Filipino-themed pop-up offers alternative holiday shopping

Sincere Born, one of the founders of the Palengke pop-up on First Ave. (Photo by Jeannette Magsino)
Sincere Born, one of the founders of the Palengke pop-up on First Ave. (Photo by Jeannette Magsino)

“Palengke” is the Tagalog word for “market.” Traditionally, the ambiance of a palengke would resemble a public marketplace, like Pike Place Market, where local vendors would come together to sell their products.

Inspired by that concept, a group of small businesses including Hood Famous Bakeshop, Make Look Good, and Food & Sh*t collaborated to create a Filipino-themed pop-up shop, right across from the market, upstairs from the Alchemy Goods store on First Avenue.

“There’s a lot of crafted things and goods that people are doing that we wanted to help spotlight” said Sincere Born, one of the co-founders of the Palengke pop-up, and production artist of  Make Look Good, a studio specializing in vinyl lettering and decals. “Between the four of us, Geo [Quibuyen], Chera [Amlag], Janelle [Quibuyen], and I, we’ve been talking about this concept for a while.”

As Sincere Born gave a detailed tour of the minimalist store, it was clear this was an alternative shopping experience to what you might find around the corner at Westlake.

There was a unique variety of handcrafted gifts, baked goods, and artwork, all rooted in the Filipino American experience. Despite what the name “Palengke” evokes, this isn’t anything like a bustling market in the Philippines. It might be more aptly called tindahan, which means “shop” in Tagalog. Everything in the store felt like a fusion of traditional and modern, Filipino and American.

Palengke’s feature products include Hood Famous Bakeshop’s signature cheesecakes: Ube (purple yam) mini, coconut pandan, mango calamansi (Philippine lemon), guava, and Vietnamese coffee. There’s also Food AND SH*T’s newly-debuted bottled sauces and pickled ampalayas (bitter melon) as well as Make Look Good’s vinyl decals, malong (traditional Philippine textile) stationaries, buttons, and screen printed goods – all handmade from start to finish.

While it’s open between now and the end of December, Palengke will also be showcasing the artwork of Filipino American artists: James Lawrence ArdenaElaine VillasperFernando ArgosinoPrometheus BrownChristine Quibuyen, Derek Dizon, and Rico Abadesco. Though they’re still finalizing the schedule, the plan is for artists to be at the shop for a meet-and-greet every week. And of course their work is available for purchase.

James Lawrence Ardeña work on display on the way up the stairs to the Palengke pop-up shop. (Photo by Jeannette Magsino)
James Lawrence Ardeña work on display on the way up the stairs to the Palengke pop-up shop. (Photo by Jeannette Magsino)

Currently on spotlight is the mixed media resin assemblage of self-taught artist James Lawrence Ardeña.

“Through my work I explore the subject of the gaze of the camera and also the one that looks back, both of the subject and as myself as a descendent of these images and the cultural/racial legacies, which they helped to create,” the description below Ardeña’s work reads. “I often take them further out of their context and create whole new meanings for the same images.”

Palengke is located just across the street from Pike Place Market, at the upstairs level of 1528 1st Avenue in Downtown Seattle (inside Alchemy Goods). Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. now through December 30th.

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