Top 10 Gift Ideas: What is a Good Gift for a Filipino?

As a visitor or a relative, selecting a present for a Filipino friend may be daunting. Filipinos are known for their warm spirit, and they cherish presents that reflect their culture as well as their personality. While the concept of gift giving is common in the Philippines, selecting an excellent gift that your Filipino friend will admire and appreciate can be challenging. You might want to congregate some insights into what Filipino culture values the most to help you make an informed and thoughtful decision to make the proper gesture.

There is an enormous range of options to choose from when selecting a great gift for a Filipino friend. Philippine handicrafts such as pottery, woodcarvings, and woven products are some of the cultural items that Filipinos usually appreciate. Gift certificates or something functional would also be useful since it does not only serve a purpose, but it can also save them some cash. It’s also essential to consider the recipient’s sense of personal connection when giving a gift. It adds to the individuality of the gift and reflects a more intimate and profound meaning behind it.

Giving a present in the Philippines is more than just about the item or its value. It’s also an expression of your love and appreciation for that individual. Keep in mind that your gift must convey your feelings and strengthen your bond with them. If you’re genuinely thoughtful with your gift, it doesn’t need to be extravagant. A little empathy goes a long way, and even a simple token of appreciation can bring a smile to a Filipino’s face. So, be original, creative, and considerate and show your Filipino friend how much they mean to you with your present.

Traditional Filipino Gifts

The Philippines is a country that values culture and traditions. One of the ways to show appreciation for the Filipino culture is through gift-giving. It is customary to give gifts on special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, and Christmas. Choosing a gift for a Filipino can be overwhelming, but knowing the traditional Filipino gifts can guide you in making the right choice.

Traditional Filipino Gifts

  • Food and sweets – Filipinos have a sweet tooth, and giving food and sweets is a common way of showing affection. Examples of sweet treats are polvoron, pastillas, and yema. For savory options, lechon or Bibingka, a traditional Filipino rice cake made with coconut milk, make great presents.
  • Barong Tagalog – This formal shirt made of pineapple or abaca fibers and embroidered with intricate designs is a symbol of Filipino pride and is worn during formal events such as weddings and political gatherings.
  • Souvenirs and handicrafts – The Philippines is known for its intricate craftsmanship. Handmade items such as hand-woven baskets, native bags, and capiz shell lamps make great souvenirs and gifts.

Traditional Filipino Gifts

If you want to go beyond the usual Filipino gifts, there are other options that may suit your recipient’s taste. One of these is a pasalubong, which is a gift or souvenir brought by someone who has been on a trip. Pasalubongs may vary depending on the place where they were bought, but they usually reflect the culture and traditions of the Filipino people.

Another unique Filipino gift is a Bayanihan, which is a Filipino spirit of communal unity. Bayanihan is represented by a sculpture or an artwork depicting people carrying a house on their shoulders. This gift is not only a token of appreciation for the Filipino culture but also a representation of the resilience and strength of the Filipino people.

Traditional Filipino Gifts

Lastly, if you want to give something that is functional and aesthetically pleasing, a Handloom is an excellent gift choice. It is a traditional Filipino weaving technique that utilizes a manual loom to create intricate designs and patterns on fabrics. The handloom is a unique and sustainable way of showcasing the Filipino culture and supporting local weavers and artisans.

Type of Gift Symbolism
Food and sweets Affection and appreciation for Filipino culture
Barong Tagalog Pride in Filipino heritage and culture
Souvenirs and handicrafts Artistic and cultural representation of the Philippines
Pasalubong Cultural representation of the location and occasion
Bayanihan Symbol of communal unity and Filipino resilience
Handloom Sustainable and unique representation of Filipino weaving and craftsmanship

Choosing a gift for a Filipino may seem challenging, but with these traditional Filipino gift ideas, you are sure to impress and show appreciation for the Filipino culture.

Popular Filipino Artisan Crafts

When it comes to gift-giving, it’s always a good idea to showcase a country’s handicrafts and artisanal products. The Philippines is home to a wide range of these goodies, from intricately woven baskets and colorful textiles to hand-carved wooden figurines and traditional pottery. Here’s a closer look into some popular Filipino artisan crafts:

  • Basketry: Filipinos are known for their impressive basket weaving skills, and there’s no shortage of eye-catching designs to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a functional piece like a laundry basket or something purely decorative, there’s a weaver out there who can create it for you.
  • Textiles: From the vibrant “banig” mats that are often used for picnics to the intricate “piña” cloth made from pineapple fibers, Filipino textiles showcase a rich heritage and a skilled craftsmanship. A beautifully patterned shawl or a set of colorful placemats can make for a unique and cherished gift.
  • Woodcarving: Filipinos are also known for their talent in woodcarving, with artisans creating everything from religious statues to decorative coasters. A hand-carved wooden sculpture or a set of rustic bowls can add a touch of traditional Filipino charm to any home.

Traditional Pottery

Another Filipino craft that has been passed down through generations is traditional pottery. One region famous for its pottery is the town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, where clay pots and jars have been produced since the Spanish colonial period. These pots are often used for cooking and storing food, and their earthy charm can make for an interesting gift.

Pottery Type Description
“Burnay” Pottery Produced in Vigan using a unique process that involves baking pots in underground kilns. Burnay pottery is often used for fermenting “bagoong” (shrimp paste) and “pinakbet” (vegetable stew).
“Tabungaw” Pottery Created in the Cordillera region using a rotary potter’s wheel. Tabungaw pottery is often painted with intricate tribal designs and used for storing water and other liquids.

Overall, Filipino artisan crafts make for thoughtful and distinct gifts that are sure to impress. Whether you opt for a woven basket, a hand-carved figurine, or a traditional clay pot, you’ll be supporting local makers while showcasing the beauty of Philippine culture.

Unique Filipino Souvenirs

When searching for the perfect gift for a Filipino friend or loved one, unique Filipino souvenirs can make a great choice. These souvenirs showcase the beauty, culture, and history of the Philippines, making them a meaningful and special gift.

Top 3 Unique Filipino Souvenirs

  • Banig Bag – Banig bags are handwoven bags made from dried leaves of either pandan, tikog or buri. They come in different colors and shapes, such as round, square, or rectangle, and are perfect for daily use or as a statement piece in an outfit.
  • Taka – Taka is a colorful Philippine papier-mâché horse often seen during town fiestas and festivals. Taka is handcrafted by the locals using paper, glue, and bamboo strips. This souvenir is a small but vibrant reminder of the country’s festive spirit and craftsmanship.
  • Barong Tagalog – Barong Tagalog is a traditional formal wear for men in the Philippines. It is a delicate piece of clothing that is hand-embroidered with intricate details and patterns. A uniquely Filipino souvenir that can be passed down for generations as a family heirloom.

Where to Buy Unique Filipino Souvenirs

The best place to buy unique Filipino souvenirs is in local markets, souvenir shops, and crafts fairs. Some popular markets include Greenhills Shopping Center in Mandaluyong, Divisoria Market in Manila, and Tiendesitas in Pasig City. These places offer a wide selection of souvenirs, from keychains to wooden carvings and more.

Market Location Operating Hours
Greenhills Shopping Center Ortigas Avenue, San Juan City Monday to Sunday 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Divisoria Market Tutuban, Manila Monday to Sunday 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Tiendesitas Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Pasig City Monday to Sunday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

No matter where you choose to buy your unique Filipino souvenirs, the recipient of your gift is sure to appreciate the thought and effort put into selecting a meaningful and special item. These souvenirs not only showcase the beauty of the Philippines but also serve as a reminder of the rich culture and history of the country.

Filipino Food and Beverage Items

Filipinos love their food and drinks, and giving them a gift that embodies their cuisine would truly be appreciated. Here are some suggestions for Filipino food and beverage items that are perfect for gift-giving:

  • Barong Tagalog Mug – A perfect gift for coffee or tea lovers, this mug has a design inspired by the traditional Filipino dress, Barong Tagalog.
  • Adobo Seasoning Mix – Adobo is considered the national dish of the Philippines, and this seasoning mix would be perfect for anyone who loves cooking.
  • Tsokolate Tableya – This traditional Filipino hot chocolate is made with chocolate tablets called tableya. It’s a delicious and unique gift for anyone who loves chocolate.

Filipino Snacks

Filipinos have an affinity for snacks, and these suggestions will definitely satisfy anyone’s cravings:

  • Chicharon – Fried pork rinds – a popular and savory snack among Filipinos. This snack is a favorite of many and suits any occasion.
  • Polvoron – Often referred to as a powdered candy, this dessert is made from roasted flour, sugar, and powdered milk. It’s a sweet gift option for your loved ones who have a sweet tooth.
  • Turon – A Filipino dessert made of banana and jackfruit rolled up in spring roll wrapper, deep-fried until golden, and coated with caramel. This is a delicious gift that anyone will surely enjoy.

Filipino Drinks

Aside from having a rich cuisine, the Philippines also offers refreshing and unique drinks. Here are some that you can give as gifts:

  • Buko Juice – A drink made from young coconut, it’s a refreshing beverage that’s perfect for the hot and humid weather in the Philippines.
  • Mango Juice – The Philippines is known for its sweet and succulent mangoes, so giving a bottle of mango juice as a gift is a sure winner.
  • Tanduay Rum – Distilled from sugar cane, this rum from the Philippines is known to be smooth and delicious. It’s perfect for those who love to indulge in cocktails and other alcoholic beverages.

Filipino Desserts

Filipino desserts are a must-try for anyone who loves sweets. Here are some of the most popular Filipino desserts that you can give as gifts:

Name of Dessert Description
Halo-halo A refreshing dessert made from shaved ice, milk, assorted fruits, beans, tapioca, and topped with ube (purple yam) ice cream.
Buko Salad A dessert made from young coconut, fruit cocktail, cream, and condensed milk.
Bibingka A rice cake made with coconut milk and traditionally cooked in clay pots lined with banana leaves.

Whatever the occasion, these Filipino food and beverage items are sure to delight your loved ones. So why not make their day special with a truly unique and delicious gift?

Filipino Fashion and Accessories

Filipinos are known to be fashionable and love to dress up for various occasions. Gifting a fashionable item to a Filipino can never go wrong. Here are some popular fashion and accessory gift ideas:

  • Barong Tagalog – This is the most iconic Filipino traditional attire for men. The Barong Tagalog is a formal shirt made from lightweight fabrics such as piña, jusi, or silk, and has intricate embroidery. It is perfect for special occasions such as weddings and formal gatherings.
  • Terno Dress – For women, the terno dress is a must-have in their wardrobe. It is a traditional formal dress made of piña, jusi, or silk, and has butterfly sleeves. The terno dress is perfect for attending weddings, graduations, and other formal events.
  • Statement T-shirts – For a more casual fashion statement, Filipinos love their statement shirts that showcase their witty personality. A t-shirt with a funny quote or a popular local slang will surely be appreciated by your Filipino friend or loved one.


Accessories complete any outfit and make it more interesting. Here are some popular accessories among Filipinos:

  • T’nalak Bags – These bags are made from T’nalak cloth, a traditional hand-woven fabric of the T’boli tribe in Mindanao. It showcases intricate patterns and designs, making it a unique and eye-catching accessory.
  • Sarimanok Earrings – The Sarimanok is a mythical bird in Filipino folklore, and its colorful design is the inspiration for these earrings. It is perfect for those who want to add a pop of color to their outfit.
  • Capiz Shell Necklace – Capiz shells are abundant in the Philippines, and they are used in various crafts and accessories. A Capiz shell necklace is a simple but elegant gift that your Filipino loved one will surely appreciate.


Gifting a fashionable item or an accessory to a Filipino shows that you appreciate their culture and style. Be sure to choose an item that fits their personality and style. Giving a unique and thoughtful gift is always appreciated.

Barong Tagalog Terno Dress T’nalak Bags Sarimanok Earrings Capiz Shell Necklace
Barong Tagalog Terno Dress T'nalak Bags Sarimanok Earrings Capiz Shell Necklace

Sources: The Culture Trip, Primer Magazine

Religious Items Relevant to the Filipino Culture

The Philippines is known to have a deep-rooted religious culture, with majority of the population being Roman Catholic. This makes religious items a great gift idea for Filipinos, as they hold a significant place in their everyday lives and personal beliefs. Here are some religious items that are relevant to the Filipino culture and make for great gifts:

  • Statues of saints: Filipinos have a great reverence for saints, and displaying their statues at home or in a personal altar is a common practice. Some of the popular saints among Filipinos include Our Lady of Fatima, Sto. Niño de Cebu, and St. Therese of Lisieux.
  • Rosary beads: The rosary is an essential part of Filipino Catholicism, as it is believed to bring peace and protection to the user. Filipinos often carry a rosary with them or use it during their daily prayers.
  • Religious figurines: Aside from saints, Filipinos also have deep devotion to religious figures such as the Infant Jesus of Prague, the Virgen de Peñafrancia, and the Black Nazarene. Figurines of these iconic religious figures make for meaningful gifts and are often displayed in homes and prayer rooms.

Religious Clothing and Accessories

Clothing and accessories with religious symbols are also popular among Filipinos, as they serve as a reminder of their faith throughout the day. Here are some religious clothing and accessories that you can consider giving as gifts:

  • Scapulars and medals: These are small rectangular pieces of cloth or metal that bear religious images, worn as a sign of devotion or protection. Popular scapulars and medals among Filipinos include the Brown Scapular, the Miraculous Medal, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Medal.
  • Religious shirts: T-shirts and other apparel with religious designs and slogans are a popular way to express one’s faith. Some popular designs feature images of the Virgin Mary, the Sto. Niño, or messages of hope and inspiration.
  • Crosses and crucifixes: These are among the most recognizable symbols of Christianity, and Filipinos often wear them as necklaces or earrings. They can be made of various materials such as wood, metal, or precious stones.

Religious Books and Devotionals

Lastly, religious books and devotionals are a great way to deepen one’s faith and understanding of the Catholic teachings. They make for meaningful gifts that can inspire and uplift the recipient. Here are some religious books and devotionals that you can consider giving:

  • Bibles: The Bible is the cornerstone of Christian faith, and owning a copy is a great way to guide one’s spiritual journey. You can opt for a traditional leather-bound Bible or a more modern, illustrated rendition.
  • Devotional books: These are books that offer daily reflections and prayers, aimed at helping the reader grow in their faith over time. Some popular devotionals among Filipinos include “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis and “In Conversation with God” by Francisco Fernandez Carvajal.
  • Spiritual journals: Journals that allow the user to reflect on their spiritual journey and experiences can be a great tool for personal growth. You can opt for a pre-made journal or a blank one that the recipient can personalize with their own insights and reflections.

Overall, religious items are a great gift idea for Filipinos, especially those who hold their faith close to their hearts. Whether it’s a statue of their favorite saint, a rosary for daily prayer, or a devotional book to guide their spiritual journey, these gifts are sure to be appreciated and cherished.

Beauty and Personal Care Products Popular in the Philippines

The Philippines is known for its beauty culture, as Filipinos place a significant emphasis on taking care of their appearance. With numerous beauty and personal care brands available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose a gift that the recipient will love. Below are some popular beauty and personal care products that are well-loved by Filipinos.

  • Skin whitening products: One of the most popular and controversial beauty trends in the Philippines is skin whitening. Filipinos believe that fair skin equates to beauty, so it’s no surprise that skin whitening products are in demand. Some of the popular brands are Glutamax, Kojie-san, and Belo Essentials.
  • Facial wash and cleansers: A daily skincare routine is important to Filipinos, and facial wash and cleansers are part of it. Brands like Celeteque, Human Nature, and Ponds are well-loved for their effectiveness in cleaning the face without stripping off natural oils.
  • Lip tint: The natural and subtle look is preferred by many Filipinos, and lip tints are an essential part of achieving it. Some of the popular brands are Happy Skin, BLK, and Colourette.

To help you choose the perfect gift, here’s a table of popular beauty and personal care products in the Philippines.

Product Category Brand Price Range (in Philippine Peso)
Skin Whitening Glutamax 150-500
Facial Wash and Cleansers Human Nature 50-250
Lip Tint Happy Skin 399-549

With these beauty and personal care products, your gift will surely be appreciated by your Filipino recipient.

Gifts Related to Filipino Sports and Hobbies

Filipinos are known for their love of sports and hobbies. Giving a gift that is related to their interests can be a thoughtful gesture. Here are some gift ideas for Filipino sports and hobby enthusiasts:

  • Boxing gloves: Boxing is a popular sport in the Philippines, and many Filipinos enjoy practicing it. Giving a pair of high-quality boxing gloves can be an excellent gift for someone who is into boxing.
  • Basketball shoes: Basketball is probably the most popular sport in the Philippines. Many Filipinos play basketball regularly, making basketball shoes a practical and useful gift.
  • Ukulele: Many Filipinos are musically inclined and love to play instruments. The ukulele is a particularly popular instrument in the Philippines, and giving a high-quality one can be a great gift for a music enthusiast.

If you want to take your gift-giving a step further, you can consider giving them something related to their hobby. Here are some ideas:

  • Art Supplies: Many Filipinos have a passion for art, and they often spend their free time painting or drawing. Giving them art supplies such as paints, brushes, and canvases can help them take their creativity to the next level.
  • Cooking Tools: Filipino cuisine is famous for its delicious flavors. If your friend or loved one enjoys cooking, consider giving them some high-quality cooking tools such as knives, pots, or a cookbook.
  • Photography accessories: Photography is another favorite hobby of many Filipinos. If your loved one enjoys taking photos, consider giving them some photography accessories such as a new lens or a tripod.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a gift that appeals to both sports and hobbies, consider giving them a coffee table book about a beloved Filipino sport or hobby. They can enjoy learning more about something they love while also having a beautiful book to display in their home.

Gift Idea Price Range Where to Buy
Boxing gloves $30 – $100 Sports stores or online retailers
Basketball shoes $50 – $200 Sports stores or online retailers
Ukulele $50 – $200 Music stores or online retailers
Art Supplies $20 – $100 Art supply stores or online retailers
Cooking Tools $30 – $150 Cookware stores or online retailers
Photography accessories $50 – $300 Camera stores or online retailers
Coffee table book $20 – $50 Bookstores or online retailers

Choosing a gift for a Filipino who loves sports and hobbies can be fun and easy if you consider their interests. With these gift ideas, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift that they’ll appreciate and enjoy for years to come.

Technology Gifts That Filipino People Might Like

The Philippines is known for being one of the most tech-savvy countries in Southeast Asia. With a growing number of digital natives, Filipinos are always on the lookout for the latest gadgets and tech accessories. If you are looking for the perfect gift for a Filipino, consider the following technology gifts:

  • Smartphone
  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Action Camera
  • Wireless Earphones
  • Power Bank
  • Smartwatch
  • Streaming Device
  • Gaming Console

A smartphone is a must-have for every Filipino. With a population of over 100 million, it is estimated that there are now more than 70 million smartphone users in the Philippines. Filipinos use their smartphones not just for communication, but also for entertainment, shopping, and social media. A high-end smartphone would be a great gift for a tech-savvy Filipino.

A laptop is also one of the most sought-after tech devices in the Philippines. With the growing demand for remote work and online education, having a reliable laptop is essential. A lightweight and powerful laptop would be appreciated by anyone who needs to be on the go and wants to stay connected.

For those who love to capture their adventures, an action camera is a great gift idea. GoPro and other action camera brands are popular in the Philippines, especially among outdoor enthusiasts. A waterproof and durable action camera would be perfect for someone who loves to go on beach trips, backpacking excursions, or even just city tours.

Wireless earphones are also becoming a popular accessory in the Philippines. With the rise of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, many Filipinos opt for wireless earphones for a better listening experience. A pair of high-quality wireless earphones would make a great gift for someone who loves listening to music on the go.

A power bank is also a practical gift for anyone who owns a smartphone or a tablet. A power bank is a portable charger that can be used to charge devices on the go. It is a convenient device to have, especially during long trips or power outages.

Gadget Brand Price Range
Smartphone Samsung Php 20,000 – Php 70,000
Laptop ASUS Php 20,000 – Php 100,000
Tablet Apple Php 20,000 – Php 70,000
Action Camera GoPro Php 15,000 – Php 25,000
Wireless Earphones Sony Php 8,000 – Php 30,000
Power Bank Xiaomi Php 500 – Php 2,000
Smartwatch Apple Watch Php 15,000 – Php 50,000
Streaming Device Chromecast Php 2,500 – Php 4,500
Gaming Console PlayStation Php 15,000 – Php 25,000

A smartwatch is also a great gift idea for those who love to stay connected and track their physical activities. Smartwatches are becoming popular in the Philippines, with Apple Watch leading the market. It is a great accessory to have for someone who likes to monitor their fitness goals or receive phone calls and messages without having to pull out their smartphone.

For those who love to binge-watch their favorite series or movies, a streaming device is a practical gift. Popular streaming devices in the Philippines include Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick. It is a great device to have for anyone who doesn’t have a Smart TV or wants to watch their favorite shows on a bigger screen.

Lastly, a gaming console would be a perfect gift for someone who loves to play video games. Filipinos are known for being passionate gamers, with popular games like Mobile Legends, PUBG, and Ragnarok Online. A gaming console like PlayStation would be a great addition to their gaming setup.

Books and Literature by Filipino Authors

As a gift-giver, it’s important to consider the interests and preferences of the receiver. If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for a Filipino friend or colleague, why not consider a book by a Filipino author? Not only will it be a unique and meaningful gift, but it will also offer a glimpse into Filipino culture and literature.

  • ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’ by Jose Rizal – These two novels are considered seminal works of Philippine literature. Written by national hero Jose Rizal, they shed light on the political and social climate of the Philippines during Spanish colonialism in the late 19th century.
  • ‘Smaller and Smaller Circles’ by F.H. Batacan – This crime novel has been referred to as the first Filipino detective novel. Set in Manila, it follows two Jesuit priests as they investigate a series of grisly murders in the city.
  • ‘When the Elephants Dance’ by Tess Uriza Holthe – This novel takes place during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II. It weaves together the stories of Filipino villagers as they struggle to survive and resist during this tumultuous time.

Other notable Filipino authors to consider include Nick Joaquin, Lualhati Bautista, and Carlos Bulosan. If you’re having trouble deciding on a specific book, you could also consider a collection of short stories by various Filipino authors. Some examples include ‘The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century’ edited by Isagani R. Cruz and Marily Y. Orosa and ‘Philippine Speculative Fiction’ edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar.

Finally, if you have a friend or loved one who is passionate about writing, you could consider gifting them a book on the craft of writing by a Filipino author. One example is ‘The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century’ which includes an introduction on how Filipino literature has evolved throughout history.

Author Book
Jose Rizal ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’
F.H. Batacan ‘Smaller and Smaller Circles’
Tess Uriza Holthe ‘When the Elephants Dance’

Give the gift of literature that will allow your friend or colleague to experience a rich and diverse culture. Books by Filipino authors offer an opportunity to learn about the history and experiences of the Philippines through the eyes of those who lived it.

Salamat po!

I hope this article has given you some ideas on what gifts to give your Filipino friends and loved ones. Remember, it’s important to keep in mind their culture and preferences when choosing a gift. Whether it’s a traditional Filipino item or a modern gadget, your thoughtfulness and sincerity will be appreciated. Thank you for reading and I hope you visit again soon for more Filipino-inspired content. Ingat po! (Take care!)