Filipino Icon: Pasalubong
Filipinos are natural gift-givers. Maybe it is because they are naturally family-oriented or generous people. Either way, Filipinos will never travel and return home without bundles of pasalubongs or homecoming gifts for their loved ones. By ‘loved ones’ we mean their immediate families, extended families, close friends, and even extended friends if there was such a thing. Filipinos would give pasalubongs to their entire barangay or village if they could!
It is almost an unspoken rule that every Filipino should bring Pasalubongs during their homecoming. Culturally, giving pasalubongs is a sign of affection, respect, and courtesy. It is to remind others of their importance in our lives.
Pasalubongs can be any gift item. Most Filipinos residing and traveling within the country often give food though. Local tourist destinations promote their provinces by selling pasalubong boxes filled with native delicacies and other treats. For Filipinos living abroad, pasalubongs come in many forms from designer bags, apparel, toys and the like. These pasalubongs stack up inside another Filipino icon known as the Balikbayan box.