Back in 2007 when I was recuperating from a major operation and illness, my cousin Lia encouraged me to try another craft, beading. I had been scrapbooking then but the craft took a back seat when I took care of my ailing father in 2006 and subsequently, I too got sick the next year. It was roller coaster ride for our family back then. We were all hoping that I would not be subjected to operation but the Creator had other plans for me. I got too depressed and cried a lot. After my radiation treatment ended, my cousin pushed me to try what she had been so excited about for a couple of months so far. She brought me to the biggest beading store she found in one of the busiest areas of Manila, Wellmanson. There she introduced me to the different tools, beads, bits and pieces to make myself a bracelet. I have a love-love relationship with bracelets ever since my parents gifted me one on my 18th birthday. That sunny day was one of my happiest in my post operation life. I had an awe-inspiring time with my cousin and with other crafters in the store.
After a lot of ‘field trips’ to Wellmanson, sleepless nights researching and trying something new, Lia and I embarked on a new journey, joining bazaars in nearby villages and towns. Our first bazaar was in August 2008 at Tiendesitas in Pasig City, collectively known as Creative Outlet.
We were newbies at the bazaar scene at that time. We don’t even know how to properly arrange our goodies. But we learned and persevered. Our purposefulness paid well and we landed a booth at the famous World Trade Center Christmas Bazaar. It was our most memorable bazaar to date. Three days of selling, making friends, sharing in the excitement of owning a unique handmade piece of jewelry and most of all, enjoying the festivities of the place. Christmas season was really being felt with all the people who took time to visit the venue, shopped and made very heartfelt comments and suggestions on our craft. To put icing on the cake, we were also interviewed by a local television network and they had scheduled a date for a one on one interview at Lia’s home. How cool was that! We were literally jumping for joy!
Then one day we were invited to set up a booth at the famous Manila Peninsula Hotel for a wedding event. We were asked to put a display for handmade wedding mementos.
We were fortunate to be the only wedding souvenir booth in the event. We met a lot of photographers, wedding coordinators, flower arrangers, cake decorators and many future bride and grooms.
Ultimately, Lia and I had a lot of great bazaar experiences we will never forget. Experiences that taught us the value of family, friendship, appreciation and gratitude. More importantly as cousins, Lia and I will forever share that special bond of creating something out of nothing.