Passion and Stewardship

By Anne Krystle M. Yee

In everything we do, we should never stray far from our “why”. As human beings created in the image and likeness of God, we have an inherent role and duty to be the stewards of the planet we live in. “It was not always plain to me that pursuing God’s glory would be virtually the same as pursuing my joy. Now I see that millions of people waste their lives because they think these paths are two and not one.” (Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper) This is the “why” that keeps me inspired and motivated to work towards my vision for Jacinto & Lirio.

Waste a day? A BIG NO NO to me, what more, waste a lifetime? Productivity and efficiency are my core values. Back in 2010, I was figuring out what my God given purpose is and I took a test to find my personal “chazown”, which is God’s unique purpose. A free online test was offered by which allowed me to form my life’s purpose statement after connecting my core values, spiritual gifts, past experiences and external environment factors: “To lead a God centered business that strives for excellence and efficiency, while maintaining a harmonious relationship with my coworkers and other stakeholders that is brought about by transparency, collaboration, diversity, teamwork and concern for people and the environment.”

I grew up with Chinese parents who like most Chinese families would train their children in business. At 7 years old, you would find me in our TERRIE boutique in Virra Mall, “sales talking” our clients. My business sense was also seen in school. I sold stickers and handmade paper envelopes when I was just grade one. During Christmas, I would sell TERRIE accessories and clothes to my classmates. Exposed to fashion early in life, it became my passion. As young as seven years old, I told my mom that I wanted my own SM department store someday, but I knew that I couldn’t do this alone. I have to collaborate. And then, there it was. God gave me the opportunity to start Jacinto & Lirio. I realized then that my connection to an eco-fashion company was the fruit of my inclination towards recycling back in my elementary years. This was mostly seen in my artworks in school and my newspaper/old magazine wrapped Christmas presents. As a matter of fact, they used to call me “Ms. Recycle.”

My innate love for recycling can be seen in my “urge” to create something out of garbage. Whenever I see broken accessories or other objects that are considered trash, I try to fix it and make something useful and usually something fashionable out of it.

With Jacinto & Lirio, I am indeed creating something stylish out of a pest. Apart from being the CEO, I am also the designer. My task is to design products out of the water hyacinth and turn it into something of value. Value, not just to the eyes of the end consumers, but value to the lives of the less fortunate.

Jacinto & Lirio allows me to practice and share environmental stewardship which is inline in leading a God-centered business wherein God gave man dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the animals of the land (Gen 1:1–2:4). God also calls us to serve and preserve (Gen 2:5-15).

The water hyacinth is the most damaging aquatic plant worldwide because it can reproduce rapidly. It grows up to 2 meters wide, reducing light and oxygen, changing water chemistry, thus affecting local flora and fauna. Some of its damaging effects are: hampered fishing livelihood due to marine transportation and irrigation problems; high flood levels reaching as high as 6 feet due to clogging of waterways; susceptibility to water borne diseases like malaria or dengue.

Our group encountered this plant, summer of 2009. The founders: Anne Mariposa-Yee, Noreen Bautista, Patricia Lalisan, Ryan Pelongco and Charm Cruz were enrolled under the business accelerator program of Ateneo. We wanted to utilize indigenous materials, because our country has abundant natural resources, but the potential hasn’t been fully tapped. Noreen’s aunt works for DTI and she advised us to take a look at the water hyacinth because at that time, it was one of the problems our government faced. This led us to various water hyacinth communities like Las Piñas, Pampanga and Laguna. When we saw the devastating image of the water hyacinth, we asked ourselves, “How can we transform the challenges of the poor into opportunities?”

Hence, this led to the creation of Jacinto & Lirio which means “Hyacinth and Lily”. More than serving as a viable environmental, social and commercial solution to the water hyacinth, poverty and colonial mentality problem, J&L is my way of being a faithful steward to do the Master’s will with the Master’s resources.

JACINTO & LIRIO is a social enterprise that sustainably transforms a “pest” into eco-iconic and multi-functional leather goods. It provides beautifully handcrafted plant and leather goods, impressively multi-functional, stylish conversational pieces for people who want to make a strong patriotic, environmental and socio-ethical statement.

Our advocacy aims to inspire others to live a zero-waste lifestyle to help them be good stewards. We provide different channels where people can support our advocacy through online, retail stores, events like weddings and corporate giveaways. For every purchase of Jacinto & Lirio, we contribute to the community development of our partners so they can keep transforming their families and communities for the better.

By God’s grace, my life verse is Colossians 3:23-24 which states “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Right now, I can’t say that I have fully fulfilled my God-given purpose in life and admit that I have weaknesses the Lord is working on. But one thing is for sure, I am confident that God is continually molding my passion, to be aligned with His purpose for my life. After all, it is through our weakness that God’s glory can be magnified. My ultimate goal is to hear this from My Maker: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’ (Matthew 25:21). I encourage everyone to be faithful stewards of all God has given us wherever opportunities are presented to glorify Him, serve the common good and further His Kingdom.

The New Jacinto & Lirio Logo

Many of you might have noticed that there’s something different about Jacinto & Lirio.

First of all, the logo LOOKS different!

original Jacinto & Lirio logo

We have been collaborating with Manila-based design firm Design for Tomorrow for the past year to create a new look for our brand that is GLOBAL,SOPHISTICATED but YOUNG, and TRUE to our mission and values as a young fashion/lifestyle brand.

Hence, the new LOOK:

new logo 2013

This new logo is part of our mission to truly create a GLOBAL FILIPINO BRANDone core mission we have in our social enterprise.

There is so much power in branding. More than just a new logo change, branding is about communicating (1) WHO YOU ARE, (2) YOUR VALUES,  (3) PERSONALITY and (4) WHAT YOU WANT TO BE KNOWN FOR

Branding is about telling stories.

Allow us to share the STORY BEHIND OUR NEW LOGO.

It is actually ALL IN OUR NEW ICON:


Jacinto & Lirio is all about creating STYLISH, SUSTAINABLE and EMPOWERING products that uses our Philippine indigenous materials, like the water hyacinth.

The “J” and the “L” were designed with plant stalks in mind forming the letters — a representation of the kind of material we use in all our products.


Notice that there are 3 stalks in each letter. These 3 stalks represent the 3 core brand pillars of Jacinto & Lirio as mentioned above —1. STYLISH, 2. SUSTAINABLE 3. EMPOWERING


Jacinto & Lirio is a line of stylish products

sustainably made from plant leather and has a mission to empower the development

of community livelihoods using indigenous materials.

Second aspect are the 2 C-like curves surrounding this icon.

We want to communicate that we love products that are CHIC

BUT, we believe they must be produced with CONSCIENCE

These 2 C’s form a holistic representation of our values.


Putting it all together, our design partners created a chic but youthful font face for the overall look.

Therefore, creating our NEW JACINTO & LIRIO logo


In our journey as entrepreneurs, we grew fascinated with design and branding.

We believe it’s not just about a new logo, but it’s about our ENTIRE behavior and culture in how we run our business.

As a social enterprise, we are trying to join the movement in creating a different design for business — one that is holistic and enriching, and does not compromise excellence. Hence, these are principles we strive to live out.

At the end of the day, BRANDING is all about PEOPLE. It’s all about how we want to define ourselves as a global stylish Filipino, conscious about the environment, and authentically living to empower a better world.


Thanks again to our friends at Design for Tomorrow! To know more about this amazing Filipino branding firm, visit

Jacinto & Lirio: Creating Opportunity With Plant-Based Leather

Jacinto & Lirio: Creating Opportunity With Plant-Based Leather.

Originally posted by

Muni on this:

What if your could turn pests into  profit?

This is exactly what the innovative brand Jacinto & Lirio achieved in creating their plant-based leather goods (bags and journals) from water hyacinth and lily, some of the Philippines’ most invasive aquatic plant pests, which hasten many devastating floods, especially in the surrounding towns of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines.

For this interview, we chat with the super nice and friendly Noreen Bautista, one of the co-founders of Jacinto & Lirio. Yes, we know the words nice and friendly are painfully generic terms, but if there’s someone who is truly a shining epitome of niceness, it’s got to be Noreen. Read on and see for yourself!

Muni: What inspired you to create Jacinto & Lirio?

Noreen: We thought of using Philippine indigenous materials, because our country has so much abundant natural resources, but the potential hasn’t been fully tapped yet. That idea led us to Laguna, where we met communities working on the water hyacinth plant. Because of its over-proliferation, the government and private sector came up with programs to control the growth, and some of those programs involved livelihood projects that turned the water hyacinth stalks into woven products.

But what really caught our eye was a community-based innovation that made the stalks of the plant look like leather. We were not the ones who invented the water hyacinth leather material but it was local artists who thought of a way to use the plant’s stalks. We instantly fell in love with the concept and saw the potential for it in the fashion market because of its sleek and shiny look, its versatility for color, and the genuine innovativeness that it had.

Muni: What keeps you motivated to work on Jacinto & Lirio?

Noreen Marian Bautista

Noreen Marian Bautista

Anne Krystle Mariposa

Anne Krystle Mariposa

Noreen: The vision of using this as a vehicle to channel our God-given talents and work on our passion to make a difference in society. Currently, Jacinto & Lirio is run by co-founders Anne Krystle Mariposa and Noreen Marian Bautista. Anne is passionate about fashion having grown up in the industry, and has a distinct sense of style. While Noreen is an advocate of social enterprise or the ability of business to create positive social impact.

Muni: Why are you where you are now?

Noreen: We could have ended Jacinto & Lirio right when we got the diploma after college and marched off to the real world. But we didn’t. I think it is this persistence that made us reap opportunities we never thought we would get and made Jacinto & Lirio alive as it is now.

Muni: What drives you to get up in the morning?

Noreen: I ask what story can we create today? What work does God want us to do? if anything, it is another opportunity to live the gift of life that was given to you — that fuels us to live the day fully.

Muni: What change do you want to see in the world?

Noreen: The rise of competitiveness of Philippine indigenous materials in the fashion and design industry. The surge of global Filipino brands delighting the world with their creativity and quality. A world where businesses are responsible stewards of society’s resources and are instruments of positive social change.

Muni: What do you wish people were more conscious/aware about?

Noreen: The talent and creativity of Philippine communities, and the potential of our indigenous materials to wow the global style world!

What started as a college thesis for the 5 co-founders sharing an entrepreneurship class, turned into a business that many of today’s aspiring social entrepreneurs can turn to as a model business for their use of unwanted materials and contribution to community development. Jacinto & Lirio is out to set a new standard for how business should be done in our country, and we’re confident that they’ll continue finding more and more ways to make their products more environmentally sustainable while further assisting in the progress of the communities they support.

Jacinto & Lirio