Proudly made in Pampanga | Company Applicant

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It holds the distinction of being the culinary capital of the Philippines. His name has also become synonymous with the giant, breathtaking Christmas lanterns that light up the streets of the province as soon as the Christmas season arrives.

But those looking for beautiful, exceptionally made home installations see the province of Pampanga in a different light. For them, it is a go-to destination for quality furniture because its cities are full of the best craftsmen and craftsmen. So much so that these expertly crafted pieces have found their way into chic homes across the country and even overseas. In an interview with the Inquirer a few years ago, Myrna Bituin, founder of Betis Crafts, shared that she would even spot their pieces in foreign magazines and films, “along with the likes of Joan Collins, Boy George and Jessica Parker”.

Here are some of the best furniture makers in Pampanga.

Betis Crafts Inc.

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

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

Pieces from Betis Crafts (betiscrafts.com) range from chairs and beds to cabinets and wall units. It has a strong following all over the world, even finding its way into the homes of the wealthy and celebrities.

Living in Triboa Bay

Owner and designer Randy Viray wanted a brand that evokes calm and relaxation. Coming from a family of furniture makers, Viray established Triboa Bay Living (triboabay.com) in 2008, named after the picturesque Triboa Bay in Zambales, where his family vacationed.

Based in Angeles, Pampanga, Triboa Bay Living combines laid-back, relaxed sophistication with traditional and contemporary silhouettes. Along with its timeless designs and excellent craftsmanship, the brand prides itself on its ethically sourced materials. He uses plantation wood instead of sourcing from forests. Triboa Bay Living also uses vintage and reclaimed wood.

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

Distinguished welcome

It all started in 2013 with an ordered piece of furniture. Soon, lead designer Kat Blanca de Leon found herself forming Genteel Home (genteelhome.ph), a company that offers interior design services and bespoke furniture. Last year, the brand opened its own showroom in Angeles.

Genteel Home’s bespoke pieces include side tables and console tables that feature solihiya and Art Deco-style chaise lounges and sofas. De Leon shares that the brand’s pieces are 100% Filipino-made with locally sourced materials.

Part of Genteel Home’s mission is to provide a more personal and enjoyable furniture design and manufacturing experience for its customers. Attached to its showroom is a workshop where customers can experience how their commissioned pieces are meticulously assembled by the brand’s skilled craftsmen.

Industrial Edition

Bacolor-based Industria Edition (instagram.com/industriaedition) is known for furniture that is “sculptural yet practical, innovative yet instantaneous classics.” Envisioned by Jude Tiotuico, imaginative furniture, lighting and decorative accessories combine modern design with traditional craftsmanship.

The pieces are made from steel the old fashioned way: cast, hammered, baked and smoothed by the hands of skilled Kapampangan artisans. Although steel is Industria Edition’s material of choice, the company also adds a warm, organic touch to its designs. His designs are inspired by a blend of mid-century modern, art deco and nature. The company has won several awards at FAME in Manila and has exhibited at international furniture fairs.

Furniture Las Palmas Inc.

Founded in 1983, Las Palmas Furniture Inc. (laspalmasfurniture.com) is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of high-end commercial furniture. It has established a solid reputation for quality and consistency and won 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 overseas market and has been a supplier to upscale hotels, serviced apartments and resorts worldwide. She employs more than a hundred skilled local craftsmen, a far cry from her 300 m² workshop with just six employees at the start.

Sources:

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

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