fountain pen love

As a beginner pen enthusiast on a budget, I am interested in anything that has information on fountain pens – websites, magazines, books, blogs. I root through Booksale’s mag bins for tattered copies of Stylus, and websurf sites like Pentrace and Nakaya.

So I was excited to discover Leigh’s blog ( especially since like me she is a Filipina based in Manila. I had no idea about the pen collecting scene here, and it was very interesting to learn that there is indeed an underground fanbase for vintage and contemporary fountain pens. Other collectors include Butch Dalisay (famed Filipino writer, was my English professor at UP) and other celebs.

Leigh has an extensive collection and from time to time culls it to make room for new acquisitions. I emailed her for advice and help on acquiring my first vintage pen, and was so happy when she responded right away. She has two beauties that may be right for me – a Sailor21 and a Platinum floral. Both are lovely! Leigh sent pictures, annotated in her graceful flowing calligraphy. The Sailor21 is pink inside (my favorite color), while the Platinum has an appealing floral design.

Top: Sailor 21. Below: Platinum long-shorts.

As an absolute greenhorn, all I have are two inexpensive fountain pens – a shocking pink Inoxcrom Jordi Labanda that after a year or so refused to write even when fed with a fresh cartridge; and a burgundy Parker Jotter that writes very “wet” and has a medium nib when I could really use a fine or extra-fine nib.

As a writer, I love the sensuousness of good pens and paper – the tactile sensation of fingers and pen sliding over smooth paper, the distinctive smell of ink. I’m looking for the perfect writing companion for my new Moleskines. My dream? An extra-fine or fine nib pen filled with pink Rotring, Jansen, or Waterman ink.

taste more:

3 Comments on fountain pen love

  1. rene
    7 April 2008 at 10:47 am (4475 days ago)

    Hi Jenny,

    Found your blog when I Googled “Vintage Fountain Pens Manila.” I’ve had this running daydream that in some dusty corner of a pre-war Manila office (on Escolta maybe) there lies a cache of Parker 51s and Duofolds and Sheaffers left behind by an American concern in the 50s, a treasure that someone might unearth soon and sell for pennies to…me, to be specific haha. One can always dream right.
    I’m writing from New York, where my family moved from Bacolod when I was very young. This place here is my mecca:
    But Ive been dying to find a mom n pop type FP store (as opposed to a soulless Mont Blanc boutique in Greenbelt) in Manila. Ive managed to visit home quite a bit the past 20 years or so; was just there for Christmas. I stock up on t-shirts when I’m there; would love to bring back some old fountain pens as well. Any suggestions? And where DID all those fountain pens go from as recently as the 50s and 60s: here they are on Ebay and flea markets. Wha happend to them in Manila?
    Glad I found your blog; its fun and very readable! Take care and drop me a note if you’re ever NYC bound; I’m “suki” at the flea markets with the vintage FP guys. Take care!

  2. James Young
    8 June 2008 at 8:21 pm (4413 days ago)


    I collect mainly conway stewart pens, and you’ll find that they regularly appear on ebay for relatively small amounts of cash.
    I would think they would ship to Manila ???


  3. Butch Dalisay
    30 June 2008 at 1:47 am (4392 days ago)

    hi, jenny, butch dalisay here. if you’re interested and available, i’m hosting a meeting in my house next saturday, july 5 at 2 pm, for a gathering of filipino fountain pen addicts. leigh reyes will be there along with six or seven other members of fountain pen network and the philippine macintosh users group–all of us pen nuts! my address is 9 juan luna, area 2, UP campus, diliman, QC tel 0917-5300951. do try to make it, you’ll see absolutely droolworthy pens (and bring your own as well for show and tell)!

    here’s some of mine:

Leave a Reply