We all appreciate gardening in the light of beautifying our “domestic landscape”, purifying our air, and cooling our surroundings (through trees). How about gardening for food?
In the concept of sustainable living, we are encouraged to provide ourselves with some of the basic necessities: water through rainwater collection, electricity through solar power, and food through edible gardening.
My parents are both probinsyanos (from the province). In the province, most households do not just plant for aesthetic reasons. They also plant for food. Think of it as having a multi-functional garden. That’s why here at home, we have some trees that are fruit-bearing—avocado, langka (jackfruit), mango, and cashew. All of them were grown by my parents from seed! We had to wait for around five years before the trees started bearing fruits.
For the past two months, our family (plus neighbors and friends) are enjoying this season’s Indian mangoes (top photo) and cashew (photo above). A lot of people don’t know (including me) that apart from the nuts, the cashew fruit can also be eaten. It has a sweet taste that is partially mapakla (acrid), so not everyone would appreciate it.
By June/July, we’re expecting to harvest everyone’s all time favorite—avocados! Guacamole, anyone?
Tags: cashew, conscious living, edible garden, gardening, green indian mangoes, philippines, sustainable design, trees, tropical, tropical design
Posted in conscious living | 2 Comments »
It’s March already! This means Ana and I are off to Cebu soon!
Last October, we got a preview of CebuNext over at Manila FAME. We were so impressed by their furniture displays that we wanted to see more. So this weekend, we’ll be flying to Cebu to attend the exhibit. We know that we’re in for loads of design treats!
In the past, Cebu has been the leader in furniture trends:
In the 60′s, the Cebu furniture industry popularized rattan furniture. Its casual and comfortable appeal was so widespread that no American home was without it. When rattan resources struggled in the 70′s (due to the extremely high demand), we stepped in and introduced buri, sourced from the most stately and largest of the Philippine palm trees. Buri’s unique tensile strength made it quite a sought-after material for furniture, and was most often seen in the ubiquitous piece of the period, the woven peacock chair.
In the 80′s, stonecraft, also known as laminated stone, took center stage, while woven cane & iron furnishings took over in the 90′s. In 1997, Cebu revamped the image of one of the oldest exports from the Philippines, abaca, by using it to interpret modern lines and processes. Combining the indigenous abaca with contemporary designs and technology made abaca hip again, giving a fresh, eco-conscious look to every room that had abaca furniture in it.
Such success prepared the world for the outdoor woven furniture trend that also started in Cebu in the year 2000. Since then, Cebu designers and manufacturers have been producing and shipping the most relaxing and most stylish outdoor furniture to top-end destinations all over the world, including trendy boutique hotels, exclusive vacation resorts, and the private homes of the rich and famous.
Key to the success of Cebu’s furniture design and manufacturing industry is their sustainable approach:
Cebu’s furniture designers and manufacturers have been using sustainable materials and methods long before “eco-friendly” and “going green” became buzzwords. from have been the R & D cornerstone of many Cebu-based furniture companies, while nature’s castaways are now being incorporated into contemporary designs.
Naturescast by Nature’s Legacy Home and Garden is at the forefront of such efforts. They use forest wastes such as twigs and leaves in the creation of chairs, vases and other furniture items and décor. They prove that sustainability is an achievable ideal. It can be done.
Other Cebu furniture players participate in the sustainability drive as well, though not all efforts are visible in the furniture pieces themselves. One example is the continued use of traditional, handcrafting methods which reduce potential carbon emissions and the consumption of fossil fuels. Responsible manufacturing processes such as recycling waste water or using water-based finishes are on the list, as are identifying renewable sources of local materials, and the development of technologies and procedures to produce furniture and furnishings that are globally competitive. Tree-planting initiatives by the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF) round out the sustainability drive on an industry-wide level.
Sustainability, Return To Handcraftsmanship, and Individual Design are the three focus areas of CEBUNEXT. Sustainability is the heart of CEBUNEXT, which presents the concept to the world as a necessity, not a novelty, in hopes that world-wide sustainability efforts are not just trends but permanent fixtures that manufacturers, retailers and consumers can begin to take seriously and permanently – as unconscious fixtures in day to day functions as opposed to a conscious effort to ride a trend and profit from it.
Apart from CebuNext, we’ll be visiting a couple of interesting sites in the city. Watch out for our special Cebu features next week!
*Photos and texts via CebuNext
Tags: cebu, cebunext, exhibit, furniture, green design, interior design, sustainable design
Posted in i saw design | 3 Comments »
Green Guide told us about this exhibit in UP Theater culminating the design competition entitled “Ang Pinakamagandang Bahay sa Balat ng Lupa” (The Most Beautiful House on the Face of the Earth). It showcases the winning designs for both the Student and Professional categories, as well as other remarkable entries. A joint project of the UP College of Architecture and Lafarge Semento Pilipinas, the competition aimed to redefine the concept of “the beautiful house”. With a focus on sustainable architecture, entries provided complete architectural designs for a medium-income house to be built on a 200-square meter lot inside the UP Diliman Campus.
Apart from the green strategies that the winning entries consciously incorporated into their respective designs, I also noticed that they all came up with interesting forms for the architecture of the house. I think it was from the book Green Architecture (sorry I forgot the author. Maybe you can help me, Green Guide?) where I read that green designs should not only propose sustainable design techniques and strategies, but should also provide a new face, a new aesthetics to accompany the philosophy. The new visual form makes it easier to promote to everyone the concept of sustainability by becoming a symbol for the message, as well as a source of inspiration.
(The winners for the Professional Category, from left to right: Borloloy House by John Patrick Buensalido, et. al.; EcoKubo by Nestor Arabejo, et. al.; and [X] House by Jose Eduardo Calma, et. al.)
I agree with the judges’ pick for the first place. What I love about its design is its unique form–unpredictable, sculptural, and organic.
(The winners for the Students Category, from left to right: Tulad ng Dati House by Laurence Angelo Angeles, et. al.; Pinakamagandang Bahay by Mark Angelo Virtucio, et. al.; and Cube-O House by Deneice Yuson and Zada Ong.)
Among the winning designs for the Student Category, I especially like the Cube-O House. I can imagine the trellis filled with flowering white thunbergia!
*images of the winning entries are from the PMBBL monograph
Tags: architecture, design contest, energy-efficient design, filipino house, green design, home, philippine architecture, pmbbl, sustainable design, tropical design
Posted in conscious living, i saw design | 2 Comments »