THE growing number of tourists in Davao City paved the way for more micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The development in the tourism industry indeed has a trickle-down effect from accommodation, transportation, food and even down to the small-scale vendors of “pasalubong” or souvenirs.
If you are a tourist, one of the things you may want to do before leaving the city is buy souvenirs that would remind you of your experience or to be distributed for important people waiting in your hometown.
To make it easier, here are some of the specific locations around the city where souvenirs are available.
1. Pasalubong Center
This center is located in Palma Gil St., Poblacion District and as the name suggests, almost all kinds of interesting and affordable “pasalubong” are available inside. According to the center’s technical staff designate Neil Zambrano, the monthly influx of visitors is around 4,000 on average from January to May this year.
This is also not just your typical souvenir shop because the makers here could inspire you to the core. Among the stalls found inside is of the association of persons with disabilities (PWDs). They sell their own works like hanging pots for P50 each, regular-sized bayong (P250), ID holder (P30-P60), beaded necklace (P60), picture frame made from recycled paper mache (P100), wood table-setter (P100-P120), recycled paper jewelry box (P100), alkansya or coin box (P120-250), house slippers (P150), Wyvern slipper (P800), among others.
Inmates and former inmates of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) were also given the chance to have a livelihood. They have a stall inside where they can sell their own fashionable weaved bags for P700-P800, alkansya which could also serve as a table decoration (P250), designed jars (P380-P450), coin purse (P10), refrigerator magnets (P20-P25), and many more that are usually recycled as a support for the green initiatives of the city.
Most of the tourists buy souvenir shirts with Davao prints for P120-P200 and food souvenirs like locally-made cookies, bread sticks, durian jams, durian chocolates, durian candy, Lola Abon’spastillas, Lola Abon'syema, and Lola Abon's durian cubes.
2. Aldevinco Shopping Center
Probably one of the easiest souvenir shops to locate in the city is the famed Aldevinco Shopping Center along C.M. Recto Street, Poblacion District. Items vary from simple key chains to indigenous clothes and musical instruments. For tourists who may want a souvenir that is unique, this shopping center is the perfect place.
Among the well-renowned items found inside different cubicles are paper wallets for P100 per 10 pieces, batik-designed bags ranging from P100 to P380. Others are house slippers, souvenir shirts, tube skirts or malong, rattan bags, fashionable necklaces and other accessories, shawls, indigenous musical instruments, indigenous fabrics, and various antique collections.
3. Go Lokal Store
Go Lokal is located in Abreeza Ayala Malls along J.P. Laurel Avenue in Davao City. It was just recently opened with the help and support of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 and other stakeholders as a way to market the local MSMEs in the city. For tourists who may want to buy souvenirs that are proudly from Davao and would show the culture of Dabawenyos through its distinct designs, this is the place that should be placed first on the list.
Among the available items are Cacao de Davao products, EngSeng dried mangoes and other products, Malagos Chocolates products, Maria Vinecraft, NiñoFranco’s RTWs and custom made pieces made with traditional ethnic design elements from various Mindanao tribes, Crytal Seas Handwoven and Handcrafted products like clutch bags and hand bags, and many more.