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Proudly Filipino: Katutubo At The Bench Tower

Happening this weekend at the Basement area of the Bench Tower is Katutubo 2019; a bazaar of ‘lokal’ fashion retail, highlighting apparel and accessories. Curated by Mons Romulo-Tantoco, it’s a wonderful mix of the traditional updated, of modern takes and twists using indigenous fabrics and materials, and a showcase for the plucky band of fashion designers and entrepreneurs who make ‘lokal’ trend-worthy and wearable beyond formal occasions.




Katutubo runs for three days (until Sunday, May 5th), and it’s an initiative that dovetails nicely with Bench’s Mission Statement of being Proudly Pinoy and buying local. As such, Katutubo joins such bazaars as ArteFino and MaArte in bringing the best of ‘lokal’ to a niche market that may have known one or two sellers via friendships, but would never have suspected or been exposed to so many quality makers in one place and time. Katutubo is open to the public, and provides us with a wonderful opportunity to get together with friends and spend an afternoon of shopping that also promotes Filipiniana without pigeon-holing it into something quaint or purely traditional.


During the Friday afternoon opening, it was great to bump into so many people who were either manning their booths, or had come to congratulate Ben Chan and Mons, and just shop! Lulu Tan-Gan, JC Buendia, Bea Zobel Jr. with daughter Paloma, Sophia and Lizzie Zobel, Gabbie Sarenas, Issa Litton, Max Collins, Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati, DFA Sec. Teddyboy Locsin with Louie, Trickie Lopa, Marielle Santos-Po with mother Therese Coronel-Santos, and countless others who were eagerly eyeing the wares or just happy to be there. 



Do yourself a favor and head to Katutubo at the Bench Tower. You won’t regret the visit.