Saturday, September 7, 2019

My Most Common Balikbayan Box Gifts

As a Filipino, I believe it is next to impossible not to have a relative or a close family friend who lives or works in another country. As is normal with Filipino culture, the balikbayan box is an item almost all of us have had at one point in our lives (at the very least). Lately, I realized that the most common items I’ve received as gifts via the balikbayan box are bath products, colognes, and lotions. I think at this point I have enough to last me a VERY long time!

Being that I have enough lotions and cologne to last me practically a lifetime, I have no idea how much these things cost. Are they super affordable or come in promo packs that make them so easy to purchase and give as gifts? It’s not that I am implying that the people giving them are cheap – in fact, I find them practical gifts since everyone uses them and if they are affordable, it does make things easier to just buy one item of different scents so you don’t have to think too much about what to buy or if you can buy stuff for everyone and still be on a budget.  

Let me put it this way: if you have tons of relatives or friends who you want to give gifts to at one given point in time, I personally would have a panic attack with worry about what to give and if I can afford to give everyone something. Given that thought then affordable items like lotions and colognes do fit the bill of good gifts. You can just give a certain group of people a bunch of them and let them pick out the scent they like best. It doesn’t hurt that the brands are recognizable/ well-known, so they are not exactly just any gift to the receiver. 

As much as I would like to say that these lotions and perfumes/colognes get a lot of use from me, they don’t (hence the whole thing about these items lasting practically a lifetime for me already). The weather in the country is just too bad and it can feel too hot to put on lotion sometimes. The humidity makes me feel so sticky! I tend to just put it on my elbows and knees, sometimes on my hands too. The feet and the legs get special treatment when I’m wearing flip-flops and shorts but that’s about it. As for the scents, I’m the type of person who sprays on a bit at the start of the day and forgets to use it again for the rest of it – which means I don’t use it as much as I probably should. It’s not about being stingy with the products, it’s just that I tend to forget using them. Considering that I hardly put on makeup these days too, remembering to put on lotion during the day is an achievement in itself! 

Knowing that I will probably still be receiving these types of items as gifts (being that I have relatives abroad who send them), I try to not waste what I currently have. I don’t make a habit of regifting them, but I do tend to give them away when I know someone who wants one. Like when a friend mentioned liking a particular scent that I had at the time and have not used yet. Sometimes my sisters mention liking the scent of the lotion or cologne that I use and if it’s not really something I’m attached to; I give it to them as well.  

To any other Filipino reading this with relatives or friends abroad, particularly to the ladies, do you experience the same thing? If not, what items do you commonly receive as gifts from balikbayans? Leave me a message and let me know! 


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