Proudly Pampanga-made | Inquirer Business

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It holds the distinction of being the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. Its name has become synonymous, too, with the giant, heart-stopping Christmas lanterns that light up the province’s streets as soon as the Yuletide season rolls in.

But those who are in the look out for fine, exceptionally made home fixtures see the province of Pampanga in a different light. For them, it is a go-to destination for quality furniture as its towns abound with the best artisans and craftsmen. So much so that these expertly made pieces have found their way to posh homes throughout the country and even abroad. In an interview with the Inquirer some years ago, Myrna Bituin, founder of Betis Crafts, shared that she would even spot their pieces in foreign magazines and films, “with the likes of Joan Collins, Boy George and Jessica Parker.”

Here are just a few of Pampanga’s finest furniture makers.

Betis Crafts Inc.

Founded in 1972 by husband and wife Joe and Myrna Bituin as JB Woodcrafts, the business began as a producer of wooden carcasses, the basic box that serves as the building block of a piece of furniture. In time, three other companies were carved out of the family’s furniture-making business: Betis Crafts Inc. (so named after the couple’s hometown), More Than a Chair and South Sea Veneer. All four companies are now each led by the couple’s children. Each brand has a different expertise but all complement each other.

Betis Crafts is renowned for its upscale hand-carved and solid wood furniture with gold leaf finishing. JB Woodcraft specializes in custom, more traditional pieces, while More Than a Chair caters to a younger market with its minimalist, contemporary lines. South Sea Veneer produces classic pieces distinguished by marquetry and veneer inlay.

Pieces from Betis Crafts (betiscrafts.com) range from chairs and beds to cabinets and wall furnishings. It has a strong following globally, even ending up in the homes of the rich and famous.

Triboa Bay Living

Proprietor and designer Randy Viray wanted a brand that brings calm and relaxation to mind. Coming from a family of furniture makers, Viray established Triboa Bay Living (triboabay.com) in 2008, named after scenic Triboa Bay in nearby Zambales where his family spent their holidays.

Based in Angeles, Pampanga, Triboa Bay Living puts together casual, laidback sophistication and traditional and contemporary silhouettes. Aside from its timeless designs and excellent craftsmanship, the brand takes pride in its ethically sourced materials. It uses plantation grown wood instead of sourcing from forests. Triboa Bay Living uses vintage and reclaimed wood as well.

The brand’s lighting, furniture and decor pieces are available locally as well as in the US, Europe, South Africa, Australia and other parts of Asia.

Genteel Home

It all began in 2013 with one commissioned piece of furniture. Soon enough, principal designer Kat Blanca de Leon found herself forming Genteel Home (genteelhome.ph), a company which offers interior design services and bespoke furniture. Just last year, the brand opened its doors to its very own showroom in Angeles.

Genteel Home’s bespoke pieces include side tables and consoles which feature solihiya and Art Deco style lounge chairs and sofas. De Leon shares that the brand’s pieces are 100 percent Filipino-made using locally sourced materials.

Part of Genteel Home’s mission is to provide a more personal and enjoyable design and furniture-making experience for its clients. Attached to its showroom is a workshop where clients can check out how their commissioned pieces are meticulously put together by the skillful craftsmen of the brand.

Industria Edition

Based in Bacolor, Industria Edition (instagram.com/industriaedition) is known for its furnishings which are “sculptural yet practical, innovative yet instant classics.” The brainchild of Jude Tiotuico, imaginative furniture, lighting and decorative accessories marry modern design with traditional, handmade production.

Pieces are fashioned from steel the old school way: molded, hammered, fired and smoothened by the hands of skilled Kapampangan craftsmen. While steel is Industria Edition’s material of choice, the company adds a warm, organic feel to its designs as well. Its designs are inspired by a mix of Mid-century modern, Art Deco and nature. The company has garnered several awards at the Manila FAME and has exhibited in international furniture shows.

Las Palmas Furniture Inc.

Established in 1983, Las Palmas Furniture Inc. (laspalmasfurniture.com) is one of the leading manufacturers of premium commercial furniture in the country. It has built a solid reputation for quality and consistency, and has earned the Golden Shell Award for Manufacturing Excellence in 2002 from the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem).

Based in Angeles City, Las Palmas Furniture caters to both the domestic and foreign market, and has been a supplier of high-end hotels, serviced apartments and resorts the world over. It employs over a hundred skilled local craftsmen, a long way from its 300 sqm workshop with just six employees back when it was first beginning.

Sources:

Inquirer Archives, Fameplus.com, Dti.gov.ph, Artplus.ph

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