The day after Christmas 2015, I found myself in a plane on the way to Hong Kong where I shall be spending the next five days. Those five days turned out to be cold (weather-wise) and warm (heart-wise). Here I am, on a Saturday afternoon in 2016, trying my best to chronicle our little adventures in Asia’s world city.
After a two-hour flight from Manila, we arrived in Hong Kong at around 8:30 p.m. and we went straight to Novotel in Lantau Island. One of the things that amazes me about Hong Kong is that everything is still accessible despite the place being divided by islands. Going from Lantau to Central to Causeway Bay, I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say we went island-hopping during our entire stay there. Hihi.
The first time I went to Hong Kong was in June 2014 and it was a rainy season then and we stayed in the city side, so our trip last December was somehow a stark contrast to my first time there. I’m glad to have seen both sides of Hong Kong.
Since we arrived at night, there wasn’t much to do except enjoy our room and get some rest for a full day ahead tomorrow. The next day, our agenda was to re-visit PMQ at Central, a buzzing place for creative entrepreneurs. Located at 35 Aberdeen St, Central, Hong Kong, PMQ stands for Police Married Quarters because that’s what it used to be before the government started its rebirth as a central hub for artists and entrepreneurs. It houses everything from clothes to food to furniture to arts and crafts and household stuff. It reminds me of 98B’s Saturday x Future Market in Escolta.
Allow me to take you to a virtual tour of PMQ with some of the pictures I took of things that caught my eye.
My aunt and I were discussing what made us so hooked to the stores inside PMQ. Sure, the items were great, but what could it be that made us stay inside the store and simply revel in the presence of all the merchandise? Then we came to the conclusion that the products sold at PMQ are not your typical off-the-rack, over-the-counter stuff we see in malls because they have what we coined as PCOC: Philosophy, Culture, Origin, and Childhood. Most, if not all, the stores a PMQ had a brand and design philosophy which they proudly share with the customers, even those who just look around. This philosophy is printed in brochures or painted on walls or told by the artists/makers who personally manage their stores. And the products carry the culture of their maker, adding more identity to it. The origin either of the artist or of the idea that inspired the creation of the product is also freely shared and discussed to whoever cares to listen. And lastly, the products at PMQ somehow remind you of your childhood – that time when your imagination ruled and there were no censors or rules or limitations to what you can do.
I hope the Philippines can be as supportive to its budding creative entrepreneurs like Hong Kong is. I believe that there is never a shortage of talent and creativity in our country, but it just so happened that we have always had more pressing needs.
Okay. Anyway. After PMQ, we went to Coffee Academics where I had the best Flat White ever. Seriously.
Coffee Academics was like a setting of a Hollywood holiday movie. Everyone had an easy vibe in the place, like we’re all just longtime friends going back to the neighborhood coffee shop to share a few stories and some laughs. Hehe.
Dear Hong Kong, you did not disappoint. Thank you!