Philippine Souvenirs: 10 Trendy Gifts and Tokens to Take Home With You

Philippine Souvenirs: 10 Trendy Gifts and Tokens to Take Home With You

Even souvenirs are more fun in the Philippines!

It’s always a great time to visit the Philippines! One thing you should know before travelling to our country is the time-honoured tradition of bringing back pasalubong (gifts or souvenirs) for your family and friends back home. And for yourself, too, of course! 

Ideally, you shouldn’t have to wait until the day of your departure to make a last-minute grab at the gift store. For a truly worthy stash of Philippine souvenirs, you can seek out these tokens and keepsakes listed below — all of which can be found in markets, souvenir shops, and malls around the country. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to visit the Philippines without packing these goodies in your suitcase! 

Also read: The Ultimate Pasalubong Guide: Must-Buy Food Items From Every Region in the Philippines

1. Dried mangoes

These slivers of tangy-ripe mangoes are easy to chew, vitamin-rich, and so delightful for snacking at any time of the day. More importantly, they are very addicting. Word of advice? Hoard as many packs of dried mangoes as you can. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they disappear once you get home! 

2.  Buko pie, polvoron, and other Philippine delicacies

Image credit: Krista

With flavours ranging from sweet to wow, that’s really sweet, these local delicacies are the ideal gifts to buy for your loved ones back home. Some of our favourites include pastillas de leche (soft and creamy milk confections rolled in sugar), otap (a flaky and crunchy puff pastry), polvoron (crumbly shortbread made of toasted flour and powdered milk), Choc Nut (a small peanut-chocolate bar), and buko pie (coconut custard pie). But believe us, that’s only the tip of the iceberg! If we tried listing all the scrumptious morsels you could take home from our country, we would be here all day! 

3. Coffee beans

Little do many people know, the Philippines boasts many coffee-growing regions that yield varieties such as Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and finally, Liberica, which is known as barako. With delicious flavours across the board, it’s no wonder that specialty coffee is a growing industry in the Philippines. So, why not take a bag of beans back home with you? Let the bold and intense aroma of barako coffee beans from Batangas perk you up in the morning. It’ll be a delicious reminder of where you spent your last vacation. 

Also read: 10 Must-Visit Places in the Philippines for Specialty Coffee

4. Pearls

Along with its bountiful marine life, the Philippines is also teeming with jewels from the sea. From white to lovely gold varieties, the finest South Sea pearls can be found at affordable prices — that is, if you know where to look! 

Let’s just say that curious backpackers aren’t the only people who drop by Metro Manila in search of valuable pearl earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. We don’t want to disclose any names (cough, Rihanna, cough), but many famous celebrities have been spotted at Greenhills Shopping Center looking for these Philippine souvenirs as well. We’re just saying! 

5. Mother-of-pearl cutlery, capiz shell placemats, and other tableware

Image credit: Tiffany Conde

Lustrous from every angle, these mother-of-pearl items will be the aesthetic envy of every party. Whether you are scooping your rice with a stunning spoon or setting capiz shell placemats on the table, taking these dinnerware items out of your drawer is like a subtle flex to all of your friends. “Yeah, that’s right. I own shiny things now.” Needless to say, if they fit within your budget, these iridescent items are very much worth the splash! 

6. Native bags, pouches, and accessories

Bags, pouches, laptop cases, bandanas, and embroidered garments — how could we ever resist? Beautifully and thoughtfully made, these Philippine souvenirs are both comfortable and IG-ready at the same time! 

For mindful shoppers, there also ethical brands that work closely with different ethnic groups and cultural communities in the Philippines — crafting not just great art that we can hold, but also contributing substantially to the livelihoods of the people who dedicate so much of their time and ancestral heritage into these products. 

7. Patterned mats, baskets, and home decor

From baskets, decorative planters, and wooden carvings, Philippine handicrafts showcase the diverse traditions and craftsmanship of indigenous artisans in the country. For your own souvenirs, we suggest looking into cotton tapestries, earthy pillowcases, and handwoven mats, which will add a splash of colour and tropical character to any room. 

Also read: 10 Best Ukay-Ukay Spots Around the Philippines

8. Dreamcatchers

Whether you believe in the legend that they protect you from nightmares or you just want beautiful ornaments to adorn your walls, these dreamcatchers are just so soothing to look at. Here, graceful hoops are embellished with beads and drooping feathers. When you hang these trinkets up in  your bedroom, you feel that a good night’s rest is just close by. Sweet dreams are made of these, wouldn’t you agree? 

9. Graphic t-shirts

If you’re hoping to spruce up your style, then you’re in the right place! When it comes to Philippine souvenir t-shirts, many brands offer a generous selection of simple prints and location-specific imagery. Often inspired by popular vacation sites around the country, these clothes radiate positivity and good vibes — just like basking in warm sunshine. And you know you’re all about that beach life once you start reaching for tie-dyed shirts!

10. Toy jeepney

Image credit: Sonny Abesamis

Among Philippine souvenirs, this toy jeepney is a must-have because it captures the spirit of Metro Manila so well. Originally, the jeepney was built using leftover parts from military Jeeps that had been cast aside after World War II. But as early as the 1950s, it evolved into an indispensable mode of public transportation for many Filipinos. Both a travel memento and a cultural symbol in miniature, the jeepney figurine reflects the eye-catching design and history of the real thing. 

Also read: Souvenir Ideas: 6 Ways to Commemorate Your Travels

Naturally, the country that has perfected the art of gift-giving also has many novelty items to nurture your nostalgia! No matter which city or province you fall in love with during your stay, these Philippine souvenirs will be the perfect homecoming presents from your trip.

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys being swept up in books that spark her curiosity for new places, both real and imaginary. While travelling, she finds herself going off the beaten track quite often, but it's probably because she gets lost easily.

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