While both classic and chocolate-dipped dried mangoes will forever have a special place in our hearts and luggage, we’re always on the lookout for new pasalubong ideas. So we rounded up a few new prime pasalubong candidates that not only make wonderful gifts, but perfectly represent the Philippines—our culture, flavors, artistry, and ingenuity.
Manila Cookie Story
Butter cookies may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think Philippine snacks, but these cookies are as Pinoy as they come. From the use of local ingredients—kape barako (coffee), queso de bola (cheese), and tsokolate (chocolate chip)—to the gorgeous packaging that features the jeepney, different indigenous weaves, and fiesta scenes to the shape of the cookies, which is meant to embody the eight-rayed sun in the Philippine flag, they tell a story that’s distinctly Filipino.
Meet the local versions of the Italian limoncello—the Manille Liqueur de Calamansi and Manille Liqueur de Dalandan. This vodka-based drink supports local farmers in Mindoro and celebrates our local citruses. It is a welcome addition to any liquor cabinet, and like limoncello, can be served neat or on the rocks, mixed in cocktails, or used in baking or cooking.
Choc-Nut Choco Peanut Spread
Move over, Nutella. Step aside, cookie butter. Choc-Nut’s new — and spreadable — take on an old favorite is here and it’s ready to change the way you do toast, pancakes, and waffles. It tastes just like the original bite-size chocolate-peanut bars, and is a welcome throwback to flavors of home and of our childhood. PB and J? More like CN and J!
Ever been the recipient of chocolates from relatives abroad? Now you can return the favor with Auro chocolates. These homegrown award-winning, single origin, bean-to-bar chocolates are made from cacao grown in Davao, and come in pretty packaging that are reminiscent of our local tapestries. With milk chocolate and different percentage dark chocolate variants, white chocolate with cashew, as well as variants with nibs, arabica coffee, and banana chips, there’s something for every chocoholic’s taste.
Akaba weaves together cultural heritage and modern style, honoring Philippine woven fabrics from Ilocos Norte, Isabela Province, Oriental Mindoro, Zamboanga, Basilan, and Sulu with bags that are both practical and beautiful. By incorporating indigenous fabrics like Inabel, Ramit, Hinabol, T’nalak, etc., and giving them a fun, contemporary vibe, Akaba bags exemplify a distinctly Pinoy aesthetic that makes it stand out in a sea of Fjallravens, Anellos, Jansports, and Herschels.
Pili Beauty Essential Oil Blends
Now here’s a pasalubong titas of Manila, and of the world, can appreciate. Their Essential Oil Blends Travel Kit is perfect for jet setters. It comes with five handy essential oils: one to refresh and reinvigorate, one to help you breathe easy, one for a good night’s sleep, one to de-stress, and one to keep insects at bay. Pili’s beauty products are the first to use pili and elemi oil as main ingredients.
They source their pili oil from Bicol, working closely with local farmers to protect the forest where pili trees grow.
Maggie Adan is a storyteller at heart. She is a freelance editor, writer, and content creator.
When she’s not stringing words together, she’s practicing yoga, doing crafts, puttering around in the kitchen, or providing free petting services to neighborhood dogs.
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