By Ruth Manimtim-Floresca

I watched “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”, an off-Broadway show, when it was staged a couple of months
ago here in Manila. It’s about the stories of different women and how they lived their lives. Many ladies
in the audience identified with almost all the topics but one, in particular, made me laugh out loud
because it totally applies to me.

The segment was about bags and how they seem to become dark, terrible, gnawing holes you have to
put your hand deep inside of just to find what you are looking for. I am one of those women who prefer
using big bags because we seem to “need” a lot of things to bring with us whenever we’re on the go.

And so, for such a long time, I keep finding myself digging (and wasting a lot of time) inside my big bags
looking for a ringing cell phone, my folding umbrella when it suddenly rains, or my coin purse when I
have to pay jeepney fare. I tried switching to smaller bags for a while but it was frustrating to leave stuff
behind and realize later that I should have brought them along in the first place. So I went back to using
big bags … and digging for stuff.

For weeks, I’ve passed by a bag organizer store in the mall where I frequently shop for groceries. I
avoided browsing the displays because I was doubtful if I really, really need one. Besides, I was watching
my budget and was mindful of my “needs” and “wants” lists.

But last weekend, I finally gave in. I saw a design that caught my eye so I went closer to the shelves
and looked. The bag organizer I liked has a wide bottom, numerous pockets of different sizes stitched
all around both inside and outside the bag, and a sturdy handle which would make it easy to transfer
everything to another bag.

After some hesitation, I bought it. When my husband saw me unwrapping it later, I heard the usual,
exasperated question, “What’s that this time?” I explained how the bag works and proceeded to
transfer all the contents of my big bag into the organizer’s large and small compartments.

When I finished, even I was amazed how neat everything looked inside my big bag. Now, a few days
since I started using the organizer, I found that I don’t spend a lot of time anymore looking for objects
inside my bag because I could clearly where each item is and immediately zero in on the one I want to

I commend whoever thought of making this useful bag inside a bag. I’d readily bet it’s a lady. After all,
only a woman would understand what other women go through and the organizer bag is definitely
something a lot of other ladies I know need. Necessity is truly the mother of invention!