Pasalubong (Filipino term for gifts or souvenirs from travel) has become part of many Filipino travelers. Whether traveling from domestic holidays or returning home for short vacation, Filipinos are often tied into buying them for friends, co-workers and family members.
Returning balikbayans from the United States often include pasalubongs in their luggage and make a checklist of recipients matched with novelty items from perfumes to chocolates, shoes to shirts. So what are the common items brought in from the States as pasalubongs to folks back in the Philippines?
Crisp US dollar bills serve as excellent souvenir items. Not meant for currency exchange shops but as keepsakes, they are the ultimate proof of American colonial mentality.
Perfumes are safe bets as pasalubong items. Everyone seems to love them, especially those with popular labels.
Bags from the United States seem to be a hit for the hip or fashionable ones.
Duty Free Shop at Los Angeles Airport
Hard Rock cafe Houston, Yale or Stanford campus souvenir shirts, NBA jerseys or Hollister or Abercrombie are sought after items.
Cigars and Whisky
Plenty of them can be found at Duty Free Shops at airports. As Filipinos are fond of spending good times with friends, imported cigars and spirits fit well in the celebration.
iPods, smartphones and gadgets of similar kind are much cheaper in the U.S. than in the Philippines so it brings more value for money as pasalubong.
It’s been part of Philippine culture that bringing pasalubong from travels abroad brings smiles to our long-lost friends and family members in the Philippines. Just be reminded to stay within your means. And to those in the Philippines, receiving one is a privilege and not a right.