Filipino Made Backpacks

One of my favorite accessory when I travel is my Blazing Products belt bag. I bought it in 2004. It’s no Jansport but it sure is good if not better. I had two imported backpacks but this locally made belt bag, which I use far more often, managed to outlive them all.

Yesterday, I saw some Deuter belt bags on sale. During Chinese New Year there are many of these marked down sales here. I thought of buying but doing so meant using my old black belt bag less. No. I can’t do that to my 9 year old bag!

My bike with my old black belt bag tied on its handle bar. Cory and Ninoy’s grave site. Circa 2009.

I have no idea if Blazing Products still make bags. I can’t find them online. Did they went under? Now, that would be a shame. We Filipinos have this inexplicable, often extreme, affinity with imported products. Local products, even those possessing excellent quality, rarely gets support. Blazing Products are good reliable bags. I had a Bobcat backpack in high school. In my elementary years, it was the Khumbela bag. Remember them?

A former American boss found it amazing that Northface products are doing well in the country. I explained to him that we have good bags but local consumers would go for brand (the “estaytside” mentality). Even if that means paying triple the price.

While I was in Germany, I came across a couple of backpackers and one of them was carrying a Sandugo backpack. They were Swedes exploring the German country. The guy said he bought his from a shopping mall in Manila. They needed an extra bag and found a “bargain with very good make” in Sandugo. I have a Sandugo 40L bag (a different model from the one that guy was carrying) that I bought in 2008. I don’t do a lot of mountaineering, I just find them perfectly suitable for long trips and they’re not expensive at all. I sometimes check this bag in during flights because when its packed, it’s too bulky to hand carry. So it;’s taking some abuse from airport luggage handlers. It’s still in one piece, so that’s a good sign.

I’m not being paid to say these things but I feel that we have great bag makers and they deserve support from travelers like me who happens to have some presence on line. I want to do my part in putting them out there. I’ve been a fan of these Filipino companies for a long time and I would be happy to convince even one person to buy go try their products.


8 responses to “Filipino Made Backpacks

  • Anonymous

    I’m still using my Blazing Products bags from the Phils., since 2004 here in the UK. . .

  • Joel Lorenzo Reyes

    I wonder whatever happened to Botak, Ang sapatos na pantakbo. I had a pair way back then, and boy, would it give Converse, Gola, Kswiss a run for its money, quality-wise.

  • Anonymous

    I was able to reach this blog because I’m looking for blazing product website. Growing up from all of my school days I always have bobcat bags. My favorite model make is the Big Mouth bobcat bag. They are making a comeback I saw them in SM.


    Great post! I’m glad that you are doing your share in promoting local products in the Philippines. I was just there last month (for the first time in 28 years) coming from the states, and I was disappointed by amount of imported goods everywhere. When I travel I look for local goods, brands to support local communities, specially in poor countries. I want to sample local fashion, etc. and to have something non mainstream to bring back.

    I think it’s important that Filipinos promote their own products for their own economic benefit and for the country’s. The Philippines has become weak in manufacturing but if it continues to support imported goods then it will go further down the drain.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Anonymous

    Yeh…same here I was able to reach your blog since I am looking for a “KHUMBELA” brand bag / knap sacks the same I am using when I was in elementary days. I can find any.

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