After a 40-year long wait, Pangasinan is all set to present its bounty of artisan creations at international shows, with Manila FAME as its first stop.
The province has tapped 10 MSMEs that deliver world-class “Made in Pangasinan” creativity under the ABOUND project which discovers artisans and provides coaching and mentorship. The project is bringing these MSMEs as a group to the prestigious trade exhibition for the first time.
With the full support of Pangasinan Governor Ramon V. Guico III, leaders of the province’s towns of Binalonan and Bolinao, and local agencies, Governor Mon Mon (as he is affectionately called) presented the 10 micro, small, and medium enterprises at the project’s recent launch. The MSMEs have been carefully selected for their world-class and export-quality artistry and products from luxurious-looking fashion pieces to home furnishings that evoke tropical elegance, to fantastic creations that showcase the province’s agricultural bounty and rich heritage.
The Philippines’ premier trade show Manila FAME is finally returning on-site after three years on October 19-21 at the World Trade Center, promising an unforgettable celebration of Filipino creativity and craftsmanship. With the event’s return comes the province of Pangasinan’s attendance – their first in 40 years.
“Promoting the province’s diverse creative industries through prestigious trade events like Manila FAME is a key part of the bigger economic growth initiatives in Pangasinan. MSMEs play a vital role in ensuring inclusive economic growth in the province, as they can help accelerate trade and exportation,” says Gov. Guico. “I believe that the MSMEs joining the Manila FAME will represent the best of everything made in Pangasinan. They embody what Pangasinan, Ang Galing truly means.”
Herwin Buccat known as Herwitanyo, a painter from Bolinao who features surrealist and nature-fantasy-inspired artwork. The ABOUND Team conducted one-on-one coaching on how to interpret his works and fortify his DNA. His commissioned pieces were then translated into art merchandise such as notebooks, tumblers, and pencils, as well as totes, shirts, and hoodies.
Blades, hailing from Pozorrubio, produce swords that have featured in Hollywood films. Project ABOUND has helped evolve these collector’s items into high quality chef knives and trendy fashion accessories such as bespoke necklaces and bracelets. Erastus from Sto. Tomas is a furniture maker, who with the help of Project ABOUND’s product development team, has learned new applications of materials, and now features sleek designs that modernize home and office spaces.
ILO from Laoac is a producer of home accessories made from locally sourced materials. Through the project, this MSME has evolved into using industrial materials for their designs that can very well enter the luxury market. WELAB (Women Empowerment Livelihood Association of Binalonan) used to produce ordinary recycled market bags. With the project’s involvement, their designs were elevated to upcycled handbags that can be considered as a signature collection.
Alma from Pozorrubio is a producer of ethnic droplights. After consistent collaboration and rigorous material research, the products have become one-of-a-kind home and interior accessories characterized by their rustic elegance. Rach based in Aguilar is a maker of bamboo bags. With regular design and product development guidance, these fashion accessories have transformed into chic crystal-embellished bags.
Cawayan from Bolinao utilizes buri to create bags and mat products. After going through process development, and coloring and molding procedures with the ABOUND team, Cawayan weavers now make an inspired, signature bag. Joy based in Basista uses corn husks and bangkuang for home accessories and fashion bags. The project has helped transition the designs from a natural look to a classic luxury aesthetic.
The youngest of this batch of MSMEs, B6 (Blessed 6) began from a group of more than 30 young individuals who have undergone and continue to attend training and guidance through the project. With a lot of effort and support from Mayor Ramon Ronald V. Guico IV, the current crop of emerging artisans and entrepreneurs have produced 7 collections of espadrilles to be launched in both domestic and international markets.
Pangasinan’s Manila FAME bid started with the help of the Artisan Empowerment Association (AEA), which aims to elevate MSMEs in Pangasinan, especially those specializing in handcrafted creations. It is an initiative envisioned by esteemed businesswoman and the chair of the board of the World Citi Group, Arlyn Guico, and industry expert, entrepreneur and CEO of luxury brand Mele + Marie, Rosemarie Oamil, who both hope to show that there’s more to the province than most people think.
“Artisan Empowerment Association equips budding designers and entrepreneurs with capacity-building resources and opportunities like mentorship and training programs that enable them to showcase their work to a wider market so they can uplift their lives and their communities,” shares Ms. Guico.
“Our vision is to help Pangasinan-based artisans reach their highest potential through quality assurance and business development. As we prepare to present our remarkable MSMEs and their diverse product categories at Manila FAME, our vision for a prosperous Pangasinan is more vivid than ever,” assures Rosemarie Oamil.
Catch these top Pangasinan MSMEs and see their incredible artisanal creations up close at the Manila FAME on October 19-21, 2023 at the World Trade Center.