Real talk: there is approximately a 50 percent chance that you own a Herschel backpack or a competing brand that has the same rugged, Americana vibe. Now, there is nothing wrong with that but things can get a bit too same-y with the barkada. But because it's the (currently still undying) trend, you're got limited alternatives to choose from—some of those predate pre-rugged, American vibe and might look too dated, while others, such as sport-inspired items, just don't have that goes-with-anything factor that has made us so reliant on the usual look.
Our suggestion: take a look at an AKABA Ltd. Design Co. bag.
Their items integrate traditional patterns and loomweaving techniques of various ethnic communities all over the country—and these special pieces of cloth are produced by the local communities themselves in line with the brand's principle of bayanihan. Basically, you can brag your bag is local, artisanal, ethically-produced, sustainable, small-batch and whatever other euphemism for hipster that you desire. Aside from having a looker of a kalat hauler, it also feels good knowing that you are not contributing to another sad case of cultural appropriation.
Camino Knapsack in Red Sinaluan
Remember what we said about the current rugged, American vibe being an unescapable aesthetic? Yeah, AKABA rides that look like everyone else, but the textile touches remix it just enough to feel fresh again.
Ligero Backpack in Blue Balud
The classic schoolboy backpack lends itself well to some colorful trim.
Gallardo Messenger Bag in Green Sinaluan
When have you last considered a green bag? Probably not until you saw this one!
Did you know the ubiquitous Good Morning towel is actually a mainstay in other Asian countries as well? Turns out Singaporeans aren't such a humorless bunch as they've come up with this brilliant reimagining of the good old towel as a drawstring bag. Perfect for the gym as it doubles up as another towel and is easily washed off. It's also $32SGD which is approximately P1,244 because our exchange rate is siao liao! We are lowkey waiting for someone to create a local version of this.
P1,244, Indie Mama
Check out AKABA by visiting their website. They also have a new retail space at UP Town Center, Quezon City