Iloilo Pasalubong Shopping

Returning from a trip to Iloilo empty handed is not an option – a friend told me before I left Boracay a couple of weeks back. For Pinoy’s, a pasalubong is a gift you bring for family or friends after you return from someplace. While at first the obligation can seem overwhelming, in fact it’s now something that I look forward to. Being me, I try to make my pasabulongs as unique and outrageous as possible. In Iloilo City, believe me – that’s not hard.

panaderia de molo
Panaderia de Molo

As I was wandering down Guanco Street in Iloilo City and just enjoying doing a bit of window shopping, I was really enjoying the surprises that keep popping up in the pasalubong shops and stalls I saw. There was no shortage of the distinct flavors, smells, and odd looking delights that you find throughout the Philippines, but the real interesting things are pure Ilonggo.

Your Iloilo invasion will never be complete without trying and buying Biscocho – a delicacy that has been a top choice for the Ilonggo’s and Iloggo’s at heart. Tourists can also buy Biscocho Haus products at the city’s major malls like SM City, Robinson’s Place and Gaisano. Biscocho Haus is also known for their butterscotch pastries and piaya which are also famous Ilonggo delicacy.

If you have ample time, you may want to visit an old bakery in Molo Iloilo called Panaderia de Molo – they are also popular for their cookies and other baked goodies.

late pasalubong shopping at Iloilo airport
Pasalubong Shops @ Iloilo International Airport

The dried seafood section of the markets is incredibly big. As you walk in you will catch a waft or two of, shall we say, pungeant aromas which might just linger with you until your next bath. Of course the usual items were all there the pinakas nga guma-a and the dried squid. All of these in various sizes and flavors for those who love nothing better than a chewy lime flavored piece of octopus tentacle.

iloilo dried fish
Local Dried Fish

Personally, I prefer the chili flavored dried mussels for breakfast and usually save the others for lunch or dinner. You can find fish bones, dried up guts and organs, and boneless dilis to excite your nose and your palate. Don’t forget to get a big brown pile of guinamos/bagoong. That’s all kinds of dried fish, mixed together with salt and spices and then allowed to ferment into a sticky and pungeant past. After that it can be dried and then crushed into a powder which is used to season anything from mangoes to hamburgers.



The truth is the pasalubong itself doesn’t matter so much as the idea that you are considering someone else while you travel and the more unique you can make your gifts, the more likely they will be appreciated and talked about. Even if it gets kept in the freezer next to a box of baking soda that still won’t be able to absorb the powerful smells.

  1. Eric says

    ay! pinakas na gumaa! luveet! perfect for breakfast with fried rice!

    1. melo says

      Yes Eric, I super love it… too bad I didnt get the chance to buy one for my kitchen mini pasalubong collection:)

  2. jules says

    its hard to be a supplier of andoks in iloilo:
    i am one of three pork suppliers of andoks here in iloilo and one time their
    production mishandled their bbq meat. a lot of people complained that it is spoiled
    and tasted bad. what andoks did was they returned the meat to us and asked us to pay for it. when the three of us resisted, we were given warning that we can not
    deliver to andoks anymore if we dont do what this ric of andoks’ production wanted.
    so we were forced to pay for it, the cost of almost 200kg of marinated bbq meat divided among the three of us.
    bakit ganun? alam ba ng andoks management ito? when we delivered the pork,
    it underwent a strict quality check before it was accepted. sometimes nga mas madami pa reject kesa inaaccept nila. and it was already marinated, packed and delivered to the branches. ibig sabihin nasa kamay na ng andoks nasira, bakit sa amin sisingilin ni ric ang damage? di ba dapat kargo niya yun? di ba dapat charge sa kanya yun?
    ayuuuun now we know!
    para mapagtakpan ang kapalpakan ni ric. hay naku kung hindi pumayag ang dalawa
    kong kasama, hindi rin sana ako papayag kaya lang siyempre ayaw namin mawala ang kabuhayan namin. kaya sige lang…
    i hope andoks management learn of this soon.
    yung manok nga wala ng lasa, wala ng amoy na masarap kagagawan nitong ric na ito. sana malaman ng may ari ang ganitong kalakaran sa iloilo kasi ang mga tao
    nila dito parang walang pakialam. sayang naman ang pinundar ng mayari kung mauwi lang sa wala.

  3. Boracay says

    Wow! Everybody loves pasalubong! Specially when it’s from Iloilo.. dami masasarap dried goods foods.. 🙂

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