Japanese cars. Swiss watches. French perfume. Thai silk. Belgian chocolates.
And Philippines? Filipino hospitality, you bet. There’s more. So much more that reminding ourselves to “buy local, save jobs” doesn’t quite say enough anymore. Now we must tell the world – beginning with globetrotting tourists – to come and shop glocal. Our local products have global appeal.
Any self-respecting department store that’s worth its name and prestige has a Filipiniana section – visit Duty Free Philippines’ Luxe, at MOA – that caters to shoppers who are always on the prowl for “something different” to take home. With 94 days before Christmas Day, shopping maniacs who could not wait to feel the fever and scratch the itch have had their Sept. 1 moment, the so-called start of the “ber” months leading to the spirit of their annual pilgrimage, Christmas shopping.
As every street-smart shopper knows, Philippine-made products are not cheap. The nice stuff come with a price tag and a reputation for being done by hand, created by artists and artisans who take pride in their work. While the usual practice is for a department store to set aside a space for PH goods, Tessie Sy-Coson went the whole hog by dedicating an entire store, Kultura, to showcase the treasures of sea, forest and hills, and the artistic imagination.
Reeds, weeds, seeds are only some of the materials used for Kultura. There’s bamboo, seashell, beads culled from “upcycled plastic bottles” as there are yarns and threads in the sunrise-to-sunset colors of Mindanao’s rich heritage. Beaded, braided, woven, embroidered, fabrics become articles of clothing and fashion accessories. Kultura’s participating artists also produce bowls and plates and platters with a distinctive Philippine flavor, which is to say, their motifs are inspired by native flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Elsewhere on the Filipiniana scene, a feature of Ayala Malls is their Ayala Foundation’s pop-up shops that attract attention for their unique gift-giving ideas, all sourced locally using wood, bamboo, twine, abaca hemp, paper and cotton. Most of the goods on display are labeled as environment-friendly.
From our island culture and endless beaches and tropical paradises comes a king’s ransom of beautifully crafted treasures and trinkets – pearls are a precious Philippine signature, too – so go tell the world, “Come and shop glocal!”