The giving of pasalubong after a journey is a universally observed Filipino tradition. Pasalubong are souvenirs, often of food or a handicraft local to the place the traveller has come from. Fly to the Philippines from the UK, for example, and one’s hand carry will be filled up with bars of Cadbury’s chocolate; take a daytrip to Tagaytay and bring back freshly baked buko (coconut) pie. Visit to Baguio? How about a nice woodcarving of a carabao (buffalo) or a native house?
I was stuck for presents to take to the Philippines. Luckily for me, UK supermarket chain ASDA has solved that problem with these delightful mugs commemorating the engagement of Prince William (or ‘Wills’) to the lovely Kate.
Since I made this suggestion on Facebook, I have had several family members requesting their own Kate and Wills mug. I have to say that ASDA seems to have revised the design since I first posted on Facebook: the original depicted the soon-to-be-royal-couple in a delightful heart-shaped photo and was inscribed with a suitably kitsch handwriting font, rather reminiscent of Charles and Diana crockery of yesterday. This has now been replaced by a disappointingly modern-looking second edition.
So there we are – pasalubong and Christmas pressies sorted.