I’m opening a new segment in my journal about my favorite collectibles during my trips around the country. Besides Starbucks City Mugs, which are superlatively expensive as souvenirs, I also collect ref magnets.
Some may be wondering why ref magnets instead of the more popular keychains. Well, since I only have one key and a few bags to hang keychains at, I don’t know how or where to display them. Our refrigerator on the other hand has lotsa space where I can stick my magnetic mementos, so its ref magnets for me.
Without further ado, here’s my latest haul from my Southern Luzon escapade last summer.
MARBLE DOLPHIN | Banton, Romblon
I got this at Banton’s Poblacion. There were only a few souvenir shops in town since it is really not a touristy location, I guess most of these shops cater more to the returning locals from the metro than to tourists. Most, if not all of the wares being sold here are made of marble, which is the industry Romblon is most known for. There were lots of keychains and all sorts of gift items but I was unable to find any ref magnets. What I did find was a nicely designed keychain with a flat back where I can glue a magnet over for an instant ref magnet souvenir.
The keychain cost me Php20.00, the engraving was an additional P15.00 (I also had other items engraved, so I’m really unsure how much it would be if it was just the keychain). The finished product turned out pretty well.
MORION CENTURION | Boac, Marinduque
Painted on a chopped piece of wood, this was the second ref magnet I got for the trip down south. The painting shows a colored profile of a Morion, which were then roaming the streets of Marinduque; I was just in time for the annual Moriones Festival. I also saw a few ref magnets with more intricate designs but they were too big for my liking. The size of this one was just right for me and the price was extremely cheap too at Php10.00. This is the most inexpensive ref magnet I have bought to date.
WOODEN TURTLE | Caramoan, Camarines Sur
I was having a hard time finding magnets in Caramoan. Most of the things they have are the generic fish-types stamped with the locale that you can find almost anywhere you go in any touristy place in the country. I was lucky to find this small wooden turtle with a real shell back on one of the shops there, it was the only one of its kind left and I snagged it immediately. Got this for Php35.00, not bad.
BLUE DOLPHINS | Caramoan, Camarines Sur
I found this at Bed & Dine’s restaurant while we were having our almost-midnight kinalas and Bicol Express. It looked pretty and was quite hefty being made of clay (I think). The price was quite hefty too at Php45.00. I found later after opening the plastic that it was made in China, the Caramoan brand was just added to the thing (I felt ripped off hehe).
CAGSAGWA RUINS | Naga City, Camarines Sur
I was looking for a Mayon Volcano magnet at Mayon’s Skyline View Deck, I was thinking since we were at a tourist hub right at Mayon Volcanon itself; they would probably have cool ref magnets depicting the famous volcano. I was totally disappointed though upon finding their gift shop bare of almost everything. They could have made a killing here selling souvenirs, but sadly their gift shop was totally a devoid of anything (you can hardly call it a gift shop).
I found this great looking magnet at the Naga City market. I was hunting for a Naga City magnet and was having a hard time finding one (I actually didn’t find one) when I saw this huge Cagsagwa Ruins magnet hanging on one of the shops fronting the street. I’m glad I didn’t go home without a Mayon Volcano keepsake.