Top 10 Gifts That Give Back


Don't you love it when you find the perfect gift for someone you care about and that person's face lights up upon receiving your present? Well, what if you could make more than one person happy with the gifts you give away this year? This list features gift ideas that are not only functional, they also benefit good causes. Whether you buy them for your loved ones or for yourself, these feel-good presents will make Christmas shopping guilt-free.

10. The Secret is in the Soil (A book about gardening)


The Secret in the Soil benefits the FINEX Foundation

Who it benefits: Proceeds of the sale of this book go to FINEX Foundation, which regularly conducts outreach missions, conducts teacher training all over the Philippines, and gives talks to small and medium enterprises.

Why it makes a great gift: Perfect for people with a green thumb (or those aspiring to have one), this book encourages people to connect with and care for the earth.

Where to buy: Contact 811-4052 (FINEX office) and ask for Cherry Basilio. E-mail her at

Price: P300

9. Hands on Manila Gift Boxes

A portion of the proceeds goes to volunteer projects sponsored by Hands on Manila

Who it benefits: Hands on Manila provides Filipinos with flexible and fun ways to serve the community by connecting them to their desired causes. Purchasing these gift boxes will benefit HOM's various volunteer projects and programs, including the Hands On Manila Galing Mo Kid Program, Servathon, and Hands On Volunteer Vacations.

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Why it makes a great gift: The small and large gift boxes contain unique local delicacies such as cashew, pili, and pinipig flavored polvoron-a sweet alternative to the typical box of brownies or cupcakes.

Where to buy: Download the order form here and fax it to 632.843.523 or e-mail

Price: P295 for the small gift box


8. Crafts for a Cause at Kultura Filipino

Kultura Filipino’s Crafts for a Cause celebrates Filipino creativity and ingenuity

Who it benefits: Kultura Filipino's Crafts for a Cause collection supports livelihood programs of marginalized communities. These programs aim to enrich their lives and help them become self-sufficient.

Why it makes a great gift: The items are beautifully handcrafted with an ethnic charm, such as the woven mats and accessories by the sea-dwelling Samal Bajau tribe of Basilan, or the carved wooden items from the Palawan NGO Network, Inc.

Where to buy: Kultura Filipino's store in SM Makati. Log on to their website for more information.


Price: Available by request


7. Accessories and Home Items from Gifts and Graces

Clockwise: Harina messenger bag, pencil keeper, quilted ottoman, Joey Samson clutch bag, and Audrey bag (center).

Who it benefits: The makers of Gifts and Graces are disadvantaged members of society, such as street children, the urban poor, former prison inmates, and indigenous groups. Buying their products through the Fair Trade Foundation helps uplift their lives and gives them hope for a better future.

Why it makes a great gift: Gifts and Graces have a wide range of products from food to toys, office supplies, and home items. Each item is made in limited quantities ensuring a unique gift for your loved ones.

Where to buy: Log on to Gifts and Graces to order.

Price: Pencil Keeper P200, Harina Messenger Bag P190, Audrey Bag P450, Quilted Ottoman P600, Joey Samson clutch bag P1000


6. Charms and Accessories from TLC's Sheltered Social Enterprise

Doorknob charms made by adults with special needs

Who it benefits: Adults with special needs have very little work opportunities. Working on these products allows them to become more independent and make a contribution to their communities.

Why it makes a great gift: Their bags, home decor, and other accessories are very useful, affordable, and colorful.

Where to buy: Log on to their Facebook page for photos of products and details on how to order.

Price: P135


5. Nationalistic Shirts and Bags from Yabang Pinoy

Yabang Pinoy shirts


Who it benefits: Yabang Pinoy goes around schools in the metro with the theme "Pinoy by Heart," which aims to instill a sense of pride in students and encourage them to take care of our country. Proceeds of the sale of their products goes to these projects.

Why it makes a great gift: We all need a boost of national pride every now and then. These products will surely make your friends' Pinoy hearts soar!

Yabang Pinoy reusable bags

Where to buy: Log on to Yabang Pinoy’s Facebook page or e-mail

Price: P395 for shirts, P350 for reusable bags


4. ETHNO T’nalak Espadrilles from Anthill Fabric Gallery

ETHNO T’nalak Espadrilles

Who it benefits: ANTHILL is an Alternative Nest and Training Hub for Ingenious/Indigenous Little Livelihood Seekers. This social enterprise aims to revive weaving traditions in the Philippines, preserves local indigenous culture, and empowers indigenous groups and local artists by providing them with livelihood.

Why it makes a great gift: Culture meets style in their colorful and intricately designed fabrics-perfect for fashionistas, fabric collectors, and culture vultures. You can also choose from their other products like hand sewn ETHNO T’nalak Espadrilles and handwoven cover planners.

Where to buy: Log on to their website, call 032.505.4175, or e-mail You can also add them on Facebook.

Price: P899/pair


3. Bags and Accessories from RIIR by ARANAZ Fall/Holiday Collection 2010


RIIR bags and accessories by Aranaz

Who it benefits: The Nanays of Payatas, one of the Philippines' largest dumpsites, form RagsIIRiches. With the help of local designers and a group of young professionals, these hardworking and dedicated mothers are known for creating designer lifestyle pieces that embody eco-ethical style.

Why it makes a great gift: These items, which carry the brand of Aranaz, are chic, fashionable, and durable-just right for ladies who love to accessorize on a night out.

Where to buy: ARANAZ at The Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City, and Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City. Log on to their website for more information.

Price: Elevaba necklace P935, Faja belt P311, Tienda bag (brown) P2159, Bandolera bag P911


2. Human Nature Organic Beauty Products

Human Nature Pucker Up Bundle

Who it benefits: With the guiding principles of Pro-Philippines, Pro-Poor, and Pro-Environment, Human Nature aims to provide more livelihood for Gawad Kalinga residents and their communities.

Why it makes a great gift: Human Nature products are not only good for your body, they're also good for the environment. All their raw materials are naturally derived (which means they do not contain any harmful chemicals) and they use recyclable bottles for their packaging.

Where to buy: Log on to their website for a list of store branches and information on how to shop online.

Price: Pucker Up Bundle P184


1. Sumilao Corn Coffee

Sumilao Corn Coffee

Who it benefits: The Sumilao Farmers from Bukidnon walked the streets of Manila in 2007 to fight for their land. Purchasing their products will go a long way towards helping their cause.

Why it makes a great gift: This special coffee made from organic corn is caffeine-free-perfect for those late nights when you want to share a warm cup or two with someone you love.


Where to buy: Sumilao Corn Coffee is available at 18 Days Coffee Roaster, Cash and Carry, Makati, and 12 Baskets, San Juan. You can also order online or through Facebook.

Price: P100 for 200g pack

Photos from,,,,, and Facebook (Yabang Pinoy, TLC's Sheltered Social Enterprise,, RIIR by Aranaz)

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