Saturday, September 29, 2007


At first glance, this bag may appear rather unassuming, or more aptly, unglamorous. But in the States, it's regarded as a tough and yet elegant utilitarian bag, because of its 24 oz. cotton canvas and that it exudes panache with practicality, if you will.

The smaller ones are referred to as tote bags, while the bigger, extra-large ones (as featured in the above photo) are called boat bags.
They're washable and ideal for shopping and weekend outings, and has been a traditional favorite with American folks of all ages. I've seen investment bankers on their way to work on Fridays with their boat bags filled with weekend getaway stuff, as well as carpenters who use them for lugging around their tools. Mine is old but still sturdy as ever. I got it in Maine during one summer vacation. However, those I gave as birthday or Christmas gifts in the past were ordered online from L.L. Bean.

The main reason I recommend this canvas bag as pasalubong to our local folks besides its functionality, is to also help promote it as a viable alternative to the ubiquitous plastic bags that seriously threaten our environment. Our fellow blogger, Toe, also posted an article about the perils posed by these plastic bags. She also made mention of the reusable canvas bags that her sister has created, BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag, as an anti-plastic advocacy and livelihood project.

Incidentally, for our fellow Pinoys who are living abroad and may not be planning to come home anytime soon, but are now starting to fill a couple of balikbayan boxes for their loved ones to be shipped and delivered in time for Christmas, may I suggest including one or two of these utilitarian, environment-friendly boat bags.


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posted by Señor Enrique at 9:11 AM


Anonymous rhodora said...

Ay, I like this bag! Gem and I are both bag freaks! My brother and family are coming for vacation in January. Will ask him to bring home a couple of these bags. Mahal ba, Eric? Medyo matipid kasi si Kuya, e.. hehehe.

I love canvas bags. I have this fatigue colored canvas bag, been using it for two years now. I don't care even if it looks old na. Basta, fave ko siya, I won't exchange it for any other, except maybe for Prada. hehehe.

Yes,I so agree with Toe. We should do away with plastic bags. Di ba noon, kapag namamalengke mga nanay natin, may dala silang bayong? I remember pa, whenever Nanay gets home from the market, after unloading the bayong, I was always tasked to wash and hang it to dry. I believe we can do the same too. Mas convenient pa nga kung bayong or tote bag, e - kasi minsan, hassle pag ang daming bitbit na plastic bag.

September 29, 2007 9:50 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Yes, it is indeed better to carry a washable bag than a plastic one which can't be recycled at all.

It doesn't matter if it's not extravagant; the design because after all, we only need the bag to utilise it fully and for its functionality.

Happy weekend Eric!

September 29, 2007 10:34 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The biggest one like I have is no more than 30 dollars, Rhoda, but they last for years. Actually, the older they get, the more attractive they seem to be to most folks -- stylish weathered look, or ika nga locally, dumaan na sa giyera :)

Furthermore, I noticed that here in Manila, accessories that are gleamingly new are in; whereas, in NYC, the seasoned look, like my Coach brief bag, have more appeal, especially amongst those in the know.

The bayong somehow has gone into disfavor, I don't know why, but the Chinese I see in the palengke carry with them a plastc Orocan container for the seafood stuff they buy -- more practical I think.

Yes, order na ng boat bags so you and Gem can start an environmentally-friendly accessory trend in your areas :)

September 29, 2007 11:05 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I completely agree with you, Kyels -- 100 percent :)

Thanks and likewise!

September 29, 2007 11:06 AM  

Anonymous Belle said...

hey eric, i read your mind. i just sent 4 jumbo boxes to the philippines in time for christmas and i included some canvas bags there.

September 29, 2007 11:44 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

I am a huge fan of LL Bean. I have several of their Boat and Tote bags and even got a mini one for my eldest daughter. In a survey of tote bags on Vogue, LL Bean's came in a close second to T. Anthony. Did you know that it can float like a salbabida?

I'm using a medium LL Bean tote as my laptop bag now para di obvious na laptop ang laman. Also, I always have one as my carry-on bag on the plane whenever I travel.

This is great, we're both Boat and Tote fans!!

September 29, 2007 12:18 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! That's cool, Belle!

And I hope they make good use those canvas bags instead of just keeping them in a closet so they don't get messed up or something because they came from the States like my mom used to do ... hehehe.

Now we have those folks you sent them to, to start this environment-friendly trend where they live :)

Great, Belle!

September 29, 2007 2:59 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Are you serious, Scrooch? Is that why boaters usually have one aboard? Amazing?

Check you out, I didn't know you're savvy with these stuff :) Know what? I also sometimes use my boat bag to discreetly carry my photography stuff around town :) But as a carry-on bag? Hmmmm ... interesting idea!

T. Anthony, eh? Never bought anything from them.

September 29, 2007 3:06 PM  

Blogger ROMY said...

I myself have eradicated the use of plastic bags in doing my shopping errands, it's a small thing this I know, but in doing so, I've influenced peers of mine to do the go GREEN. I do my bit for our environment. I have many LL Bean bags, and like u said, it's very durable and I adore it's unassuming chicness.... Thank you for putting this unsung hero in the spotlight!

also if I may... do check this out:

Have a wonderful day Sr.E!!!

September 29, 2007 4:00 PM  

Blogger ROMY said...

Shock Doctrine: The Film

September 29, 2007 4:02 PM  

Blogger joe said...

Eric hi,

Another good item you featured here. These bags are indispensable when you have things to tote for side trips or whatever. My wife uses one when we take the train to Manhattan for a day's outing. Saksak mo diyan is the word hahah!

Btw, noticed that Noypetes has been AWOL. Is he on hiatus? Love his comments on your blog. Dami mo ng mainstays. I know, looks like Rhoda has taken over ;)... j/k rhoda!

Gusto ko dito walang katapusan ang ideas! Laters.

September 30, 2007 6:25 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Joe!

Knowing Noypetes, he's probably with his riding buddies enjoying the fall season criss-crossing the western states and taking some photographs. But I'm sure upon his return, he'll have lots of witty remarks as always.

As for my canvas boat bag, whenever driving out of town, I usually take it along because almost always, it comes handy for all those stuff we'd get along the way. Talagang laking pakinabang nga!

September 30, 2007 6:40 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Romy,

Another interesting site you shared with us. Are you by any chance working for a new media publicist? Perhaps, I should do the same for extra income ... hehehe.

Yes, these canvas bags come in handy all right, and it's about time that local folks pick up on the idea. I figured if using these durable canvas bags becomes a trend here, there'll be less use/need for those plastic bags.

September 30, 2007 6:56 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

nice bag!!! i really hope we use more of this recyclable bags here in pinas. its a good thing that SM supermarket came up with this green bag (not as durable as your bag) but at least will help minimize the use of plastic bags

September 30, 2007 7:43 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, those at SM sell for only 35 pesos, which is good for minor grocery shopping, but nonetheless great enough since it's reusable! More stores ought to sell these bags locally, Pusa -- in various colors and designs so as to attract local folks to use them more often.

September 30, 2007 9:57 AM  

Anonymous Toe said...

Oh, thanks for the mention Eric! That boat bag looks really nice and sturdy and you took a great photo of it.

If I may, my sister now has her own blog advertising her canvass bags at

October 01, 2007 1:24 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks for sharing with us your sister's site, Toe. I think it's such a wonderful idea of hers.

Now, for those interested in buying them as gifts to friends and family, you may now contact Toe's sister directly.

This boat bag I've had for many years ... hehehe!

October 01, 2007 2:04 PM  

Blogger mimi said...

sana lahat ng sm supermarket shoppers magkarn dn ng green bag.. ^_^_

October 01, 2007 5:44 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, I hope so, too, Mimi :)

October 03, 2007 9:34 AM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

Tote bag and boat bag, so that's what they're called (sorry I'm ignorant about fashion, hehe). Amen to the environmental thrust.

October 04, 2007 12:58 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

They're just utilitarian bags that became fashionable, Dave :)

October 04, 2007 7:18 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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