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After a six-year hiatus, the Philippines has returned to the premiere French furniture trade fair, Maison et Objet, which ran from 6-10 September 2013 in the Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, France. Covering over 130,000 square meters, Maison et Objet is the second largest and most important furniture fair in the world after Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile (SIM). The Philippine participation is under the banner Design Ph, which was launched in April 2013 in Euroluce, the biggest international lighting exhibition in Milan, Italy.Design Ph is now a movement in design which aims to establish the Philippines as a reliable source of quality export products in the home sector with a strong commitment and dedication to the highest level of design and craftsmanship.

Joining the Design Ph pavilion designed by Budji layug and Royal Pineda are Betis Crafts, Hive (Kenneth Cobonpue), Industria, Ito Kish, Luisa Home, Masaeco, Mayumi, Domicillo, Schema by Kalikasan Crafts, Tadeco Home, Triboa Bay, and Vito Selma. Design Ph’s participation in Maison et Objet was organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Accompanying the designers were DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo, DTI Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos, CITEM Deputy Executive Director Rhea Matute, as well as representatives of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Paris.

The Philippine Embassy in Paris lent its full support and cooperation to this endeavor by facilitating the participation of Design Ph in Maison et Objet. Embassy officials, led by H.E. Ambassador Cristina Ortega, were in full force at the networking reception for the Design Ph pavilion, meeting potential buyers and distributors and promoting Philippine designs.

At the close of Maison et Objet on September 10, the Philippine Embassy gratefully agreed to take some of the furniture to be displayed at the Embassy and the official residence in order to further promote Philippine designs.

From L-R in the Philippine pavillion: Kenneth Cobonpue, Ambassador Cristina Ortega, Royal Pineda, Budji Layug

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From L-R: Consul General Maria Josefina Ceballos, Commercial Attaché Vichael Roaring, Secretary Gregory Domingo, Ambassador Cristina Ortega, Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo

Ambassador Cristina Ortega on the “Alegra” chair by Vito Selma

At the welcome dinner hosted by Ambassador Ortega, counter-clockwise from left: CITEM Deputy Executive Director Rhea Matute, CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos, Amabassador Cristina Ortega, Mrs. Rowena Domingo, Third Secretary and Vice Consul Rapunzel Acop, Stephanie Zubiri, Althea Antonio, Ella Burgos, Commercial Attaché Vichael Roaring, Royal Pineda, DTI Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo, Budji Layug, Kenneth Cobonpue.