Pasalubong is a Filipino tradition of giving a homecoming gift after a vacation or a trip.
It can be fancy and expensive—on a trip to San Francisco in 1994, I splurged on a Lladro piece for my mom to add to her collection. And, it can also be something affordable yet appropriate— lip-gloss for my nieces who are in their tweens.
When I was younger, my father would have pasalubong even when he just went to work. Not all the time and nothing extravagant, but he would bring home something that he would pick up from the school cafeteria– usually, candied peanuts or meringue.
When he would travel around the Philippines (and he did it a lot!), the only thing I would ask from him as pasalubong are the packets of milk, sugar, and coffee handed out in airplanes. Never mind the dried mangoes from Cebu, pili nuts from Bicol, durian pastilles from Davao, or strawberry jam from Baguio. I go straight for the powdered sachets!
The whole idea of the pasalubong is to make the recipients know that you thought of them while you were away. Pasalubong can be store-bought or homemade. Hands down I prefer homemade treats over key chains, snow globes, and teaspoon souvenirs.
Here is a perfect pasalubong recipe that was shared by a blogger-friend. The recipe can also be found in a bag of Rolos (a chocolate caramel candy). I have packaged them in big tin cans for when we visit friends. I have handed them out in clear cellophane bags as party tokens. I have also served them in candy dishes. These rolo pretzels are always a party hit!
On a trip to Manila, I brought all the ingredients and assembled them there. I have to warn you though that these treats are very addicting.
bag of rolos ( approx 50 pcs in a bag)
Pecans ( or walnuts)
bag of pretzels ( I prefer the unsalted petite size)
Preheat oven to 300F. Lay single layer pretzels on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper (or foil). Unwrap the rolos and put a piece on each pretzel. Bake for 4 min. Take out the tray and place 1/2 a pecan on the warm melted candy. Completely cool (put in the fridge to speed up the cooling process). Keep in an airtight container.