Bazaars (tiangge as we fondly call it) had already form part of the lives of, us, Filipinos living in the metro. Name any season, holiday, event or hobby that you can think of and I bet that we do have a corresponding bazaar for it: baby garments, wedding and debut, beauty and wellness, travel and tour, books, V-day, Christmas, summer, back-to-school sale, arts and crafts, baking and the list goes on. I can safely conclude that every month there is a bazaar or two going on somewhere in the metro.
People love to buy, especially if it is a bargain. It is in our psyche, and that is the reason why it does not need much pounding when it was introduced in our society. Bazaars do offer the same items that could be found in your nearest mall, only half the price! And this particular bazaar was no exception!
It was very sunny earlier and I was able to catch the 5-day long Superb Bazaar in SMX on its last day. SuperSale, the organizer of this event, was able to bring in 200 imported and local brands to join in the fun, offering some of their items on rock-bottom prices. It was clear that the hype had already died down since there has not been much crowd when I got there but it was nice to see new brands and stores in the line-up.
To tell you the truth, I rarely shop clothes and accessories. Most of the time, I shop like a man; I only enter a shop to buy what I need and out I go (and mostly those are necessities). Often, I just window shop. But I do frequent bazaars not because of the impulse to buy but more on to support the Filipino women who own these start-up businesses.
I found women who share the same sentiments with me in Babaylan Treasures. I could not help but stop in front of their stall. The placard that says "Filipino handcrafted" caught immediately my attention. Each of their jewelry was tastefully made, beautifully handcrafted, incorporated with gemstones that have different meanings and uses depending on what you are looking for. Looking for love? They have the rose quartz for you. Want to enhance your speaking skills? Get the aquamarine. Want to reconnect with your old flame? Do not fret, moonstone is the stone, and they have it!
I do believe that our future greatly depends on us that but it does not hurt to believe that these things could help us get to where we want to go either!
In my case, I fell in love with the Malachite and Tiger's Eye. Since I commute to and from work everyday and I have a penchant on travelling, a stone that could protect me during my travels would work well in my favor. Also, since I have businesses that I would want to grow in the near future, a stone that could bring great success for my career and business endeavors is something that I could use.
They have a lot of other stones in hand and you could find the extensive list, with their corresponding meaning, in their site. Other than this, they also have pre-made necklaces, bangles, bracelets, earrings and vintage crafts. Looking for something else? They very much do customize!
I had the opportunity to meet with the artist/designer herself, Ms. Elaine Orozco, who was very accommodating and full of energy earlier. Introductions led to stories and stories led to an idea. She was wondering why there has not been any group established yet for women who own start up businesses like hers as it would be a great way to network and market their products and it would be a good venue also to help each one out; an idea which I totally agree with that I told her that we could start it; maybe some of those women are thinking about it also.
Yes, you could learn to run your business through time and through the hard way but to know that there is someone out there who had experienced the same thing as you do, who could help you when help is much needed, who could give you advice when you are lost is kind of reassuring. Maybe in this way, more Filipinos would have the courage to put up their own business, a scenario that could drive our economy to reach greater heights.
I appreciate bazaars because they do give venue to Filipino small time business owners to showcase their talents and products. It also encourages people to support their fellow men and love locally-made items. We do not anymore need to carry nipa huts to help out our kababayans. It could be just as simple now as continuously patronizing our own products and commending it to others; for Bayanihan had also changed with the times and has just gotten fashionable.