“True delicacy, that most beautiful heart-leaf of humanity, exhibits itself most significantly in little things’ – Mary Howitt
One of the quirky and unique aspects of being a Filipino is that we rarely go anywhere without bringing a little trinket or treat back home.
We often buy souvenirs and foodstuff that we either keep to ourselves or share with family and friends when we arrive. As a result, the Filipino term pasalubong was coined to connote the things we bring back home with us from the places we have been to. For many travelers, part of the journey is searching for the best souvenirs and local food items to bring back home. In fact, many would say that hunting down the perfect pasalubong for yourself or your loved ones is an enjoyable and fun activity by itself. After all, there is nothing better than to be reminded of the fond memories of your unforgettable vacation long after your vacation has passed.
In this article, we are going to focus on the best food specialties you can get from Tanay, a humble little province that is relatively close to Manila. While you are there, take the opportunity to splurge on some of their provincial specialties. Tanay is primarily known as a premier camping spot known for its verdant and lush landscapes as well as its relaxing staycation options. If you happen to be in town, below are the top picks for pasalubong to bring back home:
For many people, bibingka is a seasonal food best eaten during the holiday season. It is often a snack feasted on by churchgoers after Simbang-Gabi and children. However, this Filipino staple is a beloved delicacy by many and will surely be appreciated by your loved ones should you decide to bring it home to them. What makes Bibingkinitan so special is that it comes in two sizes: a regular one and a mini one, with the latter being just the right size for one person. The stall is also known for its various bibingka flavors, such as macapuno, ube, pastillas, and even peanut butter which you may want to try. Keep in mind that flavored bibingkas are seasonal, though, so they may not always be available.
2.) Suman Vendors
Even before it became known as one of the must-visit food destinations in Metro Manila, Tanay was already well-known for its variety of local delicacies. One of its most beloved offers and a favorite of many is its suman, a sweet sticky rice treat. Other delicious treats that visitors should try and bring home are kalamay (a mixture of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground glutinous rice) and kasoy (cashew nuts). All of these are pretty easy to find wherever you may be in Tanay, especially if you are passing by Sumulong Highway. The vendors are set up along that winding highway and are practically impossible to miss.
3.) Good Sheperd Delicacies
While primarily known as a place of worship, Good Sheperd is also well-regarded for its delicious delicacies. In fact, many Manileños would make shopping for Good Sheperd Delicacies part of their itinerary whenever they get the opportunity to visit. Good Sheperd offers many specialties, such as ube jam, alfajores, lugaw, pancit, choco flakes, and the like. They are primarily known for their ube jam as they source their own ube. It typically has a silky, smooth texture that is creamy but not too sweet. It is basically ube you can eat by itself or use in any of your baking recipes.
OTHER PASALUBONG ITEMS TO BRING BACK HOME
If you are looking to bring something non-perishable and a little bit more lasting to take home, souvenirs are the way to go. Below are just a few of the best souvenirs you can bring back home from Tanay:
4.) Crescent Moon Café and Pottery Studio
Hit two birds with one stone by making the Crescent Moon Café and Pottery Studio part of your travel itinerary. It is one of the best dining spots in Tanay and is known for serving sumptuous Southeast Asian cuisine in its pretty garden setting. Souvenir hunters will especially love the collection of pottery products the restaurant has on display. After all, it is home to the pottery studio of the owner and renowned artist Lanelle-Abueva Fernando. So, if you have the chance, drop by for a meal and shop for beautifully and intricately crafted handmade stoneware at affordable prices.
5.) Antipolo Cathedral
If you are particularly religious, you should definitely make a stop at the centuries-old Antipolo Cathedral, which is also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady Peace and Good Voyage. This place is known as a famous pilgrimage site, so you will inevitably find an abundance of religious items for sale near the church. If you are looking for religious items to bring back home, consider browsing through the vendor stalls located outside the cathedral for religious figurines, rosaries, booklets, and other merchandise of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.