Settling In: Bring The Culture In
One of the best ways to feel connected to your new home is by settling into your new space. Perhaps it’s not even a new space but you’re feeling unsettled, my tip to you would be to bring the culture in! By bringing the culture in you find objects that create a positive attachment with your location. Every time you see a painting on your staircase a memory strikes and you feel a connection, you feel home. If you’re like me, every basket has a story. It may be from a wet market, a family road trip or even a beautiful store full of culture and handicrafts like Kultura. No matter how it got there it reminds you that you are home.
my home is my canvas. abaca rug symbolizes our tropical city life, a couch upholstered by a seamstress at Kamuning Market reminds me it doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy to be nice. photo by Lisa and Jeff Llarena
Textiles, specifcally Inabel, speak to me. I began sewing as a child so fabrics are somewhat of a comfort to me. An Inabel blanket symbolizes so much to me. It’s a light weight blanket, perfect for the warm weather in the Philippines, but also symbolizes how craftsmen are still alive and strong in the Philippines. I had an opportunity to visit different weaving rooms in the Ilocos region and was exposed to the cultural practice of loom weaving. Using an Inabel blanket is more than warmth for me, it is a symbolism of my new home country tightly embracing me.
you needn’t go far, Kultura carries a number of Inabel options
Home decor is a way individuals express themselves, it also maximizes happiness. When you feel at peace in your home you are relaxed and more joyful. I for one, LOVE handicrafts and the Philippines has no shortage of handicrafts. Heck, most baskets at Pottery Barn and West Elm are made in Pampanga, exported to America and then imported back into the Philippines. Wild, no? Why not support local and get the real deal. I love meeting the artisans and seeing the hands that have created my new treasure.
Another native good that is to die for: acacia wood! If you are any type of entertainer, prop lover or chef then you’ll be obsessed with acacia wood everything! It is so affordable here and brilliantly beautiful.
plethora of acacia serving ware at Kultura
thanksgiving salad served on acacia oblong platter
new years cheese platter on acacia cutting board
It’s a weird obsession to have but I will proudly claim it, I am a basket case! I am OBSESSED with baskets and the Philippines has an endless amount of baskets. Just open your eyes where you are and surely you will find a basket!
finally, I took the plunge and brought home an Iraya-Mangyan basket from Mindoro on a recent trip to Kultura. i’m still debating where it fits best. Left side or right?
spotted at Kultura
We are surrounded by so much beauty, sometimes all it takes a perspective shift to see it. Open your eyes to local goods you can use and lean into your new life, lean into Manila.
Find a Kultura near you.