The pursuit of youth, organic diets and more in 2013

Experts in wellness, food, art, architecture and business share the trends they see happening in 2013 based on a glimpse of the seeds planted in 2012. Here they are:

“The trend (this year) is surely on health and anti-aging. It started with alternative medicine, and then come the spas, and now, there’s the anti-aging (craze),” said Anna Marie Rivera-Wharton, owner of Spa Riviera and marketing executive of NU Skin.
“Baby boomers are getting old and they want to stay young. So, a company that can give promising results will surely make a lot of money from this. There’s even a company that promises that when you start with your anti-aging regimen at the age of 25, you will reap tremendous results when you grow old. Meaning, the anti-aging industry is no longer for the baby boomers. People in their 20’s and 30’s are now included. Literally, everyone is a customer,” she added.
Economists predict that the global cosmetics and toiletries industry will experience a 76-percent growth in the United States, 73 percent in Europe, 72 percent in Japan and 82 percent in the Asia Pacific.
The anti-aging segment is the largest in this 333-billion dollar industry, she said.

Health experts suggest that couple your beauty regimen with eating organic products, you’ll look more radiant apart from being healthier.
Miner del Mundo, chef, food consultant and trainor at St. Therese College, said that people continue to clamor for organic food. So, “the number one food trend right now is going organic and sustainable. There’s no compromise in the use of local ingredients especially those that are fresh and organically grown as people are becoming health conscious. They are more particular about the food’s nutritional value,” he said.
Del Mundo noted there will be a decrease in the consumption of soda as more people are scared of having the debilitating disease called diabetes. “This gives the tea market a boost. There’s the proliferation of tea salons. However, the sugar level of this concoction should be analyzed,” he warned.
He also mentioned fresh fruit shakes and juices as alternatives. Again, check the sugar content, he said.
Those who want to go into food business, can look into a restaurant that focuses on salads and light meals for the diet conscious. “I think it would be a hit. It must be a healthy meal that does not sacrifice the flavour and essence of the food,” he said.
“I think it would not be difficult for them to sustain this business because Ilonggos are very diet conscious,” he said.

Meanwhile, in architecture, Ilonggos no longer look for mansions and extravagant items that "were once seen as status symbols” according to Architect Jomari Moleta.
Rather, their choices reflect their concern for the economy, he said. They would rather go for "comfortable homes that optimize light, air and space as well as designs that have flexible floor plans to accommodate elderly parents or children" who may return home.
They also want home spaces that can serve more than one purpose, like a bedroom that can also serve as a study room, home office or media room.
Also, green architecture will continue to be a trend this year.
"The inclusion of green elements is a high priority and will continue to be so into the future, not only for their environmental impact but also as a counter-balance to rising energy costs," Moleta said.

In the fashion scene, designer Jaki Penalosa sees the return of vintage through lace and ruffles as base element or accent in clothing for women.
“Colors vary from jewel-based tones to light pastels giving emphasis to emerald green and shades of pink,” she said.
Business here in the city in terms of fashion is relatively fair in growth, she said. “Since the conception of Iloilo Designers' Week, we could already see a glimpse of potentials and innovations from the local fashion industry,” she added.
Penalosa believes that after IDW, more consumers and clients will see more options. “So, I guess it's an even playing field for both young and senior designers.”

Gina Apostol, a visual artist believes that 2013 will see art collectors who have mixed taste for contemporary, surreal and abstract act.
“This year, I am seeing a bold choice for experimental art using creative use of medium with new talents exploring subjects that resonate environmental concerns and expressions of restlessness painted from subdued to psychedelic colors,” she said.
Ed Defensor, veteran artist, believes the art scene will get more contemporary outputs, not only from Asia but also from Europe and the Americas.
“There are now more interaction between Filipino artists and global artists. Galleries from all over the world are now opening their doors to Filipino artists. And Filipino artists are now breaking into the auction scene in Asia, where one of the highest auction sales in painting was recorded by a Filipino artist,” he said.
Defensor hopes that the government will support this sector.
“I believe only a number of Ilonggo artists will be able to cope with this development since the great majority are still young and still needs a lot of exposure to the art scene. And since this great majority are self-taught, then there are still so many things they have to learn in order to be in step with the established artists who are still presently dominating the art scene,” he said.
Unfortunately, some of these Ilonggo artists will drop from the art scene, he said. “They would be unable to cope with the developments precisely because of the problem of survival as an artist working in a regional place such as Iloilo, which is far from the major artistic center of the country.”

The gains of the past will continue to be enjoyed in the future. Even more.
“The biggest gains we had in 2012 (at least the promise of it) is in the areas of real estate development (Megaworld’s two new hotels and the convention center), Ayala’s Avida, Gaisano, Diversion 21 Hotel, Injap Condotel & Uptown Place, Go Hotel, Grand Imperial Hotel, GT Mall, Commercial Buildings, Medicus Hospital and UPMC). There were also improvements in accessibility (passenger terminals, new domestic and international flights, multi-billion road projects) and basic utilities (Jalaur River Project, Concepcion Coal Plant). There were also confirmed investments in the upgrade of academic courses (Packaging Engineering - CPU and new maritime training center of UI-Phinma and Magsaysay Shipping)” according to Lea Lara, executive director of Iloilo Business Club.
“Given these new potential investments, we expect an impact on ancillary services like transportation (tourist buses, vans for rent, car rentals), restaurants, retail stores, and the agriculture sector in terms of investments --  new or expansion of businesses, service upgrades, increase in markets (both products and services), and manpower development,” she said.
Lara revealed that donor agencies are now helping the City come up with better approaches to urbanization by maximizing networks and prioritizing strategies in development plans.
She also noted Iloilo Province’s aggressiveness in agriculture and tourism initiatives.
“Hopefully, the private and public sectors will be able to streamline services and projects given that we only have a perceived timeline of two to three years to get everything in order,” she said.
Lara urged businesses to plan their operations around these developments.
“For example, hotels will need quality raw produce to feed their guests. So, our local farmers should work together to meet the required volume. Packaging of local products should already comply with world standards to maximize potentials for export or local ‘pasalubong’ for tourists. LGUs and NGAs will play a vital role in matching local suppliers with these new investors,” she advised.
And since human resources are also important, she urged educational institutions to update their curriculum to include the needs of the above mentioned industries.
“Students learning a secondary language should now be considered,” she advised.
Lara advised Ilonggos to contribute to make sure that the quality of life in Iloilo will not be sacrificed while reaping new investments.
“We hope strategies will include green practices, generation of green jobs, urban management, disaster mitigation, upkeep of peace and order and good governance,” she concluded.*  (Kathy Villalon, The News Today, January 12, 2013)

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