Saturday, October 21, 2006

Manila SHAME

The first time I went to Manila FAME was about five years ago. A friend of mine who was an exporter invited me to view the trade show. It was one of the most breathtaking experiences I had. The year after that, I got to design one of the booths. It was located somewhere in the middle of the World Trade Center under banners with "Hall of Fame" silk screened on it.

It was when I told myself that someday, I'm going to have a booth here.

The displays were the best the Philippines can offer. For a pathological design fan, it was better than prozac. Breathtaking.

Years passed by, the best the Philippines can offer never got to change. Woven abaca, resin and more resin, Capiz shells dyed in many colors, wires and more indigenous materials. The only thing that changed was the attitude of a lot of the exhibitors. They became more abrasive, more snooty and yes, cargante.

One was even quoted, "Sosyal kami eh!" And I thought I will only hear those words said jokingly. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth when said in full conviction. It can actually make one puke.

I had my first hand taste of bad attitude from one of the exhibitors saying that they can only manufacture locally if the minimum order is $5,000. Funny because their product is customized wire letters. If you intend to order from them with that minimum, how about Anna Karenina? I bet it will not even reach $5,000.00. The most hilarious part is when you look at their card, their shack is located at Aurora Blvd. And I got to check, it's a hole in a wall talyer which poses as a world class manufacturer.

When I was asked by a friend how was the CITEM show--

"the products are frustrating and the exhibitors-- disgusting!"

Well, some were nice... too bad.

And yeah, no desires of participating here in the future. I'm sure there will be other venues...


southdude said...

ei. my officemate bought an issue of your magazine because he & his fiancée.. are getting married. at syempre ayun, hanap ng ideas sa future house nila. ala lang, share lang. :-D

Anonymous said...

Yep, three years ago, the last time I wnt, I felt the vendors didn't really want to talk to you if you weren't a foreigner in a business suit!


PS Can't seem to comment using my usual ID. Hmmm.... Calling out of service ba tayo diyan?

decorator said...

its actually sickening...

a lot of them are a bunch of pretentious gentiles who don't have people's skills!

sky said...

in other countries, furnitures and accessories are available in day or night markets, and they arrange for your shipping even if they are also your hole in the wall types. no wonder, thai and chinese design can be found anywhere.

if this level of prestige goes into their heads, i'm not sure if they will last.

imho, this is one of the pinoy traits lined up there with maniana and bahala na--the performance level mentality. fine, it brings out the best in us but before we get to do it, it must be during the awards or exhibition season.

hay, the recurring theme of unavailability of good design even to the middle-middle class folk.

Citizen of the World said...

Gwyn, this is very sad news indeed. I hope this isn't the case for EVERYONE who attend the F.A.M.E. but if indeed fame has gone to their heads, wait until China and Vietnam takes over and see who'd be putting on sack cloths and ashes on their heads.

Wake up, Pinoys. Reality check po tayong lahat.

decorator said...

oh well... it is very sad indeed.

kampanaryo_spy said...

that's right: F.A.M.E. offers nothing new!

sad. but. true.

the "sosyal kami eh" stance must've rubbed off from CITEM designers to exporters.

i should know. i'm with DTI.

decorator said...

what is d.t.i. doing about this?


kampanaryo_spy said...

CITEM is just an attached agency of DTI. as such, it's a world unto its own.

for many years now, there's a proposal to privatize CITEM as it duplicates the function of some DTI bureaus that handle domestic and export trade promotion. the plan, at present, has gone south---to limbo!

nice blog.

kampanaryo_spy said...

but then again i could be wrong. you know, when your perch is in far surigao del sur, things could get blurry.


decorator said...



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