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Filipino artisans’ creativity makes us proud

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star
Filipino artisansâ creativity makes us proud
Paula Figueras of Ilha’s artistic bags crafted in Marikina using natural fibers, genuine leather, and indigenous fabrics that are a hit in the local and European market

ArteFino’s popularity has only increased as the years go by with the dynamic organizing team of Cedie Vargas, Mel Francisco, Susie Quiros, Maritess Pineda and Mita Rufino. The much-awaited annual event showcases the best of Philippine artisan products with an exciting mix of emerging new labels, well-loved mainstay brands, as well as palate-teasing food concepts.

It was the perfect place to purchase items that we can truly be proud of — not only manufactured in the Philippines but also made with locally sourced materials and products — from sparkling and organic jewelry and accessories, clothing and footwear to bags, containers, ceramics and home decorations.

Truly works of art: Charm Baldemor with her award-winning wooden bags and decorations that are painstakingly hand carved

Mel Francisco emphasized, “We call it a festival because of the spirited sense of community that ArteFino fosters. We are all happy and excited to be here.”

There was definitely something for everyone with over 130 brands on display, and I had to go two days in a row to make sure I had seen every stall, even visiting some twice with my Christmas list in hand.

Celuch Manahan, Joy Calalang, Jovy Yupangco, and Marion Coscolluela wearing their Eccentrics accessories

As Cedie Vargas enthused, “Each year, we endeavor to strengthen the ArteFino movement by promoting Filipino artisanship, skills and creativity. We also showcase livelihood through social enterprise. In doing so, we support the climate-change agenda, amplifying the call to minimize our carbon footprint and use natural and sustainable products.”

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