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21/11/2013: CUISIA REITERATES GRATITUDE TO US FOR TYPHOON ASSISTANCE

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-113-2013
21 November 2013

CUISIA REITERATES GRATITUDE TO US FOR TYPHOON ASSISTANCE

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy reiterated its deep gratitude to the United States Government and the American people for their support and assistance in helping the Philippines cope with the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan.

“To the United States Government and the American people, I stand here tonight to express our deep gratitude to your support and assistance,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said in his remarks during the opening on Monday night of the “Made in PH” furniture industry showcase at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy.

“I would like to acknowledge with sincere appreciation the numerous expressions  of sympathy to my countrymen, not only those directly affected by the recent super typhoon Haiyan, victims and survivors alike now struggling to live,  but also  the score of rescue and relief workers who,  with their  tireless work  and generosity give hope and faith in humankind,”  Ambassador Cuisia said.

The Filipino envoy said Washington had offered its assistance to Manila even before the typhoon made landfall on 8 November and is now leading international efforts to provide relief to more than 10 million people who have been affected by the disaster.

The US has not only provided air and naval assets and personnel that are now playing a critical role in the disaster relief effort but also more than $37 million in humanitarian assistance. This does not include assistance from US-based nongovernment organizations and the American public.

“As we think of recovery and growth, I cannot help but look at our export industries as rays of hope,” Ambassador Cuisia said in opening the exhibit which features six iconic, trendsetting Philippine manufacturers whose products are marketed in the US by the multi-awarded furniture importing company Phillips Collection of High Point, North Carolina.

Ambassador Cuisia said the exhibit, which was co-sponsored by the US-Philippines Society, seeks to open new doors for Philippine furniture in the US which, with its population of 312 million and annual per capita GDP of $50,000, remains to be the biggest single market in terms  growth and absolute consumption.

“It is the ideal place to make brands known, boost export sales, launch new designs  and products, and  is, in fact the gate to the world market,” he said, adding that  the US absorbed 50 percent of the Philippines’ combined  annual export of  furniture, giftware and houseware amounting to close to $600 million  in 2013.

Trade Representative Maria Roseni Alvero said the exhibit, which will run until Friday, 22 November, also seeks to expand the network of contacts with the US buying community, particularlyfurniture and furnishings retailers  and  stores   and specialty and boutique shops that carry furniture, furnishings,  architects, interior designers and other parties who might be interested in visiting a furniture show in the Philippines.

She said the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, and a partner for the exhibition hosts the Manila FAME twice every year in March and October, and the Design Week, once a year in March.

Mark Phillips, owner of the Phillips Collection, said he was honored for the opportunity to support the exhibit, which showcases Filipino talent and craftsmanship.

“We find in our industry what we need which is design and we find it in the Philippines,” said Phillips. “In the world market, we cannot compete with the lowest price but with talent.”

Phillips said each designer makes use of native Philippine materials to make each piece a reflection of not only its place of origin but also its world-class quality and wide international market.

He said one Philippine product, Square Root, a piece made of acacia root coated in resin was chosen best product of the year by Interior Design Magazine.

A first of its kind at the Embassy, the exhibit showcases works by the following Philippine-based furniture designers and manufacturers:

Bon-Ace is a Philippine-based fashion and lifestyle products company which began its business operation with eight employees and a small nipa hut as a production area. Today, they are known worldwide for their unique blend of Filipino and Italian design and are a favorite in international trade fairs.

Enpekei International, Inc. specializes in design-oriented products. They release more than a hundred new product designs a year, mostly furniture and decorative accessories handcrafted by artisans. Each piece is made of indigenous materials and carefully finished by hand. The company has participated in shows in Milan, Frankfurt, Valencia, Singapore, Tokyo, Dubai, Hong Kong and Manila, and has garnered numerous awards in the Philippines and abroad.

Heinimex began in the 1980s as a popular neoart corporation that produces hand-carved wooden rocking and carousel horses. Today, the company has expanded its range of products to include collections of furniture, fountains, planters, urns, life-size garden statues, and smaller home pieces. They offer one of the largest ranges of human and animal reproductions and are well known for our skillfully reproduced Egyptian artifacts.

Lightworks started as a hobby atelier in 1987 and has grown to an enterprise made up of its passionate and creative founders and dedicated in-house trained artisans. Its first pieces, which caught the attention of the public in art gallery exhibits, were hand-sewn beeswax, polished narra timber, vessels, furniture, and decorative pieces with intricate designs. Beginning 1989 onwards, Lightworks products were showcased in Manila Fame.

Nature's Legacy is a rising global manufacturer of home furnishings and garden accessories. The company incorporates locally abundant raw materials into their product design, using its natural aesthetic values, while ensuring that these raw materials are responsibly sourced with careful consideration of the environment. Indigenous materials such as local stone, dead shrubs, and fallen twigs and branches are processed and combined with other mixed media to produce original, innovative designs.

Ann Pamintuan is a jewelry and furniture designer who has worked with some of the biggest names in Philippines design. She is also a trailblazer in the industry, being the first Asian female designer to receive spotlight in the International Design Yearbook. One of her most popular and sought-after pieces is her cocoon chair. Pamintuan is also a founding member of Movement 8, an elite pool of Filipino designers.

The exhibit kicked off with an Opening Night on 18 November. A Buyers’ Night will take place on Wednesday, 20 November and a Reception for members of the Filipino-American community and media will be held on Thursday, 21 November. The aforementioned events will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy.

For more information about the exhibit, please contact the Philippine Trade and Investment Center at (202) 467-9419 or washingtondc@philippinetrade.org###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-213-2013
21 November 2013

Pieces from the Phillips Collection on display at the Made in PH exhibit at the Phililppine Embassy.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-214-2013
21 November 2013

Home design pieces by the Phillips Collection featuring indigenous materials such as local stone, dead shrubs, branches, and mixed media.
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WDC-215-2013
21 November 2013

Soldered metal chairs and coffee table by Ann Pamintuan.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-216-2013
21 November 2013

Roseni Alvera, Trade Representative; Mark Phillips, owner of the Phillips collection; and Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. at the opening night of Made in PH.