The arts have been known as the greatest representations of society’s culture and traditions—from traditional to the contemporary, not just the heritage but also the modern. Showcasing aspiring and inspiring craftsmen who reflect the fine Hispano-Asian legacy of the Philippines through various works of art, Tesoro’s, a longtime provider of quality local treasures, has launched the event series Disenyo At Talento.
“Our country is blessed with so many great artists,” pronounced the group CEO of Tesoro’s, Maria Isabel “Beng” Tesoro. “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.
For the first salvo, the store has featured the Casa San Pablo Clay Storytellers, crafted by former corporate publishing executive-turned-clay artisan An Mercado Alcantara. To formalize the start of the series, a ribbon cutting ceremony was been conducted by Department of Tourism Regional Director Rebecca Labit, assisted by Philippine Tour Operators Association President Cesar Cruz. Joining them were Ambassador Romy Manalo, Alice Tesoro-Guerrero, Beng Tesoro and Atty. Lulu Tesoro-Castañeda.
“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 Alcantara. 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.
Alcantara’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, Alcantara 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.”
Giving the audience an idea on how these charming creations are done, the event also featured a live demo of clay molding – from scratch down to the finishing touches. The artist said that the drying and painting process are the lengthy parts of this craft.
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 the artist 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.
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 Alcantara.
The institution houses 32 orphans, at least five of whom are mentally challenged. Many of these children are survivors of abuse, parental neglect or family abandonment. All of the orphans share only two rooms and two 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 have been made available at Tesoro’s outlets nationwide this month.
“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,” ended Tesoro.
For more information, log on to www.tesoros.ph.