Thursday, November 15, 2012

Buying Souvenirs for the Filipino Parent

I finally gave my dad the "Orlando" shirt that I bought him when I had gone to Disney World one month ago. He was excited that I had got him a souvenir.

But how could I not remember when every time I go on a trip, my dad always requests me to get him souvenirs?.

This past trip, he called me a handful of times before I left

Win! he said after I finally picked up the phone.Win, Win Win!

yea? I responded.

When are you going to Disneyland? 

 I'm not going to Disneyland... I'm going to Disney World.

Dad: oh, where is dat? 

Me: Florida

Dad: Oh,.. ::chuckles:: get me a shirt that says.... changes his voice to sound more dramatic. 'Florida'. :more chuckles

It's always a shirt, or a hat. Never does he go out of the ordinary to say get me a magnet, or get me a cup. It's always a hat or a shirt labeled with the name of the place that I am visiting.

You sure you don't want a key chain, dad? I ask. One with a pineapple and the name of the place I'm visiting. 

No, my dad responds as if I asked a crazy question. I want a hat. 

It is when I name off multiple places that I am visiting, or I name off multiple things that I'm going to see at a place (ex: I'm going to California, then Mexico, and then back to Cali), that my dad gets indecisive over what I should get him.


Dad: Get me a hat!. No, get me a shirt... no, get me a hat that says Mexico... o wait, I don't want 'Mexico'... get me a shirt that says 'Los Angeles' ::more chuckles::


Now, don't get it twisted, I am always happy to get souvenirs for family members, but I think it's kind of funny that my dad would feel the need to remind me, as if I'd forget or something. I think it's even funny that he would even request something. And it's like he always acts surprised and touched when I get him something, like he didn't think I'd really get it.

Omgoodness. You remembered.

Me: How could I not? you reminded me like...a million times. 

While his special requests may seem odd to some, he has explained to me his whole reasoning behind wanting shirts and hats from places he has never been to before.

 I want to wear it when I go to the Philippines. 

And I get it. If I had moved from a third world country to a first world nation, in some way or another  - I would want to show that my good fortune was not in vain. That in some way or another, I was able to reap the benefits of the prosperous fruits of America. I wouldn't want to go back to my third world homeland in the same ragged clothes that I left in;  would be kind of embarrassing. Pride is something I feel is a prevalent Filipino thing, even if in retrospect there is nothing really to be proud about.

While my dad is not by any mean rich or very well traveled, he has tons of shirts and hats that say California, Kansas, London, Hawaii, Supersonics, Mariners, and  other random sayings or labels. And while he may not have been to some... most of these places, when he does go back to the Philippines and starts rocking these shirts, he will be sure to spark some interest among the people in his hometown, they might even ask if they could have his shirt.