Aren’t they cool? :) Hahaha. I am FEELING OLD I tell you. Why? Porbably because 60-70% of the Philippine population today has never used or even knew about paper straws! I remember them with great fondness. They held up long enough to finish your drink, but if you dawdled, they softened. If you were evil, you could “squeeze” your classmate’s straw during recess, reducing its effectiveness. And if you were the “gigil” type, you bit your straws which rendered them almost useless, unless you cleanly bit off the end and carefully straightened out the cylinder so you could suck up your drink… :)
Today, plastic straws are de rigueur. And the plastic version is wickedly cheap, say 5-10 centavos a piece. But they are typically non-biodegradeable, and probably clog many a drain, estero, river or sea… If only 5% of the Philippine population uses a single plastic straw every other day, that would be roughly a BILLION straws used and disposed of per year! Egads! Imagine my surprise and delight when on a trip to Divisoria a couple of weeks ago, during a lull in the floods, I spotted these old-fashioned paper straws in four different colors! The inner part of the straws are coated in wax, and they hold up well in a drink… but it’s the nostalgia that they elicit that makes them such a wonderful find.
At roughly PHP1 each, they are some 10-20x the cost of plastic, making them economically less practical, but I do wish they were more readily available and in use. I got a box of every color, not really sure why nor what I will use them for, but maybe I will find a use for them during the year end holidays. The Teen had NEVER used a paper straw before and was intrigued… I was just happy to find a part of my childhood again.
If you want to buy some, I got these at the AFDELL store, formerly the Commoner’s Commercial Store at 725 Ilaya Street, just off Juan Luna Street. They were PHP45 for a box of 50 straws.