‘Native’ handicrafts and other unique gift suggestions this Christmas


By KC Santos

MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA – Choosing the best gift for the coming holiday season is tough but it pays to know which items are worth your hard-earned money.

For most Filipinos, gift-giving is just as important as celebrating Christmas. Some consider the gift’s price tag, while others simply value a gift’s worth based on where it was bought and what benefit it can give to the recipient.

Luckily, there are native crafts that can be practical and unique. Here are a couple of Christmas gift ideas:

Paper-maché boxes – These can be used as fashionable containers for your jewelry, business cards, and other items such as a bottle of wine.

Native bayongs – The use of bayongs is now being revived. Local cottage industries and weaving communities depend on this local handicraft for the sustainability of their livelihood making it an ideal substitute for the usual, often pricey bags.

Wooden sculptures – The works of local woodcarvers from Paete can be unique gift items. You can also help backyard industries by buying these local items.

Woven personal items – These are cheaper but sturdier than mass-produced counterparts. Maximize your budget on these woven pouches and stationery that are more functional and ideal to give out to big groups.

Sadly, there are still many, especially younger buyers, who think that native or handicrafts mean bakya (or cheap) and inferior to imported products.

So to make this season of gift-giving more meaningful, you can perhaps challenge yourself to shop for items made by our local craftsmen and artisans. Aside from giving a gift to a loved one, you can also help uplift the lives of fellow Filipinos.

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