When I started with backpacking Pilipinas three years ago, collecting travel souvenirs was not in my must-do list. I'd randomly buy some keepsakes - like trinkets for my office mates or t-shirt for my siblings - but I wasn't too obsessed hoarding something for myself. I'm not overjoyed by the idea of having to haggle to find budget-friendly shirts or having to wade through flock of tourists going on a madness sale over tiny cute souvenirs (like the busy shops in Baguio and Boracay). Oh well, I guess I was a bit impatient back then.
It was only two years ago when I thought of how it would be nice to bring home small memento of each place I go to. I realized how privileged I am to have actually been to those off- the-beaten roads and that it may take a long time for me to return. It thought it would be necessary to find something to remember the place by.
Being that I keep myself light when on the road, I decided to just limit my collection to some tiny and useful treasures. When buying a souvenir, I also factor in the advocacy to promote local and indigenous products. So that being said, let's keep on supporting local products!
Here are some of my favorites:
1. Ref Magnet
I once brought home a souvenir magnet and put it on my clean and clear ref door. It looked proud to have finally found a place in my home. As I stared on it, I decided on something that I'll do for the rest of my travel years. I'll fill that empty space with the beautiful ref magnets from the Philippines and beyond. Those pretty pictures will help me remember the experiences from each spot I've been too.
|The happy crowd on my ref|
Aside from ref magnets, I also started collecting shirts for myself. I find this useful especially when I'm running out of something to wear during a trip, and these shirts always come to the rescue.
I'm not a fan shopping at the mall, and I realize that most of the newer stuff in my closet are shirts from my recent trips. So If you see me around, I might probably be donned in my favorite take-home shirts from Batanes, Siargao, Palawan, Davao, and La Union.
|Some of my favorite shirts|
I bought a nicely-printed sarong when I went to Bali last year, and ever since then, it has become a regular resident of my backpack. I find it very useful especially when on a long night trip in a bus or sleeping in a terminal or a boat.
I easily fall for fabrics with colorful and artsy patterns. Aside from sarong, I also like collecting shawl which comes in handy when taking a habal-habal ride on a dusty road and while braving the midday sun.
|Shawls and Sarongs are good to collect because these are also travel essentials|
4. Local Handicraft
When I'm a bit lucky to have extra money, I make sure to buy a handicraft which is uniquely manufactured from that place. What's best about it is it helps (at least financially) the local people, too. Some of my take-aways from trips recently are marble item from Romblon and a purse woven in Benguet.
|Native bags from Bohol, guitar from Cebu, marble dolphin from Romblon, |
wooden anito from Batad
It's like a tradition. My family's idea of pasalubong is always about food. Anywhere in the Philippines, they expect me to bring home something to devour, which I'm always too willing to oblige.
Some of my favorite food pasalubong around the country are: butter scotch and piaya from Bacolod, napoleones from Iloilo, pastel from Camiguin, Shamrock otap, danggit and lechon from Cebu, ube and strawberry jam from Baguio, durian candies from Davao, pilinuts from Bicol, latik from Catanduanes, pastillas de leche from Masbate, sylvannas and sans rival from Dumaguete, and chocolate moron from Tacloban.
|Some of our favorite pasalubongs from around the Philippines|
There you have it, my favorite souvenirs. Tell me what's yours... :)
This is my entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for July 2013. With the theme "Memorable Travel Souvenirs, Objects and Mementoes," Jun Baris of www.galangpusa.wordpress.com hosts this edition of the blog carnival.
Visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw.com to see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival! :)