We love to bring home pasalubong to our loved ones – even if we just came from a trip to the city market and not necessarily after coming back home from a trip to another part of the country or to another country. The word 'pasalubong' comes from 'salubong' which means 'to meet'. This means that we give gifts to those who care enough about us that they even meet us when we arrive from our travels.
Most pasalubong are food items or delicacies. Travel to the various regions in the Philippines and you will find that most of the items being offered for pasalubong are the regional delicacies which the people are proud of. These would also be the items your family or friends would expect you to bring to them. For example, if you went to Bicol, we would be expecting some pili nuts from you. If you had gone to Cebu, your bags would be smelling of danggit or dried pusit, and some packs of dried mango would be peeking out of your carry-all. And what if you came from the North, say from Vigan? Some longganiza would surely be appreciated.
Giving pasalubong makes both the receiver and the giver happy. For the giver, it is his way of saying, “I want you to see and experience what I saw and did.” And for us who receive pasalubong, our thanks simply means, “thank you for bringing to me a part of your trip that I may see and feel it myself even if I didn't go with you.” Yes, pasalubong not only means sharing food and what-nots, it means sharing happiness, wishes and blessings to everyone.