Wednesday, December 10, 2014


This generation has seen the birth of so many home grown brands. This business trend resonates well around the metro as a good percentage of the population has made the practical and sensible move to support local. In a way, you can say the market has matured and found a deeper connection to and appreciation for artisanal creations, homemade epicurean delights and crafts made from indigenous materials.
While most of today’s artists and designers have explored the many types and uses of eco-friendly materials and adapted them into their production, Erika Soriano Mata has found a gem in recyclables and made good use out of them by turning them into fashionable bags.
“Our products are made entirely of tie box twines,” shares the budding entrepreneur. Erika, who is a full-time mom to 3 children, recently launched her line of bags under the brand called Humabi. “It means ‘weave,’ which is how the bags are made.”
Erika Soriano Mata, the woman behind Humabi
 “I put up this brand in collaboration with my daughters. They are part of the design process. We wanted the bags to complement any outfit. It’s utilitarian in the sense that you can wear it to any event or occasion, even on a regular day. The idea of creating our own brand just sparked from our shared interest in fashion and style, plus the vision we have for the family’s outreach program.” Erika and her husband, Richard, have long since provided assistance to young adults who cannot support themselves in school. “All our scholars are studying at the Philippine Science High School. We really hope we can send more children to school by getting the additional resources.” With this goal in mind, Erika launched Humabi to raise funds for their charity work.
“Think of it as fashion for a cause. Every bag you buy sends a child to school. The business provides livelihood to our weavers who are women and mothers in the correctional institution. There really is so much heart in this project and I couldn’t be any happier with how everything turned out. The response from the market is also overwhelming. We’ve received so many orders from women, especially fellow moms. I’m so excited to share this blessing with our scholars,” beams Erika.
What other mompreneurs say about Humabi:

"I was impressed with the quality of its workmanship as well as the designs. It was obvious to me that each bag was designed with much thought and created with love and care. What’s even more impressive are the aspirations behind Humabi. This brand is a perfect mixture of style, function and purpose." – Kay Gempesaw 
“Only a few can definitely mix taste, class, substance, enterprise and purpose. Humabi nailed all of the above. It comes to no surprise to me because Erika, being a woman I greatly adore, exemplifies just the same. She is all of the above, plus she does this with such grace, humility and a pure heart. Each woman would surely love to be just that sometimes and Humabi lends us a chance to be a tiny bit of one, or everything in our own little way.”  - Mimi Vergara-Tupas
“Humabi encapsulates the heartfelt commitment of the people behind it in their promise of a brighter future for brilliant young minds, and the hope of regaining the spirit of the women in the correctional institution. Erika Soriano-Mata, the driving force behind this admirable advocacy, found beauty in the ordinary. Her tasteful designs were translated into carefully crafted elegant bags.” – Bianca Barretto – Uy
“Humabi is very close to my heart because of all the love and passion that is put into it. ... Each piece tells a story and I carry it with love and pride knowing that it has helped many.“Humabi is very close to my heart because of all the love and passion that is put into it. Each piece tells a story and I carry it with love and pride knowing that it has helped many. It also makes a very special gift to your loved ones.” – Marga Montemayor – Nograles
To order Humabi bags, visit or email
(photos courtesy of Erika Soriano Mata)
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1, INdulge,
Edge Davao, Vol. 7 Issue no. 192, 10 December 2014.


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