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A Look Into Pampanga's Best Furniture Stores

For these giant manufacturers, it’s all about sharing the passion for their craft with the world

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Original Article: Katherine Lopez, Paula de Guzman and Bubbles Salvador Photography: Michael Angelo Chua Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba and Paula de Guzman Styling: Dagny Madamba and Paula de Guzman

Aside from the delectable food the province is famous for, beautifully handcrafted furniture and decor complete Pampanga’s trademark. However, no one knows the exact reason how Pampanga came to be known for it. 

For Jude Tiotuico, CEO and creative head of Industria, one of the furniture moguls in the said province, the Americans in Clark has helped boost the business in Pampanga. He adds that the '90s was considered the golden age of export right after Pinatubo erupted—local artisans would sell their best pieces to Americans to earn extra money. Since then, the furniture market has grown to become a force to reckon with in the global design scene.

Read on to learn about some of the best brands in the business and why each item they create is one-of-a-kind. 

INDUSTRIA

The interplay of metal and raw wood has been Industria’s trademark—in fact, the store’s name was derived from the industrial style that the brand is famous for. “Every time we forge or hammer steel, I’m always excited to see what will come out of it,” says Jude Tiotuico, CEO and creative head of Industria. 

Although most of the pieces are inspired by the vintage buildings in New York, at the end of the day, Jude says he wants people to see his furniture as furniture. While, in a way, it can be considered as a work of art, you should feel free to sit and make yourselves comfortable in their stunning chairs. 

Industria by Vico Design & Manufacturing Corp. is located at 159 Friendship Highway, Calibutbut, Bacolor, Pampanga. You can call them at (02) 887-1996. 

JBWOODCRAFT

If you're looking for intricately carved furniture, you will find it at JBWoodcraft—but it’s only a preview of the many traditional and contemporary pieces they are offering. Just by entering the 3.5-hectare property on which their workshop stands, you’d know that it’s an old business. 

A few decades back, McArthur Highway, along which their property is located, was the only route going to Subic and Clark. JBWoodcraft had been sourcing handicrafts and furniture from places like Baguio and Paete, and sold these to the Americans. Fast forward to 2003, Leslie Bituin Mendiola, daughter of Jose Bituin who put up the business in 1972, started working for the family business, which has grown by leaps and bounds. 

JBWoodcraft Inc. is located at 380 San Miguel Betis, Guagua, Pampanga. You can call 0917-323-6843. 

MORE THAN A CHAIR

For 17 years, More Than A Chair has been manufacturing excellently crafted furniture for export along with its sister companies JBWoodcraft, Betis Crafts, and South Sea Veneer. The brand flourished in the late '90s, when "the Philippines was still the flavor of Asia," says owner Allan Bituin. "Nung nag-attend kami ng show, maraming foreign buyers, nakapila, nag-uunahan sila kasi they want exclusivity of the product," he says.

As for their interesting name, Allan says it has several meanings. "We started as a chair factory talaga. They put up More Than A Chair to produce for Betis Craft as a subcontractor. And then, sabi ko, 'malaki naman ang market, sayang.' We attended our first show Manila FAME and PIFS in 1999. We were able to find our own clients sa export," he narrates. These clients, he adds, will ultimately need more furniture pieces aside from chairs. "We're selling more than chairs," he says, hence the name. "Yung ibang meaning naman, it's not just an ordinary chair. Yung handcrafted chair na special siya."

More Than A Chair is located at Sitio Libutad, Brgy. Sta. Maria, Mabalacat, Pampanga and 
House # 2, Wilson Compound, Park Ave., Pasay City. You can call them at (02) 831-0250. 

TRIBOA BAY LIVING

Triboa Bay Living isn't new to anyone—you've probably seen their showrooms in LRI Design Plaza and Mega Fashion Hall in Makati and Mandaluyong, respectively—all these beautiful pieces crafted from wood and metal, whimsical, earthy, and rustic. “Its roots and proportions are based on classical and country designs but with an easy contemporary sensibility,” says Randolph Viray, principal designer and owner of Triboa Bay Living.

Established in the mid-1990s, Triboa Bay Living manufactured furniture and lighting for several foreign companies. The new Triboa Bay Living was officially launched in 2007. Its trademark aesthetic and craftsmanship made it a powerhouse in the local and international design scene. Not surprisingly, their factory in Angeles, Pampanga exemplifies the same attention to quality and detail—bestsellers include lighting pieces, like the Litton Pendant Lights.

Triboa Bay Living is located at 153 Magalang-Angeles Rd, Pampanga, G/L LRI Design Plaza, N. Garcia St., Bel-Air II, Makati City and 4/L Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA, Mandaluyong City. Send them a message via  info[@]triboabay.com

Read the original article ("Made With Love, Pampanga") in the October 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details.

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