Tips and Guides

5 Souvenirs to Bring Home Aside from Magnets

Time to up your travel keepsakes game

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We love buying souvenirs for a good number of reasons. First, we'd like to bring home a piece of the place we visited and second, we'd love to be transported back to the same place once again just with the sight of the magnet or a tiny keychain. However, aside from these cute little tokens, you may want to bring back something that you'd most likely use at home.

Drop by the shopping areas where locals go and when you spot a piece that you like—may it be a painting, a blanket, or a small decor piece—imagine how it would look like with the rest of your interiors. This is key in putting together a rather unique and special home. If your souvenirs already have a place in your home, the less likely it would turn into clutter. The best part about this kind of shopping? You get to support local talent and businesses, too.

Main photos: Dairy Darilag (Pinto Art Museum) and The Prop Dispensary.

Textile

Blankets, throw pillows, placemats, and even tapestries, are best forms of textile you can bring home. They are soft, relatively light, and could fit nicely in your luggage. Fine examples are the woven beauties made from the traditional Inabel of Ilocos. The mesmerizing patterns and textures can add life to any space.

Photo from Inabel's Facebook page.

Tableware

Tableware—the dishes used to set the table and serve food—comes in all forms, sizes, and materials. There’s a lot to choose from! It could range from wooden salad bowls to a Mother of Pearl caviar set.

RL Tip: Do check if the producers are sourcing their materials legally and sustainably.

Photo from The Prop Dispensary.

Pottery or Clay

Who wouldn't think of the stoneware made by master potter Ugu Bigyan of Quezon? His creations that range from vases and teapots, plates and casseroles, are quite the favorite souvenirs when traveling to southern Luzon. Apart Ugu Bigyan’s prized creations, other pottery souvenirs you might want to take home are wind chimes and garden lanterns. Just be sure to pack them carefully to prevent anything from breaking.

Photo from Ugu Bigyan's Facebook page.

Books

Why not bring home a book on local architecture or the local cuisine? It could be a documentation of what you’ve seen and what you’ve eaten. A collection of books on the places you’ve been is a good alternative to the miniature buildings gathering dust on your shelf. The only caveat is that books, especially hardbound ones, could weigh a bit.

Photo from Mt. Cloud Bookshop's Facebook page.

Art

Try to support the local art scene. Visit a gallery and look at the paintings or sculptures. Pick one that speaks to you. If you can afford it, well and good. Hopefully, it fits in the back of your car or that you could hand carry it to the plane.  If not, ask the gallery about shipping—chances are, they know what to do.

Photo by Dairy Darilag.

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