The weekend neighborhood party we Southeneres have been pining for finally happened last March 28 and 29. The Block Party, that took place at Ayala Alabang Village’s Makiling Park, served up a slew of awesome food, artisanal finds, and ingenious recreations for the modern family – perfect festivity to kick off the official start of summer vacation.

The entrance fee to the summer fare was a mere Php 50 per head, with the proceeds going to the SOS Children’s Village – a great excuse for you and the rest of the family to have fun whilst giving to a great cause.

 

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It was a breezy Saturday afternoon when Jericho and I paid AAV’s Makiling Park a visit, conveniently located near the village’s clubhouse. The weather was absolutely perfect for cooling off and cozying up underneath the big trees and stretching out our legs – which was exactly what we did – finding a spot on one of the banigs that were laid out with throw pillows for people to enjoy whilst sampling the food, taking a rest from the shopping (I did quite a lot!), or taking a quick nap while the kids join in the craft workshops from Type Kita and PopJunkLove.

In addition to the hipster vibe going on at the park, there were also DJ set performances by DJ Arbie Won, DJ Silverfilter, Toni B., and DJ Tiger Garrido, keeping the energy upbeat and the people entertained.

 

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To one side were art exhibits and works from the likes of June Digan, Arlene Sy, Abbey Sy, Ebony Paguia, Alexis Ventura, Lai Reyes-Geluz, Raine Sarmiento, EmanSia, Daryl Feril, Margaret Morales, Sabrina Palmares, Jamie Catt, and Kishin Javier. I especially liked the colorful little hand-painted quotes and sayings that were for sale (Php 2,000 each).

 

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Here’s a nifty idea for sneaking in succulents at your study table – stick it in a book! Hábil CraftsAir Plants (starts at Php 500) is exactly that, sprucing up any work desk with a pop of green. Water these little guys sparingly once a week and use it as a conversation piece the next time the hottie at work decides to pass by your cubicle to borrow your stapler. Another super cute product of theirs are their PolaDroids (Php 60 each) – little Star Wars-themes polaroid magnets.

 

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Harpoon on the Loose takes looking hipster but badass quite well, selling Reversible Caps (Php 550) and Printed Totes (Php 2,000) that can also be converted to backpacks. I especially liked the snapbacks with a little hidden pocket – perfect for stashing little things like money and cards while on a trip to the beach.

 

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Terrariums seems to be a thing nowadays, and Space Garden does them well (starts at Php 300), selling succulents in carved out stones that make for interesting garden pieces or to give your coffee table some personality. They shared their space with a friend of theirs, AlbularyoPh, selling flavored liquor in Filipino flavors such as lemon grass, sweet basil, and tarragon.

 

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My favorite shop that afternoon was TwoThirtySixty. Owned by Kath Mitra, an architect and designer by profession, she draws her notebook cover design inspiration from everything there is to be Filipino, especially the architecture. Her Pocket Notebook Pairs (Php 250) have some of the most inspiring designs I’ve come across, and I now use the palaro-style notebook to jot down notes for the blog.

 

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You may have noticed that for a blogger, I don’t post as many pictures of myself as I probably should, which is mostly because I like my privacy and the pictures of myself that I keep go into little albums or scrapbooks. Life Documented was a revelation – easy-peasy scrapbooking! All you need to do is buy an Album (Php 900) which comes with sleeves that you can always buy more of, and choose a few Card Packs (starts at Php 350) that comes with cards you can insert and add a memory or a quote to create a theme of sorts. They also sell all sorts of embellishments, stickers, and stamps to make the art of scrapbooking even more fun!

If this piques your interest but you swear you don’t have a creative bone in your body, the ladies behind Life Documented also conduct workshops for those who want to learn to create beautiful albums, immortalizing their memories on pages one can actually flip through. This really is quite addicting once you get started – I now want to have albums for everything from watching my dog grow up to milestones the blog has made.

There were also other local, artisanal, and earth-conscious finds at Block Party with brands like Lagu Beach Blankets, Shoes by Kai, Ritual, Pottly N Tubby, Baby Jane Manila, Happy Bubbler, CBeauty, Vida Lim Jewelry, Verb Manila, and YakangYaka.

 

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Aside from the unique products being sold at one side of the park, the other side catered to delicious purveyors of hard-to-find-fare in the south, like SeñorPollo, El Chupacabra, Rub Ribs, 8 Cuts, Pipino Vegetarian, Breakfast & Pies, The Juice Stand, Cheezalis Street, GostosoPiriPiri Chicken, Take Root, Boneless Bob, Chili Asylum, Juice Jab, H Cuisine, Sugar Babies Desserts Unlimited, and Caramilk Creamery.

I had been hearing so many good things about Pizza Morena, who is usually seen at the Makati weekend markets, I just had to try her pizzas out for myself. I split a box of Pepperoni and Hot Honey (Php 350) with my friend, which I ultimately regretted after taking a bite, the flavors of the sweet tomato base, Mozzarella cheese, salty pepperoni, and homemade spicy honey dancing in my mouth. I am now of the belief that her 12-inch pizzas should come with a warning sign: Personal Size Pizzas.

 

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Congratulations to the coordinators of The Block Party! It is such a novel way to start the summer filled with fun for the whole family! I left with a full belly, a few PolaDroids for my fridge, a starter scrapbooking kit, pocket notebooks, key chains, and a few other doodads. We left the park at around 9 o’clock in the evening after laying out underneath big, leafy branches on our banig, watching the neighboring kids play catch, and taking in all the delicious aromas wafting from the food stands. I had such a blast – this should definitely be a yearly thing!

 

 

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