A RUSTIC TROVE. Along C-5 road, one’s attention is directed towards a cluster of Maranao-inspired thatched-roofs and tropical resort-looking flags fluttering in the air. The wall along the highway are made of adobe, reminiscent of houses built during the Spanish period.
Under the thatched-roofs is a rustic trove filled with local crafts, tribal art, antiques, plants, pets, clothes, and food. This is Tiendesitas.
TIENDESITAS. Literally means little shops in Spanish, this shopping and dining complex is a vision of Don Rafael Ortigas and protégé Henry Babeira.
Being the same people behind the Greenhills Shopping Center, the Ortigas and Company Ltd. Partnership put up Tiendesitas to encourage a new form of shopping and dining that is leisurely and at the same time promoting local cultures.
PROVINCIA NOSTALGIA. The first time we went to Tiendesitas, we felt like we drove out of town. Elements like the calesa ride around the complex, wooden karitela kiosks and capiya benches ready to be sat on, and the colorful adornments like vintas sails and calesa wheel as chandelier add touch of festivity.
The pavilions and well ventilated walkways were designed to be nostalgic of provincial town in the country where quaint stalls display their merchandise spilling out from their shelves spilling onto the walkways.
LOCAL HANDICRAFTS. Our favorite section in Tiendesitas is where they sell local handicrafts and antiques. We discovered from brief chats with store owners who actually managed their store that local crafts and tribal art were sourced from different parts of the country. Buying these Filipino handicraft help in the preservation of traditional folk art as well as tribal communities.
CARINDERIA. Off course the food stalls serve local delicacies the Carinderia style.
EPILOGUE. Since then, Tiendesitas has become a practical alternative shopping and dining destination. Its followers are the likes who had a strong sense of sentimentalism over the vintage, rustic, and traditional Filipino look and feel.