Bicol’s ‘pasalubong’ packages

DARAGA, Albay – Returning home from your Bicol trip but still undecided what “pasalubong” to take with you to capture the unique flavors and culture of the region? Fret not! We have made the list and checked it twice to find out what’s novel and nice.

Sorsogon’s pili skincare essentials

If you want to get up close and personal with the region’s locally grown nuts, head to Leslie’s Pili Farm at Bibincahan village in Sorsogon City.

This 6.5-hectare farm, owned by Melinda Yee, houses about 2,500 pili trees. Marvel at the technology and processing techniques employed by the farm to make a variety of products derived from this “nutritious powerhouse nut.”

This year, go beyond the delectable sweets and tarts and surprise your loved ones by bringing home the farm’s prized skincare essentials – pili oils and soaps. Packed with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, they work like superfoods for the skin!

Catanduanes’ abaca hammock

Want to level up your Bicol “pasalubong” choices? Give the gift of relaxation by bringing home a hammock from the “Abaca Capital of the Philippines.”

Nothing beats the gentle rocking and swaying motion of a hammock to chase the post-holiday blues away, so head to Catanduanes Abaca Fiber inside Peymus Resto at Gogon Sirangan in Virac town to get this earthy and sturdy piece of comfort.

Owned by Dante Taller, the shop offers a variety of abaca-derived products that exhibit exceptional craftsmanship. What’s more, it also accepts bulk orders and ships nationwide through its e-commerce platform under the same name.

Camarines Sur’s signature noodles

If you have not tried pancit bato, a noodle dish prepared like pancit canton but with special noodles that are a tad thicker and firmer, then your Bicol experience is incomplete.

Pancit Bato got its name from the municipality of Bato in Camarines Sur, where the noodles originated. Usually served with hot pandesal, this noodle dish has been a breakfast and merienda staple for Bicolanos since time immemorial.

If you want to recreate this taste at home, head to the local markets or stop by Declaro’s Original Pancit Bato Factory located along the national highway in San Miguel village in Bato town for more noodle choices.

Camarines Norte’s “Queen” pineapple products

Quench your cravings for Camarines Norte’s locally manufactured Queench pineapple products by stocking up on their juice drinks, jams, dried goodies, and jellies.

Made from the “Queen Pineapple,” also called the Formosa variety, the Queench line is the pride of the municipality of Labo in the province of Camarines Norte.

If you want a handy “pasalubong” that not only captures the unique taste of the province, snag any Queench pineapple products in the local market and grocery stores.

They are the perfect “pasalubong” if you want to savor the taste of the sweetest pineapple in the world in all its edible forms!

Masbate’s sweet treats

Carmelado, the milk candy made from carabao’s milk and sugar, is the closest souvenir you can bring home to remind you that you have been to the “Cattle Capital of the Philippines.”

Akin to pastillas de leche, Masbate province’s famed confection is known for its rich flavor and chewy texture, guaranteed to satiate everyone’s sweet tooth.

There is no need to travel to Milagros town, the home of this confection, for your sweet indulgence – carmelado can be bought at the airport and the seaport.

Albay’s sticky suman

If you wish to explore a different Albay “pasalubong” beyond “pinangat” and “sili” ice cream, try Daraga town’s suman.

Made famous by Dahlia Llorera, 65, the famed suman maker of Tagas village, this sticky and savory glutinous rice cake steamed in banana leaves was one of the town’s showcased products during the Philippine Experience Program Bicol-Leg Caravan of the Department of Tourism held in October.

Don’t miss out on this delectable delicacy, which only costs PHP20 per suman. Llorera can be reached at 0930-382-6207. (PNA)