Disenyo at Talino: Tesoro's Way of Promoting Local Artists

By Mommy Donna and Kib - June 15, 2015

I am a frustrated artist, both in visual and performing arts.  Even if I suck at these areas, I have high respect and appreciation for those people who excelled in these fields.  My son and I love visiting several museums to know the history behind each work of art (see my post about it here).  My son really reads the details or each exhibit and would even get mad at me if I told him to move already.  

Apart from visiting museums, we also like visiting...shopping malls, haha.  I like shopping, though there are times that my son doesn't like go shopping anymore, typical boy indeed, hihi.  I just usually tell him that I will also buy something for him so he will stop telling me to go home instead.  Shopping only interests him whenever we go to unique shops like toy stores (of course, kids love toys!) and Filipiniana stores.

When we went to Tesoro's in A. Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City last week (May 28th) to attend the "Disenyo at Talino" series, my son immediately scoured the place, looking at the different merchandise.  Kib somehow showed his amazement because there are different Filipiniana items that he had only seen for the first time.  Tesoro's is known for promoting Filipino culture by selling unique Filipiniana items and supporting local artisans in showcasing their talents.

It's truly a haven for foreigners and locals alike for authentic Filipiniana items

There's more in the shop!

The display windows outside Tesoro's

Disenyo at Talino

Tesoro's launched this event series to primarily showcase aspiring and inspiring craftsmen who reflect the fine Hispano-Asian legacy of the Philippines through various works of art.  Isabel "Beng" Tesoro, Group CEO of Tesoro's said that our country is blessed with so many artists.  “Being one of the leading promoters of our local talents, we thought to launch ‘Disenyo at Talento’ to shed light on both Filipino craftsmanship and the constantly thriving art scene in the country,” she added.

“By including the works of the chosen local artists in our stores, we hope that more and more people can appreciate the genuine creativity of Filipinos. It is also rewarding that this event allows us and the artists to reach out to our friends in need through art for a cause,” said Beng Tesoro.

Casa San Pablo Clay Storytellers

In opening this series, Tesoro's featured the Casa San Pablo Clay Storytellers.  Casa San Pablo Clay Storytellers are crafted by former corporate publishing executive-turned-clay artisan An Mercado Alcantara. To formalize the start of the series, a ribbon-cutting has been conducted by Department of Tourism Regional Director Rebecca Labit and President of Philippine Tour Operators Association Cesar Cruz.

Kib and I posing at the camera together with Ms. An Mercado Alcantara

“My creations are mostly inspired by the culture and the people of my husband’s birthplace San Pablo, Laguna – a place I have fallen in love with,” shared An. Her favorite subjects include the Virgin Mary in several incarnations, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lipa, and Our Lady of Sorrows of Turumba. She surrounds these main subjects with storytellers and tablets featuring festive processions and villagers.

Look at the details!  Painting each piece with steady hands

Ms. An Mercado Alcantara in action

An’s friends and growing number of clients admire the positivity that Casa San Pablo dolls have always radiated. Asked about the secret behind the beauty and expressiveness of her storyteller dolls, An said, “My hands are my main tools. Although I have clay shapers and precision dentist’s tools – I asked a dentist friend to buy me a set – there’s nothing like our palms and fingers to get the shape we want.”

My son liked to pose this way on the photo because he likes to imitate he clay dolls, haha.
Posting this photo for dimensional purposes so that you will know how big these works of art are.

These hand-pinched and hand-painted terracotta dolls are regularly available at Casa San Pablo,a bed and breakfast in a still genteel family compound in San Pablo City run by An and her husband, art collector and hobby enthusiast Boots Alcantara. Casa San Pablo is also known a creativity hub, where people can come to re-charge and rekindle their imagination.

Below are examples of hand-painted terracotta dolls that Ms. An Alcantara made:

Nativity scene

Flores de Mayo tablet

St. Therese santita

Last Supper

Part of the total sales from Casa San Pablo Clay Story Tellers at the “Disenyo At Talento” event series will be donated to San Francisco Terraces Orphanage, one of two orphanages under the auspices of the San Pablo City government's DSWD office. “We chose this organization because our clay works celebrate the special bond between storytellers and children. We hope to help feed their bodies and their minds with food and stories that will, hopefully, help them experience a better world,” shared An.

The institution houses 32 orphans, at least 5 of whom are mentally challenged. Many of these children are survivors of abuse, parental neglect or family abandonment. All of the orphans share only 2 rooms and 2 toilets in a house that is in dire need of repair. The government’s financial monthly subsidy for the institution is currently not enough to cover the subsistence of these children.

From Tesoro’s Makati branch, the Casa San Pablo Clay Storytellers will be available across all Tesoro’s outlets nationwide starting June 2015.

For more details about the event, visit http://tesoros.ph/ or Tesoro’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tesoroshandicrafts?fref=ts.

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