Monday, September 24, 2007

A Home of our Own

Since its humble beginnings, it has always been the dream of the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF) to have its own home. Thirty-four years later, what was once just a vision has now become a reality.

Along the busy lane of North Road Jagobiao in a northeastern city in Cebu rises a new 2-story building. In white hue, the new building best represents the people behind the success of the Foundation: its membership. Situated in a 2,415 square meter lot in Barangay Tungasan, the structure is at the heart of Mandaue City – the home of 60% of the Foundation’s membership.

HOW IT CAME TO BE. The plan of having a home of its own was the product of more than a decade of challenges for the CFIF Board of Trustees. In 1994, the first committee to search for a lot was established. It was unanimously decided that the building be located in the heart of Mandaue City where about 60% CFIF membership is located. CFIF Executive Director Ruby Babao-Salutan recalls: “it was the consensus of the board to locate the building in the ‘center of action.’ ”

The planning and the search for the site were not only the challenges faced by the Foundation. Funding the construction of this building took a long way. Every year since the committee was formed, a portion of CFIF’s savings was allotted for the building of its “home”.

THE “WHITEHOUSE”. The new edifice is the convergence zone of the Foundation’s operations. It houses all of CFIF’s support and service centers: Membership and Advocacy, Market Development, HRD and Productivity, Environmental Management and CFIF Information Centre (CFIF IC).

The lobby is furnished by no less than the renowned Kenneth Cobonpue.

CFIF IC, the business and design information powerhouse of the furniture industry, sits on the ground floor, just next to the lobby area. Furnished by the excellently-crafted furniture of Dedon Manufacturing Inc., which showcased of the Cebuano craftsmanship and German technology, CFIF IC hosts top-of-the-line design and product development materials and market reports accessible to CFIF member companies and other clients. It also prides itself for its Material Collection – a library of swatches and materials used by the furniture industry.

Also on the ground floor is the training area which houses the HRDP’s office and three training rooms ready to accommodate industry-related functions, trainings and other events. Each is capable of providing ample space for 50 individuals with state-of-the-art audio and visual facilities courtesy of the German Development Services (DED). Furnishings of the conference room were provided by Cebu Fil-Veneer Corporation.

CFIF’s dining area will be a special setting by itself with furniture pieces from Classical Geometry Export Trading.

Guests and clients coming to the reception area of the second floor are welcomed by the furniture set by Murillo’s Export International Corp. with lighting and fixtures from Raphael Legacy Designs Inc.. The second level houses the Executive Director’s office fully furnished by Detalia Aurora Inc. Adjacent to this room is the CFIF Board Room dressed with a complete regal boardroom set by Maitland-Smith Cebu Inc.

Sitting right next to the Executive Director’s office is the Membership and Advocacy and Finance and Admin Units’ area. Across them resides the Market Development Unit, whose main function is to run the annually celebrated Cebu International Furniture and Furnishings Exhibition (Cebu X) and the upcoming regional trade fair christened as “Treasures of the South: The Best of VISMIN”.

CFIF’s new building is a new milestone of its history. The Foundation’s new home humbly stands as an epitome of its undying commitment to serve its role: the voice and the primary support organization of the Philippine furniture export industry.

*This article was was published in the 2008 CFIF Annual Report.


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