Souvenirs from the Philippines
Souvenirs from the Philippines use natural resources in creative fashions, making them into beautiful and useful objects. A popular novelty with children and adults alike is the rainmaker tube, created by sealing the ends of a hollow stick filled with seeds. The tube is turned upside down, and the movement of the seeds sounds like rain. Used in conjunction with a bamboo flute, traditional music is made for use in social gatherings. A hammock, made from hand-woven cloth, would add a tropical touch to a backyard, while the embroidered sarongs, popular as clothing, could perform double duty as curtains or bed spreads. Silks and cotton fabrics are also turned into beautiful purses and bags, and wall hangings of particular beauty. Those searching for something very special may wish to purchase a strand of pearls or a paua shell bracelet.Other fun Philippine souvenirs are key chains, paper weights, magnets and postcards.
Festivals in the Philippines
If you wish to experience true Philippine culture, a visit to one of the many festivals held year round is an absolute must. Faith is very important to the average Filipino, and many celebrations center around Catholic traditions and beliefs. Reenactments of events are quite popular, such as Santacruzan, when the young ladies in each town stage the quest of St. Helen for the True Cross. Christmas is a major event, as giant lanterns light up noche buena feasts and masses at dawn. Every village has a particular patron saint, and the feast day for that saint is a major event, filled with parades and parties. Dancers fill the streets, celebrating the fortune of the citizens in graceful motions, while homeowners decorate their doorsteps with papier-mache statues of the saint. There will often be carnivals and fairs going on at the same time, offering visitors a chance to enjoy traditional sweets.