Patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.Artistotle The family and I are visiting Japan for the first time to celebrate the new year with my dad, his family, and my sisters. I've been looking forward to this trip since the beginning of the year that being here at this hotel desk at 5:30 in the morning truly sweetened the long and arduous wait. Though we've got our hands full with three boisterous children every minute of the day, I'm so glad we're all given this opportunity to experience what Japan has to share with the world. I've seen the torii gates in photos and anime, and have always been drawn to their serenity and history. Taking my own tranquil steps through the gates, and standing in front of the actual . . .
Recalling those high school days when all that swirled in my head was the thrill and warmth of being loved, I always considered myself as one who'd love someone like waves crashing onto a beaten shore. I thought I was a person who loved with such unrelenting force, blinding myself to whatever mistakes or flaws a person had so long as they loved me back. It didn't matter that I was broken. It didn't matter that I didn't understand what it meant to love an equally imperfect person. So long as my own personal love meter was above average, I believe I could give love and all that came with the package. Fast forward to this hour of the day when everyone's asleep, I'm writing off that older, delusional version of myself. She's . . .
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 . . .
Just thinking about how I even managed to land my new job leaves me speechless and humbled. I remember how each job-less day was a stressful ordeal Jayson and I had to manage in silence. We did our best to keep our composure and focus to be able to maintain peace and order in the household. What scared me the most was the thought of my credit card finance charges rising till it's impossible to catch up with the amount I'm earning. I told myself that if I was going to prevent this from happening, it has to start working towards getting out of this mess strategically and methodically. Mind mapping my work goals To fight the rise and fall of stress in my chest, I created a mind map. It's the brainstorming method I always use . . .
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 . . .
The title pretty much explains it all, but I wanna explain the details behind this new direction in case you've heard of pagerie.co, have tried to visit the site, and end up seeing an error where the site doesn't exist. pagerie does exist. It's my very own space where I can talk freely, frequently or sporadically, about paper, pencils, and pens. Since launching it in January, I've written about some of my favorite brands that I've long held close to my heart: MUJI, Baron Fig, Mossery, and Philippine brands like DesignHatch.ph and Sunday Paper Co. Buying a domain and website theme however was an investment I wanted to make early on to see if there was a demand for the very items I wrote about. I also wanted to see if it was possible to . . .
Growing up, I always looked forward to out-of-town trips with my parents, whether that's through the provinces of the Visayas or a plane ride to Manila. ✈️ Manila was especially exciting because it was a completely different environment when compared to the relaxed and laid back city of Bacolod, my hometown. The capital was filled with skyscrapers, big malls, beautiful shops, and swanky hotels with their delicious breakfast buffets. 🍳 Eventually I moved to Manila for university, and its become a place embedded in my body and memory both for its wonders and its horrors. It's this ugly, heavy-breathing beast that you have to make your way through on tip-toe and with a knife in your backpack. Despite its dangers, I continue to love it . . .
Stuck in what the reading community calls a serious "reading slump" I decided to reset my reading progress and pick out a paperback from the Philippine Literature section of my book shelf. Majority of the books were unread poetry collections and novels I acquired and received as gifts over the years. One such gift is The Mango Bride by Palanca awardee Marivi Soliven, who won the grand prize for the Novel category and taught creative writing at numerous universities, including the University of California. The title and the Golden Gate bridge on the book cover promise a story about the Filipino in diaspora and the woman's experience as a bride/wife living away from home. I grew curious as I read the blurb at the back: Like Amparo, Beverly . . .
My first experience with MUJI takes me all the way back to college. I was studying in Manila and had been at SM Mall of Asia when I saw the grand opening of this Japanese minimalist store. Beyond the shelves filled with shampoo bottles and tea towels was a central booth filled with notebooks, notepads, stamps, paperclips, pencil cases, and pens of all tips and colors. Many years later and I still have MUJI stationery in my collection not because of wacky cover designs or novelty pink paper, but the complete absence of any of those things. This approach aligns with the company's vision of taking everyday products and turning them into simple and beautiful products people would want to use for many years. ...to create products that . . .
You've probably seen it in your favorite teenage TV show, or on the book cover of a series you read as a kid. Images and scenes of students going through school halls, their backpacks slung over their shoulders and a composition notebook in one hand. The iconic black and white marble cover of this notebook has always caught my attention as a kid and a stationery collector. It's well-loved across the world too, both for its timeless design and its reputation as the notebook for messy, meaningful work. Quoting Format Magazine, it's "the rebellious cousin of the Moleskine." The marble composition notebook has been around for as long as we can (or try to) remember, but Pentagram graphic designer Aron Fay wanted to create a modern variation . . .