Manila Fame 2017: My Third

A field trip.

Alright, let me crystallize that. A family field trip. 
This is  how I would  describe my third return to Manila Fame (MF) today, April 22 which coincidentally marked my second MF’s first year anniversary. That fast!

With my three sons as my companions in this jaunt, I now classify this as one of the most memorable post-birthday celebrations that I have ever had.
Allow me to give a brief prologue.
Two days ago, I whimsically (yup!)   and quietly commemorated my 48th birthday by watching the movie “Fast and Furious 8” and simply eating dinner with my boys at Alabang Town Center (ATC). It was an impulse decision since I really didn’t like to celebrate it in the first place. Besides, the double-digit age is stuffed with bad memories which still irk me. 🙄😡 Surprisingly, our date turned out well. Then yesterday, which is my traditional birthday, I opted to cook spaghetti for our breakfast. 

All of these gestures elicited hugs, smiles,  “thank you’s” and repeated expressions of “happy birthday” wishes from my sons. To see them happy on my birthday is something exceptional for me. Personally, I’d rather delight my loved ones than the other way around which my children attained last year (see related post at https://wanderingjouster.com/2016/05/05/the-magic-of-7/). 
But this Saturday was my sons’ unexpected way of perhaps reciprocating whatever enjoyment and mirth they had the past two days.
When I received a text message from my good friend/kumare Imelda Dado-Moratillo  before noon that she’s an exhibitor again at the Manila Fame, I knew right away that I had to go to World Trade Center (WTC)  in Pasay City. I relayed it to  my sons and queried if they wanted to come. I was surprised that all of them agreed to join me unlike in my first two visits. It was only Alexander who willing tagged along with me (see stories at https://wanderingjouster.com/2015/10/18/manila-fame-2015-a-magnificent-potpourri-of-ethnicity/ and https://wanderingjouster.com/2016/05/11/manila-fame-boutique-edition-my-mercurial-journey-across-islands/). So to cut the story short, the Mother Goose 🦆, with her three goslings 🦆🦆🦆, waddled drove to WTC for an afternoon’s family excursion. 
A sincere heap of thanks to Dadz for she was able to produce two invites which would accommodate four guests. Without these invitations though, I was willing to shell out for the entrance fee (Php 250 pax) just for my sons to develop the same love and pride that I have for our ethnicity via their experiences and constant exposure.

Hence, when our host excused herself, I fully took charge of our “outing”. A three-time returnee in this event, I confidently directed my sons in touring Halls A to C. As mentioned in my previous articles, Dadz had to be in her booth for her clients-to-be. Business comes first before pleasure. Thus, our tête-à-tête is reserved once we’re done with our exploration. 😁
Now, you can visualize the four of us as we began our trip. I, as the head, appeared to be shadowed by my young geese. Nonetheless, they looked like my close-in bodyguards because of their height. I secretly smiled as I noticed our arrangement. Then, I had to tell them that they could go ahead, enter each kiosk and entertain their curiosity and admiration of these Philippine-made products with an artisanal touch. On my part, I knew what to do — Savor, slobber, and capture MF’s two b’s: beauty and brilliance 

Admittedly, every visit to MF earns me a fresh insight about our rich culture and heritage. One has to look at my face to see it. However, I quickly saw  that something was amiss in this MF edition. 
The savoring, the slobbering and the capturing were not on its maximum level unlike in the first two Manila Fame events which I attended. Aside from the noticeable decrease in the number of exhibitors, most of them prohibited guests from taking photos of their display. Of course, etiquette dictates that I have to ask permission before doing some documentations. Being denied for several times might have slightly disappointed me, but I had to respect these entrepreneurs. I could not explain to them one by one that I was in no way a business competitor or a cloner. 
Nevertheless, what revived my spirit was seeing these stunning beauties!

These are the garments donned and paraded by the Miss Universe 2016 candidates during one of the auxiliary activities in Davao on January 19, 2017. The magnum opus of Davao-based designers and handcrafted by the region’s indigenous weavers, they have flaunted the incomparable beauty of Philippine southern textiles in forms of dresses via the Mindanao One Fashion. Seeing these jaw-dropping works up-close, I had my eyes dilating and my heart fluttering. 
From these array of royal attires and gowns these two had me transfixed. If my youngest son did not pull my hand, I would have lingered in that spot. 

Leaving this area, we continued with our trek to finally reach Dadz’s stall. But my sons were lured by some delicacies along the way. If they miraculously (!)  succeeded in stopping me from purchasing a new ethnic necklace, I failed to say no when they asked me to buy these locally-made products for them. Well, this was a simple request for their simple tastes which I couldn’t turn down.

After more than an hour of roaming around and feeding our hungry eyes, the four of us were able to rest our feet as I enjoyed a free cup of brewed coffee while chatting with Dadz and Kuya Jun, her assistant. 

There were not much juicy stories to be shared between us this time. Despite my having a deactivated Facebook account, I think I didn’t miss  the major events in my high school batchmates’/friends’ lives. Hahahaha… 
But my being with Dadz is always productive in all aspects. We discussed new topics which made her give me suggestions and pieces of advice. These have me pursuing my plans all the more. I felt once again the genuineness of her friendship. 
Consuming my coffee, I had to remind myself that it’s time to leave. I didn’t have to wait for my husband’s sms not to stay late. Glancing at my three goslings, I knew they were waiting for their Mother Goose to give the cue for our departure even though no trace of impatience was etched on their faces after our “field trip”. I  am confident there’s an awakening in them (especially Arthur and Lancelot) as they became witnesses to the unique and world-class Filipino  creations. 
When we exited Hall B, I remembered what was written on my paper cup.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I MADE TODAY A GREAT DAY! 

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