Part 1: A girl’s guide to (not) painting the town red

MONTHLY PERIODS choose no one. If you think women are the only ones burdened by this unwanted visitor, I suggest you think again. It will stress out husbands, boyfriends, co-workers, and classmates. Heck, it might even affect the pets. Whoever or whatever comes within close range to a woman on her period must be wary – for she is literally a bomb waiting to explode.

During the duration of approximately three days that may also last until a week, the least a woman could do is provide one’s self with protection that won’t let her down. With the growing industry of sanitary napkins booming in the market today, the choices made available to the average Filipina have become too wide. As a result, decisions get harder and harder to make.

Given that I stand 5’7” and weigh 150 lbs., finding the perfect napkin was quite a hard endeavor. With the market producing napkins suited for the typical petite Filipina frame, I would always opt to purchase the overnight variant of most brands just to ensure myself of reliable coverage.

Have a happy period!

However, even overnight variants (also called: maxi, ultra, plus, and the like) have been produced on a wider scale. The choices are limitless to some extent and choosing the right brand could be a tricky feat.

So, to eliminate the stress of having to deal with the age-old problem of tagos, read along and find out how five different overnight sanitary napkin brands live up to their promise of giving women of the world a manageable and stress-free period.

MOST ABSORBENT ★★★★ Whisper Ultra Overnights with Wings (39.00php for a pack of 4)

The price of this napkin might make you want to think twice, but its absorbency surely goes as long as your money’s worth will go. Although Whisper Ultra Overnights places as the most expensive local brand for overnight napkin variants, the quality it delivers deserves every peso it is sold for.

Don’t let its thickness, or lack thereof, deceive you from doubting its capacity. Even though this napkin almost feels like nothing when worn, its special component mixed with the absorbent layers turn your period into a gel-like substance, thus keeping the fluids intact. Hard to believe, I know, but once you’ve tried this impressive napkin, you’ll definitely see results and will be in awe at how much this thin pad could hold.

With an extra wide back as an added feature, leaks are most likely to be prevented especially during bedtime or sports activities. The extra width, however, is not so impressive. A few millimeters could have been a lot more useful especially for women who are bottom heavy. Also, the feeling of wearing nothing can work as a disadvantage as well because most women look for a pad that hugs their body as opposed to being conscious as to whether or not it still is held in place.

Over all, Whisper is an excellent choice of napkin. What allows it to finish off with a four out of five, though, is that it is not the most practical choice in terms of price and the discomfort it creates. Women today are more inclined to make smarter choices in purchasing their needs and will most likely find a cheaper alternative that delivers just as well.

MOST COVERAGE ★★ Charmee All-Night Plus with Wings (21.30php for a pack of four)

Excuse the vulgarity but your panties will feel non-existent when you try on Charmee All-Night Plus. With the size it boasts, it literally eats your underwear out – leaving no space for anything but the pad itself. By a mile, this pad beats all brands in terms of coverage. No other napkin has ever owned its presence as much as Charmee does.

Although, despite the impressive coverage, its absorbent capacity does not match up to par with the needs of a woman. Especially if one was to use this during a heavy day of menstruation, it would probably require the user to change pads at least once every three hours. The fibers inside the napkin are very loosely packed, thus having less material to absorb the menstruation.

Its coverage does not compensate for the amount of fluids it can retain and can be inconvenient especially when it comes to the frequency of changing. This product is also quite expensive for a brand that isn’t from a big company like Procter and Gamble for Whisper and Johnson and Johnson’s for Modess.

When matched up to similar category brands like Sisters by Megasoft Hygienic Procducts, Inc. whose products are reasonably priced (e.g. P 19.70 for a pack of eight overnight napkins), Unitrade Merchandise Inc. seemed to go overboard with the pricing of Charmee (double the price of close competitor, Sisters) – elevating it to a pretentious “elite” status it does not deserve to have.

To be continued…

This entry is Part 1 of an omnibus review on sanitary napkins available in Manila for a class on Writing about Culture (Ateneo de Manila University – Communication Department). Written by Kara R. Santiago on September 19, 2011.


5 thoughts on “Part 1: A girl’s guide to (not) painting the town red”

  1. I can’t wait to see all the subsequent reviews! I noticed one thing that’s very different about napkins sold in the Philippines is that they come in smaller packages than in North America. I noticed this as well when I returned “home” to Hong Kong just this year – it seems like many Asian regions tend to sell things in much smaller packs, perhaps because the average home doesn’t have as much free space as North American homes. Having spoken to one of my fellow bloggers who lives in the Philippines as well, she mentioned that the prices of feminine hygiene supplies are COMPARABLY cheaper in PH after I gave her a list of prices which we pay for supplies here. Also, we have a terrible assortment, probably with about 3 main brands, offering very little competition and desire to make better products. In Asia, there are so many brands competing, one working to outdo another where manufactures are FORCED to continually enhance their products to stay competitive. I’ve noticed in the recent few years in Canada, prices have not only gone up for sanitary napkins & tampons, but the QUANTITY in each package became fewer. Surely, we need more companies who are willing to invest into feminine health here in Canada in order to keep these big companies in-line and being creative about making more absorbent and comfortable products for our women!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my review, Prexus!

      Indeed, the Philippines carries a wide assortment of brands with quite a large price range so there really is a lot to choose from. I guess napkins in our country are also sold in smaller packages (thus, making it relatively cheaper) because of the state of our consumer buying capacity.

      Stay tuned for Part II! 🙂

    2. Are larger packs available though? I mean in Canada, we have small packs (our “small”) is usually between 14-24 pieces. We have mid-sized packs that are usually just “doubles” like 28-48… and then there are JUMBO ‘bulk’ packs like 96’s or whatever. Obviously some households with a lot of women, I can totally get needing to buy 100’s at a time. Just as manufacturers would like, consumers who buy in bulk usually get a better price. For instance, buying a smaller pack here, per pad would maybe be about 30-cents each, but the bulk packs per pad is only 17-cents each. Is bulk-buying common in PH or is it cost-effective enough to justify stocking up more at once? If you end up traveling, definitely bring your own supplies along because you’ll never find a variety of products in other countries unless you stick in European or Asian regions, haha. Shame on us!

      I’ve definitely been recommending Sofy and Modess to my girls who live in PH 😀

    3. The most common pack here in the Philippines contains 8-12, while the smallest quantity are actually packs of individually wrapped singles! 🙂

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