Every month give or take the odd one, I attend the American Women’s Bazaar. This is a huge bazaar held at the SMX Convention Center at Manila Bay. There are hundreds of stalls selling everything from clothing, arts, crafts, furniture, toys, and ceramics to household items. It is a very popular event, one that is marked in most people’s diaries well in advance as it is also a great social time. Christmas brings an extra element to the bazaar with more stalls squished in and lots of sparkly Christmas decorations.
For me, I am an old hand at these Bazaars now. I take the kids and we make a morning of it. It is a long drive down to Manila Bay and so the children are usually a little frustrated. This time of year there are Christmas decorations up though and I find that this helps appease their frustration and I love how their excited happy energy rubs off on me. They run around letting out excited squeals at baubles, shiny decorations and lights.
We arrive and I look around at the stores I like to look at. Then we head to the food court where there is an impressive display of stalls selling a whole range of cuisines. Personally I love the middle eastern food and we always buy a bag of fresh pita bread and tub of the most amazing hummus ever. Then I head to the German Sausage stall and buy the children a bratwurst sausage in a bun each – plain, no sauce. Then the children and I sit at a big table, shared with many others and we eat. Once that job is done we look around a bit more before leaving and heading straight for the café in the convention center where the children get one scoop of strawberry ice-cream each and I get a coffee. That is their reward for good behaviour…
Last months bazaar I was particularly excited about. I was picking up my friend J-Bug and taking her along, her first time at the AWA Bazaar. I loved watching her face light up as she found stall after stall of lovely things to look at, to buy. We walked the isles chatting away and noticing how many faces were now becoming familiar to us. It was such a lovely feeling, to start feeling we belonged to something bigger than the world of our own families in this new city.
Other Bazaars I have checked out
The Boho Bazaar
A couple of months ago I found this small bazaar on over a weekend. The Boho Bazaar focuses on sustainable products. SB had people from our home office in town and we put them in the car and drove down to Pasay to check it out. The bazaar was small but packed with charm and appeal. The children were given free dream catchers on arrival and we left with a bag filled with vouchers and goodies. Then I won a prize through Instagram. That was exciting!
St James Christmas Bazaar
This week just gone we had the St James Bazaar out in Alabang. This is a once a year affair and it is huge. Over two days there are hundreds of stalls, and I am told, a lot of them only come to this particular bazaar. I went with B-Bug and another friend, and we made the day of it. There are over one hundred stalls, and it covers quite a wide expanse. You can do pretty much all of your Christmas shopping here, including handmade decorations for your tree!
Picky Palates Bazaar
Saturday just gone we headed into Makati after lunch. I had read about the Picky Palates Bazaar so I thought we would have a look before heading into the Ayala Triangle for the Festival of Lights display. This little bazaar mostly had food stalls, which is always a lot of fun. There are some very talented people making delicious local fair including chocolates, biscuits, cakes and savory foods. This is a small bazaar on every weekend for a while, and a good one to stop at on your way around Makati.
There is still a long list of bazaars I could check out before we leave for our Christmas break. Have you enjoyed any local bazaar’s or markets?