I love gatherings and events that are thoughtful and well-planned, beautifully designed and a pleasure to attend. This is why I loved the concept of Spectrum Fair Manila, the Philippines’ first ever “indoor outdoor” fair experience, which debuted last September 2015. My friend Alyssa Arellano (of the Manila-famous Aly’s Cookie Bar) and her mom, Pia, are the co-creators of Spectrum, and they sought out to bring together some of the Philippines’ finest local businesses and brands for a one-of-a-kind “shop + lounge” bazaar/fair.
I appreciated everything that the fair stood for: local brands, small businesses, and the value it gave to customers as a one-of-a-kind shopping, dining and lounging experience. It was more than just your usual weekend marketplace or “tiangge” (flea market, in Filipino). This is why I was very happy when Aly approached me mid-2015 to be a Brand Ambassador for Spectrum Fair Manila’s first fair last September. Being a brand ambassador meant that I would recommend some of the small businesses that the organizers curated for the fair’s selection of merchants. It was great seeing businesses that I had featured on Instagram or on my blog, in the flesh and offline, like the Chic Curator, Coast Thru Life, Nicole Ortega fine foods, Vela Manila, So True Naturals, and many more.
Rather than follow the usual business model of bazaars & tiangges in accepting as many vendors as possible, Spectrum took a more intuitive approach. Each business that agreed to a booth at the fair was committed to give shoppers an experience of the senses, not just a buying experience. As organizers, Aly and Pia focused on a well-curated lineup of sellers of food, art, fashion, accessories, and other local finds. In addition, well-appointed booths by independent brands and entrepreneurs were all attuned to the “shop + lounge” philosophy of the bazaar.
And by the way: There wasn’t a corner or crevice that wasn’t picture-worthy either — something that I’ve not seen in other fairs or bazaars around town. It’s details like these that make Spectrum a truly blissful and, yes, meaningful event that’s not just about the shopping, but a real, relaxing, feel-good experience.
Here’s a video interview by the Style Kat, Yuki Tansengco, to give you a better idea of the fair and why Pia & Aly started this, their “passion project.”
The Spectrum Fair Manila is back again next week, the weekend of February 13th to 14th. In collaboration with Te Amo Floristeria, this Spectrum Fair is “In Full Bloom,” and celebrates the Valentine’s Day weekend once again with some of the city’s finest brands and small businesses. Come on over for two days of retail therapy, great food, live music, and more. (And I’ll put in a shameless plug, too, because my little cold brew coffee business, Shophouse Coffee Co., will be there, too serving up cold brew concoctions for your refreshment. Visit us?)
So, see you next weekend, OK? Doors open on the 13th at 10 AM!
Spectrum Fair Manila