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A Closer Look at the Abaca through the Craft Spots

Manila FAME, in partnership with the Philippine Fiber Development Authority (PhilFIDA), showcases the Art of the Craftsman, as they bring to life the crafting tradition of the Philippines through live demonstrations of traditional crafting techniques, taking local materials and transforming them into extraordinary shape and form. In its 58th edition, Manila FAME tells the story of the abaca through the Craft Spots.

Abaca Twining

Twined abaca rope of varying size and color

(Left) The abaca plant. (Above right) Abaca plant, stalk, and fiber

(Left) A craftswoman weaves abaca to create a bag. (Right) Different styles and designs of bags made from abaca

Abaca fiber hooked onto a contraption that twines it into a thin rope

Abaca twining in action

Raw abaca being stripped to get to the fiber within

Abaca Paper Making

Craft paper made of abaca

Tools of the trade: some of the things used in abaca paper making

Sifting abaca pulp from the water into the wooden forms

The abaca pulp ready to dry into paper

Sponging of the excess water from the abaca

One more step to dry the abaca with cloth and rolling pin


In its first two days, IFEX Philippines — which opened on May 16th — welcomed notable local personalities from the industry as well as international visitors and guests. Here are some of their quotes:

IMG_2960“The big difference this year is that we opened IFEX Philippines as a fully international event. We invited international exhibitors and we invited top retail giants to source at our event.” – Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry 

IMG_3055“In less than a decade, IFEX Philippines has become the most comprehensive and most distinguished food show in the Philippines. The constant innovations and features of IFEX Philippines with the participation of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes this event all the more attractive to buyers and visitors alike. I also commend the Culinary Craft Spots feature that champions traditional Filipino delicacies through live demonstrations.” - Proceso J. Alcala, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Agriculture 

IMG_2975“I think this IFEX Philippines is really a wonderful place to showcase our products. I’m so pleased to see that people are flocking in this early and to see active buying happening is a very good sign.”  - Ponciano C. Manalo Jr., Undersecretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry 

IMG_2938“I would like to thank the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) for helping Negros Occidental be part of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines 2013 and for steering us into becoming a global player. ” - Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. of Negros Occidental, IFEX Philippines’ Partner Province

13258_467078296700041_616850567_n“I’m most interested in Filipino food and I’m very impressed and quite amazed in its quality. It’s really in touch with what’s modern now. I have also seen natural and organic products that will be very popular to international buyers.” – Chef Violet Oon, Singapore’s Food Ambassador

“This year’s IFEX Philippines is very interesting. I had a very quick look and it seems to be bigger compared to when I was here two years ago. I like IFEX because it’s very intimate and friendly. Trade fairs in Europe are very big and impersonal but here, it is very friendly and colorful.” - David Smith of SmithMed, Norway

“IFEX is absolutely fantastic. We came here looking for new products and we are probably going to leave with 15 new product lines.” - Michael Gillis of Castle Glenn Enterprises, Australia

“We are currently introducing new products from Barrio Fiesta and MoonDish to the international market and we believe that IFEX Philippines is the perfect venue.” - Anna Yuzon of Barrio Fiesta, Philippines

Explore delectable food finds at IFEX Philippines 2013! Asia’s Ethnic Food and Ingredients Show runs until 19 May 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Philippines.

Manila FAME features three global trends for October


In its upcoming show in October, Manila FAME will be unveiling Style Spots, a setting that will explore three macro trends: 
ECO-SUSTAINABILITY is about sustainable materials, natural or man-made, used for products that are made through environmentally sound manufacturing
HYPERLOCALISM is about heritage — both local and global or “glocal” — spotlighting the interpersonal connections within a community
BEING IN CONNECTION is about bringing different generations together through color, texture, shape and branding.

Eco-Sustainability, Hyperlocalism and Being In Connection are the Macro Trends featured in the Manila FAME Style Spots

The Style Spots will incorporate products from several designers, craftsmen, and exhibitors using cross-merchandised presentations of color, texture, material and form,” says Manila FAME project director James Booth.

The Style Spots will be curated by Ito Kish and feature the work of leading and emerging designers: Olivia d’ Aboville, Robert Alejandro, Amina Aranaz, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Iñigo Elizalde, Daniel Latorre-Cruz, Milo Naval, Val Padilla, Stanley Ruiz, Wataru Sakuma, Vito Selma and Rey Soliven.
See Philippine products designed globally, produced locally. Don’t miss Manila FAME on 17 – 20 October 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila.


The CITEM Blog

CITEM rejoins the blogging universe as we  find a new home here on

This blog is also under new management and rest assured we will strive to make sure that all posts here are quality.

For now, as we have yet to post anything new, here’s the link to our old blog at Note that posts range from 2006 to 2009. Like we said, we’re rejoining the blogging universe.

Be informed here at

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