Scenario: Yeyyy! Released na ang 13th month and bonus!
(Yeyy! 13th month and bonus are released already!)
After 3days of malling and gift buying: Nus-a sunod sweldo?
(When’s the next payday?)
Unfortunately, this scenario is experienced by most Cebuano working class! The Christmas rush is not just felt in the festive air anymore but in the feeling of money rush as it drains out of our pockets and ATMs just to buy our loved ones and various manitos/manitas of various parties the gifts they deserve. Bonus, you say? More like bunot!
Kidding aside, I’m sure it is so hard to give up your annual role as Santa to your godchildren, children, friends, parents, nephews, nieces (and the list goes on and on and on!). However, for the clever Cebuano, we know that if we want to save a few bucks, malls are not the answer. The clever Cebuano knows the place where we will be saved from looking forward to the next payday, more of like a Diagon Alley (http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Diagon_Alley
) in the midst of Cebu. I am sure you fanatics of the wizarding world of Harry Potter could understand what this is. You want me to say the magic word? Indeed, it’s Tabo sa Banay
In our local dialect, Tabo
means gathering, Banay
means race or family. As a place, Tabo sa Banay
refers to a number of shops selling retail items for less! If you see a dress in the mall worth P700 then you’d probably have that at P300 or less in Tabo sa Banay
! Imagine how much you can save! But don’t go running into said place yet! As you may know, this place isn’t a secret anymore so a lot are also headed this way during Christmas season with the same objective as you—to shop and save! Bargaining does not go easy though, especially in feisty Colon.
To brave Tabo sa Banay
, here are a few tips from us so you can shop safely!
1. Prepare a shopping list
. Yes, my dear Santa-wannabe. Make that list, check it twice, find out who’s naughty or nice because without it, you’ll be lost in a myriad of stores running back and forth and wasting time and effort. For those who claim to have photographic memories, believe me when I say, your memories will be erased once you fight your way to get in the bargain store.
2. Know how to get there
. No, we don’t have the Leaky Couldron as access to the Tabo. Instead, you have to park your car or any other means of transportation somewhere else and ride a jeepney! The Tabo is located at Manalili street. Find a jeep that would pass by Metro Gaisano Colon. From Gaisano, take a short walk to Colon’s Jollibee. In between Best Buy and Jollibee across La Fortuna Bakeshop near USJR, there’s a small alley. Said alley is your access to Tabo! It is advised to go there early in the morning to lunch as there are lesser people and newer items.
3. Fashion Icon—not!
Colon is definitely not a place for Blair Waldorf. This isn’t the avenue to don your latest finds or do modeling in the streets. When you go to Tabo, make sure that you are wearing a comfortable shirt (loose ones, preferably), jeans, sneakers/rubbing shoes. There should be no valuable items with you—no jewelries, no make-up, no wallets, no cellphones, if possible. Your money should be put in those tight pockets of your jeans or somewhere within your sight and reach. The objective is to make yourself as inconspicuous as possible so you won’t be the target of pick-pocketers. Unless you want to be the newest Colon charitable institution for snatchers. Here, simplicity and safety are of utmost importance.
4. Shopping Bag Galore.
Shopping bags are abound to contain your shopping finds. They all come in different sizes with different colors and are striped. Familiar? Yes, it’s those plastic shopping bags you see in marketplaces. Now before you have your hands full with plastic bags, it is advisable that you bring with you a big sturdy shopping bag (not branded and not expensive-looking) to store all your little plastic bags. It’s convenient and it keeps you on the go. Oh, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Stash in that big bag a water bottle or two.
5. Surviving the Tabo Bargain Struggle!
We Cebuanos love bargain, we know how to bargain and we each have our own ways in doing such. When doing so, do not focus on one store. There are about 50 stores in said Tabo and if you window-shop for a while, you can compare prices and know when to haggle. One simple tip, though: Befriend the store owner. Start a conversation, compliment the store, etc. before you edge your way to asking for discounts! What I’m trying to say is if you have to do some ass-kissing in your life, then do that to the Manang who has the power to give you loads of discounts. An act of “kindness” goes a long, long way and in this case, a way to save more money!
So there you go, friends! Those are our five (5) simple tips to survive the Tabo madness, while saving a few bucks. After all, it’s not about the cha-ching, cha-ching or the bla-bling, bla-bling (did you just sing?) They say the spirit of Christmas is evident in our simple act of giving and it brings much more meaning that before we gave, we sure did brave those Colon streets for that special gift.
Happy shopping and Merry Christmas, everyone!
Let's Talk (iSTORYA ta
): Have you ever been to Tabo sa Banay? What's your greatest find?
Photo Source: www.panoramio.com