I am minimalist but there are wee times that I would like to shop and bring souvenirs from countries I have visited.
Now if you are traveling in the Philippines and would like to bring something from the places you have visited to your home as souvenirs, take a look at these suggestions:
Aside from the normal fridge magnet, I have observed my foreign friends buys these stuff, so it might interest you as well.
1. Traditional dress. This can be a patadyong, filipiniana, or a more tribal getup. It’s always nice to buy something traditional, it’s like you’re partaking in the culture of the country specially if you wear it in special occasions. You can try to buy those stuff out of the country but it’s authentic if you buy it inside the Philippines.
2. Tshirt that says you’ve been in the Philippines. This is not really an exotic find but this is what others buy to humble brag that they have been to a particular place. I buy those shirts printed with – I love (insert country here) too just because I’m human and feel the need to humble brag too.
3. Traditional instruments like angklung or marimba. I used to be an angklung and marimba player when I was in elementary. I love to reminisce those days of playing with those instruments made with bamboo. Kinda sad coz no one uses it now even here in the PH. If you know someone who produces these instruments, I might buy just for the sake of reminiscing the past.
4. Pearls and shells – the Philippines is blessed with abundance of water.. to the point that it floods during typhoon. Good thing the under water world is full of splendid creatures, for those who wants to take a piece of the ocean, you may want to buy pearls and shells as souvenirs.
5. Bayong – I know of bags that are worth 1000 USD, yet the sturdy bayong that takes hours to make by hand is also worthy to have its equal attention and price. Unfortunately, our Filipino colonial mentality frown on our own products.. but I’m also seeing Filipino pride in the youth so we’ll see how the bayong will evolve.
6. Sungka –Sungka is a game where shells or stones are dropped on a long canoe shaped board. It has become an exotic toy and is a perfect gift to kids if you want to snatch their attention from their gadgets.
7. Banig – This is used as bed by locals and is still being used in provinces. You can use this too for decoration or bedspread if you want your bedroom to look something exotic.
8. Filipino goods such as pancit canton and canned sardinas – this can be a treat if you want to give a gift to Filipinos who are outside the country. It can bring back that old familiar feeling thru their tastebuds, they will surely thank you for that.
9. Local delicacies such as ube candies and polvoron and bohols peanut kisses, piaya and tablea chocolate. Of all goodies, I love to promote tablea. Tablea is a chocolate that is formed like large tablets and you either eat it raw or put it in rice porridge, or make a chocolate drink out of it. The ingredients is less processed and directly come from the cacao tree.
10. Barako coffee. Strong aroma will make your nerves awake for the rest of the day. As much as I love the coffee in Vietnam, it is my responsibility to promote the coffee in the Philippines too. Check it out.
If you noticed, most of the stuff I featured here are exotic and can be only be found in the Philippines. Some, like Marimba are unfortunately almost extinct or not being used already..
So if you want to look for unique finds only in the Philippines, bookmark this article.
If you are outside the Philippines and want to buy any of these, we can ask errand runners at Errand to go to help you out.. it’s a mini project in Beta testing, feel free to test it out.