Harmoniously bringing together the past and the present by translating raw local materials into distinctive decorative pieces is something that comes naturally to Maricris. In 1989 she founded a training center to create a sustainable livelihood and sense of pride for the wives of local plantation workers. An important part of its mission is to revive the native artistry and preserve the customs of Mindanao’s ethnic tribes. Maricris and her local artisans design and manufacture home and decorative objects made of local abaca (t’nalak) and banana fiber, woven exclusively by the T’boli and Mandaya natives. “It’s all about preserving the culture which is preserving their way of life,” says the socially conscious designer. “Our culture really stems from the indigenous people, that’s where we find what is really Filipino, through their arts and crafts.”
Tes Pasola has truly earned her mark as a paper artist and a product designer. She is president of her 35 year old company, Mind Masters, Inc., an outfit that exports paper based products. She received a degree in Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts and majored in Advertising at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. Soon after she graduated she joined Mind Masters, where she started her career as its designer. Her early works for this company remain in the books as statistical benchmarks.
Tes Pasola is a creative consultant to many companies, for her designs encompasses paper and non-paper. Since 1986, she remains a consistent design awardee for most of her works, reaping numerous Katha Awards. A select award given to companies and designers that show excellence in creative achievement for Best Product, Best Product Collection, and Best Merchandise Display citations. In the three recent international FAME shows, she has yet again merited multiple awards. She however does not seem at all fazed by these tasks at hand nor does it seem like she runs out of even more reasons to create or innovate.
Wataru Sakuma is a Philippine based Japanese designer with a strong back ground in the fine arts. Famous for his creativity and ingenuity, Wataru uses even the most basic of materials, like paper, to create functional yet artistic pieces for urban living. His respect for nature and his ability to see something beautiful in discarded or overlooked materials, gives his work conscience.
“When you design, you bear in mind how will the material follow it; how much material will be spent? Will it be financially viable? Is it okay at this price? It comes with product research. You also consider minute details such as how many products can fit in a container,” said Gonzales.
Schooled and trained as a graphic designer, Gonzales produced cutting-edge cards and calendars. He progressed to creating three-dimension products—furniture using paper.
Renato Vidal, the multi-awarded and internationally acclaimed designer of furniture and accessories, is the featured designer for this Christmas season at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. Staying true to his roots in Camarines Sur, Vidal fills the public spaces of the hotel with larger-than-life baskets and lamps and accent pieces woven, formed and fashioned from dried leaves and roots and twigs and vines found in the remote area of the Bicol region where he has his factory. In a very real way, his are works of art made from found objects; if not rescued by Vidal and his workshop of talented neighbors, these would have been thrown away or used as kindling.