Living in The Philippines > Philippine Culture, Filipino Family Relationships

Gift Ideas Please

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hitekcountry:
As some know by now I’m going to the Philippines in a couple weeks as sort of an orientation trip since I’ve never been there before. My sister describes it as a trip back to my “roots”.

The first week I’ll be in Manila visiting with relatives there, then about 3 weeks to the Ilocos Sur region where my Father was born.

The people out in the province are described to me as dirt poor farmers. And the cousin I’m going with said they like to take “gifts” to give to those that we’ll be visiting. I had thought about that idea but not knowing the people I had sort of leaned toward the idea of learning about their situation when I’m there and then sending the “gifts” when I got back home or on the next trip over. But I would be more than happy to bring with me more “general purpose” Items that aren’t directed to specific needs.

Some Ideas:

Frisbee for the kids, everyone loves a Frisbee :)

Ok Help me with some ideas.

RUFUS:
Hershey bars & kisses
Baseball hats & T-shirts with US sports logo's
Travel size US body sprays and colognes

Palawan Aussie:
Hitekcountry,

Gift giving by travellers is a time-honoured tradition all over the Philippines, and you will indeed be well-regarded if you do bring gifts. It's simply what the locals do, and, always have done.

The best pasalubong (that's the traditional name for such gift-giving) is a speciality of the place you have come from. The main point to be aware of is that the gifts do not have to be expensive, They are more to represent the places you have been for those 'still at home' .. like a souvenier of some different places for those who haven't been there yet, if that makes sense. The relatives you mention, who will be taking gifts, are simply following a long-held, kind-hearted, extended-family tradition.

And as such, anything bearing the place names of where you have come from would be very appropriate indeed, For eg, key-rings, tea towels, snack or health foods and especially printed T-shirts for the younger ones will be very sure to please. And they do not have to be new presents. Older though working phones, mp3 players and small portable radios etc are often very welcome, as would be some good light-weight footwear and/or various summer-weight items of clothing.

Alternatively, if baggage allowance and travel constraints could be a problem, you might also consider sending a Balikbayan Box wherein you can all put your pasalubong. Just give instructions on the outside that when it arrives no-one should open it until you arrive. And, parcels sent before-hand don't have to be large and expensive, but will show much cultural awareness, and certainly excite and please the younger family members especially awaiting your arrival in person, as you can imagine.

In my opinion anyway, pasalubong are a very kind Philippine family tradition, and need not be expensive. Well chosen, they clearly show you have been thinking kindly of others while you have been away from them.

All the best with your up-coming travels Hitekcountry .. with such a sensible and culturally-sensitive question as to what presents might be most appropriate, i'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

Cheers,
Stephen
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Big Jim:

--- Quote from: RUFUS on January 29, 2013, 02:54:20 PM ---Hershey bars & kisses
Baseball hats & T-shirts with US sports logo's
Travel size US body sprays and colognes

--- End quote ---
If you are not from the USA, the same things with logos from your country.
 
The most popular is chocolate. Just make sure you take care to keep it in a cool place. We arrived one time at the family house on the province with something like 5 kilogrammes of melted chocolate. You could also bring some cigarettes from home. Foreign cigarettes are very popular with the smokers. Basketball is very popular in the Philippines. You could bring a basketball or two in it's flat state and arrange to have them blown up in the Philippines.
 
Apart from that,
- the presents do not have to be expensive, just so long as every one gets one. Even the housemaid.
- You can buy as you go. Items such as Tanduay Rhum and locally made cigarettes will still be very popular. A few bottles of Tanduay 5 years, a few litres of coke, some ice, an empty jug and a single glass and you will have a party! These will usually all be available from the nearest Sari Sari store.
- If you want to be very popular for very little money, arrive at each household with a dozen or 2 doughnuts.

wildbill:
good ideas but when I first meet her folks it was a case of spam mixed cans there is a place close to the airport sorry dont remember the name anyways it was a big ware house some one help me out on the name they really love spam here lol rite but true many uses on spam here rite Rufus grill it what else .... ;D

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