Blog / The Market

[The Market] Organization with a garnish of culture

Key Takeaway: The Likhain by Jacinto & Lirio combines function, style, innovation, and responsibility into one, with its similar model of combining a planner, wallet, and mobile phone storage in one unit. If you’re a fan of organization, buy one today!

Last week, we featured the Swiss Army knife as an essential and must-have product. There, I also mentioned how I can’t leave the house without certain things with me, in my bag. Do you feel the same way? (Comment below!)

It’s also a hassle to be bringing around several things, containers, or bags with you all the time – even more so if you’re only going on a short errand – one reason I love “x-in-1″ things or those with many features.¬†A dual-SIM phone, for instance (though as I write this, I am still in the midst of saving up for it). A boot that’s stylish, comfortable, sturdy,¬†and waterproof. A 24-in-1 pocket tool that is my Swiss Army knife. And so on.

Now, imagine a small bag – a unisex purse, say – that contains purpose-built storages or pockets for wallets, phones, and even small or folded documents. And it even has a ring-binder planner. If you’re imagining it already, imagine no further, for it’s already reality: Jacinto & Lirio’s Likhain Planner.

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

More than two months ago, I wrote about J&L’s then-flagship product, the Perseverance Kuwaderno or notebook with sleeve. Now, it has been joined by a much more utilitarian cousin, and one that seems to be full of promise (literally and figuratively, if you count wallet contents and phones as promises). The Likhain Planner is a 3-in-1 creation that combines a planner, a wallet, and a phone (and/or accessories) case for convenient and organized storage on-the-go.

It goes without saying that as is with other J&L products, the Likhain’s (from likhain,¬†Filipino for “[to] create” or “creation”) standout feature is its material, or rather some of it –¬†an unusually durable (for its kind) plant leather made from community women-upcycled water hyacinths, which are – far from nature’s treasures – actually environmental hazards that can cause clogging and flooding. But compared to the Kuwaderno line, Likhain takes it one step further with the design. Although there are plain ones, the Likhain line pays homage to traditional Filipino culture with their cover artworks.

The one above, my own Likhain, depicts¬†baybayin – pre-Hispanic Filipino script. It spells out Psalm 32:8 in Tagalog – “Aking ipaaalam sa iyo at ituturo sa iyo ang daan na iyong lalakaran: papayuhan kita na ang aking mga mata, ay nakatitig sa iyo.¬†(Ang Biblia)” In English, it’s “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (NRSV)” That’s the reason I didn’t think twice in getting this particular style – it combines two of my loves,¬†God and language.

However, the other cultural designs are no less brilliant and appreciative of our roots. One features the Ibong Adarna, our favorite mythical bird (a sub-model has baybayin¬†over it). Another depicts the legendary Maria Makiling. And a third features a stylized¬†baybayin script spelling out¬†pagbabago¬†(“change”).

Kind of makes you want to dive into Filipino mythology, don’t you?

That’s just for the outside. Inside, it gets a lot more interesting. As I mentioned, Likhain is a planner, wallet, and mobile phone case in one. The planner in question features a ring binder mechanism where the notebook sheets – which can be refilled – rest. The notebook sheets themselves include month and week planners as any normal planner would, as well as plain pages for whatever purposes, and full-page ads of fellow social enterprises that donated to the development of Likhain, such as Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates and The Carrier Pigeon Project. Since I’m going paperless as much as possible, I removed the notebook sheets and just kept them.

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

But what to do with an empty ring binder? I couldn’t very well remove¬†that too, so I tried to come up with ways to innovate its usage. And, voil√†, it struck me: keychain holder.

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

To the left, there is a pocket for papers, as well as three other pockets. The top two are meant for boarding passes and a passport (they are specifically measured to those dimensions), and the bottom one for cards. I use it for my rosary card and other prayer cards.

The wallet and mobile phone storage is behind, protected by a zipper. I found the pockets a bit too tight, though, for¬†their marketed purposes, but after trying and testing, I was able to get them to loosen up a¬†little bit. Good thing I removed the notebook sheets – if they remained there they’d be crumpled. The photo below is a bird’s eye view of the wallet and phone case, with my phone (which I used to take the photo) to be stored right in front of the cards.

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

That’s a lot of things I was able to cram in there: cash, important IDs, bank cards, membership cards, a card-thin USB flash drive, earphones, a power bank with its cord, some paracetamol (I’d been experiencing headaches lately), and even a phone cleaning cloth. Oh, and there’s a pen holder there that’s a little too tight to the liking of my usual Pilot Frixion pen; it’s permanently clipped there by reason of friction and gravity, and I remove just the pen itself, without the cap, whenever I use it.

Jacinto & Lirio’s trying to launch a campaign revolving around the theme “What can your planner hold?” featuring flat-lays of the contents of one’s Likhain. I decided to jump the bandwagon (yeah, yeah) and make my own. Here it is:

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Photo copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

As you can see, I love organization, I love quirky stuff, I love innovative stuff, and I love socially-responsible stuff. This makes the Likhain a good companion – especially if I’d only be doing so much as run down to the grocery or a simple errand for Mom. First and foremost, it is¬†functional. Second, it looks¬†nice. Third, it has a¬†socio-environmental¬†agenda behind it.

If you’re into those same things, consider a Likhain, and consider even innovating the way you use it. You might just start a movement. ūüėČ

The Likhain by Jacinto & Lirio is available for purchase for Php995.00 on their official Web site at You may also find them at selected National Book Store, Fully Booked, and Power Books branches, as well as in Scribe, ECHO Store, and The Give Project.

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