The Market

Product Feature: Jacinto & Lirio Perseverance

Where social meets sosyal (bourgeois). Where an environmental opportunity meets an orderliness opportunity.

I’ve already mentioned the social enterprise Jacinto & Lirio before, in my post on innovation and in the Weekly Word entry for “upcycle”, and how they brilliantly turn environmental hazards into stylish leather goods. Tonight, I am happy to write about¬†one of said products, a personal favorite: the¬†Perseverance journal sleeve.

Jacinto & Lirio

Jacinto & Lirio

If you like using notebooks, and tend to have lots of loose notes and cards, the Perseverance journal sleeve is for you. A flagship product of Jacinto & Lirio’s signature Kwaderno (Filipino for¬†notebook) line, Perseverance, which has the most featured of them all, makes organizing a breeze.

The entire outer cover is made of J&L’s signature water hyacinth leather, although it gives way to fabric and synthetic leather inside. It actually presents quite a good contrast, especially when the interior is black (my favorite, as well as the color of the Perseverance I own). Said interior features several pockets of different sizes for calling cards, notecards, loose sheets of notes, and the like. It’s actually good on its own as a small folder or folio, but J&L makes it even more special by adding a blank notebook inside (and they now offer blank refills for sale). The notebook’s back cover is inserted into the right-hand sleeve (i.e. the inner back cover) of Perseverance so that it’s held in place.

You can insert the front cover into the left-hand sleeve as well, but I’d personally use it to store more papers, especially those that do not fit in the left-most sleeve (as shown by the still-visible yellow pad paper in the photo below). Or, as I used to do, I’d put a second notebook’s cover in said left-hand sleeve, so that I’d be carrying around two notebooks in one sleeve. Which, by the way, is held shut by an elastic band, as seen in the photo above. I think this is a weakness of the product, as elastic bands tend to wear out over time; I would have rather they placed Velcro or magnetic straps the same way they did for another Kwaderno product, the Pacem.

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

You may also notice something in the photo: I don’t use it for notebooks (which I am trying to eventually stop using altogether). It’s my Bible case! The loose papers are prayers and verses I listed down, while I also have prayer cards and even a card Rosary inserted. I was inspired by my brothers and cousin, whose Bibles were all in purpose-made leather sleeves¬†that zipped shut. I always wanted one, but¬†was told it wasn’t available anymore; I haven’t been able to verify – and now I don’t need to!

In fact, that’s the beauty of Jacinto & Lirio’s Kwaderno line: though they market it for notebooks, and include n actual notebook, they are very versatile and can be used for other purposes as well. My mini Pacem, in fact, is my passport holder, which is also what Jacinto & Lirio’s co-founder¬†and my mentor Noreen does.

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

In buying and using a J&L Kwaderno, I believe a threefold purpose is fulfilled. One, you show off a modern-day example of classic Filipino art. Two, you help support an effort to reduce environmental hazards that can clog waterways and perhaps cause flooding. Three, you help communities who do said reduction of hazards in a sustainable manner.

Their products are a bit pricey, I admit, but if you were to splurge your money, you’d rather do so on something¬†worth it. That you contribute to a clean earth and to poverty alleviation with this purchase is, for me, worth it. Plus, it’s an investment because of its versatility. In fact, I invite you to comment below on your thoughts regarding how you would use a Jacinto & Lirio Kwaderno… and to buy one as well.

Addendum: I’m very happy to say that on 1 May 2015, the current CEO of Jacinto & Lirio,¬†and my good friend,¬†Anne, became Mrs. Anne Krystle C. Mariposa-Yee. Congratulations, Anne! May you and Mike lead a very blessed life together. ūüôā

Jacinto & Lirio’s Perseverance is available in leading National Book Store, Fully Booked, and Powerbooks branches as well as certain specialty stores and Human Nature for Php749.00,¬†or on their official Web site at

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