July 30, 2015

#SupportLokalPH: Alunsina Handbound Books

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

Alunsina Handbound Books

An indie crafts business that creates & sells hand-bound journals & leather accessories.

I've always been a fan of the analog, which I find ironic because I work in the IT industry. Technology has always been moving towards the digital, so you may say my holding on to obsolete relics is something quite laughable to see these days.

Maybe it's because I have an old soul. Or maybe I'm actually a closet hipster. Oh, no.

One such obsolete relic that I've been obsessing over quite recently is the fountain pen. It started when an office mate gave me a "disposable" Daiso fountain pen (where I learned my Lesson #1 in fountain pen maintenance: DO NOT use stamping inks to refill your pen), and then gifted me with a Sailor Lecoule last Christmas. Now, I have twelve fountain pens in my collection, with two more coming my way. Oh, the woes of a collector.

Fountain pen inks have a different consistency than the inks on a ball point pen. Ink needs to flow more freely to get out of the nib, thus the tendency to bleed through your average paper. Because of this, I have to be particular on the paper I use, especially when choosing planners and journals. There are a lot of FP-friendly papers here in the Philippines, actually. However, most of them are imported from expensive countries like Japan and carry a heavy price tag.

I really wanted to have a refillable planner like the Midori Traveler's Notebook, but that was until I discovered a less expensive alternative. Made in the PH, too. :) Introducing KISLAP, the refillable journal of Alunsina Handbound Books.

The original KISLAP is slightly larger than the
Midori Traveler's Notebook (Passport Size)

You may also opt to have the leather covers stamped with any text of your choice.

One KISLAP refillable notebook comes with three refills...

...you may choose from (a) weekly planner, (b) blank, (c) grid,
(d) dotted (not in picture), or (e) lined (not in picture).

Apparently, owning a nifty notebook does not
improve your penmanship.

Alunsina's specialty is woodworking, and they use their talent to create exquisite covers for their handbound journals. They feature some of their (mostly customized) work in their Instagram account. I would like to have one made for me some day, but I have yet to think of a worthy design for them to create. For the meantime, I am quite happy with their refillable journals.

The first versions of their KISLAP refills did not take in fountain pen inks well, which is probably the reason why I didn't hear about them in the forums. But they were able to improve the quality of their paper, and now there is minimal bleed through even when using wet writers.

Another nice thing about the KISLAP is that you may customize the leather covers to your liking. For an additional fee, you may have them stamp your initials, name, or any other text as long as it fits. You can also choose a charm to go with the elastic notebook binder (this is included in the base package).

Then, a few months ago, Alunsina launched a new refillable journal product. KISLAP now has a bigger sibling! The big KISLAP is pretty much the same as the original KISLAP, but now uses A5 sized refillable notebooks. I think, Muji refillable notebooks are compatible with the big KISLAP (as long as the size is A5).

Big KISLAP, next to the original KISLAP.

A close up of the charm and stamping.
Yes, this will be my travel journal.

The big KISLAP also comes with three refills.

Note that the planner refill has both monthly
and weekly pages. Yay! 

Aside from their online store, Alunsina Handbound Books will also be selling at the Common Room, which will be launching on August 1. For those interested, you may drop by the Common Room next weekend, or feel free to browse the links provided in this entry. And for those who already purchased their Alunsina journal, please post pictures in your reply. I'm curious as to which designs have captured your fancy.


  1. I likey! Naghahanap ako ng next journal ko, though I still have a lot of pages in my current one, pero Alunsina looks promising! I always buy notebooks that have blank pages kasi. Tagal na akong di gumagamit ng ruled ones. How much did you get yours for?

    1. Here's a link to their catalogs: https://app.box.com/alunsinacatalogs

      As I recall, parang P1,000 si original KISLAP, tapos P1,800 si big KISLAP. ++ for letter stamping sa journal.

      You can also consider their leather journals, mga starting from P800 sila. 180 pages of blank paper goodness hehehe.