Category Archives: shopping

Happy birthday …..



For a friend’s 40th birthday ….



Pine trees represent a strong character and steadfastness. They cling to rocks where others cannot survive.

Plum blossoms represent beauty and optimism. It flowers in the cold of winter, bringing hope in the face of adversity.

Cranes represent fidelity, longevity and good fortune. They are fabled to mate for 1000 years. A symbol of enduring love.

Red and white for happy and auspicious occasions!


Pinoy Christmas & Farewell


It’s been a big week for us. We just found out we’re returning to Australia on the 5th of January – 6 months early! Our Philippino adventure is nearly over ….


Whilst still trying to help in any way we can with the typhoon relief efforts I’m also sneaking in some shopping. Pretty reminders of the Philippines. Capiz (shell) Christmas decorations. Amazing traditional textiles.

The top fabric was made by an 87 year old woman from Ilocos. Elena Pila Panela.


This one is from Mindanao.



Aren’t they stunning? And fantastic souvenirs.

Shopping rules ….

When I go shopping I generally abide by some self-imposed rules. Mine go a bit like this: Well designed. Very useful or very WOW. Preferably old. With a good story. Nothing/ nobody suffered in its creation. Somehow makes me and the world better, bla bla bla ….You get the idea. A touch tricky at times I must say. In fact sometimes the result is shopping being abandoned as simply too hard to bother with.¬† Ever had that experience?


¬†Anyway, one of the things I’ve been waiting YEARS to purchase has been a Buddha. And guess what ??? I’ve found him! He is beautifully serene – but there was just one problem. His story is quite dull. No kooky market find in Thailand. No ancient, Japanese lineage. Quite simply another expat here in Manila was leaving and selling a whole tonne of stuff. That’s it. No excitement, intrigue, appeal to higher moral aspirations. Was just nice, well priced and second-hand. Didn’t quite fit my exotic-purchase-whilst-holidaying-on-a-tropical-island fantasy. So in the spirit of non-attachment I made the decision to let that one go. Very happy I did.

Do you have rules that tie you up in knots? Anything you could let go?