Giving “pasalubong” is a Filipino tradition of giving presents of someone who came from a far away place and stayed for quite some time – to a family, relative or friend he or she is meeting again. It is commonly associated with people like us, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
When I have the budget to buy “pasalubongs” for my family and friends back home in the Philippines, of course, I must be honest to say that I look for some things that are not expensive but very helpful and worthy. Chocolates are a must, definitely! While clothes and things for personal use come in second. There are also times that I had a second thought and not sure of what “pasalubong” I have to give to a person who is a bit well off than the rest, so what do I buy? Just something to remember me by; like something which he or she can put or hang in his or her home – most probably something light and handy.
Giving of “pasalubong” also strengthens the bond between families and friends. It shows the Filipino culture of sharing and thoughtfulness. And I do not think we, OFWs are boastful when we give gifts. We are just happy to share. And yes, I can buy “pasalubong” for others, but it gives me a different gratifying feel to receive “pasalubong” too, pusong Kabayan!