I dusted off my notebooks and got back into researching all the different places to visit here. I am feeling energised and inquisitive.
I was so excited for this weekend just past to arrive because I had big plans for my family. SB was briefed throughout the week of my intentions so he could figure out how watching his beloved AFL (that’s Aussie Rules Football) was being factored into the days.
For weeks now I have wanted to visit an art market I heard about. Down in old town it was a bit of a trek so I planned it in conjunction with a museum visit. Saturday morning we headed off in a taxi to find this market. After nearly two hours in the taxi we arrived, only to find this market is on once a month, which was the previous weekend. Oh dear. Not to worry, I have it noted now – off we go to the Museum.
The Museo Pambata
The Museo Pambata is an interactive Museum for Children here in Manila. It is designed to be an educational space where children get a full sensory experience to assist in their understanding. I had been excited about bringing the children here for a while now as it advertises that it has a human body you can climb through. BB is obsessed with many things, the human body being one of those things. I have to say I was disappointed. The human body was nothing more than a giant mouth to climb in through and then a giant tube to walk through. BB was convinced he got lost and I just looked at it wondering exactly what sensory and educational experience my children were getting with this. However at the end of the day the children had a good time. Throughout the Museum were rooms with differentthemes. There was a little market place set up for the children to role play. There was a small traditional hut that FB enjoyed playing in and the fire engine was a great source of joy with its bellowing
siren. There was a room dedicated to educating children about the environment which was a nice concept and BB thought the old jeep with exposed engine was cool. The playground outside was basic except for the real helicopter taking pride of place in the yard. The children could climb up and slide down, sit in the cockpit and have a wonderful play experience with that.
Greenfield Weekend Markets
At around 6pm we headed out on our ‘Exploring the Markets’ weekly adventure. Tonight we were exploring a night market. After a dodgy beginning to our day SB was a little uncertain of my event management so insisted I prove these markets a) existed and b) were actually on. I did this, so with caution we left the house and headed to the Greenfield Weekend Night Markets. Held every Saturday night these markets are very close to home. As we drove closer to the area we had a moment of concern as we could not see anything. The taxi driver was looking perplexed. Then we said ‘there are supposed to be markets here’ and he instantly knew where to go. The taxi gathered speed and suddenly the streets opened up before us and we were looking at The Greenfield District Central Park. We saw lights, market stalls and a pumping crowd, and we filled with anticipation.
These markets were just wonderful. Walking down off the main road, you enter an enclosed space with a central grassed area. The evening was warm and balmy and I was already feeling light and content. As we walked into this space the soothing sounds of Brooklyn Duo played over the speakers. I could see a stage set up just off to the side which gave the promise of live music yet to come. The perimeter of this park is filled with upmarket eateries and bars spilling out onto the pavement. The grassed area is lined with marquis
housing a range of stalls selling food, crafts, art and wares. I was instantly won over with this space. Families sat at tables, picnic blankets or just on the grass.
The sounds of happy voices, laughter and children playing sang out over the music creating an atmosphere that was festive, relaxed and happy.
We walked around the stalls taking it all in before settling on part one of our meal for the night. I had the tofu with pork belly, SB had the deep fried peppers, the kids shared ours and enjoyed spring rolls. We found a grassy knoll to sit on, situated just behind the stalls, giving us more space. Here we could relax and drink in the sights and sounds of this evening gem. The children ran around the grass, happy squeals ringing out. After walking around some more to look at all on offer, we brought a bucket of beer and Pork Lechon to share and some rainbow cake for the children.
Sitting back on our grassy knoll once more, SB and I reclined back to drink our beer, eat our meal and listen to the local band who were now playing a range of easy listening covers. As the children played once more some young local writers did some brief readings for the audience to hear. A shout out to local talent and a bid for support of this small group of artists.
When the band returned I took FB to see them play and as I sat and watched, FB danced. Twirling around and around with abandon my little girls arms were outstretched and her body was relaxed as she moved with the music. Her long hair flowed around her shoulders and I was mesmerized by the way music speaks to my baby’s soul.
Earth Kitchen is a local restaurant that uses only organic produce grown by indigenous communities. It is all about sustainability with even the building itself being restored from virtual ruins. You would not really notice this place from the outset. The sign doesn’t jump out at you. The façade of the building is understated with a giant swivel door the clue that something amazing hides within.
We ordered a lot and it was all divine. There are so many shining stars on this menu but I cannot go past the homemade pasta, risotto and the Goat Cheese Icecream with dried figs, wild honey and cashew nuts.
What is extra fabulous is that this restaurant is situated along Katipunan Avenue in White Plains. This is a pretty big road lined with little gardening stores. Now, to give you some Insight here. SB loves his gardening and his project in our new home is landscaping our courtyard. Some weeks back I sent him to Katipunan Avenue so he could see these gardening shops and he has been a very very happy chappy ever since. He goes there
every weekend! So having this amazing restaurant next door to one of his favourite garden shops is indeed a treat! After dinner we walked next door to pick up a new plant for our garden then headed home.
Our weekend was just fabulous. After introducing SB to the markets and Earth Kitchen he says his faith in my research abilities has returned. Pheww, because he has no idea yet what I have planned for the coming weeks…..