12 local and ethical items for purposeful gifting this Christmas

Published December 10, 2020, 4:14 PM

by John Legaspi

Among the many classic Yuletide carols, Frederic Austin‘s “Twelve Days of Christmas” stuck the most to the theme of giving. Talk about being a little lavish, the cumulative song lists things such as five gold rings, milk maidens, a troupe of drummers, and dancing ladies as presents to one’s “true love.”

According to a story by Good Housekeeping, if you follow the gift guide to a tee, you will end up with a staggering $40,000 receipt. Not even considering our world’s current situation, that is just too much expense for holiday gifting. 

As we’re about to do new things to keep our holiday traditions alive, it is also just right to stir our gift giving to a much more worthy cause. So, instead of seven swans a-swimming or two turtle doves or other items that will spark joy for a short while, we have listed 12 local merchandise to offer to your broad range of true love for a more purposeful gifting this season. 

These items not only celebrate the beauty of Filipino culture, but are also fit for today’s living. Because in this pandemic era, nothing says “I love you” or “I care for you” more than a set of stylish, eco-friendly face masks.

Parol sweater by Liwayway, P2,000

Featuring one of the Philippines’ iconic Christmas symbols, Liwayway’s Parol sweaters are sure to keep you and your true love warm and cozy. Made by the brand’s partner artisans, the sweaters feature hand-embroidered holiday lanterns, with other designs incorporating inaul textile detailing. 

Holiday face masks by Anthill Fabric Gallery, P2,000 per set

These holiday face masks are perfect for intimate gatherings as they can’t be easily misplaced. Designed with binakol and kantarines stripes tinted in Yuletide colors, these face masks can be worn as a headband or belt. They also have adjustable ear loops to help get that snug fit.

Indigenous bomber jacket by Balik Batik, P5,000

There is a variety of contemporary yet truly Filipino pieces you can find at Balik Batik, but we think this piece suits the holiday season best. In festive colors of orange, pink, and teal, this bomber jacket is made special with the use of tennun, a handwoven fabric made by the Yakan tribe.

Pasko cocktail kit by Sahan, P1,500

Christmas is sure to be merry for the recipient of this DIY cocktail kit. Local brand Sahan concocted a special mix for the season that highlights Filipino flavors. The Pasko cocktail kit is composed of local cinnamon, galangal nectar, dalandan liquer, Baguio lemon, and nasturtium leaves. 

Kamusta tote bag by Maison Métisse, P3,800

These days, sometimes a person just needs a simple “kamusta,” and this bag serves just that. Maison Métisse’s Kamusta social tote bag will give your true love that pick-me-up greeting they need every day. The bag is made of handwoven tikog and buri that are also traditionally hand dyed.

Adjustable ear savers by Magindara Handmade Accessories, price upon request

These dainty ear savers will not only keep ears from chafing but also doubles as a bling. The floral essential accessories are made of upcycled abaca with capiz shells for added shimmer.

Balaw kamisa by Arapilak, P350

Clothing made of flour sack or katsa is making a comeback thanks to its durability and sustainability purpose. The Balaw kamisa is inspired by the shirt fisherfolks and farmers wear while working. Breezy and easy to style, this modernized collarless top can easily find its way to your next trip to the beach.

Sustainable wrappers and packaging by The Good Trade PH, price starts at P220

Help Mother Nature heal this season by giving ethical wrappers and packaging to your loved ones. From sugarcane bowls (P487.50) and kraft papers (P220) to Algeria satin wraps (P1,750), these materials are not only good for the planet, but also boost creativity.

Catriona mules by Aishe Footwear, price upon request

We can expect that anything that bears the name of former Miss Universe Catriona Gray will be something truly stylish and patriotic. These mules prove just that. The best part is that Aishe Footwear also produces men’s footwear, because anyone can be a cultural warrior this holiday season.

Pawikan plush toys by Tagpi-tagpi and Simula PH, P550

Teach the young ones about saving the planet and its aquatic life with these Pawikan plush toys. These toys are made of upcycled denim sewn together by the women living near rural coastal areas.

Eco-friendly utensils by Kalikhasan, price starts at P80

This season of feasting, let’s make having reusable utensils with us at parties a habit. Wooden spoons and forks (P260) and bamboo (P80) and metal straws (P350) can help lessen the amount of single-used plastics thrown during Christmas.

No Beso fan and face mask set by Casa Mercedes PH, P1,150 

In case someone didn’t get the memo on intimate parties, then let Casa Mercedes’ fans do the talking. The heritage brand’s feisty No Beso and Puñyeta sets the perfect gift for any mama and titas out there.