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Tips and Guides

10 Unique Filipino Home Finds

You won’t be able to find these beautiful items at regular stores. Shop for your home and for a cause at this specialty Filipino fair.

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Photography: courtesy of MaArte Fair

The “ber” months are just around the corner, and that notion may give many of us an excuse to shop. Now instead of feeling guilty about shopping, why not go to a special Filipino-themed fair and shop for a cause?

This year’s MaArte at The Pen—which will run from August 11 to 13, 2017—does just that. This popular Pinoy fair has been ongoing for nine years, and each year’s run is a veritable showcase of the best of Filipino craftsmanship. The MaArte Fair has evolved into an important venue for upcoming designers and micro-entrepreneurs, and many of the exhibitors also support specific advocacies.

What makes this fair different from the dozens of bazaars in the Metro is the fact that it is actually a collective fundraising effort to fund the Museum Foundation of the Philippines Inc.’s (MFPI) many programs, including those for the National Museum. “Our collaborators [for this cause] are the exhibitors,” says Albert Avellana, president of MFPI at the press preview. “But our exhibitors are not just exhibitors or vendors—they are part of the cause of the MFPI…to support the National Museum, to raise cultural awareness, and to promote Philippine culture.”

One of the best things about this fair is that it is curated selection of unique and incredibly beautiful pieces in fashion, food, and for the home. Here’s a roundup of their unique offerings:

Inabel fabric by Beyond Borders



These hand-woven blankets from the Ilocos region are made in a tradition of weaving passed down through generations. In recent years, fewer among the younger generations choose to practice this hand-looming craft. By supporting this brand, you are taking part in keeping a beautiful craft alive. (Seen in the photo: a woven bag by Aranaz.)

Exotic décor (for a cause) by Gifts and Graces



This non-profit organization/social enterprise champions livelihood products made by marginalized groups, using mostly recycled materials. Gifts and Graces' products include upcycled tarpaulin bags, newspaper bags, soda can figurines, candles made by street children, and assorted charms made by special needs individuals. 

Pottery by Joey de Castro



Artist Joey de Castro starting making stoneware pottery out of necessity in 2003: he loves nurturing cacti and succulents and was looking for unique containers for his plants. Joey makes his own clay timpla and glazes, resulting in unique sculptural pottery. “Art comes in when you know the fundamentals, how to manipulate the materials. That’s where the creativity comes out,” he says.  

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To see Joey’s rooftop condo, click here.

Embroidered linen by Cabaña Workshop



Cabana Workshop started as a one-woman home business, and has grown to a multi-product industry. They specialize in embroidered and monogrammed items, including tote bags and lingerie organizers, but it is their table linen with finely embroidered patterns (and exquisite fabrics!) that are the standout pieces.

Exuberantly detailed dinner party essentials



If you’re fond of hosting dinners at home for friends, make sure you throw a memorable event by using the exquisite tabletop accessories and dinnerware by Haute Home Manila and Kassa, The Art of the Table by Karen Santos.


Haute Home’s coral plate chargers and whimsical pineapple napkin rings are perfect for a boho tropical lunch, while Kassa’s finely embroidered table linen, placemats, and dinnerware are great for a casual brunch.

Delicate crocheted creations by Milvidas



Milvidas means “a thousand lives,” and the name of this livelihood group is quite apt, as this was formed with the ladies of Aya’s Gawad Kalinga community in Parañaque. The group creates charming crocheted accessories that range from coasters and placemats to on-trend pillows and pouf stools.

Intricate leisure wear by Mich Araullo


While you’re entertaining at home, don’t forget to dress the part! Fashion designer Mich Araullo’s creations include beautifully embroidered tops and dresses that are exquisite but also comfortable.

To see Mich’s family home, click here.

Beautiful children’s items



MaArte at The Pen will also feature stylish gifts for your little ones, too. Take your pick from lovely = cotton dresses by Antukin Sleepwear, cozy knitwear by Chill, and soothing, custom-made scents such as camia, rosal, and vetiver by Oscar Mejia Artisan Fragrances.

Natural fiber accessories from Creative Definitions



Established in 2008, Creative Definitions started out with export quality products. In 2016, they started to support the local weaving industry, and together with HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, they now have partnerships with weaving communities in Negros, Iloilo, Antique, and Aklan.

Visit MaArte at The Pen on August 11, 12, and 13 at The Gallery of The Peninsula Manila, Makati Ave. cor. Ayala Ave., Makati City. The Peninsula will also serve specialty teas at the fair by two of MaArte's merchants—Tsaa Laya and da.u.de. Go to MaArte's Facebook page for more info. 

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