There are ways to tell when Christmas has arrived in the Philippines. Come August or September, Christmas decorations will be mingling with skulls and Jack O' Lanterns in the malls. Then, Jose Mari Chan will blaring through loud speakers. Come November, everyone will be queuing up at Starbucks for the latest edition of their planner. It's a sign of the holidays.

The now-iconic Starbucks planner was introduced to the Philippines in 2004 (earlier for countries like Singapore and Taiwan). We were the first country to use the current sticker system and back then, a whopping 65 stickers were required; the prize, however, was three of the inaugural notebooks. At that time, when the planner was encouraged to be a co-op, Starbucks banked for no-nonsense simplicity: a spiral notebook (the style continued till the succeeding year) with the most bare bones requirements. Through the years, the coffee chain has upped its ante when it comes to design, opting for themes, adding perks (the 2018 edition comes with a Kape Vinta card and a cute stencil), and partnering with the likes of Moleskine and Pantone.

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Since it began, a percentage of the profits from the Starbucks planner has always been donated to non-profit organizations like the Philippine Educational Theater Association and Teach for the Philippines.

Except for the number of stickers, the mechanics for getting a Starbucks planner in the Philippines have generally stayed the same: copious cups of coffee equal one planner.

With Starbucks Philippines' 20th anniversary, we looked through the entire Starbucks planner timeline, celebrating one of their most iconic products since the Frappuccino. Which one did you have? Which one did you think was the best?






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This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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