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Kasama Una: 5 years later

Just in time for Fountain Pen Day, we’ll take a look at the pen that joined me in almost all of my handwriting needs: the homegrown Kasama Una.

This version, which features an acrylic cap and body with a delrin section, was part of the first batch of Kasama pens commercially released. I say commercially released, because Butch Dalisay got the first prototype from maker Mark del Rosario.

At the Makati Pelikan Hub in 2017, I met Doc Mark who showed us one of the prototypes: a thick clipless demonstrator with a section that feels right on the hand. It was big, but it didn’t feel heavy at all. Also, the fact that it can be eyedroppered was very enticing for me.

A Kasama prototype from 2017

That was five years ago. But at that moment, I knew I wanted one.

Fast forward to Fountain Pen Network-Philippines’ 10th anniversary in 2018.  Kasama launched at the event with a special introductory price. This caught me off guard, as I already bought a Bexley FPN-P anniversary edition pen and a Pelikan M205 demonstrator on that day, if I remember correctly.

Then I remembered how the prototype’s section felt. So I placed my pre-order the following day.

Dr. Mark del Rosario at the Manila Fountain Pen Show in 2018.

Unlike the other Kasama pens that followed, the nib didn’t come etched with the brand logo. It also wasn’t packed in the usual coconut leaf pen case (but I eventually got one during the Manila Fountain Pen Show later that year). But the section had a much sleeker curve compared to the prototype. delivering the right balance that I was looking for in a pen, although in a more girthy form compared to my other pens back then.

Well, it is still my thickest pen up to this day.

Initially, I wanted to have the default Jowo M nib ground to a stub to get line variation in my notes. Then I remembered that I got a 0.6mm Nemosine torched nib months back. After making a nib swap, I never looked back.

I only inked the Kasama Una with black inks, switching between Noodler’s Heart of Darkness and X-Feather before settling with Sailor Kiwa Guro for good.

The Kasama Una, 0.6mm Nemosine nib, and Sailor Kiwa Guro combination was perfect for school work,

It was the perfect combination for school work, filling out forms, and getting people interested in the hobby. I penabled office mates with this pen, with it being Philippine-made as part of an opening spiel that rarely fails.

See also – LIST: Filipino brands for fountain pen folks in the Philippines

This also helped me go through my MA comprehensive exams, which was the longest series of tests that I had to sit through so far. I don’t remember getting tired from all the scribbling that I had to do on the yellow pad (which was fortunately the fountain pen-friendly Victory, but that’s a story for a different time).

It’s the pen I always get first when fixing my EDC. It’s the one I’d always bring out in meetings. It is the only one pen I’d go out with at the rare times that I’m outside at the height of the pandemic. Kasama ang Kasama Una everywhere.

I can literally write with it all day.

Today, the Kasama Una comes in other material, from aluminum to ultem. It also has a thinner sibling in Kasama Tala, with a section that I think is closer in form to the prototype from five years back. I’m planning to get that soon, but I’m not in a hurry.

For now, I’m just glad that I tried that Kasama Una prototype five years ago. And that I got one when it launched in 2018. This pen has been stuck with me for almost half a decade already, and I can’t imagine parting with it in the years to come.

– by Ronin Bautista

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