How to be a National Hero

…but not die trying.

That was printed on the front of the notebook I gave my sister as a birthday gift. The notebook was a red hardbound, with blank white paper inside. The perfect notebook for plotting world domination writing down your inspired thoughts for making positive change in the world (yeah right).

How to be a National Hero
Notebook from Team Manila

I saw the notebook while going through Team Manila’s spot at the Crossings Department store back in May, and right then and there, I knew I had to buy it. It was pretty pricey, actually (can’t remember how much it costs now, though), but for a unique idea, it’s worth the price. Other titles are How to survive the streets of Manila (perfect for a travel journal!), Mga kwento ni Lolo at Lola and one other that has something about chismis (gossip).

I’ve always loved Team Manila designs. They go beyond the usual and raised the bar in graphic design in Manila. Gone were the tacky souvenir shirts (well, not really), and in their place we have funky shirts that you’d be proud to wear, even if you’re not a tourist. Their iconic design would have to be their trademark Jose Rizal wearing aviators. Brilliant, just brilliant.

Team Manila shirt and accessories
Tiny Manila shirt, Jose Rizal pins and passport holder, jeepney purse

Their shop is always in my list whenever I or a sibling is flying overseas to visit family. Aside from the Manila and Pinoy themed shirts, they also have bags, purses, keychains, lanyards, pencil holders, stickers, pins, passport holders and even clocks. The best thing about Team Manila is that they don’t mass produce — designs are on a limited run and usually only come in one color. It can get frustrating if you missed out on a design you like, but when you do get one, chances of running into someone wearing the same shirt is pretty slim.

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Yesterday I found myself wandering around the nearby mall, ending up at the Team Manila store. I just wanted to see what they have in stock and as it turns out, all of the things I wanted from their latest release are available. Dang. Bye bye money.

Team Manila has branches in Jupiter Street (Bel-air, Makati), Powerplant Mall, SM Mall of Asia and Trinoma Mall.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 11 Comments
  1. AudMraz says:

    Hi Nina – I love the red notebook; excellent choice as a gift! Must visit this shop when I’m there next Feb :). I hope they’re not pricey like moleskines, no?

  2. nina says:

    Hey, you’re coming here in Feb? Nice!! :D

    Nope, not as pricey as Moleskine, definitely! I’m not too sure but it should be between Php 200 – Php495.

  3. Cat says:

    You know, I’m using the Manila camouflage baggie you gave me—>people love to ask me where I got it from! It’s actually big enough to carry some of the baby’s necessities (diaper, juice, snacks, etc.). Even better: it’s washable! You just have to air dry it, since tossing it in the dryer will distort the shape. ;) LOVE IT!

    Does Team Manila have a website you can order from?

  4. nina says:

    Cat: Glad you love it! I can’t wait to see Rome wear the shirt as well :D They don’t have an online store yet, but you can browse their catalog and send an inquiry about online orders here:

  5. Christina says:

    I heart Team Manila. So smart and fun.

  6. Cat says:

    Thanks, Nina! I’ve been rockin’ it the entire time I’ve been home. Brought it with me on the flight back from overseas & it’s been my “bag” ever since. Hm…they should expand their store, since I know a lot of people would probably order online just to sport their stuff. I’m about to check the link and see if there’s anything I like. We’ll get Rome to wear the shirts as soon as we hit SC. ;)

  7. Dea says:

    I love Team Manila shirts. They used to be my default shirts 2 years ago. I think it’s time I get myself some new ones, super outdated na shirts ko.

  8. Rocky Garcia says:

    This will be a nice gift!

  9. AudMraz says:

    Hi Nina,

    Yupp, in fact I have booked two trips to Manila next year. First trip will be in mid-Feb :) Can’t waiiitt….

  10. Cat says:

    Just confirmed, I e-mailed the site and they CAN and will ship items overseas. I just need to specify the amount / quantity / item type and pay them, once they determine how much shipping will cost. Yay! ;)

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