Monday, June 8, 2015

Tesoros promotes aspiring and inspiring local artisans

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, the provider of quality local treasures, has launched the event series “Disenyo At Talento.”
Taking inspiration from Mexican influences brought about by hundreds of years
of galleon trade through the Manila-Acapulco route,
 the clay storytellers have the Mexican folk art
look but with a decidedly Filipino identity.

“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 has been conducted by Department of Tourism Regional Director Rebecca Labit and President of Philippine Tour Operators Association Cesar Cruz. 

“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.
An Mercado-Alcantara is a writer,
clay artisan, and innkeeper.
All her art forms come together in the clay storytellers
that she makes together.
She also teaches the art to barrio folk in her community.

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.” 

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.

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 Clay Storytellers of An Alcantara are available at Tesoros starting June 1, 2015 as part of Tesoros’ “Disenyo At Talento” series. A portion of its sales will benefit the San Francisco Terraces Orphanage in Laguna.

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. 

“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.

For more details about the event, visit or Tesoro’s official Facebook page:

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