ArteFino opens the 2023 edition of its trade fair on Aug. 24 at the Power Plant Mall in Makati. (Photo by Valere Jane R. Callorena/ The Varsitarian)

Thomasian artisans showcased their local craft and brands at an artisanal trade fair on Aug. 24 at the Power Plant Mall in Makati. 

Seven UST alumni participated in the “ArteFino,” a fair that promoted locally made jewelry, clothing, and home decor. 

“It’s very important that we never forget our culture, we never forget to value what is found here—our local products,” said Farah Abu, owner of her namesake brand that produces jewelry from locally sourced freshwater pearls, semi-precious stones, glass beads, and ethnic weaves. 

“Local does not mean it has to be cheap. Local [refers to] our traditions,” she added.

The architecture alumna said her Ilocana-Tausug roots inspired her to make intricate earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry.

“I grew up thinking that when a piece is intricate and you spend more time and love into making it, the more beautiful it becomes, and this is why we make intricate pieces,” Abu said. 

Architecture alumna Farah Abu with jewelry from her brand ‘Farah Abu.’ (Photo by Valere Jane R. Callorena/ The Varsitarian)

Monica Capistrano, also an architecture graduate and co-owner of “C&C Lifestyle,” exhibited fashion and home accessories made of woven handicraft materials.

Her products feature designs from partner artisans in Maguindanao, South Cotabato, Pampanga, and Zamboanga. 

“When I was designing my projects before, I was looking for more modern, fresher home products but I wasn’t able to find one. That’s why I came up with the decision to freshen up local handicraft,” Capistrano told the Varsitarian

Architecture alumna Monica Capistrano with bags from her brand ‘C&C Lifestyle.’ (Photo by Valere Jane R. Callorena/ The Varsitarian)

Meanwhile, Rene Alcala and Leo Tiopes of “Domicillo Selections” said their brand’s objective was to uplift Filipino designers. 

“There are so many Filipino creatives, so [holding festivals and exhibits] is a good platform for young and budding designers,” said Alcala, an alumnus of the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management. 

“Those budding artists, they’re very creative. As long as you know what you want, just go with it and if it’s your passion, you’ll make it,” said Tiopes, a computer science graduate. 

Computer science alumnus Leo Tiopes with decor from ‘Domicillo Selections,’ which he co-owns together with College of Tourism and Hospitality Management alumnus Rene Alcala. (Photo by Valere Jane R. Callorena/ The Varsitarian)

UST alumni Vic Barba, owner of “Barba,” Aaron Mempin, artist at “Kathâ Pilipinas,” and Nicandro Filart Jr., co-owner of “R. Filart,” also joined the fair.  

ArteFino ran from Aug. 24 to 27. Jan Alyanna G. Tamaray


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