Cebu is the creative craftsman city of the Philippines and is one of the most renowned furniture exporters of Southeast Asia. Local designers have successfully improvised around the region’s lack of rattan (the predominant wood used in traditional furniture) with freestyle experimentation of other indigenous natural materials. The playfully geometric work of up-and-comer Vito Selma (pictured) and the always influential eccentricities of Debbie Palao show how Cebu is living up to its “Milan of Asia” reputation.
The best and brightest are on display every year at a furniture exhibition dubbed Cebu X (not to be confused with Cubao X, Manila’s bohemian community). Recently, the biggest buyers have come from the Middle East followed by North American and European purchasers.