The main idea behind souvenirs is that once you see, taste, or even smell them, you’ll know where they came from. Take for example our fourth installment to the Philippine souvenirs series.
Da for Durian
Thorny skin, fleshy, and that particular smell — you got it right, it’s the durian. Granted that durian can be found in other Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia, durian from the Philippines is something else.
Where to find Durian:
Although durian can be grown throughout the Philippine Islands, the southern part of Mindanao is seen as the best area to set up durian farms.
Head on over to Davao for the Kadayawan festival as this marks the start of the harvest for the durian fruit. After that, stay for Tagum City’s Durian Festival. Check out the floats, the merchandise, and of course the restaurant special recipes which will include durian as an ingredient.
Now that we have your August and September blocked out, let’s look at all the durian that you can take home.
Like other souvenir items, Philippine creativity shows even in the durian souvenirs. Sure, you can buy the fruit itself and take it home. However, some malls and buses or public transport do not allow this. Some tourists can take durian to their home towns because they are using private cars to travel. However, if this is not an option, there are other ways to take a little bit of durian with you.
Let’s start with the non-edible ones. Head on over to the handicraft stores for durian keychains and other durian themed mementos. If you’re lucky, you’ll find real tiny durian fruits made into keychains.
For those who have the sweet tooth, durian pastillas, durian bar, durian ice cream, and even durian hopia are available in many souvenir shops and even the malls around the city.
If you really want to take home the fruit itself, head on over to Magsaysay Park, Davao’s long-time durian center.
BONUS: Check out this statue of a giant durian. I bet it would take more people to finish a durian fruit that big!