The Philippines is a place full of culture and history. It is blessed with delicious cuisine, unique shops, beautiful scenery, white sandy beaches, and friendly people. It is a great way to spend a dream vacation. Filipinos have a word called “pasalubong.” This means “something for welcoming me back,” and shows the giving spirit of the Filipinos. There are many options available when looking for something to bring back to your friends and family, and they will surely love getting a little taste of the Philippines!
The Philippines is also a place where you can buy lots of souvenirs, local food and pasalubong at very affordable prices. Here’s a list of popular things to buy in the Philippines:
Polvoron is a favourite childhood treat, for adult as well. It is a crunchy and crumbly fun-to-eat snack that comes in different flavours. Ingredients are mainly powdered milk, butter and toasted flour. They are moulded into oval or round shapes. Traditionally, polvoron was made special with rice crisps added to the mix. These sweet treats are great anytime. They’re also great as gifts or giveaways during the holidays. Popular brands of ready-made polvoron are: Goldilocks, Red Ribbon, Choco Vron, Milkee and House of Polvoron (HOP).
02 Dried Mangoes
Dried mango is another yummy pasalubong. Cebu is well-known for its delicious, tasty dried mango which is one of the favourite “pasalubong” (present) fruit snacks of the Filipinos, both here and abroad. The Philippines has the sweetest mangoes which are without a doubt, the best tasting dried mangoes in the world! Dried mangoes are chewy and sweet making them the best pasalubong for everyone. They can be eaten as a snack or dessert or used as ingredients for ice cream mixes and toppings. They are affordable too. Popular dried mango brands are 7D dried mangoes and Philippine Brands and Guadalupe.
03 Chicharon (Pork rinds)
Chicharon is a popular deep-fried pulutan (finger food) in the Philippines because it tastes oh-so-good when paired with alcoholic drinks dipped in vinegar with garlic. It also makes for a great pasalubong with your drinking buddies. Okay, so it’s not the healthiest gift in the world. But everyone should indulge in yummy calorie-laden food once in a while, right? There are several outlets in the city selling special Chicharon in the Philippines.
We have all been craving Ensaymada for some time now. Ensaymada was adopted from the Spanish Ensaïmada but has evolved throughout the years to become what it is now loved by many Filipinos. This soft, sweet bread covered with butter and sugar then topped with lots of grated cheese and commonly served with hot chocolate is just right for merienda (light morning or afternoon snack). If you want to bring some home, buy them on your day of departure so they’ll be freshly baked.
05 San Miguel Beer
San Miguel is the best-selling and best tasting beer brand in the Philippines. This Pale Pilsen has been around for 125 years and is considered the go-to beer of local drinkers. Most travellers fall in love with the beer because of its unique taste and alcohol content. Hoard a few bottles (or cans) and bring them home to your friends. Just make sure to check the duty-free alcohol import limit of your country before leaving so you don’t pay exorbitant taxes when you return home.
06 Souvenir shirts (Philippine Statement Shirts)
Many people are fond of souvenir t-shirts so buying this as a pasalubong to remember your trip in the Philippines could be a good idea. You’ll definitely find a lot of shirts that express how much the Philippines are loved by everyone. You can also get souvenir shirts from the provinces that you visit. When other people see what they are wearing, they would think that your loved ones have been in the Philippines too and that they got the shirt on their own as a souvenir. Plus, it’s a practical gift that they can wear over and over again, with proper washing.
This is definitely one of the most requested pasalubong! Hopia is a staple Filipino bean filled pastry traditionally filled with sweet mung bean, but also comes with other fillings such as purple yam (ube), sweet potato and even pork. This favourite afternoon snack is essentially a mooncake, which was introduced to us by the Chinese.
08 Chocnut or Chocolate peanut bars
Everyone loves Chocnut, especially the Filipino. It’s a small candy bar that almost all of us is familiar with. It is a sweet mixture of peanuts, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder. You will feel nostalgic after every bite! That’s why wherever we are, we crave for Chocnut. When travelling abroad, buying imported chocolate like M&M’s, Toblerone, Snickers, Cadbury, and others is the usual pasalubong you bring when you get back. But if you’re coming from the Philippines and traveling outside the country, chocnut is almost on the same page as these treats.
09 Buko Pie or Coconut Pie
Buko pie is a Filipino pie made with young coconut, locally known as buko. While it is generally available anywhere in the country, buko pies in Laguna are the most in-demand. In fact, there is a huge stretch of buko pie stores in-between houses located along the highways of Laguna.
10 Traditional accessories
The Philippines is famous for its many handcrafted goods, which can work well as presents if you want the people you’re giving pasalubong to, to add a touch of Pinoy heritage on their outfit. You can get woven products and traditional handicrafts from different parts of the country, for example, you can buy sandals in Laguna (Liliw / Nagcarlan), shoes from Marikina, or handmade slippers from Cebu.