5 Pasalubong in Boracay to Buy (and 5 You Should Not)

Reading Time: 8 minutes
December 3, 2021
Aaron Lowel Santomin
You can find colorful beachwear in all sizes and designs anywhere in Boracay. (Image credit: Adobe Stock)

Table of Contents

Boracay is undoubtedly the Philippines’ paradise, and it is one of the greatest beaches you will set your foot on. Every morning, vacationers will wake up to the breathtaking views of the White Beach; palm leaves swayed in a symphony; turquoise seas were serene and peaceful; sands as white as cotton fluffs; heaven and earth mingling in unison. This ideal scene will live in everyone’s mind rent-free but let’s not forget those you have to come home to when your island getaway expires. To give your friends and family a memento of the paradise you have to drag yourself out of, here are the top 5 Boracay pasalubong to buy for them and 5 other items you should skip on.

The souvenir you can always have with you: the memory of the world-famous sunset of Boracay Island. (Image credit: Reina Carla Angeles)

Boracay’s tropical allure is not the only thing that made the island extremely famous among local travelers and foreigners. The activities and the wonders of rural living play a considerable role in its prominence. More than that, the foods in Boracay are appetizing and mouthwatering. Hundreds of unique souvenir products are something that can make your jaw drop and will liven up your spending spirit.

What is Pasalubong?

After a trip, it is customary in the Philippines to give a pasalubong. Vacationers will bring home presents or souvenirs from their travels to offer to their loved ones. The term “pasalubong” has a far broader meaning than “souvenir”. It has no defined boundaries and can include everything from keychains to t-shirts. The pasalubong you can buy in Boracay can go above and beyond the expectations of the recipient. It’s a beautiful Filipino tradition that symbolizes their generosity and the importance they place on relationships.

It is another challenge to think of what pasalubong to give to your friends and family. Each one can have different tastes and preferences. It might get stressful to think of what to buy for them. To help you with your Pasalubong planning, here are some Boracay items you should purchase and some that you might want to skip up to your next visit.

Boracay Pasalubbong You Should Buy

These products are the best of the best that you can purchase. Its functionality can make your presents a must-have for anyone. The significance of each item to the Filipino/Boracay culture adds up to its value.

1) Rattan items

Rattan is a climbing or trailing vine-like palm endemic to Asia, Malaysia, and China’s tropical rainforests. With its rich biodiversity, the Philippines has been one of the most important suppliers of almost 65 different kinds of rattan species. Rattan is distinguished by its robust, thick stems that range in diameter from 1 to 2 inches and vines that can reach a length of 200 to 500 feet. Rattan material has been popular internationally for its appearance, durability, and versatility. Just for these traits, any item made of rattan is one of our best to buy as a Boracay Pasalubong.

Rattan can be twisted and curled to create a variety of beautiful bending shapes. Its beautiful golden hue quickly illuminates an indoor or outdoor setting and gives the impression of being in a tropical paradise. The plant is a lightweight, nearly impermeable material that is simple to transport and handle. It has a natural resilience to insects like termites and infesting bees and can survive excessive humidity and temperature.

Boracay is one of the places where tourists and travelers can buy authentic and locally sourced, Philippine rattan crafts. Its beauty is outstanding and outshines any other material that you might encounter in other places. Having it in your home or in your loved ones’ place will give the space a more organic feel to it. Every time you see a creation you bought in Boracay made of rattan, you will remember the fun times that you have stayed on the tropical island.

2) Capiz Crafts

The capiz shell is a bivalve marine mollusk whose outer surface is utilized in Philippine handcrafts and commercial applications. The Capiz shell is named after one of the Philippines’ provinces, Capiz since it thrives and is numerous in that place. Moreover, Capiz is also abundant on the shore and neighboring areas of the Island. This is the reason why you can buy a lot of pasalubong items in Boracay that feature this material.

Capiz Shell Crafts is one of Boracay locals’ daily sources of income. The island’s artisans and craftsmen spend their time creating capiz shell crafts since reproducing high-quality goods requires a lengthy procedure. Capiz shells can be transformed into several home items and decorations. From curtains, chandeliers, lampshades up to fashion jewelry and accessories.

Buying this exquisite item in Boracay is not just beneficial for both parties; the material and the procedure involved in transforming the shells are eco-friendly. It has a significant contribution in furthering the aims of experiencing the sanctuary while also taking into consideration the health of the biosphere. Its simple style will give depth to anywhere you place it. Its fresh aesthetic will boost the mood of people who will see this magnificence. Any receiver will gladly accept Capiz item gifts for their unusual beauty and heavenly visual, just like the paradise vacation that it came from.

3) Handcrafted Bags and Wallet

Nothing compares to the pleasant feel of handcrafted items you can purchase in Boracay. Woven purses are highly fashionable and classy. All of the woven handbags are handcrafted by people who have spent years honing their skills. The rationale for its popularity is that each individual strand is meticulously and painstakingly stitched. Each strand is hand-threaded; no machines are used, and each bag is hand-sewn. The patterns and textures created provide an incredible tactile experience. The aesthetic impression is both breathtaking and attractive.

Get a piece of the Philippine fashion culture by sporting Boracay-themed purses. The design is entirely unique as its inspiration stems from the tribal or indigenous design from native groups of the country. Its mystical and appealing patterns will go well with any clothing options and can be your backup story when running out of things to talk about in a meeting. The items are also on the cheaper side, so Boracay explorers can buy more items for other people they want to share this with.

4) Local Delicacies

Dine at Pinnacle Resort & Villas' restaurant while you plan your pasalubong undertaking. (Image credit: Pinnacle Boracay)
Dine at Pinnacle Resort & Villas’ restaurant while you plan your pasalubong undertaking. (Image credit: Pinnacle Boracay)

The province of Aklan, where Boracay Island is located, is home to delectable meals and cuisines that demonstrate how magnificent Philippine products are. Bananas, mangos, and coconuts are among the many fruits that the country exports across the world. The Philippines is also well-known for its distinct and tasty culinary delicacies, which may rival those of other nations. You can find anything you crave in Boracay when you know how to look. Be it spicy, savory, sour, fruity, or sweet desserts; options will never run out. In each corner of Boracay, you will see a lot of food items as a pasalubong that you can buy as a gift for your family or friends.

Just like the quote, a way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, gain other people’s love by letting them have a taste of gastronomical masterpieces. Boracay tourists’ personal favorites include sweet mango products, durian goods, crunchy chicharron, and, most known of them all, dried seafood. Some people may question these items at first sight, but as they start munching it, they won’t be able to stop.

5) Wooden Instruments

Filipinos are quite popular for their love of music. They perform and sing with enthusiasm, whether on a global stage or at the neighborhood karaoke. Although the bulk of today’s Original Pinoy Music (OPM) is strongly inspired by American pop music, some musicians continue to use the traditional instruments that our pre-Hispanic forefathers used to compose music. As the home of a multitude of native groups, the country boasts its local instrument creations that are still amazing up until the present.

Looking through the vicinity of Boracay, these instruments are genuinely prominent and noticeable. Bamboo flutes and windpipes are ideal for children and people who wish to learn how to play. Handcrafted guitars and ukuleles are also available. Get a dabakan, a single-headed wooden drum used in historic Filipino rites, and take a bit of Filipino culture home with you.

For music lovers and non-alike, these wooden instruments pasalubong from Boracay Island will pique their curiosity. This is not just the usual decoration that does nothing. It is both functional and decorative. This is number one of what you should look for on the island of Boracay for anyone who fancies getting their hands-on cultural items.

Boracay Pasalubong Items To Skip On

These items are not entirely bad. They just fall short in having the perfect vibe compared to the other pasalubong items you can buy on the Island of Boracay.

1) Fashion Accessories

There are countless fashion items that you can avail yourself of on the island. There are thousands of Boracay products for adventurers head to toe. How about buying a tiara made from shells and beads? There are bamboo sunglasses on every corner. Anklets and bracelets are the usual staples when strolling down the market in Boracay.

As incredible and stunning as these items are at first sight, buying them can sometimes be impractical. Most of the fashion items are overpriced and mass-produced. It doesn’t embody the individuality and uniqueness that Boracay possesses. Buyers won’t be sure if what they bought is high quality because it is easy to put plastic shell imitation on these products. It is also easy to misplace because of its size, so this may come as a problem.

2) Artwork of Community Artists

The examples above are definitive examples of how Filipinos’ craftsmanship and artistic ability stand above the rest. Throughout the island, local artists will be offering their service to draw a portrait or any figure you wish. Undeniably, these paintings/drawings will be spectacular.

However, this item may not be ideal for backpackers who want to save some cash but want some pasalubong. First of all, travelers should expect that the price for the service will be high. It is personalized, so it is absolutely one of a kind. Next, having this made will require some significant time to finish. Stayers will probably shop during the last days of their visit, so it is unwise to have it made by then. You will need to give an initial payment for the artist to start the production. It will definitely be a huge waste if you will not be able to get the item because of time constraints.

3) Customized Shirts

One of the classics is giving a personalized shirt from a trip when it comes to pasalubong gifts. Feast your eyes because Boracay boasts a plethora of pasalubong stores and businesses selling various Boracay-themed t-shirts you can buy for people of all ages, sizes, and genders. One of the most popular picks is the “I Love Boracay” shirt.

As tempting as it may be to buy t-shirts in Boracay, many other tourists will also buy this product. It won’t be as unique as the other items listed above. There are clothes like this in different boutiques and souvenir shops in the airport. It is also a matter of preference, so your chosen design may not go well with what your recipient wants. The wiser choice is to buy one for yourself rather than having it as a pasalubong.

Shells and sand in the big glass as pasalubong: buy or pass? (Image credit: Freepik)
Shells and sand in the big glass as pasalubong: buy or pass? (Image credit: Freepik)

4) Sarong

Sarong is a scarf-like cloth that you can use for various purposes. You can use the sarong you bought in Boracay as a sun protector while at the beach, an addition to your outfit, or as a body cover. It also has different varieties in terms of size, color and pattern. However, it is not as indispensable as other helpful stuff. One can also buy Sarong-like products outside Boracay, so there will not be much Boracay-feels and authenticity when you decide to purchase it.

5) Artisan Soaps and Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly-concentrated plant extracts with medicinal properties, while handcrafted artisan soaps are soaps prepared from organic and natural materials gathered from the community. Local Boracay soap shops offer different scents from endemic plants and fruits.

Gifting this will indeed be a nice gesture, but people may not like the fragrance you choose. It also has some fine extract and plant juices, and your receiver may not be aware of their allergies. This can cause some irritation and skin problems if the soap is not the right fit for their skin type. You should buy these scented creations for yourself. As a pasalubong or souvenir for friends and family, purchase with caution.

A Piece of the Paradise

When you buy some island pasalubong souvenirs or two for your house, it might feel like you have a piece of Boracay with you. The same goes for anyone you intend to present it to. Anyone who accepts your Boracay pasalubong and souvenirs will be able to share in the moments spent on the location, similar to how visitors immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Without a doubt, any of the Boracay pasalubong products listed above would be an excellent present and will bring a smile to their faces. These reminiscences serve as a constant reminder to visit or return to the lovely Island of Boracay where the explorer’s gaze once rested.

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Aaron Lowel Santomin
Aaron Lowel Santomin is a freelance writer at Yonipp and Upwork. He is passionate and dedicated to learning to create only the best content for his clients. Contact him about content and article writing projects, business and economics, and other gigs on this Email and LinkedIn profile.

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