It’s been the question midway through September. The next month meant United Nations celebrations in most schools in the Philippines, and more often than not it consisted of the kids dressing up in various native costumes of countries around the world and saying a greeting in that country’s language.
Maia is representing Austria in her school’s United Nations pageant late this month. Preparation for her costume involved quite a bit of internet research as to what the national costume of Austria looked like, and how to find such a costume in any store in Manila. Having one made to order was already out of the question. Most tailors required a month’s notice for such jobs.
Last week I tried the malls. I spotted costumes for Korea, Japan, the US and some Polynesian ones but zilch for Austria. In fact the malls had more Halloween costumes than United Nations costumes. Halloween in the Philippines is something I am not very keen about but that’s another blog post.
Cris did some research himself and came upon this mom’s support forum where one Mom mentioned a costume and textile store in Quiapo that specialized in United Nations costumes. She could not recall the street it was on, but gave enough directions to her co-forumers that Cris knew where to find it.
The store was on what used to be Echague Street, parallel to Hidalgo, on the farther side of the Quiapo Church. In fact from Sta. Cruz, following Echague Street will take you into Quiapo Ilalim. Echague Street is now known as Carlos Palanca St.
We found our Austria costume at the Echague Bazar, ran by William Uy and Christine Cheng. They sell all kinds of embroidery, barong, ladies bags, kimonas, long gowns, costumes, wedding gowns and table cloths. They also accept made-to-order barong, gown etc. I got that bit of information from the business card the owner gave us. Maia’s Austria costume cost us P350.00.