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As from any other country, you will certainly want to bring gifts from the Philippines for your family and friends, as well as something memorable for yourself. There will be no difficulties with buying souvenirs and gifts in the Philippines, since trade here is well developed. You can buy in large shopping centers (they are in large cities and popular resorts), in small supermarkets, street markets, tourist shops and peddlers of souvenirs and trinkets on beaches and at popular tourist attractions. You can pay for the purchase exclusively in local currency or with a bank card of international payment systems (in large stores), and only sometimes rare private sellers are willing to accept cash US dollars.
And now we're talking about gifts and souvenirs that can be brought from the Philippines.:
Of course, first of all, the tourist's gaze in the exotic Philippines will fall on traditional souvenirs with the symbols of this country. Without any problems, you can buy key chains, magnets, plates, pictures, flags, handbags, cosmetic bags, etc. little things with flags and views of the country. The price of such goods is the same as in other Southeast Asian countries, for example: magnets from 50 pesos (Philippine currency and its exchange rate), souvenir plate from 300 pesos ( The only problem is that you can't find such souvenirs anywhere, and in some resorts you still have to look for them.USD, see
Along with magnets, costume jewelry made from seafood is very popular in souvenir shops. These are beautiful rosaries, bracelets, necklaces and pendants made of polished corals, shells and colored stones. They are also sold by traders from portable trays on beaches and tourist spots. Rosary beads made of polished black coral are popular, cost from 200 pesos (USD).
Local craftsmen make wonderful souvenirs from coconuts. These are souvenir figurines, dishes, masks, spoons and forks. If you have not brought such products from other Southeast Asian countries, then be sure to buy in the Philippines.
Filipino cosmetics is not well-known all over the world, but here you can buy cheap cosmetics from Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong. Among the cosmetic products of local production, you can pay attention to natural handmade soap and cosmetic oils for skin and hair based on coconut oil.
Pearls are one of the largest items of income from tourism in the Philippines, which is not surprising, because it is an island state, and the conditions for growing pearls are just perfect. What's nice is that the prices here are very low, and according to our feelings it's even cheaper than in Vietnam. For example, you can buy a necklace such as in the photo from only 600 pesos (RUB), and a bracelet for 200 pesos ( Please note that there are two types of pearls – sea and river. The river is grown artificially and has a slightly irregular shape with layers, but it costs several times cheaper than the sea.
In the Philippines, you can buy and bring home all the exotic fruits that are traditionally found in hot Asian countries. These are, of course, mango, pineapple, mangosteen, rambutan, lychee, smelly durian, etc. (see more about exotic fruits and photos). But, unfortunately, they are not always available everywhere. In our experience, there are much fewer exotic fruits here and seasonality is strongly pronounced compared to Thailand or Vietnam. So there is no guarantee that you will be able to find all their variety during your trip. But still, if they get caught, you can bring and please your loved ones at home. Well, if you can't buy fresh fruit, then you can buy dried fruit in supermarkets, which is also very "cool".
Kalamay is the most famous dessert from the Philippines, which can be a great gift. It is made from coconut milk, brown sugar, and glutinous rice. Sometimes fillers and flavorings are added to it to give a more "modern" taste, besides in different provinces and on different islands it is prepared a little differently. Coconut-shelled kalamay in Jugna on bohol island, where it is considered to be the most delicious, costs 50 pesos for about 300 grams ( USD).
Filipino tea and coffee
Filipino tea is a rarity even for the Philippines itself, and even more so it is little known outside the country. But if you are a big fan of this drink, you can find it in markets and supermarkets. Honestly, in our opinion, local tea is not of the same quality as from Sri Lanka (see about Sri Lankan tea), but it will be quite interesting as a souvenir tea from Eretia, aka Fun tea.
As for coffee, the production of this drink is not very common here, excellent Arabica and rare alpine variety Excelsa are grown in some regions and on the islands. The main coffee region is the city of Davao (Davao) on the island of Mindanao. This is a little-popular tourist destination, and therefore you are unlikely to go there solely for the sake of coffee, but this is not necessary. After all, the Dava Coffee brand can be bought anywhere in the Philippines in large stores and supermarkets.
Glutinous rice in the Philippines is known as "Pilit" and "Malagkit", but the familiar name "sticky rice" here, oddly enough, few people know. And it is not as widespread here as in Thailand or Vietnam, and therefore you will have to look for it in the markets, because it is not easy to find it in stores. But such difficulties will not stop real lovers of glutinous rice, especially since it is quite inexpensive here, from 100 pesos per kilogram. See more details, what is glutinous rice and how to cook it here.