Aluyan: A Traveler’s Best Friend
“Aluyan” is a Filipino term for a hammock but aside from its literal translation, there are several connotations for the word.
As a hammock, it makes us think of a lazy day at the beach. It may also mean “duyan”, or an object used especially for babies – bringing out images of comfort and safety. Aluyan may also be a word variant to mean a passage way for water and good blessings.
All imagery are true for this young Filipino brand, Aluyan Philippine Hammock. Upon checking their Facebook page, you will see a regular business page selling cute and colorful products like bags and neck pillows – but where is the hammock, you might wonder. Believe me, it’s all that in one!
The owners of the brand found a way to make a water resistant,light but sturdy hammock that you can fit in a bag or turn into a neck pillow. Just what a traveler needs. Choose your design, carry it with you on your trip, hang it between trees and voila! Instant bed!
I used their product when I was in Zambales and I found that it is very comfortable to use, easy to set up and pack away as well.
Aside from their innovative products, Aluyan is also a social enterprise.
The founders of Aluyan wanted to start a business because of their desire to create an opportunity for the jobless. This vision propelled them to start Aluyan in 2014.
They found business inspiration being avid travelers themselves. They felt backpacking to different places and especially to beaches in the Philippines is not complete without a hammock. They then scouted for talented seamstresses to help them develop their product that is lightweight, convenient to use and at the same time weather proof.
As a social enterprise, most of the profits goes to different people and groups that the brand is trying to help. The first two recipients are their seamstresses from Quezon province. Aside from getting a stable income, one of the two seamstresses’ portion of income is saved for an operation of a lump she has on her forehead that needs to be removed as soon as possible. The other seamstress, on the other hand, uses her income to support her niece with special needs and nephew who suffers from epilepsy.
Another beneficiary of the brand’s profits is a charity they started named TOGETHERE. The idea also started while the owner was on one of her travels, “in order to get there, we need to be together.” Right now, the brand is able to support a Grade 11 student’s studies. The owner said “we have a vision to send her to college and eventually graduate as a Lawyer, it’s her dream.”
Aluyan is also motivated to become a helping arm of the public school, which they believe to be the “foundation of our country’s greatness.” Aluyan annually collects old and new clothes for donation to selected public schools in Quezon province where the business is based. They also conduct feeding sessions. Just last year the brand was able to reach out to Pag-asa Elementary Schoolin the Spratly Group of Islands.
Aluyan gets their inspiration from these people believing firmly that “their success is our greatest achievement.”
The brand continues to revolutionize its products and make sure that customers will get the same quality hammock wrapped in beautifully designed bags while adding features like mosquito nets, convertibility to sleeping bag and the ability to withstand rain, sun, wind and even snow (yes, tried and tested by their clients abroad).
They hope to expand their business and their social reach this year by getting a permanent store in Metro Manila, creating a stronger presence online and promoting the beauty of the Philippines.
Aluyan hopes to inspire Filipinos to travel and at the same time create a social enterprise program that will provide opportunities to the talented Filipino people.