Bicol has always been a popular destination for both local and international travelers, as it is home to one of the most beautiful works of Mother Nature. Although shy to show its tip on most days, the Mayon Volcano’s perfect cone structure has continued to attract all forms of tourists.
This region is also popularly known for their cooking – especially when it comes to coconut or chili-based dishes. So much so that they have started to package the popular Bicol Express, Pinangat, and Inulukan in frozen bags for people to take home. While those alone already make for the perfect pasalubong, why not try other unique items?
Here are some pasalubong ideas I spotted on my last visit…
1. Dragonfruit Jam (₱ 120)
If you’re a fan of dragonfruit, you’ll love this product. I’ve only had fresh dragonfruit. They also have Dragonfruit Pastillas, Dragonfruit Herb Vinegar, and even Dragonfruit Soap.
Available at MikeLiz Integrated Farm.
2. Chili Cupcakes (₱ 100 for a box of 6)
Chocolate Cake mixed with Pili and Sili to make it truly Bicolano.
Available at Gahfea Café and Bistro
G/F, Gaisano Capital, Magsaysay St., Sorsogon City
Facebook: Gahfea Café and Bistro
3. Pili Nut Paté from Vicky’s (₱ 80)
Vicky’s is already a well-established brand when it comes to Pili products. This Pili Nut Paté is the latest addition to their innovative Pili products. Great to pair with crostini! Variants include Paté with Mussels or Shrimp.
4. Larry’s Honey (₱ 15 per honey stick, ₱ 300 for 1 bottle)
Larry’s Honey is one of the most familiar honey brands in the Bicol region. It claims to be 100% pure unadulterated, unfiltered, uncooked and raw. Their honey comes from the mountains of the Bicol region.
Facebook: Larry’s Honey
5. Sweet Potato Crispy Fries (₱ 35)
Kamote is one of the most accessible root crops nationwide so it’s no surprise that Filipinos have started innovating ways to cook it. This is not like the Kamote Fries you can find in the streets. These are lighter and crispier. At Php 35 a bag, they’re worth a spot on your pasalubong list.
Mobile: +63 9129203358
Facebook: Camote Creations
6. Sili Beer (₱ 140)
I’ve recently taken a liking to beers so this definitely piqued my interest. If you’re a craft beer lover, then this should be on your list. The flavor is rather hard to explain, but I can say that the heat is definitely distinct with this one.
7. Local Bags from BidiBidi (Prices start at ₱ 1299)
These native bags from BidiBidi are very much on trend these days. Bidibidi is a local brand from Baao, Camarines Sur started by Bernadette de los Santos. At the heart of this enterprise is women empowerment – women from local communities in Camarines Sur are taught the necessary skills from weaving to embroidery – to be able to create a sustainable livelihood for their families.
How cute is this Pinangat bag accessory?
The bags are available in Soleil at Ayala Malls Legazpi and The FARM Shoppe
8. Banig (From ₱ 200)
Near Legazpi is a town called Bacacay, where generations of weavers continue the tradition of making banig. Prices start from just 200 pesos. It’s tempting to haggle, but I suggest not to do it as these take hours to finish and are really considered a labor of love.
For more of the Best of Bicol, visit @bestofbicolofficial on Instagram.
What other unique pasalubong items do you bring from Bicol?
Live an Awesome Life,
Monique of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We were media guests of the Department of Tourism as part of the launch of Kain Na!, a new DOT program for Culinary Tourism.
P.S. While you’re in Bicol, don’t forget to try the well-known sili ice cream from 1st Colonial. I found that I could tolerate only up to Level 3 out of 4. If you’re not keen on trying chili ice cream, try the latik or carmelado flavors instead.