It's always been chocolates that they give whenever people from foreign lands come home. Always. Ever since I was a kid, those are the things that we receive when relatives, family friends and neighbors arrive from any parts of the world. I'm not so fond of chocolates, I'd rather eat cakes and ice creams. What I don't like about eating them is that my tonsils get itchy. I also don't like the feeling that they really stick to my teeth. It is flattering though when a Balikbayan gives you this sweet food.
Cathy went home (Gingoog City) last Christmas. She texted me if there was anything my mama wanted to send to me so that she'll just bring it here in Quezon City. Since I needed some things, I asked mama to give them to me through Cathy. Mother dear then included chocolates which came from New Zealand. They were from Auntie Alice, one of mama's closest friends in the neighborhood, who migrated in New Zealand two years ago. Auntie Alice didn't come home, she just sent packages to her son's family who for the meantime, resides at the house just in front of ours. Mama was given lots of chocolates and she made me have some.
These chocolates, Toblerone and Cadbury, were sent all the way from New Zealand, but they were not made there. They were produced in Switzerland and United Kingdom, respectively. I have never been in any foreign land so I have no position to talk about what people should bring as pasalubong. I don't know how much difficult it is to pick stuff that friends and family back home will love. Chocolate is one of the universal favorite food of human beings. Therefore, buying it for pasalubong assures you that the person that will receive it, will certainly love it. But isn't it nice to taste something that is originally being made in that specific country? So that you could brag to your friends that you eat something that is totally from New Zealand.
How about foreigners who come here in the Philippines, do they also bring chocolates when they're going back to their homes? Ugh, I hope not. They should bring something that they could say, "This is Philippines." Dried Mango from Cebu, Piaya from Ilo-Ilo, Peanut Brittle from Baguio City and many more should be on their list of food that they should bring to their homes. I do think that the recepient would really, really, really appreciate it. Know why? Because maybe that would be the only time that they could taste them. Thanks to you, for they have the opportunity to try one. :)