“Pasalubong” is the Filipino word that means gifts that one brings home to family and friends when one returns from traveling. Traveling in this sense could mean holidays or work abroad and sometimes, even just a short trip to the market. The items given also ranges from small stuff like refrigerator magnets to other souvenir items like shirts and even food from the place visited by the traveler. When my father worked in Saudi Arabia, I remember him bringing boxes of imported cigarettes whenever he went back home. These were distributed to his brothers and friends.
This custom is so ingrained in us that no matter how short our trips are, we always make sure to set aside some time for “pasalubong” shopping.
One of my aunts recently changed jobs and her new job takes her to Bacolod regularly. Last Saturday, she visited us with a bag-full of goodies from Bong-Bong’s, one of Bacolod’s well-known purveyor of Bacolodnon delicacies. We got some sugar-free banana chips, Otap, Piaya, Barquillos, Cheese Tarts, and my favorite–the Butterscotch bars. In addition, we also got a couple of boxes of Cassava Cake and Puto-Pao from Nathaniel’s, which originates from Pampanga.
The Barquillos went very well with the Ube (Purple Yam) Jam that I bought from Good Shepherd, from my recent trip to Tagaytay. And of course, everything will go great with the Barako coffee I got from Bag of Beans, also from Tagaytay.