18 May2008

Gorgeous Bone China…

by Marketman


What incredible finds on an overcast, sleepy, muggy Sunday morning in Makati… “Always have extra money tucked away in your wallet,” is my personal battlecry! Don’t even think of pickpocketing Mrs. MM, she subscribes to the “PHP50 rule.” As long as she has PHP50 in her wallet, that will suffice. It has gotten her into all sorts of pickles, and it drives me nuts; but to each their own. There were periods in my life where I had very little money, and I think because of that, I personally feel more secure when I have at least $50 or its equivalent in my wallet. And I don’t buy the “ATM is near” argument, or relying on plastic, for that matter. But there is a practical reason to this phobia and resulting well-stocked wallet, it means I can immediately purchase chance finds and unexpected doodads. And this was the case at the Legaspi Sunday Market this morning. I have visited this market twice in the past month, wanting to do a feature on the market. But it is still struggling to get critical mass, and like the Salcedo market, is really more geared at pre-cooked food than produce and fresh vegetables. There is a decent selection of organic or supposedly organic veggies (they look too good to me), but other than that, the market is a bit anemic in its offerings. The last time I was there I ended up buying one-clawed crabs, and nothing else. But today I needed to get some stuff for a brunch, and I had no other choice but to head to the Legaspi market. Geez, am I glad I did…


Soon after clearing the veggie section, I spotted this table with several intrgiuing, mostly unglazed bone china (yes, they do contain bones) pieces. Manufactured locally, they were clearly designed and produced by someone with an eye on aesthetics and quality… really stunning stuff. I have seen a few similar pieces in my travels and I can tell you these ones were not only beautiful, they were well priced (not cheap, but very good value). I immediately picked a couple of the sea urchin tea light holders (they only had one of each), a beautiful glazed vase, and my find of the day? A stunning sculptural bowl in unglazed bone china. I just instinctively knew it would look good at home and gosh it was incredibly photogenic!


I ordered several more sea urchin pieces as they will be perfect for the beach. And I realize now that I should have ordered a few more items to stock as gift items for the Christmas season! I sometimes keep finds like this one to myself until I have exhausted their stocks (hahaha), but I thought I should immediately share this find with all of you! The proprietress of the ceramics table/stall is Banj T. Claparols, and her company is called Creative Definitions. You can reach her at 02-383-4028 or +63-915-677-2856. Or at creativedefinitions@gmail.com. They have a table at the Sunday Legazpi Market and the monthly American Women’s Association Bazaar.


If I didn’t have extra cash in my wallet, there is no way I would have been able to buy these pieces this morning. And it is now a few hours later and I am still utterly thrilled with the purchases. Ms. Claparols has access to the manufacturing facilities that export these beautiful items. Only when a few fall off the truck or have minor blemishes do they make it out to the bazaars, but I was really pleased with the items I got; in ceramics, blemishes sometimes make them unique pieces, like my vase that isn’t quite totally straight…


Now I am even toying with the idea of designing a limited edition Marketmanila cup or bowl which could be part of this year’s charity effort, whenever I get around to that! Hmmm… possibilities, possibilities… In the meantime, I stuck a candle in one of the sea urchin candle holders even though the sun had come out in full force, and photographed it in a darkened room…


If you didn’t think there was a reason to head to the Legazpi market, think again. If only for one fantastic ceramic vase, it will be well worth your while! And make sure you have some extra money tucked into your wallet, for those unplanned purchases…



  1. zena says:

    The tealight holders look really great with the light. And the vase is perfect filled with lemons and limes and what have yous. MM, may I ask the prices of the items you got?

    May 18, 2008 | 6:09 pm


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  3. Fran Magbual says:

    Those are absolutely gorgeous, what a great find!

    May 18, 2008 | 6:11 pm

  4. michelle says:


    May 18, 2008 | 6:25 pm

  5. chinachix says:

    what a beautiful bowl!!! do they come in sizes?

    May 18, 2008 | 7:36 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    zena, I thought I should keep the specific prices off the main post and the net, as these are items which end up in different parts of the world, but to give you a range, the items shown range from say PHP100 to PHP1,500 or $2.50 to $35 or so…

    May 18, 2008 | 7:42 pm

  7. wil-b cariaga says:

    stunning peices. . . i wonder why they dont sell these in the philippine market. . .

    May 18, 2008 | 7:47 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    chinachix, some pieces are one of a kinds or samples, so I don’t think there is a wide range of stuff, you buy what they have out on the table… unless you place an order in the hundreds or so…

    May 18, 2008 | 7:49 pm

  9. Socky says:

    I absolutely love the bowl! I should have followed my instincts and headed to the market this morning.

    May 18, 2008 | 8:33 pm

  10. Apicio says:

    I saw a very effective and glamorous cascading light once in one of the early 007 movies and within a year cheapened versions inexorably flooded the market and then as quickly sank to take its place in the time-honored ensemble of cringe-worthy objects of some Filipino homes. I know, I know, part of our cultural cross-section but I hope these fascinating fragile organic forms do not suffer the same fate as all of them future land-fill.

    May 18, 2008 | 9:15 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Apicio, are you referring to a capiz cascading lamp? Yes, that died for decades and now they are back, $2,000+ versions featured in Wallpaper Magazine a year or two ago…

    May 18, 2008 | 9:18 pm

  12. Apicio says:

    Yes, MM but how about this:


    May 18, 2008 | 9:36 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    Apicio, egads, we have a neighbor down the road that just hung that exact lamp in the carport at their main door… ! :) At least it is still $400-600 retail over there… :)

    May 18, 2008 | 9:42 pm

  14. caryn says:

    wow! those are really nice! you’re right MM, those tealight holders will look fab in your beach house!

    do they have a website?

    May 18, 2008 | 10:34 pm

  15. lex says:

    Yes, they do have a website:www.creativedefinitions.multiply.com

    May 18, 2008 | 11:44 pm

  16. Katrina says:

    They’re so sleek and sculptural — great finds, indeed! And you’re right, very good value.

    Mrs. MM is like F; he, too, has gotten into pickles because of his insistence on only carrying “exactly” what he needs…which, in reality, is often *less* than what’s necessary. I’m more like you, MM. ATMs and credit cards can’t always be relied upon, so I feel insecure when I don’t have enough cash. Therefore, F often ends up using me as his ATM. *rolls eyes* Does Mrs. MM do that to you, too? ;-)

    May 19, 2008 | 12:07 am

  17. Katrina says:

    I just realized…don’t these pieces remind you of Jonathan Adler’s work? :-)

    May 19, 2008 | 12:09 am

  18. rianne says:

    Those are fab!

    May 19, 2008 | 3:30 am

  19. Blaise says:

    Simply stunning…

    May 19, 2008 | 9:34 am

  20. bagito says:

    all beautiful pieces but esp the bowl and tea light holder–absolutely gorgeous!

    May 19, 2008 | 9:37 am

  21. connie says:

    Those pieces definitely have a lot of character, I love the base most especially.
    As for the capiz lighting, yes, I too have noticed a lot of high end home furnishings stores offering different varieties of lightings made of capiz, from those cascading lights to chandeliers to garden lights. Heck, I even saw lamps and tea light holders at Target.

    May 19, 2008 | 1:42 pm

  22. connie says:

    Of course when I said base, I meant vase. That tells me I need to go sleep and give a few of my remaining brain cells a break.

    May 19, 2008 | 1:45 pm

  23. Mila says:

    I’ve bought good bowls and those same urchin tea lights at that table. I think they may have had a store in one of the furniture places along Reposo. It’s a bit hit and miss at times in Legaspi market but those moments when you find something are lots of fun.

    May 19, 2008 | 2:18 pm

  24. ana5678 says:

    MM, have you ever been to the market at the corner of Mayon and Dapitan Sts. in Quezon City ? They have export overruns of decor, gift and furniture items made from local materials. I have seen some of the bone china pieces you featured there at really reasonable prices. If you look carefully, you will be able to score some “finds” among the mish-mash junk. You can e-mail me if you you haven’t been there and I would be glad to take you since I haven’t been there since Christmas.

    May 19, 2008 | 3:18 pm

  25. currystrumpet says:

    mm, what great finds! the first bowl is particularly striking.

    May 19, 2008 | 6:05 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    ana, no I have not been to that particular market, but after these purchases I need to stay market free for a while! :) Mila, you got a good deal indeed, ask me the next time you see me, Katrina, around these parts, I am known as BOMM, “Bank of Marketmanila…” hahaha. lex, thanks for that website link.

    May 19, 2008 | 6:37 pm

  27. Angela says:

    FYI, I emailed Banj Claparols and was told that they cannot ship bone china because it is very fragile.


    May 20, 2008 | 1:13 am

  28. Sylvia says:

    That. is. a. gorgeous. bowl!

    May 20, 2008 | 1:19 am

  29. Homebuddy says:

    Stunning and beautiful stuff, good buys MM. I’m sure you’re quite happy with those finds, worth the money indeed.

    May 20, 2008 | 11:58 am

  30. Mike says:

    Hi Angela. I just checked with Banj. The bone china items can be shipped anywhere as long as they are properly packed in boxes that are well-padded. She does not recommend, however, in shipping a few items packed in a small box with minimal padding. For shipments within Metro Manila, she prefers hand delivering individual items.

    May 20, 2008 | 12:34 pm

  31. zena says:

    Thanks, MM, for the price range. The Dapitan market of handicrafts is really interesting. Just got overwhelmed with too much visual stimuli after awhile, though.

    May 20, 2008 | 6:22 pm

  32. dhayL says:

    They’re just gorgeous. The sea urchin candle holders would definitely add elegance to your night, be it at home or dinner by beach!

    May 21, 2008 | 7:30 am

  33. carol says:

    Where is the market located?

    May 23, 2008 | 11:33 am

  34. Mike says:

    Carol, the Legaspi Sunday Market is located at the corner of V. A. Rufino (formerly Herrera St.) and Salcedo Sts., at Legaspi Village, Makati. It opens at around 7:30 AM up until 2:30 PM. The market is in a big parking lot that’s beside the Union Church of Manila, located along Thailand (formerly Rada) St. You wont miss it as it is somewhere between Greenbelt and Amorsolo St.

    May 23, 2008 | 6:32 pm

  35. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Great finds MM!! Beautiful……..

    Nov 21, 2008 | 8:58 pm

  36. Bell says:

    I have been going to the market for quite some time now. I suggest that you try the pizzas from Pizza de Grazzia.

    Nov 23, 2008 | 12:07 pm

  37. rod del rosario says:

    your site is very usefull. Id like to take this oppurtunity to say that we are looking for a market for uni sea urchin if there is any one interested they can email me at my adress. thank you very much my email adress fishventure@yahoo.com

    Jun 9, 2009 | 10:25 am


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