In the Philippines, wherever you visit, it’s become customary to ensure that our guests don’t leave empty-handed. Cebu is no exception; in fact, it has so many gifts for guests to bring home—which may be surprising for a small island. These items, traditionally called pasalubong, can be souvenirs to commemorate the experience, or may be something to share with friends and family back home.
To Filipinos, giving pasalubong is a way to strengthen bonds with the people that are important to you. For the best pasalubong to gift your friends and family, read on!
We’re starting this list with something a little naughty. Chicharon is a delicious delicacy made from pork rind, dried for some time then fried until it puffs up. Crunchy and salty, it’s perfect for snacking. You can find the best chicharon down south in Carcar City, but it’s available in many pasalubong centers or groceries as well.
No doubt, this is the most popular Cebuano pasalubong. Cebu holds the position as the largest dried mango distributor in the country, and exports the product to other countries. Make sure to bring home this popular pasalubong to your friends and family.
Dried food seem to be a common thing in Cebu, but that’s because it’s a deeply-ingrained tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Buwad, or dried fish, is also a popular pasalubong. Among the different kinds of dried fish, the danggit or the rabbit fish is the one that’s well-loved by many. It’s great for breakfast paired with scrambled eggs and white rice.
These cookies are iconic for their hole in the middle, shaped like a doughnut. They’re buttery and not too sweet, and can be great a great accompaniment to coffee. Rosquillos originate from Liloan, a town in northern Cebu.
Made from peanuts, masareal is a delicacy made in one of the busiest cities on the island, Mandaue. It’s crumbly and sweet, which makes it great for when you’re craving something sweet.
Otap is a crisp, flaky puffy pastry biscuit that’s covered in sugar that originated from Cebu. The biscuit is made of flour, shortening, coconut, and sugar. In order to achieve its texture, the baking process takes eleven stages.