Do you like collecting mementos of your trip? Or maybe you bringing gifts back home to your friends?s Good news: Cebu has all sorts of souvenirs to offer you!
Find out below what Souvenirs—or pasalubong in the local dialect—you might want to get, from the tasty to the wearable. Check out the the map where to buy them.
LEGEND: Blue indicates tasty pasalubong and where you can buy them. Green indicates places where you can buy wearable/lifestyle souvenirs.
NOTE: You can also buy pasalubong and souvenirs at the airport.
You’ll find these in most souvenir shops in malls, pasalubong centers, and ports:
Wherever you go in Cebu, there will be an accessories shop or borloloyan nearby. These shops are usually owned by local entrepreneurs. They like to spoil you with assorted fashion choices – native bracelets, beaded necklaces, pearl earrings, handcrafted purses, abaca (jute) hats, coconut shell bags, and more! They’re very affordable – prices start at PHP 10 ($ 0.19). But if you buy in bulk, you may expect a discount or an extra piece in your bag.
Souvenir shirts are a big thing in the country. From the iconic “ i love Cebu” design, many local artists have gone on to create cool graphics you’d love to wear. You can even have your souvenir shirts personalized.
Cebu shirts are especially popular during the Sinulog Festival, where locals and tourists would have the sleeves and hem torn into fringes for a more festive look. Prices start at PHP 100 (USD 1.92).
Want something that showcases the culture and artistry of Cebuanos? Take home unique pieces of handcrafted home decoration and accessories. You’ll find everything from woven abaca rugs to shell lamps and wooden sculptures.
The quintessential souvenir, keychains are a great choice when you want something cheaper and less bulky. Depending on where you visit, you can get keychains in all kinds of shapes and designs – a thresher shark (Malapascua Island), a small guitar (Lapu-lapu), a whale shark (Oslob), etc.
Where to buy wearable/lifestyle souvenirs
Found in SM Malls, Kultura shops carry high-end Filipino clothing, accessories, and home decor.
Your go-to for Cebu souvenir shirts. In addition to apparel, they now also sell food products, chocolates, toys for kids, and travel accessories. They have a standalone shop in P. Burgos St. as well as branches inside Ayala Center Cebu and SM City Cebu. They offer personalization and more shirt designs than other similar shops.
The oldest street in Metro Cebu is lined with shops selling everything from furniture to souvenir items. You can buy food pasalubong, keychains, shirts and home accessories for a fraction of the mall price.
When visiting this tourist attraction, do check out the surrounding souvenir stalls. The items they sell are pretty much the same as what you’ll find in malls. Selling crafts is their source of living, so we recommend buying directly from these stalls.
Cebu is known for many things, including world-class guitars and ukuleles. And, yes, people actually buy these as souvenir items because they’re high quality but still affordable.
You can find handmade guitars in souvenir shops around Lapu-lapu City, hailed as the ‘Guitar Capital of the Philippines.’ Many tourists would visit some of the most popular manufacturers in the area for a sneak peek of their guitar-making process:
- Jerry’s Guitar – They use the best quality wood for superb sound quality, and they can even install acoustics for your guitar. The shop is located at Pajac-Maribago Road, Lapu-lapu City
- Alegre Guitar Factory – They use locally sourced wood and shell ornaments for decoration. The shop is located at Pajac-Maribago Road as well.
- Guitar Master – This one’s for those on a tight budget. The shop is located at M.L. Quezon National Highway, Lapu-lapu, Cebu
- Inday Celia’s Guitar Factory – Sells an array of string instruments, including ovation guitars. Find them at Pajo Road, Mactan, Lapu-lapu City.
Aside from guitars, Cebu’s handcrafted ukuleles do not escape the eyes of tourists. Their exceptional quality and customized design always seals the deal.
Where to buy them:
- UkeCebu Ukulele Shop. Here, you’ll find a selection of 100-percent handcrafted ukuleles for beginners and advanced players. They offer design customization and name engraving, too. Located at Door 3, MLSRDC Apartment, P. Remedios St., Pine Tree Banilad.
- Uke Hub Kafe. The first uke-themed cafe in Cebu, Uke Hub Kafe offers good coffee, music, and ukuleles for anyone who’s looking to buy. Check them out at Stall 3 Mactan Arcade, Matumbo-Pusok Rd., Lapu-lapu City.
Tasty Pasalubong that Everyone Loves
Have to bring something? Can’t go wrong with food! So, what food can you bring? Boy, there is a lot to choose from. But of course when it comes to Cebu, it all starts with Mangos.
This one’s always on top of the list of pasalubongs (bring-home gifts) from the Queen City of the South. You can find this delicacy anywhere in the Philippines, but nothing beats the world-famous dried mangoes of Cebu. It’s so famous that the makers have created all sorts of dried mango snacks – dried ripe mango, dried green mango, chocolate-coated dried mangoes, spicy peanuts with dried mango bits, and tamarind mango candy.
Otap is an oval-shaped puff pastry usually made from flour, shortening, coconut and sugar. It’s light, flaky and crunchy, with a hint of sweetness from the saccharine coating and sprinkled sugar on top. Best eaten on its own or with your afternoon cup of coffee.
Never heard of it? Well, now’s your chance to get acquainted with this sweet, nutty treat. Masareal is basically a concoction of finely ground peanuts, water/milk, and sugar, made into rectangular bars and wrapped in paper.
Rosquillos (round cookie)
These biscuits look like flat, scalloped-edged donuts, hence the name rosquillos which comes from the Spanish for ringlet, rosca. The well-guarded recipe has been passed down to four generations of the Frasco family of Liloan. The taste of rosquillos is as rich as its history. It is said that, in 1907, President Sergio Osmena Sr. gave the then-nameless treat its name.
Cebuanos love to eat it for breakfast along with sinangag (garlic fried rice) and sunny-side up eggs. Danggit is dried rabbitfish that’s split open and salted to perfection. It takes a little getting used to the fishy smell. But once it’s cooked, the aroma is a welcome treat. If you’re going to bring some on the flight home, you’ll have to buy the vacuum-sealed ones. Otherwise, prepare to pack your danggit in multiple layers of newspaper and boxes. If you’re keen on buying tons of dried fish, the best place to go is Taboan.
Pork crackling, locally called chicharon, is an addictive snack. It’s savory, crunchy, and super tasty – especially when dipped in vinegar or chilli sauce. Chicharon is made of boiled pork rinds, air-dried then fried in hot oil. You’ll find the best kind in Carcar City, a little south of Metro Cebu.
Where to buy food pasalubong in Cebu
Most food gifts are sold in supermarkets. But if you have time we recommend buying them straight from the manufacturer’s place where you can usually get a fresher package and lower price.
Shamrock Pasalubong Center
The first place tourists go to get their stash of Cebuano food and delicacies. Their prices are generally cheaper than in supermarkets and other outlets.
- Locations: 1) Corner V. Gullas and Mabini Sts., Cebu City; 2) Fuente Osmeña Circle; 3) Don Gil Garcia Street in Capitol; 4) National Highway, Barili in south Cebu
In addition to dried mangoes, chicharon and otap, Islands Pasalubong also stocks native snacks like puto, biko, fresh lumpia, and ensaymada in their Pinoy Deli section. Their flagship store can be found at Magallanes St. in front of the Sto. Niño Church. They have five other branches.
- Locations: 1) Salinas Drive, Lahug across Golden Cowrie; 2) Molave St. across Ayala Center Cebu; 3) Raintree Mall at Gen. Maxilom Ave.; 4) Marina Mall in Pusok, Lapu-lapu; 5) Punta Engaño in Lapu-lapu
Titay’s is another household name when it comes to pasalubong items from Cebu. Famous for quality home-baked goodies, the 112-year old brand is the original maker of rosquillos. Now, their product selection includes torta, peñato, ensaymada, and assorted breads and pastries. They produce an average 360,000 rosquillos a day!
- Location: Danao Rd., Liloan City, Cebu
A dried mango store/museum owned and managed by the biggest manufacturer in Cebu, Profood International Corporation. Aside from getting the freshest batch of dried mangoes, you can book a tour for some dibs on the local mango industry. Profood products are sold under different brands, namely, Cebu Brand, Philippine Brand, Happy, and Grace.
- Location: Maguikay Highway, Mandaue City
7D Food International, Inc
The award-winning manufacturer is best known for their export-quality dried mangoes.
- Location: Sacris Road. A.S. Fortuna Street., Mandaue City
hey made chocolate-coated dried mangoes popular. But they also sell the original variety.
- Location: 787 Happy Valley Road, Cebu City
Carbon is Cebu City’s public market. Everything around here is jaw-droppingly cheap, which explains the huge crowd. You can find all sorts of handcrafted goods and delicacies here, so prepare for a shopping spree. Also, keep a tight grip on your pocket – the place is susceptible to petty thefts and small robberies.
About the author
Hey, it’s Chenzi! A writer made in Cebu. Stringing words is my bread and butter, but baking and mothering my 3-year-old are what feed my soul. I have an insatiable thirst for learning.