Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Part of what’s good about being Pinoy is helping others for a good cause.

Throughout history, Filipinos have learned to struggle and survive during hard times and calamities, and reach out to those who are in need.

Even local fashion, surprisingly, has found its way to bring good deeds. We’ve always known this industry as cold, numb, irreverent – a dog-eat-dog world of full of cunning bitches. Good thing fashion still has a heart in designers like Rajo Laurel (who engaged the women of Payatas to produce environment-friendly and fashionable products by weaving bags from scrap cloth) and Puey Quinones (taught prison in-mates how to earn extra thru dressmaking, hand painting and some beadwork).

Last May 20, KULTURA FILIPINO of SM found its niche in giving light to the poor when it launched Crafts for a Cause, a program that puts the heart into retailing with products from livelihood programs from non-profit organizations. These products are made by underprivileged members of society trained by various foundations through livelihood programs aimed at enriching their lives and making them self-sufficient.

When you shop at Crafts for a Cause at the Kultura Filipino store at SM Makati, you will not only support these livelihood programs, but also discover wonderful items from all over the Philippines.

Channel your inner Filipino vibe and be amazed with ethnic-inspired crafts from cultural minorities: woven mats, colorful fans, and accessories by the sea-dwelling Samal Bajau tribe of Basilan through the Claret Samal Foundation; Ifugao inspired accessories and trinkets made by livelihood programs by Cordnet in the Cordillera region; and carved wooden items from the Palawan NGO Network, Inc.

When it comes to innovative but eco-friendly ideas, there are wristlets and coin purses made from tetra packs as well as candles and rosaries made from recycled magazines from Gawad Kalinga; and stylish bags also made from tetra packs by families of Baseco, Tondo through Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran.

Endless creative possibilities are also derived from old telephone directories and newspapers fashioned into bags by the street children and women assisted by the Gifts and Graces Trade Fair Foundation and the Kabisig ng Kalahi Foundation.

With the help of the Isla Para sa Kaunlaran Foundation, tin cans are transformed into novelty items by the marginalized community of Maribacan, Pasay. Tab rings from soda cans, on the other hand, make wonderful bags by poor families from Smokey Mountain, Tondo with the livelihood programs of the Philippine Christian Foundation.

Bags and home items made from recycled materials, as well as wax products made by newly released prisoners and inmates of Philippine jails and prisons were also highlighted during the event.

Crafts for a Cause brings together products from livelihood programs all over the Philippines: driftwood sculptures by the flood and typhoon stricken farmers and fisher folks of Banglos, Quezon; carved candles made by women involved in the livelihood programs of the E. Zobel Foundation; resin jewelry with butterfly accents by the butterfly farmers of Boac, Marinduque through Isla de Bila Bila; and macrame bags by the women of San Andres, Bukid, Manila through the Kaibigan Ermita Outreach Foundation.

There are also antique finish religious icons from the Ginto Foundation and wooden bead jewelry from the Holy Family Home Foundation’s livelihood programs.

So fellow fashionmongers, help uplift lives by supporting Filipino products. Shop with a heart in KULTURA FILIPINO’s Crafts for a Cause beginning May 20 at Kultura Filipino’s store in SM Makati. Other Kultura Filipino stores are located at SM Megamall, the Block at SM City North EDSA, SM Mall of Asia and SM City Cebu, as well as selected SM Department Stores nationwide.

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