PGMA opens RP furniture show

March 3, 2010 10:23 pm 

MANILA, March 3 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led ceremonies formally opening Manila Now 2010 – the Philippine International Furniture Show – at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Wednesday morning.

Joining the President for the ribbon-cutting ceremonies were Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Augusto Syjuco, Manila Now 2010 chairman Eduardo Zaluaga and show organizer Josefina Cancio, president of the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines.

After formally opening the event to the public, the President was given a guided tour of the expo’s exhibit area where 14,300 square meters of the SMX Convention Center was packed with over 100 manufacturers and exporters of furniture, furnishings, lighting and houseware items.

Zaluaga and Cancio took turns presenting and introducing the exhibitor’s items to the President who expressed amazement at the craftsmanship and attention to detail poured into each furniture piece.

The President made several stops, particularly at the J. Antonio Mendoza and Maze booths to personally “test” the sturdiness and level of comfort afforded by the pieces of furniture and have her picture taken with the proud exhibitors.

The President was attracted by a dining table and seat displayed by the designer, Kenneth Cobon-Pue, who made judicial use of Philippine materials such as rattan and abaca twine.

Now on its 14th year, Manila Now 2010 is expected to surpass its previous exhibits.

Zuluaga, in an interview, noted that despite the recession, foreign customers still have to visit these expos to check out the latest designs in furniture.

“They can’t afford not to come,” he said.

“They have to fill their showrooms with the newest designs. They can’t have more of the same look every year. Each year, they have to have something new and different for their customers,” he added.

For her part, Cancio said the number of buyers the show generates every year imparts the trust these customers have in the design quality of furniture the local industry produces.

“They know they can find pieces here that will do well in their stores and homes,” she said.

Held in conjunction with two other shows –- the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers’ New Essentialism and Hotel Show Philippines — the Manila Now 2010 will be held from March 3 to 7. (PNA)

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