Baler Pasalubong Guide

Friday, 1 January 2016

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Each time we travel, we feel that the experience is not complete if we would not be able to hop through local souvenir shops to check for the best deals in pasalubong (Tagalog, noun: a keepsake, bought from a place where one has been to, that is usually given as gift to family and friends). 

As such, during our trip to Baler, we asked Kuya Boyet, our driver and tour guide, to take us downtown so that we could hunt for stores that offer the most affordable trinkets and souvenirs that we can buy for our own as well as for our friends and family.

Pasalubong from Baler ballers
Ballers

Baler Pasalubong Guide


    What are the most popular pasalubong items from Baler?


    While we were on our way to the town center, we asked Kuya Boyet to give us his recommendation on the best items to buy for pasalubong. In particular, we said that were looking for products that are unique to Baler and popular among tourists.

    Kuya Boyet gave a good list of his recommended pasalubong but we are also adding here the things that we personally liked.

    Here are 7 pasalubong ideas from Baler that you may want to consider the next time you are in town:

    1. T-shirts - you can never go wrong with souvenir shirts. This is one product that you can probably find in almost every corner of Baler.

    2. Key-chains - another popular keepsake. These are quite affordable and can be bought in bulk if you are thinking of buying for a big group.

    3. Suman de baler - delicious rice cakes that are even more flavorful when dipped in peanut butter or coco jam.

    4. Peanut butter - one of the best-tasting peanut butter in probably the entire country. It's smooth, creamy, and with just the right balance of sweetness.

    5. Aurora Blend Coffee - I personally like the local coffee of Aurora province. It's got a mild flavor that is perfect for an evening after-dinner cup.

    6. Biniklad na dilis - these are small dried fish that had been butterflied. What we like about this type of dried fish is that it's not salty and it is when crunchy when fried.

    7. Ak'kaw Poppo - a book containing words and expressions that are unique to Baler. The lexicon is quite extensive, giving the Tagalog spoken in Baler its own character and distinctness.

    Where to get the best pasalubong deals in Baler 


    As I had mentioned above, there is a souvenir store in almost every corner of downtown Baler. However, if you are looking to score the best pasalubong deals, here is a list of the stores that you may want to visit:

    1. LRT Store
    Location: Quezon St, Baler, Aurora


    At LRT Store, tourists can look forward to affordable shirts and key chains. What's more, the store has an extensive collection of ballers, ref magnets, local alcoholic beverages, local spiced vinegar, and ground coffee. LRT Stores has one of the most numerous items on display among the souvenir shops that we visited in Baler.

    Pasalubong from Baler key chains
    Key chains

    2. Mura Crafts, Gifts and Souvenirs
    Location: Quezon St, Baler, Aurora


    Among all the shops in Baler, Mura Crafts, Gifts, and Souvenirs offers the best deal in souvenir shirt at three for Php400. Just like other stores, they also offer key chains, ballers, chips, coco jam and coffee.

    Pasalubong from Baler t-shirts
    Affordable t-shirts on display

    Also here, I saw an interesting book called Ak’kaw Poppo, which is a collection of words and expressions that are unique to Baler. While the language spoken in Baler is Tagalog, I was surprised to discover that the locals use many words that can only be found (or heard) in this town. I wish I bought Ak'kaw Poppo so that I could learn the words that are unique to Baler.

    Pasalubong from Baler collection of local lexicon
    Ak'kaw Poppo


    3. Giiiggles
    Location; Brgy. Suklayin, Baler, Aurora


    Giiiggles sells the usual shirts, key chains, bags, slippers, native products, purses and chips. Price was standard and there was nothing really unique with their merchandise.

    Pasalubong from Baler native mats

    4. Pasalubong Center
    Location; Brgy. Suklayin, Baler, Aurora


    If you are looking for more options, then head over to Pasalubong Center. The Pasalubong Center is actually a cluster of many different stores, serving as a one-stop-shop where you can canvass for products that fit your budget. The shops here offer the usual key chains, ballers, slippers, jams, peanut butter, coffee, vinegar, fans and accessories.

    Pasalubong from Baler native handicrafts


    5. Nanay Pacing Store
    Location: Brgy. 05, T. Molina Street, Baler, Aurora


    Perhaps one of the most iconic shops in Baler is Nanay Pacing Store. As such, one can always expect to find large throngs of visitors in this store.

    Pasalubong from Baler peanut butter
    Peanut Butter

    Pasalubong from Baler coco jam
    Coco jam

    Here, you can buy Nanay Pacing’s famous coco jam and peanut butter that are really popular in Baler. You can also stop by here if you want to buy Suman de Baler, native sweets, banana chips, and turmeric tea.


    Pasalubong from Baler suman
    Suman de Baler

      

    6. Baler Public Market


    Baler, being a coastal town, offers a variety of dried seafood produce. We made a special trip to Baler Public Market to find Biniklad na Dilis, which we loved so much when we tried it in Costa Pacifica. What differentiates biniklad na dilis from the regular dried dilis is that the former is butterflied before it is sun dried, giving it with more crunch when fried. Biniklad na Dilis is indeed special – it’s quite expensive at Php700 a kilo! We bought one-fourth of a kilo of this dried fish that, we were told, can only be found in Baler.

    Pasalubong from Baler biniklad na dilis
    Biniklad na dilis

    Pasalubong from Baler dried seafood
    Dried seafood

    That's it. This list is extensive enough to guide you around the souvenir stores and shops around Baler. If you have more suggestions, do tell me in the comment section below so that I can update this post.

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