I just had a chat with my Mom. My brother-in-law actually just came back from US for a 2 month trip. As a typical Pinay, I was asking her about her ‘pasalubong’s ( souvenirs from travel). She was telling me that it was not only my brother-in-law who gave her some souvenirs but also my cousins who have been living there for a long time.
This got me thinking about how the Filipino ‘pasalubong’ has evolved from simply being a souvenir item from the place someone visited to becoming gifts like shoes, bags to big LED TVs. If one comes from a foreign country whether as an overseas worker or just a plain traveller, he or she really expected to buy gifts and souvenirs to the immediate family and sometimes extending to the whole barangay ( village) . Generally, people expect to receive gifts from the ‘traveller’ or OCW and sometimes it becomes a big issue if he/she leaves out someone. Oh, that’s already part of our culture. In a way, it’s good because it does show our generosity and thoughtfulness but to others it may become a burden especially if people have high expectations.
Oh, this reminds me to continue to search and buy for our ‘pasalubong’ since we will be going back this December. :))