Most of the time, the places we visit have a certain specialty, a product they are famous for. The sixth installment for the A Ba Ka of Philippine Souvenirs series features the pride of Cebu.
Ga for Gitara
And so, when you go to Cebu what is the first thing that you look for? Well, did I really have to ask? Even looking at a guitar would remind you of Cebu.
“Gitara” is the Filipino term for guitar. During the country’s Spanish era, the friars brought over their guitars from Spain and introduced the instrument as “kitara,” which is the Spanish term for guitar, to the Island of Mactan.
When the Spanish friars needed to repair and replicate their kitaras, they taught the Filipinos how to do it. The Filipinos took this as an opportunity to explore guitar manufacturing.
Fast forward to the present: When tourists come over to Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan, it doesn’t matter how big and bulky a gitara is for luggage. They just know deep in their hearts that they needed to take one home.
Perhaps it’s the craftsmanship, or maybe the allure of music but one thing is for sure: once you take home a gitara from Cebu, you are taking a part of the place home with you.
If you’re a backpacker and lugging around a guitar is not an option for you, there are other ways to commemorate your visit to Cebu.
When you go to handicraft stores and marketplaces around Cebu, it is 100% guaranteed that you will find guitar-themed souvenirs. It ranges from keychains to fridge magnets, T-shirts, and even figurines.
There was even a time when Starbucks Philippines featured Cebu’s guitar culture in one of their mugs.
Although this is not exclusive to Cebu branches, two cute and colorful guitars on a textured white background silhouette highlight Cebu’s specialty perfectly.