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SMARTCEBU The Philippines

SMART Cebu Sustainable Materials Artistically Rendered Trendsetting

SMARTCEBU The Philippines

A project implemented by

SMART Cebu is a Switch Asia Project co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. It promotes sustainable consumption and production that contribute to a cleaner and sustainable environment. It is being implemented in the island of Cebu, Philippines and aims to increase the competitiveness of the Cebu home and lifestyle industries and to promote a cleaner environment in Cebu.

The Project 04 Eco Design: Transcending old perspectives


Sustainability: Cradle to CradleÂŽ 08 Transforming Cebu: Success through Design and Quality Manufacturers & Products

_6 Mastercraft Inc. 44 6.1 Domino 46



_1 APY Cane Inc. 16 1.1 Palawan 18 1.2 Toffee 20

_7 Nature‘s Legacy 48 7.1 Cosmo 50 _8 Pacific Traders 52 8.1 Candilum 54 8.2 Vitio 56 8.3 Cassia 58 8.4 Maritim 60 8.5 Bacbac 62

_2 Casa Cebuana Incorporada 22 2.1 Ventana 24

_9 Stonesets International Inc. 64 9.1 Roco-co 66 9.2 Rafaella 68

Materials Library: Playground of the creative industries

_3 Catarman Industries Inc.


_4 Coast Pacific Corp. 30 4.1 Float 32 4.2 Chokoko 34 4.3 Triburet 36 _5 Detalia Aurora Inc. 38 5.1 Nautila 40 5.2 Gaia 42


Contacts 94 Acknowledgement 96

The project 4

SMART Cebu is a Switch Asia Project for the home and lifestyle sector of Cebu, Philippines, co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. The home and lifestyle sector is represented by Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF), Cebu Gifts Toys and Housewares Foundation (Cebu GTH), and FAME Foundation Philippines. The project is implemented by a consortium of European and Philippine business organizations with sequa gGmbH (Germany) providing technical assistance in the areas of business membership organization (BMO) capacity building, advocacy and overall project management. Three organizations provide technical support: Association of Financial Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) on green financing; European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) on materials R & D and international marketing; and Effizienz Agentur NRW (Germany) on resource efficiency and cleaner production. SMART Cebu aims to increase the competitiveness of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the home lifestyle sector and promote cleaner environment in Cebu. It also intends to shift the mindset of SMEs and business organizations towards the promotion of sustainable consumption and production (SCP). As a complementary to the green production process component of the project, a marketing and export strategy is being developed to create awareness of the sustainable initiatives of the home and lifestyle sector in Cebu, and to stimulate demand for its green products in Europe and in Asia. SMART Cebu paves the way to the evolution of Cebu as a competitive and sustainable home and lifestyle hub in the Philippines that significantly contributes to a cleaner environment.


Eco-Design: Transcending old perspectives


Design is more than its physical manifestation; it is a reflection of the times and the prevailing mood of the era. Design also serves as a vicarious escape from the seemingly endless and grave issues populating the news media in the chaotic world we currently live in. It is another means of coping with the high-stress-fast-paced reality that most people face on a daily basis. Yet, producing beautiful and marketable design is no longer enough. The process and sustainability of production are quickly becoming as important as the products themselves. This is the very heart of SMART Cebu Project: creating a paradigm shift in how companies operate and what products they market to keep their relevance in today’s extremely competitive environment. The project’s Eco-Design Program teaches participating companies the significance of blending creativity with sustainability, emphasizing the importance of thinking beyond their own needs. This allows companies to transcend from being mere manufacturers to becoming responsible creators of furniture and furnishings pieces and collections; respecting the value of Mother Nature – the very source and the provider of building blocks for the products they produce. With this revitalized thought process, SMART Cebu aims to weave fresh possibilities and create renewed opportunities for a more sustainable and lucrative future.


Sustainability: Cradle 速 to Cradle 8

Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. – The Lion King Cradle to Cradle® is a design concept guided by nature, where all things from birth to death are interwoven and interconnected into a careful balance. Like nature, there is no such thing as waste with Cradle to Cradle®. A tree pushes out a new leaf bud along its branches, which will grow to make sap that nourishes the tree. When the leaf dies, it breaks down into nutrients that return to the soil to create a new generation of leaves. Throughout its life, the leaf provides shelter and food to insects and animals that will also decompose upon death and go back to the soil. And so year after year, this cycle continues. Thus, no matter how seemingly insignificant a grain of sand may be compared to a massive mountain, everything plays a role and contributes to the balance that governs the great circle of life. It is through this inspiration that the Cradle to Cradle® design concept was born- envisioning design to be interwoven with man and nature to create a sustainable life cycle. It aims to create products that give thought to the Circle of Life- that everything can be created, disposed and reborn. It seeks to strike a balance between aesthetics and sustainability in order to improve the quality of products and be of health, economic and ecological benefit.

The Cradle to Cradle® design concept is based on three innovative principles. First, it envisages that everything has to be designed as a nutrient of something else. Second, everything contributes to diversity – be it conceptual, cultural or biological. And lastly, everything is produced by renewable energy. A silk shirt for example, whose production processes contain only ecofriendly and biodegradable components can simply be composted and converted into a biological nutrient that can create the leaves the silk worms will be eating. In the same manner, materials can also be rotated in a cycle. Designing a product in such a way that they can be disassembled after use can transform every carefully chosen material into a new product. Imbibing this new way of thinking makes it possible for every television set or every washing machine to be reborn and become the building blocks for a new innovation. The Cradle to Cradle® design concept was conceptualized by German chemist Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart and American architect William McDonough. It was developed from 1987 to 1992, the concept was based on the Intelligent Product System (IPS) that Braungart’s company EPEA (Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency). As of today, countries from around the world such as the Netherlands, the United States of America, Taiwan, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Germany have followed suit. Hundreds of enterprises, local authorities and institutions offer products designed after the Cradle to Cradle® design concept.

Consumption Part / Product

Service Part / Product

Biological Cycle

Technical Product

Is made from a renewable resource

Is produced from renewable or nonrenewable resources

Enters the environment through diffuse processes (e.g., wastewater streams)

Enters an industrial take back and (true) recycling system to recover the materials on the same quality level over and over

Acts as a nutrient for processes in the environment that enable production of new resources

Acts as a nutrient for the production of new products (same or other)

Is beneficial to humans or ecosystems along the biological cycle

Is beneficial to humans or ecosystems along the technical cycle


Transforming Cebu: Success through Design and Quality


For years the Cebu furniture industry has always relied on the demand driven market, producing designs provided by clients as they enjoyed considerable patronage from the US, Middle-East and South American markets. But with the recession of 2008, the market reeled in and the traditional demand-driven market for Cebuano furniture collapsed. Due to the increase of material and labor-costs, Philippine products became too expensive for importers. Exporters scrambled to compete with the price points of China, North Korea and Vietnam, as they tried to scour the market for new buyers. A new strategy was needed to reposition and establish Cebu’s furniture industry. The emergence of environmental responsibility and new buyer regulations centred on corporate social responsibility prompted the SMART Cebu Project to urge Cebuano exporters to turn to Europe and explore the growing niche market for sustainable products. A team of German designers was commissioned to harness the design strengths of the exporters and slowly shift their mind-set from Price Leadership to Design and Quality Leadership, where more emphasis was placed on the need to create cohesive collections and in-house design. Through SMART Cebu’s Eco Design Program, the need to innovate constantly and establish sustainable thinking became the new battle cry as exporters were encouraged to think of long term plans for their companies, incorporating newly acquired concepts such as eco strategies and sustainable marketing. The strong relationship between cleaner production and sustainable design was further highlighted as an important aspect of eco-design. The Program guided the companies through a comprehensive series of theoretical lectures, hands on workshops and modelmaking, one to one company consultations, company visits and online discussions.


Debuting at the International Furniture Fair 2012, the companies are giving the market a taste of what is yet to come from the Philippine Furniture Industry. Although the companies still have a long way to go before they could be fully certified producers of ecofriendly products, the Project is confident that the companies are on the right track towards sustainability, not only for their products and collections, but more importantly for the future of the industry as well.





_1 APY Cane Inc. 16

APY Cane started operations in 1985 with only rattan and wicker as materials for its products. Over the years, the company transitioned into producing unique hand-crafted furniture pieces using wrought, leather bindings, wood, and other indigenous materials abundant in the Philippines like abaca and lampacanay.

Production process of Palawan chair and table.

Today, APY Cane brings Filipino ingenuity to the world by strategically switching to sustainable production and design, handcrafting unique pieces of excellent artistry and exceptional quality. A collective effort of the company‘s creative designers gave birth to the idea of crafting unmatched designs using a new material – coco branches. The company serves the US, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Italy and Middle East.


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Palawan Chair and Palawna Table are a dazzling application of the branches of a coconut palm, an indigenous plant abundant in the Philippine all year round.


The carefully handcrafted items are a showcase of sustainable design and excellent Filipino craftsmanship. To come up with the product, pieces are painstakingly put together using bio-organic white glue and wood dowel is used instead of screws. Linseed oil is also applied on the surface of the completed items for finishing. Palawan Chair and Palawna Table are one of the many products made by APY Cane using Philippine indigenous materials like rattan, wicker, wood, abaca, and lampacanay. The use of coco branches is part of the company’s efforts to deepen its commitment to sustainable development

Product Details Materials coco branches rattan leather coco coir

Finish natural in linseed oil Chair dimensions (cm) W 67.3 D 81.3 H 87.6

Table dimensions (cm) W 46 D 46 H 52

Manufacturer APY Cane, Inc. Designer Aldou Almocera



Product Details Materials abaca rope & rattan cane (production waste material) iron frame


Finish natural color

Dimensions (cm) ø 97 H 38.5

Manufacturer APY Cane, Inc. Designer APY Cane Design Team

1.2 21

_2 Casa Cebuana Incorporada 22

Gathering enough capital from his own savings, Guillermo M. Figueroa started manufacturing handicraft and furniture in the early 1950’s with just one planer, one handsaw and some raw materials. He later formed Rattan Originals, Inc. Today, the factory sits on an eight-hectare land in Talisay City, Cebu, with a workforce of close to 600 employees. Back then, the company produced rattan furniture pieces and parts along with buri furniture reinforced with rattan, and lauan cases with rattan trimmings. Products were exported to the US, Mexico, the Carribean, then West Germany, Japan, Australia, Greece, France and Italy. Two major projects were: supplying furniture for a hotel in Cancun, Mexico where the Summit Meeting in 1981 was held; and furnishing a 200-room hotel in Athens, Greece where the Miss Universe beauty pageant was held. The company was the first recipient of the Golden Shell Award in 1982 for excellence in exports, given by the then Ministry of Trade and Industry. The late Guillermo M. Figueroa’s strong foresight and in his anticipation of the then impending rattan shortage gave birth to Casa Cebuana Incorporada in 1986 with the thrust of specializing in wood furniture. The company has shifted gears and upgraded its wood working machines from manual to semi-automatic state-of-the-art equipment producing only for the best names in the international furniture market. Today, it is one of the leading manufacturers of high-end quality furniture exported to the United States, Europe, the Middle East, South America and South Africa. Figueroa’s daughter, Angela Figueroa-Paulin now runs the company as President and CEO, moving its strategic focus on sustainable production and design by seriously exploring new materials such as coco wood.

Preparation and assembly of the coco wood chair Ventana.


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Ventana is fashioned from coco wood that comes from coconut palm, a recyclable and renewable indigenous material abundant in the Philippines all-year round. The product is delicately handcrafted using only basic machines to keep energy consumption at the lowest level. The heavier and harder part of the wood is sliced and flattened to precision and smoothened to desired thickness. Strips are laminated for balance and to prevent warping. Assembled without nails and screws, dado and dowel joints are used. Edges and corners are sanded for smoothening and softening. For water proofing, linseed oil using wire wood is applied, and the final product is waxed to enhance the natural color of material. Non-toxic finishing materials are used.

Product Details Materials coco wood Finish natural in linseed oil and wax

Dimensions (cm) W 39,5 D 44 H 75

Manufacturer Casa Cebuana, Inc. Designer Daniel Latorre Cruz


_3 Catarman Industries Inc.


Catarman Industries, Inc. is a medium size furniture manufacturing company established in 1993. Its 8,000 square meter manufacturing facility is situated in an industrial zone of Liloan, Cebu, Philippines. The company produces classical and transitional indoor furniture like chairs and tables using rattan as main material. Currently, the company is mainly exporting its products to the USA. All materials used by the company are sourced locally. The main material, rattan, comes from the country’s southern island of Mindanao through a direct supplier that is a certified harvester and trader duly licensed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This licensed gatherer and supplier harvests 15 – 20 year old naturally grown rattan vines and initially classified before shipping to Cebu. “Palasan”, “Alabi” and “Tumalin” are the common rattan species being used. The company processes the rattan poles as they are delivered by the supplier. Process starts from rattan pole straightening and skin scrapping. After which, the poles are classified and stored in bundles in a storeroom. They are then be sanded using a pole sanding machine. Some poles are steamed in the steamed box to make them soft for better bending. Assembly is then done to form the product. Binding the edges or corners follows to make the joints sturdier and at the same time to enhance the look of the furniture. Sanding is the last process applied. It is done skillfully before the finished products are packed and loaded to the container. Aside from the work done inside the manufacturing facility, the company also does outsourcing. Several subcontractors work for the company for certain processes. These are micro business enterprises with small capitalization and with 5-15 workers. The company issues job order to the subcontractors and provides the necessary materials. To ensure the quality of the outsourced process, the company fields quality control personnel to check on the subcontractors.

A view of the Catarman factory and how company experts control the quality of rattan poles







Production flow at Catarman Industries:



Raw material in the jungle (1) Delivery from rattan supplier (2) Drying process (3) Rattan pole straightening and skin scrapping Classification and storeage in bundles Rattan poles sanding and cutting Steaming in the steamed box to make it soft for better bending (4) Bending and assembly to form the product (5) Binding on the edges and wicker work (6) Control and final polishing Finish products are packed and stored (7) Loading the container

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_4 Coast Pacific Corp. 30

Coast Pacific Manufacturing Corporation located at Mahiga Creek, Kasambagan, Banilad, Cebu City was established in 1993 focusing on the production of classical rattan and wicker furniture. In its first five years of company operations, it received the 1998 Golden Shell Award for “Design Excellence” during the National Export Congress at Philippine Trade Training Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City organized by the Department of Trade & Industry. As the landscape of the furniture markets change, the company decided to launch another product line in 2003: outdoor furniture. The new venture completes the product offerings of the company – a one-stop-shop for furniture buyers. Coast Pacific Manufacturing Corporation serves and supplies markets in Europe, US, Australia, Asia, Middle East and South Africa. But with the fast growth and development in Asia, specifically the Philippines, the company now caters to local hospitality and contract requirements such as that of Marco Polo Hotel, Discovery Shores Boracay Resort, Panglao Island Resort and Lighthouse Marina Resort. The company is also starting to shift to sustainable production by applying natural materials like coco shells to its designs.

Production process of the coconut shell material from its plant source to the cutting and smoothing of the coconut shells and its final assembly to a fine product.


Float Float is an application of carefully selected coco shells. The materials are provided by rural families contracted by Coast Pacific for an additional income to those gathering coco shells meticulously cut into specified tile sizes. The community also softens the edges of the coco shell tiles ready for assembly in the factory where polishing and finishing with non-toxic materials are done. Coconut palm is endemic in the Philippines any time of the year. Its fruit, juice, husks, shell, leaves, bark, twigs, and every part of the plant including its waste materials are used for a variety of products in the food and lifestyle business. Applying any part of the coconut palm to a product design is both environmentally sustainable and socially responsible because economic benefits are extended to the communities involved in collecting the materials. Float is essentially handcrafted. The coco shells are tastefully woven together manually using abaca fiber.

Product Details Materials coconut shell plywood abaca rope iron base


Finish natural materials polished metal (powder coated)

Manufacturer Coast Pacific Manufacturing Corp.

Dimensions (cm) W 35 D 35 H 55

Designer Jan Armgardt Tina Lo

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4.2 34


Product Details Materials coconut shell abaca hemp rope cotton fabric Finish natural polished

Dimensions (cm) W 45 D 45

Manufacturer Coast Pacific Manufacturing Corp. Designer Tina Lo


4.3 36


Product Details Materials rattan aluminium framing Finish natural (polished in oil)

Dimensions (cm) W 43 D 43 H 48

Manufacturer Coast Pacific Manufacturing Corp. Designer Tina Lo


_5 Detalia Aurora Inc. 38

Detalia Aurora, Inc. is dedicated to the creation of world class furniture for a discriminating clientele, catering to small and large customers in the medium to high-end markets worldwide. It combines modern technology, traditional Filipino craftsmanship, the artistry of talented designers and the innovative use of indigenous materials – rattan leather, abaca, turnsole, wood veneers, and various vines – to produce contemporary style products of the finest quality. Most products are handcrafted, capitalizing on Filipino skills in molding natural materials into impressive works of art. The company prides itself in pioneering the use of resources that were previously untapped. A highly focused research and development program allows its designers to experiment with new ideas, thus earning the company the prestigious reputation of being a trendsetter in the use of natural materials. The company is interested in a two-way form of cooperation: to export furniture from the Philippines, and to import furniture raw materials and parts from Europe.

The weaver makes an exact measurement and markings to create the weaving, which begins in the loop and then goes on outwards. Each leg takes over 7 hours of weaving.



Nautila gives a seafaring waste material new life and sustains a livelihood for a local community. It is designed using nautica rope made of recycled materials and produced by a village in the island of Mactan mainly for fishermen and farmers. Detalia Aurora, known for the development and experimentation of new and sustainable materials in design, provides the community additional income by applying nautica rope in product design. Nautica rope is elegantly woven for about seven hours per leg of the table, making the product genuinely handcrafted to perfection and a highlight of what the Filipino craftsmen are known for: master weavers. Nautila is lightweight with a fun shape coming in a variety of colors. Eco-friendly finishing is applied and a glass top and an unfinished metal base are used to keep it sustainable. Abaca hemp fiber, an indigenous material in the Philippines considered as one of the strongest natural fibers around, is also one material application to the design created by Paula Rodriguez.

Product Details Materials abaca hemp rope aluminium base glass Finish natural 40

Dimensions (cm) ø 55 with glass top H 50

Manufacturer Detalia Aurora, Inc. Designer Paula E. Rodriguez

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5.2 42


Product Details Materials rattan glass Finish wax finish

Console table dimensions (cm) with glass top W 152 D 46 H 79

Cocktail table dimensions (cm) ø 55 with glass top H105

Manufacturer Detalia Aurora, Inc. Designer Paula E. Rodriguez


_6 Mastercraft Inc. 44

Mastercraft is known to be one of Asia’s best manufacturers and exporters of wrought iron furniture. Its intensive research and development allows the company’s three factories to create material combinations by integrating and mixing sustainable and renewable materials with available materials such as top grain leather, fibre casting, cast aluminium, brass casting and stone/shell in-lay. Up to now, Mastercraft continues to produce the finest wrought iron furniture successfully catering to one of the biggest wholesalers and retailers mainly in the United States and some in the Middle East, Asia, and Brazil. The company is open to directly import from any European supplier who will provide materials that can be applied as a combination of wrought iron in producing furniture. The company’s new thrust is to integrate sustainable production and design in its business operations.

After splitting, the bamboo is cracked evenly. Plywood is used as inlay and is grinded.


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Plywood and crushed bamboo are natural materials creatively applied by Mastercraft in designing Domino book table. The crushed bamboo is laminated with water-based white glue and is manually sanded for a smooth feel. Forming as a base is recyclable welded wrought iron with black powder coating used for surface end-fishing. The substance emits zero or near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC). Domino is multi-functional and provides an active communication area. It is a storeroom for books and magazines that can be accessed from all sides; it also provides a place to have coffee and a time for reading. It is easily separated into two main parts – wood boxes and metal frames – that makes recycling even easier. The sustainable product is practically handcrafted and requires excellent metalworking and woodworking skills. Bamboo is a natural material abundantly found in all parts of the Philippines all-year round. Plywood is a recycled material made of from thin sheets of wood veneer.

Product Details Materials iron frame plywood crushed bamboo

Finish natural materials, waxed metal, powder coated Dimensions (cm) W 98 D 98 H 50

Manufacturer Mastercraft, Inc. Designer Charlie V. Caminade Algin G. Brinquez


_7 Nature‘s Legacy 48

Nature‘s Legacy is one of the premier manufacturers of home furnishings and garden accessories based in Compostela, Cebu. Stone casting process is its pioneering core competency, making the company a prime mover in the industry. Nature’s Legacy has a unique and rich history of success showing its enigmatic transition from a ‘virtual unknown’ to a significant force in the world market today. For over a decade, the company has remained committed to its Vision Statement: “To be a global leader in the home furniture and accessories industry founded on Integrity and Competence. The strategy is three pronged: Customer Satisfaction is Number One; Promote Social Responsibility; and Support Total Human Development.“ The company was established in December 8, 1996 through a dynamic collaboration of the husband-and-wife team: Pedro and Catherine Delantar. Named as Nature’s Legacy Eximport, Inc., the company embraces a design policy that respects the natural aesthetic value of locally abundant materials without disturbing the environmental balance. These natural materials are processed and combined with other mix-media to express world-class designs superior in quality and craftsmanship. Nature’s Legacy not only promotes clean production; the company also seriously embraces the concept of sustainable development in its design policies.

Applying NuCast® on a product design


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Cosmo is made from sustainable and recyclable material, NuCast®. It has always been a core value of Nature’s Legacy to use indigenous and eco-friendly materials in designing products. When transporting and processing of materials become a drawback because of the amount of carbon involved, the company ventured into product research and developed NuCast® – a recycled material innovation made by Nature‘s Legacy, made of recycled newspaper. The process is fully handmade, with very minimal energy consumption and almost zero wastage since material preparation is based only on what is needed for producing items; and any ordinary person can be trained to do the process. NuCast® uses no resin in its procedure. Especially formulated water-based binder forms the texture, attains the desired shapes, and absorbs water-based colorant sprayed over the surface of the item, which is classified as recyclable when disposed.

Product Details Materials plywood NuCast® (recycled newspaper)

Finish sanded color coated (water based

Table dimensions (cm) ø 37 H 53

paint) Chair dimensions (cm) ø 46 H 46

with glass ø 56 H 54.5

Manufacturer Nature’s Legacy Designer Pedro Delantar Bryan Silver Bitong Giovanni Buzon Jan Armgardt 51

_8 Pacific Traders 52

With two plants situated in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines, Pacific Traders & Manufacturing Corporation began in 1973 as an exporter of rattan poles. Recognizing the market potential of rattan, its founders Hugo and Gorgonia Streegan, diversified into the manufacture and export of rattan furniture in 1976. Owing largely to its innovative use of rattan and mixed media materials, Pacific Traders has established a formidable reputation in the international market. In 1985, the company coveted the Philippine Golden Shell Award for Outstanding Performance in Export in recognition of its over-all efficiency in quality management, manufacturing capability, research and development, marketing and financial viability. The birth of the company‘s Wood Division in 1989 has further bolstered its footing, making it a complete furniture manufacturer. Today, Pacific Traders boasts of a diverse product line from the formal classic designs to the casual contemporary styles. Its 589,000 square foot plant and workforce of more than 1,600 ensures adequate capacity and timely delivery of products to its clients. From one person‘s vision to build something special, Pacific Traders has evolved into one of the country‘s standard bearer of fine quality furniture.

Preparing wicker work for the Cassia Chair


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As Pacific Traders and Manufacturing Corporation embarks on sustainable development as a strategy in designing home furniture and furnishings, company designer Dominique Uy Ismael creates exciting pieces with less energy consumption from eco-friendly trash lying around the factory.


The items are mainly handcrafted from collected scrap veneers cut in squares and rectangles of different sizes, and sent to a back-toback sanding process to smooth texture. For a glossy look, wax is used as an alternative to lacquer. In fashioning Candilum, veneer cuts are attached using non-toxic glue. When dry, they are hand-stitched on a muslin fabric to create a teenage girl’s skirt (sayal) effect. Attachment of materials is all hand-made for a cleaner and a more energy-efficient process. A 10mm rattan serves as the frame.

Product Details Materials cut-off veneer metal base Finish natural

Dimensions (cm) ø 61 H 38

Manufacturer Pacific Traders Manufacturing Corp. Designer Dominique U. Ismael


8.2 56


Product Details Materials gmelina rattan coconut coir latex foam cotton fabric

Finish natural waxed Dimensions (cm) W 66 D 62 H 91.5

Manufacturer Pacific Traders Manufacturing Corp. Designer PT Design Team



Product Details Materials gmelina rattan coconut coir latex foam cotton fabric


Finish natural waxed Dimensions (cm) W 60 D 62 H 91.4

Manufacturer Pacific Traders Manufacturing Corp. Designer PT Design Team

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Product Details Materials rattan handwoven raffia waste cloth abaca rope coco coir latex foam cotton fabric

Finish natural Dimensions (cm) W 72.4 D 67.3 H 72.4

Manufacturer Pacific Traders Manufacturing Corp. Designer PT Design Team Jan Armgardt 61


Product Details Materials abaca strips metal base Finish wax


Dimensions (cm) W 48 D 48 H 49

Manufacturer Pacific Traders Manufacturing Corp. Designer PT Research and Development Team

8.5 63

_9 Stonesets International Inc. 64

Stonesets International, Inc. is a 100% Filipino–owned corporation established in 1988. It manufactures furniture and home accessories using imported lumber of beech, pine, maple, mahogany, and other indigenous materials found in the Philippines such as leather, stone, shell, rattan, bamboo, and arorog. Stonesets’ products carry the fine artistry and dedication of experienced craftsmen who make perfection their trademark with every step of the production process. The company stands for total customer satisfaction and takes pride in continually producing masterpieces that clients treasure for years. The plant is situation on one hectare lot located at the Industrial Zone of Mandaue City in Cebu, Philippines. As the company ventures into clean production and sustainable development as a business strategy, it intends to export more furniture products to the European market.

Rafaella lamps are crocheted by hand

Woodcarving work on the Roco-co Chair


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A significant portion of Stonesets International’s operating expenses are on wood cut-offs in various shapes and sizes and other scraps lying around the factory. These are the sources of inspiration for the sustainable production of Roco-co. The unused materials are sorted out, cut to the desired shape, and assembled according to the pattern of the design using eco-friendly white glue as adhesive. The item goes through a manual sanding process and a coat of sealer provides a finishing touch. Roco-co is a showcase of how sustainable benefits are derived from waste and scrap materials consuming a considerable space in the factory. It is designed by Wataru Sakuma, a Japanese designer working for the company since 2004 doing lamps, wall arts and tapestry using handmade paper. Stonesets International is in the direction of doing sustainable design. Apart from using indigenous and scrap materials and venturing into a cleaner production, it also provides livelihood opportunity to a group of housewives living within the district where its factory is located. The company trains these housewives to make use of their time without neglecting family responsibilities by creating useful items from scrap material like old newspapers, magazines, and scraps from the factory.

Product Details Materials gmelina mahagony lawaan plywood

Finish natural, sanded

Manufacturer Stonesets International, Inc.

Dimensions (cm) W 54.5 D 58 H 90.5

Designer Wataru Sakuma


9.2 68

Raffia strands are strips from the leaves of a palm tree, which can be found anytime and anywhere in the Philippines. Raffia is soft, durable, and easy to dye. It is hand woven like straw or tied like silk ribbons. The material doesn‘t shrink with moisture and is pliable enough for weaving.


These qualities inspire Vito Selma to apply raffia in designing the practically all hand-made Rafaella Lamps manufactured by Stonesets International. Designed patterns are meticulously crocheted using raffia strands to create outlines that come out when the lamp is turned on.

Product Details Materials crocheted raffia metal base

Square lamp dimensions (cm) W 46 D 46 H 61

Finish natural

Round lamp dimensions (cm) ø 46 H 61

Oval lamp dimensions (cm) W 84 D 13 H 43

Manufacturer Stonesets International, Inc. Designer Vito Selma Evelyn Selma, material development 69 70

Materials need to be seen, touched and played for new ideas to blossom and to motivate designers and product developers to work with new elements that transform imaginations into design innovations. Cebu, being the Philippine hub of creativity and the home of the design curious, a playground for exploring, discovering and getting inspirations from is conceived by three organizations dedicated to cultivating the culture of research and development: Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF), Department of Science and Technology Region 7 (DOST 7), and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP). This is the Materials Library – a facility also serving as a response to the need of the creative sectors for new material development and innovation. Materials Library is a work in progress as gathering and sourcing of materials continues from rural, countryside and indigenous communities around the Philippine archipelago and even beyond. It is tangible, dynamic and useful – offering swatches of indigenous and imported materials, and handpicked books on natural substances, technologies and eco-design. An online database is also currently in the works, linking materials and suppliers. This contains a suppliers’ databank and a map of material sources around the country. The Materials Library is conveniently housed at DOST Science and Technology Center in Banilad, Cebu City. It is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM.



Abaca (Musa textilis) is a tree-like herb resembling the banana in appearance. The leaves of abaca are upright, pointed, tapering and narrow; and its trunk is noted to be smaller than the banana‘s. Its fruit is banana-like, small, inedible and full of seeds. Abaca grows to a height of about 4.6-7.7 meters. The true stem of the plant is the part that bears the heart-shaped fruit with a diameter of about 5 centimeter. The trunk is formed by this stem and thickened by stalks of the leaves, which turn reddish brown at maturity. The plant has wide leaves of fleshy, fiberless core surrounded by overlapping leaf sheaths starting from the base and extending nearly to the top. Each sheath is composed of three layers: an outer layer from which most of the fiber is obtained; the middle layer which contains some fine white fiber of flower with more tensile strength than that of the outer layer; and the inner layer which contains no fiber. Abaca fiber is more widely considered as the world‘s best cordage material due to its durability and resistance to salt decomposition. It is claimed to be stronger than the real hemp and is three times stronger than cotton. Harvesting of raw materials provides economic benefits to the communities where the plant grows abundantly.



Giant Bamboo


Giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper) belongs to the family of sweet grasses. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world with reported average growth of 3 to 10 cm per day and can even grow as much as 100 centimeters in 24 hours depending on the local soil and climate conditions. Giant bamboo has the biggest culm diameter and is the tallest among Philippine bamboos. The culms are quite straight and ornamental, developing a blue-grey-green cast and smoothly covered with small hairs when mature. Though the culms are straight, they are not one of the thicker bamboos that are used in heavy-duty construction. Only giant bamboos are good for fences and ornamental sculpture. The suitable age for cutting bamboo varies according to its intended use. One to two-year-old bamboos are ideal for the manufacture of handicrafts, which require pliable bamboo splits. Two to three-year-old bamboo is preferable when the outer skin is needed, particularly if it is to be bleached. When durability is required, 4-6 year old bamboo must be used. As bamboo abundant all over the country, communities harvesting and replanting them reap economic benefits.



Buri (Corypha elata) is the largest palm endemic in the Philippines. It is one of the most important palms, next to coconut, in terms of economic and industrial relevance. The buri palm, which can really be huge, produces millions of individual blossoms and ten thousands of seeds. It only flowers once in its lifetime. After producing a large number of small round fruits, it dies. Before its life ends, the trunk is a source of palm flour used in certain Filipino delicacies.

Buri palm

Harvesting the leaves does not pose any danger to the palm. During the rainy season, the leaves regenerate very fast. The leaves can be up to five meters long and from the buri palm comes three types of fibers: buri, raffia and buntal. Harvesting the rawzz material and fiber processing highly involves groups of people living in areas where the buri palm is abundantly growing.


Coconut palm

Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is abundant anywhere in the Philippines at any time of the year. It is a large palm, growing up to 30 meters; its feather-like leaves with multi-divided features are 4-6 meters long, and its pinnae 60-90 centimeters long. Old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. On a very fertile land, a coconut palm can yield up to 75 fruits per year. Cocos nucifera is generally classified into two types: tall and dwarf. The outer area of its stem is the hardest part of the plant. Its long hard body is the coco wood or coco lumber, which can be extracting using machines like chainsaw and a simple saw. The wood is uniformly wet and approaches saturation throughout the whole trunk. Variations in moisture content are dependent on variations in density. Practically all parts of the coconut palm – roots, bark, trunk, leaves, fruit – are used for commercial purposes. Communities, especially in the rural areas, participate in the gathering and processing of coco materials used and applied in products.




Coconut shell is a material from the fruit of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). The shell can be extracted by taking out the husk or the fruit cover. Dehusking, splitting and scraping are the processes needed to obtain the coconut shell alone. The outer husk, which also has commercial value and is used as material for the lifestyle industry, is removed and the eye of the fruit pierced to drain the juice. The nut is then split and the coco meat removed through scraping.

Coconut shell

The shell can be cut into different shapes and the possibility of various patterns and combinations for lamination is endless. When crushed and combined, shell laminates are at par with the quality and appearance of tortoise shell or ivory. A whole range of boxes, lamps, tabletops, chairs and household accessories using crushed and laminated shells have found acceptance in both local and foreign markets. Gluing small shell pieces to a wooden or fiberglass surface to upgrade an otherwise simple material is one of the elegant uses for coconut shell. Shell lamination varies in colors from dark brown for mature shells, to honey or ivory white for young shells.



Coco coir or the coconut fiber comes from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) basically from the fruit. The color of the fiber can either be white or brown depending on the plant’s maturity. Those that are less than 10 months old produce white fiber while those that are already 12 to 16 months old produce brown fiber.

Coco coir

Coir is mechanically extracted either by the wet milling process that involves retting or by the dry milling process that utilizes a special machine called „down decorticator“. The former is regarded as the „biological“ method where the husks are soaked in water for some time, and the partial disintegration of the cementing tissue is induced through the action of microorganisms. The effect is the separation of the fiber from the husks. The dry milling process is considered to be the most efficient and convenient method, employing a machine, which beats the husk and scrapes the fiber. Depending on the type of machine, bristle (long) fibers or a combination of bristle and mattress (short) fibers are produced.


Cogon grass


Cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica), also called silver hair grass or sword grass, belongs to the sweet grasses closely related to bamboo. The rhizome or stem of this perennial plant reaches up to 1.2 meters high with a diameter of about 1.5 millimeters. The leaves grow directly from creeping underground rhizomes, giving the plant a stem-less appearance. Cogon grass leaves have smooth or sometimes hairy sheaths, with a membranous ligule. The leaves are slender, flat and possess serrated margins and an off-center prominent white mid-rib. Cogon grass can be very useful if it is used ecologically and sustainably. It settles in certain locations like roadsides, slopes and fallows and functions as floor binding agents or hedge rows that stabilise threatened surfaces and avoid soil erosion. They can be allowed to naturally grow and regrow for years. The wooden stems of the cogon grass are very suitable for weaving mats, bags, carpets, etc. The material applied to sustainable design, cogon grass has a very high potential. Cogon grass is also traditionally used in Chinese medicine. Applying the material for products not only promotes sustainable development but also provides economic gains to communities collecting the cogon grass.



Gmelina (Gmelina arborea) is a fast growing plant, which grows on different localities and prefers moist fertile valleys. The tree is widely planted throughout the Philippines. It is named after the German Botaniker Gmelin (1709 - 1755).


Gmelina plantations started in the provinces of Cebu and Nueva Vizcaya and other plantations followed in Mindanao and Luzon. With good growth conditions some trees reach a height of 3 meters after one year, and 20 meters after 5 years. Gmelina wood is one of the most versatile timbers of the tropics. The timber is easy to work with hand and machine tools. The wood is soft and light compared to hardwood. Its color is pale yellow to cream and turns yellowish brown upon exposure. It is also soft to moderately hard and light to moderate heavy. Its texture is usually straight to irregular or rarely wavy grained and medium course. The economic uses of the Gmelina is for pulpwood production, carpentry, furniture components, musical instruments, boat decking, plywood and fuelwood.



Lampakanay (Typha orientalis) is widely distributed all over the Philippine archipelago. It is abundant in low altitudes, wet places with shallow, stagnant water, and is harvested and processed as fiber by communities living in these kinds of areas all over the country. Weaving or application of the fiber on a product is also done by communities.


The entire or split stem of lampakanay is used for making coarse bags, baskets and rope for furniture trimmings. The round stems are immersed for several days in muddy water to darken them, forming black pattern material for bowl-shaped baskets. The inner portion of the rootstalk has a fibrous material that is used as a pattern material. The leaves are excellent for braiding. Slender ribbons separated from the tough part of the leaves, turned flat or twisted, are used as weavers. Bundles of split lampakanay leaves, which have little tensile strength, function as foundations for coiled baskets. The short, fluffy, waste fibers from the protruding lampakanay heads are sometimes used for stuffing pillows.




Rattan (Calamus javensis), is a climbing vine abundant specifically in the southern part of the Philippines. It is ready for harvesting by the 15th year when the stems average 24-30 meters in length. Thereafter, selective cutting of the matured canes may be done at a 3-4 year interval. The canes of the subsequent harvest are of better quality than those from the previous harvests. Harvesting is usually done in the dry season involving forest communities where the plant abundantly grows and is grown. Newly harvested canes are immediately brought to the treating depot before they are dried and processed to minimize discoloration by staining fungi. Like wood, rattan can easily be given whatever color products made out of it require. Its natural color can also be retained. There is a very strong relationship between the rattan plant and the rainforest. As a climbing vine, it needs the large forest trees as support for it to reach the sun. Harvesting the fast-growing rattan cane is a better economic alternative to loggers who profit from harvesting timber. Rattan plantations in rainforest areas also support forest maintenance as they provide settlers with alternative livelihood by planting and harvesting. A sustainable application of rattan to product design provides not only ecological, but economic and social benefits as well.



Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a free-floating perennial aquatic plant endemic to tropical and sub-tropical areas. With broad, thick, glossy, ovate leaves 10-20 centimeters across, the plant may rise above the water surface as much as 1 meter in height. Water hyacinth is one of the fastest growing plants known. Without natural enemies it extends its life between 15 to 20 days. Uncontrolled, they cover lakes and ponds entirely, dramatically affecting water flow and blocking sunlight from other aquatic plants. It also starves the water from oxygen, often killing fishes and other water animals. The plant also creates a prime habitat for mosquitos, the classic vectors of disease. Because of these, water hyacinth is becoming a plague and remains a major problem where effective control programs are not in place.

Water hyacinth

However, the plant also gives some benefits. It absorbs heavy metals and oil-film by purifying the water; such is applicable in various regions of the world. To stimulate a healthy ecological balance, intensive harvesting of water hyacinth as material applied to products not just controls the plague, but also provides economic value to communities cleaning up the overpopulated water area. The fiber from the plant is a material that is as strong as abaca and could also be soft for other applications. Stems are dried to take the fiber and the formed strings are woven to create braids or cords for bags, footwear, wreaths, hats, vases, christmas lanterns, and more decorative materials.


APY CANE, INC. S.E. Jayme St., Pakna-an, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

COAST PACIFIC MANUFACTURING CORP. Coast Pacific St., Mahiga Creek, Kasambagan, Banilad, Cebu City

Product Line/s: Indoor Furniture & Furniture Accessories, Lamps

Product Line/s : Indoor / Outdoor Furniture & Furniture Accessories, Home Furnishings,

Telephone: (6332) 420.4360

Furniture Accents, Lamps & Light Fixtures

Fax: (6332) 343.9183

Telephone: (6332) 231.4277 / 231.4301


Fax: (6332) 231.4301



Contact person: MS. NOREEN HAZEL O. YU / General Manager

Contact person: MS. CRISTINA LO / Vice President &


MS. APRIL TORREFIEL / Marketing Manager

CASA CEBUANA INCORPORADA Tangke, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines

DETALIA AURORA, INC. Zone Paliya, Pakna-an, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

Product Line: Indoor Furniture

Product Line/s: Indoor / Outdoor Furniture, Furniture Accessories & Furniture Accents

Telephone: (6332) 272.3557 to 59

Telephone:(6332) 420.4556 (+63917) 623-0280

Fax: (6332) 272.3550

Fax: (6332) 420.4824





Contact person: MS. ANGELA F. PAULIN / President and CEO

Contact person: MR. GUILLERMO R. RODRIGUEZ / President

Catarman Industries Inc. Sitio Dapdap, Catarman, Lilo-an, Cebu, Philippines

MASTERCRAFT PHILS., INC. 438 Burgos St., Alang-alang, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

Product Lines/s: Indoor Furniture

Product Line/s: Indoor and Outdoor Furniture, Furniture Accessories, Home Furnishings

Telephone: (6332) 424.6337 to 38

and Furniture Accents

Fax: (6332) 424.6339

Telephone: (6332) 346.7217, 238.8111, 238.8555, 236.0853, 236.0128, 236.0130


Fax: (6332) 236.0071, 346.7217, 238.8222

Contact person: MR. ADELFO LABASAN / President and General Manager



Contact person: MR. ERIC NG MENDOZA / President and CEO & PHILIP RAYMOND LIM / Marketing Manager


Contacts NATURE’S LEGACY EXIMPORT INC. Upper Cogon, Compostela, Cebu, Philippines

European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) 3rd Flr., C.L.Center, 14 Juana Osmena St. cor. Llorente St., Cebu City, Philippines

Product Line/s: Home Furnishing, Lawn and Garden Articles and Architectural Components. Telephone: (6332) 425.8399 / 425.8814

Telephone: (6332) 253.3389 / 254.3767

Fax: (6332) 425.8815

Fax: (6332) 253.3387 / 412.6701





Contact person: MR. PEDRO “PETE” DELANTAR / CEO

Contact person: Roselu E. Paloma

PACIFIC TRADERS & MANUFACTURING CORPORATION P.C. Suico St., Tabok, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

SEQUA GmbH – Partner of german Business Alexanderstr. 10, 53111 Bonn, Germany

Product Line/s: Indoor, Outdoor Furniture & Furniture Accessories, Lamps & Light Fixtu-

Telephone: +49 (0) 228.98238 to 32

res, Furniture Accents and Casegoods,

Fax: +49 (0) 228.98238 to 19

Telephone: (6332) 346.0083 / 346.8263 / 346.3670 / 346.9608


Fax: (6332) 346.0952 / 346.3315




Contact person: Thomas Ritter / Project Manager

Contact person: MR. CHARLES STREEGAN / President & MS. BERNICE MONTENEGRO / Design Director

STONESETS INTERNATIONAL, INC. Don Sergio Suico St., Canduman, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines

Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (CFIF) North Road, Jagobiao, 6014 Mandaue City, Cebu Philippines

Product Line/s: Indoor Furniture and Furnishings, Home Accessories, Lamps and Light

Telephone: (63-32) 420.9189


Fax: (63-32) 422.8081

Telephone: (6332) 422.1601 / 422.1633 / 422.1675 / 422.1676


Fax: (6332) 344.7600

Websites: / /


Contact Person: Angela Paulin

Website: Contact person: MS. EVELYN SELMA / Managing Director



Project Consortium Sequa gGmbH, Thomas Ritter ECCP, Roselu Paloma CFIF, Angela Paulin Project Consultants Prof. Jan Armgardt | Prof. Frank Sander | Prof. Auwi Stübbe Content Rosemel D. Calderon | Gerry Constantino | Ingrid Haufe | Verena Fritsch | Kathrin Körner | Julia Sauerteig | Faye Sena Graphic design Luis Carballo | Anna-Maria Rönsch Translation Julia Mach Photos Bryant Alo | Faye Sena | Royalty free photos from Thanks to all for texts and photos. Printed on 115g Cyclus Offset 100% Recycling.




The Philippines

SMART Cebu  

SMART Cebu is a Switch Asia Project co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development....

SMART Cebu  

SMART Cebu is a Switch Asia Project co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development....