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Festival Mall Marks International Women’s Month with Dolls Exhibit

Festival Mall is celebrating the International Women’s Month with a showcase of that one item that makes the hearts of many girls of all ages aflutter– dolls!

“Tindera ng Isda” Nenita doll displaying Filipino practices

More than a dozen exquisite Nenita and Ninay dolls, dressed in their best Filipiniana finery, will be on exhibit at Festival Mall’s Expansion Hall, Upper Ground Floor, Expansion Wing, from March 8 to 18.

The brainchild of fashion designer Patis Tesoro and the BSK, the Nenita (6-inch dolls worth P3,500.00) and Ninay (18-inch dolls worth P5,000.00) dolls are created with the desire to preserve the richness and beauty of Filipiniana fashion. 

Rag dolls in colorful modern attires

Lookingat the dolls is like flipping through the pages of a history book, where the Filipinas’ way of dressing is documented with utmost care and in exact detail. All dolls are made by hand through a 12-step process that requires six pairs of hands to accomplish, with each doll’s face hand-painted by BSK’s in-house artists.

“Mano Po” – a Nenita doll showcasing Filipino values

Minerva A. De Leon, president of BSK National Foundation, says much research is poured in each and every doll that the group makes. “To maintain authenticity, fabrics are all locally sourced. For instance, the dolls inspired by Davao’s indigenous peoples were dressed with fabrics that are really sourced in Mindanao,” De Leon says. Top designers like Rene Salud and Rajo Laurel, who have taught at some BSK livelihood workshops, also sometimes donate extra fabrics to them.

A set of bags produced by BSK women

In 2013 the Kikay dolls (P1,750.00), a more playful and youthful collection than the Nenita and Ninay, were added to BSK’s roster of products to cater to the millennial audience. BSK also takes orders for custom-made dolls, with custom face molds. Among past clients who have had custom-made dolls made for them include Senator Loren Legarda, and former President Joseph Estrada.


Ninay Nenita – A collection of Nenita and Ninay dolls in various native Filipina dresses

BSK approaches its livelihood projects on a holistic level. “We give them the basic tools, and then we capacitate them on how to be a micro-entrepreneur by giving them training. We also help them get a simple loan to begin their own business. That’s how we empower women,” De Leon says.

BSK began in 1992 to help women and their families. Yet, men, women, and children of the San Juan City community receive equal opportunity to be equipped with tools like values formation, accounting seminars, and workshops for doll-making, sewing, and making cleaning solutions, among others, with the help of BSK. Its products have also expanded to include furniture, bags, mugs, and garments, continuing to innovate and empower others, especially women, to work.

More than just being a place in which people shop and dine, Festival Mall has also evolved into a space where advocacies are promoted and championed.

“Festival Mall believes in the power of women as a moving force that helps shape society. Their leadership skills largely contribute to bringing customer centricity and excellence in the workplace,” says Rose Nuqui, vice president for marketing, exhibits and conventions, and amusement centers for Filinvest. “Partnering with BSK gives us an opportunity to help the beneficiaries of the foundation by showcasing their products and be a partner in uplifting the quality of life of women and their families.”

The Kikay doll, developed in 2013 for a younger audience

At the heart of each Festival Mall endeavor is the vision of bringing life to the city and enhancing the lifestyles of the people who live and work nearby. After all, as the premiere Filinvest Lifemall, Festival aims to be seen not just as a retail center, but as a place where people’s needs and passions find an ideal balance. True to its slogan “where the city’s heart beats,” Festival Mall exerts effort to bring noteworthy events and exhibits close to the heart of its community.

Festival Mall is a Filinvest Lifemall and a premier development in Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. It is the only mall with six anchor stores: Landmark, Shopwise Supercenter, SaveMore, Robinsons Department Store, Ace Hardware and Handyman. It has over 700 shops, almost 4,000 parking slots, various food outlets, and indoor amusement rides.



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