Most of us have experienced it one time or another--that moment when we open the Balikbayan box and we are challenged to come up with the most legit-looking happy facial expressions upon seeing the contents.
This is not to belittle the gesture of those who may have given the following stuff as pasalubong after traveling. Rather, it’s a way to give you an idea that what is ultimately thoughtful is making the effort to really look for cool gifts rather than just predictably invading a souvenir shop on the last day of your trip and buy whatever you get your hands on.
Here are 8 “Not again!” items you have either given or received in your lifetime:
Key chains are so typical as pasalubong that they are everywhere in any tourist destination. Make no mistake, some of them are actually adorable, but to be handing out key chains of the landmarks of the country you visited is a little too unsurprising and lazy. It will only make sense if you get it for yourself as a souvenir.
There are collectors of these trinkets, though, so unless they are asked from you, refrain from just grabbing a handful of them from souvenir shops.
These are common in Balikbayan boxes—those bottles of perfume with unfamiliar names. These things are very personal, you may just be wasting your hard-earned bucks. Or worse, your gift may end up getting re-gifted to someone else.
It is challenging to force ourselves to like shoes that we probably won’t buy, let alone forcing them to fit if they are not our size.
Yes, they are useful. Soaps are really practical and cup noodles can be a treat if you do get ones with diverse flavors, but reality check: if your pasalubongs can be bought in any neighborhood supermarket, it’s best to pass them by when shopping abroad.
Unless you personally know the brands, hues, and type of the people you wish to give makeup/cosmetics pasalubong to, then this should be a no-no.
Rule of thumb: if you wish to give out an item of clothing, make sure it really has a novelty to it or better yet, just buy when you are with your intended recipients have given you their size.
This is last on the list for a reason. C’mon, guys, airline or hotel toiletries should never be considered pasalubong! Hoard them all you want for personal use, but actually handing them out as gifts when you arrive will make you the ultimate cheapskate, and we’re sure you don’t want that.
The folks over at Duty Free Philippines understand the concept of pasalubong shopping and continue to evolve according to what their customers want. Visit the DFP FiestaMall soon, you’ll be amazed at how different it looks now from the last time you went! It is quite an upgrade – probably the most extensive they have done--which puts them on par with Duty Free shops abroad. New brands have come in, too, particularly on the fashion, accessories, and chocolates categories, which are always a hit.
So the next time you travel, do away with the Balikbayan box and just hold off on pasalubong shopping until you land so you never go wrong on what to give out!