Manila FAME Part 2



Manila FAME wrapped up on Saturday night. Lots of positive reviews from everyone! I know a few people who did their shopping and ordered furniture and jewelry. Heard from some exhibitors who said that the bottom line was better than last year’s. Yay!

I was curious about how the designers and exhibitors perceived the “open to the public” idea. Manila FAME used to be a trade show reserved only for buyers and trade partners. Got mixed reviews. One said it was good because they were prepared to sell in a small retail booth anyway. The other one said, “We were literally harassed by some non-trade buyers. Distracted from possibly serious buyers… Some asked even why they can’t get items right away… And compared it to the American women’s bazaar. Non trade should only be allowed on the last day.”

I think in the end, it’s all GOOD!

Here are some other highlights from the first day.


The Garden Pavilion was designed and curated by Ito Kish. He also worked with the exhibitors and gave tips on visual merchandising. The pieces here are a mix from many designers/exhibitors. (Sorry, I don’t have captions for all because of the mix plus I wasn’t taking notes.)






I love this dog sculpture made of sea grass.




















Industria’s sofa. This is made of cast iron, except for the cushions. Amazing how they made the whole thing look soft. Every season, I find Industria’s booth and pieces worthy of a prize.


Vito Selma reworked his first collection, a glass-top console made of iron and wrapped with tobacco leaves. This season he added capiz cherry blossoms.


Budji Layug’s Herminia chair, named after his mother.


Kenneth Cobonpue’s Rapunzel.


I love this grouping of tables with built-in planter boxes. Kenneth Cobonpue.



Personalized jewellery



I’ve always had a soft spot for personalized jewellery ever since my mom gave me my first “daphne” gold necklace written in cursive long before Carrie Bradshaw made it a trend. I started collecting charms that had significance to me; charms that were symbolic and represented who I am. This is also one of the reasons behind the jewellery pieces that I create. I love that those who buy my icon pendants find so much personal meaning in them.

Here is something adorable from my new site partner Bauble Bar. Everything in this website is adorable and affordable! I wish they shipped worldwide. For now, they ship only in the U.S. so we all would have to find a way to order through a friend or whatever. Click on their site, there are so many other cute fashion accessories there.




Asymmetrical Mini Letter Necklace- Two Letters , 14k gold from Bauble Bar, $280.00.  Made To Order: Ships 3 Weeks From Order Date. Currently Bauble Bar only ships to the U.S. and U.S. post office boxes.


I want one for each daughter’s initials. Super want.



Cute boots under $100



Have you seen these cute boots in Anthropologie? All under $100. They ship to the Philippines.


Collage Boots


01 Buckled Mid-Boots, $99.95

02 Boho Belladonna Boots, $99.95

03 Textile Study Wedge Boots, $99.95

04 Yuma Booties, $99.95

05 Suede Swaddled Wedges, $99.95



Manila FAME 2012



This is the first year they’ve opened ManilaFAME completely to the public. They used to allow the public only on the last two days and reserved the first few days for buyers and trade partners. Now, anyone can go. It’s at SMX til tomorrow October 20. Entrance is P500 per person if you don’t have an invite.

A lot of people are raving about the furniture, fashion and Christmas exhibits this year. I don’t know if it’s because it’s their first time, or they’re all optimistic. I’ve been covering Manila FAME for over a decade. I’ve seen its heyday. I still hear about those days everyone would make gazillions in export orders. But the world has changed all over. We used to blame our neighbours for cheaper labour. Then there’s the copying issues. Now it’s because trade and export are generally down.

Last March it felt like the good old days again. There was better energy. Fresher designs. And the presence of foreign buyers was evident. And this season, I’m hearing “It’s even better than last year.” It’s good that the ManilaFAME gets good reviews from the media, editors and shoppers. But I would really like to know how the exporters did. Because as an exporter friend says, “You can only eat applause for so long.”

Wishing all the exporters had a great show with lots of orders!


Hand drawn tags at Manila FAME.


The centre aisle is usually curated by a guest artist/designer. This year the special settings were under the creative direction of Ito Kish.


Setting by Ito Kish using various products from other exhibitors.


Ito Kish and his own booth wrapped in kraft paper.


Ito introduced new lighting inspired by last season’s Gregoria, which we awarded the Katha prize in March 2012. These beautiful glass cloches are new KISH products.


Ito’s booth had a message.


He paid homage to old buildings like the beaux arts El Hogar.


I fell in love with these over scaled birdcages at BCI.


Judges of ManilaFAME’s Katha Awards. This is probably the 4th time I’ve judged Manila FAME. Or maybe 3rd and the other ones were CebuNEXT Furniture Expo.


Ann Ong
“Banig” by Ann Ong. This won the Katha Award for Fashion.


With winner of Katha Award for Fashion, accessories designer Ann Ong. @theManilaFAME #manilafame
Meet Ann Ong. It was her first time to join Manila FAME. She’d been making jewellery and accessories for other local designers for many years. She called herself the “ghost designer”. She just found courage to come out as a brand herself this season. And she won!


Lounge chair by Tony Gonzales for Locsin won Best Furniture.


Best Booth was awarded to Masaeco. The photos don’t do enough justice to the space they created.


Principal designer of Masaeco handmade paper Wataru Sakuma and fellow judge Rachy Cuna.


Spotted – Willie Revillame and J. Anton Mendoza


After a long day of judging, we hung out at Butch Carungay’s Avatar booth. Happy Hour.


With @KennethCobonpue, Estela, Royal, @itokish at #manilafame
After the judging and opening ceremony (at night actually). Kenneth Cobonpue, Estela (Kenneth’s design director), Royal Pineda and Ito.


Priceless. From @kennethcobonpue #yoda
Cute gift from Kenneth Cobonpue. When I got home, Stella tried sitting on it. She has the real one.


To be continued…


Wacky Science



VitaPops Wacky Science MOA


Here is something fun and good for your kids. Wacky Science!!

Come. Bring your kids. Join me on Sunday, October 21 1pm at SM MOA Music Hall.

See you there!!!