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.
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!
Finally, after three long years, the Manila Pen Show is back! This year it will be held on March 18-19, 2023 at the Holiday Inn & Suites Makati.
Here is the list of participating vendors/service providers at the show:
Here’s the schedule of activities for the show:
There will be an entrance fee for each day of the show. People may pay at the gate in cash, or use GCash or BPI QR Code. Each entrance fee comes with a raffle ticket! Proceeds from the show will go to Save The Children, which the Manila Pen Show has been supporting since 2018.
I’ve been on the lookout for a locally-made, fountain pen ink-friendly notebook for the longest time. I’ve tried a number of notebooks, most of them imported, and find the cost deterring. I don’t really care for some carefully crafted romantic marketing image, and some of you may know what I’m talking about. I’m after a paper that reliably handles fountain pen ink without feathering or bleedthrough, where I can write on both sides of the paper. Eventually it becomes an expensive exercise to buy and buy notebooks only to be disappointed.
At a recent pen meet I was given an Ecothings Notebook by a friend. The first page says, “You are holding a product that is kind to our Earth. Your notebook is made using recyclable materials and recycled paper that is acid and other toxic elements free, using soya ink and guaranteed 100% biodegradable materials. Negative free print process. We are proud to be green and proud to be Filipino-made.” (I’d have taken a photo, but the fonts were too thin.) Earth-friendly, fountain pen-friendly and made locally! What more can I ask for?
The notebook I received had mauve paper (alas), but I have seen others with cream-colored paper. It’s available in blank, lined, and dot grid paper, as far as I know. The important thing is that IT PASSED MY INK TEST! No feathering, no bleedthrough. The paper is not slippery, but neither does it have drag. The sizingof this paper is just right for fountain pen use. The mauve paper doesn’t really show ink colors that well, but I’m sure the cream-colored paper does. At this point I shall disclose that I don’t know how much this notebook costs since I got it as a gift, but I’m sure it doesn’t cost as much as Overhyped Romantic Marketing Notebook does (wink, wink). Since I like to support Filipino products I’m sure the price is worth it.
I’m definitely buying a couple of notebooks with the cream paper soon. Here’s a link to some photos on Facebook. They are “available at Fully Booked stores, Sketchbook (Greenbelt 3), Scribe Writing Essentials (Eastwood), and ECHOstore (Podium and Serendra)”.