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A Momma Abroad is where I share my perspective of life abroad and my love for the Philippines, there is so much to love!

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Hidden Gems: The Shop Around The Corner, Papemelroti

Hidden Gems: The Shop Around The Corner, Papemelroti

And what do we have here? Arguably the most charming building in all of Manila, Papemelroti's original flagship store located at 91 Don Roces Quezon City. We live in a sea of malls and for a self proclaimed habitual mall rat I cannot deny that I would pick a brick and mortar street level store one-hundred times over a mall. There is magic in being able to walk straight into a store without the monotonous ride of an escalator. You will instead find real wooden stair cases that require your effort to move and reward you with a secret craft room and a vintage clothing shop. This building is bare of hallways lined with retail chain stores. Rather, wooden shelves with kitschy postcards and trinkets galore flood the space. My other personal favorite touch, natural light. Give me all the real sunshine!  Grabe, the feelings are real you guys and Papemelroti has them all! 

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Flagship Store

The Alejandro family transferred from the original shop in Tomas Morato to a house on Don Roces in Quezon City in the 70's. The building in this photo was built by the family and finished in 2002. 

It's got nooks it's got crannies. It's glorious, it's old and it has a story! EEP it also has a... secret craft room on the second level! Papamelroti's original building is equivalent to the nostalgic, Shop Around The Corner, in crowd favorite film, You've Got Mail. So much heart and soul is a part of the brand as it is owned and continues to be run by the Alejandro family. In fact, the name PaPeMelRoTi are actually the first two letters of the five children's names. You must watch this delightful animated video about Papemelroti's 50th anniversary, it will tug on your heart strings. 

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The Artist

Robert Alejandro

Luck allotted me an afternoon being inspired by Robert Alejandro as he led an Art Journal Workshop in the craft room upstairs. I was in company with a group of girlfriends, art supplies and a mission to try my hands at something new. 

Doing something new requires your full attention because it’s unusual, leaving little room in your mind for worrying.
— A Book That Takes It's Time

I didn't have much time to worry about my lack of skill in type writing because I was too busy trying something new. I loved the quote above, there is a freedom in trying something new and I love it! I love Manila for throwing these opportunities my way. 

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My friend Carrie who is actually an artist. 

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I am a chai tea girl all the way. Candid did not dissapoint. 

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Carrie's again, not mine. :) 

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We were given type samples to copy which made it doable!

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Charismatic. Stoked. Positive. Alive.

You will not find a facilitator more encouraging than Robert.His energy is infectious.I cannot wait to take another class to learn from him. 

Cuteness overload, are you ready for it? The Secret Craft room was created to be a workshop for individuals to find a craft at the store they want to make and create it right then and there. Oh me oh my, the ideas are spilling out. Crafternoons, birthday parties, dates, girlfriend outings. The possibilities are endless, afforadble and entirely too cute. 

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And downstairs you will find ALL the goodies! But hey, if for some crazy reason you don't want to get your pwet to the flagship store or one of their numerous locations, Papemelroti actually ships. I used to pre-order and pick up the Fantastic Philippines paper box set in advance packs of 10 and give them Manila new comers. Now I can just have them sent to me, whoot whoot!  

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BETTER TOGETHER

Creating is always more fun for me when I am surrounding by other creators. 

Besides having slightly flabby arms, glasses for the first time and a few gray hairs, I became an adult this year. For the first time in my life I 'had' a favorite artist. By coincidence, well taste really, I acquired a number of Robert Alejandro's creations. It took months before I connected that they were all created by the same artisan and that was Robert Alejandro! It was special to not only meet him but to learn side by side with my first ever favorite artist. 

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Friends, may you go explore create and soak in all Manila has to offer. 

Kita kits,

Amber


Papemelroti Flagship Store is located at 91 Roces Ave Quezon City but many locations can be found here

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