By Vanette Colmenares
New York City – What do Filipinos do even when they just got acquainted at a gathering? Eat and talk about everything that’s happening in the Philippines. This was what we did on a Friday during lunch at Tito Rads Grill in Queens.
I was actually thinking of going to the taxman after doing my errand in the bank. However, I unexpectedly met Marivir, our Fil-Am Press Club prexy in Woodside and she had instead asked me to join her at Tito Rad’s where padala company LBC was doing a luncheon event. Sounded so good, because I was thinking of having lunch with her at Tito Rad’s that day too.
LBC, together with PAL, is giving out round-trip tickets to the Philippines to its lucky customer between now until April 30, 2018. (Read related article http://justcliqit.com/lbc-pal-free-round-trip-tickets/)
For that, here are some tips on how to make your money’s worth in sending love boxes to the Philippines.
Shoppe After Big Holidays
I told Patricia Garcia, the VP Sales and Operations for LBC North America, that one of the reasons why I am able to send so many balikbayan boxes to the Philippines is because of the price slash-downs after holidays. Stores lower their prices of goods from half to almost 90 percent. From the recent sale of Valentine gifts, I was was able to purchase stuff toys that were discounted for 75%.
I often end up filling up a box full of discounted items which I don’t need at the moment, but eventually can give them as presents in the future. My daughter, who is a restaurateur/caterer, finds the discounted items that I send to her so useful for the special events celebrated in her restaurant that need accessories that would create the needed ambiance.
Once I went to a CVS store in New Jersey, and bought Easter stuff that were sold for 90% less. I bought a ton which almost filled the back seats of my friend’s car. I used the chocolates and baskets for my granddaughter’s 8th birthday party a month later. Grandma’s giveaways were an instant hit. You spend only 10 percent of the actual cost when you time your shopping after the holidays. It is practical to fill a balikbayan box this way.
Take note that Easter is coming. And I will again after Easter Sunday before I would shoppe. By then, the prices for Easter goodies will drop for about 50% until 75%.
Go to Thrift Stores
Things bought from thrift stores can easily fill a box. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so they say. It holds true for me—however, the quality of thrift stores depends on the area where it is located. I always go to the area where the median income is within the 100K and in the suburbs. That’s because their ‘trash’ are usually slightly used signature items, or those unopened gifts that they have no use for.
Watch for the Neighbor’s Garage Sale
It’s almost spring, and garage sales will abound in many areas in America. The term ‘spring cleaning’ is synonymous to getting rid of all the unnecessary clothes, shoes, and clutter. So watch for small posters around the block inviting you to garage sales.
I once had a boss who was going to transfer to a new house and had to get rid of stuff. I ended up getting lots of stuff from her closet and placed them all in six balikbayan boxes. These were unopened gifts from her friends like cheese plates/wares, kitchen stuff, brand new or slightly used children’s clothes and many more.
So the next time you send you well-thought balikbayan box, think of the practical sources of good items with cheaper or no cost. Fill the box with love, and then call LBC. Padala na! (Featured photo: this writer with Ms. Patricia Garcia)