With the recent announcement of the Swedish retail conglomerate and makers of the best meatballs - Ikea (correctly pronounced "ee-kay-yuh") opening their first store in the Philippines by the end of 2020 (read: world’s largest at 65,000 sqm), Filipino home improvers and broke millennials will soon flock the store to find the perfect items for their parents' house or their excessively small condo spaces.
I’ve scoured the Ikea catalogs to find the ten items that will most likely end up in every Pinoy’s household. These products are not new, but it is exciting to see Ikea alternatives to items that would be in our houses anyway.
Filipinos are suckers for maximizing the longevity of their food. As such, we have been so used to having a gazillion food containers at home. Everyone can relate to at least one time when we were disappointed to find tinola in the fridge instead of the vanilla iced cream that its container promised. Our moms and titas have at one point bought Tupperwares to show off to family and friends whenever a potluck is coming. Ikea’s Pruta Food Containers is a no-frills product that addresses this need. This set of 17 comes in different sizes ranging from tirang sawawan to two meals worth of kanin. It is simple, cheap and it looks good.
In every Pinoy household, you will find a row of frames that display the family members in their key life milestones as if it was some sort of shrine. This set of 8 frame collage will make your nanay happy as she can easily rearrange and customize the frame to fit into any wall. This will easily be the centerpiece of any household and it doesn’t take up space. Only bad news is, you cannot hide your embarrassing first communion photo behind another frame any longer.
If you do not live in a condo and have an area for plants, chances are your parents have used an infant formula can as a plant pot. After a few heavy pours, it just turns into a huge chunk of rust and is not only dangerous but visually annoying. Put some hip-ness into your foliage by using this corrosion-free plant pot perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
This pot stand is perfect for placing the sinaing on the table straight from the rice cooker. Easy to clean and visually fits any table surface, this is a welcome upgrade from using a basahan for the same purpose.
This foldable hanging dryer is not only stylish with its transparent polypropylene plastic, it is also quite functional. And since we Pinoys have a tendency to dry our clothes even indoors, the portability of this product is quite useful.
Oh, hangers. Not only our parent’s favorite thing to hit us with. It is also at some point responsible for ruining a sock or shirt with its sharp aluminum edge. This set of 3-pc hangers are shaped smoothly and covered in velvet guaranteed to protect your clothes and make you feel sosyal. No more stealing hangers from hotel rooms.
Living in a tropical climate, our cold water always need to be an arms reach away. As such, our pridyeders are always filled with water contained in 1.5L Coke plastic bottles or glass pitchers. With this clear glass bottle with stopper, you instantly upgrade your pitchel game giving you both the ease of storage inside the fridge and style while placed on the dinner table. Better yet, add in Calamansi inside the Korken for instant restaurant feels.
It’s a tea towel with a loop. A basahan that you can actually hang, in short. If this ain’t the most versatile of Pinoy household textiles, I do not know what is.
Ever since plastic bags were banned in SM and major groceries, reusable bags have been more common and practical. However, most reusable ones are either weak, not durable, or too small. This iconic Ikea piece solves all that. Big, lightweight but sturdy the Frakta has become synonymous to Ikea. It carries a lot but also folds compactly. Best thing is it also makes for a good pamalengke bag, labada bag or a companion for your annual Divisoria trip.
Raid any Pinoy’s house and you will probably find a drawer in the kitchen filled with plastics from convenience stores, department stores and restaurant take outs. This plastic bag dispenser comes elegantly in clear white and is cleverly engineered to organize your plastic haul into a more presentable and easily accessible solution.
And finally, something I expect to find in every Pinoy household but not in an Ikea catalogue – the epitome of Pinoy-ness, ladies and gentlemen – the world famous, tabo.
I have no idea why Ikea has this but here we are. This is probably the most Pinoy thing in the Ikea catalogue.