With a rich, vibrant and multicultural history that includes everything from Chinese settlers to Spanish conquistadors, Philippines is a modern melting pot. It’s also a source of awesome Filipino gifts!
Here are just a few ideas to spark some inspiration as you think about food, fashion, art, music and more.
Filipino Gift Ideas
For the Foodie: Pulutan! Filipino Cookbook
Everyone loves a good bowl of adobo, but unless you have decades of experience behind you, actually preparing Filipino food can be a tall order. In these cases, it helps to have something like Pulutan! Filipino Bar Bites, Appetizers and Street Eats.
It’ll take you on an exciting culinary journey with things like corn-dogged quail eggs and grilled coconut-and-lemongrass shrimp, but just like the street vendors of Manila, you’ll be able to make them in a snap.
To Raise the Decibel Level: I’m Not Yelling I’m Filipino 11-Ounce Coffee Mug
Maybe she’s your long-suffering Filipino mom. Maybe he’s your best friend who absolutely thrashes you at League of Legends. Either way, if your gift recipient spends a lot of time operating their lungs at 110% capacity, this is the coffee mug to put a lid on it for awhile.
Not only can it hold a whopping 11 ounces of java, but it’s also printed with the words, “I’m not yelling, I’m Filipino.”
If They’re Old School: Manila Philippines Vintage Travel Poster
Originally printed in the 1950s, this vintage-style poster wouldn’t be out of place in a movie palace, but it’s advertising a destination rather than a film. It says “mabuhay,” which means “welcome” in Tagalog, and it depicts a cheerful couple traveling down a road in Manila in a traditional horse-drawn carriage called a kalesa.
Their yellow clothes are a perfect match for the sepia-toned palette of the poster, but despite its aged appearance, it’s printed on modern, high-quality paper stock with a smooth coasted finish. It’ll look lovely on a home or office wall.
For the Fashionista: Philippines Sun Necklace
Beautifully cut, this necklace will shine like the golden skies of Quezon City. It depicts the sun of the Filipino flag with the eight points that represent the eight provinces of the country, and it’s also available with and without the three stars that represent the three main island groups.
You can order it in silver or in gold depending on their tastes. Regardless of its material, it’s sure to become a trendy, stylish piece in their jewelry collection.
An Offer They Can’t Refuse: The Ninong Filipino Premium T-Shirt
This is a gift that won’t make sense to non-Pinoys, but that just makes it even more special. You have to know that “ninong” means “godfather” in Tagalog for the design to make you say, “Ohhh, that’s why it looks like The Godfather.
” Best of all, you can gift the t-shirt to both godfathers and godchildren, so it’s a multipurpose item for all kinds of birthdays, christenings and just-because occasions.
To Bring Multiculturalism to Game Night: Mancala Board Game Set
Known as sungka in the Philippines, this board game dates back thousands and thousands of years, so it’ll provide both education and entertainment to someone who enjoys Filipino culture. Gameplay is simple: You just move brightly-colored glass stones across a wooden board.
It’s the strategy that makes it fun, and it’s the beauty and geniality that makes it an enduring feature of Filipino households.
For a Spicier Christmas: Jim Shore Filipino Santa Hanging Ornament
Part of the iconic “Jim Shore” line, this figurine comes from the Around the World collection that depicts different countries and cultures. It has a small, colorful Santa Claus with a wide-brimmed straw hat in place of his usual fuzzy red one, and he’s carrying a Filipino Capiz wreath while wearing a long red robe embroidered with motifs from the east.
He’s ready to celebrate Christmas with all of your Pinoy and Pinay relatives!
Better Than Oreos: World Food Mission Nine-Piece Filipino Snack Pack
Have they ever munched on prawn crackers? Have they ever tossed back some garlic nuts or barbecue-flavored ribbed crackling? Have they ever tried chocolate-filled chips? These are just a few of the most famous snacks from the Philippines, and whether they’re an expat craving the taste of home or a Philippines culture enthusiast trying these exotic treats for the first time, they’re sure to have a blast making their way through this crunchy, colorful care package.
When They’re Feeling a Little Tipsy: Stainless Steel Bottle Opener
“I (Heart) the Philippines” can be found on many mugs, t-shirts and key chains, but this bottle opener does something a little different. It just says “love” on a black square with red and blue letters and a yellow sun for the “O.
” If you don’t know Filipino culture, you might not even recognize its significance, but natives instantly will.
To Grandmother’s House We Go: Welcome to Lola’s Place Household Family Sunflower Sign
Painted on a rustic wooden sign with sunflowers, this message is plain, warm and welcoming… just like your lola. She can hang it in her kitchen as she prepares Sunday morning hotcakes or Wednesday night soups.
It says “welcome to lola’s place” with the hours of operation listed as “weekends, weekdays, whenever,” so it perfectly encapsulates the love and generosity of a Filipino grandma.
To Take Over Their Dining Room Table: Philippines Baguio 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Anyone can hang up a picture of Baguio. How many people can put together a 1,000 piece puzzle of its colorful, colonial-era houses? They have blue walls, red roofs, white fences, green lawns and more. Everything is tidily stacked on a hill to create a picturesque view of the city.
Your job will be to create that city by putting together every small, intricate piece until the postcard-like photograph is complete.
For the Warrior: Arnis Kali Eskrima FMA Filipino Martial Arts T-Shirt
Filipino martial arts (FMA) has survived for centuries as a fighting method employed by poor or working class individuals as opposed to wealthy aristocrats who could afford military-style training. As such, it has fierce, loyal practitioners worldwide, including some from outside of the Philippines who are drawn to both its ethos and its cool stick fighting demonstrations.
If you happen to know a fan of FMA, this is a t-shirt that can give them further strength and passion for the art.
A Table for Two: Dash Mini Rice Cooker
This isn’t a gift for Pinoys alone, but if they cook a lot of rice-based dishes, it might be a godsend for their kitchen. It’s a mini rice cooker that can whip up a single or double portion in 30 minutes or less, so it’s perfect for college students, amateur cooks and anyone else who doesn’t feel like slaving over a hot stove all day just to make some arroz caldo.
It even has a “keep warm” function so that you can just dump the rice and water in the pot and continue with your day. It’ll automatically shut off when the rice is cooked and keep everything warm and ready.
For the History Buff: Vintage Map of the Philippines
Most people know what the Philippines looks like on a map. They might be surprised and delighted, however, to see what it looked like in 1734. Borders are different; landscapes are different. Everything is rendered in a beautifully old-fashioned style that looks like someone hand-drew everything on a scroll.
Are you looking for something outside of the box for a Filipino culture enthusiast? This is the gift to put on their wall.
To Wrap Them in Their Homeland: Philippines Flag Fleece Blanket
Made with a sinfully soft fleece material, this blanket will warm your loved one in more ways than one. Not only can it be used as a cuddly compliment to beds, couches, patios and picnics, but since it’s decorated with the colors of the Philippines flag, it’ll also be a proud tribute to their heritage.
They could even forego using it as a blanket and hang it up on a wall or window as a decorative item! It measures 80 x 50 inches, so it’ll be nice and big for all kinds of purposes.
To Brighten Their Entire Day: Nathina Bright Face Kit
Move over, Korean skincare! The Philippines has been entering the beauty game with everything from hydrating creams to exfoliating scrubs, and the Nathina Bright Face Kit is just one example of how they’re taking self-care to a new level.
These products can help with lightening, brightening, moisturizing and more. Their main ingredient is kojic acid, but there are a number of other, well-known skincare ingredients as well. Let them beautify their face like Filipinas do with this awesome beauty kit!
For the Tisoy in Your Life: iPhone American Filipino Flag Case
With hyper-realistic details in its coloring, shading and contouring, this phone case is a work of art. It’s also an amazing cultural token for those with a mixed American/Filipino heritage: It depicts the Philippines flag beneath a tear ripped into the American one.
If you know someone who has equal parts American patriotism and Filipino pride, this phone case will be a beautiful, evocative way to showcase both at the same time.
When They’re Always Hungry: Keep Calm and Pass the Pancit Philippines T-Shirt
They’ve slurped ramen in Japan. They’ve dug deep into pho bowls in Vietnam. It’s time to try a new type of noodle, and that noodle is the Filipino pancit. Once they’ve enjoyed its many, many varieties, they’ll definitely relate to the sentiment on this t-shirt: “Keep calm and pass the pancit.
” As a bonus, they’ll be instantly recognizable to other fans of Filipino cuisine!
To Empower Her: Filipina Pride Strong Woman T-Shirt
Most people are familiar with the image of Rosie the Riveter flexing her biceps as a testament to girlpower. This t-shirt, however, puts an eastern spin on a western classic. The woman has dark skin and eyes, and she’s posing in front of the Philippines flag with the word “Filipina” in big, bold text.
If you know a girl who’s taking on the world one challenge at a time, this t-shirt can be a source of both national pride and personal strength.
When They Have a Sweet Tooth: 4-Pack Fresh Mongo Hopia Pastries
Made to order, these delicious pastries will transport your loved one right to the streets of Davao City. Their crispy, flaky layers hide a center of yellow mung bean paste, and they’re baked with all-natural ingredients that contain absolutely zero additives or preservatives.
There are five to every container and four containers to a order, so you’ll receive 20 pastries in total. Make sure to gift them within five days of delivery!
For the Casanova: The Best of Philippine Love Songs CD
Sung by Jun Polistico, known in his home country as “Mr. Golden Voice,” this CD collects some of the best and most popular love songs from the past three decades of Filipino music. It includes both modern hits and old-school ballads that are sure to make your lola nostalgic.
If you’re shopping for someone from an older generation, this is the CD for them!
For the Sugar Addict: Lumpia Queen Funny Filipina Throw Pillow
Does she live on lumpia? Do you have to drag her to the dinner table to get some actual fruits and veggies? This pillow might be just the thing for her bedroom. In addition to being soft and cozy with its spun polyester fabric and plump filling, it also says “Lumpia Queen” in a funny nod to her favorite snack.
It’ll be suitable for any Filipina lady in your life, including wives, daughters, mothers and more.
Dual Heritage, Dual Flags: Philippines American USA Flag Sun Star Filipino Decal Sticker
Another awesome gift that combines American allegiance and Filipino pride, this decal is meant primarily for cars, but it can be attached to anything with a flat, non-metallic surface. This means that your gift recipient can stick it on walls, windows, lockers, laptops, water bottles and more! The American flag is perfectly wrapped in the Philippines sun for a beautiful and multicultural present.
When There’s a Bun in the Oven: Baby Bodysuit Made in America with Filipino Parts
One look at this gift and the other person is sure to burst out laughing. It’s a baby onesie that says “made in America with Filipino parts” along with a land map of the Philippines in red, blue and yellow.
Since it can be ordered in sizes ranging from newborn to 24 months, it’ll be perfect for expecting moms and dads as well as couples having baby showers or first birthday parties. In addition to being versatile, it’s also just plain fun!
For the Dad Who’s Always at the Grill: Philippines Flag Unisex Apron
Let’s be honest: A lot of Filipino gifts are cheesy, especially ones that involve big, splashy and patriotic flags. If you want something that’s classier, you’ll need to look at gifts like this one. It’s a black apron with the Philippines flag on it, but it’s done in an understated style that incorporates and wraps around the front pockets.
Additionally, “Philippines” in spelled out in curly white text that cuts off at the top and bottom. It gets the message across, but it’s a little more elegant while it does it!
Nuts and Bolts: Genuine Tropical Brown Tiger Kukui Nut Necklace
Handcrafted by artisans in the Philippines, this necklace is a stunning example of beauty, ingenuity and craftsmanship. It uses everyday kukui nuts and turns them into a fashionable piece of jewelry! It’s available in sizes from 18 – 36 inches, so your gift recipient can choose how long to wear it or if they want to have double layers around the neck.
Don’t let them forget about the brown satin ribbon that can be tied in a bow as a finishing touch!
To Make Them Laugh: Philippines 3D Refrigerator Magnet
If they visited the Philippines and forget to pick up a kitschy souvenir on the way back, you can bring airport goodies to them with the help of this 3D fridge magnet. It depicts a straw hut and a tropical tree like any good vacation trinket, and it says “Philippines” below in embossed letters.
It’ll serve as an amusingly tacky memento of their time abroad!
Because Every Grain Counts: Extra Rice Philippines T-Shirt
“Exercise? I thought you said extra rice!” If you know a Pinoy or Pinay who can easily eat their weight in sinangag, this is the t-shirt for them. It pokes gentle fun at their love of food while also displaying their pride as a Philippines national.
The flag takes center stage on the shirt, and you can make it pop by ordering the material in different cuts, colors and styles.
Declare Your Sovereignty: 25-Pack Handheld Mini Flags Philippines
Perfect for fairs, cultural festivals and mock UN events, these mini-flags will wave in the wind as colorful touchstones of Filipino culture. There are 25 in total, and each one measures 8.2 x 5.5 inches atop a 12-inch stick.
You can use them to decorate lawns, hallways, conference rooms, food stalls, fairgrounds, parade stops and more. The sky is the limit!
There Can Be Only One: Survivor: Philippines Blu-Ray Set
If they’d like to witness the beauty of the Philippines islands in high definition, Survivor: Philippines is a surprisingly good way to do it. The show’s 25th season takes place right on the sandy, coconut-strewn beaches of the region, and the tribes are named in Tagalog for local animals.
There’s “tandang” (rooster), “matsing” (monkey) and “kalabaw” (water buffalo). Congratulations! You just learned three Filipino vocabulary words!
Holiday Spirit With Filipino Style: Maligayang Pasko Christmas Ornament
Maligayang Pasko! It means “Merry Christmas,” and with this ornament, they can say it to everyone who visits their tree. It has other, more traditional motifs like bells and reindeer as well, but its heart and soul is pure Pinoy, so it’ll make a great gift for someone who is away from home this year but still wants to keep their memories of the Philippines close.
For the Lovebirds: Elegant Gold Crown Wedding Arras With 13 Coins Set
Are they getting hitched in the Philippines? If so, consider the traditional wedding gift of las arras. It’s an imported custom from Latin America where the bride and groom receive 13 gold coins that are inscribed with various virtues, including love, loyalty and fidelity.
This set even comes with a plush, fabric-lined gold crown to hold all of the coins and serve as a lovely housewarming gift for the newlywed couple.
For the Globetrotter: Creanoso Motivational Pinback Buttons
Maybe they dream of honeymooning in the Philippines. Maybe they’ve already been to Manila or Makati, but they can’t wait to go back. Either way, these buttons and badges are sure to speak to their adventurous, fun-loving spirit with all of their inspirational travel quotes.
“Travel far enough and you’ll meet yourself.” “The Earth has music for those who listen.” “The most beautiful thing in the world is the world itself.” If any of these maxims sound like something they already have written down and pinned to their mirror, it’s the right gift for them!
Because the Truth Hurts: I’d Rather Be in Philippines Aluminum Alloy License Plate Frame
Refreshingly honest, this license plate doesn’t pull any punches. It outright says “I’d rather be in the Philippines” with two small Filipino flags flanking the text. They can stick it on their car, hang it up in their garage and more.
The possibilities are endless as long as they’re brave enough to admit that Palawan is better than Pittsburgh!
From the Philippines, With Love: Mahal Kita Vintage Replica Tin Sign
Another great vintage-style gift, this one says “Mahal Kita” on a tin sign that’s been aged to look like an old, waterlogged and sepia-toned letter. “Mahal Kita” means “I love you,” so it’s just as romantic as it is stylish.
Give it to your girlfriend to show her that you support her heritage; give it to your boyfriend before he goes overseas so that he can stay in touch with his roots. It can be hung anywhere, so it’ll be a very versatile present.
When They’re Just Too Attractive For Their Own Good: Sexy Filipino Coffee Mug
“I hate being sexy, but I’m Filipino, so I can’t help it.” This hilarious coffee mug is sure to be a talking point among friends and colleagues, so if they don’t mind delivering a few winks at work, you’ve just found the perfect gift for the office professional! It even comes with a thumbprint design in the colors of the Philippines flag to really sell the text.
You can also order it in 11- or 15-ounce sizes depending on how much they like their java.
A Beautiful Vista: Tall Green Trees Tower Printed Oil Painting
This is another gift that might not be recognized as a souvenir from the Philippines at first glance, but when visitors ask them about it, they can launch right into the story of where it depicts: Bohol.
It’s a beautiful and tranquil island destination with tall green forests as depicted on this three-panel set. One panel wasn’t enough to fully display their majesty, so they were spread across a trio instead!
No Metal Detector Required: Collectible Philippine Currency
Ideal for hobbyists, these coins will be a great gift both individually or as part of a larger, more global collection of foreign currency. Each order comes with five rare or exotic coins that range from the sentimos to the piso.
They’re real money as well, but tell your friend not to spend them; some date back to 1967 and have been out of circulation for years. They’ll be amazing collectibles for Filipino culture enthusiasts of all types!
For Future Fluency: Pimsleur Conversational Tagalog
Have they always wanted to learn Tagalog? Pimsleur is language-learning software that’s a lot like Rosetta Stone, but it’s more intensive and more in depth, and it comes with a higher price tag. It’s the kind of thing that your loved one might not splurge on for themselves but would enthusiastically embrace as a gift.
If you want to help them expand their vocabulary beyond “musta” and “kamusta ka,” try these eight-hour audio CDs with native speakers giving valuable lessons.
To Dance the Night Away: Singkil Dancers Vintage Travel Poster
Another fantastic art print done in a retro style, this one depicts the traditional dance of singkil. As noted on the poster itself, it’s an expression of “color, beauty and rich contrasts,” and it’ll be a nostalgic nod to the past even as it decorates a modern home.
You can hang it anywhere that needs a little splash of color and culture to make it pop. Posters are available in multiple sizes and with various materials of paper, rolled canvas and bamboo.
For the Cultured: An Illustrated History of the Philippines Paperback
Last but certainly not least, if they want to learn more about the history of the Philippines, this book will take them on a beautiful, colorful exploration of the islands that dates all of the way back to 1500 AD.
It’s called, fittingly, An Illustrated History of the Philippines, and it’s filled with photos, sketches and stories about everything from the Spanish occupation to the Marcos dictatorship. It’ll expand their knowledge of the country even as it keeps them enthralled with real-life facts and figures.
Filipino Gifts: A Buyer’s Guide
Filipino gifts can range from goofy t-shirts to rare historic artifacts. Which ones are best for your gift recipient? Where should you even start? Here are just a few tips and tricks for buying nifty gifts inspired by the Philippines.
Consider Their Interest in Filipino Culture
Why do you think they’d like a Filipino gift? Are they enthusiastic about the food, history, fashion, film, music or language? Are they actually from the Philippines? Do they have good backpacking memories from a specific city? Try to narrow down the scope of your gift from “Philippines culture” to something more like “historic Philippines art” or “fun stuff that will remind them of their honeymoon in Boracay.”
Do Your Homework
Never buy a cultural gift without double-checking it for both accuracy and sensitivity. For example, if there’s Tagalog text on it, run the words through an online translator so that your “birthday” wishes don’t accidentally say “free chicken meal.” If there’s something that claims to be a vintage flag or old-school poser, make sure that it doesn’t depict any propaganda or colonizing powers of the time. At best, a poorly-researched gift will look stupid; at worst, it could be downright offensive.
Keep It Useful
If they already own a million coffee mugs, what’s one more going to do for them? If they don’t drink, why would they need a bottle opener? Don’t make the mistake of buying something impersonal or impractical just because it has the Filipino flag on it. Before you commit to your purchase, ask yourself if you would like it, appreciate it and use it just because it had your country’s name on it.
If you know someone who always has San Vicente in their heart, here are just a few Filipino gifts to make them happy. As usual, feel free to share any other suggestions for cool presents or awesome cultural tokens that we might have missed. We’re always open to new ideas! Salamat!