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Collaborating with Passion

National Book Store continues to celebrate its 75th anniversary with seven limited edition collections by top influencers in the country


By Maggie F. Francisco

As National Book Store celebrates its 75th year, the beloved store has gone beyond their goal of being the premier bookstore for all your school and office needs. Just in time for the holidays, they collaborated with seven of the country’s top design influencers to create NBS x Inspire With Passion, seven collections of limited-edition items, each reflecting the influencer’s own personality, aesthetic, and style.

The seven design influencers are fashion designers Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Rajo Laurel; lifestyle writer and creator of Catastrophe, Cat Arambulo-Antonio; Chuvaness blogger Cecil Van Straten; television host and entrepreneur Daphne Oseña Paez; artist Patty Eustaquio; and co-founder of Happy Skin, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo.

  • Amina Aranaz-Alunan

  • Rajo Laurel

  • Cat Arambulo-Antonio

  • Cecile Van Straten

  • Daphne Oseña Paez

  • Patty Eustaquio

  • Rissa Mananquil-Trillo

    With the collections ranging from stationery to bags to desk organizers, “These limited-edition items can be gifted to family, friends, and loved ones,” said Xandra Ramos-Padilla, managing director of National Book Store during the recently held launch at National Book Store in Glorietta 1. “Their unique styles and design philosophies are reflected in each of their lines,” she added.

    The Inspired Collections

    Inspired by her brand, Aranáz, Amina created desk accessories perfect for the Aranáz woman, someone who celebrates a leisurely life. Her collection includes desk organizers (P199), file holders (P299), and folders (P179), all designed with colorful patterns inspired by nature.

    For Rajo’s collection, he shared, “Essentially what I wanted to do was sort of like really create something random, having this amazing experience of just random paintbrushes and paint techniques. I wanted something very meditative, almost like a prayer.” Ideal for anyone who loves stationery, his line features a hardbound journal (P295), gel pens (P99,  pack of three), and a tote bag (P549).

    Cat’s collection focused more on gift accessories, featuring X and O patterns to symbolize hugs and kisses. Putting her personal style into the collection, her collection of gift wrappers(P99 per roll), gift tags (P3.50), and gift bags (P55, small; P85, large) all have black-and-white color scheme. She shared about her designs, “I think giving hugs and kisses to everyone in the world will make everyone happy.”

    Following the stationery and accessories she released last year, Cecile comes back with money-related accessories (that might bring you some good luck in the new year!): Avenida money envelopes (P75, pack of six) with cool illustrations based on vintage photos showing National Book Store’s history; checkbook holders (P499.75) that come in black, mustard yellow, and violet; and clear nostalgic pouches (P139), also with photos from National Book Store’s history, to put your coins and other small items.

    Another returning collaborator is Daphne, who took inspiration for her tropical life. She says, “I live in an old Filipino house in the tropics… I’m surrounded by flowers, I love herbs and trees.” Her tropical-inspired collection includes a three-piece journal set (P195) and stylish pouch (P249), both great gift options for any woman in your life. “I wanted it cross-generational, and I think it worked because I got the approval of my daughters, ” she adds.

    For her collection, Patty says, “I wanted to design items that people could really use. I focused on everyday stationery because we are in the middle of the gift-giving season.” Known for her unique approach to sculptures and paintings, Patty created a collection of gift wrappers (P99 per roll), note card set (P209), and memo pads (P75) with her illustrations of the gumamela flower.

    Finally, Rissa’s collection was inspired by her love for Japan and classic origami. A great gift item for “the modern individual who loves beautiful things but wants them to be practical,” Rissa designed sleek and stylish triple zip flat pouches (P369), origami organizer with multiple compartments (P649), and the unique and elegant pyramid coin purse (P199). Just as she is passionate about creating Happy Skin, she wanted to inspire other women “to unfold possibilities with your passion.”

    The NBS x Inspire With Passion limited-edition items are available in select National Book Store branches. For more info, call (2) 888-8627, go to, like nbsalert on Facebook, follow @nbsalert on Twitter and Instagram

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