May 18, 2008

My Pasalubong List

Now that my trip back to Cebu is almost finalized, it's time to think about pasalubong. Gifts. Omiyage.

There was a time long ago when D, with intentions to impress everybody, got me and my family and friends really expensive gifts. But no one back home (by home, I mean Argao, Cebu. Two hours from the city) knew what Tommy Bahama and Godiva and Ghirardelli and Skagen were. The gifts most appreciated were the ones that everyone sort of recognized as 'good stuff from the USA'.

Usually, I get two kinds of gifts: special ones for family members and very close friends. And general gifts for not so close friends and neighbors and extended family. Honestly, it is impossible to get something for everybody, so some extra 'general gifts' are very useful. The last thing you want is someone getting hurt because you forgot about them. Homecoming is supposed to be a happy time for everybody.

In case you are preparing for your Balikbayan Box to send home, here is my sample Balikbayan List:

- big box or two of Snickers, preferably King Size from Costco.
- Spam
- Soap: Irish Spring, Dial, Ivory
- Dove soap. one of my 'rich' neighbors claims that she never uses anything but imported Dove soap. so be it.
*** one spam, two snickers and two soap bars are my idea of a 'general gift'. this is not the standard, but it sure keeps everybody happy and saves me the trouble of having to remember every single family unit of my relatives and 28 godchildren***
- Coffee. Instant and non-instant. Depending on your recipient.
- Lots of candy. I usually make little 'gift bags' for the neighborhood kids. These bags will have between 10-20 pieces of candy, very similar to what you might give away on Halloween. My godchildren usually get a few more pieces, but most often, I forget. Yes, a lot of them call me 'Mommy' or 'Ninang' - godchildren or not, and I honestly cannot remember every single one of them unless they show up and I remember standing in church during their baptism.
- Victoria's Secret anything - if you can afford the weight, get lotions. the girls back home love those. If weight is an issue, VS underwear is very much appreciated back home, too. Make sure you get the right sizes.
- NBA jerseys and caps for the guys - my brother loved me ten million times more after I got him one of these.
- T-shirts.
- Some watches from Target. I love giving watches and Target has some of the most fashionable and durable watches for not over USD15. I think watches make the best gifts for my girl friends.
- For 'everyone in the family', I usually get stuff like toothpastes, colorful toothbrushes, sugar substitutes, combs, razors, baby powder, pens, pencils, notepads, post-its and other little things that are normally just taken for granted here in the US. I love seeing how they appreciate these things.

This is all I remember for now. I will post more gift ideas when I remember some more.

Pasalubong can cost as little as less than USD100 to over USD2000 depending on the quality and quantity of gifts you get. Sometimes, it can seriously hurt your checkbook. But when you see your loved ones, especially the tiny little kids, all happy and excited with their stuff from America, it is so totally worth it and you'd want to do it all over again.

1 comment:

lyn said...

pwede pud sa flea market