With little over a week left before Christmas Day, the holiday rush is on. Gifts & Graces at LRI Design Plaza in Makati has a selection of handcrafted bags, accessories and homeware made in small batches by underserved communities.
Stocking stuffers bound to garner smiles include eyewear cases (P350) with drawings of Maria Clara rocking a pair of cat’s eye shades or General Luna in tinted aviators.
The cases, with plush linings made of repurposed fabric and backings cut from t’nalak fabric from South Cotabato, were stitched together by a sewing group in Mandaluyong.
Gadget organizers are a necessity but often look so utilitarian. The ones at Gifts & Graces are made of black or maroon woven cotton fabric and brightened with either t’nalak strips (P495) or brass squares (P650).
The same cotton fabric is woven by women from Biñan, Laguna, into textured clutches (P1,195) accented with brass elements—tiny bells, miniature agung—or teardrop-shaped bosok seeds affixed in concentric circles.
The store’s brass bells remain popular gifts because they are believed to drive away evil spirits. A new design, a seated T’boli man, is available unadorned or with a fringe of tiny bells (1,250).
At Gifts & Graces, there are flat portfolio bags (P500) from Baybay in Leyte made of woven pandan leaves; compact, rolled-up table runners (P675); and boxy woven totes from Sorsogon made of tightly woven karagumoy leaves (P1,000).
The latter, a favorite of diehard shoppers, has been nicknamed the “Big Bad Bayong” for its generous capacity.