ALBAY | Souvenirs and Pasalubongs at Legazpi City

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Sili Keychains at Legazpi's Ibalong Pasalubong Center

It was the third day of PHILTOA’s Bicol media familiarization tour. We were not even on the our last leg of our trip yet but everyone was already scouring the side streets of Legazpi City for souvenirs and pasalubongs to bring back home.

Sullen Weather at Legazpi's Baywalk

To perk up the group, our van first headed to the city’s baywalk. The weather, however, remained sullen and where I once witnessed a splendid view of the great Mayon Volcano, now there were only thick gray clouds. We were halfway in the van when the rain started to pour.

Souvenir Hunting at Legazpi's Ibalong Pasalubong Center

So we decided to stay on drier grounds, the Ibalong Pasalubong Center at the Legazpi City’s grand terminal. It’s basically a line of shops selling Bicolano-made products from abaca, the popular pili nuts, local delicacies like laing and Bicol Express and the usual t-shirts, ref magnets and keychains.

Dyed Abaca at Legazpi's Ibalong Pasalubong Center

There were hardly any tourists besides us, we have the whole place to ourselves. The place is filled with colors from the local abacas being sold. They have them in rolled mats, they’re made into women’s bags, wallets and even slippers.

Aren’t they itchy to be used as slippers? I asked. It’s surprising not says a friend who bought a pair.

Souvenir Store at Legazpi's Ibalong Pasalubong Center

Tourists favorites were also all over the place, red hot sili keychains, Mayon Volcanao ref magnets, sculptures made from volcano lavas, paintings, t-shirts, bracelets and every possible trinkets you can think of are here. I would’ve gotten myself a couple of ref magnets if not for the lack of real estate already left on our fridge for such.

Pili Nuts at Legazpi's Ibalong Pasalubong Center

And then there’s Bicol’s iconic product, the pili nut. It’s sold in probably all the ways pilis can be sold. There’s packed in transparent plastic cans of varying sizes and the variants range from garlicky to glazefully sweet. They’re made into candies and even to bars, which I was told were being sold for at least Php200.00 each. Expensive!

Bottled Bicol Express at Legazpi's Ibalong Pasalubong Center

But my favorite among the things being peddled at the Ibalong Pasalubong Center were the bottled Bicol Express and laing. Talk about bringing home an authentic dish from down south! These are made by a local restaurant in Legazpi named Pares King. Prices range from Php100.00 to Php150.00. Not bad actually.

At Legazpi's Albay Pilinut

After some final hagglings with the vendors of the pasalubong center, we headed to a small store which claims to be the first pili nut candy producer in Bicolandia, the Albay Pilinut. The store is housed in what looked like an ancestral house. I stepped inside and I became convinced that it is an ancestral house, with the basement being used in packing their products.

At Legazpi's Albay Pilinut

The family-run business started producing pili products in 1936. From mazapan, creamy yemas, caramelitos, pastillas and sesame seed coated pilis, the business eventually grew and was passed from generations to generations of the Regidor Family.

Pili Mazapan from Legazpi's Albay Pilinut

One of the most expensive product from their store is the Albay Mazapan de Pili (160 Grams) at Php260.00. It’s almost like a chocolate bar in size and can rival those choco bars anytime. I wasn’t able to buy one, since it was far too expensive for me, but I was able to have a taste from a generous seatmate who purchased one.

Rainy Day at Legazpi's Baywalk

So who says you can’t have fun when the weather is down? It was only the start of our day and our bags and tummies were already having a good time from all the souvenirs and pasalubongs we bought. And yes, we’ve got three more days left in the Bicol Region.

Ibalong Pasalubong Center
Address: Peñaranda Extension, Bonot, Legazpi City
GPS Coordinates: +13° 8' 40.04", +123° 44' 43.34"
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here

Albay Pilinut
Address: 873 Rizal Street, Old Albay District, Legazpi 
GPS Coordinates: +13° 8' 20.65", +123° 43' 55.04"
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here


You Might Also Like