The A Ba Ka of Philippine Souvenirs: Na for Niyog

Souvenirs can be about the innovation and ingenuity of the crafters behind each creative piece. It is entirely possible to come up with a whole line of products from just one type of raw material.

Issue number 11 of the A Ba Ka of Philippine Souvenirs series focuses on the various souvenir items made out of the hard shell of a coconut.


Na for Niyog

The “niyog” or coconut in English is a versatile raw material. Various types of products can be crafted from its roots to its trunk and leaves, as well as the layers of its fruit (– no, it’s not a nut.)

Yes, you read it right. Every layer of the niyog can be used for various purposes. For example, the outer cover or the husk is popular among gardeners, the fleshy white meat is edible, and the hard shell can be made into items that will just amaze any handicraft enthusiast.


While souvenir items made out of the hard shell of coconuts can be bought from many tourist destinations all over the Philippines, Tesoros Handicrafts in Makati, Metro Manila curates some of the most intricately and meticulously done collections of “bao ng niyog” products. (The Filipino term for the coconut’s hard shell is “bao ng niyog.”)

Available from their store is a variation of bowls and cups including shaped coconut shell dishes with a rattan weave lining.

Their dish with its own stand is just elegantly irresistible.

Some of their bestsellers are carefully painted bowls and dishes.

There are also spoons, forks, and ladles of various shapes for the various purposes it may serve.


You know the holes on the coconut shell? Well, Tesoros made good use of it with these soap dishes! Cute, huh?!

BONUS: Check out Tesoros’ photo of Philippine boozes. Can you spot the coconut shell made into a liquor bottle?

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