Omiyage-shopping in Baguio: of phallus-shaped ash-trays and peanut brittles

Omiyage is a Japanese tradition of buying souvenirs during a trip, to be distributed later to friends and co-workers.

With this in mind, I set out to buy stuff for friends and office mates…and then, I noticed it—maaaan, the souvenir makers of Baguio has a weird fixation with the penis. Case in point:

the un-PC-ness of it all has become amusing

let's look at it from another angle, shall we?

And then, we move on to other souvenirs…

in case, you want to smoke and STARE at some phallic object

I kept thinking what is it that made the carvers up north to consider the penis as a great souvenir stuff. I mean, it can’t be that they’re all carving and they noticed that it’s the same old anitos, eagle, strawberry, pencils and pine trees…and they got bored as hell. So, someone said…“you know the stuff we carve lack variety….” And then someone said, “what shall we carve, oh…how about the Lord Jesus or the Holy Family?” and the third one, the one who had too much lambanog (moonshine) and smoked too much tobacco finally said, “oh…how about we carve penises?” And then they laughed cos it was funny as hell and they kept laughing until they started carving these penises from pine trees and started using them as souvenir merchandise in Baguio. I mean, what the eff right? — considering we don’t go around and see blatant representation of the woman’s genitals presented as ashtrays or worse, jewelry case…and God forbid, if someone really sick in the head ever thought of that.

(Yes, I have a twisted imagination sometimes)

If you think I’ve forgotten the quintessential Baguio souvenir, here it is:

i gooooooot three legs....!

Naaah, I didn’t pop the barrel cos my sister was laughing so hard, accusing me of being some perverted sick ass…and besides, mom was beside me, choosing from wide array of wooden rosaries. I can’t be popping all these Barrel Man figurines, and flashing their dongs when on my left were rosaries. I have no desire of being reduced to ash by a flash of lightning sent by Up Above.

Honestly, there are a lot of stuff that you can buy in Baguio —

And, sige na nga….the best sellers:

Of course, there’s the ubiquitous peanut brittle, strawberry jam, ube jam and alfajor which you can buy at the Good Shepperd Convent (a few steps away from Mines View Park). If you have a weird fixation with vegetables and baskets of strawberries, you can buy that at the Baguio public market off Session Road.

Well, since I went to Baguio broke as hell, I ended up getting a few bottles of peanut brittle and strawberry shaped key chains which I gave to selected people at the office. Nope, no penis-shaped ashtrays were dished to my office mates, much to the dismay of one of my good friends.

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