The Philippines is a country known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture and its cheerful people. If you go to this nation located at the heart of Southeast Asia, you will feel the strong urge to stay. However, since most tourists need to go back to their home countries, it is good that you can take a piece of this place with you by buying Philippines souvenirs.
This Southeast Asian country is endowed with a lot of natural resources that can be used to make quality Philippine gifts & souvenirs, so it is not that difficult to find the best souvenirs from the Philippines.
Below is a list of top 10 souvenirs and gifts to buy from the Philippines. From this country, there is something you can bring home for everyone—from the food lover to the fashionista. These items are also readily available in shopping malls and even small street stalls, and are very easy on the pocket.
1. Musical Instruments
Are you looking for a gift for somebody who likes making good music? Among the Philippine souvenirs you can take home to your friends and family members who love music are musical instruments. In the province of Cebu in central Philippines, high-quality classical and acoustic guitars are available made by locals themselves. They are made in different sizes using good Philippine wood, are very affordable, and some even come with cool designs.
There are also other uniquely Philippine musical instruments that you can bring home if you are feeling more adventurous or cultural, such as bamboo violins, lutes, gongs and wooden drums.
Pieces of clothing are also good gift ideas from the Philippines because they are very usable and can readily be flaunted. For a more traditional Philippine look, you can buy barong Tagalog and Filipiniana dresses. These outfits, worn by locals during the Spanish occupation years, can be worn during formal events, and are made from high-quality fibers from pineapples. For something more casual, souvenir shirts are available from almost every tourist destination and even in department stores in the Philippines. Some shops even offer to personalize shirts to give your shirt a more personal touch.
3. Wood Crafts and Furniture
Also among the best souvenirs from the Philippines are wood crafts and furniture. Local craftsmen, especially from the provinces of Laguna and Quezon located south of the capital are known for their exemplary work in transforming the plainest piece of wood to meticulously-created works of art. You can bring home small items such as key chains or small sculptures for friends who are looking for local Philippines souvenirs.
Those who have bigger budgets and have household needs can bring home pieces of furniture like wooden tables and chairs. These pieces are guaranteed to be sturdy and creatively executed.
4. Local Handicraft
Another popular souvenir from the Philippines is local handicraft. These useful items are also proof of the ingenuity of locals who can turn materials they get from nature into different goods. For instance, baskets and trays can be woven from abaca, a fiber that is very similar to banana. Palm leaves and even sea grass are also made into well-built mats. Locals from northern Philippines are also known for making excellent pieces of pottery. The creativity of the people in the Philippines is limitless, making the options for local handicraft as souvenirs endless.
5. Woven Fabrics
For your fashionista friend or family member, you might also want to consider locally woven fabrics, another popular idea for Philippine souvenirs. From its northern areas to its southern provinces, this country has a lot of world-class fabrics to boast of, made through techniques passed from one generation to another. For instance, the intricately-woven T’nalak fabrics from a tribe in southern Philippines have very arresting designs and are made from heavy-duty hemp.
In central Philippines, the colorful hablon fabrics are available, made from locally grown cotton, banana and pineapple fibers. These fabrics are also turned into useful items like table runners and shawls which you can likewise bring home to your female friends.
6. Local Toys
A parent cannot go home from a vacation without grabbing something for the little ones, and local toys are a nice idea for gifts from the Philippines. Because of its fun-loving people, the Philippines have many local toys you can bring home to the young ones and the young at heart, such as wooden tops or the “sungka”—a strategy game played by dropping shells or stones into a wooden play board. There are also miniature toys available in local shops and department stores like small versions of jeepneys and wooden boats that you can also bring home as Philippines souvenirs.
To showcase local Philippine artistry in your home country, you might also want to take home paintings as gifts from the Philippines. Local artists in the Philippines have different artistic styles, ranging from those who capture serene landscapes to those who tackle darker societal problems in their paintings. The paintings are also very affordable. Who knows, maybe you’re taking home with you an art piece from the next big name in the art world?
For the good times, you can also buy local liquor as Philippines souvenirs. Most regions have unique native alcoholic beverages, such as tuba or a liquor from coconut sap, lambanog or wine made from coconut, and basi, which is made from sugar cane. If you’re looking for something more commercial, you might want to consider bringing home local beers like San Miguel. These alcoholic drinks are the ideal gifts for grown men.
9. Local Delicacies
The Philippines is a great culinary destination, and it offers a lot of local fruits and food options. When going back to your home country, you can take home with you a taste of the Philippines. The most common delicacies brought home as Philippines souvenirs are dried fruits like mango, jackfruit and pineapple. You can also bring home whole exotic fruits like pomelo, durian and mangosteen, especially from the southern islands. For the sweet tooth, you can give the popular delicacy called Chocnut, or a peanut powder snack.
Underneath this archipelago’s crystal clear seas hide another precious and popular souvenir from the Philippines: Pearls. The country is known the best source of pearls, especially its western province of Palawan. These gems are turned into various accessories like bracelets and necklaces—gifts that will definitely be appreciated by wives and girlfriends.
When you visit to the Philippines, it is impossible to go home empty handed. There is a lot of Philippines souvenirs and gifts to choose from for everyone, from the young ones to the more mature ones.
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