The wood-carved barrelman is a souvenir item that is found in tourist areas in many parts of the Philippines. I don’t know why it’s so popular. Maybe, it’s the naughty humor. It’s something we have been seeing since childhood but when we pass by a store selling it, the temptation to pick one up and lift the barrel to see manhood spring to life, literally, is just to too much to ignore.
The man’s arms and penis are attached to its body with wire springs to make them pop when the barrel is lifted. I suppose the repeated lifting of the barrel makes the springs soft and, after a while, the item loses its profitability.
Last weekend, in Tagaytay, there was one store selling the man in the barrel in several sizes where we saw a sign that we had never seen before — ever.
The sign said open it once, it’s free; but open it twice or more, it’s ten pesos.