The Block Party‘s second installment, aptly titled Summer Send Off, was back for another fun weekend, last June 6 and 7, 2015, a community gathering bringing good food from the north down south, interesting buys for the whole family, craft workshops, art exhibits, laid-back entertainment, kids activities, and lots of green space to lay down banigs and throw pillows to soak in the lazy revelry of the very humid weekend.
Wanting to make the most of my weekend, I headed to Makiling Park in Ayala Alabang Village bright and early, eager to check out all the wares for sale and meeting the people behind the local, mostly handmade products. There were definitely a lot more pop up stores this time around, and I got first dibs on some of the more interesting knick-knacks and art work that helped appease the creative
child in me.
Roaming around the grounds, by Instagram trigger-finger at the ready, here are some of my favorite stalls:
Hello Friday is one of the new additions to the #blockpartyph, and their cute tote bags caught my eye, as well as their handmade felt cases shaped to look like old school Nintendo controllers, Instagram logos, and the Tardis. Seek them out for their handmade postcards as well – definitely something interesting to send out to a friend or as a creative way of saying thank you. They can also customize designs, so drop them a line on Facebook to ask about what they can do for you.
If you love to write, draw or paint, Moon & Dreams probably has something for you. I have a penchant for collecting notebooks, so I found their simple designs appealing. Choose from their Notepads (Php 140) with inspirational quotes on the cover or design your own with their Pocket Notebook (Php 80). I took a few pocket notebooks home – they will probably end up as travel notebooks for me to scribble down ideas and inspiration on.
Punch Crafts takes a different (and more affordable!) approach to leather products, using recyclable bits and pieces they source from Marikina factories that they then turn into everything from coin purses to key holders. I went home with a handmade gold-foil leather Cable Management Case (Php 35) for my earphones – they always seem to end up in a tangle at the bottom of my bag. Problem solved!
I was quite impressed with everything I saw at Swathe! Everything from the little note cards to the wrapping paper was hand-painted, and one can really see all the love that goes into each and every piece. I was surprised at how affordable everything was, like the Wrapping Paper (Php 100/ 3 pieces), Folded Cards (Php 200), and Stationary Sets (Php 80) .
I think out of all the little stalls at The Block Party, the little art corner is what excites me the most. I love to see how creative our local artists are, and this time around, they went social, featuring Instagram photographers with their pictures displayed on sintra boards – something that would make beautiful statement pieces for the office or the home.
Kyna Garcia, Jelito de Leon, Kookie Buhain, Rey Canlas, Jr., Marvin Conanan, Liezl Yap, Kimi Juan, Jake Verzosa, Miguel Nacianceno, Karl Ivan Jover-Presentacion, Artifuo Rafael Enriquez, and Julian Rodriguez showcased their stunning IG photos. I am especially drawn to the photos of the Mediterranean as well as the ones of the water. This actually makes me want to put my own little collection of photos together to display in my hallway!
I’m afraid I don’t remember the name of the woman who owns this little stall, but I did end up buying a hand-drawn pineapple Notebook (Php 100) from her. Thinking back, now I wish I had bought the pineapple-themed stationary, too!
For those with the urge to constantly wander, Suit Up not only gives boring luggage color and personality, but it protects it as well, and one could chose from a few of the designs they showcased from their capsule collection.
Some of the other pop up stores that joined The Block Party that weekend were PopJunkLove, Mhyrtle Kids, Craft MNL, Bags By Rubbertree, Pottly N Tubby, Rags2Riches, Bicspoke, Hey Kessy, Space Garden, Happy Bubbles, Cat & Kai Handmade Jewelry, Dos Marias, Boar Brand Clothing, Kimochi Aroma Pillows, Little Luli & Luiz, Harpoon Co., Habil Crafts, Artsy Kit, HandsLovePaper, The Craft Central, 1327 Designs, Tres Kuleros Records & Dry Goods, Ella Lama, 400 Lux, Maganon Comic Publishing, Gifts & Graces, Studio Desegnio, Dolldalita, Pluma, Crafts With Soul, Love Nikita, Sapin Sapin Tanzan, Krafty Pirate, Bedazzle, Kanela Crafts & Design, Tesseract Manila, Cristal Glass Project, Obra Paduding, Simoy Ng Haraya, Milk Collective, Suit Up Phils., Zenutrients, Alunsina, Yas Doctor, Claire Ganzon, Nikki Radan, Xtian Torres, JCI Phils., Bucketfeet, and Tripmart Travel Agency.
Now, I know this activity was set up is to keep the kids entertained, but I just couldn’t help but take a peek at Barnyard Friends On Wheels, a mini petting zoo with chicks, ducklings, bunnies and a sheep!
I couldn’t resist picking up and cuddling one of the fat little floppy lops. The little guy was so chill, he ended up taking a kip while I was carrying him around – it can’t get any cuter than that! Look at those little bunuy cheeks! And those super soft little bunny ears!
Aside from the très mignonne baby animals, other activities for the kids and kids-at-heart include pottery, kids’ yoga, and arts & crafts by The Learning Child; storytelling, mobile library, and pencil painting by DiksyonaryoAtbp, and sidewalk chalk art.
Perusing all the stalls for cool things to buy can be tiring, but the organizers of The Block Party came prepared, and I had my fill of mouth-watering Pepperoni and Hot Honey (Php 450) pizza from my favorite Pizza Morena, colorful and delightful Kashi Maki (Php 200) from My Pink Wasabi, and a Poptail Pinoy Piña Colada (Php 250) made from organic Zambales mango and coconut creme + cold-pressed pineapple and Bacardi white rum from Liq My Stick.
Other concessionaires at the weekend event were Wingman, Les Bagels, Skull & Bones Hotdogs & Burgers, El Chupacabra, Resultado Gourmet, Cheezalis Street Grilled Cheese, Il Ponticello, Georgetown Kitchen, Cool Beans Hummus, Juice Jab, Boom’s Cold Brew Coffee, Juice Stand, Bono Artisanal Gelato, Sugar Babies Desserts, Olivia Dessert Jars, and The Little Spatula.
I went home a little after lunch, happy as a floppy lop from all the food and a bit buzzed from the Pinoy piña colada, with my bag full from my little shopping spree. Looking around, everyone was having a great time as The Block Party weekend was just getting started, with kids squealing as they fed the little animals and stretched out to yoga poses, couples taking selfies underneath the trees, and dads in little groups by the food concessionaires, a cold brew in their hand, laughing at something trivial. The Block Party does make for such a lovely bonding experience, not only for the family, but for the southern community in general. I am eagerly awaiting the next one.
The Block Party was presented by Ampersand Collective in partnership with Globe Tattoo Platinum, Globe Charge, United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), and The Learning Child with their media partners WhenInManila.com and Juice.ph.