Kay Sarap Balikan, Paskong Nakaraan: Pan de Manila Brings Back a Traditional Filipino Christmas with Nostalgic Artwork by Mia de Lara


Look back to the nostalgic past of Old Manila with Pan de Manila. These beautifully-designed packaging were created by local artist Mia de Lara.

Imagine the delight on the faces of your family members as you set down the new Pan de Manila paper bags on your dining table. Inside the bags are your household’s usual fare: pandesal and spreads and boxes of creamy coffee blends. On the paper bag’s exterior and in the holiday packaging of your favorite Cafe con Leche and Chocolate con Leche, a traditional Filipino stone house stands in the middle of laidback plaza life. Women in their baro’t saya stand under the shade of a towering mango tree as onlookers in traditional Spanish-era garb continue to prepare for the noche buena ahead. With packaging this beautiful, you can give them as gifts, store them as keepsakes, or put them on display in a corner of your home.

Known for serving our favorite pandesal in the Philippines, Pan de Manila has always been a purveyor of Filipino traditions, celebrations, and recipes. One of their yearly traditions is collaborating with local artists to promote Filipino arts. Through this special illustrated design collaboration with iconic graphic designer Mia de Lara, Pan de Manila releases this nostalgic and elegant packaging for Christmas.

Dreaming in sepia – a Filipino Christmas throwback

Pan de Manila 2023 Christmas paperbag artist Mia de Lara

Pan de Manila’s Christmas theme this year is Kay Sarap Balikan, Paskong Nakaraan. Whenever we talk about our favorite Christmas memories, we always go back to simpler and slower times. No matter what generation we are from, we always think of coming together as a family during Christmas.

Beautiful artworks by Mia de Lara depict traditional Christmas before the turn of the century in Pan de Manila’s holiday packaging

About the artwork

The intricate plaza scene by Mia de Lara invokes an important conversation with history. By showing the generation today what an idyllic Filipino life once was, Mia crafted an original drawing that is not only pleasing to the senses but also emotionally stirring and uplifting.

While she was making the artwork for Pan de Manila’s holiday packaging, she thought of the delicious feasts that awaited her family whenever they would travel to Pampanga, her mother’s hometown, to celebrate together. “I think what makes a Filipino Christmas truly unique is the family ties that bind us closely together,” shared Mia. “No matter how far away you are in the world, Christmas signals homecoming, reunion, and reconciliation.”

Rekindling Christmas traditions with family

So what awaits your Christmas homecoming this year? As you share stories and make new memories around the dining table, Pan de Manila hopes that you rekindle the family spark of Christmas by going back to your Filipino roots. You can even celebrate with relatives by enjoying traditional Filipino meals at Merienda by Pan de Manila. The new restaurant cafe of our favorite bakery chain celebrates Filipino heritage by curating the best flavors from different provinces so you may relive the warmth of your childhood days from right here in the city.

As the kids count down at midnight, take a quick look at De Lara’s intricate plaza scene on Pan de Manila’s holiday packaging and let nostalgia wash over your senses. Elegant and timeless. Just like a traditional Filipino Christmas.

For the past 15 years, Pan de Manila has featured the works of up-and-coming local artists on its Filipino Art-inspired Christmas paper bags. Past years’ collaboration includes artists such as Larry Memije, Rina Albert-Llamas, Dante Hipolito, Amador Barquilla, Jovan Benito, Bibsy Torio, Noel Mahilum, Christian Regis, among others.

For the latest updates and more information, follow @PandeManilaOfficial on FB and IG, and @Meriendamanila on IG.



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