Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I noticed there are lots of roadside stalls selling fruits, fresh produce and souvenirs on our way to Tagaytay City earlier -- these are very important to Filipino culture. They call it “pasalubong”, meaning; when you are coming from a faraway place, you have to bring something back for the people who would (possibly) welcome you.

It’s a small gift or a “token” that you actually thought of them while you’re on a trip. Or that you actually went out of your way to get them sumthin' while you’re on a holiday.

Filipinos buy key chains and t-shirts by the tons! One time there was this friend of mine... who was on a 3-day holiday in Bangkok. All she does is buy this for dad, buy those for mom, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, cousins, friends, neighbors and the neighbor’s cousins, the neighbor’s neighbor too! I asked her if she came for a holiday or just spend all her time looking for “pasalubong” --She said its tradition.

For the ones left behind, it’s actually not a taboo to ask for a “pasalubong” from the new arrival. Hands-on-waist, they would indignantly ask: “Pasalubong ko?” (Where’s my pasalubong?”). Filipinos use this gesture as a “lambing(affection) to indirectly express that they missed you too and they are happy to see you back. But it would be best if you DID bring them something.

This “pasalubong” thoughtfulness is a trait deeply embedded in Filipino culture – a trait that makes them so endearing. Truly one of our region’s golden traits from the Philippines.


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Anonymous said...

You're insight is more enlightening than most locals. Yes, it is indeed a "lambing" especially when you notice that you don't get any pasalubong. I miss the Philippines. *sob


Don said...

whether it's just out of town or out of the coutry, bringing "pasalubong" to family/friends/relatives and even neighbors is just something innate to filipinos... btw, great site, i backtracked all your posts. Kudos Bisean! Bi is the straight way to go.. :)

eyron said...

pasalubong is for welcoming...

then there is 'pabaon' or a send off gift. this maybe food or something that the host give for the leaving guest whether it is relatives, friedns or neighbors.

Joey said...

Hands-on-waist, they would indignantly ask: “Pasalubong ko?” (Where’s my pasalubong?”). <<<

This is so true. I chuckled after reading this part


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