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12 Souvenir Items From The Philippines You Shouldn’t Miss

by Rhodora Bande on 16/05/08 at 4:17 am

Souvenir items that are worth taking home with you.

Traveling is much more memorable when we bring something from the place we visit. Here is a list of souvenir items that you should check out when you come to the Philippines.

  1. Key chains, refrigerator magnets and paper weights

    These are ideal for those who don’t have enough space in their luggage. Small items like these can be bought at PhP25.00 to PhP50.00 (as of this writing, the exchange rate is US$1 = PhP41.00). These are available almost everywhere: malls, souvenir shops, stores, and town markets. Since I usually buy things from town markets, I buy them cheap.

  2. Fashion accessories

    These items can be bought cheap but they last long. The white necklace on top right (fourth from left) was already with me in 2000; the blue native necklace in the middle photo (third from left), in 1990. When you buy these items, you are actually helping the indigenous people (IP) of the Philippines. I got the pearls from the Badjaos1, the necklace with three bell pendants (middle photo) from a B’laan2 market, and the red necklace (middle photo) from a Mangyan3 vendor.

  3. Bags and baskets

    Baskets of varying sizes are available everywhere. Just go to any market and you will see them there. Colorful bags from Mindanao are likewise available in many stores in the Philippines. I got the red bag in a small store in Northern Samar. I like the T’boli4 backpack (right photo) because it is durable and handy. It can be folded and placed inside a bag when you travel. Then you can stuff it later with anything when your backpack or your suitcase can’t accommodate your belongings. Check out also the native wallets and purses in any local market since these are cheap and are ideal as gifts for your loved ones.

  4. Mats

    Mats made of tikog are available in Samar and in Leyte. Plain mats are cheaper than those with designs as the latter can be used as decoratives. I got this one in 2006 and it is now hanging on our living room wall. Price range of this mat is PhP750.00 to PhP1,000.00. This is a lot cheaper when you buy it directly from the mat weavers in Basey, Samar.

  5. Souvenir shirts and hand-embroidered clothes

    Souvenir shirts are available everywhere so it won’t be difficult looking for them. There are also clothes such as this hand-embroidered blouse which can be bought in special outlets. My sister bought this for me in a mall in Manila.

  6. Sarong and tubao

    Sarong can be used as a wraparound when you are at the beach or as a blanket when you travel. Most  people I know have at least one sarong in their closets. This is made of light material; hence, it is very convenient to carry.

    On the other hand, the tubao, a handkerchief made by the Manobos and other IPs in Mindanao, can be used as a turban or head cover especially when you are traveling in a tropical country like the Philippines.

  7. Rainmaker and bamboo flute

    This long instrument (left and middle photos) is called a rainmaker. Inside it are stones and whenever it is turned upside down, it creates a sound similar to that of the rain.

    I saw one band performance and the rainmaker was one of their musical instruments.

    The bamboo flute is available in some town markets. This is an ideal gift for children who are musically-inclined, for it is very easy to manipulate. Some stores sell guides on how to play the instrument as well as songs with their musical notes.

    If you happen to go to Baguio, you should check out their King Flute because it is the best bamboo flute (as far as I know. I had one in college) in the Philippines.

  8. Hammocks

    These hammocks, made of nylon thread, are very comfortable and soft. Unlike the other hammocks, these are not painful on the skin. This is light and is therefore very easy to carry. When you’re done with your vacation, you can hang this in your porch at home.

    Check out the stores in Divisoria because these were bought there. These were priced at PhP200.00 each in January, 2008.

  9. Wooden statues

    If you are into wooden furniture, these statues are for you. These are ideal for families with small children because they will never break unless you intentionally chop them into pieces. They are likewise very easy to clean: you just wipe them with dry cloth.

    The two statues, on the left, carry jars; hence, these can likewise be used as storage for small items. These are from Mindoro. The one on the right is from Baguio. These are also available around Metro Manila and in other key cities in the Philippines.

  10. Knives and bolos

    These are available in any market in the Philippines. Some of these are ordinary looking but there are some with very intricate carvings. I had a Danish friend who was able to bring three knives from the Philippines. She came to Leyte in May, 2004 and left the country that same year.

    Aside from their practical use, the knives and bolos can be used as decoratives. The knives that my Danish friend brought to Denmark are now hanging on the wall of her former boyfriend’s home. But these are only ideal for those who are on a short-term visit (for example, PhD students or NGO6 volunteers). Just enjoy the decorative bolos while you are in the country or you will have problems with the airport officials if you put them in your luggage since they are very strict these days.

  11. Fans and hats

    When you are in the Philippines, these items are a must. Just like the knives, these can likewise be used as decoratives and can be hung on the wall. The cowboy hat is made of coconut materials. There are also other native hats made from other materials that are worth buying. These are readily available in many markets in the Philippines.

  12. Native delicacies

    Almost every place in the Philippines has its own native delicacy; hence, you will not find any difficulty looking for them. You may also try the mangoes. Two of my friends bring with them some mangoes whenever they go to Germany.

    One tip, just buy them when they are not yet ripe. Make sure to wrap each mango with a table napkin or with a tissue paper so they will stay fresh during the travel.

Enjoy your stay and happy shopping!


Photos of Fashion Necklaces from the Philippines

Souvenir Items Made by Indigenous People of The Philippines


Rhodora Bande also writes at WARAYBLOGGER.com

Liked it

tracy sardelli

May 16th, 2008

very interesting, the sarongs really appeal to me, thank you for sharing.


May 16th, 2008

great article, thank you for sharing.

nobert soloria bermosa

May 16th, 2008

nice article Rhoda,i just noticed the pictures are missing.i would suppose you have already submitted a fix for this, if not you can submit a fix for this to make your article more appealing to your readers,thanks


May 16th, 2008

I really liked this one.


Rhodora Bande

May 17th, 2008

Yes, I just checked this. The pics are missing.

william rodriguez II

May 17th, 2008

Nice article!Philippine products are very unique.


May 17th, 2008

Hi Ma’am,

Nice One -)

i'm truely proud Filipino

May 20th, 2008

the article reflects the passion of the writer to travel and the love to collect thing/s which she can prove that she had been to that place. moreover, the feature also encourage us-travellers to bring at least small/few souvenirs when we go back to our respective places. the cost in not that expensive. so why not try to pick those things in the souvenir shops now and bring home!

tnx M’ for sharing the info…

god bless,



May 20th, 2008

mam nice article ma’am… are these are your collections?

Rhodora Bande

May 21st, 2008

Hi Grace, thanks for dropping by. Yes, the items above are all mine. Will send you a message through your YM. Take care.

Stephen Nico

May 21st, 2008

Nice work!!!

I love the creativity!!!

I also like to attach pictures to my articles….

I tried once but I never suceed!!

Can you help me?

Rhodora Bande

May 21st, 2008

Hi Nico,

Try grouping the photos using Powerpoint then copy and paste them into your text.

Thanks by the way for commenting.


May 22nd, 2008



May 29th, 2008

I’m truly proud being a Filipino. I really love Biscocho kaya tumataba ako..haha Great article. God Bless You!


May 31st, 2008


Nice articles and pics.

gani ty

Jun 4th, 2008

another nice work from an incredibly talented woman. keep up the good work.

kristine gil teves

Jun 13th, 2008

wow! great article. nice one mam. for sure this will help encourage foreigners, our kababayans from abroad or even those who are just here in the phil. patronize our own products. also promotes tourism here in the country.Well done! congratz mam. =) hope you’ll have more articles to come… i’ll wait for the nxt issue. Godbless


Jul 18th, 2008

WOW Philippines! WOW author….(”,)..it’s great..


May 17th, 2009

tatak pinoy!!
goOd job!


Jul 8th, 2009

Hi maam….
they are pretty…
Hope I have one of those


Oct 8th, 2009

I have a statue that was carved in the philippens with a chainsaw and finnished by hand. I would like to find out more about it. do you know anyone who would know about them?
Thank you,

Ruby Hawk

Jul 17th, 2010

the jewelry is my favorite.

LCM Linda

Jul 17th, 2010

I also like the T’boli4 backpack. Thanks for sharing.

Joie Schmidt

Jul 20th, 2010




-Joie Schmidt.


Jul 20th, 2010

I bought my T’boli4 backpack in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. They call it “kamuyot” there. Good topic.


Aug 7th, 2010

oh, wow! giving me ideas what to give my bf next week. =)


Aug 8th, 2010

Wonderful artwork!

AJ Garcia

Aug 9th, 2010

I like the native delicacies…biscocho, durian candies… sarap….

Richie Montalbo

Aug 9th, 2010

Love this article. I enjoyed how you showcased our country with this. Thanks!


Aug 11th, 2010

fantastic list!


Aug 23rd, 2010

nice one, tourist would love to visit philippines and shouldn’t miss any on your list :)


Aug 28th, 2010

Great share.`I love the pearls ,too, they are always very much appreciated by the recipient , and it doesn’t cost much.

The sarong, I got one this June and they are indeed very useful when you are in the beach. I have even learned to changed my wet clothes in them!

I wish I have read your article earlier,as I would have loved to buy me a hammock and a rainmaker ( never heard of this one before) . Well, there will always be a time to visit home again :)

Gret share,love it!


Sep 13th, 2010

wow!!!!! nice article…. you can buy those sharp bolo and knife in Carigara, Leyte….


Sep 13th, 2010

This is a nice article. Promote local products! very nice :)

Adelnica Amor R. Izon

Sep 14th, 2010

Philippines! Mabuhay!!!

Brewed Coffee

Sep 17th, 2010

You know how to play the flute? Cool! Tried to learn that but I always get that dizzy feeling hahaha! I would go for bags and shirts anytime. Very practical. I’m a bag person hehehe. Oh and yes the sarong of course!


Jan 2nd, 2011

The jewellry is my favourite!


Jan 3rd, 2011

wow.. nice souvenirs! the native delicacies of phil. is what I love!


May 17th, 2012

where can i buy key chains by bulk… please email me @ dannah_jel@yahoo.com i wanna buy and order. ty

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