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.