It’s not that we don’t want to spend money on Mother’s day to remind her how much we love her. It’s that sometimes, we really don’t have ways of pulling it off. What can we do, then? What options are available to us? You might be surprised.


The Tradition: Take mom to a splendid meal that would leave her in a food coma! Maybe a buffet or something, just so she could really enjoy herself on the cheat day to end all cheat days!

Price Range: Most standard buffets go around 700 a head, so if you’re treating yourself and your mom, that’s a minimum of 1,400.

The Cheapskate Approach: Take her on a Binondo walking food tour, using this guide. With 500 pesos in your pocket, you will have enough for 2 or even 3 people! Bonus points if you have a rickshaw you can borrow.


The Tradition: For thirty-somethings and older, there’s always something fascinating about seeing our mom become tech-savvy, as she learns how to use a smartphone, how to go online, how to send email, and she awkwardly adds us on Facebook. Why not get her a little something cutting edge for Mother’s Day?

Price Range: A good smartphone would set you back about 20,000.

The Cheapskate Approach: Send her on a web security seminar. For well under 2,000 pesos, you get to make sure that the odds of her running to you because her computer “got slow” after she downloaded “that cute cat video” will be minimized. It’s a very good investment to save the both of you the aggravation.


The Tradition: After “LaBoracay” pretty much turned Boracay into a giant garbage bin, maybe you want to bring your mom to Boracay and help them clean up or something. Or you could also go to Palawan, that works, too.

Price Range: A day trip would set you back about 5,000 or so, even on a shoestring budget.

The Cheapskate Approach: Go for a ferry ride someplace. Ferries are pretty affordable, because even the VIP seats are at merely 350, going to Bataan. If you wanted to go to Boracay, you can go at 460 a ticket. Don’t rush. Take the time out to smell the flowers! It’s not like you’re going to do anything crazy in Boracay with your mom in tow anyways, right?


The Tradition: Send your mom to a spa and give her the works! End with a massage!

Price Range: You’ll probably hit around 2,000 or more for this one.

The Cheapskate Approach: Teach your dad how to do a massage well. Let him do it, and leave the two of them alone to, ahem, celebrate the occasion. Mission accomplished!


The Tradition: Bring your mom to a funny movie! Among the movies showing at the moment, you could either choose “A Haunted House 2,” “Da Possessed,” or “The Love Punch.” Wait. Scratch that. All those movies suck!

Price Range: 2 tickets at 200 each would set you back around 400. But we can do you better.

The Cheapskate Approach: There are comedy shows all around that are actually free around Mother’s Day. For example, Switch Improv has improv comedy shows on Fridays in the Fort Amphitheater, and a show this Saturday in Planatation Bar. Standup comedy would have shows in the likes of Bistro Alphonso in Leviste weekly, for that matter. And again, they’re all free!


The Tradition: Flowers and chocolates. How sweet – and predictable!

Price Range: 1,500 is a decent budget for this.

The Cheapskate Approach: Serenade her instead! It’s free, and even if your singing voice is horrible, it will at least make her laugh.


The Tradition: Arts and crafts as a really huge effort from you. It definitely will put your skills to the test, and as is, it’s pretty low budget already.

Price Range: Varies, but it would normally cost you about 500 or more for a good crafts project, much more if you decided to do a diorama.

The Cheapskate Approach: Have you considered origami? Paper and scissors would cost you well under a hundred pesos, and the possibilities are endless!


The Tradition: Remind your mom how much you love her with a heartfelt letter!

Price Range: Your kidding, right? It’s as cheap as a pen and paper, which you probably don’t even have to buy!

The Cheapskate Approach: Add in some value-added free hugs for good measure. It adds nothing to the monetary cost, but is worth so much more than money.

Kel Fabie

Kel Fabie. is a DJ, host, mentalist, satirist, comedian, and a long-time contributor to 8List (Hello, ladies!). He has an Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and two other weirdly-named pet dogs. He blogs on

Related Posts