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ARTEFINO, the celebration of all things Filipino and artisanal, returns to Rockwell after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a weekly rotating schedule that lasts until Sept. 26, small Filipino businesses will show their rare finds at the first level of the Power Plant Mall in Makati. We found a few shops that piqued our interest during our visit last week.
CASA MERCEDESTouted on their Instagram as the “oldest fan maker in the Philippines,” Casa Mercedes is operated by executive Monchet Diokno Olives. Their claim to fame is making fans to match the outfits of first ladies, as well as making a fan for Queen Sofia of Spain. During BusinessWorld’s visit, Mr. Olives showed us his new line, a collaboration with artist Reena Gabriel, showing a toile de Jouy-patterned fans, as well as a wooden fan edged with a print of waling-waling (Vanda sanderiana) orchids. His own line presents fans shaped like petals showing fruits, and a fishtail fan with a black and white print showcasing the patterns in artful pastillas wrappers. To view more fans, visit @casamercedesph on Instagram or the Tesoro’s website at tesoros.ph.
DAILY BARThe Daily Bar provides summer essentials you couldn’t have thought of before. There’s the Aloe Vera After Sun Spray and a moisturizing Coconut Pili Body Oil. Insect bites and such can be covered by the fragrant Rescue Balm. To wrap it all up, one should get the waffle-weave towels, or the surprisingly city-appropriate beach ponchos, all made with 100% cotton by a handweaving community in Negros Occidental. Follow @daily.bar on Instagram to order.
SUSTAINABLYMADE BY MARSSEWe’ve fantasized about owning furniture made with wood struck by lightning. Haven’t you? The wood farm from Pangasinan makes a compromise by “electrocuting” the wood with the Lichtenberg method. The results are bowls, stump pedestals (in mahogany), and serving boards (in teak) with interesting charred snowflake patterns on the wood, unique on each piece due to the flow of electricity passing differently through each piece of wood. Check them out at sustainably-made.com.
FARAH ABUWhen we think about the iridescent beauty at the back of mussel shells, it’s almost crazy how we just throw it away after a meal. Not as crazy as the idea by accessories designer Farah Abu, who saw how beautiful the shells were after making baked tahong for dinner. Inspired by her mother’s Tausug jewelry, she had the shells polished, dyed, laminated, and polished again. The result is a line of earrings with the shells dangling below. Other interesting products include translucent shell earrings carved to look like santan flowers, formed into similar clumps and mounted on springs, to make them seem as if they were moving. Visit @farah_abu to see more.