Swords from the Philippines

Did you know that the Philippines is famous for it’s swords?  It’s true.

Swords are made in many parts of the Philippines.  Some of the best swords are made in Tugaya, Lanao del Sur Province right here in Mindanao.  I went to Tugaya with Feyma back in 2007, and we had a great time.  We saw swords being made right in front of us.

I’m not talking about factories here, I am talking about people making swords in sheds in their back yards.  But, these home made swords are not poor quality, even though they are home made.  Most of these swords are world class quality!  And, they are somewhat costly due to their quality.  But, if you go directly to the source, like we did, you can certainly find some real bargains.

Here’s a video report about Philippine sword making, which I found on YouTube.  Enjoy!

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1354 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

49 Ways to Make a Living without a Job


  1. Louie Velasquez says

    Hi Bob,
    Can You get a list of swords that they can manufacture and prices? I teach Kali and Silat here in the States and can definitely show these to perspective buyers.

    • says

      Hi Louie – Here’s the thing on that… the place where the swords are made is in Tugaya, Lanao del Sur. It is about 10 hours drive from where I live. It is also a dangerous place, and special arrangements need to be made to have at least some amount of safety there. This is a place where kidnapping would be common and such. I have been there, but it took months of planning and making arrangements with local people in power and such. It is not a place I would go to just get a list of what kinds of swords they can make, if you know what I mean. I hope you understand.

  2. Neal in RI says

    Hey Bob
    I do have a small handmade Filipino fighting knife that was made out of a old car leaf spring by a old Filipino named “Mang Pete”.
    No doubt someday I will have to get a nice Bolo made to compliment my 30 year old Ka-Bar.

  3. Charlie Tuna says

    I don’t know if you know this but among a few other trades I am a 1969 graduadte of the North Texas Institute of Horsesheing and Blacksmithing. A career long gone by. But among other things we made many tools out of car coil springs and some fantastic knives out of old files & rasps. We had to make our own tools in the forge. Brings back some great memories.
    Don’t throw out those old files or rasps folks.
    I left behind a gorgeous Mankel horseshoers anvil, it was 125 lbs, it wouldn’t fit in my suit case. Mankel is in Cannonsburg , Michigan and they teach and sell knife making, sword making supplies and all sorts of horseshoeing & blacksmithing supplies. A fun place to visit.

    • ian says

      I have an Unforgiven bowie made by JP Moss in texas. The humidity here in Davao has been very hard on it and I would like to find someone to refinish it for me. Can you refer me to someone pls ? Since its an early one in the series JP used up to an 800 grit on it [ JP tole me that the later ones he only used 600 because doing the series of 50 gave him carpal tunnel hehe

  4. PapaDuck says

    Mars, Louie
    That blacksmith is in Pangasinan Province north of Subic Bay. Your right he does pretty good business and quality work. Wouldn’t mind getting a nice set of kitchen knives made by him. Take care

  5. AlexB says


    Amazing story. When I was in Liliw, Laguna, a vendor was selling Batangas balisong (fan knife). Beautifully handcrafted but I remember I couldn’t take it through Canadian customs. Mmm…interesting (and inspiring) video.


  6. Tom says

    Hi Bob

    What is the law on owning one of these swords here in the Philippines from what I can find it is considered a deadly weapon similar to owning a gun.

    The only reference of the law I can find about it is below and it does not mention what would happen to an expat carrying a bladed weapon in public but I would bet you would go to jail unless you have a job cutting sugar cane seems to be okay to have in your house just not outside of your residence

    Tom/ Roxas City

    .chan robles virtual law library
    .chan robles virtual law library
    Section 1. Paragraph three of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine is hereby amended to read as follows: .chan robles virtual law library
    “3. It is unlawful to carry outside of one’s residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as “knife”, “spear”, “pana”, “dagger”, “bolo”, “barong”, “kris”, or “chako”, except where such articles are being used as necessary tools or implements to earn a livelihood or in pursuit of a lawful activity. Any person found guilty thereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than one month nor more than one year or a fine of not less than Two Hundred Pesos nor more than Two Thousand Pesos, or both such imprisonment and fine as the Court may direct.”.chan robles virtual law library
    Sec. 2. Article twenty-two of the Revised Penal Code shall apply to persons previously convicted under paragraph three of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine..chan robles virtual law library
    Sec. 3. Any law or ordinance which is inconsistent herewith is hereby repealed..chan robles virtual law library

    Sec. 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval..chan robles virtual law library
    Approved: November 21, 1978


    • says

      Hi Tom – It is my understanding that a foreigner can own a knife here, but the other day somebody told me on Facebook that foreigners could not own bladed weapons. At this time, I am just not certain.

  7. Hash Magarang says

    Hi Bob!

    You’re right about swords in Tugaya. Because I’m a Tugayanian but I didn’t grew up in Tugaya. My dad used to leave there until they migrated to Manila. Anyways, Tugaya is also known as the bronze capital of the philippines before. Tugaya also produce musical instruments like the agong and kulintang. Swords or KAMPILAN in our term is one of their best product. And you’re also correct, sometimes its not safe there anymore but Tugayanians are friendly people 😀

    • says

      Hi Hash – Thank you for your comment, nice to meet another friend from Tugaya! If you are from there, I am sure that you must know the Tamano family, one of whom is a very close friend of mine. I have visited Tugaya once, I hope to go back sometime! It’s a wonderful place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *