Red isn’t the only color at the Spectrum Fair Manila

It’s Valentines day. Originally celebrated by the Romans to honor Juno— then the capitalists twisted it to their own commercial holiday that we all know today. Good job capitalism!

While everyone’s having their Sundates, I was thinking of doing some retail therapy to keep me sane from all the stress I’ve been having lately.
It’s the last day of the Spectrum fair at Whitespace. I’ve been hearing good reviews on it for about a year now, but I never bothered to check it —probably because I was busy or was just too lazy to go out.

So I  finally caved in and got my lazy bum out of the house. After paying the ₱150 peso entrance, I immediately did a quick scan of the whole place and started walking around the booths by the perimeter. There were many interesting things that appealed to the average millennial.

 

 

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Out of the blue I saw Artu with his really nice hat. Then I said to myself, “if Artu’s here, then he’s probably selling his Ice Cream Sandwiches, which means that Meg mustn’t be far away.” As I was greeting him, I saw Meg at a distance waving away at the Louie-Luis Booth. Yup! I was right!

 

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Louie-Luis is basically your choice of happiness between two layers of wafer— to give it a bit of texture. I rarely take ice cream on its own as I personally take mine as an affogato. So Louie-Luis makes it on my list for one of the best and unique desserts I’ve had.

I walked over the booth and Meg and I had a conversation over a Strawberry Flavored Ice Cream Sandwich. Thanks Meg!

I found out that tomorrow (Feb.15) was her last day at work. I already knew of her plans to leave but I felt like a light bulb went out. In an office full of immature 20 something’s, Meg’s one of the more sensible, brilliant characters I’ve met. I’ve learned to appreciate the world differently just by hanging out with her during shoots. It’s pretty infectious how she thinks. Her decision making skills—priceless. Time management—impeccable. She always has something new to make things more productive or fun. Just a month ago I walked with her to a local donut shop and I’ve learned to appreciate the Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, which I’ve been avoiding for years in fear of bad institutionalized coffee. It’s so sad she had to leave.

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Meg suggested I get the marble cheese board from Laura’s Yard just to add to my future food styling props (and for my personal curio at home). Artu then got in the conversation and suggested I go for stuff in the Gouché booth. He was wearing one of their aprons—something I’ve been wanting to get for a very long time.

 

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I then went around and started shopping when Dans Bermejo tapped my back. SURPRISE! More friends!

She brought me to her booth. Her Cool Girls Club brand offered many quirky and girly things like patches, prints and illustrated things. I personally loved her printed postcards and bought a pack. YAY!

More surprises came my way as I chanced up Tin Ledesma who sold artisan soaps (which I’ve shot for Southern Living) under her brand Soak . She had many bath and body products that were made with natural ingredients.

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I then found Anna Orlina and her boyfriend who were selling 3D printed products and services—YAS! Applied Multimedia Artistry. Now I know where to have those 3D skulls made.

I also bought myself a local pomade called Frank. & Co. I have yet to try it but Raffy who ran the whole operation swears by its ability to hold in humid weather. He explained that pomades like Suavecito—which I PERSONALLY LOVE— has too much glycerin which draws moisture from our humid weather and turns a Filipino gentleman’s coiffure into mush. But the product he’s selling has less of it so it holds better. Plus it’s water based and uses natural products like Jojoba oil and Shea Butter.

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All of these were conveniently paid via Pay Maya.  You see technology is crazy—it’s all done through mobile phones. You just swipe your card via a dongle connected through a Smart phone and you’re done!

Here's a list of my interesting finds:

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Artisan soaps from Soak

Marble Cheese Board
from Laura’s Yard

Postcards from Cool Girls Club

Water based pomade Frank.Co

Waxed Canvas Apron from Gouache

Today wasn’t as depressing as I expected it to be. Leaving the house to spend a day with myself was worth every penny. But the best part was seeing friends and having conversations with them. It’s so amazing to have all these dedicated people running their businesses, something I could never really do. The whole fair indeed had different Spectrums to it. These people I’ve met just literally colored my dull miserable day. Something the typical red-colored motif of Valentines could never do.

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