With COVID-19 cases staying below 1,000 for nearly 2 weeks now, I decided to venture out for some holiday shopping.
In my first mall stop, the parking building was full and that was a red flag for me. I turned around and drove a bit further and tried another shopping center.
I managed to park this time but met crowds as soon as I entered the mall. Babies and children were everywhere and most were not wearing masks. Call me paranoid but I found it unlikely that physical distancing was being followed in the stores, in the hallways, and much more in the food court.
I left shortly after, and sadly empty handed too. I realized shopping for this holiday will have to be the same as last year’s – with my fingers instead of my feet doing the walking.
To my surprise, online shopping this time is much, much better than last year’s. Nearly all retailers now have online presence, offer delivery in-house or through partners, plus bulk discounts and payment terms too. If you want to chat with someone, most can be contacted via Viber or WhatsApp.
So in the spirit of the season, let me share my under P1000 holiday shopping guide you can tap for the people in your list, from young to old, to bosom buddies or office colleagues. All my ideas can be individual or group gifts, and if you choose the latter, you can save more instead of having to prepare gifts for every family member or all employees of your office department.
Don’t be surprised most of them are food choices because as the saying goes, food heals all ills.
#1 Let them have cake
Every single person we gifted with Amante’s Signature Moist Chocolate cake always called back to say thank you. It’s the perfect dessert to complete the holiday feast and is also reasonably priced starting at P570. They also welcome bulk orders, offer discounts and can arrange delivery with their rider so one less thing for you to worry about. Check them out on Facebook and they respond promptly via Messenger chat during store hours.
#2 It’s never too cold for ice cream
Thanks to a post by Randy Santiago, we found Puno’s Ice Cream touted as Nueva Ecija’s Best Ice Cream. For P999, you get a Holiday Box with 45 to 47 cups of ice cream to sample all the flavors. I’ve ordered the Celebrity Box also at P999 and got 8 pints of ice cream plus a sundae glass. The orders are packed in a cooler styro box complete with ribbon and dedication card. Find them on Facebook for more information.
#3 Serve the Crispy Pata of their dreams
With birthday parties canceled, relatives and friends have taken to sending over food so we can still be part of their celebrations. One of them introduced us to Livestock’s Crispy Pata, which strangely came with a popsicle stick. Turns out the stick is part of the restaurant’s promise to serve a crispy pata so tender you can cut it with, you guessed it, the popsicle stick. Voted #1 Crispy Pata by many food sites and food critics, one order of Melts-in-your-mouth Crispy Pata will cost you P725 for a serving good for 2 to 3 people. Visit their Facebook page to check the branch nearest your gift recipients as they can also deliver.
#4 Experience Michelin-star roast pork platter
We discovered Kam’s Roast during a family trip to Hong Kong and remember waiting in line to get in. The place was bustling and the way their diners were digging into the roast meats was so mouth-watering we had to get a combination platter to sample them all. One bite and we confirmed why they were awarded one star by the Michelin Guide. After opening stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, they are now in the Philippines with one branch in SM Megamall. You can bring home the Michelin-star experience to your loved ones by ordering the Roast Duck combination platter (starts at P980) or the Suckling Pig combination platter (from P1280). While available in GrabFood, the food prices are higher for some reason so best to order from them directly via Instagram or Facebook.
#5 Let’s all go to Shakey’s App
Shakey’s put together all the staples and comfort foods into one Ber Bundle worth P999 this season, and you can order and deliver to all the nice people on your holiday list or even for your own family to enjoy via their new and improved App. Save as much as P800 with a large thin crust pizza, 5 pieces chicken with mojos, a pasta platter plus a 1.5 liter soda bottle. This will be a welcome holiday treat for any lunch or dinner to friends and you can save them the meal planning, cooking and dish washing too. A friend sent it over for us on the 1st of December and it was a great way to officially begin the holiday celebrations.
#6 Rustan’s luxury shopping now online
Catch the holiday gift ideas in Rustan’s from their online site and if you are patient enough, you will find items marked down as much as 70%. Shipping is free for purchases over P2000 so I made sure to check out only when my shopping list was complete and past this mark to save P200 on Metro Manila deliveries. You can request for gift bags for free, or arrange gift wrapping at P50 per item. Sadly, you cannot earn frequent user points from online shopping, and in-store I remember gift wrapping was free if you met a minimum purchase. Hopefully, they can iron out these kinks, but right now I didn’t mind paying a little extra for the convenience of shopping online at my preferred time and revising my shopping cart many times over. The packages all arrived neatly stacked with cards and ribbons and it was a breeze to send them off.
#7 Try Gift-in-Your-Name
How about making a donation on someone’s behalf? This is not really a new idea but World Vision Philippines has made it easier and more affordable for you. For only P500, a child under the care of World Vision Philippines will receive a Noche Buena gift from the person you made the donation for. In return, you will receive a World Vision Christmas card which you can give to your family or friend. To start giving, click here: https://nochebuena.worldvision.org.ph/nochebuena/gift-in-your-name-card
The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.