The best part of every seafarer’s work is when he finishes his contract and is due for repatriation within a few days. Whether you have been sailing for the first time or a seasonal one, once your captain informs you that you will be going home, there is always that excitement triggered within you.

Now, you might be wondering if you should buy pasalubong for your families, relatives and friends. If you thoroughly think of it or have experienced it, your money might not be enough if you buy for all of them. But if you won’t give them a piece of your pasalubong, there is a greater chance that your image to them will be distorted or destroyed.

So, do you really need to buy pasalubong to them when going home?

A harsh, straightforward and realistic answer would be NO because some of them are not your responsibility. But this is unkind so I’m not into this kind of thinking.

Here’s a more appropriate way.
Before we answer that question, we have to tackle first a few key points that involves your previous plans, experiences and your vacation budget.

Before signing on your contract, I believe you are already aware of the directions on where your money should go. You have bills to pay every month for your families or maybe debts that you incurred.

Aside from that, you also have forecasted expenses after you finish your contract. Whether you have trainings to take, vacations to make, house to purchase or gadgets to buy with, those things run in your head during the span of you work.

In between, you have also expenses of your own to have fun while at work. This is called enjoying a little bit of your travel and income to keep your sanity in tact.

Considering all those factors will help you decide whether to buy or not. There would be times that the income from your 9-month contract is not enough especially when you have trainings on your vacation. If this is the case, you might wanna minimize buying pasalubong only to those closest to your heart and totally avoid it to others.

People will be asking for a tiny share of their pie from you. Do you have to give in? I believe your answer should be a firm NO and explain to them your valid reasons. Not just to one person but to all of them. Remember, small leaks sink ships. I know that this is very hard to do but this is to show your consistency and seriousness.

On the other hand, if you have more extra money,  and zero or few trainings, then you can set aside a budget for pasalubong purposes. You can do this as long as you have established a plan of spending for your vacation and is willing to follow through until your next contract. The size or amount of your pasalubong will be dependent on the money that you have or the financial situation that you are in.

I met some people including OFWs who goes all out on giving pasalubong. They are the one-day millionaires. You know what happen next. Meanwhile, I also met quite a few who gives zero pasalubong including to their families! At first, their neighbors or friends ask some whenever he goes home. But after a few years of consistent NO, they got used to it and stopped asking. So whenever he comes home from abroad, it’s like nothing happens- just a normal day for them.

Here’s what I’ve been following through. I’ve been on both sides of the coin and tried different techniques about this pasalubong craze. What I developed is that, I still buy pasalubong but to a very select few. Those are for my families and a few people whom I am grateful with. I also bring chocolates and give them to the kids in our place. I have a budget for this one . Whenever my friends ask me about chocolates, I give them this picture:

Then I tell them that I already gave the chocolates to the kids and nothing is left. This mostly ends the topic.

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