Gifts that keep on giving

UPTOWN DOWNTOWN - Joanne Zapanta-Andrada (The Philippine Star) - August 31, 2014 - 12:00am

With the start of the “ber” months comes a throng of bazaars and fairs that will keep your eyes filled and your wallets depleted till Christmas. Uptown/Downtown lists down some gift ideas that are not only timely and fashionable, but also give the buyers an opportunity to help others and promote our Filipino artisans and artists.

 1. Bohemian Retazo shoulder bag by Gifts and Graces

Eye-catching, durable and oh-so practical! This carry-on can fit a mini-laptop or regular tablet, makeup kit and several incidentals that you will need to go about your day.

Gifts and Graces (G&G), is a fair trade, non-profit organization that works with craftsmen, artisans and micro-entrepreneurs from marginalized groups to help them improve their livelihood programs. G&G works in the areas of product development, market access, technical support on enterprise management and advocacy of fair trade practices. Each purchase of a Gifts and Graces product supports livelihood groups and artisans and helps them break free from the cycle of poverty.

2. The Haiyan Unity Bracelet by Kinamot nga Buhat

Designed by Tacloban designer Danika Astilla-Magoncia, this woven bracelet is a product created by the people of Tacloban and was created to provide jobs to women in the poverty-stricken region.

As a social enterprise, Kinamot nga Buhat focuses less on profit and more on the people within the enterprise and the community. Its main goal is to provide a labor-fair social enterprise prioritizing marginalized women with children who cannot compete in the mainstream job market.

3. Halo Halo bags

These whimsical eclectic bags are great for a weekend at the beach!

The caption below the tag Halo+Halo reads: Made by the Filipinos. This pretty much sums up the company’s identity. Halo Halo’s mission is to promote our Filipino heritage by creating unique fashion pieces using a combination of unlikely materials.

4. Artworks by Joy Mallari

Joy Mallari is a contemporary painter and visual artist. She is known for a visual style similar to the contemporary Filipino figurative expressionism, but distinguished by a narrative approach, which one critic has described as exploring “the linkages between literature and art.” This is an approach that she attributes to her exposure to the pre-digital animation industry during her developmental years as an artist. She is also known for exploring themes of identity and marginalization in Philippine society.

5. Marsse wine hat and shot glass holder

A thoughtful gift for the environmentally conscious man in your life!

Marsse Tropical Timber has been awarded the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Likas Yaman Award for Environmental Protection in 2011, and for Responsible Forestry in 2003.

Its mission is the development of sustainable tree plantations in the Philippines by: preserving the renewable hardwood resource in the Philippines by continuously developing barren land into sustainable tree plantations; and contributing to the health and ecological balance in the region and in the world. Existing vegetation and wildlife in the plantation are protected to maintain and nurture the eco-diversity of the environment; providing local job opportunities within the tree plantation. Plantation workers are from the immediate town communities; advocating sustainable tree farming by conducting Sustainable Tree Farming seminars to educate small- to large-scale farmers and land owners on sustainable tree farming, and buying sustainably farmed logs from tree farmers at fair and competitive prices.

6. Artworks by John and Pam Santos

Any Filipino collector would appreciate pieces from two of the brightest names in the world of Philippine Contemporary Art.

Pam Yan-Santos is a graduate of the University of the Philippines where she also teaches. She received the 2009 Thirteen Artists Awards from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and, in the same year, was included among the 12 shortlisted artists for the Ateneo Art Awards.

Pam’s solo exhibitions over the past years have seen rich development of work from quilting and pastiche, to collage, stenciling and image transfer. She culls her subjects from objects and environments that reflect her experience as a mother. Her works can be described as layered, textured palimpsests of image, text and context where each visual element echoes a deep existential reference to particular episodes of her everyday life.

Jose John Santos III received his BFA from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. In the late 1980s, John started working on his own iconography, producing a series of figurative works for several exhibitions, both solo and group shows here and abroad.

In 2000, he was chosen as one of the Thirteen Artists Awardees by the CCP. In 2005, his works were included by Christie’s (Hong Kong) and Larasati (Indonesia) in their respective auctions of contemporary Asian art. In the same year, his works were part of a group show titled Portal Shifts in Singapore. In 2006, he also had a one-man show titled Journey in Singapore.

Following his 2009 exhibit (Un) Common, John’s new works were included in the 2010 and 2011 Christie’s Spring Auctions. His solo exhibition Clockwise in May 2012 was held at booth 3X3 at ArtHK12 in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

7. Oriental pendant by Erica Concepcion-Reyes for Riqueza jewelry

A welcome fashion accessory for women with strong affinities to unique pieces.

Harking back to an era of decadence and Old-World glamour, Riqueza jewelry breathes new life into vintage, antique and exotic elements — ivory, coral, hand-carved cameos, tamburin relicarios — reworking them to convey an elegance of decades past. Riqueza, Spanish for “riches” or “richness,” creates handcrafted statement pieces rich in texture and colors — chunky charm necklaces and bracelets, bold earrings and cocktail rings — providing the wearer with a priceless opportunity to express her personality.


(These gift ideas will be part of the Filipinaz Art and Fashion Fair at the Rockwell Tent on Sept. 12 to 14, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The fair is hosted by the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs. Proceeds of the fair will fund the club’s projects on women empowerment, women and child protection, community development and poverty alleviation.)

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