Tabo - Not So Taboo

Tabo - Not So Taboo
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The Philippines is environmentally friendly in many ways. One of these ways is their use of a TABO. What’s a tabo? To be blunt, it is used instead of toilet paper. Pronounced tah-bow, it translates roughly to "water dipper."
The Philippines is environmentally friendly in many ways. One of these ways is their use of a TABO. What’s a tabo? To be blunt, it is used instead of toilet paper. Pronounced tah-bow, it translates roughly to "water dipper."

Today tabos are made out of plastic, but in the days before toilets, they were made out of coconut shells. (More environmentally friendly!) It also allows you to use very little water, which can be a very important thing in a Filipino household.

The tabo is a very common household item. It is a part of the culture, so much so that some Filipinos travel with them when going to other countries. Think of the tabo as a smaller, less mechanical bidet. The tabo is actually more useful than a bidet, as it can be used as a vessel to carry water to the bath, the toilet, or to clean. Tabo users might argue that it is more sanitary than paper tissue.

The tabo as an iconic, cultural tool. People that have moved away from the Philippines think of it either with nostalgia, or wish that it was more popular and used in other countries. So, if you"re traveling and you don"t see that big white roll you"re so used to, look around for a little bucket, and there"s your tabo. If you find a tabo in your travels, we suggest you try it. New or different customs can seem odd or scary. But you might as well give it a try; it will be a new experience! Isn’t that what makes life exciting?

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