When Filipinos go on a trip, it's customary for them to bring back food, souvenirs, and other gifts from their destination to their loved ones back at home. This is called pasalubong and is a tradition that everyone loves and adheres to.
If you ever find yourself in Region 1 and want to know what kinds of products you can bring back to your loved ones, the One Town One Product (OTOP) initiative of the Department Trade of Industry (DTI) might help. This initiative aims to promote the amazing goods and products created by Filipinos in different towns. Here are just some of the items you can find in Region 1 - check them out:
Inabel / Loom Weaving
Where to find: Bangar, La Union
Inabel refers to handwoven products that have been created in Bangar, La Union for centuries now. Preserving the beauty of handwoven fabrics, each product is carefully designed by hand to make them unique. These gorgeous and durable products are made with love through traditional loom weaving and come in the form of different products, including blankets, bedsheets, towels, table runners, shawls, pillowcases, and now, even face masks. If you ever visit the area, make sure to add De Castro’s Loom Weaving in your itinerary to get the best deals.
Fine Basket Weaving
Where to find: Sudipen, La Union
La Union is known for its different manufacturing and agricultural industries, such as bamboo crafting and basket weaving. Their art of fine basket weaving has actually been around since the 1980s and is considered as passed down Japanese technology. What started with basic baskets eventually developed into lamps and other types of baskets.
Where to find: Sudipen, La Union
Traditional bamboo craft works are still going strong in Sudipen despite the surge of plastic products and aluminum products since the 1980s. Most famous for their use of bolo, a light bamboo material, Sudipen offers baskets with signature features that are very distinct to La Union.
Where to find: Burgos, San Gabriel, Bagulin and Sudipen, La Union
The walis tambo industry doesn't look like it will die down anytime soon. After all, practically every Filipino uses a soft broom to easily clean their households. A few years ago, a 5-hectare tiger grass plantation was even added to the region to ensure that broom makers have an easy time getting the raw materials that they need. As an OTOP item, they hope to promote the walis tambo industry and help broom makers design, develop, package, and market their products while offering financial assistance at the same time.
Sukang Iloko + Basi Wine
Where to find Sukang Iloko: Many parts of the Ilocos Region
Where to find Basi Wine: Naguilian, La Union
Basi wine and sukang Iloko are some of the most sought-after pasalubong of the Ilocos region. Manufactured before the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, these products have always been a part of the trading industry. Both speak of the rich culture and history of the area and are made from natural materials and through natural processes, making them safe for your health and the environment.
Activated Bamboo Charcoal
Where to find: Tubao, La Union
Activated bamboo charcoal is becoming quite popular in cosmetic products, and we have that available in the Philippines, as well. In Tubao, the powder is turned into soap and vinegar soap that is all-natural and is said to be great for the skin. It is even said to treat skin problems like acne and bad odor by absorbing toxins and impurities for stronger and healthier skin.
Where to find: Pozzorubio, Pangasinan
Filipinos are also known to be good at crafting weapons like swords - hence, the wide usage of the term panday (blacksmith). In Pozzorubio, swords have been created as movie props and decorations. They've even recreated a throne made out of swords, inspired by a popular Hollywood TV series, which you can find in one of their shops.
The next time you find yourself in Region 1 and don't know what pasalubong to get, consider these products from the One Town One Product initiative of the Department Trade of Industry.
Discover the country’s many products and services that show the true creativity of Filipinos in My Hometown Is G.O.A.T.! Catch full episodes and more on AXN Asia’s YouTube channel: bitly.com/AXNHometownGOATPlaylist
Article first published on WhenInManila.com