FILIPINOESQUE: Toronto's Fair Trade Fashion & Dessert Bar Pop-Up

Highlights From FILIPINOESQUE: Toronto's Fair Trade Fashion & Dessert Bar Pop-Up

On December 1st and 2nd, we celebrated the holidays Filipino style with our first-ever FILIPINOESQUE Pop-Up, an ethical fashion and dessert bar pop-up hosted alongside our friends Filipino Fusion Desserts.

We rented out the beautiful IN Lifestyle venue at the heart of downtown Toronto, and decked the space out with tropical holiday vibes. We had a photobooth, photo gallery, and a BALIKBAYAN notes section where you could leave thank you notes to our artisans!

This pop-up was especially significant because we partnered with likeminded entrepreneurs Rechie and Susan from Filipino Fusion Desserts. We all connected in 2017 during our first-ever pop-up, and FILIPINOESQUE marked a milestone for both of our brands. Rechie and Susan are insanely generous, talented, hard working, and share our same passion for fostering community and collaboration.

When we initially began planning our event together, we all agreed that that we wanted our pop-up to be about community, and to create a space that welcomed everyone and fostered collaboration. We specifically partnered with Filipino vendors and local businesses to put our pop-up together, and it was a beautiful weekend full of meaningful conversations.

On Saturday December 1st from 7PM-9PM, we also hosted a series of Lightning Talks featuring prominent members of Toronto's Filipino community. Our goal for FILIPINOESQUE was to celebrate all things Filipino - food, fashion, music, entrepreneurship - and to showcase our diverse stories.

Here are the highlights from the #FILIPINOESQUE weekend.

Photos by Kevin Ramos.

  Cambio & Co. at FILIPINOESQUE

The FILIPINOESQUE Organizing Team

Our FILIPINOESQUE Lightning Speakers team. From top left to bottom right: Louroz Mercader, Rechie Valdez, Nastasha Alli, Jérôme Gagnon-Voyer, Shay Marquez, Justine Abigail Yu, Jessie Abrazado, Susan Perras, Gelaine Santiago.

Our vendors:

Photographer: Kevin Ramos

Live calligraphy and custom gifting: Jovie Galit from Pinyaletters

Photobooth signs: Teresa Pham from Lunabelledesign

Saturday night emcee: Shay Marquez

Saturday night DJ: @dj_jappy_j

Merchandising consultant: Sheryl Luz, Artisella

Credit to the Entrepinays Summit in San Francisco upon which the lightning talks were inspired from

Graphic Design: Reg Albino

Backdrop: Flower Backdrops By Zai

Balloons: The Sweetest Thing


Gelaine Santiago

Gelaine Santiago

Gelaine is a social entrepreneur, an online storyteller, and a passionate advocate for diversity and ethics in business. She’s the co-founder of Cambio & Co., an e-commerce fashion company working with Filipino artisans to celebrate Filipino craftsmanship, culture, and heritage. Gelaine is also one of the founders of Sinta & Co., the world’s first conscious Filipino wedding boutique. She was named one of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2019. Find her on Instagram @gelainesantiago and www.gelainesantiago.com



1 comment


  • Deborah

    Super cool! I would have loved to have gone. It looked like a fun time!