How Buying Pasalubong Can Be a Bad Thing

As Filipinos, we buy pasalubong whenever we travel. When you say you go somewhere, it’s like automatic that you will also buy pasalubong.

[Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /]

I have nothing against this. In fact, I also stretch a budget at times to buy a little pasalubong.
But if there is something you should prioritize than buying pasalubong and you already stretched your budget, why would you risk going all the way to negative just to buy pasalubong if you cannot afford it?

The intention to give something to your loved ones, friends, or officemates is good.
But not to the extent that you do this because you are ashamed of not bringing pasalubong even if your wallets would be emptied and not be able to invest on that thing you should be prioritizing.

As for me, I have made a decision not to bring pasalubong everytime I go or arrive somewhere. It may not seem like a Filipino. It may seem against tradition. It may seem not “loving.” But hey, if I already spent huge bucks on something and nothing else will be left or if I have allotted a portion to something else, why should I cash this out and spend to pasalubong just to be accepted to where I will be arriving or coming back.

It is not about being kuripot or being miser. It is about being frugal when the time calls for it.

When you have extra, part of the budget, and still within what you can afford at that given scenario, go for it.

Express your love through pasalubong. Buy pasalubong when you can and give a smile to the person you love. In giving goodies or gifts such as this, you also express your love to them.

But please do not buy pasalubong if you already don’t have money. Or if that’s your budget for tuition fee, or for your self-education. Of if that would cripple your budget for something that is more valuable than the pasalubong.

If a person loves you, he or she will understand when you do not have pasalubong. Of course, he or she would be happy as well when you bring at times that you can.

Probably, you will be having some challenge with people whose love language is gift-giving/receiving. They might be expecting something everytime you arrive. Then maybe you can adjust a bit to express your love to this certain person. But again, he or she will understand if times are tough.

There are other love languages. You can just spend time with them. They long for your time. Even just a little. Some would long for your touch. Go ahead and hug them. Some are waiting for your verbal expression. Say, “I miss you. I’m happy to see you again. I love you.”

Well, it’s a different story if your partner is naglalambing or naglilihi. Please consult your ninong if you need advice on this. 🙂

My family knows that I don’t buy pasalubong everytime. But I do bring home some once in a while.

When I started working in Makati and rented a space, I had buddies who share the same practice. One is a Filipino-American and another, an Ilocano of pure Chinese blood.

Everytime one arrives from a trip, we are not expecting pasalubong from each other. But there are times when pasalubong comes as one arrives – and it’s a good thing. We are happy about it. We consider it as a bonus. An extra and it’s a good thing.

If there’s no extra cash to buy one, there’s no pressure.

I believe we should be able to practice this as well. People should not be pressured of our expectation for them to buy pasalubong.

If there’s one then celebrate! If there’s none, celebrate as well!

Pasalubong is one way to express your love to someone at that certain moment. But it is also not loving him or her if you are already hurting your wallet and pocket.

You cannot give what you do not have. Love yourself first so you can love others more in the name of Love – there is loving in managing your cash well.

Manage your finances so you can have more and be able to buy that pasalubong more often.

Remember, a leak from a bottle is different from an overflow.

Live your life, young mind!

Chris Dao-anis

Published by Chris Dao-anis

I help Filipino coaches, trainers & speakers deliver impactful presentations and write books to further reach and credibility.

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