Wood Carvings in Palawan - Philippines
Palawan is not only a place for tourists to stretch out on the beach to relax but it is also a place for those interested in the local wood carvings to visit. Palawan is one of the few places in the Philippines that produce their own unique style wood carvings. These wood carvings reflect the local culture, folklore, and values of the local community. While other wood carvings are almost identical, local wood carvers can actually customize their carvings just for you.
Wood carvings have dated back in mans history as a way to honor gods, heroes, and other mythical or supernatural occurrences. The wood carvings from Palawan carry such traits.
Perhaps the best place to see such authentic wood carvings would be in the markets in the town of Banaue. Aside from the lovely wood carvings, the markets also sell other items such as antiques, locally crafted baskets, and some sea inspired jewelry. The markets house a lot of these items and it is not surprising to find tourists spend long hours strolling in the area hoping to find the perfect gift.
The wood carvings are made from the local trees and these trees are known for their hard density. As such, the wood carvings would not easily depreciate over time but prove to last long. These are evident by the other wood antiques being sold. As a precaution against termites or other wood gnawing insects, most of thew wood carvings are treated with chemicals that discourage them and allow them to look and feel smooth.
It is surprising to note that many tourists look for the wood carvings that are out of the ordinary. Many travelers have requested wood carvings that reflect mythical creatures and denizens of the deep. Of course there are the usual water buffalo or the eagle but people believe that the wood carvings should have a unique twist to them.
One cannot really fault the local wood carvers from deviating from the norm of wood carvings but then that is the charm of Palawan. Travelers who go looking for the usual stuff for souvenirs would be disappointed at first but delighted on the one of kind type wood carvings they can bring home to show off.
Some wood carvings are so popular that some travelers have sent special orders to be made then have them shipped back to the United States. It is good to see that the art and uniqueness of the Palawan based wood carvers can hold their own in a worldwide audience.