Long before I attempted to achieve the “too expensive”, my high school self longed for something from Fino. I think it was the checkered lining that did me in, but for some reason, the simple, clean, and classic lines of the exterior matched with the pretty inside lining made me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Warm, fuzzy, and in major want.
The first Fino product I owned was a wallet, and I think I was already in college when I bought it. I can’t remember now if it was the fruit of a summer job, Christmas money, or saved up allowance. But I do know that when I finally toted home that brown and white paper bag carrying a beautifully crafted brown leather wallet inside, my heart was singing wonderful symphonies.
Over the years, I’ve amassed various Fino products. Ironically, I’ve only ever bought small leather goods, the biggest being this beautiful red planner that I used to bring with me everywhere. The rest – thank goodness, said my wallet – were presents. Some items (like my favorite red key chain that I bought for spike and the first ever Fino wallet) were retired or given away. Some items – especially the bags – just grew prettier with age.
Like that first wallet, each Fino item comes with a memory. My first bag was given by the Martian, went with me to countless classes in the UP College of Law and hearings in the QC Hall of Justice. My second bag was a Christmas gift from Tita Celia, most likely over-generous cause it was bought on her first date with Sir. My pencil case was a gift from one of my brother's longest relationships ever and my matching coin purse and key chain were from students who thought my birthday was in February. And the toiletry case ... sigh ... that was from the pilot.
I've always wanted to add a third Fino bag to my collection except that the first time I attempted to, my friend prevailed over me and told me to save the money instead, so I used it to open a savings account. My second attempt was foiled by another well-meaning friend and, sad to say, lack of immediately available funds.
The third time, I contemplated between something short-term (hence, non-Fino) and long term. And while the call of the short-term (a long weekend was coming up and there was this bag and shoe that I wanted like crazy) was screaming inside my head incessantly, in the end logic (not everyone might agree though, haha!) prevailed and once more, I went home with that white-and-brown paper bag.