Best of Digressions

‘Tala’ is a locally made fountain pen ink that shimmers like the night sky

I am relatively new to the hobby of fountain pens. Like any curious tourist that take a peek at what’s below the cliff, sometimes you bend too much and fall in.

In this case, I’ve fallen into the rabbit hole of fountain pens. And what a joyous fall it was. The hobby is a pragmatic one, as I do find it odd to spend an arm and a leg for a writing instrument, but the upgrade from a ball point to a nib makes my writing feel like I am gliding along silk.

In this post I want to highlight inks from a local company called Inks by Vinta, who are also the same guys behind Everything Calligraphy, an online store based in Manila that sells writing instruments, from pens to inks and paper.

Vinta’s inks are of relative popularity, having been featured at the Ink Ink Ink Festival in Ito-ya, Tokyo.

I was able to purchase four bottles of their second edition release and of these, a shimmering ink called Tala (Night Sky) really caught my eye. Shimmering inks have their appeal, with glitter mixed into the ink, creating a nice shimmering effect similar to staring at water from a soft-flowing river in the late afternoon. When the light hits the ink just right, it shimmers.

The dark brown shimmer from ‘Tala’ is quite obvious here.

A splash of the ink on this clear Rhodia pad shows off the dark blue base with the shimmer approaching dark brown, very similar to a night sky in the countryside.

You can also clearly see my showing off the glitter inside my TWSBI Eco demonstrator, an added perk for these kinds of inks.

Shimmering inks are a bit harder to clean because of the particles it leaves, which is why I prefer using them with pens I can fully disassemble, such as this TWSBI Eco.

I’m also going to show off three other inks with their corresponding swatches. ‘Makopa’ is a beautiful dark red pink that doesn’t try to stand out too much, and I would use this on a M or F nib. I chose this color because of an obsession with another ink called Diamine Velvet Rose, which was a Philippine-exclusive release.

This one – Tubbataha, named after the mother reef of the Philippines where a majority of its marine life comes from is ‘Sulu Blue’ (Sulu is where Tubbataha is located). It’s pretty much a dark blue with purple sheen, very versatile for office use, but with a bit of flair. I was expecting the ink to reflect more of the actual name of the reef as Tubbataha waters are normally very clear – you can see 200 feet deep from the surface, but this is really me nitpicking. It’s a beautiful blue ink.

Lastly, Romblon. I’ve been looking for a good “corporate black” ink that I can use everyday. I wanted it to be wet, black, but have some sort of twist to it. As you can see below, it is perfect for sketching — it even looks like human hair!

Romblon, also called Onyx Black” has shades of dark green if you swab it. The ink is named after the island of Romblon, known as the ‘marble capital of the Philippines.’ Onyx Green and Onyx Black are but two of their special colors.


I paid pre-order rates for these inks as they are not yet in full production. Plus, given the whole COVID-19 situation I am not sure how that will affect supply.

  • Night Sky Tala – P549.00
  • Malayan Apple Makopa – P449.00
  • Sulu Blue Tubbataha – P449.00
  • Black Onyx Romblon – P449.00

Free nationwide shipping for orders P1,200.00 and above.

Check them out at Inks by Vinta (they have so many amazing inks at par with the international scene, priced competitively!) and their social media pages.

Take a dip!

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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