Finishing our A Ba Ka of Philippine Souvenirs series, let’s turn our attention to the yummy treat called yema.
The idea behind taking home souvenirs is somewhat similar to commemorating a special event. In the case of traveling and exploration, we, as tourists, tend to go about shopping for something that would remind us of our latest adventure. Of course, sometimes, we plan our travels according to a certain purpose. For example, we visit a place because they are famous for something that we are currently interested in. Let’s take a closer look at this topic as we continue with the “U” issue of the A Ba Ka of Philippine Souvenirs series. U for Ukay-Ukay We know it all too well, the joy of finding a treasure at an affordable price. Yes, I am talking about thrift shops. In the Philippines, thrift shops are known to the locals as “Ukay-ukay” or sometimes just “ukay.” It came from the Filipino word “hukay” or “halukay,” which means “to dig,” and is somewhat similar to “to rummage.” Ukay-ukay is also known to the locals as “wag-wag,” which means “to vigorously shake the dust off of an item.” …
Aside from being a decorative piece, souvenirs can also be functional. Come to think of it, most of the time, these are everyday items used by the locals of the places we visit.
The rattan is one of the many versatile raw materials that can be found in the tropical country of the Philippines. This is why every time you go handicraft store hopping in your Philippine travels, you will see rattan products left and right.
Souvenirs can be about the innovation and ingenuity of the crafters behind each creative piece. It is entirely possible to come up with a whole line of products from just one type of raw material. Issue number 11 of the A Ba Ka of Philippine Souvenirs series focuses on the various souvenir items made out of the hard shell of a coconut.
“Laruan” is the Filipino term for “toy”. Toys as souvenirs are popular in many parts of the Philippines. Most souvenir toys are miniature versions of the real thing. When you go around the souvenir shops anywhere in the Philippines, you’ll find toy models of jeepneys in countless designs.
Issue “I” for the A Ba Ka of Philippine Souvenirs series is about a food item available in most parts of the Philippines — so these are somewhat a staple to the country.
“Gitara” is the Filipino term for guitar. During the country‘s Spanish era, the friars brought over their guitars from Spain and introduced the instrument as “kitara,” which is the Spanish term for guitar, to the Island of Mactan.
Empanadas from Ilocos–one of the most culture-rich regions in the Philippines–are famous for having a bright orange color which will truly stand out against other commercial empanadas. Yes, orange but it isn’t just the alluring color that sets the Ilocos empanada apart.
Thorny skin, fleshy, and that particular smell — you got it right, it’s the durian. Granted that durian can be found in other Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia, durian from the Philippines is something else.
Filipinos, let’s confuse innocent travelers!
The abaniko as a souvenir is practical, lightweight, useful, and affordable. It is no wonder why tourists would always take a bunch of the hand-crafted woven fans home with them. As some tourists would probably keep one piece for their souvenir collection, others would choose the abaniko as a “coming home” present (or “pasalubong”, as Filipinos call it) for their friends and families.
When you travel and choose to eat street food, you get a taste of authentic local cuisine.
The Philippines is one of seven countries recently named “Rising Stars in Travel”–countries with the potential to become major travel destinations, post-COVID.
It’s the metallic lilac and orange tone with bright blue spots of the South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher that makes this ultra rare bird ultra attractive. The South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher The South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher, or Ceyx mindanesis, was described to be the tiniest species of forest kingfishers in 1890 during the Steere Expedition. As its name suggests, it is found in Mindanao and Basilan–found in the southern islands of the Philippines. It makes a “high-pitched, insect-like, and almost inaudible zeeep,” but scientists have very rarely seen the creature as it perches very quietly on trees and because its beautiful colors help the bird hide from ‘suspecting’ human eyes. The Recent Ultra Rare Sighting In a recent walk by a team from the Robert S. Kennedy Philippine Bird Conservancy, South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher was spotted, and photographs were taken, for the first time. The team led by the conservancy’s director, Miguel David de Leon, have been attempting to study and document the nesting, feeding, and breeding behaviors of the rare bird for ten years now. And …