Throughout my patient and often obsessive search on Instagram, I’ve collected some local favorites of mine. I know how much Filipinos love anything International that they no longer look into what our local entrepreneurs have to offer.

Quick story: One time I was browsing through Instagram using the hashtag #pouchPH. I was in the search for a wallet brand that has my style. I found a couple, and as if I had a lightbulb moment, I thought of writing an entire blog post dedicated to local brands that I love, which you would too, hopefully.

Christmas is fast approaching. We have less than 100 days until D-Day, and it would honestly be a nice option to consider local products to give as presents to your friends and loved ones. I personally love crafty objects made from scratch. I think it’s really innovative. Pinoys are very creative in so many different aspects and it would be a shame if we turn our backs against our own fellowmen’s craftsmanship. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to buy products from someone you know who lives in your motherland?

Since I really want to encourage you to produce local products more, let’s start with something that we all love – food!


FIRST HARVEST PEANUT BUTTER

Photo from First Harvest website

First Harvest is a proudly-Filipino brand, that uses choice ingredients to whip up healthy and delicious food products. It was founded in November 2013 as a social enterprise aiming to bring back quality of life through homemade products. It employs partners from GK Enchanted Farm, and aims to enrich agricultural industries.

We use real ingredients and no extenders. Whenever possible, only natural preservatives are used in our products.

We aim to give mothers a healthy alternative to feed their families. By using only real ingredients, we ensure that our food is not only delicious and flavorful, but they also satisfy and nourish.

I first heard of First Harvest Peanut Butter when my mom bought a set from Robinsons Magnolia during a bazaar. I thought that for something that was made locally, it tasted really good, considering that it has no artifical preservatives. So just imagine all the delicious goodness in every scoop! I even posted a photo of the jar on Instagram because I wanted to spread the word so that my friends would be curious enough to try their peanut butter. That was the first and last time I tasted their products. Although, I wouldn’t mind being given some more jars. Haha!

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


YAKANG YAKA BARTER

Photo from Yakang Yaka’s Instagram account

Yakang Yaka gives shoppers a chance to purchase handmade & local products from the indigenous weaving communities that they support. Yakang Yaka uses local designs such as the Tenun weaving and batik inspirations to develop a more modernized approach to merchandise. We believe in keeping our heritage alive. The Yakan village from Mindanao is a part of our community where we sponsor and respect their craft.

I’ve always been fascinated with Yakang Yaka’s goods. They’re a bit expensive, but hey, that’s what you give for high-quality products, right? I’m really interested with their weaved sandals. They look really nice. I’m not a shoe person but if it means supporting local brands, then why not, right?

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10A ALABAMA ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR

Photo grabbed from Google

Nestled in this quiet neighborhood in Quezon City is 10a Alabama, an old ancestral house which has been turned into an art and furniture gallery. The 10a Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair is held every 3 months, and here you will find a mish-mosh of handmade items by several different artists. Tables are set up starting from the garage, and from there you will weave your way into the house for more. (sheisviolet.blogspot.com)

Held about every quarter at an aptly retro bungalow in Quezon City, it’s our favorite go-to place for handmade trinkets, crafts, stationery, home accessories, and art that won’t break the bank. (That being said, everything is made with love by talented local artists, so please don’t haggle!) We also love the laid-back but fun fair vibe, chatting with our “suki” artist-sellers, as well as making new friends. And whether you’re a newcomer or a regular, there’s always something new to discover at Alabama. (thehappylab.com)

10A Alabama is a hodgepodge of food, items, and crafts made by creatives and artists who have turned their passions into profits. I’ve only been here once, but one time is actually enough to make you fall in love with all the arts and crafts. I personally loved the stalls of Ella Lama, Forever Ugly, and Bags By Rugby Tree. Actually, let me go ahead and include Bags by Rugby Tree in the list. If you like all things organic and hand-crafted, you’ll surely love that brand.

Facebook | Instagram


HUB: MAKE LAB

Photo mine

WHAT IS HUB | MAKE LAB
Hub | Make Lab is an incubation space for those who wish to experiment on a more stable and sustainable setting for sellers and concessionaires of: crafts, interesting art works, limited edition merchandise, artisanal food, upcycled clothes and accessories, independent clothing labels, DIY wares, vintage goods and refurbished antiques.

THE CORE OF THE HUB
Sellers conceptualized their individual spaces with the notions of transparency, communal spirit, maker culture and interaction. Each quaint space hosts different makers with their own interesting merchandise, stories and backgrounds. The HUB promotes the idea of a creative community that is inspired by the history and heritage that envelopes it.

HOW CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE
We are hopeful that we can count on everyone’s assistance, encouragement and patronage for the HUB | Make Lab where creatives and creations converge.

HUB: Make Lab is pretty much like 10A Alabama where you would see a lot of local brands by fellow Filipinos. I first learned of the HUB when Jec brought me to Escolta to meet his Heritage friends. Behind the metal railings of the building, I was welcomed by the colorful stalls showcasing goods produced by Pinoys from different walks of life. Here’s a blog post I wrote a few weeks ago. You can see some photos from HUB here.

Facebook | Instagram


BAGS BY RUBBERTREE 

Photo from @bagsbyrubbertree on Instagram

Our structures are made to celebrate the material and establish clean silhouettes. All our bags are numbered and signed, marking our personal attention to each piece. Each bag is made with the utmost care to ensure its longevity. Due to the nature of the material and the way they are produced, every bag has its own distinct leather wash giving each its own identity. All bags are not lined.

Bags By Rubbertree is one of the many brands that participates in the 10A Alabama Handmade Arts and Crafts Fair. My older brother actually thought my mom would love their bags, which is the main reason that he brought us to 10A Alabama. I must agree, the bags are made of a sturdy material – rubber tree itself – so it gives you an opportunity to look chic and crafty at the same time. The bags have minimalist designs, which is something that I really love about this local brand. The bags do not look cheap, touch cheap, or are cheap. I wasn’t a fan of the bags at first sight, especially because pricey items always catches me off guard. But as I ogled their Instagram posts, I just fell more and more in love with the bags. I’m aiming to finally have a bag from this brand, but since they’re not easy to acquire, budget-wise, I’m saving it for a special occasion. And by the time I have my own bag from Bags by Rubbertree, I’d surely be using it a lot, like, A LOT.

Website | Facebook | Instagram


SULSI DIARIES

Photo grabbed from Sulsi Diaries Facebook Page

One day, in my endless pursuit to find a cute statement purse, I found this account on Instagram and immediately fell in love with the pouches (and, of course, the statement prints!). I thought at first that it was read as sulsidiaries, like subsidiaries. LOL. I haven’t ordered from them yet, but I plan to. I actually need another pencil case and some purses to separate my funds. Sulsi Diaries typically ships by bulk orders, so it would actually make an excellent Christmas gift for your loved ones. But if you want to buy just a piece or two, you can go to its physical store at Trendzonia, Mendiola.

Facebook | Instagram


LOVE HOPE FAITH

Photo grabbed from Love Hope Faith IG account

LoveHopeFaith (LHF) is an all-Filipino social enterprise that was founded as an instrument to provide care and assistance to a cancer patient. As the business grew, LHF was able to add non-profit institutions to its list of beneficiaries. Fifty percent of the net proceeds from the purchases of LHF products are donated to its causes.

LHF aims to give joy and hope through a cause-oriented enterprise by providing affordable products to Filipinos and giving back to the community. LHF aspires to be an inspiration and a channel to empower cancer patients and the communities they aid. The LHF family envisions being a model group that cares, unites, provides equal opportunities, and works hard for the betterment of everyone.

I found out about this brand when a friend tweeted a photo about a #LifeSaver watch. I became curious. How could a watch become a life saver, exactly? I checked out their Instagram account and that’s when I understood. Of course, I wanted to purchase some! I was even willing to buy four to avail of the free shipping. It would help me save on the shipping cost, help more children, and have four watch colors to choose from.

I like buying things for a cause, so I totally support this business. They are very cheap compared to branded watches. If you are looking for something simple to give your friends or family, or if you yourself are not picky with watches (you only need to see the time, after all),  go ahead and check out their social media accounts to know how to order. There are too many lovely colors to choose from, which makes it even more exciting!

Website | Facebook | Instagram


5 MINUTES

We understand the amount of time and effort you put when getting dressed. Our goal is to give you a working closet that can be relied on to get you out the door in 5 minutes without compromising your look and style. Time to invest in staples that work well with anything, anytime, anywhere.
Redefine your closet. All you need is 5 Minutes.

I was browsing on Instagram when I came across this online shop. It’s one of those “suggested” accounts when you follow someone. It’s still a start-up business so I was able to see when it started updating its Instagram account with more photos. I thought that its content marketing is really witty. Even I who is not a fan of fancy clothes got me hooked. I mean, it’s not so fancy, but it’s not your typical shirt and pants, either. Anyway, the fashion industry is fast evolving so what’s fancy before is just basic now, and today’s basic shirt is definitely upgraded already.

Website | Facebook | Instagram


PINK SUGAR

Photo grabbed from Pink Sugar Facebook Page

Pink Sugar Cosmetics was created as a makeup solution for women looking for products of high quality and great value.

Our products go beyond their creative packaging and catchy names by providing distinct ingredient benefits for your skin. The selection of wearable colors available for each of our products have been expertly curated by makeup professionals to complete a woman’s make-up collection and to complement the Filipina skin.

Our cosmetics products are free from animal testing and are made without Parabens.

We already have comfort food, crafts, and clothing. It wouldn’t hurt to include cosmetics in the list, right? I first heard about Pink Sugar when the Plump twins advertised the product on Instagram. I immediately got curious because 1) It’s a new brand, 2) It’s local, 3) It’s makeup. There are too many shades and textures to choose from the lipsticks alone. The colors are suitable for Filipina skin and we all know how hard it is to look for makeup that suits an olive yellow undertone. Pink Sugar sells their cosmetics for reasonable prices. Their lipsticks are known for having this sweet vanilla scent. I’m just not sure if it applies to other cosmetics like eyeshadows and blush powder.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


PILI BEAUTY

Photo grabbed from @pilibeautyph on Instagram

Although PILI is a line of personal care products, its mission is not about achieving skin deep beauty. Its philosophy is grounded on the idea that natural beauty comes from feeling beautiful within.

PILI also works closely with Bikol’s farmers to protect the forest where pili trees thrive. All work is done within the tree’s natural seasonal cycles. No harmful pesticides, chemicals or other synthetic materials are used to grow the trees or induce harvests.

PILI is about beauty—for our skin and more importantly, for our community.

Pili Beauty is another local brand that is suitable for the Filipina skin. It has all kinds of health and beauty products including lip tint, lip balm, bath soap, body oil, and lotion. I haven’t tried any of their products yet and if I were to buy anything, it would definitely be one of their lip tints.

Website | Facebook | Instagram


Well, that was long. 🙂 If you’ll notice, the brands I mentioned have products that I personally love. I don’t have a lot of local products, but when I do, it’s usually because it supports a cause. That, or just because I really love the usefulness and aesthetics of their goods.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these brands before. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

heartbae

Bae Milanes

Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.

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