Tuesday, December 12, 2017

SUPPORTING ONE TOWN, ONE PRODUCT AT SIKAT PINOY TRADE FAIR



I have to admit... I have a NEW addiction!  Going to trade fairs have become a favorite hobby of mine this 2017.  I just LOVE mingling with Filipino craftsmen and entrepreneurs -- chatting with them why their products are different and worth buying. Seeing all those ingenuity and creativity has made me very happy!  



I only visited four trade fairs this year... but I promise to visit and cover more next year! Sobrang nakaka-proud ang gawang Pinoy!

SIKAT PINOY 


Filipino entrepreneurs eagerly await the staging of the National Domestic Trade Fairs every year, as this serves as a venue where they can showcase their products and expand their market presence. The national domestic trade fairs constitute a major component of the services offered by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Domestic Trade (DTI-BDT), which is mandated to develop, strengthen and promote the domestic market for MSMEs. 





To further strengthen their marketing impact, the national domestic trade fairs are being launched under the “Sikat Pinoy” brand. The logo design aims to project the Filipino as an achiever. The letter “I” in both “Sikat” and “Pinoy” forms one line moving upward, to signifiy determination and striving for excellence. The letter “O” in “Pinoy” is a solid yellow circle, suggesting the radiance of the sun to signify optimism and hope for a brighter future.



MRS.WISE EXPERIENCE AT SIKAT PINOY DECEMBER 2017

December is a perfect timing to stage Sikat Pinoy because it is an alternative shopping place for people looking for interesting gifts to give.  From food, to fashion accessories and clothes -- there is something for everyone in Sikat Pinoy.  And you will definitely feel good connecting with Pinoy entrepreneurs, oh well I did!  My husband chatted with fellow Ibanag and he enjoyed it!  





What caught our fancy?  I will show in photos!

1.  THE GIFT OF HEALTH



2. FASHIONABLY LOCAL  (bought some local bamboo products)








3.  BECAUSE I AM A TURMERIC GROWER, I WILL TRY THIS AT HOME





4.  KAPE LOVERS  (yes pakyaw mode)











 
5.  HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH BANIG







6. SUPPORTING BACKYARD BUSINESS   (we bought the santol chutney!  yum!)








7.  SNAKE SKIN PRODUCTS... ANYONE?






8.  HAND PAINTED FANS ARE COOL






9.  NANAY CHOLENG's MURON   (Because I simply love my suman)








10.  AND MY MOST FAVORITE DISCOVERY --- DAVAO DEATH SAUCE!  (Not because I am a big fan of anghang -- actually sorry but I am allergic to anything spicy!  But basing on the reactions of the people who sampled on DDS, it was really HOT!  I bought the pepper varieties at ten pesos a piece, because I am more interested in propagating it!  Crossing my fingers it will thrive!




CAUTION:  it can be extremely hot to handle!





OTOP:  ONE TOWN, ONE PRODUCT

When you support OTOP, you support the drive, vision and dreams of micro, small and medium enterprises in specific localities and communities.

Know the story behind and meet the people behind your OTOP finds;  I did!  And It made shopping a much better experience!






Sunday, December 10, 2017

AMARYLLIS: MY LUCKY FLOWER


MY LUCKY FLOWER:

I have lived 29 full years of my life in Malabon.  A sleepy old fishing town that became a city in 2001... I was raised in a community with lots of weird but interesting superstitious beliefs.

One of them, the story of the flower known as "Baston ni San Jose".  My nanay believed that when it blooms, there is something special about to happen. When we transferred from Malabon to Quezon City 9 years ago, we brought with us one huge pot of this plant. But it was just last year that I decided what to do with it.  All those years... it has bloomed maybe once or twice. And yes... it brought me some luck!


 


AMARYLLIS

It was just recently that I learned that its english name is Amaryllis. And it used to be the favorite flower of lifestyle guru Martha Stewart (sosyal!).  Thanks to a dear friend Victor for giving me these info  :)

The bulbs we call Amaryllis are in the genus Hippeastrum, originally from South America. Hipeastrum hybrids, now grown commercially in South Africa and the Netherlands, come in an increasing range of colors and sizes.


REPLANTING MY AMARYLLIS

I observed over the years, that my Amaryllis didn't really need much care. I practically left it growing in one shady part of the garden. Sometimes, I would forget watering them. And, very seldom did it flower.



So one weekend, hubby and I decided to replant it.  The bulbs were too crowded in one pot, so we had a hard time removing them one by one.




We were so surprised to discover more than 30 bulbs, of varied sizes, in the single pot. All of them have strong root system.  We did not know what to do with it.  Replanted around 10-15 of them in black plastic bags.  


The rest, we placed in a plastic container.  Then I forgot all about it. After 2 weeks, I remembered that I had to continue with my replanting. Lo and behold -- the rest of the bulbs didn't die.  They were looking very much the same as we left them, under a table.   I thought  "hindi pala maselan".



Replanting the Amaryllis is very easy. Just put a bulb into the soil, just enough that the neck and shoulder of the plant is just by the rim of the pot. The bigger the bulb, the bigger the pot. Choose a pot that is stable -- clay pots are ideal -- because the plant has the tendency to be "top-heavy" when its full grown. So it needs a sturdy pot.  Water the pot regularly, keeping it moist, but not soggy. 

Surprisingly, you still have two other choices of how to plant your amaryllis.  It can also grow well in water and coco peat. 


Friday, December 8, 2017

CHILL BY NOOKS REVIVES THE "FUN" IN THE ART OF SPINNING



I have featured CHILL by Nooks twice already in this blog.  And I will repeat... I really love this brand because it promotes Filipino creativity and ingenuity.  Their knitwear are really one of a kind!  Wearing it means, you are truly proud of you Filipino roots.  Handwoven, I consider them "works of art".


 


But there are more things to discover with this brand.  They invited me one Sunday morning to check out their pop-up store in Legaspi Sunday Market.  I am a HUGE fan of weekend markets, because it is where I discover new and exciting things -- from food, to crafts, fashion, furniture and many more -- I am really a captured audience!  I can spend my entire day exploring... come rain or shine, weekend markets will always be one of my happy places  :)


SPINNING WHEEL:

That particular Sunday that I visited, CHILL by Nooks brought their Spinning Wheel for the shoppers to experience.

Honestly, it was my first time to see a spinning wheel. All I know about it, is from a fairy tale story.  Remember Sleeping Beauty?     

 

Spinning is the process of making yarn of thread from fiber.  Yarn is the raw material for all clothing and textile.  


THE NOOKS COTTON WORKSHOP:

In 2008, Nooks began the shift into natural sources of fiber which were abundant in the Philippines. As a flatknits manufacturer, they relied heavily on cotton as their raw material. These yarns/threads were all imported.


Mother and daughter picking cotton at Bayawan, Negros Oriental


Cotton was previously a major farm produce.  When the Philippines' garment industry weakened, yarn spinning mills closed and no one bought cotton from farmers.  The country has 22,000 hectares available for farming cotton. Sadly, barely 500 hectares is being utilized for this purpose now.  Over the years, CHILL by Nooks have met many weaving, knitting artisans and designers, who had no idea our country is a cotton producer.  Sadly they weave beautiful textile using polyester and other synthetic fiber -- because these are the only yarns/threads available to them.


COTTON FIBER PREPARATION:


Cotton from the Philippines comes from Ilocos, Negros, Iloilo, Saranggani and Cotabato. After harvest, it is separated from the seeds through ginning. These are then packed in bales of sacks.  In preparation for spinning, yarns must be carded to further clean it of impurities. Carding produces slivers which are used to feed into the spinning wheel.


 

 


THE SPINNING WHEEL DEVELOPED BY CHILL BY NOOKS:


Nooks made the Spinning Wheel to signify the “Missing Middle.” Our country’s farmers cannot sell their cotton because it had to be converted into yarns and threads which were needed by textile designers and manufacturers who wanted to use local fiber if only
these were available.






Thus, the HAND SPINNING COURSE makes it possible for designers and textile enthusiasts to envision products that are truly Filipino. If cotton is sourced from our farms, 
spun into yarn and woven or knitted into finished products, then this makes for a supply chain that is easily traceable- from farm to fashion.

Nooks developed a spinning wheel similar to what has been used in centuries past.



ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT HAND SPINNING?

Because honestly... I AM!

Personally, I didn't have any problem putting my foot on the wheel.  Its holding the cotton, gently and delicately for spinning that is a bit of a problem for me.  It broke several times while I am spinning.  But after several minutes, my spinning groove worked perfectly.  And I enjoyed it.  There is something incredibly soothing and meditative in the spinning experience.  More interestingly, I found out that people who knit, paint or garden are drawn into spinning :)



To spin the yarn, my hands were working to draw the fibers from the bundle of cotton, while my first two fingers and thumb were twisting the fibers together as the yarn was drawn into the bobbin.  The yarn is spun around the bobbin that is rotating from the spinning of a drive band that is attached to the wheel. Foot pedals are used to spin the wheel in a clockwise motion.



If you are artists who are into knitting, there is definitely excitement in making your own yarn/thread. 
  

THE WORKSHOP:

CHILL by Nooks now offers workshop on hand spinning that includes:  the setting up and assembly of the spinning wheel;  hand spinning fiber into yarn;  finishing the spun yarn to set the twist;  and preparing the yarn by coning or in skeins/hanks to be dyed.

But wait... there's more!  There are also workshops for DYEING and KNITTING.  These will be the topics of my next articles!  So stay tuned!




If you are interested in attending the workshop visit   https://www.facebook.com/chillbynooks 

www.nooksmanufacturing.com



You can also drop by the Legaspi Sunday Market to experience hand spinning