Manila Fame 2015: A Magnificent Potpourri of Ethnicity

The personal invite from Imelda Dado-Moratillo, AIM Handicrafts manager and my good friend/batchmate/kumare, to go to the Manila Fame (The Design and Lifestyle Event) 2015 at SMX Convention Center on October 15-18 was what I perfectly needed to fight the onslaught of stress. 

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I immediately calendared this three-day international trade fair when she informed me about her being a participant late September. I knew I had to be there not only to indulge myself in another visual pleasure of  our exquisite and unique Philippine made products but to grab that opportunity to see her and exchange whatever stories we’d find worth sharing. Dadz or Bru, as what I fondly address her,  is always a delight to be with (see related story about her at https://wanderingjouster.com/2013/05/09/brus-sweet-pampering/). Surely, it would be a de-stressing occasion for me. 
So yesterday, October 17, after braving the heavy traffic amidst the intermittent rain from Las Pinas City to Pasay City, I succeeded once more in driving myself and my son Alexander to SMX. We arrived at the familiar venue past 10:00 A.M.. I could feel the excitement building up as we proceeded to the lobby. Sending an sms to our inviter to inform her about our arrival and present location, I caught sight of the on-display  furniture at the ground floor. It whetted my appetite and had me got ants in my pants! I knew I failed to hide it when Dadz arrived after a couple of minutes and handed me our invitation to claim our passes. 

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Then, the much anticipated tour commenced from the booth of my very own province — Albay — which prides itself for producing world-renowned handicrafts with abaca as raw materials. 

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I spent time admiring the new exotic Bicol products which were all tempting me to take home. I just smiled and verbalized my admiration because I promised myself not to give in to my impulsive buying. At this time when we had to prioritize something else, I had to clearly draw the line between wants and needs. Hehehehe… 
As we proceeded with our tour, I found myself  uttering a string of “oh’s”, “ah’s”,  and “wow’s”  amidst this display of wonderfully amazing human ingenuity from crafts… 

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… to ethnic accessories, which fixed my dilated eyes and had me secretly slobbering (ha-ha!)…

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… to international fashion showcase, where our very own Pinoy creations stood out from the rest…

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… and to a miscellany of cutting-edge creations by local and internationally illustrious designers like Kenneth Cobonpue

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It took more than two hours for my son and me to complete and revel in our mini-adventure. Reuniting with Dadz, who had to cut short her accompanying us in the early part of our tour since she had to meet a client, I was able to update her and vice versa about recent happenings in our busy but action-packed lives. 

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And within the remaining minutes for us to be together, we again proved that our friendship goes beyond words… and beyond time.  

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What made this reaffirmation of our friendship another moment to cherish was  sharing it with Dadz’s daughter Christine and my son Alexander.12132632_10207718241383490_7234331338718131391_o
Undeniably, Manila Fame 2015 was a marvelous experience for me. I did not not only touch base with friends but it gave me a chance to interact with our very own designers and equally talented foreign exhibitors, who like us also take pride in their products which reflect their rich cultural heritage. 
With Ness Basco, a favorite crafts designer and a friend/schoolmate
With Ness Basco, Nesscraft Philippine Industry owner, a favorite crafts designer and a friend/fellow BUHS alumni
With my two well-admired entrepreneurs (Nesscrafts bags are displayed behind us.)
With my two well-admired and well-respected entrepreneurs (Nesscraft bags are displayed behind us.)
With Babes Lim, the very amiable designer of our Philippine National attire
With Babes Lim, a Quezon City-based amiable designer of our elegant Philippine traditional attire
With Hussein Majeni, the very bubbly and good conversationalist/mimicker retail manager of Pua-Heritage from Malaysia
With Hussein Majeni, the very bubbly and good conversationalist/mimicker retail manager of Pua-Heritage Boutique from Malaysia (website: pua.gadingkenyalang.com)
Likewise, I personally witnessed how the T’boli people weave Tinalak fabric which is used in creating their colorful tops, which I dream of wearing someday. 

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But frankly speaking, the unrivaled part in my attending this event was being with my son Alexander. Serving as my “bodyguard”- cum-co-driver/photographer/traffic aide, he was able to have a clearer and broader understanding why I unceasingly promote our cultural products and why I will always be a noble ethnic in my heart and in my mind. 

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Yes, I can’t wait to take this cross cultural journey with him again in April 2016. 

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Visit the following links for the complete documentation:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10207718272024256.1073741920.1516602908&type=1&l=3e35ba1b7f
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10207718334465817.1073741921.1516602908&type=1&l=1686baeece
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10207718400907478.1073741922.1516602908&type=1&l=24828ef865
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