Metro Manila · Pasalubong

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Make sure not to show up with empty hands after vacations, as your Filipino colleagues and friends will demand "Pasalubong!" when you come back. Pasalubong is the Philippine term for souvenirs, usually edible and sweet, and it is common courtesy to get some whenever you leave the Megacity.

Roughly translated, pasalubong means "[something] for when you welcome me" in Tagalog. Every region has its own specialties when it comes to pasalubong: yema cake from Quezon province, the pastry inipit from Bulacan, peanut kisses from Bohol, dried mango from Cebu,... There is also an endless variety of candies and buiscuits, sold in little transparent plastic bags (pictured) or boxes. 

Many types of pasalubong are homemade, like the different versions of rice cakes. You can buy most pasalubong from vendors right in the street, especially near transport hubs and tourist attractions, and on markets. In provincial buses, mobile vendors routinely roam the aisle and sell their goods to the passengers. In some provinces you also find bakeries and pastry shops selling the local delicacies.

Many supermarkets have a section with pasalubong as well. If you are looking for a good selection of specialties in Manila, try the ground floor of SM Makati, near entrance Station Drive, or the Fiesta Market, the roofed outdoor area of Market! Market! in Fort Bonifacio.

 

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