In creating unique lighting and furniture, Hacienda Crafts stays true to its mission as an envirosocial design company. Because of this, owners Joey Gaston and Christina Borromeo-Gaston always go beyond the limits of home, whether to find sustainable natural raw materials, regional and indigenous weavers, and enlightened designers to magically transform rough vines into urban home fashion. For the company, living out the theme of the 29th Negros Trade Fair, “Smiles Beyond Borders”, comes naturally. This time though, Joey and Christina went beyond to help devastated communities rise from the rubble.
The town of San Remigio in northern Cebu was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda. The people here are known for their unique brand of basket weaving, and so Hacienda Crafts supported their livelihood by ordering rattan hand-woven baskets that now form part of the Macramé Pendant Lamp. Available in natural and black, the lamp also uses abaca macramé. The Macramé Pendant Lamp won top honors at the 2014 Bulawan Awards of the Association of Negros Producers.
Meanwhile, Tubigon and Inabanga were badly hit by the 7.2 Intensity Bohol earthquake. Bohol is home to the country’s best raffia loomweavers and many of them come from these two towns. Hacienda Crafts tapped the weavers here to produce raffia fabric to create the Tubigon Lamp. The traditional pattern of the fabric offers a welcome contrast to the contemporary silhouette of the hanging lamp. The Tubigon Lamp comes in two sizes, large and small. Fabric colors and patterns vary making the lamps rare if not unique finds.
La Libertad in Negros Oriental was not spared by the earthquake. Again, to assist in the community’s rehabilitation, Hacienda Crafts collaborated with the members of the La Libertad Weavers Association to create the Lowen baskets and placemats out of pandan rope, the Anna baskets made of abaca rope, and the Ludy baskets woven out of pandan leaves. All these will be at the Negros Trade Fair this year.
Hacienda Crafts will delight shoppers at the fair in September with its line of new products. Tinalak woven fabric, from the T’boli Tribe of Mindanao, has been fashioned into the Pilo Round and Rectagular Soft Storage with leather handles, and as upholstery for the Tilam collection of round stool, chair, and bench. Buri finds new rendition in the Eucalyptus Hanging Tube Lamp and in the Metro Baskets reissued in smaller sizes. Almost a lost art, the solihiya weave using rattan strips makes a comeback as the seat of the Rhoda Stool.
Living and working out of Hacienda Santa Rosalia in Manapla town, Negros Occidental, Joey and Ina add whimsy with their Not for Hire Collection. Steel plates from cargo bays of junked sugarcane trucks are upcycled as tabletops of small and large side tables. Adding character are the original but now-faded “Not for Hire” painted warnings that have been preserved.
Hacienda Crafts’ Inuma Collection of home accessories will continue to attract trade fair goers. The classic Rosalia coco twig placemats, trays, and runners have been updated in silver, champagne, bronze, gold, and white gold.