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Philippine Handicrafts: Artisan Traditions and Unique Souvenirs

Philippine Handicrafts: Artisan Traditions and Unique Souvenirs

Filipinos are known for many things. They are traditionalists who, despite playing gambling games on modern platforms like GG Bet casino, still stick to their traditional Sabong betting. This is a sport cum entertainment pastime that Filipinos have been participating in for centuries. They also exhibit the cultural habit of purchasing and taking pasalubong (souvenirs) to their friends and family members abroad. Whether it is a shirt, key chain, or food delicacy, they’ll certainly purchase something good for their loved ones anytime they travel. 

It, therefore, doesn’t come as a surprise that the Philippines is widespread with all sorts of artisan traditions and unique souvenirs. If you are traveling to the country to visit, you might be baffled and confused by the sheer variety. Here is a detailed guide to help you navigate the overpopulated landscape of souvenirs and handicrafts. From the South Sea pearls, wood products to the traditional tattoos, here are the best artisan traditions and unique souvenirs (pasalubong) in the Philippines. 


The Philippine seas are renowned for many things. Not only are they popular for having many islands and white sands, but also for harboring natural resources such as pearls. These rare gems are naturally farmed in Palawan and Mindanao. And while there are many types of pearls in the country, the South Sea variety is the best. You can buy them raw or polished and customize them to beautiful jewelery for your girlfriend, mom, wife, or sister back home. 

What makes the South Sea pearls a truly remarkable gem? Well, they stand out for their luster. Both white and gold South Sea pearls can be accessed in different grades within the country. You can easily take a stroll to the beach and purchase them from the local diver. Of course, this is only recommended to those with a proper understanding of pearls. If you don’t have any clue about pearls, the best way to get yourself some South Sea pearls would be at a local shop. This ensures you get your money’s worth. However, even here, you may be deceived into buying fake pearls. So, be very careful and read the information on the internet on how to differentiate real pearls from fake ones.

Where to Buy the South Sea Pearls

After reading reviews online, Amerah Jewelry stands out as the best place to purchase South Sea pearls. Located in the Lifestyle Center of Greenhills Shopping Center, Amerah Jewelry offers the largest and highest quality South Sea pearls at pocket-friendly prices. They come in all sorts of grades, shapes, colours, and sizes. 

Wood Products

If they are not diving deep into the oceans for pearls, Filipinos will be crafting something with their hands for the local and international markets. The country has plenty of hardwood trees, which provide ready raw materials for local sculptors. Do you remember the giant cutlery you saw in your Filipino friend’s mom’s kitchen? There’s a high chance they sourced it from their country! 

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If you visit Baguio City, the barrel man is a funny keepsake you can purchase. Ensure you don’t share it with someone underage. Sungka, a popular board game played in the Philippines, uses shells and hardwood. You can purchase this board game as a souvenir, making it a nice centerpiece on your dining table. 

Get Yourself a Tattoo From Apo Whang Od

If you want a permanent reminder of your trip to the Philippines, you might want to consider getting yourself a tattoo from Apo Whang Od. Apo Whang-Od is a renowned mambabatok, a traditional tattooist. She has been in the business of hand-tapping soot into peoples’ skin 90 years ago. She is the last of the mambabatok. It’s a tribe found in the Mountain Province that uses thorns and charcoal inks for their tats! The whole process of getting this tattoo is also not for the faint-hearted. It is a painful process and might require you to pop a few pain relievers before undergoing the process. It’s also recommended that you take tetanus shots, too.

Do Not Come Back From the Philippines Empty-Handed!

The souvenirs and handicrafts above are just some of the few you can pick while in the Philippines. You can pick from plenty more other things while roaming the streets of Manila, San Pedro, Tabuk, Cabadbaran, and many other cities. Just remember that some of these street artists have perfected the art of spotting a tourist or visitor from a mile away. Before purchasing something, do a price comparison and walk around. This is the surest way of getting something worth the value of your money.

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