SNAPSHOT| How does Baguio want to be remembered?

How Baguio wants to be remembered...

My former professor in Baguio once showed us a beautifully, painstakingly and skillfully carved 1-piece Belen (with complete characters). We all agreed that it was really a very beautiful work of art. Then he ranted that the wood carvers of Baguio and Benguet should instead put the pieces of wood to good use like making an art piece like the Belen he showed us, instead of those "nasty" wood carvings sold in the market.

When I was a kid, one of the popular Baguio souvenirs was an Igorot in a barrel, whose sex organ would pop out once you lift out the barrel. It was more or less, funny.

In the late 80s, wood carvers became more daring by carving the almost exact replica of the male sex organ with its size bigger than normal. It was no longer funny. It was rather obnoxious and makes it too shameful for somebody to buy one as a souvenir.

Now, perhaps, the male phallic symbol is smaller and took a more discreet form. It has been "mass-produced" by making the penis "more affordable" through key chains! I love Baguio. I should not be misunderstood in this case.

So,I wonder, "Is this how Baguio wants to be remembered?" 

Addenda:  We are living under a free enterprise regime.  However, is there a way to regulate the sale of these souvenir items?  Like putting it in less conspicuous places away from the sight of children and those who are not comfortable seeing this in public? There are better items in Baguio souvenir shops than this, I think--that will make the tourists remember Baguio as a place for culture and tradition.

I hope the readers get my point, and the local authorities act on it.

Note: This blog post has had a popularity in the past weeks. Maybe because it drew some interest. There were some comments that the carvers are not from Baguio City but from its neighbor provinces. I apologize for that. I was informed that these key chains are coming from as far as Laguna and nearby provinces and not Baguio. I am corrected.

I took it down for a week, not because I was avoiding comments like that. I applied in one of the listing sites and the site specifically mentions there must be no nudity or explicit photos of private parts. The admins of that site might mistake this post for one. Now it is approved, I am publishing it again.

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.


Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Never fails to make tourists smile :)

Admin/Author said...

Indeed, Gay...:-D

Henry said...

One of the woodcraft that I like there is the knife that looks like a little katana with kamagong handle and scabbard.

Admin/Author said...

Hi henry! Thanks for dropping by.