the voice of our community promoting
trade education, employment & research

The entrance to Yab Design
The entrance to Yab Design.

On my first day in the field with Export Assistance Program Philippines, I had the opportunity to visit Yab Design, a home décor manufacturer known for their wide array of product lines ranging from life-sized human figures, garden products, advertising items, furniture, home decors and accessories to gigantic animal replicas full ofoutstanding creativity and craftsmanship.  

The alien was really excited to meet Lycah, the Hinrich Foundation’s Philippine Export Consultant
The alien was really excited to meet Lycah, the Hinrich Foundation’s Philippine Export Consultant

The charm of Yab Design is that everything seems out of place:  nestled away inside the Angono municipality of Rizal, the road up to Yab’s gate is lined with sphinxes, larger than life Egyptian pharaoh statues, one curiously large men’s shaving razor and a set of Greco-Roman busts. The path opens into a courtyard with a beautiful bird cage and dragon which stands guard before the warehouses where all the magic happens. The magicians are Yab Design’s artists who handcraftall of the company’s polyester resin and fiberglass statues, decorations and advertisements and then ship them to customers around the world. They have created designs for a number of international name-brand companies including Coca Cola, Levi’s, ING Bank, Samsung and Gillette.

Bruce Lee’s JeetKune Do was no match for Steven’s Wu Tang.
Bruce Lee’s JeetKune Do was no match for Steven’s Wu Tang.

The entire two-hectare production site pulsated with a distinctive creativity, a characteristic that’s in no short supply in Filipino art and design. We were able to get another taste of Yab’s products inside the warehouse, which is home to a brigade of life-size human figures ranging from Elvis to Santa Claus strumming a guitar in jean shorts. Inside we met with Frans, the general manager of Yab Design, to discuss including Yab in our partnership with Philippine home décor exporters.

Steven eating lunch at Yab Design.
Steven eating lunch at Yab Design.

After concluding a productive meeting with our new Export Assistance Program partner, it was almost time to begin our two hour journey back to the Hinrich Foundation office in Makati. There was only one last thing to do: snap a few photos with the statues.

My first day in the field with Export Assistance Program Philippines 1
Lycah rockin’ out with Old St. Nick.

My first day in the field with Export Assistance Program Philippines 2 My first day in the field with Export Assistance Program Philippines 3 My first day in the field with Export Assistance Program Philippines 4

You can visit Yab Design’s page on Global Sources Online here.

About the Author – Steven Dikowitz

My first day in the field with Export Assistance Program Philippines 5

Carmela delos Santos is Content Integration & Steven is a Princeton in Asia Fellow working with the Hinrich Foundation in Manila. His roles include maintaining the online presence of the foundation, conducting site visits in Luzon, and aiding with the coordination between suppliers and manufacturers through the Export Assistance Program. He hopes to enjoy a career in international development and humanitarian assistance. Before joining the Hinrich Foundation team, Steven interned as a research assistant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador. Additionally, he has experience working in investment and financial services, as well as business development and human capital management.