Top 10 Gift Ideas from Bicol

The season for giving…and shopping is fast approaching.  If you’re looking for unique gifts to give to your loved ones or simply want to give yourself a treat, we’ve listed some highly   recommended gift ideas sourced from all over Bicol.  Admittedly, there are more products we may have missed in this Top 10 List.  If you know of other items proudly made in Bicol, feel free to email us and we’ll try to feature them in our future issues.  Meanwhile, enjoy the season and happy shopping!

  1. Malunggay wine from Masbate. This is sold in the weekend saud (flea market) by  Mr. Willem Hengelmolen, a Dutchman married to a Masbatena.  Aside from the malunggay wine at P150/bottle, he also sells homemade peanut butter and corn and rice coffee.  For orders, contact Mr. Hengelmolen at 0928-7552437.
  2. Carmelado candies.  This is Masbaste’s deliciously creamy version of the pastillas made of pure carabao’s milk and white sugar.  You can find these sold by vendors around the Masbate Port or at the weekend saud.  Usually costs P100 per plastic container of 30 pieces.  You can also try the yummy molido or squash candy which costs around P50 per container of 30 pieces.
  3. Heavenly gherkins.  The nuns at the Redemptorist Monastery in Albay sell delicious jars of pickled and sweetened gherkins.  Trademarked “Red Nun’s Gherkins,” the nuns also make jams from their own fruit harvest.  Gourmet delicacies like lasagna and quiche are also available for orders.  The Redemptoristine Monastery is located in Brgy 38, Gogon, Legazpi City, phone nos: 052-4809293 or 0927-99992028.
  4. Gold jewelry.  Paracale in Camarines Norte is renowned for being the “gold , country” of the province because of its rich deposits of precious metals like gold.  Be sure to drop by one of the small jewelry shops if you happen to be in town.  Most are family-owned and the crafting of fine gold jewelry has been passed on through several generations.
  5. Sharp metals.  If Batangas has its balisong, Tiwi can also be equally proud of its metal knives, scissors and “itak.” Sold along the streets of Tiwi, these make excellent gifts for dad or a handyman friend.
  6. Healthy goodies.  Green Earth Café is the only vegetarian restaurant in Naga City.  Their homemade rolled oats muffins make a yummy and healthy alternative Christmas gift.  The muffins are made of whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and topped with roasted sesame seeds, with a sprinkling of muscovado sugar.  Goes well with a cup of brewed coffee. Green Earth Café is in 3rd St. Cor. Soriano Ave., Villa Sorabella, Naga City (Tel: 475-5018).
  7. Chili delicacy.  Graceland makes it convenient for you to give your Manila-based friends a taste of an authentic Bicolano dish with their frozen pinangat.  This delicacy is made from ground shrimps, young coconut meat and special spices wrapped in gabi leaves then seasoned and cooked in coconut milk. Available in all Geewan and Graceland outlets regionwide at P220 per pack of 6.
  8. Attractive accessories.  Baycrafts, Inc. is a great source for fashionable and affordable jewelry made from local and imported materials.  (see our Baycrafts feature on page 12).  Check out their online store in:
  9. Abaca paper.  J-en Handicrafts based in Catanduanes makes colorful paper and other paper products handmade from abaca fibers. Great gift ideas are the albums, shopping bags and boxes. Owner Jenefer Celis is a  regular at major trade fair shows.  Her shop is located at Bagumbayan, Bato, Catanduanes.  Call 0927-8040879 for orders.
  10. Sorsogon pili.  Our gift list would not be complete without Bicol’s famous pili delicacies.  In Sorsogon, pili nuts are sugar coated, caramelized and roasted.  It is also made into delicious creations like pili pastillas and tarts, mazapan and molido.  Mrs. Jojie Amador of Miguelito store specializes in pili cookies, pili oatmeal raisin cookies, pili food for the gods, pili butter scotch, pili brownies and pili carrot cake.  Miguelito is located at the back of the Guinlajon Church.  Call 0919-2907917 for orders.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Gift Ideas from Bicol

  1. Wooow… less than 100 comments!!… I have to take advantage of this and write my comment on your web site… ok… what should I write??… mmm, I don’t think my criminal history would help me gain your sympathy, uh?? haha… in any case, I just want you to know that I’m sure you’re a breathtaking blogger and writer… so, thanks for that.. now I know I’m not a robot. well, this post is getting too long to be read, so i’ll stop now…

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