The roller coaster of emotions you feel when you stumble upon the lovelock from your Paris trip or the Italian Venico Ronco you sneaked all the way home prove that souvenirs are not (just) for flaunting your travel chronicles; they truly mean something. In short, they’re the key to reliving the moments that took your breath away.
What if during one of your vacations the entire destination is terrific and you just have no clue how to get enough of it? The Philippines, per se. Well, you can buy enough of it and that’s pretty much the same 😉 .These are the top incredible things from the Philippines you can’t return home without!
10. Banig fabric
Banig is a kind of fabric made from dried leaves and hence by buying it, you’re favoring their growing yet unstable economy as well as the ecosystem. Having said that, now let me unapologetically swoon over the artistry of Filipinos with such minimal resources!
9. Sungka boardgame
Sungka is the Filipino version of the mancala game, which definitely goes in your must-buys list even if you’re not a big fan of board games. This boat-shaped wooden board with shell stones will be the standout feature of your antique showcase. In the Philippines, Sungka is used more for foretelling purpose than for actually playing.
We all know Filipinos are great with bamboo handicrafts. What may come as a surprise is — Kubing, an intricately designed bamboo jaw harp. What makes this instrument more precious is its alluring tune resulting from the bamboo sheathing.
7. Whang-Od tattoo
If you’re looking for a souvenir for life that you can carry along anywhere, consider getting inked by the living legend Apo Whang-Od, the 102-year-old tattoo artist from Kalinga. Titled as the last Mambabatok(Tattoo master) on earth, Whang-Od doesn’t just paint, she’s rather on a mission to pass on the legacies of the Butbut tribe by tattooing with bamboo hammers, thorns and soots. Locals say she rarely tattoos westerners. Well, keep your fingers crossed, we never know!
6. Abaca products
Made from a banana variety that’s indigenous to the Philippines, Abaca products are of crucial importance in the trading economy. Abaca is versatile — it comes as curtains, rugs, bags, slippers and more. Abaca sells not only as it’s sturdy by nature; it’s also aesthetically appealing. Let’s see what you bring!
Coconut wine? The Philippines, how drunk are you? But it’s true. This distilled palm liquor is extracted from the fermented sap of coconut. While you can find all kinds of liquors and flavored drinks here, Lambanog’s significance in the Filipino traditions is truly unparalleled!
4. Jeepney toy
If you’re wondering why this whimsy little toy is found in every Filipino shop, here’s why — created as a means to reuse the military jeeps from world war II, jeepneys are now the most typical transport to trail around the Philippines. Don’t think much! This is one of the unique things you can’t find anywhere else.
3. Crow’s craft whiskey
No one will judge you even if you travel all the way to the Philippines just for grabbing the first single malt whiskey of the Philippines. Crow’s craft whiskey has a rather strong tint of citrus from the Filipino flowers and fruits. Note: With 65% alcohol, this one is not to be taken lightly — time for more reality checks!
2. Barako coffee beans
Taken mostly black, Kapeng Barako is warming the cups and hearts of the Filipinos dating back to the 18th century. It’s also one of the rarest, and the boldest savor of coffee as its name suggests. Barako means stud or wild bear, emphasizing on its strength.
1. Filipino Pearls
The Philippines is called the pearl of the orient sea for a reason. The south sea pearls it produces are existing proof that pearls, even if flawed in shape or colour, will still be beautiful. Your jewellery box certainly needs this!
Being an avid fan of vintage music, I still have the tickets from my first Ilayaraja concert secretly stashed. Do you, also have any memento that you hold precious to date? Mention in the comments section, and in the meanwhile — For more collection of memorabilia from around the world, create your vacations with Pickyourtrail!