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.
The souvenir is fairly common in gift shops in the Philippines and is somewhat popular among tourists who may be surprised the first time they encounter the object and lift its barrel. The souvenir's origin is relatively unknown, but the figure has been referred to as an Igorot, suggesting that it may represent the "primitive" mountain inhabitants of the country's early history. Although unconfirmed, it has been suggested that Ben "Dizon" Tingzon is the originator of the original barrel man.
The barrel man has also been identified as a part of Philippine culture and art, often as the subject of Filipino jokes. In 2005, an exhibit called "Beyond the Barrelman" debuted in Chicago. The event showcased modern Filipino art and implied an evolution of Filipino art from the crude, comical barrel man figurine. The barrel man was also featured in the Filipino-American movie The Debut in 2001 starring Dante Basco.
In recent years, a female version of the figurine has appeared. The surprise are the woman's breasts.
'I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CASK AND WIFE' BRONCOS ZEALOT 'BARREL MAN' TAKING ON NEW ROLE - GROOM.(City Desk/ Local)
Jan 03, 2003; Byline: James B. Meadow ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS Sometimes the prospect of marriage can make a guy feel like he's over a barrel. And...