Food is at the heart of Filipino culture, so it’s only fitting that you’d bring home mouthwatering bites after an exciting adventure in the Philippines. Here, we round up must-try and must-buy Filipino food souvenirs—locally known as “pasalubong”—for your folks to try (or for yourself to enjoy):
Oh, the quintessential pasalubong from the Philippines. You just can’t leave the country without picking up a bag too many of this addictive treat!
Since bringing fresh fruit is prohibited by some airports, there’s no guarantee that the mangoes you bought from the market won’t be confiscated by airport officials, so the next best thing you can take with you is a pack of dried mangoes. The best ones are from Cebu, but dried mangoes so widely sold across the Philippines, it’s almost impossible not to find them at a local supermarket.
Deep-fried pork rinds—that’s what chicharon is. Crunchy, salty, and, of course, fatty, this sinful snack or beer accompaniment is best enjoyed dipped in vinegar. Is it worth all the guilt? We’d say yes!
A specialty from the Ilocos region, bagnet is basically a slab of pork belly that’s been repeatedly seasoned, boiled, and deep-fried then left out to dry. It has a long shelf life (it lasts for up to a month!), which makes it perfect for long trips!
Almost every province in the Philippines has its own version of the longanisa, a native sausage. Some are sweet like those from Cebu, while others are salty and garlicky like the ones from Vigan. Really, there is a longanisa for every palate. You just have to go and try which variant you’d like to take home with you.
A breakfast favorite among Filipinos, danggit is another Cebu specialty. It’s basically dried rabbitfish deep-fried to a crunch. It’s usually served with a spicy vinegar dip on the side.
Kapeng Barako (Batangas Coffee)
Kapeng Barako is Batangas’ prized coffee. It has a distinct aromatic punch that caffeine lovers will surely love. So if you want your coffee bold and strong, make sure to grab a bag of kapeng barako.
Good Shepherd Treats
A trip to the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio, won’t be complete without a stop at the famous Good Shepherd convent, where you will find the Mountain Maid Training Center. Its souvenir shop offers a plethora of easy-to-pack treats that will put any sweet tooth on high. Take your pick from peanut brittle to ube jam! But, perhaps, the best part about buying from Good Shepherd is that you get to contribute to a great cause. Part of the profit from the sales helps fund the basic needs of the Cordillera youth.
Pastel de Camiguin
These heavenly sweet buns are the size of dinner rolls stuffed with fillings that perfectly go with your cup of joe (or kapeng barako). The classic version is filled with yema (custard), but other flavors have emerged over time, such as macapuno, cheese, and even durian!
Bacolod is home to countless sweet treats, but one of the favorites you should definitely take with you is piaya—a flat, unleavened bread grilled on a pan that is then filled with various fillings such as muscovado sugar and ube.
Like what its name suggests, cornick is a corn snack that Filipinos love to munch on. They’re perfect as an appetizer or as a snack or even as a beer partner. It’s widely available in the Philippines and can be easily bought at supermarkets and delicacy shops. However, the best packs of cornick hail all the way (again) from Ilocos.
Ready for your trip to the Philippines? Book your tours and experiences on KKday now! Don’t forget to get your own Philippine travel SIM card or portable Wi-Fi to stay connected with your loved ones throughout your journey!
*Featured image via Z. Jacobs on Shutterstock