With an active fountain pen network in the Philippines, the common question is: are there Filipino brands for pens and related products?
Of course, yes!
As you delve deeper in the local pen scene, you’ll discover that not only are fountain pens and other matching items available locally online and offline, but there are also products proudly made in the Philippines.
The only Filipino fountain pen so far
The first Filipino fountain pen line is on almost every wish list of local penthusiasts. So far, they’re the only fountain pen made in the Philippines that you can buy. Developed by Dr. Mark del Rosario, the inaugural model, Una, continues to come in different finishes, with premium ones featuring gold nibs. There’s a second Kasama model now, the sleeker Tala, and hopefully a demonstrator version comes out soon.
Price: Starts at around Php13,500 for Kasama Una in Ultem (photo above), their flagship pen model. Inquire directly with Kasama for pens in other materials.
Fountain pen inks made in the Philippines
The first Philippine-made fountain pen ink on the market in recent years excited the local community two year ago. Created young Cebuano duo of Gabriel Arnado and Kaiser Dale Diragos (click for our interview), they used to produce inks on a per-order basis. Recently, Troublemaker Inks tend to get sold out quickly with limited bottles per color. Currently, orders are closed. But they did release a special color in collaboration with Scribe late this year.
Price: The latest release cost Php695 for 60ml. Follow us on Facebook to get notified when they go back from hiatus.
Named after colorful sails that traditionally adorn boats in the southern Philippines, Vinta Inks offer a huge collection of fountain pen ink colors in different sheen, shading, and shimmer. Launched last year by owner Jillian Tan, the brand has since released 6 ink collections and continues to reach penthusiasts in foreign shores.
Paper for your pens and inks
To complete the trinity of Filipino pen, inks, and paper is Elias. Specifically developed to take on even wet nib and ink combination, it is perfect for fountan pens. There used to be Elias notebooks, but they are now available in pads and sheets. The line also carries leather pen cases.
Price: Starts at Php230 for a small pad and Php149 for loose sheets. Buy it from Everything Calligraphy
The Unplanned Life Handmade Notebook
Since Elias paper also come in sheets, there are notebooks makers out there who produce journals by hand. That includes Maryanne Moll, who makes A5-sized journals. You get the fountain pen friendliness of Elias Paper in the pattern of your choice.
In case you want to get one for yourself, join our Instagram giveaway! Just follow these steps:
- Follow us on Instagram (just click the link above)
- Follow us on Facebook (so you can get links to our stories on your feed,
- Comment on the Instagram post linked above with your answer to the post’s question and tag two friends!
Price: Starts at Php700 for blank, 5mm ruled, and 7mm ruled 300-page notebooks
Alunsina Handbound Notebooks
Enan and Nadja have been making leather journals for 12 years now. What started as a hobby back in 2008 was reborn in 2011 for the partners, as they continue making their products by hand. You can choose from their existing designs, and even buy a mini journal necklace. They started using fountain pen-friendly paper in 2014, and have also released a refillable leather cover set for pocket notebooks.
Price: Starts at Php600 for a small leather journal and Php1000 for regular-sized ones. Visit their official online store here.
Cases to protect your precious pens and journals
Good thing there are locally-made cases to protect not just your pens but also your choice of notebook.
Created from a penthusiast’s perspective, Shibui is the brainchild of couple Melissa Pabilona-Ang and Arner Ang. Pen cases and organizers with pen loops feature their rademarked leather Pull-Tag™ Penholder which keeps pens of any diameter secure. Other leather goods like organizers and covers for different journal sizes are also available from Shibui.
Price: Starts at Php1950 for the Manila Pen Show 2019 Exclusive 2-Pen Case in XL. Get yours on Shibui’s website.
Related story: The prayers behind Shibui
The Leather Library
If you’re after tough handmade leather covers for your journals, Leather Library is a great source. Handmade by April Morales, it comes in A5, A6 and TN sizes.
Price: Starts at 800 for a classic (no-pocket) TN Passport, and 1000 for a no-pocket A6 Folio. Inquire through Instagram.