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A family trip to Cubao (and the realm of imagination)

Daughter of the author running away from a herd of bulls

Daughter of the author running away from a herd of bulls

As we waited for our eldest son to come back from varsity swim practice, my husband asked me what the plan was for that particular Saturday. It’s rare that he is home for the weekend, much less have free time away from work to spend with us. “There’s an Art Fair over at Cubao,” I said. “Would you and the kids be interested to go with me?”  “I want to go! I want to go,”replied my five-year-old daughter who had overheard our conversation. Husband winked at me and an hour later we were off to Art In Island Interactive Art Museum.

The whole family striking a pose in Van Gogh's The Starry Night

The whole family striking a pose in Van Gogh’s The Starry Night

I’ve always been in awe of people who can create things with their bare hands. So it was a real treat to see local artisans displaying their wares and crafts at the Art Market last weekend. It was also a chance for me to take my children on an “artsy” adventure.  A crochet doll of Harley Quinn caught my daughter’s eye. She knew I wanted to dress up as the psychiatrist-turned-lovestruck villain this coming Halloween. Okay, I only planned to do that because I truly believe Jared Leto is the best Joker (sorry Heath Ledger) to ever grace the big screen. Over at the other table, my boys were busy looking at artwork done on canvas sneakers. A little further down, multi colored dream catchers adorned a stall and at least two booths had bookmarks, necklaces, and bracelets made from bent wire.  There were also paper products and silkscreen printed shirts. Several purchases later, we were ready to visit the 3D Museum.

Art In Island is a two-level museum filled with illusion paintings. It’s quite pricey (P500 for adults and P400 for students with school IDs as well as for kids). Children below three feet get to enter for free. I did not expect that we would have as much fun as we did! Lucky that we were there around 1 p.m. I was told that the place got very crowded at night. Our longest waiting time was maybe a minute.

Art Market finds—crocheted dolls, handpainted canvass bags, dreamcatchers, and personalized wire accessories.

Art Market finds—crocheted dolls, handpainted canvass bags, dreamcatchers, and personalized wire accessories.

To enjoy the experience, you just have to let go and be imaginative in your poses. We brought our nannies along so they were able to take quite a number of family photos. We also took photos of them. At first, I was conscious of my bare feet. (Yes, you will be asked to deposit your shoes at the entrance). But the smiles and laughter from our party of six put me at ease after a few minutes. The different paintings encourage people to just be silly, creative, and carefree. Definitely not a place for stiff or uneasy folks.

My favorite photos are those where my daughter is running away from a herd of bulls, our family photo coming out of Van Gogh’s The Starry Nightpainting, another photo of us maneuvering a hanging bridge and one where my son has his arms around me in front of Coca-Cola polar bears.

Back at the house, we kept on laughing at our photos. The husband even asked that I send him all the wonderful pictures. Sometimes, spur-of-the-moment plans work out for the best. I am so thankful for days we can just bask in simple joys. Here’s wishing you our kind of happiness!

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