Healthy Alternative
September 21, 2018


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Roanna Medina opens up a self-service refill station for your basic needs to cater to people interested in zero-waste and living life more consciously.


Roanna Medina of Humble Market | Photo taken by Tarish Zamora


Roanna Medina is wide-eyed and soft spoken. She pauses before she speaks, as if measuring the weight of each word in her head. And though each word comes out in almost a whisper, they fill the air that rests between us with the composure of a woman of conviction. After all, the idea of offering a self-service refill station is heavily built on trust—with your clients and your within community—and it must take a self-assured person to pursue it. But more than that, Medina is clearly incredibly organized, well-researched, passionate about her products, and compassionate for the planet and the people in it. It’s no wonder that her confidence comes as a result of all that.

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It’s nothing short of courageous to open a zero-waste store in a world that rotates around constant consumption and convenience. But for a country that is notoriously the 3rd largest contributor to plastic waste in the ocean, the Philippines badly needs it. The ever-trendy zero-waste movement has put the responsibility on the consumer to demand the kind of world we want to live in: one with a circular economy instead of a linear one, where nothing is wasted and every product made gets put to good use. And while Humble Market has been in the works since 2017, we find its opening in 2018 especially timely to meet these consumer demands.

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Bring your own containers and refill your stock of adlai, quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds, pasta, olive oil, honey and more. 


It may surprise you to learn that the inception of Humble Market was not due to the zero-waste movement but rather in Medina’s interest in holistic health, though Medina is quick to point out how deeply rooted health is in the environment that surrounds us. Medina, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease 3 years ago, tells us that she would have never seen herself walking down her current path prior to the diagnosis. “I never would have imagined I’d be vegetarian,” she laughs. The illness made her reevaluate her daily choices and become more mindful of what she would consume, where it would come from, and what that would mean to her own health. And this twist of fate also led her to studying nutrition.


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Grab your own reusable glass and bamboo straws, produce bags and bottles.


Medina is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a certificate to practice from a nutrition school in NYC. She’s also currently enrolled at the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. “As such, I work as a strategist, motivator and accountability partner to clients who are open and ready to make sustainable diet and lifestyle changes towards better health and life balance.”


Speaking from her own personal experience and her in-depth studies into nutrition, it’s incredibly important to Medina that the products are well-vetted to be of the best quality for your body. She is transparent about the way that the products are made, and where the come from, with many of her products coming from passionate, homegrown entrepreneurs who share similar values with Humble Market: sustainability, health, natural-living, minimalism, and zero-waste. While not all products can be sourced locally, Medina does her due diligence when partnering with importers to ensure quality that meets her standard.

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Go zero on your essentials! 


Medina has only had positive experiences with the growing community interested in holistic wellness and environmental preservation that she does it with refreshing eagerness and openness, while maintaining grounded in a very real understanding of the realities of running a business. She’s excited to see the movement grow but she remains, well, humble in her pursuit, calling it just a drop in the bucket in the grander scheme of things.


The corner of Humble Market occupies 3 walls inside YDG Coffee within the Mandala Park (which is apparently run through solar power) compound on Shaw Boulevard, and Medina is happy to tell us that her co-tenants and landlords share the same passion for the environment as she does. You can visit them anytime from 8AM-10PM daily. And don’t forget to bring your own jars.


Bea Wolf

Bea Carmela has been practicing yoga for 8 years, and teaches kids yoga in local Montessori schools. She enjoys writing about health, travel, and food.