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Sports Paradise: An Oasis Within the Tropics

James Francisco

Submerging into tropical themes comes as second nature in the Philippines—one of the most humid countries in the world. With Filipinos familiar with the scorching heat, local brands fully embrace the influences of the temperate climate, backed with suitable garments conceived through climate-friendly textiles.

Apart from this, there’s a certain synonymity between sports and the Philippines. Despite the discrepancies in physical stature or financial capabilities, sports have grown as a language understood across the archipelago, with puso (heart) playing a prime factor in the culture.

Instagram: @sportsparadiseph

Etched within the tropic-sports movement comes Sports Paradise—an ode to a familial past, resurrected and breathed in a new light. Patrick and Camille Vergara capitalized on the demand through everyday minimalist ready-to-wear staples that are still heavily their own.

Beyond its souvenir origins

Embracing the 80s fashion current, Sports Paradise complements its Boracay-inspired origins as a premiere destination for the Vergaras. Apart from the recognizable white sand and azure waters, Patrick’s mother calls the island her hometown, seeing the family-owned brand populate the racks of its distributors. 

Witnessing the influx of options, his parents pivoted, venturing toward the rigorous garments industry as their board shorts remain a distant memory.

Instagram: @sportsparadiseph

The effects of the global pandemic have stricken the frustrated yet optimistic brand owner in searching for multiple avenues of income. With the exposure of both of his parents to the manufacturing and retail industry, the concept for the brand emerged as a “light bulb” occurrence, as described by Patrick, inspired by coming across the vintage patch while scouring through piles of deadstock fabric.

Almost three decades after its conception, the brand’s coastal heritage seeps into the metro, with its themes perfectly tributing its legacy. 

“We try to incorporate and honor our country with each release. There was even a time when our “bundles” were named after famous islands here in the Philippines. Every once in a while, we post our different kinds of “paradise” in our feed to honor the beautiful islands of our country and the hidden gems that are yet to be found,” Sports Paradise Co-Founder, Patrick Vergara tells Complex Philippines.

Enacting on a joint vision

Instagram: @patrickrosss

There’s a certain familiarity when delving into garments. Patrick and his wife, Camille, planned on disposing of the deadstock fabric, as shorts provided the most viable option given its no-fuss versatility in appearance and utility.

“We have tried different methods of marketing. At the time, we were even considering selling our shorts in bulk, but to our surprise, we just hit a different market. I think each brand has its charm and uniqueness. They just have to embrace it and believe in their product, and that's what we did,” the Hundo-founder mentions.

Gaining traction in the country’s fledgling streetwear scene, the tandem enacted what was recognized initially as a family heirloom to making it theirs. 

Sports Paradise’s wheels continue to churn, likened to a well-oiled machine. Considering her background in the wedding industry, Camille handles social media, branding, and marketing. Patrick spearheads operations, production, and public relations. With their difference in scope, it’s “respecting one another’s creative process and communication that makes the dream work.”

More than just a wardrobe staple


Sports Paradise Collection, @sportsparadiseph

Beyond a formidable option in the rotation, Sports Paradise’s tropic-infused persona promotes a culture by its people, for its people. Through inclusive sizing options and continuously considering the outlook of its customers, the brand capitalizes on its organic endeavors—strengthening the nation's appeal for the hidden gems of the country slated on the mere easy-everyday shorts.

“We plan to expand and offer different silhouettes and sizes. The ultimate dream is to have a physical store where each customer can feel the fabric even before they buy it. We take pride in selecting and curating only the best and most unique fabrics so that there's one pair of shorts for anyone who comes across our brand,” says Vergara.

From merely posing as a contingency to its tumultuous growth in the present, the Vergara birthchild evidenced years of investment and trust toward personal passions. Sports Paradise’s approach musters belief in their direction, as their near-weekly releases, eccentric collaborations, and growing community describe the greenery of its oasis—a treasure trove, slowly revealing itself.

“There's no blueprint in success. Find the right people who understand your vision and invest in them. Don't be afraid to take risks. Just keep going, and your audience will soon find you.”

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