Barongs, Wristwatches, Bags And More—These Philippine Products Are Living Embodiments Of Filipino Tradition
Filipino creativity and craftsmanship compares to no other.
Over the years, international audiences and the local market alike have come to discover the true talent of the Filipino artist. Wih his hands as his most beloved tools, his generations-old tradition, the guiding force that courses through his mind down to his heart and fingers, he creates tangible culture—one that tells countless stories and embodies the values of the people it represents.
There's a respect deserved by Filipino creators, even more so when they create for noble causes and go beyond the call of the bottom line.
This summer, Kultura, an all-encompassing lifestyle shopping destination that features proudly made local products, aims to highlight this exact breed of Filipino artisans with a first-class showcase of their beautiful products. Carrying a wide array of home accents, delectable goodies, fashion accessories, and elegant traditional Filipino garb, the store is certainly a must-visit for those wishing to discover the best that the Filipino maker can give.
Here are some of the brands to watch out for:
En Barong Filipino
This barong-making business that has been around for over five decades can be credited to the survival and the thriving of the country's barong-making communities and barong-wearing culture. What was once seen as nothing more than passé fashion, En Barong Filipino elevated it to fine pieces of clothing and elegant must-haves for the stylish wardrobe. They definitely helped call attention to the true nature of the barong: an art form worth preserving and deserving of the Filipino's admiration.
The idea of Filipinos being skilled at watchmaking is not common knowledge, but should be. This is the mission of Ibarra, the first locally assembled watch brand for men and women that brings to light the almost forgotten skill of the Filipino relojero. Employing a team equipped with an eye for handsome design and the meticulousness for seamlessly assembled timepieces, Ibarra is well on its way to establishing a path of originality and the revival of this Philippine tradition.
Before India, China, and other Asian nations became known for their coveted materials needed for fine woven work, did you know that the Philippines was once regarded as the region's most lauded textile producer? The recognition is, unfortunately, all in the past now, but with Beyond Borders PH, new hope of regaining this title has sprung. Focusing specifically on the intricate inabel produced by women in the Ilocos region with ancient wooden looms, Beyond Borders not only aims to bring its shawls, blankets, home and table accessories to you, but also to return to these women a sense of purpose and unbreakable pride in their weaving tradition.
Despite their organization's name, nothing is quite "invisible" with what it does. The hardworking and enterprising women who make up Invisible Sisters create the cutest multi-use bags, purses, and pouches one ever did see, and upon learning the materials used in their production are, in fact, solid waste products dumped in landfills and waterways, the work they do becomes all the more impressive. More so, Invisible Sisters also makes sure to employ women––often those unable to join the formal economy for a myriad of poverty-related reasons––to help uplift their economic, emotional, and psychological well-beings.
Tumandok Crafts Industries
It's certainly much easier to create art out of beautiful materials, but when an artist is able to make world-class products arise from scrap items found in nature, applause is due. Such is the case for the Bago City, Negros Occidental-based artisans of Tumandok Crafts Industries who are often tasked to create awe-inspiring homeware like jewelry boxes, frames, pretty food trays, multi-functional dishes, and more out of banana bark, bamboo, capiz, and oyster, saddlewood, and capiz shells.