Salvador: Christmas highlights local craftsmanship

A favorite home accessory for the holidays, tabletop Christmas tree made of t’nalak fibers and wires. (Photo by Jinggoy I. Salvador)
A favorite home accessory for the holidays, tabletop Christmas tree made of t’nalak fibers and wires. (Photo by Jinggoy I. Salvador)

WHAT makes me really happy over Christmas these past years? The decorations. It’s truly heartwarming how many in our city has embraced and showcasing with pride locally made décor. The results are truly impressive.

It was a long journey for our craftsmen. Back then, the Holiday ornaments made of local materials like sinamay, abaca cords and bamboo were not the priority, or didn’t make the cut at all, when sprucing up the home for the season. I believe it was even looked down on.

The decors have evolved. Artisans in search of sustainable materials turned their gaze on the raw materials and gave it their touch. Slowly it gained an audience in the international market. The local market followed suit. The locally-crafted Christmas decorations became mainstream.

Tadeco Livelihood and Training Center (TLTC) is one of the major producers of Davao-made products specializing in home accessories using the abaca fiber. Through its showroom, T’nalak Home, the products for export can be accessed by the locals. One of the best sellers is the Christmas collection.

It is of no surprise that many locals, homeowners and establishments alike, turn to T’nalak Home for home decorations and decorating ideas. To date, the store has an impressive list of commissioned works for the Holidays that include malls, hotels, resort, department store, restaurants, residences and more.

Like the products they export, the Christmas decorations evolve. To suit the client’s needs, the design team of TLTC lead by Juvenal Fernandez comes up with original ideas to put the “wow” on all its installations. Locally-sourced materials are always used plus the T’nalak Home identity should always be present in each project.

The latest design is a giant Christmas tree created with stacks of gifts commissioned by a mall. The set-up uses corrugated board to form each large gift box and wrapped in gossamer-like handmade paper, which allows the illumination from within each box to shine through. Printed handmade paper is used for the large ribbons as well.

The look is carried through the mall entrances and connects with the exterior décor of giant Christmas balls spread across the surrounding gardens. It looks good during the day and magical when lit at night.

Seda hotel is another establishment who patronizes local talents and products. For years now, they contract T’nalak Home to decorate the hotel, and each year a new look is achieved even when recycling is practiced.

This year is busier for the showroom. Aside from their regular clients, a new hotel, a commercial establishment and a couple of residences was added to the list.

Christmas styled by local artisans transforming materials into designs we never thought can be conceived. Surprising and heartwarming. T’nalak Home always makes our Christmases so homey, so warm and so stylishly Pinoy.

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