The Mother Of All Beach Hats

I first spotted this hat in the Instagram account of my makeup artist friend, Xeng Zulueta.

Photo by Dix Perez of Penthouse Studio Makati. Hair, makeup, and styling by Xeng Zulueta. Model: Nin Duiklers

I said to myself, “I need that hat!” Sure, I may not end up looking like this gorg model when I wear it at the beach, but I need a hat with that kind of coverage.

As a beauty writer, I’ve searched for years for a light, stylish hat with a brim so wide that it can practically protect my entire soul from the sun’s UV rays. Xeng told me she found it in Salcedo Saturday Market in Makati.

I finally found it after my yoga class in Makati. ₱500 per hat. Photo by Bambi Dela Cruz

Off I went to the market, which is right in front of Yoga Hive Studio. After asking around, I realized the store I was looking for, Happy Plant Co., was right at the entrance. The hat isn’t even the main star of the stall. Their main goods are plants and succulents. I saw that the hat was rolled up at the back with other bayong bags (made from weaving dried leaves).

Goofing off at a photo shoot with Life and Stills. Makeup by Mariel Pecson. Photo by Vincent Chang.

The price: ₱500 per hat. Good buy! It’s not as heavy as it looks and it rolls up easily like a yoga mat. That hat is sourced from the Quezon Province. When you buy this and other native weaves, you are supporting a humble family of crafts folk in Quezon. Happy Plant’s vendor, Gary, was so friendly and helpful. He even gave me this cute succulent!

While it may not be practical for international travel (I tried but ended up leaving it at home!), it’s convenient to bring to local beach trips. And of course, it spruces up your Instagram photos.