Notes on the Pinoy as a Traveller
1. The ‘pasalubong’ is king. Admit it, there’s nothing more Pinoy than our pasalubong (take home) mentality. Am not saying it’s negative, I just find it amusing that there are some things my family or friends associate with a certain place and they expect you to bring it home when you go a-travelling, be it otap from Cebu, bangus from Pangasinan, buko pie from Laguna, pili nut from Bicol or even giant crabs from Palawan. As expected, during my last trip to HK, my friends were also badgering me about what pasalubong I brought home. Darn, what was I supposed to answer when I was cramming to see the sights and hardly had time to shop? Truth is, somebody who goes abroad (or even the nearest province) would feel guilty if he or she didn’t even take the time to buy souvenirs, such as the requisite keychain, for example.
2. Baggage galore. Partly related to No.1. There’s simply no excuse for the overseas Pinoy to travel light even if the baggage allowance is only 20 or 40 kilos. He will hand carry what is necessary even if his arms ache walking from one point of the airport to the next. Heck, I once even wore four jackets just so I can have extra room in my luggage for everything else (this was during my working-in-Europe phase). Towards this end, the balikbayan box has become an icon unique to the Pinoy.
3. What is it with overseas Filipino workers and their maong (denim) jackets? Not to forget the Ray Ban shades and brand-new Nike rubber shoes to complete the whole outfit (in the words of Al)
4. And how about those thick gold jewelry, especially for those coming from the Middle East?
5. Open an outbound Pinoy’s luggage and you’re sure to find there carefully-wrapped bottles of bagoong, sinigang mix, canned tuna, dried mangoes and other local delicacies. Somehow, eating Filipino food is one way of curing these OFWs homesickness. Sure, the number of Filipino food stores abroad have grown but there’s nothing like bringing your own I guess.
6. Okay I admit that during my first two transcontinental flights, I brought home the blanket and was almost tempted to mooch the food containers and utensils as well. Tell me you didn’t!!
7. Same with the hotel toiletries which has some use actually, if you read this related post. Just don’t make the mistake the taking out the towels and the bathrobe as you really have to pay for them 😛
9. Picture! Picture! Pinoys are simply in love with their digital cameras, mobile phone cameras, instamatic cameras, video camcorders or whatever camera there is on the planet. They must pose in every tourist spot, every restaurant and every location (I think that bloggers like me are guilty of this, Your Honor) Not to worry because it seems other Asians (like those omnipresent Koreans) are fond of this habit too.
If you can think of other uniquely Filipino travelling habits, kindly share them here. Gracias!