Metro Manila · Christmas Presents: Filipino Handicrafts and Other Local Products
If you haven't decided on what present to give your loved ones back home this Christmas, Filipino handicrafts and other local products would be a good choice. Check out our list where you can find authentic Pinoy-made products.
Tiendesitas is a great place to buy handicrafts and a great place to hang out at too. It features a large number of small stores, selling different kinds of goods. Most of Tiendesitas is not air-conditioned and even though it has a roof, it does not have outer walls. There also is an area for live performances, with stalls selling food and drinks.
Tiendesitas is located at E. Rodriguez Avenue (C-5) corner Ortigas Avenue, in Pasig City.
Balikbayan is Filipino and stands for 'returning home'. A lot of Filipinos work abroad and send goods back home in so-called balikbayan boxes. Balikbayan is the best-known location for handicrafts of Philippine origin - the prestige of course comes with a price. Stores here basically sell everything that can be made out of wood, shell, fiber, paper, bamboo, vines, resin, leaves, metal, clay, and other natural resources. If you like handicrafts, you will love Balikbayan.
Kultura (Culture) used to be a small store for traditional Filipino handicrafts. It became very popular and was bought by SM Incorporated. All Kultura stores are now located in SM malls such as Megamall, Mall of Asia, etc. Kultura stores offer souvenirs and accessories, cool t-shirts and bags, footwear and apparel, liquor and other local delicacies. You can also look for Loudbasstard speakers or sound amplifiers made entirely of bamboo.
Silahis Arts & Artifacts
This shop in Intramuros awaits you with a beautiful collection of arts, crafts, and furniture from all over the country, showcased in a colonial-style building. Please read our main article on Silahis for further information.
The Manila Collectible
Another store in Intramuros, this 'Culturespace' features local products handcrafted by the different tribes and people of the archipelago. For further information, please read our main article.
The Gift Farm by Puentespina Farms
The online store offers Malagos cheese, Malagos premium chocolate, and Malagos fruit wine. These food items are grown and produced by a family of farmers and entrepreneurs in Davao. Malagos chocolate is single origin made from ethically grown and processed beans that have been carefully graded according to international standards, fermented and solar-dried. The cacao beans are from Trinitario, a hybrid of Forastero and Criollo, considered among the best in the world. Malagos fruit wine is a dessert wine made from Bignay (Antidesma Bonius L.) or Currant Tree Berries. It contains 14 percent alcohol by volume, 750ml. The cheeses are made by Filipino cheesemaker Olive Puentespina. The choices include fresh goat cheese, chevre, blue goat cheese, blue pepato, and feta.
Malagos cheese can also be bought at Le Gourmet Rustans in Power Plant Mall; Le Gourmet Rustans in Rustans Makati; and Le Gourmet Rustans in Shangri-la Mall. It is also available at The Market located in Tiffany Bldg., 156 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Preferred Areas & HotSpots, Makati City.
Duty Free Philippines
Local delicacies and other souvenir items can be bought here, tax-free. Duty Free shops also distribute VuQo, a premium vodka made of coconut nectar. Previously, VuQo, the more commercial version of the local strong drink called lambanog, was only exported to the US.
Rags 2 Riches
The company is a for-profit social enterprise tapping artisans from poor communities in the country to create fashion and home accessories out of up-cycled scrap cloth, organic materials and indigenous fabrics. Their ladies' bags are a hit among the country's style-makers. All for a cause, local designers have also partnered with the group for some of its pieces. Rags 2 Riches' popularity has reached some editors of international magazines as well.
Ten Thousand Villages
If you would like to shop for Philippine-made handicrafts online, this website is the site to visit. They sell authentic Philippine products from different companies and most of these products are backed by social development projects. If you would like to bring home paper made from cogon grass or items made from other local materials, this is the site to go to.
You can also find handicrafts from airport shops in Cebu or Davao. If you are in Metro Manila, visiting Ermita, Quiapo, and Divisoria is also a good idea.