Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I don't consider myself an "expert" in the field of woodworking and designing. Though people seek my advice on design and materials, I have to be honest. This gives me a sense of fulfillment in my chosen line of field. My sincere gratitude to those who support and believe in my works! I just wish I had another lifetime to discover more possibilities on designing, working with wood and sharing my experiences in this amazing world of designing and creating.

For the young furniture designers wanting to be successful in their respective fields, I would like to share with you the path I took that led me to my progression as a designer and as a person. 

DESIGNING.......... understanding the word design, material and shop work knowledge, establishing one's artistic identity, earning an honest living. 

In that order lest we use the title "designer".  

Honestly, did you choose to be a designer for material wealth? 

If you are indeed creative, using this as the first step to success would divide your creative skills for designing to formulating ways in accumulating wealth faster. Most "designers" I know of who followed this path are more of  business men rather than a designer.  "innovators" for who they think they are.  A good designer should first learn to be honest to himself. The title "designer or artist" is not earned from schooling but is bestowed upon you by patrons and believers in your work. 

You might say that drawing a concept on paper is designing. Most young "designers" would search Taytay or Pampanga for a craftsman to execute their "designs". "The Craftsman".... (that,  I'll touch on in another blog.) with his knowledge in machineries and materials on putting together what is on paper would be your best bet for your "design" to come into fruition. Most often the craftsman would have to make adjustments in his best knowledge and judgement to rectify structural flaws he sees  with the concept. By doing so, he is being sure that he protects his reputation as a craftsman despite underlying his intellectual property rights.  At the end........ and again, Honestly? Was it your design? A TRUE and HONEST designer who is willing to learn and progress in his field would call it a collaboration. 

"Originality" is the key word. Try to think outside of the box. It will never be an easy path to success. You may have all the financial support but the price tag on having your own artistic identity is only achieved with patience, soul and time you put into the craft. It can never be bought! 

Study the market, What do people need? What has been done bought and collected? Be mindful that you have one chance to showcase your work to the public to be identified. Don't waste that chance to be tagged as a copycat! Have in mind what their reaction should be when they see your work........." Nice........ something new... (and most important....) 

WHO'S WORK IS IT?"  That's creating your identity. With this........ you're on the right path DESIGNER!

"I see your soul in your works"

as quoted by Manuel Vergara Torres

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Wood played a vital role in the emergence of man into the modern world. As an all important resource for fuel, tools and building materials, wood helped shape society as well as its economy. It is ironic that we profit from its value but pay little attention to its source. The wanton cutting of trees has led to the denudation of our natural rain forests. We try to justify our impetuous behavior by planting trees to "farm". Much of these trees planted are not endemic to its host region thus disrupting the local ecological system and resulting to more damage on the environment. Greed, need and lack of knowledge make man's oldest natural resource continue to shape our lives by being the major cause of floods, landslides and threat to our country's flora and fauna. 

                           The denudation of our natural rain forests

The Philippines plays host to well over three thousand species of trees of which a high percentage is endangered. Playing a minor role in the use of wood,  I try to play a major role in the conservation of our last remaining rain forests by introducing and educating people on the potential and values of recycled wood. In my 26 years of crafting recycled wood, I have witnessed an emergence of an entire sphere of recycled wood suppliers, furniture makers and most important, the end product buyers and collectors who now value our environment and locally made recycled wood products. There has yet to be a study made on environmental benefits in recognition of this new found resource.

                    reclaimed wood from demolished houses

Old wood is more durable than new wood. Besides being seasoned dry, sawyers used to select mature trees to fell. We can never compare denseness, quality of grain and strength of both old and new wood. What more to corroborate these facts than by seeing century old wooden houses still settled in and used by fourth and fifth generation homeowners.


  century old wooden house in Quezon province

          Reyes "tahanan" of recycled wood

       "Hilot Pavilion" Maribago Bluewaters Resort Mactan, Cebu

 With this new found resource, I have started its application in the designing and building of residential houses and resorts. I adhere to the principle of " build it once - build it right" thus engineering functional structures that will not only work well but will reacquaint its owners and guests on the miracle and beauty of wood.

We are all stewards of this planet we live in. Let us do our share and use our resources wisely so that future generations may take pleasure and appreciation of it and do likewise.


" WELCOME TO CYBERSPACE OLD DOG!" - This is me talking to myself before I start putting thoughts into words on my first blog! 

I always thought that BLOG was the sound of one falling out of bed. My daughters, Eena and Keesha have finally succeeded in convincing me to register on facebook and blogspot. This will be my way of sharing my principles and thoughts on designs and works for all you wood lovers.