In the hustle and bustle of it all, it’s great to know that there are still groups of artists supporting other artists and promoting the local art scene. 98B Collaboratory is the genius behind Saturday X Future Market and they have defined it perfectly:
It is a bazaar, garage sale, thrift shop, black market and meeting place. Artists, craft makers, designers and hoarders sell their wares: from artworks, limited edition or hand-made clothes, bags, jewelry, accessories, toys, zines, CDs, stickers, second-hand, vintage to unwanted things. It is our response to consumerism and mass-production. The Future Market aims to put the soul and spirit within the commercial exercise. Moreover, supporting this program enables creative individuals and artists to sustain their art practice.
My first time to experience the Market was in October last year and I’m really glad I got to come back last April with my brother and sister-in-law. In the words of Kuya, “This day will go down in history.” But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Allow me to chronicle all our adventures that day, April 18, 2015.
Saturday X Future Market is perhaps one of Escolta’s best-kept open secrets. It is held once a month on a Saturday at First United Building in Escolta. The ancientness of the building is part of the charm. The quickest way to get there via commute is through the LRT. Kuya, Ate Marie and I met up at the Vito Cruz station and got off at Carriedo station. I gave myself a secret pat on the back for having remembered the way despite only having tried it once. Besides, First United was just a five minute walk away from Carriedo. Despite it being a weekend and a relatively slow-paced time (around 3PM), the LRT was surprisingly crowded and the ride wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped it would be. The passengers were too close for comfort. When we finally got off at Carriedo, Kuya said “Wag na natin uulitin yun ah.” I just chuckled and told him the rough ride would be worth it when we get to the Market.
We were so busy going around and marveling at all the cute artsy items for sale that we only got to take a couple of photos.
After a little shopping, we went to the mezzanine where 98B’s office was because there was going to be a talk by artist and street photographer Charles Salazar. We came in late but the organizers and the audience were so nice and welcomed us warmly and even gave us seats. The office was small and filled with artworks and doodles here and there and the talk was super cozy and informal, everyone was actually just sitting on the floor, even Charles himself.
Since his photos are mostly stolen shots of everyday living, 22-year-old Charles said he mostly uses small cameras and phone cameras to take his photographs so as not to distract the subject and make them camera-conscious, thereby destroying the aim of serving some everyday realness. He also likes making collage of seemingly unrelated subjects resulting in humorous pieces. He is a video specialist for Rappler. You can follow Tsarly Boy on Tumblr.
After the talk, we stayed for a while because the 98B office was so cute and we also chatted for a bit with Mark, the founder. I was a bit flattered when one of the 98B peeps thought we were still students and got surprised when I told him we’re already working adults. Hehe.
Charles had an art installation exhibit at PAN, a few blocks away from First United. We decided to pay a visit.
While we were walking around the Market, we had a moment of epiphany: We want to participate in the next Market. So we asked Mark about it and he told us we should just wait for the open call so we can submit our business plan and they’ll evaluate it. Last week the open call finally came and we submitted our entry. No results yet as of now but we’re really crossing our fingers! We will be selling hand-painted sneakers, notebooks, cards, tote bags and pre-loved books. Aaah we’re so excited! In fact we spent the whole Labor Day holiday last Friday creating our products. Fun times!
So, fueled by our vision (hehe) and determined not to kill the momentum, we headed to Divisoria to buy the canvas sneakers that will be our flagship products. We didn’t really know the way but we just walk and walk, convinced that we would eventually find it. Cheat: we followed the jeepney with a Divisoria sign board but it left us in the middle of the road and we had to find our way on our own. We were triumphant, though! Hehe.
As fun as the spontaneous trip to Divisoria, it was also pretty tiring. All that walking, haggling and elbow-rubbing with strangers were bound to take a toll on us so of course we had to eat. And besides, what Escolta trip would be complete without going to Ongpin, Binondo? I brought Kuya and Ate Marie to Wai Ying where my friends and I ate after our Escolta trip last year. The place did not disappoint. Yummy Chinese food is yummy!
Finally it was time to go home. It was a long day but as Kuya has said, it will definitely go down in history. It was the day we made concrete plans for our first ever business venture. It was the day, indeed.
And the ultimate finale: We were also able to come up with a name for our brand: Mr. & Mrs. Sis.
Here’s our sample calling card made by Kuya:
Whether we get accepted or not, see you at the next Saturday X Future Market on May 16! 🙂
UPDATE: We got approved! Apir! 🙂