Sarabia Jewelry marks 70 Years

Photos by Iloilo Today

Sarabia Jewelry recently celebrated its 70 years of making fabulous jewelry with the grand opening of its flagship store at SM City Iloilo and the unveiling of its newest collection, the Solihiya Series. The new jewelry store is a realization of the hard work, passion to succeed, and the love for the craft by the three generations of Sarabia women.

“After 70 years, three generations strong, indeed the time is now. The store is a dream come true. It took many months to plan this. We take the brand to another level, hiring the very best designer and contractor. The new store allows our customers to experience a journey in the world of fine jewelry, where they are given only the best, more personalized customer service,” said Mrs. Gina Sarabia-Espinosa, 2nd generation and president of Sarabia Jewelry.

Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III, SM City Assistant Mall Manager Darrell Defensor, Marivic Mabilog, Marylou Sebastian of John B. Lacson, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Tess Braga of Kikay Farms and Gina Sarabia Espinosa

Sarabia Jewelry opened its first jewelry store in 1945 at the heart of the city, in Guanco Street. Seven decades later, Sarabia Jewelry’s mother store still stands in downtown Iloilo boasting of a massive collection of fine jewelry and most of all, an atelier with skilled artisans and craftsmen on its upper floors. 

Its founder, Amparo Divinagracia Sarabia, is a well-respected pioneer in this industry. She credits interest and love for her work, integrity and honesty, aside from personal service to customer as the main reason for the brand to last. She is still the main guiding force in all creations and business operations.  Her legacy is continued in the tradition of elegance, excellence, and ethics that has made customers trust Sarabia Jewelry for 70 years.

Sarabia Jewelry preserves the traditions of the old, while making way for the new and modern ways. This is evident in the way the three generations still operate.

70 years and 3 generations. Sarabia Jewelry Founder Amparo Sarabia with daughter Gina Sarabia Espinosa and granddaughters, (L-R) Regine, Patricia and Bea. Not in photo: Christine Isabel, youngest daughter of Gina.

The success of Amparo Divinagracia Sarabia was built on by Gina Sarabia-Espinosa. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Gina took up the business challenge by learning jewelry design. She is a certified gemologist, a result of her studies at the Gemological Institute of America. 

Sarabia Jewelry’s expansion and reach can be credited to the second generation. Through Gina Sarabia-Espinosa’s efforts and sharp business acumen, she was able to offer a variety of products to answer customers’ demand and expand the brand to more areas of Panay. She is also passionate about heritage, culture, and the arts, and has mixed this in with the brand, bringing it to a higher level.

On the other hand, the third generation is marked by the passion and devotion of an artist.  Regine Sarabia Espinosa inherited the artist side of her mother and grandmother. She is the master designer and metalsmith of the Sarabia Jewelry atelier.

She has studied and trained as Metalsmith in The Alchemia School of Contemporary Jewelry in Florence, Italy and has brought back the idea and operations of a jewelry guild, promoting artisanal unique and handcrafted products that are closely linked to the culture and history of Iloilo. Her inspiration is taken from her surroundings and the people she meets. Customers will be witnessing more of her work to be exhibited and sold in the flagship store.

Proof of Regine’s creativity and artisanal skills in designing jewelry is the Solihiya Series. Exquisite pieces of jewelry were launched during the grand opening of the flagship store.

Ms. Iloilo Dinagyang 2016 Vanessa Ann Ka'ihilani Caro wears one of the Solihiya Series.

The pieces are inspired by the craftsmanship that comes from the SOLOHIYA.  It is a dying craft.  Rarely do we see skills being practiced of weaving rattan patterns on the furniture – it is a heritage craft.

In line with the mission on preservation of heritage, Sarabia Jewelry is proud to bring this latest design from the third generation of Sarabia women in jewelry to the public.

Sarabia Jewelry is located near H&M at the Upper Ground Floor. The new store offers a more diverse selection of jewelry and boasts a bigger space and better look. This flagship store at SM City Iloilo is the culmination of the legacy that has been passed on from generation to generation.