Barrel man (novelty)

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A barrel man or barrelman is a souvenir doll or statuette popular in the Philippines. The statuette usually consists of a crude male figurine carved out of wood, partially hidden inside a round wooden barrel; when the barrel is taken off, the male figure inside is revealed, sporting a prominent phallic protrusion in the lower part of the figure's anatomy.[1]

The souvenir is fairly common in gift shops in the Philippines and is somewhat popular among tourists[2] who may be surprised the first time they encounter the object and lift its barrel.

The barrel man has also been identified as a part of Philippine culture and art, often as the subject of Filipino jokes. In 2005, the Filipino American Network sponsored an exhibit called "Beyond the Barrelman" in Chicago;[3] the event showcased artworks of Filipino artists from North America and the Philippines.[4] The barrel man was also featured in the Filipino-American movie The Debut in 2001 starring Dante Basco.[5]

In recent years, a female version of the figurine has appeared; the surprise is the woman's breasts.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ignacio, Emily (2005). Building Diaspora. Rutgers University Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-8135-3514-2. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  2. ^ de Jesus, Totel V. (2007-10-02). "Models, gym buffs and barrel men join the race". Business Mirror. Retrieved 2008-12-15.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Beyond the Barrelman Exhibition of Filipino Art".
  4. ^ "Filipino Artists Invited To Submit Entries For The Biggest Filipino Art Exhibit in Midwest". Mindanao Express. 2008-05-23. Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  5. ^ Lim, Elizabeth (2008-10-08). "'Debut' a breakthrough for Filipino-Americans". Daily Trojan. Archived from the original on 2008-01-05. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  6. ^ Palacios, Joel P. (2007-02-02). "One to sawa". The Manila Times. Retrieved 2008-12-15.[dead link]