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Our Story

GUSTOKO means “I Like” in Filipino and, since it sounds like “Eu Gosto” which means the same in Portuguese, I thought that it was the perfect name for my brand, bridging the Philippines, my homeland, and Portugal, my adopted country. Why Portugal? I met, fell in love, and married a Portuguese man and now live in Lisbon.
GUSTOKO came from a need to express my roots, and my “Saudades” (longing in Portuguese) for the Philippines. A dream was born of celebrating Filipino craftsmanship in a more contemporary way. Using new and old style embroidery techniques, swapping threads for straw and beads, and using fibres indigenous to my country, we created a brand founded on love.
I fly home to the Philippines several times a year to source and choose the primary materials used in the manufacture of our products. I bring with me the designs that were imagined in Portugal, which could have been inspired by a beautiful 14th century tile wall, majestic cafes, walks by the beach, museums which takes me back to different periods of time and also, pre-pandemic, my travels around the world. I see beauty wherever I go, collecting colours, textures and images that I can turn into an inspiration for a new bag.

- GUSTOKO Founder, Paula Figueras