So you've chosen to send a gift to the Philippines to someone you love, but still are not sure what to send. Gift giving in the Philippines is a special and meaningful event, and you want to make a good impression. It's a good idea to think about what kind of gift you'd like to give. Is there something specific that your family member was hinting at when you spoke to them on the phone? If so, you have your idea. If you are planning to surprise them, you may want to match your choice of gift with the occasion, such as flowers for Valentine's Day or a birthday.
Remember to send something with a message. That could be flowers for a grandparent's anniversary with a heart-felt note, or a cake or a food party package from Jollibee for a nephew's birthday, or maybe even an appliance for mom, or a TV for dad, or a cell phone for your younger brother. The choices are limited to your imagination and how appropriate it is for the occasion.
What is unique to the Philippines is the notion of "pasalubong," which means 'keepsake' or 'souvenir,' mostly given when visiting home from some faraway place. It symbolizes a kind of homecoming gift, no matter how short or long one's travel might have been. Another aspect of sending a present to the Philippines' is the affect the hot and humid weather can have on a perishable item such as a flower or cake. In fact, our suppliers and customers indicate flowers last about 3 days, unlike the week or more in other countries. Which means when you send flowers, it's truly a dear present.
Filipinos also have a sweetened palate, and prefer the cakes that come from their local brands such as Red Ribbon and Goldilocks. So while you may think your North American cake is good, choosing something local will be more appreciated.
Here are a few popular choices that you might consider when sending a gift:
Flowers: They are perfect for almost any occasion: for weddings, birthdays, graduation ceremonies, debuts … You can choose from roses, lilies, and a few special selections. Remember: they will not last more than 3 days in places like Manila and Cebu. On more somber occasions, you can even send a wreath to someone when a loved one has passed and you can not attend the funeral.
Cakes: Chocolate, Black Forest, or even Filipino favorite Ube Cake can be sent using some websites, and it makes for a wonderful gift on a birthday. Cakes for delivery to the Philippines can arrive fresh because they are made locally by popular brands like Red Ribbon, and cater to that specific Filipino palate.
Gift Cards: A very convenient choice for getting that teenager or other family member (hint: dad!) When it is tough to choose what to get for them. SM Gift Cards mean that they can buy whatever they like from the department store, or even the mall. Jollibee Gift Cards can mean a nice family meal at Philippines' favorite fast food restaurant.
Gift Baskets: They are a great idea for mom with choices of bath products like fancy soaps and lotions, and also good for nephews and nieces with items such as food gift baskets or chocolates.
Electronics: Computers and cell phones are desired by all, but also most especially by teenagers who want to be able to chat, text and post online to their social network profiles. Cellphones and laptops make a great graduation gift.
There are many other unique gift ideas if you give it a little bit of thought. Browse the gift delivery sites that specialize in delivery to the Philippines and there is a very good chance that not only will you find it a very convenient and enjoyable experience to send a gift online, but you will probably make at least two people smile: your loved one and yourself!
Written by Sheryl Balilla co-founder of Pasalubong.ca.