The most important event in the calendar for the home furniture and furnishings sector was held on March 14 – 17 at SMX Convention Center, Manila. The Philippines International Furniture Show (PIFS) was the shop window for the industry; locally, regionally and internationally, where over 9,000 visitors were in attendance; a 30% increase in buyers compared to last year. The great and the good in Filipino design and furniture manufacturing gathered together to show just what their industry can do, and to demonstrate why they have a worldwide reputation for excellence and innovation.
The Philippines International Furniture Show: The Biggest United Furniture and Furnishing Event in the Country
A very busy registration counter at SMX Convention Center, Manila for PIFS 2014
This was the inaugural Philippines International Furniture Show, and the three main furniture trade associations – the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc. (CFIF), the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), and the Pampanga Furniture Industries Foundation (PFIF) – have organized the exhibition together. It is a national industry event, organized by the industry, for the industry. PIFS Chairman, Christina Gaston said “It is the central showcase for the national industry. It is our opportunity to show the world, and our colleagues at home, how we interpret world trends and in many cases take the lead in design innovation.”
Gaston and distinguished guest and friends from the furniture industry led the opening ceremony of the show where Marcos A.S. Punsalang, head of the Economic Diplomacy Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) delivered the DFA Secretary’s message which highlighted that the second largest contributor of export sales to the Philippine economy is our furniture industry.
(L-R front row: Mr. Nicolaas de Lange, CFIP-National President; Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Philexport President; Hon. Lilia Pineda, Pampangga Governor; Mrs. Betty Cobonpue, Mrs. Josephine Aboitiz-Booth, H.E., Julio Camarena-Villaseñor, Mexican Ambassador; Mrs. Myrna Bituin, PhilExport Pampangga; Mr. Marcos A.S. Punsalang, DFA Head of the Economic Diplomacy Unit, Mr. Philip Repato, PFIF President; Mr. Robert Booth, CFIP President
L-R second row: Mr. Eduardo Zuluaga, CFIP-National Exhibit Chair; Mr. Remigio Lastimoso, PFIF Exhibit Chair; Ms. Christina Gaston, CFIP Exhibit Chair; Ms. Nelia Navarro, DTI Cebu Provincial Director; Archt. Rogelio Caringal, PIID President; Mr. Antonio J. Mendoza, PIFS Artistic Director)
Gaston explained the important role of the event’s Creative Director, J. Antonio Mendoza. “This year we asked Anton to curate the show because we thought that by having one of our most important architects and designers set the scene, we would be working with someone with proven understanding of international trends and developments, and a love of the local product. He uses the best of Filipino product on a daily basis, so who better to backdrop our great new collections?”
“As the Creative Director for PIFS 2014, I have worked with the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) and the furniture companies to develop a platform where the best of Filipino manufacturing meets the best of design. We combined custom-made gallery pieces, with the everyday practical and mass produced. We are presenting our national creativity and capability in a contemporary setting reflecting world trends and standards,” said Mendoza.
For the show’s special features besides the Design Incubation Program with DCP, Mendoza brought together elements from the past juxtaposed with contemporary furniture. Interior Lifestyle Vignettes has been curated to showcase excellence in Philippine design presented against a backdrop of our Hispano-Philippine Heritage through Juan Luna murals made possible through the support of the National Museum of the Philippines.
One of the four Juan Luna murals displayed at PIFS
Besides this, the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID) Cebu and Western Visayas also showcased their special setting with fifty carefully selected furnishings in commemoration of PIID’s 50th anniversary with the theme of “Celebrating the Past, Designing Your Future”.
Over 100 companies, including the prominent designers Vito Selma and E. Murio, shared the spotlight with well-established manufacturers A zcor Lighting Systems, Country Accents, Designs Ligna, Locsin International, Pacific Traders, Mehitabel, More Than A Chair, and so many more.
For many years, Filipino designers have had a reputation for creativity and innovative use of natural fibres and locally available raw materials. International design trends currently lean very heavily on ‘green’ production and natural feel – so the Philippines is ideally placed to meet the demand being set internationally for clean lined contemporary resort style furniture. The companies that participated at PIFS 2014 are also keen to meet the demand created by the boom in development of tourism projects within the Philippines. These local manufacturers and designers are confident that they can meet the demands of city centre hotels, island retreats and eco lodges.
PIFS 2014 was a show of great variety, a place where young designers worked alongside their well-known colleagues; it is where technologically advanced manufacturing was displayed beside the traditional hand crafted, where one off high design meets world standard bulk manufacturing. It was as varied and diverse as our islands, it truly reflected the Philippines.
The Philippines International Furniture Show 2015 will take place at SMX Convention Center, Manila from March 13 – 16. For more information about the show visit www.nextonenow.com/pifs or contact their event manager Global Link Exhibition Specialist Inc at (02) 750-8588 firstname.lastname@example.org