Mar 22, 2019

In 2018, hotel booking service and online travel agent Agoda reported that local destinations turned out to be more sought-after by Filipinos than international ones—a result considered as “surprising” and much different from the previous years. While it’s really great that there’s a heightened interest in seeking nearby destinations than the ones abroad, it’s not the only way travelers can show their support to other Filipino communities.

As we fill our planners with our back-to-back summer trips in different provinces or regions, it’s best that we also start preparing our hot season essentials with all things homegrown and handmade by our fellow countrymen. This way, we’re not just visiting them; we’re also bringing more concrete support to their crafts and culture.

We listed below a list of the most common summer essentials along with the local brands to check them out from:


Island Girl PH

Everything from Island Girl PH is made from organic materials delicately crafted by artisans from rural communities. This includes their pandan- and rattan-made circular and cylindrical hand-woven handbags which they pair with what they call vegan or synthetic leather for handles.

This is available at Kultura, which has a Summer Hardin pop-up at SM Makati’s Upper Ground Level running until Mar. 24, and at online multi-brand store Seek The Uniq.



Made with banig by weavers from Basey, Samar, this newly launched tote bag that comes in various styles and bold colors can contain all the essentials you need for any type of trip. A day tour in Rizal? It’s stylish enough to complement your outfit. An overnight beach party? It’s big enough to hold your pamalit clothes. Can’t take a break from work and you have to go to a province for a business meeting? Your laptop and notebooks can fit right in it. Cop this at 40 percent off until Mar. 31 at Lara’s website.


Halohalo Store

Meanwhile in Halohalo, banig is turned into something light both on the eyes and in weight. With its almost pastel-like shades and compact size, the local shop’s Gala Bags are just the right type for beach trips or city tours. Get this from Tropa Store at Legazpi Village, Makati City.




Homegrown swimsuit brand Áraw collaborated with environmental advocate and travel photographer Kimi Juan for their latest line. They debuted last week four new swimsuit styles in vivid colors: a “retro style” two-piece in fuchsia and teal, a deep v-neck bikini top in indigo and pineapple yellow, two versions of a striking asymmetrical one-piece in pink and brown, and a v-neck front one piece in light blue and black and white. This is available on their website and at Tropa Store.


Coral Swimwear

Known for championing body positivity in all their designs, Coral Swimwear has just released their 2019 summer line called “Isla Bonita.” It’s composed of five new styles that almost have no similarities to each other, making our options more diverse. They have a one-piece available in off-shoulder, v-neck, tube, and lace, and two-piece in a cute deep coral ruffled bikini. This is available on their website.


Body Party

The v-neck one-piece Solenn Heusaff is wearing above is only one of the many new and stylish swimsuits Body Party makes with recycled materials such as fishnets and plastic bottles. This brand is vocal with its advocacy to take care of the environment. They even pledged some of their proceeds to non-profit organizations like Save Palawan Seas Foundation to help create more waves towards sustainability. You can check their designs here.



The Sora Life

Aside from being such eye-candies, these multi-purpose towels are also paving the way for a more sustainable lifestyle for its user. Launched just last week, The Sora Life’s six new towel designs continues to preserve (and even upgrade) the fashion line’s “plastic to fabric” advocacy by recycling plastic bottles and breaking them down into polyester fabric. This can be ordered online and be shipped for free.


WVN Home Textiles


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WVN Home Textiles have round and rectangular towels, which can serve a double purpose as beach blankets because it’s thick enough. It’s made with 100 percent cotton and inabel, intricately created by weavers from La Union. Contact them on Instagram for more details.


Inabel Blankets

These handwoven towels may be bigger than your usual bath towel but its actually lightweight and gives perfect coverage, especially when you’re seeking protection from the 12 noon sunshine at the beach. The towels, measuring 29 x 62 inches, were carefully handmade by weavers from Bangar, La Union. You can order and choose from its many available colors here.





Indio Eyewear produces light glasses with frames handcrafted from locally sourced bamboo. It can be purchased online and delivered with a hard bamboo casing.



While they also make bamboo frames, Wodd specializes in an all wooden-framed eyewear. With the help of artisans from different communities, this brand makes sunglasses that has polarized lenses and premium sun protection. The frames are also at its maximum durability with its built-in double barrel spring hinges that make it less likely to bend and break. Aside from these technical things, Wodd also advocates for environmental protection. It even vowed to plant one tree for each sunglass purchase.


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TAGS: local brands pack pack light Summer summer essentials summer local summer starter pack tour travel travel local trip vacation