Souvenirs are more than the kitschy stuff that they really are. If I like a place, I bring home something to remind me of the awesomeness that is difficult to part with. Just like on my first trip to Cebu in the 90s, I bought a Cebu t-shirt from Islands Souvenirs. It was novel back then ‘coz they had the brand only in Cebu.
Fast forward to the present, the Islands Souvenirs at Robinsons Ilocos in San Nicolas beams at me. They’re still cool! Could you guess what I just bought?
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014
Relative to fine, clean and green roads in the north, Marsha’s Delicacies has raised the standard for convenient, easeful pit stops for travelers passing Ilocos. Their well-kept restrooms along with shelves decked out with the Ilocos Region’s cream of the cream have earned the pasalubong shop an enduring beeline since it opened its doors in Cabalanggan, Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
Veering away from old-school paper wrapping, their leading native cake, a repackaged version of the Vigan royal bibingka, comes in neat trays. Yes, Marsha’s Delicacies started a trend for more appealing local products. Clean is big in their vocabulary.
It usually takes me long to decide which stuff to bring home. As of late, sighted new items like crisp sesame seed-laced opia from San Juan, tubes of Vigan masa pudrida, colorful sayote atchara from Benguet; also select goodies from my hometown, Ilocos Norte, like Banna rice coffee, Adams bugnay wine, sorghum natural sweetener, Pasuquin Bakery biscocho; and other unpredictable items from parts beyond Ilocos.
The coffee shop is now serving modern flavored coolers in addition to indigenous refreshments like miki and sinanglao.
What about Ilocos bagnet and longaniza? Keen Marsha Navarro Chua just knows how to pack her shop significantly.
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013