Filipino Christmas: The Time of Gibing… To ME!

Most of us are familiar with Christmas being the time of giving, sharing, and family. This tradition that some of us practice once a year is the time we cultivate new friendships through the mutual exertion of giving and/or receiving.

On the other hand, here in Philippines you can forget all about receiving, it’s all about ♪♫ GIVE ME ♪♪ GIVE ME ♫ GIVE ME! ♫ ♪.

Most of you are familiar with my harsh and barbarous sense of humor, and my strong intolerance for imperfection, stupidity, and mistakes. But there are times when I am nothing like that, especially around this time of year. Out of my 11 visits to Philippines, this would be my 2nd time spending Christmas here.

I am normally pretty charitable and like to give naturally, but nothing sets me off more than demanding things from me that I was already willing to give at my own free will! I understand little kiddypinos who makes begging on the streets for a living, either if it was by choice, or being forced by their parents, but I can’t stand it when I am often selected from a crowd of Filipinos as a fuckin TARGET for donations.

These little kiddypinos (or Filipino children) are getting more classier with their form of begging during the Christmas season by using a shoebox with the word, ‘Merry Christmas’ engraved on the inside of the box. They think by using that common holiday greeting will constitute more obligation on our end to donate more. I’ve been noticing a lot of them lately around the SM I usually commute to.

Turns out there is no age limit, or limit on social status to demand money, especially from us foreigners. Ok, I live in an apartment and I am already spending 14,000php per month to stay here. Plus another 1,000php for the security fee, which pays for the security guards, janitors, and maintenance technicians (which does a shitty job at repairing deficiencies anyway).

Alright, I’m pretty cool with the guards, and I actually planned on getting them a little something for Christmas. Last week I received 2 Christmas cards from both the guards and janitor. It was only an envelope titled, “Merry Christmas” with some other mumbo jumbo on it that’s not important to mention. I figured they were both too cheap to go out and get me an actual real xmas card, which was totally fine with me. To me, it was the thought that counts. So in return, I went out and did a little xmas shopping for the guards and janitor, I only bought them each a bar of Tolberone chocolate.

Well it’s not xmas, so I didn’t give it to them yet. 2 days later the janitor comes knocking on my door at 10 in the morning asking for the envelope back. I was thinking, “why the fuck would she even give me a Merry Christmas envelope if you are just gonna take it back.” So I thought ‘whatever,’ went and got it and gave it back to her. As I placed Christmas giving in Philippinesthe envelope back in her hand, she glanced down at it, opened it up, then gave me that booty-face like I forgot something. She gave me that wide-opened-eyes blank stare for a good 10 seconds then thrusts her hand out at me with an open palm.

Then if finally clicked, these envelopes weren’t meant for giving me a Christmas greeting and blessings, it was just another form of asking for money. Honestly, I never liked the janitor since she overly occupies the elevator too much, which contributes to me being almost late in the mornings for school. I slammed the door in her face and didn’t give her squat!

Remember how I said earlier that I didn’t like being demanded of things I was already willing to give in the first place, well that’s why. Then I remembered that 2nd envelope from the guards. I have no quarrel with the guards and I don’t wanna get on their bad side, or they may start temporarily confiscating my guest’s ID cards like they should be doing (but haven’t, because I’m cool with them), so I returned their envelope enclosed with 50 pesos.

It’s not even fuckin Christmas yet and they are already demanding gifts, particularly money! Yeah, that idea had already set me off. Those Tolberones I bought, well I decided to keep them for myself, they got their Christmas gift already, no need for a 2nd one. Christmas should be about giving, not be about a request or demand to give. I guess this country got it all backwards here.

Published in Common Discourtesy


      1. Profile gravatar of FAFI
        FAFI Post author

        Never thought of it as sarcastic in the first place, it is fine choice when it comes down to delicacy. But in reality, what chocolate is most often used as seasonal gift chocolate around here anyway? Tolberone is the only one that is commonly designed with Christmas decorations, which is the main reason why I get it as a gift item. Tolberone is good, but it’s too ordinary, I tend to group it with other basic chocolates like Hersheys, Crunch, and any other plain chocolates. Cookies ‘N’ Cream is the way to go! 🙂

  1. Profile gravatar of Gern Blanson
    Gern Blanson

    OMG Fafi I got one of those envelopes from our trash collector the other day here in the town that I live in. He left the envelope with my landlord and it was delivered to my apt. I thought to myself, wow! what a nice gesture but soon I realized that it was just another scam, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!!! How can someone take the feelings of good will toward man kind at this time of year and turn it into a dirty, disgusting GAMBIT?????
    When I realized what the envelope was for, I proceeded to give my holiday gift to the trash collector in the very form of what he is used to receiving (TRASH) I tore up the envelope and handed it back to him on the next collection day and said a truly heart felt Merry Christmas Ass Hole.

  2. Profile gravatar of FAFI
    FAFI Post author

    Good morning PFB, but I am not awake because I woke up at my own free will, that janitor came back and asked me if I would like another envelope. “Are you serious?” I guess the message wasn’t clear the first time. I’m considering moving out of this place, I don’t condone disrespect and rudeness. My lease ends this March, can’t wait!

    I like Tolberone, but I normally get it as a gift item, my favorite is Hersheys Cookies ‘N’ Cream or Reese.

    1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB

      @fafi Why move? You’re going to encounter the same shit anywhere you go. Unless you do like I did; get a remote place out of the general population, somewhat secluded, gated community of mostly other foreigners/expats, with common sense association rules which are mostly enforced. But of course, there’s a price to pay for that sort of living condition. But I have found it’s MORE than worth it. Yeah I’m much further away from the city, mobility is much more inconvenient, but again, I don’t have idiots handing me envelopes, singing at my gate or front door, ignorant, stupid, discourteous neighbors drinking and blasting their shit music at 3am, (the closest neighbor is about 100 yards away), no tricycles that sound like Harley’s passing by my window…etc.

      Just total privacy, peace, and quiet. The only disturbances I get are those who are expected and invited.

      So unless you’re going to get a place like that, moving is pointless. I know, I have moved 4 times in the past 7 years. Yeah, maybe a move solved a particular ongoing annoyance/stupidity, but it was certainly replaced by another. Move again to get away from that annoyance, you deal with another one that can be much worse.

      So take my advice. Save yourself the trouble. Moving could put you in a much worse situation if you move within the general population with neighbors and population around you.

      1. Profile gravatar of FAFI
        FAFI Post author

        @Filofail I am deciding to move mainly because of the rent and security fee which total up to 15000php, the BS security fee being only 1000, and the rent being only 14,000. Since I am supporting my wife’s family, it is deteriorating my funds and my inability to continue my education beyond the 3rd year, so I need a place which is affordable. So I am either going to downgrade to a 1-bedroom apartment in the same complex to save money ( I am living in a 2-bedroom now) which only cost 8000 + 600 for the security fee (8600 total), or I can relocate to a place, not have to pay the bullshit security fee, and not deal with envelopes being tossed under my doorway for donations. But if you say having security is worth it, I might reconsider. I never dealt with living in a place without security here, and I don’t know how it is like. As I said before, another reason why I have joined this site is to learn from other’s mistakes while living here. It would be beneficial to me to know the advantages and disadvantages with have a security guard, compared to not having one. Is it really that much more disturbing without one?
        PS: Oh and by the way, if you have noticed that I have been more diplomatic during this reply, it is because I have local spectators in my area during this message…. so can’t be too cruel :-).

        1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
          Captain PFB

          I see. I thought you were moving because of the annoyances. I stand corrected.

          I guess it all depends on what the security measures are. This place I’m at now is the first secured, gated community I’ve lived in. Not to mention the location is out of the population and secluded from the sea of stupidity.

          It also has a homeowners association, most of the members and rule-makers of the association being foreigners. That means common sense rules of courtesy with respect to neighbors (ie; noise levels, no roosters, upkeep of property and house, parking of vehicles…etc). If Filipinos make the rules, there will be no rules.

          But what I do know is that I have lived in a compound of apartments which was gated, but no security guard. The gate does no good. people just open the gate and come in and sing or beg or do what they do. Not even the idiot neighbors who live there close the gate behind them. I was always closing the gate, and when a neighbor exits, he/she just leaves the gate open. Morons.

          I just got fucking sick of living among the sea of idiots. So I pay nearly triple of what I used to pay for rent, but it is more than worth it to me. Far away from the trash, dust, noise, discourtesy, and intruders.

          1. Profile gravatar of FAFI
            FAFI Post author

            Actually you are still correct. Only annoyance I am having now is just from the envelopes, which is probably seasonal. I may get another one during New Years, I don’t know. But you are right because I don’t want the disturbances to rise after relocating. It’s not so bad now, but I don’t want it to get any worst. Here are my choices:
            1st choice: My idiot wife is already completely against this one, so it’s out of the question. But it’s a boarding house for 3,500php monthly, studio type. Due to our furnishes,the space isn’t sufficient to hold all of our equipment. Plus, I have more class than that anyway. But if I was single and alone, it’s the idea place for me. It’s gated, and is 1 minute walking distance from my school.
            2nd choice: 2 story house for 7,000php. I don’t have any idea if it’s gated, but it doesn’t have a security guard. It’s a 5 minute walk from my school. I’m in the process of getting more details about this place.
            3rd choice: I can relocate within the same apartment complex I am living in now to a 1-bedroom apartment for 8,000. Because it’s 1 bedroom the security fee is reduced to 600 pesos per month. It’s gated and has 24 hour security guards.

            Even though I live in a 2-bedroom apartment, we barely even use the spare bedroom, it’s been like a storage room for me, nothing else. So I plan to get rid of it and pay 6,000 less pesos per month compared to my 14,000php I am already paying now. I don’t spend alot of time indoors except to check my yahoo, facebook, PFB, and for my studies (which don’t require a whole lot of studying). I really just wanna know how much more shitty it is to live here without security, or if they are just there for decoration. Just trying to save money for my long term plans. If I was single, I wouldn’t have this problem, trust me. I could’ve paid double and had no problems at all if I was, fuckin marriage blows, I HIGHLY recommend nobody to get married, especially to a Filipina! Because if you are married to them, you are pretty much married to their entire family!

          2. Profile gravatar of CantFixStupid

            I’ve was married to a filipina before lol.. I cut the sending of pesos when her brother decided it was cool to cheat on his wife and impregnate another chick, with his 4th child! Oh that’s right and he had no job while his wife worked her ass off to provide food for the kids. Told my exwife I wasn’t one of the old foreign dudes that loved supporting entire extended families. Soon after we were promptly divorced in the U.S. and I started working overseas. Came back to Pinas to try again and so far so good.

          3. Profile gravatar of FAFI
            FAFI Post author

            Yeah, that is one good reason to bring my idiot wife to the states, so I can finally divorce her ass! But does she has to be present for that? I hope not, that will save me money on an unnecessary plane ticket :-). Yeah, I’m tired of supporting these lazy pieces of shits too, but supposedly she claims to be able to sell our investment after my graduation, assuming that I have the funds to support myself after all 4 years, and not 3 (but I may graduate early anyway, not worried). Part of me is saying that she is using that as bait to keep me in the marriage after I leave Philippines, because it’s been appraised to be valued up to 3 million pesos, which still isn’t much, that’s only about $75,000 in real money (yeah, I did just call USD ‘real money.’ lol, I don’t know what kind of monopoly money Philippines is using). I don’t know if she is worth sticking around for a share of that money, but it will be 10 years of supporting her and her family after graduation, so compensation must be acquired. Merry Christmas everyone.

  3. Profile gravatar of Uncle Boi
    Uncle Boi

    I get those envelopes as well. I just throw them in the trash. They are like stray dogs. Once you start feeding them, they will always come around. In the this country they are always expecting a bonus, extra commission, or some kind of kickback. If I pass them on the way out of the subdivision, I don’t acknowledge them and go about my business.

    Remember guys, we live in the land of idiots. They use ignorance on us, then we need to use ignorance on them. That’s the only language they know. Stupid does not listen to reason, they only hear more stupidity.

    This does not solve anything, but welcome to the Philippines, nothing gets fixed.

    1. Profile gravatar of FAFI
      FAFI Post author

      Fight stupid with stupid? Why didn’t I think of that? This is the best advice I received all year. I’m tired of these idiot Filipinos benefiting from my intelligence without any mutual gain. Half the reason why I am approached by them is because of intellect reasons, it’s true because I go to a school full of them. And yeah, those envelopes are quite annoying, it initially delivered a message of joy and cheer until I realize the bullshit it was really meant to be. I’m tired of being a ‘money target’ in this god forsaken country!

      1. Profile gravatar of NeoGeo

        Try this for laughs next time. Before you give the envelope back, put in a note asking if you can borrow P2000. But don’t forget to write “Merry Christmas” at the end.

        1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
          Captain PFB

          uuuhhh that would be “barrow”, or “can I loan…” get it right Neo!

          Whenever they ask me if they can loan money, I tell them, “no need, I have enough, thanks anyway”.

          And they proclaim to be the best ESL’s on earth. Sus!

          1. Profile gravatar of CantFixStupid

            Filipinos rarely come up and ask me for pesos. I normally just stare with a mean look if and when they come up to me. Normally I don’t even recognize their existence after a request of “borrow” or “give me”.

          2. Profile gravatar of FAFI
            FAFI Post author

            Yeah I totally get what you mean! Hahahahaha, after conversing with many Filipinos here, I often here their common mix-ups with words. I get all kinds of Filipinos asking, “Can I loan you 100 pesos?” When in reality, they are trying to ask to ‘BORROW’ money, not loan. But to translate ‘borrow’ in Filipino-English, it really means ‘HAVE,’ because you will rarely get it back. Only one time out of over 20 times loaning money to a Filipino, I actually got the money back, which happened to be my school’s security guard from 2 months back. Now why did I trust 20 Filipinos? Well, after the first 5 I knew better than to trust them. The other 15 were on good terms with me and I was willing to give it away anyway. I learned to assume that ‘loan’ means ‘borrow’ and ‘borrow’ means ‘have.’ Everyone keep that in mind.

    1. Profile gravatar of FAFI
      FAFI Post author

      Ok, the envelope didn’t look like that before clicking the ‘POST’ button. I forgot that any excess use of the ‘SPACE BAR’ is automatically ignored on here 🙁 Oh well, you all get the idea. Hahahaha! I will try it again again one last time.
      (If this don’t work, then I don’t know what esle works) Merry Xmas everyone!

    2. Profile gravatar of CantFixStupid

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

      Going to Laiya Beach in Batangas this Saturday to do some pre New Years celebrating, PM me if anyone is interested in tagging along 🙂

  4. Profile gravatar of jimmy smith
    jimmy smith

    hahaha, some fun comments. 2 years ago I spend 100 peso buying play peso money and then stuffed 1000 peso and 500 peso play money bills in those envelopes. never heard from them again cause I moved from that cochroach infeted condo. but sure would have loved to see their faces when they opened their envelopes. muhahahahaha

    1. Profile gravatar of jimmy smith
      jimmy smith

      oh merry xmas and happy new year by the way. xmas here was loud muic till 6 in the morning and fire crackers, then the disco stopped and the neighbourgh started karoke till 12. silent night 😛

      1. Profile gravatar of FAFI
        FAFI Post author

        Wow! Are you fuckin shitting me? We must live in the same neighborhood! hahaha! Unless this entire country has the meaning of Christmas mixed up with Independence day? Anyway, a Filipino will always be a Filipino. There is no changing it. The worst thing they can do to each other is to help each other, which is the same thing as doing nothing at all, or hurting each other more. The best thing you can do is to not get involved. We don’t have the right to hurt them, and by helping them, you are helping them live longer in the everlasting self-inflicting pain they have created. So helping them is also hurting them. I hope you get my point. Merry xmas to you too Jimmy.

  5. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    same with immigration and foreign.
    why do our politicians give our tax money to this 3rd world countries,,, just like pouring gas on a fire, just like giving a drunk money to help himself.
    if they closed the borders and stop giving these morons money,, the peasants may rise up and slaughter every one of the thieving flips,,,,,
    I get a kick out of these rent a mobs that go to the usa embassy and burn usa flags.
    every one of them would their mothers to get a green card!!!!!!!!

  6. Profile gravatar of TheD

    Its nice to give, its horrible to be forced to give.
    I was puzzled the first time an empty envelope landed on my door. I thought someone had stolen the card or it had been forgotten.
    It is so god damned rude to ask for a tip in this manner, but it is normal here.
    They want a tip for a service that is included in the fee I pay the association every month. A service that is done with a vehicle purchased by the mayor. I dont get what I am paying for.

    Why doesnt the association collect the garbage and store it out of sight in a container, waiting for the garbage men to arrive? That way they wouldnt get litter all over the streets. There wouldnt be as many rats, cockroaches and flies from people leaving their garbage on the streets for weeks.

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny

      That is my biggest gripe. The trash bags get thrown on the street, the dogs/ cats go through it, then trash goes everywhere, and it smells + it looks like shit. Then it would decrease the amount of stray animals roaming the areas.
      I wanted to put out a small rubbish bin on the main street near our house. That was the biggest hassle I ever encountered. Why? 1. Cause Filipinos will steal the rubbish bin no matter if its metal or plastic. 2. You have to get a permit and pay to put it there.
      I swear, they really are the dumbest country in the world.

      1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
        Phil Doh

        Somebody stole our trash cans from outside the house a few months ago. If it’s not nailed down here somebody will have it away.

        Filipinos must be the worst in the world for litter. I was once walking down the street behind a woman and we passed somebody giving out fliers. The woman in front took it and then a few meters down the street she crumpled it up and threw it on the pavement without even looking at it. Why even take it? Just say no thank you.

        They were gifted this beautiful country and they just throw trash all over it.

        1. Profile gravatar of Mike

          My wife had a sari sari in Manila and I would go out front and pick up all the trash the customers threw on the ground. Then one day as Gru would say “LIGHT BULB” so I went out and bought a trash can to put in front of the store right by the window (to prevent it being stolen) and sat back and watched. Here is what I noticed. Filipinos would buy a snack or something and eat it standing in front of the store with the trash can ONE FOOT away from them. Finish the snack and start to drop the trash in the can. BUT!!!! as soon as they saw it was a trash can they would put the wrapper in their other hand so they could throw it on the ground. Only trash I ever emptied out of that can was trash I had to pick up because they REFUSED to use a trash can.

          The reason? Who knows. Maybe the pope told them trash cans were sinful. I now believe filipinos have a deep aversion or fear of trash cans. After all, ever notice the malls don’t have trash cans? Not even in the food court.

        2. Profile gravatar of Sarah

          I had a Kano friend living in Southern Cebu a few years ago. He sent 2nd hand clothes from the US collected from family members. Gave the 2nd hand clothes to people they knew, like the maids and their families and the driver and their families. Some mountain people heard he was giving away clothes, came down to his place next day. There was no one home. What did the low lifes do? Stole his washing!!

          1. Profile gravatar of Mike

            Sarah dear,

            Did you really expect other wise? Now I refer to your post about setting up a tarp blocking a lane or the whole road. You did miss one, but I will not hold that against you. There you go driving down the road enjoying the quiet (Your windows are all up) when what do you see on the road ahead of you? The road that so narrow even though it is two lane that two fleas going the opposite direction would have trouble passing each other. There, in your lane dead ahead!!! Hurry react!! Swerve!! Someone has spread out tarps using your whole lane to dry their rice!!!!. It does not matter there is an empty lot right by their house big enough to fit the whole fucking kingdom of heaven in. They still have to have that whole lane.

          2. Profile gravatar of Sarah

            Yep! And if I could not swerve fast enough and ran into their flaming rice, oh woe betide, for it would be my fault and I’ll have to pay compensation. After all, I’m a Kano with lots of $$$ growing on my backyard! And what would be the value of rice would be quadrupled because I have lots of $$$$$$!!!

            And for the record, I don’t drive a fancy SUV. It’s insane to drive a brand new expensive vehicle in that country, regardless if it’s the city or the provinces. Same attitude, same mentality, same brainless twats!

          3. Profile gravatar of Mike


            Now it is my turn to rephrase a word if you don’t mind. I was in the Navy for 8 years and we did have as you know acronyms for almost everything. Might I suggest you delete TWATS and use CUNTs?

          4. Profile gravatar of Sarah

            LOL! I was being polite Mike. I am a lady after all. But yes, cunts would probably be more appropriate 🙂 🙂

  7. Profile gravatar of Johnny

    Yeah, I was told if we put a trash can outside, we have to lock it up or secure it so it won’t get stolen. It really is amazing that Filipinos will steal rubbish bins.
    I knew someone who was in gov’t and told them my concerns regarding the trash. My exact example was the little candy wrappers and plastics from the sari-sari stores.
    He said, they try to do things to stop the trash, but they ran out of ticket books to issue citations. I basically started to berate him stating what a lazy excuse that was.
    I suggested all they need to do is have the police or whoever stand by the stores. Then if someone litters, you detain them, have them put on a yellow vest, hand them a garbage bag, and tell them to fill it as punishment. Then everyone would see the penalty of littering as well as the benefit to a clean environment. He looked at me like I had a penis growing out of my forehead. He couldn’t process the simplicity of that suggestion.
    I have learned Filipinos like to make the dumbest excuses as a cover to get out of doing work or cause they want a bribe.