Having one of the greatest bio-diversities in the world and blessed with abundant resources. Philippines, an archipelago which has over 7107 islands, is one of the most desired and value-for-money tourist attractions in Southeast Asia. Situated on the western pacific ocean, Philippines enjoys sandy white beaches and turquoise crystal clear waters.
It is a region of vibrant culture and scenic beaches. Shopping is another big aspect of a trip to Philippines. Filipinos use shopping generally as a family gathering. One of the most common things a typical Filipino would do when visiting a place, is to buy ‘pasalubong’ or souvenirs for their family and friends. Here is a list of souvenirs that you can get from Philippines that will be worth your dime.
A popular game that involves dropping shells (sigay shells) or stones into small bowls that are carved into a long wooden board. This game demands one to be quick with the hands. A leisure time favourite of the locals. Although you can always find sungka board in almost all handicraft shop in the country, the best place to find quality sungka is in Baguio. I spotted some amazing wooden sungka boards in Cordillera World.
Philippine Tea and Coffee
Filipinos are more of coffee lovers but the demand for tea is becoming popularr. Carmona Retusa or Fukien tea tree, the Philippine tea is a must have for anyone visiting the Philippines. The tea has certain rejuvenating effects and apart from that, it is also an herbal drink with medicinal properties that can cure coughs and colds. This souvenir is well suited to bring back for a tea lover person. Of course, you should also try our very own coffee. Batangas is known for their Liberica coffee or more popularly known as the Kapeng Barako which has a distinctive strong flavor. Every coffee lover should not miss this pasalubong!
Barrel Man Doll
If you are looking for a unique and funny souvenir, nothing can be more ideal than the Barrel Man! The statuette usually consists of a crude male figurine carved out of wood, partially hidden inside a round wooden barrel. When the barrel is taken off, the male figure inside is revealed showing his genital. It’s a witty and naughty gift for friends. You can also spot Penis Ashtray too which are mostly manually carved by ethnic group from the northernmost part of Luzon (Cordillera region)
Philippines is famous for its traditional fabrics worldwide. Translucent in nature and are also available blended with cotton or silk. They are occasionally decorated with traditional motifs and can be used for various types of dresses. These fabrics are available in various stores throughout the region but might be a little on the pricey side. If you don’t have enough cash, then you can use ideal travel cards that are perfect for international travel.
A very popular alcoholic drink in the country that has an alcohol content of 30 to 50%. A bottle of Lambanong can help you bring back the taste of the islands back home. Lambanog is a wine made from coconut which is very abundant in the country. You can find most of the high quality Lambanog in Quezon Province but you can find one in almost every province in Luzon. Some pasalubong centers in Baler caters great Lambanog which comes in various colors and packaging.
Philippine Sweet Delicacies
Every province in the Philippines has their own specialty. When it comes to delicacies, provinces like Pampanga is definitely a go-to place! Ilocos has their “Balikutsya” while Bicol region is famous for their Sweetened Pili Nuts. Balikbayan also love popular Filipino snacks that they all grew up loving with such as Choc Nut, Pastillas de leche Mik-Mik and other nostalgic Pinoy candies. (Check Pinoy Candies from 80s and 90s that are still available today). There are prepackaged versions of these sweets available at local stores that make it convenient to bring it back home as a souvenir.
Festivals are already part of the Philippines rich culture and tradition. We have the annual Sinulog in Cebu, Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio, Dinagyang in Iloilo and MassKara Festivalin Bacolod. Festive masks serve as a big part of Philippines vibrant culture. It is a big part of their festivity. A traditional mask seems like a perfect souvenir to bring home some Filipino festive cheer.
If you have enough space for your baggage, then you might want to consider buying a Salakot. It is a hat made from various different natural materials and is woven into conical shapes and serves as a very convenient way to keep sun rays off the face. People from your circle who have a penchant for working outdoors will love this. It could be a great display on your wall too!
Handwoven crafts are one of the most common products in the Philippines. Banig in particular is one of the most popular handicrafts that you might want to include on your Souvenir list. Made out of palm trees, the Filipino banig mats are perfect for a beach trip to lie down on. It is a good alternative to beach towels. Most of all, buying such will allow you to help the banig industry to grow.
Other items that are famous in the Philippines as souvenirs are refrigerator magnets, ‘I Love Philippines’ T-shirt, Bowl and ashtrays made of carved Filipino wood, Filipino Slingshot and soaps.
Philippines offers so much to explore and observe that it becomes a wonderful treat for travelers across the globe. If Philippines is on your cards soon, then this list can be helpful to shop and bring back souvenirs from the Philippines for your loved ones back home.