SOLD 12 3/4" Cebuano Spanish Bowie / Plamingko Knife with Gmelina Wood Handle and Sheath

SOLD 12 3/4" Cebuano Spanish Bowie / Plamingko Knife with Gmelina Wood Handle and Sheath
Product Code: Product 273
Product Length: 32.39 cm
Product Weight: 7.00 oz
Reward Points: 0
Availability: Out Of Stock
Price: $89.00
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These blades are from a forge in Cebu that is a little bit of a secret. Away from the district most famous for blacksmithing, the men at the forge produce what I believe to be the best blades you can find in Cebu today. These are solid working blades, but they have been mirror polished: the benefit of this is increased corrosion resistance. Normally, in the Central Visayas, working blades are allowed to patinate through use, and are only ‘cleaned’ by sharpening. 

Another thing I like about this forge is their use of gmelina wood. Gmelina is a fast growing species and all parts of the tree can be used. The wood is light, but durable, and the leaves are fed to cattle. This makes gmelina a far more sustainable choice than kamagong or narra. 

The plamingko is a common small knife in the Central Visayas. If the name looks like the word flamenco to you, you’d be right. This is a style of knife that was brought to Cebu by the Spanish. It closely resembles Spanish hunting knives of the time, and the navajas carried by Spanish sailors. Many in Spain call this style of blade Arabesque since it was brought to Spain by the Moors. In Cebu, it has long been used for a variety of tasks. It is used for slaughtering pigs and other animals every day in the Philippines.

This particularly plamingko is the nicest modern one made in Cebu today: I haven’t seen any better, and I’ve traveled through quite a few of the towns on the east coast of the island. I hope to explore more of the island in the future. It is without a doubt one of my favorite places anywhere.

This plaminkgo measures in at 12 3/4” overall. The handle is 5 3/16”, meaning it is good for virtually anyone’s hands. The handle is much like the handle on a barong. it is comfortable and will prevent your hand from coming off the end, much like the bell-shaped end on a khukuri. The handle on this knife is gmelina arborea, a durable choice that is nice and light, as well as being ecologically friendly. Gmelina is commonly cultivated in the Visayas today as all parts of the tree are valuable and can be used.


The handle on this knife is really very comfortable, and very nicely finished for a working blade, particularly for Cebu and the Central Visayas.


The blade is 7 9/16” long and is hand forged 5160 spring steel. It is nice and sharp. I originally thought it was convex ground, but I believe it is very slightly hollow ground. The choil is 7/8” long and allows you to creep up on the blade if desired. It also prevents your hand from sliding onto the very sharp edge: definitely a nice touch. The blade is 6/32” thick and epoxied into the hilt, which ensures a secure hold. There is one small nick in the edge that you could of course sharpen out.


This is a light, fast knife that is really very nicely made. The balance point is only 1.25” in front of the handle, making this a well balanced knife. This would make a great daga in combination with one of the pinutes I offer.

The gmelina sheath matches nicely and is a perfect fit. It isn’t a snug fit on the blade: being a working blade, this sheath allows for a smooth, fast draw. Inverting the sheath will cause the knife to drop free. The fit could be tightened up by lining the mouth of the sheath with cardboard or leather.


There is one small pit on the ricasso. 7 oz, or 8.9 oz with the sheath. $89.

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