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May 08, 2024 8 min read

Within the enchanting tale of affection, birthdays arise as delicate threads entwining our collective reminiscences and shared adventures. They draw us nearer as we honor the day our beloved came into existence, underscoring the importance of conveying our feelings with genuine expressions. Whether succinct and gentle or elaborate and deeply felt, birthday wishes mirror the extent of our fondness. Birthdays transcend mere calendar entries; they symbolize occasions to showcase our boundless love.

 

Top 10 Souvenirs from the Philippines

  1. Barong Tagalog (traditional embroidered shirt)

  2. Jeepney miniature replicas

  3. Bayong (woven eco-friendly bag)

  4. Tarsier plush toy (endemic Philippine primate)

  5. Singkil fan (traditional dance fan)

  6. Filipino tribal masks

  7. Pearl jewelry (Philippines is known for its pearls)

  8. San Miguel Beer merchandise (iconic Filipino beer)

  9. "I Love Philippines" shirts or mugs

  10. Hand-painted "banig" (woven mat) wall art


Pasalubong Ideas from Manila

 

Manila, the bustling capital, is a treasure trove of souvenirs that reflect the city's vibrant energy. Dive into the local markets and discover delightful treats like "pastillas" – sweet milk candies that evoke memories of childhood, or the aromatic "dried tuyo" (dried fish) that adds a flavorful touch to any meal. Explore "Divisoria," where haggling is an art, and you'll find affordable clothes, trinkets, and accessories perfect for pasalubong. Manila's bustling charm will leave you craving more as you immerse yourself in the city's slang and say "Salamat" to the warm smiles and welcoming hearts of its people.

 

"Taho" Plush Toy:

Cute plush toy inspired by the popular Filipino street food, taho.

 

"Manila Sunset" Scented Candles:

Captivating scents that evoke the beauty of Manila's sunsets.

 

"Bahala na" T-shirts:

Shirts with the famous Filipino phrase meaning "leave it to fate."

 

"Manila" Skyline Wall Decor:

Artistic wall decor showcasing the iconic Manila skyline.



Philippine Souvenir Handicrafts

 

Delve into the soul of Filipino culture through its exquisite handicrafts. Admire the artistry of "banig" (woven mats) that tell stories of tradition and community bonds, or "T'boli" brassware that showcases the creativity of indigenous tribes. The intricate "parol" lanterns illuminate not just homes but the spirit of Christmas. And let's not forget the timeless "Higaonon" baskets – a symbol of Filipino ingenuity and resourcefulness. These souvenirs celebrate the essence of Filipino heritage, connecting us to the past and reminding us to embrace our roots.

 

"Banig" Bags/Clutches

Embrace sustainable fashion with these handwoven mats transformed into stylish bags and clutches, carrying with them the essence of Filipino culture and eco-consciousness.

 

"T'boli" Brass Bells/Jewelry

Admire the intricate craftsmanship of T'boli tribe artisans as they create exquisite brass bells and jewelry, each piece reflecting the spirit of their rich cultural heritage.

 

"Parol" Decorations

Illuminate your home with the vibrant glow of "parol" decorations, these festive Christmas lanterns not only symbolize hope but also evoke the warmth of Filipino hospitality during the holiday season.

 

Wooden "Bulol" Carvings

Immerse yourself in the ancestral traditions of the Ifugao people through these finely carved wooden "Bulol" statues, depicting rice gods that safeguard their beliefs and agricultural prosperity.

 

Handwoven "Higaonon" Baskets

 

Source: Pinoy Travelogue

Experience the artistry of Higaonon weavers as they skillfully craft unique and functional baskets, a perfect blend of cultural heritage and practicality.

 

Shell-encrusted Decor

Bring the enchanting allure of the Philippines' marine life into your living spaces with these beautiful items adorned with delicate shells, capturing the essence of island living.

 

"Capiz" Shell Chandeliers/Candleholders

Add a touch of elegance to your home with these delicate "Capiz" shell chandeliers and candleholders, reflecting the beauty of the Philippines' coastal charm and craftsmanship.



Where to Buy Philippine Souvenirs

 

Venture beyond the usual tourist spots to truly find the heart of the Philippines. Seek out "tiangges" or local bazaars where you'll encounter vendors eager to share their culture and stories. Visit the artisanal shops in heritage towns like Vigan or Silay, where time seems to stand still. Explore the hidden corners of the countryside, where you'll discover treasures straight from the hands of talented craftsmen. By engaging in the spirit of "tawad" (haggling), you not only get the best deals but also build connections with the locals, making your souvenir hunt all the more memorable.

  • "Divisoria" in Manila: A bustling market known for bargain shopping and a wide range of souvenirs.

  • "Greenhills" Shopping Center in San Juan, Manila: A popular spot for affordable and quality items.

  • "Paco Market" in Manila: A treasure trove of handicrafts, textiles, and local products.

  • "Salcedo Saturday Market" in Makati: A weekend market featuring unique artisanal goods.

  • "Taboan Public Market" in Cebu: Famous for dried fish, a must-visit for local delicacies.

  • "Baguio City Public Market" in Baguio: A favorite for strawberry-related products and crafts.

  • "D' Talipapa" in Boracay: A seafood market with a selection of beachwear and souvenirs.

  • "Baclaran Redemptorist Church" in Parañaque: Shops surrounding the church offer various souvenirs.

  • "Alabang Town Center" in Muntinlupa: A mall with stores offering a variety of local products.

  • Local Artisan Shops in Heritage Towns: Explore Vigan or Silay for unique crafts and cultural mementos.


Cheap Things to Buy in the Philippines

Not every meaningful keepsake needs to break the bank. The Philippines offers plenty of budget-friendly souvenirs that capture the country's soul. Delight in the savory "bagoong" (shrimp paste) or the "calamansi" (local lime) for a burst of flavor in your dishes. "Pasalubong centers" and local markets offer an array of affordable trinkets and keychains to remind you of your journey. Embrace the art of "ukay-ukay" (thrifting) and you might find vintage treasures that hold unique stories. The true essence of the Philippines lies not in the price tag but in the heartfelt thought behind each souvenir.

 

Bagoong

 

An affordable delight, Bagoong is a cherished shrimp paste that infuses Filipino dishes with bold flavors and a hint of umami. This budget-friendly condiment elevates your meals, adding a quintessential taste of the Philippines to your dining experience.

 

Calamansi Concentrate/Jam

Embrace the zesty essence of Calamansi, a small citrus fruit with a big impact. This affordable concentrate or jam brings a burst of tangy freshness to your cooking and beverages, ensuring your Filipino-inspired creations are bursting with vibrant flavors.

 

Turon

Crispy, sweet, and incredibly inexpensive, Turon is a Filipino favorite. These delectable banana spring rolls, often paired with jackfruit and brown sugar, make a delightful snack that captures the essence of Filipino street food at an affordable price.

 

Tamarind Candy

Experience a unique Filipino treat with Tamarind Candy. This tangy and economical delight offers a burst of flavor, combining the mouthwatering sweetness of tamarind with a hint of sourness, leaving a lasting impression on your taste buds.

 

Bibingka

Celebrate the spirit of Christmas with Bibingka, an affordable and traditional rice cake enjoyed during festive Filipino gatherings. Its warm, buttery goodness, adorned with salted egg and cheese, embodies the joyous flavors of the holiday season.

 

Puto

 

Savor the simplicity of Puto, a beloved Filipino steamed rice cake. These affordable delights, often served with grated coconut or butter, make for a delicious snack or a delightful addition to any meal, bringing a taste of Filipino comfort to your palate.

 

"Peanut Kisses" from Bohol

Indulge in the pocket-friendly pleasure of Peanut Kisses – bite-sized peanut cookies that melt in your mouth. A popular pasalubong from Bohol, these affordable treats embody the warmth of Filipino hospitality and make for a delightful gift.

 

"Sampaguita" Flower Souvenirs

Immerse yourself in the scents of the Philippines with Sampaguita flower souvenirs. These inexpensive and fragrant items showcase the national flower's elegance, allowing you to carry a piece of the country's beauty with you.

 

"Filipino Coffee" Packs

For coffee enthusiasts, affordable Filipino Coffee packs offer a delightful blend of aromatic beans, reflecting the country's diverse coffee culture. Savor the rich flavors of the Philippines in the comfort of your home without breaking the bank.

 

"Ukay-Ukay" Finds

 

Uncover treasures at budget-friendly prices through "Ukay-Ukay" – the Filipino version of thrift shopping. Browse through second-hand clothing and accessories, where you'll find unique and stylish pieces that perfectly embody the resourcefulness and creativity of Filipino fashion.



Food Souvenir from the Philippines

 

Indulge your taste buds with edible pasalubong that capture the diverse flavors of the Philippines. "Dried mangoes" provide a sweet tropical escape, while "buko pie" (young coconut pie) offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures. Savor the richness of "tablea" (cocoa tablets) that promise a comforting cup of "sikwate" (hot chocolate). Whether it's the "ube" (purple yam) jam or the humble "bibingka" (rice cake), these food souvenirs encapsulate the heart and soul of Filipino culinary traditions. Share these delectable treats with loved ones, and you'll spread the warmth and joy of your Philippine adventure.

  • "Dried Mangoes" from Cebu: Sweet and chewy tropical fruit, a Filipino favorite.

  • "Buko Pie": Creamy coconut pie, a delectable treat from Laguna.

  • "Tablea" from Davao: Cocoa tablets for making rich and comforting Filipino hot chocolate.

  • "Bicol Express" Spicy Mix: A fiery and flavorful condiment inspired by Bicolano cuisine.

  • "Polvoron" from Lucban: Crumbly milk candy, a nostalgic Filipino treat.

  • "Mangosteen" Jam/Candies: Unique and exotic fruit-inspired jams and candies.

  • "Durian" Chips/Candy: A polarizing yet distinct fruit-flavored snack.

  • "Pili Nuts" Products: Nutty and creamy treats made from the Philippines' native pili nuts.

  • "Chocnut": Peanut milk chocolate, a beloved childhood snack in the Philippines.

  • "Espasol" from Laguna: Rice cake rolls coated with coconut, a delightful pasalubong.



Unique Local Products in the Philippines

Beyond the typical souvenirs, the Philippines hides gems waiting to be discovered. Marvel at the colorful "pandanas" leaves transformed into fashionable accessories, or embrace the healing power of "capiz" shell products. Experience the time-honored tradition of "Hinabol" fabric, handwoven by the skilled "Higaonon" weavers, or indulge in the scent of "sampaguita" – the national flower. Every unique find reflects the artistic diversity and resourcefulness of the Filipino people, leaving you with cherished mementos that tell stories of a truly unforgettable journey.

 

"Sarimanok" Embroidered Patches/Keychains

Experience the mythical allure of the "Sarimanok" bird with these vibrant embroidered patches and keychains. These unique souvenirs showcase Filipino folklore and creativity, adding a touch of enchantment to your keepsakes.

 

"Laguindingan" Woven Hats

Source: Facebook (Department of Tourism - Northern Mindanao Office)

 Adorn yourself with the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines through "Laguindingan" woven hats. Made from indigenous materials, each hat reflects the artistry and identity of local communities, offering you a stylish and meaningful memento.

 

"Talaandig" Dreamcatchers

Embrace the wisdom and symbolism of the Talaandig tribe with these handcrafted dreamcatchers. These intricate artworks not only protect you from bad dreams but also serve as a beautiful reminder of indigenous traditions and the interconnectedness of life.

 

"Hinabol" Placemats/Coasters

Elevate your dining experience with the exquisite craftsmanship of "Hinabol" placemats and coasters. Woven with intricate patterns and natural materials, these table settings add a touch of elegance and Filipino artistry to your home.

 

"Pukpok" Jewelry/Decor

Source: Manila Fame

 

Discover the allure of "Pukpok" metalwork, where skilled artisans hand-beat metal into stunning jewelry and decor. Each piece carries the legacy of Filipino creativity, showcasing the beauty found in traditional craftsmanship.

 

"Palo" Ice Cream Holders

Chill out in style with these eco-friendly "Palo" ice cream holders made from palm leaves. Not only do they keep your treats cold, but they also represent the Philippines' dedication to sustainability and innovation.

 

"Tinalak" Clutch Bags

Carry a piece of T'boli heritage with you through these exquisite "Tinalak" clutch bags. Handwoven with precision and passion, each bag tells a story of cultural richness and the artistry of the Filipino people.


Souvenir shopping in the Philippines isn't just about finding trinkets; it's a soulful exploration of culture, tradition, and the Filipino way of life. As you immerse yourself in the warm embrace of the locals and the lively spirit of the islands, you'll uncover treasures that resonate deeply within your heart. Each pasalubong carries a piece of the Philippines, allowing you to relive the memories and share the magic with others. So, with newfound appreciation and a sense of wonder, take home these tokens of love and embark on a journey that will forever leave you longing for more. Salamat, Philippines!