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!
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.