Not Just For The Titas of Manila: ArteFino Is Happening
After the various features on the people selling their artisanal wares at the ArteFino bazaar held on the 21st floor of 8 Rockwell, it’s good to report that ArteFino is actually happening, and it’s been an unqualified success. The Fair opened Thursday—it runs for four days, up to Sunday - and it’s like anyone and everyone has been dropping by to show their support.
On Thursday alone, speaking to organising committee members Maritess M. Pineda and Cedie L. Vargas, I got wind that over 2,000 people went through the turnstiles and created bottlenecks on the floor area. More than just a collection of vendors selling merchandise & food, it’s important to remember that ArteFino exists as a very worthy cause, the money made going a long way in supporting communities and cooperatives who are keeping alive traditions of Filipino artisanal crafts.
photos by Philip Cu-Unjieng
As for the ones who troop to 8 Rockwell, don’t be surprised to discover a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie and bonhomie. It’s like you’ve stumbled upon a homecoming, a grand reunion, finding yourself face to face with long lost friends, or people you maintain contact with via social media. Just as prevalent as the buying and selling that happens, there’s the chatting and ‘beso-beso’ that are punctuated by squeals of delight as one greets one person after another. From the old to the young, there’s so much swirling around and happening that it’s actually easy to forget, at times, that there are quality goods and merchandise to peruse and purchase.
One new feature of this year’s ArteFino is the Barracks section, where a ton of men’s stuff has been curated and put on display. Given the number of men who in the past had to accompany their wives, girlfriends, or sisters; I’m sure they’ll be happy to explore this section and have something other to do than wait and hold the shopping bags.
This has been the storied success of ArteFino since it opened its doors, and so congratulations are in order for the people behind ArteFino for making this year’s version even bigger and better! There’s one more day tomorrow, so don’t miss out!
Photos by Pat Buenaobra