As much as I wanted my family to send my favourite pasalubong I enjoyed from my childhood days, I refrain from asking … with much effort.
How can you not miss the Chocobot while trying not to relish the pain of seeing “try again” inside the wrapper every single time?
Bittersweet memory. Painful toothache.
Moving on to the present (but ever-longing the sweets), I have learned to love my best pasalubong from the Philippines.
(FYI and a sidetracked: according to Wikipedia, the english word for pasalubong is “bring home” which isn’t likely to remain in my memory. So I’ll stick to souvenir.)
“Learned to love?” or like you may ask.
Well, who likes the taste of medicine. Yes, you read it right. MEDICINE from the botika. (Mercury Drugs?)
Loving it is not easy as a child but it’s a must for a stubborn adult.
First, I don’t really like the taste of it. Second, I don’t like the shape of the medicine, especially the BIG medicine with many sides.
I guess I really hate to get sick, well we all are. But in my case, I’m trap in my bed with teary eyes and sluggish walk (emergency only aka bathroom trip).
Luckily, I’m well now that I can start blogging (I had gotten sick a week ago) and eating in moderation the polvoron sitting on the countertop.
Unboxing My Best Pasalubong from the Philippines
Here are the medicines I always keep in the house, my pouch, and in the car:
1. Paracetamol (generic name)
It’s been a tradition in our family to use Biogesic, a brand name of Paracetamol, whenever we have fever usually caused by ice cream, chocolate from abroad, or Slurpee. Other brand name of Paracetamol from the Gutenberg Project:
Here in Canada and America, acetaminophen is the equivalent of paracetamol. I often see Tylenol (brand name of acetaminophen) in the supermarket but I haven’t tried it.
Not buying medicine in Canada is a personal choice and I can’t give any medical backup. But here’s a quote from Zero MD, a blog by a Filipino Physician, that might satisfy our curiosity, for now.
Paracetamol is regarded by many Filipino doctors as the best remedy for Fever. Apparently in the US, Ibuprofen is the leading antipyretic. This isn’t a cultural difference. Asian livers react more to Paracetamol than Ibuprofen or Aspirin. This is a genetic difference.
Since I have no reason of trying Tylenol other than having no supply of Biogesic (500 mg tablet), I can’t tell the effectiveness of either medicine.
What about you, have you tried both? What was your body’s reaction to the medicine?
Moving on to my next list of best pasalubong from the Philippines.
2. Loperamide (generic name)
I still love food although I become a vegetarian.
Cooking (or experimenting) meat-less meal doesn’t stop me from enjoying different cuisine that sometimes resulted to an upset stomach. (Too much of a good thing is still bad to one’s health).
Imodium (a brand name of Loperamide) is used to treat diarrhea. This is the first medicine in Canada that I’ve tried.
All it took to stop the turmoil inside my stomach was a one soft-gel of Imodium.
After that, I haven’t had a bowel movement for probably two days and I don’t like the scenario.
Since I became a vegetarian I no longer have constipation which usually remedied with saba banana while I was in the Philippines.
The Imodium (2 mg capsule) I received as pasalubong is smaller and quick to swallow. I prefer medicine in capsule form than tablet either way I don’t look forward to using any of my must-have pasalubong from the Philippines.
Aside in taking the Imodium, I stay hydrated and consumed BRAT (bread, rice, apple, tea). No sweets or salad.
Remember the acronym which may have a negative connotation but effective based on my experience.
I had Katinko Ointment (30 g) as a pasalubong a year ago; half of the ointment was already gone.
Would it last another year?
This is the only pain reliever I used after I stopped using Salonpas which is quite painful whenever I removed it.
Although if your intention is to remove body hair other than pain, Salonpas is a perfect way to do it.
I also used Katinko when I’m dizzy whenever the weather changes from hot to cold or vice versa (and occasionally from strong scent of perfume).
Katinko is used to treat muscle pain, insect bites, rheumatism, and skin itch.
It is manufactured at Imus, Cavite under the license of Greenstone Pharmaceutical H.K. Ltd.
I haven’t heard of Katinko when I left five years ago.
It is the same time that I graduated from using Tiger Balm and Vicks; these are the ointments recommended and used by my mother.
(But now we both used Katinko; like mother, like daughter.)
If you would like to try Katinko make sure you are buying the authentic Katinko ointment. You may ask your relatives to buy in a drugstore not along the bangketa (sidewalk).
So there you have it my list of best pasalubong from the Philippines to Canada or wherever you are in the globe.
Pasalubong Keeps the Doctor Away
It’s a common knowledge that art is universal and so is sickness. No one is exempted.
We can get sick for various reasons and as they say prevention is the best medicine.
But in the unfortunate event that you get sick, go get a rest. Take a medicine. Eat healthy food. Watch a few episodes in Netflix. This is the perfect reason and time to binge watch.
Don’t push yourself too hard.
So whenever a friend or relative is having a vacation never forget to ask for medicine as a pasalubong.
Sure it is nice to have polvoron, cornik, or other Filipino food you can think of but health is always the priority.
Plus factor is that medicine doesn’t take up much space in a luggage or a backpack.
You’re doing a friend and yourself a huge favour. Cheers to that!
And don’t forget to thank your family back home caring for you though your miles away.
Do you have other medicine to recommend? Share your experience with different medicines from the Philippines and Canada.