Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tinukib Souvenir Center

En route to Iloilo City from the airport, I spotted a large building in the middle of a rice field along the city-bound direction of the national road. I noticed a sign indicating it was a souvenir center and I asked our driver about this. He mentioned to us that it was indeed a new souvenir and a one-stop shop where Ilonggo products were on display and for sale. The name of the souvenir center is Tinukib, an Ilonggo  or Hiligaynon word that translates into "discovery." While it is not yet at the level of the huge souvenir centers in Bangkok, Bali and other cities, it is a good idea and set-up for the province and especially the  town of Pavia, which is strategically located between the airport and the city.

Tinukib features a wide range of Ilonggo products including furnitures and fabrics
These lamps including those made with capiz shells are of the highest quality. The dolls in the boxes are Dinagyang dolls celebrating the annual festival held in the city.
Hand-made products like picture frames, book stands, coasters and pen holders are popular souvenirs.
There are other items, big and small, at the center including the usual bags, key chains and shirts.
I think the best items here are those made of fabric, particularly pinya (pineapple fiber) and hablon (jusi or banana fiber), which the province takes pride in producing.  I myself prefer these fabrics for my formal wear (Barong Tagalog) and I wore pineapple fiber barong for my wedding and other formal functions that I have attended. In the photo is a hablon dress and in the background are table runners, shawls, scarves, handkerchiefs and other items made from hablon.
Hablon weave on display at the pasalubong center. Hablon is also the preferred fabric for the sablay or sash used by the University of the Philippines for formal functions (e.g., graduation ceremonies). These are manufactured exclusively in Iloilo City and distributed by the UP Alumni Association.
They have ready-to-wear barong made of pinya, hablon or a combination. There are not much to choose from, however, and Tinukib staff would recommend a visit instead to a shop in Arevalo specializing in these fabrics.


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