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How sweet it is: 10 most popular Pinoy pasalubongs
SPOT brings you 10 of the country's best pasalubong that sweeten the general thinking-of-you sentiment of giving pasalubong.
By: Dyan Zarzuela  |   Published on: Jun 16, 2009 - 9:33am



History books and museums can help you learn about a country, but there's no better way to do so than through a plate (or banana leaf). We have a rich and diverse palate with versions of this and that here and there. Pasalubong stores dot every town, sometimes street after street. Here are some of the country's best sweet pasalubongs, which satisfy sugar cravings, aside from sweetening the general thinking-of-you sentiment of giving pasalubong.


pili-nut11. Pili tart from Bicol

Bicol produces the most pili in the country, to the extent that it's been named the province's flagship crop. The pili tart, which is just one of the many pili derivatives, is made from pili, flour, milk and sugar. A frequent pasalubong request, it is "crisp and soft, a mixture of textures," says Bicolana Ivy Vibar. This sweet and nutty pasalubong is available for P100 per five packs; each pack has five to six tarts. It's available in some malls in Manila like Market Market!

inipit12. Inipit from Bulacan

One of the famed sweet delicacies of Bulacan is the inipit. These are little rectangles of chiffon, made from eggs, milk, sugar and butter, with filling. Custard, caramel and ube are the more popular filling flavors. It's yummy and surprisingly filling despite its lightweight appearance. You can also buy inipit in Manila. Eurobake in Guiguinto, Bulacan is one of the famous inipit sellers; lucky for you, it has branches in Greenbelt 1, Greenhills Shopping Center and Glorietta 4. A box of 10 pieces is P130, 25 pieces is P220, and 50 pieces is P420.

yema-cake3. Yema cake from Quezon Province

Quezon Province is home to this deadly sounding yet not quite potent pasalubong. The yellow yema is not as sticky as your usual yema, but it still has that sweet kick. The yema acts as the icing and it is topped with grated cheese. The cake is actually just sponge cake which balances the overall taste. A party with this cake isn't complete without a fight over who gets to have the corner pieces which have the gooiest and cheesiest yema icing. Rodilla's Bakeshop in Tayabas, Quezon Province sells it every day for P350 to P450 per cake. In Manila, yema cake is available at Cordillera Coffee and Brewing Point.

choco-pulvuron4. Chocolate-covered polvoron from Tagaytay

Though there are a lot of polvoron sellers in Manila, Rowena's in Tagaytay still packs in the customers. By themselves, polvoron and chocolate sound good but when combined, you've got a sure winner. Black and white chocolate cover the cookies-and-cream-flavored polvoron. What's good about it is that the sweetness doesn't overwhelm you. Plus, the crunchiness of the little cookies gives it a nice texture. Make sure to try the other flavors like pinipig and casuy. Rowena's polvoron costs about P150 per pack which has about a dozen pieces.


peanut-kisses5. Peanut kisses from Bohol

Finally, edible chocolate hills! Though they're not really made from chocolate, these peanut kisses look like miniature versions of Bohol's Chocolate Hills. They have nothing to do with Hershey's but are equally, if not more lovable. Peanut kisses are made from peanuts, egg white, cane sugar and vanilla. Perfect for those who love nuts, its nutty taste is highlighted with just the right amount of sweetness. It's low cholesterol and goes with parfait, ice cream and fruit salads, according to the official peanut kisses website.   Peanut kisses are available in Tagbilaran, Bohol and in selected airports. It comes in a variety of sizes with the smallest worth P20.

binagol216. Binagol from Tacloban

Tacloban is famous for binagol, a sweet kakanin cooked in coconut shells or bagol, hence the name. The root crop talyan is the main star, which is mixed with coconut milk, sugar and peanuts. Banana leaves and strings wrap it up. It's sweet and with its size, it's meant to be shared. So far, binagol is only available in Tacloban, e.g. Dagami, for around P30 to P40.

dried-mangoes27. Dried mango from Cebu

Dried mango is a staple Pinoy pasalubong that you can find in practically every store in the country. An oldie but a goodie, it will not fail to remind you of home with its chewy, sweet and sour taste. There are many brands to choose from like Cebu's Pride and 7D. You can get a small pack for about P100 or less.


vjandep-pastel8. Vjandep pastel from Cagayan de Oro

Vjandep (pronounced Vandep) pastel is a dinner bun with yema-like filling. The name is a combination of the names of its inventors, Virgilio Jose and Elena Popera. The bun is made from the usual culprits: flour, sugar, eggs and shortening, but it's the filling that keeps people coming back for more. You can have the original one made from milk, butter and eggs, or try the other flavors like mango, cheese, langka, macapuno and more. Originally from Camiguin, it has branches in Cagayan de Oro and in Manila's SM supermarkets, Market Market! and Tiendesitas. In Cagayan de Oro, a dozen costs P115, while half costs P67. Those in Manila branches are about P100.

durian-candy9. Durian candy from Davao

Originally from Lola Abon's in San Miguel Village, Davao, this delicacy gives you the love it or hate it flavor (and smell) of durian in a neat little package. Its smell is not as strong as the fruit but you will still be able to taste the essence of durian. It's now available in major supermarkets in Manila with a pack worth about P100.

suman10. Suman from Misamis Occidental

Found in the one and only House of Suman in Clarin, Misamis Occidental, this suman is hard to miss. Made from malagkit, pure coconut milk and sugar, it's sweet and comes in a variety of flavors like balintawak, suman latik and ibus. Enjoy the brown suman, brown because it's mixed with chocolate, with a hot cup of native chocolate.

Photos from Joanna Manalastas, Dyan Zarzuela, Fanshen Peteros, Alex Obnamia, Allen Pili Nut Processors Cooperative, Adele S, karlacaraan, and

Artwork by Warren Espejo.

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  • simpleme
    u forgot to include butterscotch and biscocho from iloilo city.. also the bagoong from there and dried fish or are we only talking about sweets?
    3 months ago     Reply  
  • shawi
    also try from iloilo RG's butterscotch
    9 months ago     Reply  
  • aizing
    Is there any piaya and ilonggo delicacies in sm malls?
    Jul 19 2013 @ 04:39am     Reply  
  • Lawrence Fortes
    You can try my home made specialty form manila. Here is the link For orders call or text 09332538843. Thank You!
    Jun 15 2013 @ 12:26pm     Reply  
  • funk
    where can i buy alcala sweet candies in manila?
    Sep 08 2011 @ 10:53am     Reply  
  • imelda
    When I went back to the Philippines last Christmas. I got the best gift ever. Vacuum-packed pork longganisa. It's called Felisa longganisa by MRP++. It tasted like my childhood comfort food back in Cavite. What I love about it is that it is all-natural with no preservatives, msg, extenders or artificial additives. You get the meaty deal. For orders call or text MRP++ at 09064568878.
    Jan 09 2011 @ 04:44pm     Reply  
  • Rodel Acaso
    You must have missed this one for sure. Eng Bee Tin Hopia Should be on the list. Im sure everyone will agree. The Ube jam Variety is the best!
    Aug 26 2010 @ 12:00am     Reply  
  • belinda cabriga
    Yes napakasarap ng yema ng rodillas ng dala nga ako dito sa san francisco and all my friends love it,
    Jun 12 2010 @ 03:02am     Reply  
  • bonggarrido
    where is "kalamay" of bohol? Sarap!
    Feb 03 2010 @ 07:11pm     Reply  
  • jun
    Good news!

    Pastel is now available in buendia corner taft ave. pasay city. just beside atrium hotel and accross JAC liner bus terminal.

    Oct 15 2009 @ 03:21pm     Reply  
  • jilly
    Could someone please tell me the ingredients for Sevilla Sweets Pastillas De Keso? A student brought them as a gift for me.
    Sep 05 2009 @ 12:11am     Reply  
  • thenakedcherry
    i want them all! whew, the pictures got me soooo hungry! :p
    Jul 01 2009 @ 12:39am     Reply  
  • lette
    no Biscocho from Iloilo?
    Jun 26 2009 @ 01:36am     Reply  
  • maddox
    what, no turrones de casoy?
    Jun 19 2009 @ 09:56pm     Reply  
  • kypros
    Tamales is a favorite of mine, especially the ones from San Fernando, Pampanga. You can find them in Baclaran every Wednesday, but from only one vendor. Sometimes a seller goes around Makati some mornings - I always keep a sharp eye when I see a bilao, I know the tamales' shape.. The ones at the weekend markets are just too expensive, and the triangular ones at the malls are too sweet for my taste. Milky Way has it, very, very good, but also quite expensive.
    Jun 17 2009 @ 03:46pm     Reply  
  • Nick
    You know one pasalubong that I never understood? Tamales. It's like a kakanin from Pangasinan, but not sweet. It resembles a really salty suman. Has anyone ever tried that? Bizarre.
    Jun 17 2009 @ 01:37pm     Reply  
  • foodfairy812
    What about the pastries from Angeles City and Magalang, Pampanga? I've been given Sevilla's sweets - very good too. Thanks for posting this very intersting site/article.
    Jun 17 2009 @ 01:16pm     Reply  
  • busybee
    This is very useful. thanks for posting.
    Jun 17 2009 @ 09:14am     Reply  
  • rachkti
    everything looks really good! :)
    Jun 17 2009 @ 07:45am     Reply  
  • trey2k
    how about buko pie at laguna :)
    Jun 17 2009 @ 07:15am     Reply  
  • manhattan_express
    yeah i agree with Karl, kahon kahon ang Goldilocks polvoron and Mary Grace ensaymada.
    Jun 17 2009 @ 01:55am     Reply  
  • Karl_Bustamante
    dito sobrang uso nung goldilocks na polvoron. classic kasi. when someone from the PI comes over, it's always goldilocks polvoron that's on top of the list. but i remember HOP being just as good.

    and you wouldn't believe how much they charge for dried mangoes here. triple the price! insane!
    Jun 16 2009 @ 11:32am     Reply  
  • plaid
    That yema cake looks excellent. I'll go hunt it down.

    The best polvoron to be found anywhere is the butter polvoron from HOP. You can buy HOP polvoron in many supermarkets, but oddly, the butter kind is only available at their stalls. The only one I'm familiar with is in Megamall.

    As for dried mangoes, my favorite brand is Philippines Dried Mangoes. It's more sugary than the other brands and tastes less natural (which sounds bad, but that's how I like it!)

    Other favorites are the putong queso from Putong Ube and the yema pastillas from Iya's Jumbo Pastillas. Not sure what the origin of these particular pasalubongs are, but they're available in Manila.
    Jun 16 2009 @ 09:52am     Reply  
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