fresh no ads
On women, shopping, art & advocacy |


On women, shopping, art & advocacy

UPTOWN DOWNTOWN - Joanne Zapanta-Andrada - The Philippine Star

Like most women, I love to shop. Throw me in a bookstore, an art or office supply depot and you will find me to be a very happy camper. As we enter the “ber” months, my anticipation grows as this signifies the start of my favorite “b” word — bazaars!

There is one bazaar that I do consider special and this is Zonta Makati’s SmartShop, which will be held on Sept. 21 and 22 at the Rockwell Tent. SmartShop is the annual retail event of the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs. 

This two-day event is aimed at promoting women entrepreneurship as it brings together skilled and seasoned vendors, 90 percent of whom are women. If one is to peruse the roster of projects that Zonta Makati and Environs has undertaken, it will be clear to the reader that the organization is the world’s premier society for women. Zonta is in fact a global organization of professionals working together to advance the status of women through service and advocacy.  Zonta Makati and Environs has been organizing bazaars for over 20 years and this year, the ladies have chosen to add a new dimension to the activity — the recognition of women as social entrepreneurs.

Among the women of distinction who will be participating in the event are Cecilia David-Manheimer, Marivic Poblador-Pineda, Rosa Isada-Cabrera, Divine Banaria-Duran and Pinky Velez-Poe of GKonomics, a partner organization of Gawad Kalinga that aims to end poverty in the Philippines by empowering GK communities to build enterprises that produce world-class products and services; Ricca Pressa, marketer-turned-purveyor of Circle Shawls; Virginia Chan, creator of distinct shell home furnishings and gift items; bag and accessory designer Carissa Cruz-Evangelista;  Filipiniana gown maker Cora Manimbo; and Darlene Pridmore, director of Amazing Hope Scarves, a social enterprise that is helping women by providing livelihood and by funneling proceeds to help Shiphrah, a birthing place in Antipolo, and the women patients in San Lazaro Infectious Disease Hospital.

As a believer in female gender equality, I appreciated that this year’s SmartShop has the distinction of allowing women shoppers and retailers to help women beneficiaries. For years, the Zonta Club of Makati has cared for underprivileged women by giving free medical and dental services and teaching livelihood skills. In addition, the club extends small loans to participants of the livelihood training programs in order for them to start their own micro businesses.

Ever mindful that women’s issues directly affect children, the club’s Center for Women Empowerment at the Centennial Village complex along C-5 in Taguig City runs a DepEd-accredited free pre-school for children ages four to six. In line with its commitment to stopping the violence against women and children, the club runs a Psychological Center that offers emotional and psychological intervention to sexually abused girls ages five to 18 at Marillac Hills in Alabang. At present, there are approximately 250 girls in the DSWD-owned facility, with Zonta providing psychotherapists, volunteer psychiatrists and art-as-healing trainers to help the girls overcome their trauma.

 An added inducement to shop at the bazaar is the strong participation of eight art gallery establishments. Among the participating establishments are Gallery Nicolas, Galerie Artes, Galerie Francesca, Gallery Kulayan and Arte Pintura. The bazaar will be a great opportunity for collectors to acquire beautiful art pieces at affordable prices.

My girl friends and I shall be attending the bazaar bright and early. There is some comfort in knowing that your purchases from social entrepreneurs not only help their advocacies but the also assist the beneficiaries of the event organizers as well. Women helping other women is truly an admirable endeavor. The fact that one is surely to come home with shopping bags full of fabulous finds is to me a bonus!


(For more information on Zonta Makati’s SmartShop, visit or call 869-4280.)


vuukle comment










Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with