This annual design and lifestyle event is the perfect place to view the latest design movements. It’s a must-see for interior designers and architects.

Among the many resurgent designs on display at Manila Fame is reawakened Philippine design. Organic materials such as bamboo, rattan, shell, wood and natural fibers are used in industrial units, creating a modern Philippine ambience. These new fresh expressions are making waves in the global market.


Classic raw material

Bamboo, for example, is the classic Pinoy raw material that has so many versatile uses. The cultural narrative of the Philippine handicrafts industry is told in live demonstrations by masters of traditional crafts such as the singkaban or bamboo shaving from Bulacan, bamboo basket weaving from Palawan and bamboo carving from Benguet.


The event features several areas of Philippine creativity—from furniture and fashion to art and accessories. The Millennial, a special setting for the new consumer, showcases Manila Fame’s top manufacturers that have tied up with leading Philippine designers.

Josie Natori is a key international fashion designer featured at Manila Fame. In Manila Wear, she brings together 29 of the country’s fashion icons and rising star designers to showcase fashion wearables and accessories that reflect artisanal crafts and contemporary sensibilities.

The international, modern furniture designer, Dedon, is also featured at Manila Fame. Dedon has tied up with Elle Decoration Philippines to produce Café Elle Deco + Dedon, where Manila Fame visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf while relaxing on Dedon’s exceptional furniture. The café was designed by Jinggoy Buensuceso of Epoch. At the opening night last Thursday, the Katha Awards were given out at the Café Elle Deco + Dedon.

Another beautifully arranged booth is the Far East Furniture (www.far-east-furniture.com) unit, excellently located at the center of the SMX Convention Center. Far East Furniture blends western design with eastern style. The company plays off these contradictions to great effect, matching Dutch sensibility and Filipino flair in their new collection, all composed of unique and dramatic furniture pieces.

The European and Pinoy designers who collaborated on the Contradictions Exhibit have done a wonderful job. The team originated in Europe, but has evolved into an international group of artists together with their Pinoy designers. That Asian flair was evident throughout the collection.


I wish the entire Manila Fame could be featured on the new, home-oriented TV show, “My Home Today,” which airs on ANC every Saturday from 6:30-7:00 p.m. with replays on Sunday mornings at 11. Host Issa Litton did a stellar job in the first episode, with her excellent choice of guests and features.


The second episode airs tonight and features feng shui master Maritess Allen. Maritess focuses on the newly arrived Year of the Water Snake, guiding viewers as the gentle serpent slithers inside our lives and our homes. She talks about what cures and enhancers we can put in our dwellings to boost our luck and secure our wealth and health.

As an avid feng shui practitioner myself, I have mastered the art of fusion and even juxtaposition in my own home. Issa interviewed me for this section of “My Home Today,” so I will be watching the show tonight for sure.

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or email her at [email protected]

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