Filipino Designers Now Available At Duty Free

By John Legaspi


The Philippines is rich with stories of fantasies and folklore that have been passed on from generation to generation. They tell tales of bravery like the Ilokano epic of Lam-ang and the royal brothers Raha Indarapatra and Raha Sulayman of Maguindanao, who protected their town from monsters and other earthly elements. There are also stories about diwatas (fairies, nymphs, or deities) that guide and bless the people with good hearts. Maria Makiling of Laguna gifts her people pieces of ginger that turn into gold, Alunsina of Panay brings light and cool wind to the eastern skies, and the Bagobo goddess Bait Pandi taught the tribeswomen how to weave.

Folktales are different from island to island. All of these bear knowledge and moral: the stories were told not just to tuck a child to bed, but to pay respect to ancient gods and the lore of our ancestors.

Marahuyo Boutique 2

That’s what the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to celebrate, the creative individuals and the rich culture of the country with the opening of Marahuyo boutique at Duty Free Philippines Luxe Mall in Pasay.

Marahuyo, meaning “a state of enchantment and attraction,” is a sub-brand of the DTI’s Go Lokal platform in partnership with Duty Free Philippines Corporation. The boutique houses 10 home-grown high-end Philippine brands, giving a sense of “practical luxury” by promoting merchandise made by Filipino artisans.


“Marahuyo was born out of our desire to bring our own Philippine designer brands into the limelight in both the local and global market,” says DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. “In this, our initial collection, we offer designs that reflect our country’s rich culture of entrepreneurship and creativity.”

“The brands you’ll find here in Marahuyo are from socially responsible enterprises who work with local communities to create products using traditional and indigenous materials,” adds Rosvi Gaetos, DTI assistant secretary. “In fact, every purchase from this boutique contributes to the livelihood of our craft communities.”

Marahuyo is a gem, looking like a diwata’s treasure trove. It’s alluring and enticing, staying true to the etymology of the namebrand.

Set along the mall floors with international luxury brand stores, Marahuyo is a gem, looking like a diwata’s treasure rove. It’s alluring and enticing, staying true to store name’s etymology. Inside the 50 sqm space designed and curated by creative director Budji Layug are the works of brands and designers including Aranáz, Earl Carlo Gariando Enterprises, Quiddity, Mele + Marie, Helena Alegre Jewelry, Maria Angelica Rare Finds, Joanique, Arnel Papa, Ann Ong, and Joyce Makitalo.

“Learning and knowing about the designers who participated in Marahuyo—many of whom became dear friends—is a privilege I am most thankful for,” says Budji. “While we share a bond that is uniquely ours, we have a common life and career objective of sharing our talents and showcasing Filipino ingenuity with the world.”


Aranáz is an accessories label run by mother Becky with her daughters Amina and Rosanna Aranaz. The brand aims to celebrate living a life in leisure with pieces that are luxurious, modern, and rooted in Filipino art.

Aranaz 1

Aranaz 2

Earl Carlo Gariando Enterprises

Taclobanon designer Earl Gariando takes metalwork to an opulent level through bags with handtoiled, embossed brass and semi-precious stones and lining each with denim and the Ilokano handwoven fabric abel.




Owned by sisters Stephanie and Genevieve Go, Quiddity offers leather bags that can compete with the ones created in Italy. Made from vegetable-tanned leather, their bag features hand-illustrated designs that have been burned directly onto the leather’s skin with pyrography.Quiddity 1


Quiddity 2

Mele + Marie

Headed by couple Melecio and Marie Oamil, Mele + Marie brings bags and jewelry pieces rooted in their philosophy of “loving your purpose.” Their bags are made from brass made to look like cages and jewels of the ocean such as tiger abalone, mother-of-pearl, and other iridescent shells.

Mele+Marie Oamil 2

Mele+Marie Oamil 1

Helena Alegre Jewelry

A bead collector and an artist, Helena Alegre designs one of a kind sculptural and filigree jewelry by drawing inspirations from tiny crawlers and insects in the bukid (farms) such as lizards and salagubang (beetles).

Helena Alegre 2

Helena Alegre 1

Maria Angelica Rare Finds

With a love for heritage and treasure, Maria Angelica Bermejo digs deeper into her creative mind, unearthing concepts that are classic and timeless. She reimagines broken antique jewelry and shapes them into something modern and relevant.

Maria Angelica Rare Finds 2



A former model, Malou Romero turns to design, creating pieces based on natural components and inspired by a sense of sustainability. She sparks joy with her pieces inspired by nature, Philippine fiestas, and local novelists.

Joanique 1

Joanique 2

Arnel Papa

Mixing Philippine indigenous elements in his works, accessory designer Arnel Papa uses materials such as carabao horns, dark kamagong, coco shells, capiz, and mother-of-pearl with brass and copper to create a line of jewelry fit for royalty.



Ann Ong

Designer Ann Ong has been basing her designs on nature since she started her brand in 2012. She uses natural materials such as salvaged wood, bamboo banig, and weathered stone in creating elegant minaudièries and intricate jewelry work.

Ann Ong 1


Joyce Makitalo

A true Bohemian, designer Joyce Makitalo spreads her wings through her pieces. Often inspired by different eras, philosophies, and many global destinations, she creates colorful, bold, and chunky statement pieces that tell unique stories.

J Makitalo 2


See more at: Manila Bulletin


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item Philippines: Filipino Designers Now Available At Duty Free
Filipino Designers Now Available At Duty Free Philippines
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