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The MaArte oPen Party Is Coming Soon!

The annual MaArte Fair, organized, curated, and mounted by the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, has become one of those ‘poste’ events that signify something bigger—in this case, the start of the bazaar season. Call it fortuitous, but for some reason, MaArte signals the onslaught of bazaars that come weekend after weekend, all the way to December. A showcase of the very best from Filipino artisans, craftsmen, select fashion designers, and jewelers; MaArte has become a beacon of quality, of possibility and local pride, and discriminating shopping. 



To be held at the Manila Peninsula from August 16-18, there will be a stark difference this year to how the MaArte oPen House will be conducted. Both Phyllis Zaballero and Albert Avellana were excited about the changes—and how this year, it would be MaArte in Party mode.

For those who remember the block parties held at North Syquia Apartments, that will be the vibe this year’s MaArte will be aspiring for. The 3rd floor Gallery where the MaArte was traditionally situated is undergoing renovations; so what the Peninsula offered was to open up 23 rooms/suites over two floors—hence the new moniker of MaArte oPen House. There’ll be two vendors per room and it’ll be like they’re hosting, encouraging guests to linger, sample the wares, enjoy the libations and hors d’ouevres, before moving on to the next room/suite.

Randy Ortiz, welcoming one and all to this year’s MaArte


After his very successful first foray into the world of MaArte last year, Randy Ortiz is back, ready to be one of the fair’s luminaries manning the Man-Cave. I loved his Green Suede shoes with Double Monk straps, and the embellished blazers and suits. Maco Custodio expands his range of offerings. Beyond the snappy Inabel & Silver Foil sneakers that he previewed, there are Backpacks artfully made of repurposed swatches and rich material.


Randy’s Green Double Monk Strap street shoes


Maco Custodio’s Inabel & Silver Foil sneakers


The much talked about Francisco Moreno’s Ibarra watches will be at MaArte. And Justin Filamor was explaining how there’ll be a special Sucesos watch inspired by the watch Jose Rizal himself wore, that can be preordered. There are also regularly-priced timepieces that include models for the Ladies. For Lally Dizon, known for her Ladies’ bags and accessories; MaArte oPen House will be her first foray into a Men’s Collection. Utilizing Python, Crocodile, and Snakeskin, she previewed an impressive array of pouches, portfolios, cross-body waist bags, and bracelets that had silver-plated brass buckles.


An Ibarra timepiece


For Men, the Cross Body Waist Bag and Bracelet of Lally Dizon?

Lally’s Pouches & Portfolios


The preview I attended was limited to the Man-Cave and some of the personalities who’ll be manning said cave. That’s just a small sampling of the vendors, artisans, and craftsmen who’ll be showcasing their merchandise over the three days, and Party-ing via the oPen House. This year’s edition of MaArte certainly promises to be one fun shopping weekend!

It’s a MaArte party at the Pen; Standing L-R: Justin Filamor, Joaquin Bilbao, Albert Avellana, Charm Lim, Maco Custodio and Loleth So; and seated L-R: Phyllis Zaballero and Lally Dizon

Maco’s Backpacks


READ: The Wonderful Feeling of MaArte