Complex PH black dazzle pattern image

Kalamansi Collective Turns Familiar Stories Into Wearable Pieces

Kalamansi Collective
James Francisco

The Kalamansi Collective is tapping into the treasure trove of Filipino experiences for a collection that is equal parts funny and relatable. The Toronto-based brand is the brainchild of Kris Pangilinan, who wanted to find a playful way to showcase Filipino culture in a city known to be a melting pot of cultures.

“My favorite Filipino citrus fruit is kalamansi,” said Pangilinan, who is a first-generation child of an immigrant family. “Calamondin, also known as the Philippine Lime, are just like Filipinos; small in stature, but can pack a powerful punch.”

The Kalamansi Collective’s pieces have gone viral for their statement pieces, such as the “This Bag Contains Filipino Leftovers” tote, the “Hello Ma’am Sir” collection, and the “Not Today Tita” shirt. The pieces have become a hit in the Filipino community, and why wouldn’t they? We’ve all taken more than our fair share of party leftovers after all (*wink wink*)

IMG 2445

The Kalamansi Collective

“The reception has been incredible from the start,” said Pangilinan. “Whether it’s a little giggle, a head-turning cackle, or a heartfelt message from a follower, we are happy that the messages are relatable and resonate with people.”

Complex Philippines talked to Kris Pangilinan about Kalamansi Collective, the stories behind the designs, and the reception of the Filipino community so far.

What’s the story behind the viral pieces?

We’ve received incredible support from the beginning. The Hello Ma’amSir collection is a nod to the quintessential shopping experience in the Philippines. Whenever you visit an SM Mall or a local Filipino store, you are greeted with a friendly “Hello Ma’amSir”! We also started a campaign in the early weeks of our inception that focuses on supporting the local Filipino stores that have helped raise, feed, and support us when we needed a taste of home. 

The Not Today, Tita shirt is in honor of my late cousin who sadly passed away after a battle with mental health. We wanted to de-stigmatize mental health discussions in Filipino culture. This piece is meant to create a conversation around discussing boundaries, with a part of the proceeds donated to mental health initiatives.

Hello Ma amSir Hat

The Kalamansi Collective

Oh My Gulay Dad Hat

The Kalamansi Collective

Hello Ma amsir Long sleeve

The Kalamansi Collective

The “Not Today, Tita” piece would certainly raise some eyebrows.

Many young Filipinos have experienced some sort of questioning or disapproval from family members whether it’s career choices, academic performance, relationship status, or appearance. We wanted to make it clear – don’t let your Tita ruin your mental health. When they feel the need to provide unnecessary comments, we should feel empowered to say, “Not Today, Tita”. Our boundaries deserve to be respected and mental health protected.

We did receive some feedback about specifically using the word “Tita”. However, we always invite our community to have these conversations with us. That’s what the shirt is all about -creating a safe space that allows discussion. And to be honest, several Titas love and have purchased this piece!

Infinity 2024 01 14 46628

The Kalamansi Collective

We heard you’re dropping a collection in June. What can you tell us about this drop?

In honor of Pride Month, we are coming out with a special-edition Pride-coloured Ma’amSir shirt. “Ma’amSir” is a term widely known as the original They/Them so it’s inclusive yet maintains that playful vibe.

Based on popular demand, we released our first pair of shorts to match our original Paminta t-shirt. These will be our first bottoms and are perfect for casual wear.

This June is our first anniversary and in celebration, we are launching “The Kindest People In The World” collection. Filipinos have a reputation as some of the kindest and most generous people. The late Anthony Bourdain once said, “Filipinos are, for reasons I have yet to figure out, are probably the most giving people of all people on the planet”. Our kindness knows no bounds and we proudly wear this reputation on our sleeve.

Lastly, we are releasing a One Year Anniversary version of our This Bag Contains Filipino Party Leftovers Tote Bag.


The Kalamansi Collective

DSCF0350 edit

The Kalamansi Collective


The Kalamansi Collective

Where can people find the Kalamansi Collective?

All pieces are available on Please follow us on our social media pages Instagram, @Kalamansi.Collective, and TikTok, @Kalamansi.Collective

Got something to say?

Share this story

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Popular in the Community

Signup for the

Complex Newsletter

Your leading source for what’s now and what’s next in Music, Style, Sports, and Pop Culture.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

COMPLEX participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means COMPLEX gets paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive.

© Complex Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is a part of

Complex PH black dazzle pattern image

Signup for the Complex Newsletter

Your leading source for what’s now and what’s next in Music, Style, Sports, and Pop Culture.