All About 'Obra ni Juan'

Rocky Batara

After Obra ni Juan introduced their newest endorser who is the hunk actor Rafael Rosell, time now to learn more about this authentic men's clothing line.  

Obra ni Juan is a unique line of men’s apparel that is truly Filipino. It is a fusion of traditional Filipino design and global fashion personifying the Filipino ingenuity at its best.

Obra ni Juan started out in 1997, having a small patahian in the owners’ family house. It is a family-owned business which primarily focused on the tourist market. The first outlets were lobby shops of five star hotels, duty free shops, and the famous Amanpulo Resort in Palawan.

Due to the influx of domestic buyers, the brand eventually progressed and opened branches in department stores nationwide. From a workforce of ten employees, the company now has at least a hundred employees.

Obra ni Juan is made of special woven fabrics which show exquisite craftsmanship. In fact, some authentic collections are handcrafted and dyed manually to offer the best quality.

Obra ni Juan has big things planned in the near future. With the advent of foreign brands dominating the local market, we at Obra ni Juan, will continue to be innovative to be at par with the world’s best.


To promote Bayanihan in our workplace for increased productivity, in order to create more products that are truly Filipino, to contribute to the economy of our country.


To develop a world-class brand of men’s apparel and to promote a sense of nationalism.


Obra ni Juan is owned and managed by the Agapito siblings – Delzinda Agapito- Francescon, Charito Agapito, Susan Agapito, Agnes Agapito-Hizon, Rodel Agapito, and Ranel Agapito. Growing up in a family of six children, they were taught to always take good care of each other, to share their blessings with others, to give their best in everything they do, and to be content with and thankful for what they have.

The Agapitos hail from Roxas City, Capiz which is known to be the country’s seafood capital. Del-z, the eldest, was a commerce graduate major in accounting; however, prior to her college diploma, she took up dressmaking and tailoring and also had her fashion design course with Cora Doloroso. Del-z also studied Marketing in Georg Simon Ohm Hochschule in Nurnberg, Germany for a semester.

Big things come from small beginnings.

In its early years, the size of the “patahian” was only 40 square meters, located in Antipolo City, with more or less ten employees. Back in the 90’s, they experienced doing everything needed for the business to work – from conceptualizing the designs to personally delivering the products to hotel lobby shops which cater to the tourist market (local and foreign). Obra ni Juan was then given the opportunity to tap Amanpulo Resort in Palawan. It proved to be the big break for the brand back then.

Setting Up (The Clothing business)

The Agapito siblings have always shared a common interest – their love for art. Every single one of them has a talent in drawing. It has in fact, been an outlet to express their feelings and emotions. This was one factor that pushed them to put up the clothing business.

In 1997, the Philippine economy was regressing because of the Asian crisis. However, tourism was still picking up on sales despite the hard times. Since Del-z was very much into fashion design, she saw this as an opportunity to put up a clothing business which will particularly cater to local and foreign tourists.

Del-z also saw the need to establish a fashion label for men that is distinctly Filipino. She wanted to come up with a quality-made, native inspired line that the working Juan dela Cruz would be proud to wear in the office, meetings, or even casual events. Del-z, Charito, and Rodel then started the business; eventually, the rest of the siblings (Susan, Agnes, and Ranel) joined as well.

Obra ni Juan

“Obra” in Filipino is “masterpiece” and this is the same discipline that they envisioned to go with every design, coupled with Filipino creativity and ingenuity. On the other hand, “Juan” is to personify the authentic Filipino male image – Juan dela Cruz.

Thus, “Obra ni Juan” was born.


Their late father, Ruperto Agapito, was an honest public servant. He was a city auditor who had an eye for art; he was their great mentor.

Back in Roxas, they lived a simple life. As they were growing up, they were taught to appreciate nature. They would go to the beach every summer, they would go hiking every once in a while. Their being close to nature is one of their major inspirations which is why they usually pattern their designs to the beauty of flora and fauna.

Community life is also a big influence. Living in Roxas, they’ve seen fishermen with their first catch, farmers and their carabaos plowing the field, vendors from the mountains who sell exotic fruits to students in various schools. All of these happy childhood memories have inspired them to create something unique and nationalistic at the same time.

From a workforce of 10, it has now grown to 100, making it a medium-scale business. From hotel lobby shops, Obra ni Juan has now expanded to various department stores nationwide (Robinsons Department Stores, Crossings Department Store, Sta. Lucia Department Store, and Landmark Trinoma). It has also started its entry to SM via Kultura Filipino.

Obra ni Juan owes its continued growth and success to 1) the hands-on owners and workers who work like family and; 2) the innovative designs which are very much patronized by locals and foreigners.

Family Passion

Del-z has taken a back seat on the Obra business to pursue her new hobby of entertaining guests with her “Date and Dine,” a modern bed and breakfast concept also in Antipolo.

But since 1997, brothers Rodel and Ranel have been very active in conceptualizing the designs. Sister Susan helps pick the fabrics and other materials and initiates the sales negotiations. Another sister, Agnes, does the Marketing.

But more often than not, everybody gets into all the aspects of the business just to help each one out.

The Obra ni Juan Factor
Obra ni Juan has its own niche. Its designs are a combination of old world Filipino charm and modern fashion. Some styles are even handmade and dyed to perfection; making no two clothes of the same design identical.

Obra ni Juan Collections are classed into Authentic designs, Executive designs and Formal Wear. Fabrics used are cotton, linen, tencel and cotton mix which are very comfortable and “presko” when worn. Some designs are limited to avoid the mass-market look that other brands have.

Aside from providing the market with good quality clothes at affordable prices, the Obra collections are durable. In fact, we have received feedback that some of our customers have Obra ni Juan products that are more than a decade old already but are still of great quality.

So far, Obra ni Juan have presented two fashion shows plus a host of ex-deal arrangements with some local celebrities that include, Arnold Clavio (GMA 7 News and Public Affairs) for the Executive Wear, Brod Pete (“Bubble Gang”, GMA 7), for Casual Wear, Eric Tai(“It’s Showtime,” ABS-CBN), for Authentic Wear, Bro. Eddie Villanueva (“Diyos at Bayan”), for Formal Wear and Darryl Shy (“The Voice Philippines”) for its Casual Wear.

Celebrity Spottings

Obra ni Juan was also spotted being worn by other celebrities among them, Gerald Anderson, Coco Martin, Eddie Villanueva, Jojo Alejar and Manny Pacquiao.


Crossings Department Store – Quezon Avenue
Landmark Trinoma
Robinsons Department Store – Angeles
Robinsons Department Store – Bacolod
Robinsons Department Store – Butuan
Robinsons Department Store – Cabanatuan
Robinsons Department Store – Cagayan de Oro
Robinsons Department Store – Calapan
Robinsons Department Store – Calasiao
Robinsons Department Store – Cebu
Robinsons Department Store – Dagupan
Robinsons Department Store – Dasmarinas
Robinsons Department Store – Dumaguete
Robinsons Department Store – Ermita
Robinsons Department Store – Festival
Robinsons Department Store – Galleria
Robinsons Department Store – General Santos
Robinsons Department Store – Iloilo
Robinsons Department Store – Imus
Robinsons Department Store – Lipa
Robinsons Department Store – Makati
Robinsons Department Store – Malolos
Robinsons Department Store – Metropolis
Robinsons Department Store – Nepomall
Robinsons Department Store – Palawan
Robinsons Department Store – Pampanga
Robinsons Department Store – Pasig
Robinsons Department Store – Pioneer
Robinsons Department Store – Plaridel
Robinsons Department Store – Roxas
Robinsons Department Store – Santiago
Robinsons Department Store – Tacloban
SM Mall of Asia – Boutique
SM Megamall Department Store
Sta. Lucia Department Store

SM Mall of Asia Bay City Department Store  - The Lifestyle Portal

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