Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cebu: Furniture Capital of the Philippines, Design Destination of Asia

Cebu – A narrow island province about 225 kilometers long surrounded by 167 small islands is the Philippines' Queen City of South. It boasts of fine white sandy beaches, an underwater plateau, a magnificent marine sanctuary … it is the fastest growing economic region in the Philippines and the tomorrow's information technology hub of Southeast Asia.

Cebu also lives up to its reputation as the furniture capital of the Philippines. It enjoys a substantial percentage share of the country's furniture export sales which is over 60% of the total annual figures. This despite the fact that Cebu manufacturers comprise only 20% of the entire Philippine furniture industry.

In an industry that is dominated by small and medium entrepreneurs, it has succeeded in becoming a billion-peso industry. Today, the industry is employing a huge employment base of 220,000 workforce, both directly and indirectly hired, who are greatly dependent on the Cebu furniture industry for their utmost survival.

Noted for its distinct designs and excellent craftsmanship, the industry relies on its design capability and unique mix of indigenous materials to further keep its edge over its Asian competitors. The growing competition has anything but discouraged nor limited the very talented Cebuano furniture designers into creating beautiful furniture made from combinations of traditional and indigenous materials such as sea grass, abaca (Manila hemp), arorog, and butay (coconut twig) mixed with wood, bamboo, rattan, stone and wrought iron, aside from the traditional wood. These designs are expertly handcrafted by the finest craftsmen in the area, giving attention to the tiniest detail that make up the essence of each piece. At present it already serves the European, North American, the Middle East, and Asian markets, thus making it a furniture resource of great promise.

For the last eighteen years, the Cebu International Furniture and Furnishings Exhibition more popularly known as CEBU X has served as the most valuable marketing platform for most SMEs in Cebu's furniture industry.

Organized by the primary support organization of the Philippine furniture and furnishings export industry, the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (CFIF), is responsible for fostering cooperation among its members, promoting the Philippines as a major furniture and furnishings resource in the international markets for over 30 years.

Cebu X is considered the biggest furniture trade event outside Metro Manila. Started in 1990 with just 35 exhibitors it has, over the years, grown to more than 123 participants from all over the Philippines. Participating companies from both the furniture and home furnishings category cover the classical, transitional and the modern cotemporary requirements of international buyers.

This year's run of Cebu X will be another feast of the senses as it features the finest boutique lifestyle presentation of the Filipino craftsman and designers. It will be held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotels and Casino, right at the heart of Cebu City, Philippines. Scheduled to open on February 26 next year, this four-day event will kick-off the Asian circuit of furniture shows.
This is Cebu.

A flourishing Asian trading post long before Magellan's ships arrived in 1521…

Balmy beaches, chilly mountains…

Furniture capital of the Philippines. Design destination of Asia.
PHOTO CAPTION: The featured photo is Kenneth Cobonpue's Yoda Chair. To know more about Mr. Cobonpue and his masterpieces, log-on to




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