Filipino Culture: Tips on the Top Pasalubong

Pasalubong is one of the Filipino culture and tradition here in the Philippines of bringing a gift to your friends, relatives, or even co-workers when you went somewhere.

The root word of the word “Pasalubong is the word "salubong" which means in English "(to) welcome" while the prefix "pa-" is a shortening of "pang-" that specifies that the root word describes the function of the object. Therefore, the word "pasalubong" may be translated as "something meant for you when you welcome me back."

Pasalubong is very popular among the Filipino as it keeps the tie with friends, relatives, family, or someone who does have close relationship with you. The sign of handing out pasalubong conveys that loved ones are being remembered while even you’re away. 

To help you out in choosing the best pasalubong for your friends and relatives, here are the top items that you could give as a gift to them and categorize by food and usable products.

Here are the top Pasalubong in food category!

  • Kalamay / Calamay - a sticky sweet delicacy that is popular in many regions of the Philippines. It is made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground sticky rice.

  • Peanut Kisses – made in high quality peanuts and egg white from Bohol Philippines. It actually looks like a miniature of the chocolate hills too.
  • Otap – An oval shaped cookie that is sprinkled with white sugar that easily breaks up in your mouth and crumbs.

  • Dried Mango – it is a dried out, preserved and sweet mango. It is rich in vitamin C and easy to chew. One of my favourite!

  • Titay’s Rosquillos – my mom is from Lilo-an Cebu Philippines and she have seen Titay’s Bakeshop grow. Rosquillos is one of the Titay’s products that people buy there.

  • Piaya – a not too sweet biscuit. It is among the favourite of my Daddy and he always buy this one when we go grocery together.

  • Camiguin Pastel – my favourite! It’s affordable and very delicious! I love sweets so my taste buds love this! It is a bun with filling inside. They have other fillings but so far I have tasted only the buns with yema inside. You should try it, you could buy a box with 6 pieces inside that cost around Php 125.00

  • Chicharon – It’s prepared by deep-frying the dried pork rind with a little salt. It is sometimes eaten with vinegar, chopped chillies in vinegar or with bagoong, lechon liver sauce, or pickled papaya. But I more prefer to eat with vinegar with chilly.

  • Durian Candy – There maybe some of you who are like me who can’t take the smell of the real Durian fruit. Then the Durian candy is just right for you! I can eat it because it doesn’t smell like the real Durian fruit but taste great! Taste like Durian too!

  • Dried Fish – this will be the last option. I would just suggest to buy this to people you know who are a Filipino. For us it smells great but one of the people I know that now live in the US says her neighbour called the fire station when she cooked this. Anyway, it’s a dried fish, a fish that is then placed under the sun wrapped in salt.

  • Suman a rice cake that is made from the sticky rice cooked in coconut milk, steamed in banana leaves. I love eating this with sprinkled sugar all over it. Sometimes dipping it in a hot chocolate. But I don’t know if it will last till you’ll arrive in your homeland.

  • Puto ­– there is also a version of puto that has cheese on top of it. Puto is a soft steamed rice cake.

Now here are the top items that you could have as pasalubong:

  • Native Jewelleries – maybe some of you will be fond with this, but it looks great and very native. You can buy these kinds of jewelleries around Php 10.00 to Php 100.00 usually.

  • Native Bags – I love native bags especially when it’s a coin purse. There are lots of native bags sell around the country but I suggest you buy it on streets rather than at the mall. It’s a lot more expensive in the mall.

  • Key Chain – Obviously you have this kind of key chain in your country but it’s a native one. I bought one like this when it was Sinulog week here in Cebu for only Php 15.00 with my name on it.

  • Home Décor – You may want to put some Philippine souvenir at your home and display it. You can have shell home décor that you can hang on the middle of your leaving room or some bells on your door.

  • Guitar – if you know how to guitar and want to play a guitar then you could find a good guitar here in the Philippines, specifically in Cebu. My brother has his first guitar bought here in Cebu.

  • Tshirt – Want to display that you just did came here in the Philippines, then might want to buy and I love Philippines t-shirt or has the province that you visit on it like Cebu or Boracay Philippines.

  • Mini Jeepney – There’s a Ferrari toy car so why not a jeepney right? I never got one of these kinds of toy but I see them at the stores. Why not buy one right?

  • Fan – not electric fan. You can use this during summer and show your native fan. There are stalls in the mall sell these fans with free embroider of your name, I have mine.

  • Malong – a traditional tube shirt that is usually used here in the Philippines by Muslims. It is handmade and multi-colour cloth so it’s totally perfect for you to bring home.

  • Sarong – you may have seen this in other countries like Indonesia but it is also sold here in the Philippines. It is a large fabric that is often put on the waste and it can be totally fashionable too!

Hope this all help you out in choosing a great pasalubong for your love ones when you come back in your homeland from a visit here in the Philippines!

If you’ve got any suggestions you might want to comment down there! Would love to hear some suggestions from you guys…

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