Quibranza: Mall bazaar promotes thriving cultural ecosystem

Mall bazaar promotes thriving cultural ecosystem

The mall is a place of business, with sales and revenue reports coursing through its commercial veins.

Last time I checked, there are seven days in a week. Six to make the most out of the opportunities life tosses our way, and Sunday to enjoy our keep. It’s a bit of the opposite for malls. Sundays serve like a multiplier effect on a slot machine — but instead of money going out, it comes in.


That last line, however, could be dangerous for those who are close-minded. There are dangers to oversimplication. Not all discussions are black and white, nor can a legitimate restaurant review be summed up in a five-second TikTok video.

One doesn’t need to look at the picture through the eyes of Walter White — and his obsession for purity — to appreciate the impact of business. Beyond the economy, it plays a role in innovation as well. Yes, the mall is a place of business, and it’s good business. Brands profit in cash, and families and friends cash in on memories and a good time.

So imagine my wonder walking one random weekday into AyalaMalls Central Bloc and seeing what looked like a love child of an art exhibit and the purposeful chaos after the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Building. The mall’s activity center exuded a bit of zen paradise but was packaged neatly with a bit of market flurry.

Exaggeration aside, I walked into the Kurî-Kurî Craft Bazaar. Twenty-two vendor stalls each offered something unique to mall-goers, transforming the mall into a premier destination for artistic expression. The bazaar ran from June 3 to 8, 2024.

Exhibiting brands included Doodles, Happily Handmade Co., OBJX, Tezukuri PH, Shop NOA, Studio Mikee, Paperbag Art, Shop Leia, Tapestry Ellen, Botones, Besshie, Lourdes Tura, Noodleheads, Hands2Hugs, Hinablon sa Cebu, Eshie’s Crochet Corner, GG Series, Pealise Craft, Happi Yarn, Fabuloops, Panagway by Gem Branzuela and Creations by Jojo Martinez. The collaboration between Martinez and Branzuela’s stalls was also notable, where customers could enjoy a styling session and photoshoot, with prints provided as keepsakes.

The term “Kurî-Kurî” is a Bisaya phrase meaning to tinker, embodying the joyous act of diving into creativity with curiosity and an open mind.

It was six days of arts and crafts demos. There was Zumba. There was bingo. Yes, the music played and the spirit of fellowship flowed.

People of all ages gathered, which was probably the best thing that happened. While the bazaar aimed to encourage a new generation to embrace craft-making, it wasn’t just a youth movement; it was a Cebuano one, too.

On the seventh day, it was time to rest.

Although numbers don’t lie, and the Finance department will be on your case when expenses seem to supersede income, there will always be room for color in the pursuit of building entrepreneurial empires. Numbers just show you the way, but business should be about providing people with better life experiences. That’s the Polaris malls in the Philippines need to seek out.

Take a page from the playbook of Central Bloc, in collaboration with 3rd Wheel Productions, in mounting the bazaar as part of its “Komunidad” program. Congratulations on the event!


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