Food Items to Buy as Souvenirs from the Philippines

The Ultimate Pasalubong Guide: Must-Buy Food Items from Every Region in the Philippines

Wondering which food items to buy as souvenirs from your trip in the Philippines? Let this pasalubong guide help you!

Filipinos, known for its strong ties, prefer to travel with friends and families. However, due to limitations imposed by the busy schedules or tight finances, we are bound to travel leaving some of our loved ones behind. But since we want them to somehow have a taste of our travel experience, we bring them souvenirs that best represent the destinations we went to. We call them pasalubong!

Also read: 5 Yummy Treats Pinoys Must Buy as Pasalubong from Singapore

Ingrained in Filipino culture, pasalubong is a must especially if you broadcasted your travel to the people around you. They will surely ask for some when you get back! From keychains, NSFW bamboo men, refrigerator magnets, shot glasses, to food items, pasalubongs can be just about anything! But if you really want them to have a taste of your travel, and since Filipinos are generally food lovers, what better way to give them than… FOOD! Here are some ideas for food pasalubong from each region in the country!

Region 1 (Ilocos Region)


Image credit: Jojo Nicdao

Bagnet is crispy fried pork belly that can be described as a hybrid of chicharon and lechon kawali. Popular in Ilocos Sur, bagnet is usually served with a dipping sauce of bagoong isda (fish paste) mixed with onions and tomatoes.

Insider tip: Bagnets in small eateries are usually tastier than the ones in big restaurants.

Runners-up: Vigan Longganisa, Empanada, Peanut Brittle

Region 2 (Cagayan Valley)

Hopia Ibanag

Image credit: Cup & Saucer

Hopia is a popular Filipino mooncake-like pastry that is made up of thin flaky crust and is filled with variety of flavours such as ube and munggo (bean paste). Hopia Ibanag is like the typical hopia but its crust is crunchier and has a more garlicky and tangy taste to it.

Runners-up: Muriecos Suman, Buko Pie, Malunggay Noodles

Region 3 (Central Luzon)

Longganisang Batutay

Image credit: Explore Nueva Ecija

While the typical Longganisa is made up of ground pork and is flavoured with spices, Longganisang batutay is a beef-based sausage with a distinct sweet taste. It is generally found in Cabanatuan and other nearby towns and provinces.

Runners-up: Pastillas, Tocino, Peanut Butter

Region 4-A (Calabarzon)

Buko Pie

Image credit: Krista

Buko pie is a Filipino pie made up of young coconut, locally known as buko. While it is generally available anywhere in the country, buko pies in Laguna are the most in-demand. In fact, there is a huge stretch of buko pie stores in-between houses located along the highways of Laguna.

Runners-up: Espasol, Barako Coffee, Pancit Habhab

Region 4-B (Mimaropa)

Uraro Cookies

Image credit: Shubert Ciencia

Uraro cookies are pastries made from the flour derived from the roots of the Arrowroot plant. Its low gluten content gives the delicate and powdery composition the cookies are known for.

Runners-up: Kamote Pastillas, Cashew, Dried Pusit

Region 5 (Bicol Region)


Image credit: Iana Peralta

The Bicol Region is known for its gata (coconut milk) and chili-based food which include dishes such as laing, kinunot, ginataang labong, and the famous Bicol express. Laing is made from gabi (dried taro leaves) simmered in coconut milk and served with siling labuyo (chili pepper).

Runners-up: Bicol Express, Pili Nut, Honey

Also read: 23 Cute & Cheap Souvenir Items to Buy from Korea

CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region)


Image credit: Shubert Ciencia

Tapuy is a clear-bodied rice wine with a strong alcoholic flavour. It is made up of glutinous rice, ginger extract and bubod (Cordilleran yeast). It often leaves a lingering taste comparable to the sake of Japan but generally sweeter and tastier.

Runners-up: Strawberries, Peanut Brittle, Ube

NCR (National Capital Region)

Pancit Malabon

Image credit: MVI

While the National Capital Region has all the pasalubongs money can buy, it still boasts products of its own. Favourites such as the balut from Pateros, halayang-ube of Taguig, and the famous pancit Malabon. What distinguishes pancit malabon from the other Filipino stir-fried noodle dish is the array of seafood toppings and the traditional tough and thick noodles.

Runners-up: Balut, Halayang-Ube, Putong Polo

Region 6 (Western Visayas)


Image credit: Mr. Leeds

Hailed as the sweetest fruit in the World by the Guinness Book of World Records, the carabao mangoes from the Philippines are highly sought-after. With numerous varieties of the said fruit, the carabao mango of Guimaras still remains as the tastiest in the country and possibly, the world.

Runners-up: Barquillos, Pinasugbo, Biscocho

Region 7 (Central Visayas)


Image credit: whologwhy

Lechon is the centrepiece of any major occasion in a Filipino home. It is a skewered pig roasted over charcoal and is usually accompanied with sauce according to one’s liking. While it can be found anywhere in the Philippines, where better to buy it than the Lechon Capital of the World, Cebu City?

Also read: 11 Dumbass Souvenirs You Need to Stop Buying

Runners-up: Dried Mangoes, Silvanas, Peanut Kisses

Region 8 (Eastern Visayas)

Chocolate Moron

Image credit: Jonathan Masloc

Chocolate moron is not as bad as it sounds. It is a special chocolate sticky rice pudding wrapped in banana leaves and is a variety of suman. Unlike the regular suman, chocolate moron is sweeter, doesn’t need added sugar, and usually comes with nuts.

Runners-up: Pinato, Binagol, Budbod

Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula)

Spanish Sardines

Image credit: brokensphere

Canned sardines are a favourite among Filipino households. Not only does it taste good, it is also very affordable. There are varieties of flavours to choose from and that include the Spanish-style sardines. It is cooked in either olive or corn oil, and is usually spicier than the original tomato-based sardines.

Runners-up: Dried Squid, Dried Fish, Curacha

Region 10 (Northern Mindanao)

Pastel of Camiguin

Image credit: Shubert Ciencia

Besides the lanzones and the pineapple products, Northern Mindanao is known for the pastel of Camiguin. It is a soft bread roll with delicate yema filling that will melt in your mouth. It is also available in different flavours like durian.

Runners-up: Lanzones, Pineapple, Coffee

Region 11 (Davao Region)


Whether you love or hate it, durian is undeniably the king of fruits! Its pungent odor will either make you puke or salivate. The bitter-sweet taste of durian is highly addictive once you have acquired the correct taste buds for this fruit. Just make sure that when you choose this as your pasalubong, place it in a well-wrapped plastic container!

Runners-up: Pomelo, Banana Chips, Empanada

Region 12 (Soccsksargen)


Image credit: Constantine Agustin

General Santos is not only known to be the home of World’s Greatest Filipino Athlete Manny Pacquiao, but it also boasts the freshest and most abundant catch of tuna in the country. You may think, how can you transport tuna back to your home? They have frozen tuna available as pasalubong!

Runners-up: Pineapples, Milkfish, Shrimp

Also read: 12 Delicious Must-Buy Souvenirs From Bangkok For A Taste Of Thailand

ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)

Kagang Pamah

Image credit: Evangeline Tan

Kagang pamah is the Tausug term for the spanner crab or more commonly known as curacha. It can mainly be found in Sulu waters. Kagang pamah is a hybrid of large sea crab and a big spiny lobster. It is usually steamed or boiled to preserve its flavours.

Runners-up: Budbod Ricecake, Corn, King Crabs



Sharing the newest TV Commercial from the Department of Tourism featuring the Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. This heartwarming ad shares how it is to be with Filipinos. The Enchanted River is an hour and a half away from Butuan City.

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎Spermologists Butuan‎‏ في 25 يناير، 2017

Video credit: Department of Tourism

Have you watched the Department of Tourism’s video featuring the Enchanted River? The food that was offered by the woman was the sayongsong! It is made of glutinous rice, brown sugar, calamansi juice, roasted peanut and coconut milk. Usually wrapped in banana leaves, sayongsong has the consistency and taste of puto (Filipino rice cake) but with the added creaminess of coconut milk.

Runners-up: Salvaro, Palagsing, Guyabano Juice

Also read: 10 Traditional Souvenirs from Kyoto You Have to Bag Home

Now that we’ve provided you with the list, you have one less thing to worry about. Just make sure you have enough baggage allowance for your flight! Enjoy your trip in any part of the Philippines.

About Author

Race Del Rosario
Race Del Rosario

Race is a beer-chugging backpacker who occasionally dabbles as a spermologist. When he's not travelling, he freelances as an events host and organizer. His ultimate dream? To travel the 6 continents before he turns 40.


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