The Manila Pen Show 2023 was the Filipino fountain pen lovers’ most awaited event in the last four years! Organized by Fountain Pen Network-Philippines, Inc., the show went on hiatus from 2020-2022 during the pandemic. It came back this year, bigger than ever, with a bigger floor space, more new retailers, and more products. Held last March 18-19, 2023, the show marked its second time at the fifth floor of the Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati. Part of the proceeds from entrance fees this year go to Save The Children, which the Manila Pen Show has been supporting since 2018.
Eager attendees showed up and registered as early as 8am, when the show opened, and continued to arrive in a steady stream until late afternoon of both days. They received samples of the new Sanzen Tomoe River paper in white and cream, as well as a raffle ticket. They were keen to acquire the show-exclusive pens and inks from various vendors following the theme of Filipino flavors. These items were made available for preorder or to purchase directly at the site. Also popular were show merchandise like commemorative t-shirts, tote bags and notepads. The organizers also held several raffles on both days of the show.
International vendors participating this year included Aesthetic Bay (Singapore), Pen Gallery (Malaysia), Straits Pen (Singapore), Toyooka Craft (Japan) and Atelier Musubi (Singapore). Philippine vendors included Everything Calligraphy, Scribe, Kasama, Lamy, Stationer Extraordinaire, Inks by Vinta, ON Inks, Pengrafik, Peter Bangayan, Leather Library, Gav n Sav, Gira Leather, Leather Luxe, Guia’s Vintage Pens, and Troublemaker Inks.
This year the show assigned a separate space for participating nibmeisters John Raymond Lim, JP’s Pen Spa & Nib Works, and Sunny Koh of Straits Pen (SG). There was also a Community Hangout Room where members of Fountain Pen Network-Philippines held pen meets, enjoyed the free coffee and tea, and rested in between purchases. Workshops were held in a dedicated function room on the other end of the floor.
Scribe brought in Sailor’s custom ink mixing service, represented by Ink Master Hidetoshi Takahashi and colleague Tetsuo Hisaka. Slots were by appointment, and filled up fast prior to the show. It was an unforgettable experience for those who chose special colors.
Here are videos of the Sailor ink mixing process.
All told, about 1200 people attended the Manila Pen Show 2023, including the vendors, guests and volunteers. Many thanks to organizers Fountain Pen Network-Philippines, Inc., the various vendors, Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, and especially the volunteers for making this event a huge success! Thank you to everyone who attended, whose donations benefited Save The Children. We’ll see you at the next Manila Pen Show in 2024!
For updates, follow @manilapenshow on Instagram, and join the Facebook groups Manila Pen Show and Fountain Pen Network-Philippines.