This year marks the 10th anniversary of Fountain Pen Network-Philippines, and what better way to celebrate than to hold the first ever Manila Fountain Pen Show? In previous years FPN-P had been holding smaller pen sales events every Fountain Pen Day (first Friday of November), as if in preparation for this bigger event. The show was held at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura, last Oct. 27, 2018.



Photos by Mark Tiangco.

Long lines greeted us at the opening of the show, until about lunch time. It was heartening to know that there were a huge number of fountain pen enthusiasts waiting patiently to get in! Entrance was free, but donations were received at the gate for Save the Children.

Inside it was jam-packed. People crowded every booth, eager to take advantage of the promotions. All the workshop sessions were full.



Photos by Ronin Bautista.

Special items exclusive to the pen show included the Manila Copper ink, mixed by Straits Pen of Singapore. Part of the proceeds of the ink sale were donated to Save the Children.

Photos by Leigh Reyes.

The Fountain Pen Network-Philippines 10th Anniversary fountain pen is an Edison Mina in tortoise acrylic. Remaining pieces from the original pre-order were sold at the pen show.


10th Anniversary Pen. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

Sponsors for the Manila Fountain Pen Show included Cross Philippines, Montblanc Philippines, Pengrafik, Straits Pen of Singapore, Lamy Philippines, Everything Calligraphy, Noteworthy, Scribe, Faber-Castell Philippines, Troublemaker Inks, Parker Philippines, Philippine National Bank and Calibre Magazine. Other vendors/service providers included Kasama PH, Shibui PH, Gav n Sav, Guia’s Vintage Pen Corner, JP’s Pen Spa and Nibworks, and John Raymond Lim (nibmeister).


Cross Philippines.


Montblanc Philippines.




Gav n Sav.


Guia’s Vintage Pen Corner.


Faber-Castell Philippines.

Photos above by Tintin Pantoja.


Scribe. Photo by Mark Tiangco.


Troublemaker Inks.


Straits Pen of Singapore.


Shibui PH.




Kasama PH.


Everything Calligraphy.


Lamy Philippines.


The paper bar.

Photos above by Ronin Bautista.


JP’s Pen Spa and Nibworks (J.P. Reinoso).  Photo by Tin Marie Reyes Poral.


John Raymond Lim (nibmeister). Photo by Edber Mamisao.



Calligraphy Workshop. Photo by Mark Tiangco.


Calligraphy Workshop. Photo by Rica Palomo-Espiritu.


Leather pen case workshop. Photo by Ronin Bautista.


Photo by Ronin Bautista. L-R: Butch Dalisay, Rica Espiritu, Arnell Ignacio, Teresita Herbosa, Marvic Leonen

A panel discussion was held toward the end of the day, on the topic “Why Fountain Pens?”. Among the speakers were collectors Prof. Jose “Butch” Dalisay, Jr., Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, Atty. Teresita Herbosa (great-granddaughter of national hero Jose Rizal), artist Rica Palomo-Espiritu, and OWWA administrator Arnell Ignacio.

Here’s a Facebook video of Justice Marvic Leonen’s discussion. “We can choose the parts of life we can slow down. The fountain pen is my instrument of revolution to recapture my humanity.” And here’s a Facebook video of Butch Dalisay’s talk. “These pens are not just inscribers of words but are bearers of stories.” (Will add other videos to this blog as soon as they are processed.)

All in all, for a first pen show and a modestly sized one at that, the Manila Fountain Pen Show 2018 was successful and well-attended! Approximately 600 people attended the one-day show.  Everyone agreed that next year, the pen show should be in a bigger space, given the huge amount of interest in fountain pens, inks, stationery and accessories.

Many thanks to all the sponsors, the organizers, and the volunteers who made this pen show possible!

To see more photos and social media posts on the Manila Fountain Pen Show, use the hashtag #mnlfountainpenshow2018.






Way back in 2008, fourteen fountain pen enthusiasts and fellow members at the international Fountain Pen Network forums banded together and organized a local pen lovers’ group, now known as Fountain Pen Network-Philippines.


Photo by June Dalisay.

Above are founder Jose (Butch) Dalisay Jr. and friends at the very first pen meet at his house at the University of the Philippines campus.

Fast-forward ten years later, and the group has grown from 14 to 5,800+ members on Facebook, with its own forums at

Earlier in the year, Peter Bangayan organized an FPN-P Tenth Anniversary Pen, made by Bexley. It’s the Corona model, except it is cartridge/converter and not a piston-filler. It came in two colors, blue and turquoise, with a special medallion in the finial produced by Juan Luis Faustmann, in a limited quantity. There was also a Tenth Anniversary Ink, made by Diamine, called Blue Orient, a turquoise with a red sheen. (Another anniversary pen, the Edison Mina in tortoise acrylic, is in the works, courtesy of Anthony Goquingco. This is for those who weren’t able to acquire the Bexley.)


Photo by Rommel Bernardo.


Photo by Shey Pia Abaya.


Photo by Mona Caccam.


Photo by Leigh Reyes.

Co-founder Leigh Reyes quickly booked a lovely function room/co-working space at 3rd Space Legaspi for July 7, 2018. It was well-attended, with new and old members mixing and trying each other’s pens and inks.  There was an ink bar courtesy of Leigh, plus a sales area for pen wraps by Lara Telan of Gav n Sav, and empty cigar boxes.  Video of ink bar by Ronin Bautista here.


Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.


Photo by IamLennie.

At around 4pm we held a raffle, with prizes contributed by longstanding sponsors Scribe, Times Trading (Lamy) , Pengrafik and Stationer Extraordinaire. The grand prize was a proudly Philippine-made pen, made by KasamaPH (IG: KasamaPH, Facebook: KasamaPH). It’s called the Una, because it’s the first model ever made in the Philippines.


Photo by Michelle Suratos.


Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.


Photo by Leigh Reyes.

Many thanks to Mark Tiangco for the delicious Quorn lasagna and nuggets, Babyruth Chuaunsu for the Sunkist drinks, and the various members who donated cakes and pastries for the event.  Thanks also to Vad Mayores of 3rd Space for making sure we were all comfortable at their venue.

Here’s to more years appreciating fountain pens!






Photos by Leigh Reyes

Fountain Pen Network-Philippines recently celebrated International Fountain Pen Day 2017 last Nov. 4 at Commune Cafe+Bar in Makati! We first started celebrating the event with pen meets and sales from our favorite vendors way back in 2014. Read about our FPD-PH adventures back in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This year, Fountain Pen Day is brought to us by Cars and Calibres, and Calibre Magazine. In our experience, people who like cars and watches usually end up liking fountain pens!


Here’s the indefatigable organizer, Leigh Reyes, manning the registration table. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.


Photo by Sheila Tiongco

The event lasted all afternoon, and was very well-attended.  The place was packed until the early evening!  Participating vendors included Scribe, Pengrafik, Everything Calligraphy, Bags by Rubbertree, The Curious ArtisanHorology Matters, Peter Bangayan (Bexley Pens, Diamine Inks), and Caloy Abad Santos (Gav N Sav Pen Wraps). Also on display was an aquarium system by Aquarium Design Amano.


Scribe. Photo by Mona Caccam.


Everything Calligraphy. Photo by Iya Buzeta-Acero.


Pengrafik. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.


The Curious Artisan. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.


Bags by Rubbertree. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.


Horology Matters. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.


Bexley Pens/Diamine Music Set (Peter Bangayan) and Gav N Sav pen wraps (Caloy Abad Santos). Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.


Cars and Calibres display. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.


Photo by Ticky Tabujara.


John Raymond Lim. Photo by Chito Gregorio.

Local nibmeisters and all-around fountain pen repair guys John Raymond Lim and Mark Tiangco were on hand to deal with quick nib grinds, tine realignments and other issues people had with some of their pens.


Raffle. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.


Leigh Reyes. Photo by Chito Gregorio.

A raffle was held at 4pm, with prizes donated by our generous vendors.


Calibre Magazine Editor in Chief, Carl Cunanan. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

Participants who went on social media during the event were given special Fountain Pen Day buttons.  T-shirts were also sold at the event.


Photo by Leigh Reyes


Photo by Augusto Toledo II

Everyone went home with issues of Calibre Magazine.

Fountain Pen Network-Philippines and Fountain Pen Day-Philippines are on Facebook. Join us!

Many thanks to all those who attended and participated!  See you all again next year!




















This year Fountain Pen Network-Philippines is celebrating Fountain Pen Day on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 at the Commune Cafe and Bar, at 36 Polaris cor. Durban Sts., Makati, from 1-6pm.  This is open to the public! Entrance is free and snacks will be served to the first 50 guests.  Fountain Pen Day is brought to you by Cars and Calibres, and Calibre Magazine.

International Fountain Pen Day is usually held on the first Friday of November. It was first organized by Cary Yeager in the US. Here in the Philippines, we have been celebrating it since 2014.  Here are accounts of our celebrations from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

If you have any pens that need tuning or basic repair, please bring them on Nov. 4. Our resident nibmeisters, John Raymond Lim, J. P. Reinoso, and Mark Tiangco will be there to give your pens some TLC.


Some of our favorite retailers, Pengrafik, Scribe, Everything Calligraphy and Bags by Rubbertree, will be on hand at Commune Cafe and Bar to supply you with pens, ink, paper and accessories, at major discounts!



T-shirts (men’s sizes only, sorry) will also be available on a first-come, first served basis at P350 each.


See you there!











Writing with fountain pens is a joy – the pen writes on its own weight, there’s no need for me to press down hard on the paper, and I can use any color ink I want. I have about eight pens inked in different colors at any given time, and use a different color each day when I write in my journal.

I have been collecting (or should I say, accumulating) fountain pens since 2008, but have been using them since 1986. I have about 35 pens of various ages, makes and prices. I don’t really have a focus, I just buy pens based on features that I like (eg.piston-filler or converter, German fine or Japanese medium nib, favorite brand, others). There was a time I was actively buying on eBay, even while worrying whether my pens would safely arrive in the post. Several brick-and-mortar and online stores for fine writing instruments have since opened in my country, which made shopping a lot easier. I joined online fora and Facebook groups catering to my hobby (I even moderate one), where everyone enabled everyone else on their purchases. For some people, the retail therapy can be addicting (“I must have ALL the colors of the Lamy Safari!”). Fortunately, that isn’t the case with me.

I stopped buying on eBay, because the retail stores that opened locally allowed me to handle pens I was curious about. I also didn’t relish the idea of customs fees being charged “creatively” at the post office for purchases made online (after having heard all the horror stories). I stopped buying the cheap and cheerful pens, opting to upgrade to better-made, higher-quality ones. I even sold off a lot of vintage pens, just to be rid of the maintenance required.

I still haven’t broken the USD 250 ceiling. To me, any pen beyond that point may have more expensive materials and be more decorative, but may not guarantee a better writing performance. I’d also be worried about using such an expensive pen outside of the house, where it may be lost or stolen. Still, that hasn’t stopped me from admiring my grail pen, a Pelikan M910 Toledo. I get to handle it whenever some friends of mine and I have a pen meet. I admire it, but I don’t feel bad that I don’t own it and can’t afford it.

The last pen I bought was an Edison Pearl in Cumberland ebonite, with a 1.1mm stub, the 7th anniversary pen of Fountain Pen Network-Philippines. That was in 2015. I haven’t bought anything since then. Apart from a self-imposed moratorium on spending (2016 was the year of expensive dental work), I couldn’t find any pens in the USD 100 to 250 range that I didn’t already have, that I wanted. I finally achieved (as we liked to joke in FPN-P) “inner peace”. It’s 2017, and so far I haven’t been tempted by any new pen, except perhaps for the Faber-Castell Ambition in coconut wood.

I’m not in any rush to get a new pen, so far I have been enjoying the ones that I have.

Daily Prompt: Tempted



If you’ve backread this blog, you’ll realize that many of my old posts center on fountain pens and on my friends who use and collect them. The Facebook group I help moderate, Fountain Pen Network-Philippines, has grown exponentially over the last few years and now has about 3,300+ members. What’s the culture like, in this group?

Much has been written about the demise of cursive handwriting. They no longer teach it in many schools around the world, in favor of learning how to operate digital keyboards. Some people tend to think of using fountain pens as a hipster-ish affectation. In fact, while most fountain pen lovers dig analog stuff, many just like the way fountain pens write – smoothly, and under their own weight. For many it’s to escape the aching, death grip they use on ballpoint pens. It’s no surprise that many of the users and collectors are of a certain age. Here in the Philippines many of the traditional users are professionals like lawyers (or law students) and artists. Nowadays FPN-P members are from all walks of life, and the number of younger people using fountain pens (high school and college students) is growing.

Many new members come to us interested in calligraphy. They start with dip pens and calligraphy ink, and branch out into fountain pens with flex or italic nibs. Some of the more adventurous members learn to hack some fountain pens (usually the inexpensive Jinhao or the Ranga) by installing dip nibs like the Zebra G nib in them. Some people stick to the inexpensive, daily carry budget pens, like the Platinum Preppy and the Pilot Metropolitan, while others confine themselves to vintage pens, or have upgraded to well-known fine writing instruments with gold nibs and better build quality. There are those who claim they’re only users, not collectors, and are later surprised to find themselves amassing an accumulation of pens in the journey to find “the perfect pen”. Some collect pens in a single color, or different colors of the same model, or a single brand. Some joke that they collect only “Axis Powers” pens (from Japan, Italy and Germany). There are arguments over whether to ink a pen or not (the usual comment is, you might as well use it as it depreciates, as rarely does it increase in value over time). We geek out over pens, the same way others do over anime or guns or other hobbies.

I’ll admit, one of the things that keeps me interested in fountain pens is the possibility of using the myriad ink colors now available. Back in 2008, when FPN-P was first founded, the only place you could buy fountain pens (Parker and Sheaffer) was National Bookstore and (other brands) on eBay. The only ink colors you could buy back then were black, blue-black, blue and red. Fast-forward to 2016, and you have different brands and colors of fountain pen inks being offered by a number of brick-and-mortar and online stores. My friends amass ink collections, not just pen collections. Some hoard their favorite colors, some trade different colors. Some are obsessed with inks that sheen or shimmer. And then there’s the continuous hunt for the best quality paper for one’s budget, from Bevania Splendorgel to Tomoe River. There are brands of journals for everything! (And the perennial question: Is next year’s planner paper fountain pen-friendly?)

There’s never been such a good time for fountain pen users as now.

Daily Prompt: Culture


International Fountain Pen Day is celebrated every first Friday of November, but this year Fountain Pen Network-Philippines celebrated it the entire weekend of Nov. 5 & 6!  This is the third year we are celebrating with major pen brands and purveyors of fine writing instruments, inks, stationery and writing accessories.  Thanks to the management of SM Aura Premier, we were granted a good space at the third floor atrium opposite Toy Kingdom.  An estimated 300 people visited the event over the weekend.


Photo by Kailash Ramchandani


Pengrafik, one of the major sponsors of the event, offered Wahl-Eversharp, Karas Kustoms, Platignum, Ranga, Wink, and Nemosine fountain pens for sale.  They also sold Diamine and KWZ fountain pen inks, Bali leather pen cases and wraps, as well as Tomoe River, Curnow Journals and other brands of stationery. (Photo by Kailash Ramchandani)


Scribe Writing Essentials, the other major sponsor, offered discounts on all its fountain pens. Available for sale were Pilot, Sailor, Visconti, Montegrappa, Platinum, Edison, Pelikan, TWSBI and Noodler’s pens.  They also had a promo on Rhodia notebooks. (Photo by Ticky Tabujara)


Photo by Eliza Rehal


Photo by Kevin Apolonio

Everything Calligraphy sold Pilot Metropolitans and 78Gs, Jinhao and Nemosine fountain pens.  They also had Diamine, Pilot Iroshizuku, Robert Oster and Blaze Wu inks available.  Also available were Elias pads and journals, Field Notes and Rhodia notebooks.  They also offered calligraphy penholders and nibs, and calligraphy inks.


Faber-Castell offered their full line of fountain pens and other writing instruments at a discount. (Photo by Eliza Rehal)


Times Trading had Lamy writing instruments on sale, also at a discount. (Photo by Edrie Alcanzare)




Caran d’Ache

National Bookstore offered Sheaffer, Online and Caran d’Ache fountain pens at a discount. (Photos by Pher Mendoza)



Artwork by Amado Chua. (Photos by Maia Castaneda)


Artwork by Maia Castaneda. (Photo by Kevin Apolonio)

All around the event venue were artworks by established and amateur artists that used fountain pens and inks.  The exhibit was organized by Claire Armedilla.

There was an introduction to fountain pens workshop for kids aged 7-12, conducted by the young Amani Rehal.


Photo by Ronin Bautista


Photo by Eliza Rehal



Photos by Kailash Ramchandani


Photo by Eliza Rehal

Fozzy Castro-Dayrit , Lorraine Nepomuceno and Imma Frias conducted successful penmanship workshops on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.


Josef Lees, Business Development Director for Asia from Platignum Pens Singapore, spoke about the brand and its products. (Photo by Kailash Ramchandani)

There was also a group of local nibmeisters doing pen repair, for donations to FPN-P. These included Angelito “Butch” Palma, John Raymond Lim, Anthony Goquinco, Mark Tiangco, Jonathan Isip, and J.P. Reinoso.


Photo by Kevin Apolonio

The Fountain Pen Day weekend was enjoyed by all!  Many thanks to the organizers and sponsors!