22 July 2008

Rainbow Vendor

Among the ambulant vendors that noisily passes down our street named Rainbow Avenue, my favorite is the local shop carried on its back by a Carabao! This "mini shop" on wheels has no noisy bells or loudspeakers. They just quietly pass our street and all the dogs in the neighborhood do the noisy task of announcing their presence!

This mini shop sells local products like lamps, hammocks, chairs, broom, mats, baskets using native materials like bamboo, rattan, coco shells, etc. They are light, easy-to-clean, more affordable, durable, and definitely more beautiful than plastic. In front you can see lamps, small cabinet shelves, the native broom which we buy a lot since we use it for both the house and the surroundings. The native broom effectively cleans the daily dust and fur left by my three hounds!

On the side you will see these light, basket-like containers which is a perfect hammock-crib for babies. Mothers use it as their baby's hammock because it is light yet durable. Babies are cooled and rocked to sleep in this crib by their mothers while doing their household chores! In a modern setting, these baskets are perfect to store magazine, plants and if painted in cool colors and assembled with electrical connections, they make perfect creative ceiling lamps!

See the rattan baby-walker? And the cool native hamper? If treated well (because I doubt if these items were treated properly considering the reasonably low price), these native baskets make excellent storage for files. As much as I want to buy most of the items, I always temper myself. I have a whole storage room full of stuff I bought which I could not use because of my cramped space! But since I needed a stool, I bought this instead:

My yoga teacher advised me not to bend too long when I have to do prolonged task. I have to learn to squat so I used a stool a lot especially when I have to sweep my hounds' kennels. They make the task less taxing since I can take my time cleaning and not strain my back.

I love to watch "Manong" ('an older male' or safe reference to any male person) and his mini shop pass by with his local wares and offer to feed his animal driver some fresh water or grass. Manong would always request to fill up his huge water container as well. Oh well . . .

The Native Mini-Shop on Wheels

a variation

I was busy grooming my hounds once when the rains suddenly poured during a sunny day. Yes, we have a lot of erratic weather for years now. The hounds started barking and I looked to check and found this in front of our house.

Hmmm, it looks smaller than Manong's shop yet they appear similar. This cart was parked in front of our house and somewhere inside the cart I can hear somebody singing! When the rains stopped, the singing stopped, and the "singer" stepped out from inside the cart and started unveiling his shop!

Wow, a mini-shop on wooden cart! A more ingenuous way of selling native crafts since I truly pity any animals made to work and walk the hot streets. . . .

The seller quickly uncovered his shop in less than 10 minutes! I see the same items with the same reasonable prices. The red net you see is actually a hammock. I love the bilao (wide baskets which is perfect for cleaning rice and drying stuff for potpourri. The walis tingting (the native sweeper for the garden) is also perfect for decoration if one would be more creative, use some paints, recycled items, etc.

I love the native mats (it is the one rolled beside the walis tingting) which is perfect for travel since it is light and can be rolled or folded, easily cleaned, washed and dried, and again can be used as floor carpets, wall accents (and yes, even for ceilings too!) and when cut into little squares, can be a perfect canvas for painting. (See banig paintings of Joemike Tejido in previous posts)

. . . and as quietly as they came, the mini-shop left just as quietly. And the sun came out after a sudden downpour. And the mini-shop went about its business, using no gas or fuel, no promotional gimmicks, except exquisite, affordable, creative products made from local materials they find in their community.