Thursday, November 02, 2006


Filipinos have this unbreakable habit of bringing favors or gifts from their trips to the provinces or from abroad.

Called pasalubong, about 30% of the travel budget goes to buying food items, those lousy "I've been to ___ and all I got was this lousy shirt!" shirts, and other kutingtings or small items like wallets, key chains, etc. It would be akin to mortal sin not to bring people back home something, anything at all because they would feel slighted or what we normally call as tampo, thinking that we didn't think of them while were away.

Me and my cousins have stopped doing this practice as it has become very expensive to buy for everyone who knew you were away. I only buy food items for the household. These days, we just take tons and tons of photos and tell our folks back home stories.

Lately, I was at the aging Manila Domestic Airport to fetch my cousin when it occured to me that you can tell where people came from by their pasalubongs. My cousin, who flew in from Cebu brought, predictably enough, Cebu's famed otap (long, flat flaky crusted pastry sprinkled with sugar), dried mangoes and danggit (flattened dried fish). I saw one or two passengers carry out boxed Lechon Cebu (suckling pig; will discuss soon why Lechon Cebu is special). Hopefully those came from Talisay, home to Cebu's lechon products.

From Bacolod or Iloilo, there would be boxes of biscocho or piayas (no English equivalent, sorry). From Mindanao, flowers (orchids) or fruits (durian?). What do people bring from Aklan or Legazpi? What do people bring from Zamboanga? Would you know?

What do you usually bring back to Manila from your provincial trips? Leave me ideas.


Sidney said...

Pili nuts from Sorsogon !

Jules said...

a box of cake from Calea (Bacolod), napoleones, dulce gatas... any food that's cannot be found in Manila...

pepsi said...

broas from luisiana laguna. i remember buying a big tin can of biscuit and fill it up with broas for only 200 pesos. fresh from the oven.

longganisang lucban and lucban noodles from quezon

abaca goodies (bag, slippers, coin purses), pure cacao balls, pili nuts from Naga

coco jam with pili nuts and bukayo from camarines norte... this one hindi ko binibili pinapagawa ko lang sa tita ko bago ako umuwi ng manila.

chicha corn, and bagnet from ilocos

Citizen of the World said...

Sidney - i love pili nuts. They have a very unique character.

Jules - ipagyabang mo ang Bacolod goodies!

Pepsi - obviously mahilig kang maglakwatsa! Ang sasarap naman po nga mga pasalubong mo!

iskoo said...

yung pastel sa camiguin, masarap!

gusto ko durian at fresh tuna from davao...

ganda ng picture#2 shows movement! astig...

Anonymous said...

from iloilo:

panaderia de molo- hojaldres, biscoche principe, broas
biscocho haus- dulce gatas
pj's- butterscotch bars, butterscotti, marazipan de pili
de ocampo's- barquillos, barquiron
roberto's- sipao
carmel by the sea- squid rings, squid flakes, beef flakes
bibingka sa muhon,
etc., etc.!!

cielo said...

from zamboanga: barter goods like malong, sarong, and chocolates from malaysia. or Alavar's sauce for your seafood pleasure and spanish sardines. or seafood itself especially crabs and shrimps!