DesignPress Release

Scholars from Department of Trade and Industry showcase creations in Obra Design Masterclass

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA) has revealed the exceptional furniture designs crafted by participants of the Obra Design Masterclass at the prestigious 32nd Philippine International Furniture Show (PIFS). This grand showcase took place from March 07 to 09, at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Pasay City.

The Obra Design Masterclass elevated last year’s PIFS, a program meticulously developed to hone the skills of its 57 scholars. The program culminated in a commencement ceremony on March 08, during which exceptional talents were recognized with awards in three categories: Furniture, Lighting, and Home Accessories.

Under the guidance of seasoned mentors from the furniture design industry, including Ronald Rommel Viloria, Josef Crisanto, Eric Paras, Stanley Ruiz, Rey Soliven, Dem Bitantes, Vito Selma, Estela Ocampo-Fernandez, and Christine Manguerra, and key industry partners such as the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF), and Pampanga Furniture Industries Foundation (PFIF), scholars mastered not only design and craftsmanship but also vital business and communication skills necessary for transforming their creative concepts into tangible reality.


“Scholars with design backgrounds were mentored by industry veterans on key concepts such as mindset development, design thinking, material selection, and assembly techniques,” explained PTTC-GMEA Executive Director Nelly Nita Dillera. “The program also placed a strong emphasis on vital skills such as communication, collaboration, and business acumen, equipping our scholars to effectively articulate their design ideas to manufacturers and realize their creative visions.”

Launched in December 2023, the Obra Design Masterclass was conducted in Manila, Pampanga, and Cebu, addressing key industry challenges such as the emigration of skilled professionals, market competitiveness, and the rising costs of materials.

Nelly emphasized the program’s role in enriching the Philippine furniture industry with skilled designers and crafters capable of making a significant impact on the global stage.

The event invited furniture designers, manufacturers, exporters, and enthusiasts to explore an expansive collection of Filipino-made designs that demonstrated unparalleled craftsmanship and innovation. On-site registration was also available for a nominal fee of PHP 300.

The Philippine International Furniture Show was organized by Next One Now, in collaboration with CFIP, CFIF, PFIF, and Global-Link MP Events International. It ran alongside Interior & Design Manila, organized by Global-Link MP Events International, with the support of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, Philippine Institute of Architects, and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, highlighting the synergy within the Philippine design community.

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