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2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair: Preserving tradition in contemporary life

Published Sep 17, 2023 3:59 pm

After a three-year hiatus, the 2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair (NACF) returns as a major trade fair from Oct. 4 to 8 at the Megatrade Halls of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong. The NACF, which was first launched in 2016, is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)–Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP), in collaboration with the DTI Regional and Provincial Offices, and with support from the Office of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda.

"The 2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair underscores the integral role of arts and crafts in our national economy. This sector, often underestimated, serves as a vibrant source of income for many Filipino artisans and MSMEs, and contributes significantly to the country’s revenue streams through domestic sales as well as exports," BDTP Director Marievic Bonoan pointed out.

With over 200 exhibitors curated from the country’s 16 regions, the event not only serves as a platform to showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage but also gives everyone an opportunity to rediscover and appreciate Philippine craftsmanship. The products, meticulously crafted and featuring traditional indigenous materials, are expected to captivate a new urban consumer base in search of unique items with intrinsic beauty and value.

Uniting artisans, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs from across the nation, the fair will exhibit a rich display of traditional and indigenous materials crafted using contemporary methods. Visitors can anticipate textile and fiber art, mats and basketry, handcrafted jewelry, houseware and home decor, and novelty items. The fair not only aims to tap into the country's diverse culture but also to explore innovative methods of incorporating these skills into modern-day objects.

At the 2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair, the stage is set for a coming together of heritage, creativity, and innovation. Every corner of the exhibit area will resonate with the talent of local artisans who have molded their skills from the essence of the country's cultural wealth. The fair also provides a platform for these artists to establish rapport with potential buyers, fostering an environment of growth and opportunity for native craft industries. This year’s National Arts and Crafts Fair is more than just a display of arts and crafts; it's a celebration of the age-old traditions brought to life in new, exciting ways. 

“The National Arts and Crafts Fair is not merely an event; it is a movement that staunchly supports our local artisans, promotes our traditions, and contributes to the growth of our creative economy. The entrepreneurs exhibiting their products here exemplify our people’s resilience, ingenuity, and passion. I encourage everyone to join us in this celebration of tradition and innovation as we continue to empower indigenous skills and Filipino craftsmanship,” said Legarda, who conceptualized the fair and supported it since 2016.

The formal opening ceremony of the 2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair will be on Oct. 4.

To know more about the 2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair and other programs of the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion, follow their social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or email BDTP Director Marievic M. Bonoan at [email protected].

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Editor’s Note: This article was provided by BDTP.