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Pasalubong, or bringing homecoming gift is a popular Filipino tradition. Bringing home something from your travel back to your family, or to the host family/friends is deemed as a thoughtful gesture. It is deeply embedded in the Filipino culture that local products are produced for that reason.
Still one of the best pasalubongs to buy, Cheding’s Peanuts has come a long way. Cheding’s Peanuts has been in Iligan City for decades. Tourists and travelers flock the store for its numerous delicacies to take home to family and friends. Their distinctive roasted nuts has earned the attention of a major airline company and is one of the local snacks served in flight. It is also the most sought out pasalubongs for any Iliganons who just got back from Iligan.
Changing the face of food condiments in the country, Suka Pinakurat, an Iligan-developed vinegar condiment is known for its tasty local coconut vinegar. To loosely translate it, “vinegar to shock (you)” with it’s distinctive taste, and spiciness. It goes well with anything you need a vinegar for. Along with its rise to fame, and popularity are legal disputes after big names, and individuals trying get a hold of its brand identity every chance they get. But Suka Pinakurat is originally produced in Iligan City, and is now household name. Some airline though do not allow carrying of the vinegar bottles into the aircraft. Should you bring some for home, request it to be packaged within airline standards.
Al Pater Palapa
One of the benefits of the multicultural Iliganon is adopting the tastes for Palapa. Palapa is an ever-present essential ingredient in the Maranao cuisine. It is a “pampalasa” and goes well with any viand adding richly-blended flavors and spices to any meal. This mixture of thinly chopped sakurab (Muslim Mindanao scallion), lots of finely sliced chili, pounded ginger, and some toasted grated coconut is now available in bottles for pasalubong. Al Pater Palapa from Al Pater-Kuwait
Delecta’s Spicy Bagoong
Iligan City might as well be known for creating tasteful spicy condiments. Making to the list is the Spicy Bagoong from Delecta. One of the familiar homegrown restaurant in lligan City, Delecta venture’s to producing shrimp paste that goes well with dishes, green mangoes, and anything you fancy a spicy bagoong with. What I like about the bagoong is the spiciness is not overpowering, and does not cut through your taste buds, and the shrimp paste does not carry a foul smell to the mouth.
Piaya De Iligan
Piaya is a flat unleavened bread filled with muscovado (raw) sugar. It is one of popular snacks that every province in the Philippines might have a version of. Iligan is no different, Piaya De Iligan is Iligan City’s version of it. Piaya De Iligan has a soft crust and and it’s also not flaky. I personally like the plain (muscovado) flavor – not too sweet, and it has that rich muscovado flavor that goes along with my coffee.
Silvana’s from Cherry & Michelle’s Bakeshop
If you’re into sweets, you might want to try Silvana’s from Cherry & Michelle’s Bakeshop. One of the oldest bakeshop and snack bar in Iligan. It still done a humble local snack bar ambiance to it. You’ll find their Cream Puff goes well with hot coffee, and their Silvanas is sinfully soft, chewy, and just enough sweetness for the sweet tooth. For long travels, it is best frozen before hitting the road. We requested it to be packaged for travel, and the shop already had several boxes covered for the trip.
This Filipino tradition of a homecoming gift is obligatory but most of the time people buy pasalubong with warm thoughts of their loved ones. It’s one way of sharing a part of their travel with their families, and friends back home. Do you have anything else to add on this list?