BUBBLE CORAL – a floor lamp made from used plastic soda bottles is the first grand winner of the AMAIA STEPS NUVALI UPCYCLING CHALLENGE!

Now you might say that it wasn’t really that much of a feat but for winners Team DJE (Danny John Kalinga, Jojean Aguilar and Johnedel Edward Ogalesco) all coming from PSID, IT WAS.

Imagine being given only 24 hours to conceptualize a marketable practical home product, purchase raw materials that are at least 70% used or recyclable plastic bottles and then make it from literally ‘scratch’ – all with a budget of only 3,000 pesos.

Winners! Team DJE with the Judges.
Winners! Team DJE with the Judges.

The challenge culminated last Sunday (October 25) noontime at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa Laguna.  All 13 finalists feeling the pressure as judges Socialite-Philanthropist and Interior Designer Tessa Prieto-Valdes, acclaimed painter/poet and columnist Igan D’ Bayan, and Amaia Marketing Head Anna Garcia Ramos arrived at the venue, one-by-one to look at their finished (and some almost finished) works.

JUDGES: Igan D'Bayan, Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Anna Garcia Ramos
JUDGES: Igan D’Bayan, Tess Prieto-Valdes and Anna Garcia Ramos

I was there last Sunday and have seen first hand all the entries.  I have also talked to some of the people behind the upcycled creations to find out more about the inspiration behind each pieces and the hard work that they have put in it.

One of my thing, is that I am huge fan of ‘lost things’ or old items that have a big  history in it. I love watching the History Channel for shows like Pawn Stars, The Pickers and Storage Wars.  That is where my heart is and when I see old things re-purposed into anything artsy or any other useful items, I am always amazed.  Actually, I could be a judge in the next Nuvali Upcycling Challenge hahaha.

Anyway, I did my own silent judging last Sunday and have found that these are the top five and most ingenious pieces:

All three of my favorites have won the major prizes. Team DJE for the Grand Prize of 100,000 pesos for their ‘Bubble Coral’, Team Bulahao as Second Prize winner of 50,000 pesos for their ‘Upcycled Chandelier’, and Kneutral Manila as Third Prize winner of 25,000 pesos for their upcycled table/storage called ‘EpitoME’.

Team DJE with their Upcycled Floor Lamp "Bubble Coral"
Team DJE with their Upcycled Floor Lamp “Bubble Coral”

Most of the entries doesn’t really have that ‘WOW’ factor in them and it’s quite understandable given the limited amount of time to do the whole project but hopefully next year, we’ll see something that are really mind-blowing.

Meanwhile, here are the other entries and some other photos I’ve taken during the event:


Amaia Steps through the Nuvali Upcycling Challenge hopes to inspire people to embrace upcycling as a way of life. Upcyling for the uninitiated is the process of creatively turning old, non-toxic and discarded materials into something else that has more environmental value and long-lasting practical purpose.

“Caring for the environment has always been part of our advocacy. We want a project that would push this cause, so the Upcycling Challenge is really perfect for us. Here in Amaia Steps Parkway Nuvali, we encourage everyone to live a life that is one with nature—to not just enjoy its beauty but also care for it,” said Ricky Celis, President of Amaia Land Corp.

Here are the winners again:


Ayala Land’s Nuvali, which spans 1,750 hectares, is an inspiring model of a green, sustainable eco-community. Built on the pillars of environmental, economic, and social sustainability, community development remains a primary objective of Nuvali in achieving this balance.  Located in the cities of Sta. Rosa and Calamba, and in the Municipality of Cabuyao in Laguna, Nuvali is part of the growth corridor of the Calabarzon region. Its campus-like environment integrates a community where residences, business, and recreation flow seamlessly. It is a community where homeowners can proudly raise their families.


For updates and more photos VISIT and LIKE the RainCHECK FB Page www.facebook.com/checktherain or FOLLOW me on Twitter at @raindeocampo

Follow Me

Like it? Share with your friends!


Writer, Wanderer, Child of God


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email