When it comes to buying products, it’s always nice to go local. What’s even better, however, is doing so not just for the sake of supporting homegrown goods but also because they’re genuinely great products to begin with. From foodstuff to skin care, here’s a list of Filipino brands locals adore.
Filipinos know this snack brand all too well because it’s one they grew up with. From the flavored cracker sandwiches mom would always pack in the kids’ school lunch boxes to the plain Rebisco crackers tita always seemed to have in her purse, Rebisco products are enjoyed by everyone. Many Filipinos carry fond childhood memories of products like their aromatic Hansel biscuits and Superstix wafers that keep the brand close to the Filipino heart.
As ordinary as a bookstore might seem, this one’s been around for 75 years, providing the country with books, art materials, and, most importantly, school supplies for nearly a century. Students and parents flock to National Book Store for their annual back-to-school shopping, creating almost a tradition with the brand. With over 200 stores all over the country, and only showing signs of expansion, it seems NBS will be loved by Filipinos for many more years to come.
This brand is almost guaranteed to be found in every Filipino kitchen. Datu Puti produces some of the most well-loved products in the country — condiments. Filipinos are specifically big on cane vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. It’s what they use to flavor their food and concoct their dipping sauces (locally known as sawsawan). Have these three things in your kitchen cabinet and you’ll be able to cook almost every Filipino dish you love. So while it probably isn’t the first brand that comes to mind when thinking of local products, Datu Puti is an undeniable staple in Filipino life.
This successful cosmetics brand quickly caught the attention of the local beauty community, beginning in late 2013 with an instant edge over its competitors — its focus being on creating make-up that was particularly good for the skin. Very soon after its launch, this skin-care cosmetics brand established an impressive local fanbase from make-up aficionados to local celebrities. They’ve also partnered with entertainment powerhouse Disney as well as other local brands and celebrities in the creation of various collections.
Ronald McDonald who? In the Philippines, it’s an iconic red and yellow bee that rules the fast food industry, capturing the hearts of millions of Filipinos in its nearly four decades in service. Jollibee is where childhood birthday parties take place (and even some adult ones, in the spirit of blissful nostalgia), where parents take their kids after Sunday mass, where parents treat their little ones to a congratulatory meal after grade school graduation — it is, essentially, a place of comfort for Filipinos, a place associated with happy memories. This is perhaps why, as the company ventures overseas opening Jollibee branches in foreign cities in which many Filipinos now live, a bucket of Chickenjoy, a plate of Jolly Spaghetti, or a bite of the Yum Burger can somehow take them home.
Another food favorite is this french fry snack shack. Instead of a popcorn stand, if there’s a Potato Corner nearby, you can be sure Filipino moviegoers will be rushing to queue for these powder-coated fries. Cheese, sour cream, barbecue, take your pick — you’ll almost surely end up hooked.
This young leather footwear brand is bringing back Marikina’s glory days as a frontrunner in the shoe industry. Merging the skill of local artisans with comfort and good design, Renegade Folk returns to the limelight a superb local product that has, for too long, been forgotten.
Before Instant Ramen picked up globally, Lucky Me! was already bringing Filipinos tasty instant noodles and noodle soups that made for the perfect merienda (snack). Packets of Pancit Canton (instant stir-fry noodles) and Instant Mami (beef or chicken noodle soup) sold well because they were affordable, easy to cook, and filling — basically, a quick and cheap hunger fix. Today, the brand continues to come out with new instant noodle products and flavors that Filipinos love.
A big success in both the local and global fashion scene is Filipino fashion accessories label Aranaz. Most well known for their artisanal bags and purses, Aranaz showcases Filipino craftsmanship and a fun yet polished tropical flair. Run by a mother-daughter trio, they’ve taken their brand not only to some of Metro Manila’s high-end malls but also to dozens of boutiques and online stores worldwide.
Unbeknownst to many, this internationally renowned skin care, cosmetics, and hygiene products brand was founded by a Filipina. Dr. Vermén M. Verallo, dermatologist and dermatopathologist, prioritized research, safety, and efficacy before anything else in product development. And since the company’s beginnings in 1979, these remained of prime importance, allowing the brand to introduce exceptional tried-and-tested products backed by nearly a hundred published medical studies. This meticulous attention paid to each and every product is what has made the brand an unshakable standout in the industry.
You have yet to enjoy the best of the Philippines if you haven’t had a cold bottle of San Miguel on a hot day at the beach. You’ll see locals drinking bottles of the brand left and right, the most popular of its brews being Pale Pilsen and Red Horse Extra Strong. Their lighter brews include San Mig Light and their more recently-released flavored beers, San Mig Apple and San Mig Lemon. In a hot and humid country like the Philippines, it’s a no-brainer why Filipinos love their regular San Miguel refresher.