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Why I am loca over local |


Why I am loca over local

LIFE & STYLE - Millet M. Mananquil - The Philippine Star
Why I am loca over local
Lokal by Connie Macatuno
STAR / File

When it comes to Filipiniana clothing, I like different. Artsy. Even crazy.

Sure, for formal events, the finesse coming from delicate embroidery on jusi would be proper. But still, I like a certain twist, something unexpected, to give the garment a certain character.

I like the clothing not only to say “I am proudly Filipino,” but also to express the artistry that went with the artisan’s hand, or the designer’s mind. I want my heart and soul to be captured in the clothing as well.

Perhaps that is why I linger at the stalls every time Arte Fino mounts its trade fairs in Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall, like its holiday fair ongoing until Dec . 23.

It’s a gathering of  partner vendors, communities and loyal clientele, but there is a call to  responsible retailing and shopping with purpose. There is a tie-up with local weavers, woodworkers, embroiderers and farmers who produce not only clothing but home accessories, jewelry and food products as well. There is bonding with Bagobo-Tagbanwa beaders, fabric weavers from Panay, Marawi and Kabankalan in Negros. for instance.

Livelihood for communities,  Zero Waste innovation and sustainability. This is the vision shared by the Arte Fino  founders Cedie Vargas, Marimel Francisco, Maritess Pineda, Mita Rufino and Susie Quiros. Hats off to them (hats with pom-pom balls, yes) for making devoted Rockwell Mall shoppers like me so loca over local.

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Follow the author on Instagram and Facebook @milletmartinezmananquil. Email her at and

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