I've always had this penchant for collecting things—books, stationery, Pokemon, pen bodies, bookmarks. Collecting and using bookmarks date waaay back when I had so much time on my hands. As I journeyed through pages upon pages of words, worlds, and dialogue I'd use anything I can grab as a bookmark. I'd stick receipts, tags, collectible cards, and scraps of paper in books just to pick up where I left off. When college started, I eventually had to set reading aside for college, career, and raising a family. Though this meant spending more time online, I wouldn't have rediscovered my love for collecting or found up-and-coming brands making amazing creative work without it. One such brand is Mark Your Book PH, a maker . . .
Choosing to stop plastic usage and go reusable was easy-peasy. Training my family to adopt a no-plastic lifestyle was and is still hella hard. It took me months before I could convince Jayson to stop using plastic bags for our weekly groceries, and even then we're still not 100% plastic-free. If I don't have any of my canvas totes or reusable bags at hand, we'd end up coming home with plastic bags filled with fruit, snacks, or food for dinner. One of my bigger challenges was getting Jayson to stop using coffee cups. 7-11 and Starbucks are his favorite stops for a coffee fix, and the number of plastic caps that end up in our trash always drives me nuts. I eventually got myself a reusable Starbucks coffee mug, and convinced him to . . .
https://vimeo.com/100981409 I discovered Renegade Folk on Instagram a long time ago, completely head-over-heels over their limited edition Feeling Good sandals in Marsala. They're simple, sexy, and exactly the kind of sandals I'd wear everyday. The brand itself is admirable as they've grown into one of the most popular local fashion brands in the country. Launched in 2007, Renegade Folk relies on the skills, talents, and creativity of their team of Marikina-based artisans to produce comfortable and stylish footwear. Every pair is made by hand and competitive in the market. Unfortunately, I had a couple of pairs on my shelf at that time and wasn't open to the idea of buying shoes online, so I didn't look into the brand further. . . .
Before moving to Cagayan de Oro city, I brought a super old Fisher-Price basic telephone and a stuffed Thumper doll that I’ve had since I was a child. Both were for my kids to play with as they settled into their new home. I guess I saved them so I could anchor to cherished memories of my childhood as well. They remind me of the fun and stuffy afternoons inside the makeshift bedroom my parents built for my sisters and I at our now-defunct lights and electrical store. We’d stay upstairs where all the stocks were stored while they managed operations below us. https://www.instagram.com/p/BbHVsjhnB_n/?taken-by=dolldalitadollmaker A Dolldalita doll has that same charm that sweetens a child’s memories of playtime. This adorable and . . .
Socially responsible stationery—it’s everything a paper collector like me could ask for. I get to bring ideas to life while helping others in need. You can just imagine my joy when I stumbled upon Bright Books by Amy O’Shea. Founded in 2009, her experience in Uganda with the Arlington Academy of Hope inspired her to start a business that could help the communities that struggle for electricity access everyday. I was shocked to learn that the most frequent health problems encountered at the clinic were chronic upper respiratory infections. Not malaria, not AIDS but chest colds, in large part because of the indoor air pollution created from kerosene lamps and cooking over open flames. This seemed crazy to me because we have the technology to . . .
While traveling home from our 2013 family trip to Macau and Hong Kong, I stopped by the souvenir shop at the Mactan Cebu International Airport and spotted this blue-green bamboo creation with the name loudbasstard carved on its side. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxPS_NX3PyM Founded in Cebu on that very same year, loudbasstard is an eco-friendly natural music amplifier cut and carved out of bamboo by Filipino craftsmen dedicated to their work. It’s natural because you don’t need additional cables or electricity to enjoy your music. Just insert your mobile phone into the slot and music fills the room. Unfortunately, the amplifier I purchased four years ago can’t accommodate bigger phones like the iPhone 6. Its design, however, gives . . .
During my blog-building days, I loved searching and picking out fonts to use for my websites. I'm no typography expert for sure, but as an end-user I've come to appreciate good-quality fonts paid and free. I opened myself to learning typogography basics, such as font styles, pixels vs cm, line and paragraph spacing, and font pairings. Everything from downloading fonts to installation came down to hands-on trial and error. Most, if not all fonts are created/sold by professional designers around the world. How awesome would it be to use fonts made by Filipino designers? Imagine what personal blogs, e-commerce websites, and corporate sites the likes of Globe Telecom and Jollibee would look like if they used quality fonts made by our very . . .
I'm planner-obsessed. Not a day goes by without looking at my weekly spread. I check for tasks I need to do or appointments I need to attend. It's my number one productivity tool and my savior from a chaotic and messy day. I've used all kinds of planners to manage my day/week/month. I've tried Moleskine, Daycraft, giveaway planners from local insurance companies, and the seasonal Starbucks planner that comes with three thousand pesos worth of coffee. I've even tried purchasing planners from digital marketers just to see what their attractive "you-can-make-thousands-of-dollars" planners can do for me. Unfortunately, not one planner has stuck with me through the entire year. More importantly, none of these planners helped me work . . .
If there's one brand I'd want to take to the Philippines, it's Yoobi. It's a school supplies brand that gives back to classrooms in need across the United States. I've followed Yoobi and their progress for years, and constantly wish we had something similar here in the Philippines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBXPs29wSh8 Pronounced "you-be," the name basically means "one for you, one for me" in that a Yoobi item is donated for every purchase made. I admire the business model albeit the criticism that arose since TOM Shoes introduced it to the business world. As of this writing, over 2 million kids have benefited from Yoobi's initiatives, so I'm sure it's working out for them. What caught my attention though was how a company . . .
Determined to start the year right, I got myself a new planner to organize everything—my daily to-do's, appointments, activities, and projects. I loved the feeling of checking things off the list. It's my kind of endorphin that motivates me to keep on finishing. I wanted to take things further than the checkmark though; something visually appealing and that would push me to focus even more. So I thought it would be nice to have a DONE rubber stamp to mark the important tasks and events as complete. I follow several social media channels promoting locally handmade products, so I asked around for recommended Filipino makers who know how to make custom stamps. I eventually found my way to Tish Hautea's Etsy shop called SQooiD. Specializing . . .