This year’s roundup of cre­atives show us how they blaze their trails in their re­spec­tive fields, along­side the scions who con­tinue the le­gacy of the iconic names in the de­sign in­dus­try.

1. Mai Sa­por­san­tos & Arvin Flores

Artists, Artery Art Space It wasn’t enough for Mai and Arvin to cre­ate un­for­get­table art; they also wanted to have a space where they can show­case their work. A few years ago, they jumped at the chance to buy an old apart­ment com­plex and trans­formed it into Artery Art Space. Artery is not a typ­i­cal gallery; it also houses a snack bar, a shop, and a stu­dio. This med­ley of dif­fer­ent spa­ces en­cour­ages in­ter­ac­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween artists and vis­i­tors, which is ex­actly what Mai and Arvin had en­vi­sioned. When asked what it would take to thrive in the in­dus­try, Arvin says, “Re­spect other peo­ple, fos­ter a com­mu­nity, and be a pro­fes­sional... make your best art, but re­mem­ber that not every­one will un­der­stand it.” Web­site: www.arter­yartspace.com; In­sta­gram: @arter­yartspace

2. Pia Suiza

De­coupage artist, P.S. Crafts with Soul “I’ve al­ways had this itch to do some­thing with my hands,” Pia says. So she quit her job as an editor and plunged into the un­cer­tain yet ex­cit­ing field of craft­ing. That was four years ago, and she never re­gret­ted her de­ci­sion. In fact, her tim­ing could not have been bet­ter; at that time, the hand­made movement was pick­ing up, giv­ing birth to craft stores like Com­mon Room (which car­ries P.S. Crafts with Soul prod­ucts). Pia aims to grow her brand with the in­clu­sion of big­ger pieces like stools and wooden crates. Her jour­ney towards a more cre­ative pur­suit taught her one valu­able les­son: “You just have to start.” In­sta­gram: @ps.craftswith­soul

3. Aug­gie Fon­tanilla

Artist Aug­gie spent four years as the art di­rec­tor of Sum­mit Me­dia’s flag­ship mag­a­zine Pre­view. But when it be­came too com­pli­cated to bal­ance his desk job and the shirt line (THE) he founded, Aug­gie chose the lat­ter. It was a risky move, which he met head on by tak­ing on odd jobs, even­tu­ally land­ing a teach­ing post at Asia Pa­cific Col­lege (APC). But through it all, Aug­gie stayed true to his roots—ur­ban cul­ture and street art—which he pur­sued full time af­ter APC. Since then, Aug­gie has had two solo ex­hibits: first at Post Gallery in Cubao, and the other at the Cul­tural Cen­ter of the Philip­pines. “Huwag niy­ong hangarin yung fame and money now,” he ad­vises young artists. “Hin­tayin niyo lang, darat­ing yan… Do it lang.” In­sta­gram: @avggs; email: aug­gie.fon­tanilla@gmail.com

4. Jiezl, JL, and Lee Sunga

Own­ers, Up­cy­cle Manila “It was out of ne­ces­sity. I like re­cy­cling, ayaw ko na may waste,” says Lee on how their fam­ily busi­ness was born. And with not many lo­cal stores or brands car­ry­ing fur­ni­ture made from up­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, Up­cy­cle Manila has def­i­nitely found its bear­ings in the lo­cal in­dus­try. The brand has grown slowly but steadily, thanks to the ideal team­work of Jiezl, an in­te­rior de­signer; JL, who is in charge of mar­ket­ing; and their mom Lee, an ar­chi­tect. All three col­lab­o­rate on mix­ing modern de­sign with up­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als. As for fu­ture plans, JL re­lates, “We’re look­ing for­ward to pen­e­trat­ing the main­stream mar­ket and be able to of­fer up­cy­cled al­ter­na­tives to tra­di­tional fur­ni­ture as a way to re­duce global waste... and be able to of­fer jobs to our lo­cal crafts­men” In­sta­gram: @up­cy­cle­manila; email: up­cy­cle­manila@gmail.com; mo­bile: 0917-316-2340

5. Nikki and Buji Libarnes

Ar­chi­tects Nikki and Buji Libarnes, the pro­surfer cou­ple be­hind Ves­sel Hos­tel in San Juan, La Union (fea­tured in RL’s April 2017 is­sue), had al­ways known that they wanted to be ar­chi­tects. Nikki be­came fas­ci­nated with ar­chi­tec­ture when her aunt, an ar­chi­tect, helped ren­o­vate their home. Mean­while, an ar­chi­tect­neigh­bor in­spired Buji to pur­sue the same path. The two share a pen­chant for clean, func­tional, and beau­ti­ful de­sign. “Sim­ple ar­chi­tec­ture is al­ways time­less,” says Buji, to which Nikki adds, “You have to do it not be­cause uso siya. It’s not an easy job,

pero ang sarap ng feel­ing when your clients use the space and they like it. Yun yung re­ward mo.” Email: libar­nes­de­la­paz @ya­hoo.com

6. Ann Her­nan­dez

Owner, Weave Manila Ann con­fesses to hav­ing had a num­ber of jobs prior to es­tab­lish­ing Weave Manila, but her de­sire to help oth­ers prompted her to fo­cus on this one ad­vo­cacy. “If I sold an eight by ten car­pet, that’s two weeks

na pagkain ng isang fam­ily,” she re­lates. Weave Manila, which was es­tab­lished in 2013, em­ploys ar­ti­sans from Bi­col to pro­duce hand­wo­ven rugs made of abaca. Pat­terns are given a modern twist, so it’s not sur­pris­ing that, aside from the lo­cal mar­ket, the brand has also caught the at­ten­tion of foreign buy­ers. But Anna is not one to be com­pla­cent. “You have to con­tin­u­ously learn kasi you have to ac­cept that you do not know ev­ery­thing,” she as­serts. Web­site: www.weave­manila.com; In­sta­gram: @weave­mani­la_inc

7. Rai Cruz

Visual artist Rai first got into paint­ing mu­rals when he taught mul­ti­me­dia arts. While his style can be de­scribed as dark and brood­ing, the themes of his work have evolved with the re­cent pop­u­lar­ity of street art. “Yung tech­nique—yung strokes— hang­gang ngayon, nan­dun

pa rin siya. Pero yung sub­ject mat­ter, nag-iba.” His per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences, par­tic­u­larly when he started his own fam­ily, also have a huge ef­fect on his art. There are, of course, chal­lenges and competition, what with the many tal­ented artists ac­tive in the lo­cal art scene; but these keep Rai on his toes.

“Nakakat­u­long sa artist na hindi ka lang kumportable na ito lang yung gi­na­gawa…at mag-try ng iba’t ibang av­enues,” he re­lates. Web­site: raicruz.com

8. Pam Laserna & Joan Reyes

De­sign­ers, La Hubre Be­fore Pam and Joan (to­gether with an­other part­ner, Yvette Hu­bines) es­tab­lished La Hubre (an in­te­rior de­sign firm based in Iloilo), they were on a dif­fer­ent path. “There’s some­thing ex­cit­ing sa pag vi­su­al­ize pa

lang, and you get to see yung nasa isip mo na ma-mate­re­al­ize

siya,” says Pam of what she likes about her ca­reer. While the firm is only a year old, the women be­hind it are al­ready look­ing for­ward to go­ing global, but be­fore that? “We want to in­no­vate and con­trib­ute to the lo­cal art scene and lo­cal tal­ents in Iloilo .... That is why we de­cided to stay there,” says both de­sign­ers. Email: lahubre.ph@gmail.com; In­sta­gram: @lahubre

9. Yonni Hab­u­lan & Mari­cris Ngo

Ar­chi­tects, HANDS­tu­dio HANDS­tu­dio is an award­win­ning ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign firm. “We are al­ways push­ing for in­no­va­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and Filipino trans­la­tion―we want to cre­ate a con­tem­po­rary style for Filipino ar­chi­tec­ture and have a new Filipino iden­tity in the in­ter­na­tional scene,” says Yonni, who founded the firm with wife Mari­cris. HANDS­tu­dio strives to cre­ate projects that are so­cially rel­e­vant. “We don’t want to be a firm that only cre­ates con­dos and build­ings here and there…. We pre­fer to cre­ate struc­tures, de­signs, or spa­ces that the com­mu­nity and so­ci­ety will ben­e­fit from,” Yonni elab­o­rates. Some of their projects are the Sci­ence Demo area at The Mind Mu­seum in Taguig City and the re­design of St. Paul the Apos­tle Parish in Que­zon City, among nu­mer­ous oth­ers. Web­site: www.han­design­stu­dio.com; In­sta­gram: @han­design­stu­dio

10. Carlo De­lan­tar

So­cial en­tre­pre­neur Carlo de­scribes him­self as a so­cial and se­rial en­tre­pre­neur. He runs two or­ga­ni­za­tions: Al­tum and Waves for Wa­ter. Al­tum is a cir­cu­lar de­sign firm that cre­ates cus­tom­ized de­signs for light­ing, fur­ni­ture, and home ac­ces­sories for var­i­ous global brands. Waves for Wa­ter, on the other hand, is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that gives peo­ple ac­cess to clean drink­ing wa­ter, and had al­ready helped more than a million Filipinos. His par­tic­i­pa­tion in the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum is Carlo’s most me­morable ex­pe­ri­ence. “Trust your gut, fol­low your in­stinct. Ev­ery­thing is based on diskarte lang eh. Find and put cre­ativ­ity in what you are do­ing, make op­por­tu­ni­ties out of that. Ad­ver­sity comes with op­por­tu­nity,” Carlo proudly im­parts. In­sta­gram: @al­tum­con­cepts, @waves­for­wa­ter

11. Rj San­tos

De­signer Right af­ter grad­u­at­ing from BS Cloth­ing Tech­nol­ogy in the Univer­sity of the Philip­pinesDil­i­man, RJ started his own cloth­ing brand called Ran­dolf, but he is not lim­it­ing him­self to just sar­to­rial pur­suits. He has al­ready de­signed soft fur­nish­ings like pil­lows, which he sold at bazaars. RJ also aims to de­sign more in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tions like wall­pa­per and up­hol­stery. “Hope­fully, I have my own stu­dio,” he says of his plans for his brand. “I see the lo­cal in­dus­try flour­ish­ing even more. Peo­ple are be­com­ing more ac­cept­ing of lo­cal in­de­pen­dent brands now, so It’s ex­cit­ing to see how five years will turn out for the in­dus­try.” In­sta­gram: @rjc­san­tos, @ran­dolf­cloth­ing

12. Luigi Conti, RJ Miguel & Hanna Sor­dan

Founders, SparkLab SparkLab, a co-work­ing space in Teacher’s Vil­lage in Que­zon City, opened its doors in 2016, but it’s not your usual co-work­ing space; it boasts top-of-the line ma­chines like in­dus­trial-grade laser cut­ters and 3D print­ers and scan­ners, which clients use to make pro­to­types of their cre­ations. SparkLab also holds sem­i­nars on han­dling such ma­chines. This po­si­tions them as a tech-based ex­ten­sion of the DIY movement. “What’s lim­it­ing mak­ers is fear of fail­ure. You have to move out of your com­fort zone so you see all the pos­si­bil­i­ties,” the trio re­lates. “Our aim is to cul­ti­vate a com­mu­nity of mak­ers… Kahit hindi sa SparkLab—build stuff at home, build stuff with tools.

Basta make stuff,” says Luigi. Ad­dress: 118 Matahimik St. Teach­ers Vil­lage, Que­zon City; web­site: sparklab.ph; email: info@sparklab.ph

13. Lara Frayre

De­signer, Batak Crafts What was sup­posed to be a tem­po­rary NGO work for mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary de­signer Lara Frayre led the way to dis­cover the Batak tribe in Palawan. Her time with the tribe prompted Lara to help them. She then founded Batak Crafts to help pro­vide a sus­tain­able liveli­hood through bas­ket weav­ing. “A lot of your own re­sources— emo­tional, phys­i­cal, fi­nan­cial, and spir­i­tual― ta­la­gang ibubuhos mo dun. You have to know your val­ues. And if you align your life with those val­ues, trust that the process will take care of you. Have faith,” she nar­rates. Lara is also the head de­signer at Cul­ture Movers, a re­search de­sign stu­dio here in the metro. Web­site: www.batakcraft.org; email: lh­frayre@gmail.com

14. Ron Lee

Props stylist “A lot of young but very pas­sion­ate peo­ple think that they have to change their life­style in or­der to fit into the in­dus­try. They have to stop com­par­ing them­selves with oth­ers and just work hard,” Ron ad­vises. Ron, who used to work as a set stylist and pro­duc­tion de­signer, is cur­rently the as­sis­tant cre­ative man­ager of Mu­tiara, a newly opened spe­cialty store in Que­zon City. He still moon­lights as a free­lance props and food stylist for start-ups and cor­po­rate com­pa­nies. His long-term plan: to put up his own stu­dio and a spe­cialty din­ing space, where ev­ery reser­va­tion is set­styled ac­cord­ing to the theme en­vi­sioned by the din­ers. In­sta­gram: @that­de­sign­er­guyy; email ron.leekf@gmail.com

15. An­gelo Siochi

Ar­chi­tect An­gelo has al­ways been fas­ci­nated with his­tory and Philip­pine heritage. Hence, the ar­chi­tect makes sure to in­clude some­thing nos­tal­gic in his projects (some of which have been fea­tured in Real Liv­ing). An­gelo has re­cently worked on re­fur­bish­ing an an­ces­tral home in Que­zon. But get­ting to where he is now took time—from work­ing for an ar­chi­tec­tural firm and for pre­mier de­signer Budji Layug to fi­nally tak­ing the board exam and putting up a de­sign firm. “Don’t rush things. In our in­dus­try, it’s all about ex­pe­ri­ence. Con­tinue to learn and re­search. Ab­sorb and lis­ten,” he says. More than de­sign­ing, build­ing, and ren­o­vat­ing con­do­mini­ums and homes, An­gelo hopes to pay it for­ward and give back to so­ci­ety by teach­ing in smaller schools. Email: an­gelo.ags­de­sign @gmail.com

16. Jim Tor­res

In­dus­trial de­signer Jim worked for Pam­panga metal fur­ni­ture man­u­fac­turer In­dus­tria Home un­der owner Jude Tio­tu­ico’s wing for al­most two years. Af­ter that, he put up Zarate Manila, a de­sign brand con­sul­tancy and stu­dio fo­cus­ing on fur­ni­ture, light­ing, and in­te­rior ac­cents for res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial mar­kets. Win­ning the Red Box De­sign Tal­ent 2015 for his “Es­capade” light­ing col­lec­tion was one of his big breaks. It gave Jim the op­por­tu­nity to show­case his works at the In­ter­na­tional Con­tem­po­rary Fur­ni­ture Fair 2015 in New York, where he re­ceived the Emerg­ing De­signer Award. Jim plans to move to New York to bring his brand to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. “The plan is to go in­ter­na­tional muna then iba­lik yung Zarate Manila, be­cause as the name sug­gests, it should be in Manila,” Jim says with op­ti­mism. Web­site: zarate­manila.ph; email: zarate­manila@gmail.com

17. Tar­ish Zamora

Food and por­trait pho­tog­ra­pher Tar­ish is a com­mu­ni­ca­tions grad­u­ate who fo­cused on TV pro­duc­tion, but even­tu­ally found love in still pho­tog­ra­phy. Her by­line has been cir­cu­lat­ing in var­i­ous lo­cal mag­a­zines since she started do­ing free­lance work a few years ago. Food and por­traits are her forte. “Priv­i­lege

yun ng pho­tog­ra­pher na makita yung raw ex­pres­sion ng ibang tao.” Tar­ish is plan­ning to put up her own stu­dio. She also wants to teach kids about pho­tog­ra­phy. There’s one phi­los­o­phy she lives by: “Be kind. Iba yung work na makukuha mo if you’re kind to every­one.” Web­site: www.tar­ishzamora.pho­tog­ra­phy; In­sta­gram: @tar­ishzamora

18. Ti­mothy Augustus Ong

Ar­chi­tec­tural de­signer Ti­mothy fell in love with heritage con­ser­va­tion when he saw the El Hogar build­ing along Es­colta. “Our iden­tity goes hand in hand with progress. We have to think about our cul­tural progress,

kung hindi, we would have no iden­tity left.” In­spired by Filipino ar­chi­tects Fran­cisco Mañosa and Pablo An­to­nio, Ti­mothy has taken it upon him­self to pro­mote Filipino heritage con­ser­va­tion, and what per­fect way to prac­tice this by be­ing a part of the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Cul­ture and Arts team head­ing the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the iconic Met­ro­pol­i­tan Theater in Manila. Even­tu­ally, he plans to give back to his alma mater (Univer­sity of the Philip­pines-Dil­i­man) by teach­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. Email tim­o­th­yau­gus­tu­song@gmail.com; fol­low Face­book page @metropoli­tanthe­ater­manila1931

19. Nath Geluz

Fur­ni­ture maker, Dekko Nath’s fa­ther and grand­fa­ther, who were handy­men and builders at home, in­spired him to take on fur­ni­ture mak­ing. So he left a cor­po­rate job to start wood­work­ing brand Dekko. Nath col­lab­o­rates with de­sign­ers who are in need of cus­tom­made pieces. “Di ako nag-aral

ng in­te­rior de­sign, sa sketch­ing, ki­nakapa ko pa. Finifeed nila

sa ‘kin yung cre­ative ideas.” His fa­vorite pro­ject to date is fur­nish­ing the stu­dios in the First United Build­ing on Es­colta, Manila. Nath re­lates that, in 2013, he and his wife were part of the Satur­day X Fu­ture Mar­ket in the area. Dekko came full cir­cle when Nath was given the chance to col­lab­o­rate with the var­i­ous de­sign and pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dios there. “Ang sarap lang na, be­fore, makikita lang namin na ‘Wow, ang cool ng place and con­cept!’ Tapos right now, may

mga projects na kami doon.” In­sta­gram: @dekko.ph

20. Cru Ca­mara

Pho­tog­ra­pher This pho­tog­ra­pher delved right into the field as soon as she grad­u­ated from the School of Visual Arts in New York. The ur­ban land­scape of the city kept her cre­ative mind ac­tive. “In New York, a lot of the build­ings are col­or­ful, there’s a lot of pas­tel—I started with pas­tel.” Her work demon­strates a play of dif­fer­ent col­ors that she achieves us­ing only her lights (no app fil­ters), and each shot comes out look­ing like a fine artist’s paint­ing. “I like the idea of be­ing able to take a pho­to­graph that came from re­al­ity and mak­ing it look like some­thing sur­real,” she elab­o­rates. Her works have ap­peared in lo­cal mag­a­zines like Esquire and

GRID, but a pro­ject for a story for a New York tech mag­a­zine takes the cake. In­sta­gram: @cru­ca­mara

21. Tito Dela Peña

In­dus­trial de­signer Tito ini­tially wanted to study ar­chi­tec­ture, but he de­cided to take up in­dus­trial de­sign in­stead. He re­cently ex­hib­ited a se­ries of flat-pack, self-as­sem­bly fur­ni­ture at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines-Dil­i­man, his alma mater where he is also a pro­fes­sor. The ex­hibit show­cased flat-pack fur­ni­ture as a prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion for peo­ple in need of af­ford­able, trans­portable, and ready-to-use goods. In the fu­ture, Tito plans to ex­plore the use of bam­boo lam­i­nates, a more sus­tain­able ma­te­rial, in place of MDF. “It’s im­por­tant to act on your ideas. Sketch your de­sign, it­er­ate and eval­u­ate your work. You have to make sure na holis­tic ang ap­proach to de­sign.” Email: titode­lapena@gmail.com



22. Bambi Mañosa-Tan­jutco, Gelo Mañosa, & Dino Mañosa

Mañosa & Com­pany Hav­ing cel­e­brated ar­chi­tect Fran­cisco “Bobby” Mañosa as a fa­ther, sib­lings Bambi, Dino, and Gelo nat­u­rally share the same ad­vo­cacy as their dad— “a Philip­pines that we can be proud of.” The three of them are be­hind Mañosa & Com­pany, with Bambi head­ing the in­te­rior de­sign depart­ment, Gelo lead­ing the ar­chi­tec­tural firm, and Dino man­ag­ing the fam­ily busi­ness along with Mañosa Prop­er­ties. “The over­all ba­hay

kubo con­cept is still the main driv­ing fac­tor,” Gelo says of the idea be­hind their com­pany’s de­sign style. In all their busi­ness ven­tures, the Mañosa sib­lings make sure that they ad­here to that con­cept and ad­vo­cacy. Dino fur­ther adds, “How will our grand­chil­dren con­tinue this ad­vo­cacy of mak­ing a Philip­pines we can be proud of?” Web­site: www.manosa.com

23. Car­los & Franco Hu­billa

Hu­billa De­sign Group As sons of sea­soned in­te­rior de­signer, for­mer PIID pres­i­dent, and pi­o­neer of Philip­pine in­te­rior de­sign Johnny Hu­billa, Franco and Car­los were ex­posed to the field of de­sign early on. While Franco has pur­sued a ca­reer in land­scap­ing and Car­los has de­vel­oped his own ar­chi­tec­tural and in­te­rior style, both con­sider their fa­ther’s ap­proach to de­sign as an im­por­tant guid­ing prin­ci­ple. “It’s func­tion over aes­thet­ics,” Franco says, to which Carlo adds, “Ev­ery­thing’s so easy on­line now. You can get in­spi­ra­tion, but if they see some­thing pretty, don’t just take it at face value. Why does it look like that? What is it sup­posed to do?” Email: hu­bil­lade­sign@gmail.com

24. Abi Goy

Artist While Abi hails from a fam­ily of tra­di­tional pain­ters (her fa­ther is Agustin Goy—whose works were fea­tured at the “Agustin Goy: Sixty Years In Art” ex­hibit at the Na­tional Mu­seum—and her sis­ter is painter Anna Mari Goy), she de­cided on a more modern take and be­came an il­lus­tra­tor. She is one-third of the Stu­dio Dial­ogo. Her de­signs and book il­lus­tra­tions—some­times dreamy, other times quirky—are a re­flec­tion of ev­ery­thing she likes. When asked who she wants to work with in the fu­ture, Abi says, “Basta may taong gus­tong makipag-col­lab­o­rate sa ‘yo, it’s al­ways go­ing to re­sult in some­thing good.” Web­site: http://projects.dial­ogo.co

25. Christine de Leon

In­te­rior de­signer, O.G. De Leon Pre-cast Christine sees her foray into the field of de­sign as a way of valu­ing the le­gacy left be­hind by her grand­fa­ther I.G. de Leon (who created the orig­i­nal pre-cast or­na­ments of many his­tor­i­cal build­ings in the coun­try like the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Theater, the Na­tional Mu­seum, and Que­zon Memo­rial, among many oth­ers) and fa­ther, O.G. de Leon. Aside from help­ing run the fam­ily busi­ness, Christine is also in­volved with an en­vi­ron­men­tal group, who joined the cleanup drive of The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Theater in 2016. “The most im­por­tant work of my lolo is The Met, be­cause my lolo was awarded the pro­ject the same year my dad was born.” Christine also re­cently worked with in­te­rior de­signer Wilmer Lopez for the ren­o­va­tion of the Space En­coun­ters show­room (fea­tured in the June 2017 is­sue), for which O.G. De Leon Pre-cast added the classical or­na­men­ta­tion. Tel. (02) 533-3776; In­sta­gram: @clas­si­cor­na­ments

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.