Gifts from the Philippines

My mom recently came back from three months in the Philippines! She’d attended an huge family reunion she’d organized with a few cousins and renovated her late mother’s house. Even though she was busy as a bee, she still took time to find some beautiful gifts to bring home to us.

We’re so excited about the two different sorts of rice she gave to us! One the left is red rice grown and harvested right behind her house in Cuyo. Cuyo is a tiny island off the coast of Palawan, which is in turn the third largest island of the Philippines. On the right is black rice grown by a friend of hers. We cook a lot of South-East Asian food and usually buy rice in bulk at the local Asian supermarket, so this rice is going to be gone in a heartbeat! But isn’t it neat to know exactly where your food was grown and harvested?

My late grandmother’s house.

My mom bought most of the other presents at Kultura Filipino I believe. They offer clothing, accessories and homeware sourced and made in the Philippines. I was at their store in Manila when I visited the Philippines over ten years ago, and they really have the most beautiful, high-quality products. I actually wish they’d ship internationally because I covet a lot of their clothes and jewelry!

I wish it were summer again so I could wear these gorgeous new dresses! The orange dress is by a brand named Tropiko sold by Kultura Filipino. I think it might be a cotton linen blend but I’m not sure. The blue paisley dress is by Salvage. You can wear it as a dress or as a skirt, which is really cool. I couldn’t find either brands on a cursory google search to find out more about them, but I love both of them.

I also received a staple of Filipino wardrobes, a pair of flip-flops and a pair of slides. 😀 This is perfect since I’ve been needing some for the pool or any kind of communal bathroom situation (ugh).

Philip got this beautiful short-sleeved shirt. He looks very handsome in it, but unfortunately I’ll have to wait until summer to see him in it, too. My mom also gave him a leather wallet and a pashmina scarf.

The three mother of pearl boxes (filled with bracelets and hair accessories) were perfect for my vanity. Since I already have places for my bracelets and hair accessories, I use them to store earrings and -studs now.

The pink and brown bracelets on the left are a gift from my mother.

As you can see, we were showered with beautiful gifts! Thank you mom! We’re so grateful. I hope that one day I can go back to the Philippines myself. I actually have a long list of gorgeous places I want to visit there in my head! We’ve been thinking of travelling to the Philippines one day but so far we haven’t dared pull the trigger on actually booking something. It can be a dangerous place and we want to navigate on our own without relying too much on relatives, so we have to plan well.