Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Buy Local This Christmas! :)

A personal list of stocking stuffers... a mix of things I think friends/family will like as and things that are on my own wishlist (*cough* broad hint *cough*).

In no particular order: 

1. Lagu Beach Towel: Locally made beach towels that are allergen-free, quick dry and (this is the best bit), sand-repellent. I've put mine through its paces and they really deliver on their branding. I've used it as a mat, a blanket and sometimes line my beach bag with it so that I can just turn the bag inside-out afterwards to remove all the sand. 


2. Kape Maria: Kape Maria sources all their beans locally from different cooperatives around the country. There are, to date, four different blends of different strengths named after areas in the Philippines (Calauit, Apo, Sierra Madre and Pulag). By Christmas, they plan to release their "Coffee Bags", a neat packet of ground coffee, non-dairy creamer and coconut sugar. 

(As a certified coffee snob, I am constantly on the look-out for locally-grown and roasted blends. And since I began drinking my coffee black, I have been looking for that perfect brew that is not acidic, but still bold and strong. Kape Maria's "Apo" blend is the answer to my prayers.) 


3. Panda Sunglasses:  PANDA was born in a small town in Georgetown and has since come to the Philippines. Made from bamboo, one of the most sustainable and renewable resources, these sunnies are not only pro-Earth, they are also really fashionable. 

4. Too Many Things At Human <3 Nature: Pro-earth natural products made with the help of Gawad Kalikasan and Gawad Kalinga communities at a price that is definitely more affordable than imported organic products. I've given their products as presents for years now and also have a toiletry bag that looks like their catalog.  


Personal picks: 

- All the baby products

- Natural Moisturizing Shampoo (in Lush Vanilla) 

- Natural Moisturizing Conditioner (in Lush Vanilla)

- 100% Natural Bug Shield (soooo much better than Off lotion)

- Balancing Facial Wash and Balancing Toner

- 100% Natural Moisturizing Day Fluid with 15 Vitamins & Minerals

5. Echo Store's 'Spa in a Bottle': Every single bag in the city should have a bottle of Echo Store Body Basics' 'Spa in a Bottle.' Made from all natural ingredients (VCO, orange, peppermint, musk, and lavender), this little magic formula helps alleviate dizziness, congestion, and nausea.  Rub the oil on your palm, create a cup over your nose and inhale the goodness. Or apply some to your pulse points. 

*While you're at the store, you might as well check out: 

- Messy Bessy's full range of natural home cleaning products

- Island Baby's sunblock for children

- Theo and Philo's artisan chocolates (I have a personal weakness for the siling labuyo variant). 

- If you're at Echo Market, you should grab a pint of the dairy-free ice cream made with coconut milk and coconut sugar.

6. Declaration Shirts makes a black hoodie that has the word "Happy" written across the chest. Soooo cute. 

7. Quiddity is home to "The Bitter Critter", a notebook-slash-one-of-a-kind cloth creature that is anything but happy.

8. Zenutrients' Barako Coffee Body Scrub is a bathroom staple. And the Goat's Milk Body Butter and the Cocoa Butter Body Butter are amazing  if you have hypersensitive skin.  

9. Dalisay Bamboo Soap is made with coconut oil, carabao milk and bamboo crystals. Great for hypersensitive skin. And it is made by a Gawad Kalinga social enterprise so you'd be giving back by buying.  


10. Timbre Headphones are locally-made, combine art with music and have become a must-have accessory. Support the local music scene by listening to OPM with locally-produced headphones. ;) 


11. Give the gift of surfing this Christmas!

a. You can buy vouchers for free stays at The Circle Hostel (San Juan, La Union and/or San Felipe, Zambales. 

b. The Philippine Surfing Academy runs lessons on weekends at Club Manila East in Taytay, Rizal. 

12. The Bambike is made by Gawad Kalinga builders from one of the most renewable   resources: the humble bamboo. Get on the green revolution and order yourself -- or a special someone -- one of these stylist bikes. 


13. Yes, I am one half of Brown Belly and so of course, I'm going to suggest you order from us this Christmas! ;) Our runaway best-seller for the last two years has been our bed jackets. Great for dressing up a casual outfit or as a cover-up on the beach.


14. Comfort Zone makes some of the yummiest treats this side of Luzon.  Banana bread, cupcakes and - get this - chocolate chip bacon cookies are among their best-sellers. But if you've got something savory in mind, order the chili con carne. You wont regret it. 


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