MaArte at The Pen 101: What to expect, schedule, and everything you need to know

Ready to celebrate the Filipino creative soul? In just a few weeks, elegant fundraising bazaar MaArte at The Pen will be back to recognize both traditional Filipino craft and contemporary Philippine design that can surely make anyone say #ProudToBePinoy. True to its name “maarte”, which translates to artistic or dramatic in Filipino, the event is set to showcase local craftsmanship in the fields of fashion, furniture, and accessories in line with its goal to raise funds and awareness for the National Museum of the Philippines and its network.

With an expected participant list of 94, MaArte at The Pen 2022 promises to more than make up for its two-year absence, bringing back to the hotel a stylish buzz for the exquisitely Philippine-made.

The beginnings

MaArte had its beginnings in February 2009 as a complementary event to HABI, The Second ASEAN Traditional Textiles Symposium, a four-day international conference held in Manila.  As the conference’s Market Encounter, it allowed delegates the opportunity to appreciate and acquire Philippine textiles and jewelry.

Since then, MaArte has grown in scope and has undergone several iterations in various venues.  In 2017, it found a new home in The Peninsula Manila and has since been rebranded as MaArte at The Pen.

To date, MaArte at The Pen is a much-awaited event that celebrates Filipino craftsmanship. After two years of the COVID pandemic, the 2022 edition will bring back previous participants who offer a varied array of thoughtfully-made merchandise while introducing elements that signal the event’s emergence into a new normal.

What to expect this 2022

Special Exhibit:  SLIM at The Lobby

Salvacion Lim Higgins, known by the acronym Slim, was a fashion designer whose career began in post-World War II Manila, from 1947 until her passing in 1990. The first decade of her career is considered a golden era in Philippine fashion. She was known for creating some of the most avant-garde silhouettes of her time, both for evening gowns and ternos. The Philippine government recently recognized her with the distinction of National Artist for Fashion Design.

With this, MaArte at The Pen puts together a vignette of ensembles by Slim featuring native influences such as jusi, cutwork embroidery, and raffia trimming. The dresses date from 1952 to the early 1980s and have been loaned from the archives of Slim’s Fashion & Arts School.  Nine of her fabulous creations will be on view at The Lobby from August 15 to 27, 2022. 

Apparel and Fashion Accessories

My favorite part of the event! As early as their media preview, I’ve already marked pieces that I would love to buy myself. Incorporating indigenous embroidery patterns and techniques into their merchandise are the hallmarks of MaArte at The Pen pioneers, brands like Filip+Inna and Good Luck Humans.   This year’s MaArte brings back these beloved labels, along with, among others, Rurungan Collective,  WYC Wear Your Culture, Two Chic, and Creative Definitions + Lakat Sustainables. No matter what your age is, you’ll surely find something Proudly Pinoy and eye-catching to add to your #OOTD.

The Heirloom and the Current in Home Accessories, Furniture, and Jewelry Design

The choices for MaArte visitors will suit a range of inclinations.  To highlight our rich traditions, respected purveyors of Philippine antiques, tribal art, and maps Unang Panahon, Gallery Deus, Leon Gallery, and Gallery of Prints will debut choice pieces in their first-ever MaArte appearances. 

Likewise, MaArte at The Pen’s selection of jewelry from, among others, Riqueza, Micki Olaguer, Tim Tam Ong, and Natalya Lagdameo, will run from pre-colonial gold trinkets to vintage estate jewelry to accessories in wood, bone, and brass for casual everyday wear.

Also marking his first time at MaArte is Ito Kish.  The home accessories and furniture carried by his eponymous shop reflect an enduring passion for design.  Joining him are MaArte stalwarts Beyond Borders, DOMESTICITY – TILIA,  and the non-profit Gifts and Graces.

To add more depth to the home section, MaArte organizers consulted architect, furniture designer, and former Bluprint magazine editor Tina Bonoan.  Her lineup includes Azcor Lighting Systems,Touch of Craft, and HOLICOW, all found at the 6th floor. 

Traditional Textiles

Harking back to its very first bazaar, fabric collections that highlight native Filipino traditions always have a place at the event.  This year, some of the brands featuring them are Balay ni Atong and WVN Living, plus Ifugao-based community weaver Marlon Martin.

PHxMaArte, a section on contemporary fashion

To spotlight the breadth of Filipino fashion design, this year’s bazaar works together with the PHx Fashion Group to introduce PHxMaArte, a section that will acquaint MaArte visitors with the next generation of Filipino designers.  They trumpet unconventional lines and global mindsets.  Among those debuting new collections in this section are BAGASÁO, NeilFelipp, and Kelvin Morales, labels coming off stints at Tokyo Fashion Week.   Jude Macasinag flies in Manifesto, recently presented for his bachelor graduation collection at the Institut Francais de la Mode in Paris.

MaArte Talks at Salon de Ning


Sheryl Ebon-Martinez shares her fascination with tea and how this beverage carved a path for her as a potter at 40 years old.
Take in a brief history and the origin of tea, and subsequently, tea ware.  Marvel at how this has birthed numerous tea cultures and traditions, thousands of functional designs, and even works of art from all over the world, 5,000 years after tea was first discovered.
By Nazareno/ Lichauco

Nazareno/Lichauco’s Rita Nazareno (Zacarias 1925) and Gabby Lichauco (Open Studio) will share their insights, experiences, and practices regarding today’s Philippine contemporary craft and design landscape
The Golden Age of Haute Couture on the Opposite Sides of the World

Mark Lewis Higgins will discuss the twilight of World War II, and the decade of 1947 to 1957, as a backdrop to two parallel stories and careers that were happening in two capital cities – Paris and Manila. The designers were Christian Dior and Salvacion Lim Higgins. This period is what fashion historians now refer to as the Golden Age of Haute Couture

Mark your calendars: All of these will be happening at The Peninsula Manila from August 19-21, 2022.

BPI will also be the exclusive payments partner for MaArte at the Pen 2022, providing special offers and flexible payment options. BPI Credit Cardholders will be able to enjoy up to 6 months Real 0% Special Installment Plan and Buy Now Pay 3 months later on installment purchases. 

For updates on our latest discoveries within (and outside) the Metro, don’t forget to follow Manila Millennial on FacebookYouTube, or Instagram. Keep safe, everyone!

5 Replies to “MaArte at The Pen 101: What to expect, schedule, and everything you need to know”

  1. Wow tlga nman nkaka excite ung mga ganitong event . Tlgang kaabang abang . Sure na marami ang mag eenjoy dito 😍

  2. This is really nice and will truly learn something about our culture. So exciting and interesting po talaga ito. Such a lovely event 😍

  3. This is really an exciting event,this is great because we saw how talented Pinoy is.super ganda ng mga gawa nila and hoping that many people will come ❤️

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