In the rural areas of the Philippines, it is customary that the one holding the party, the celebrant, should be responsible of all the preparations and of course that means taking care 100% of the food budget. Invitees just bring personal gifts for the celebrant. In Japan, people attending a party bring food (cakes or any dessert in particular) or drinks. In two weeks, I will be joining a birthday party of my former boss’ wife. I searched GiftBaskets.com for gourmet gift baskets because I do want my gift to be as presentable as in the photos there! But it seems really tricky to prepare. So maybe in the end, I’ll buy bring a layer of cheese cake!