Christmas Shopping at Robinson Mall With My Asawa


Started your Christmas shopping yet? The Robinson Mall and other shopping centers in the Philippines have been playing Christmas music since early September. The PH has the longest Christmas season in the world, starting the first of September all the way through January.  My asawa is pressing for us to buy a Christmas tree, but again, I say like any Cub's baseball fan (which I'm not), "wait until next year." This will be our third Christmas without one, but we'll survive. In my opinion, it's more important to divert our funds to buying that  new television. DSC

I've noted in a previous post that I've managed to render our old TV  totally useless as a source of entertainment.  It has now been recycled and serves as one of our fancier end tables in our sparsely furnished new rental home. Cardboard boxes from our move serve as our other end tables. I have true redneck pride.

I foolishly asked my asawa the other day what she would like to do.  With no mindless television programming to watch and since she had all of her housework done, I suggested we do some Christmas shopping even though we have limited funds. She declined, but within a span of less than 60 seconds decided we could go to Robinson Mall in Iloilo City if I did not have anything I had to do.

I suppose I could stop playing a new free online RPG (Role Playing Game) on "Addicting Games" for awhile where I go around different worlds smashing monsters so I said "sure, let's go" with about as much conviction as a inmate being led down Death Row corridor for the last time would utter. But she bought it. One hour later we were hopping on a jeepney to Robinson. Only a one jeepney ride versus the usual two jeepney trek to SM City so we saved a whopping four pesos (nine cents.)

Grabbed a quick meal of Orange Chicken for 79 pesos (1.83 US Dollars)  at Chowking and before the crowds started to fill the mall. It was a national holiday in the Philippines, November 30 being Bonifacio Day, in honor of Philippine's national hero, Andrés Bonifacio's  birthday, November 30, 1863. There already was a line at the Well-fed Red Bee's joint, and the asawa preferred the Chowking "cuisine," so we filled our bellies and started walking around the Robinson Mall.

Began our Christmas shopping in the Robinson Department Store, where the sales associates rarely greet you as they do at SM City, but I don't mind. Sometimes I can't even walk into an Ace Hardware or Toy Kingdom at the SM in Iloilo without being hounded by sales personnel. I have to be honest, sometimes it's annoying, and I'll just walk out of the store loudly announcing to my embarrassed asawa that I don't like to be followed all around a store when I'm trying to shop. I know. The Ugly American.  Sue me.

Never had that problem at any Walmart in the States. You'd be lucky to find an associate there let alone have one following you to see if they could help you. And do you know those all-night stockers they have that don't get out of your way? No problem with that in the Philippines. The employees are always excusing themselves and making way for the customer. Imagine that. Good customer service.  Being polite and helpful to the people that actually are responsible for you ultimately being paid a salary. What a novel concept!

My wife was on the hunt for a new purse. I'd personally would rather just have my fingernails pulled out one by one than go purse hunting with my aswasa, but I remind myself that it was my suggestion to go out to do something today. Purse shopping wasn't on the list. So I decided to just go with the flow and take some pictures like the one below. My wife liked the purse but didn't buy it. There were far too many other places at the mall to check out before making such an important decision. I'm glad I don't have to carry a purse. Why should I? If I have some extra stuff to bring along, I just ask my spouse to carry it in her bag.  DSC

So we made some more stops in the search for the perfect purse. What better way to make use of our Christmas shopping time. My asawa finally gave up (for that day) and decided to purchase a new shirt at the Dickies store which had a 70% off sale. I took the following two pictures. Since my wife hates it when I take a picture of her backside, I followed up with the second photo. I didn't get to be almost 60 years old by being stupid all the time. Just most of the time. If there are those male readers out there who believe I merely took the first picture to get a photo of a cute Filipina other than my asawa, I have no idea what you are talking about.



The Robinson Mall was becoming quite crowded, and I was getting anxious. Don't like the crowds. We stopped by CDR KING and discovered that,  as popular American expat and star commentator Gary Wigle told us,  they do carry 32" LCD televisions for P11,500 (265 USD) even though the CDR employee at the SM City location told us that none of the four stores in Iloilo City carried television sets, only the Manila outlets. We didn't have the funds to make the purchase, plus I had just made an earlier trip in the week to the Imperial Appliance Store (thanks to Paul from Iloilo for that tip) in downtown Iloilo which was having a sale. There's a possibility we may be buying our set from Imperial.

Stopped by at Chowking again so my spouse could get her favorite halo-halo while I drank some Coke. Had my staff photographer take my picture by this kiosk while I tried in vain to explain to the sales girl what "weekend warrior" meant back in America. We hopped on a jeepney back home and paid 14 pesos (32 cents) total for our shuttle ride home from our subdivision entrance to our house (it's almost a 30 minute walk, and I was already tired) and settled in for an evening of meaningful conversations with my asawa. We just have to get that new TV!DSC

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO" aka "THE CRUSTY OLD EXPAT." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

13 thoughts on “Christmas Shopping at Robinson Mall With My Asawa

  1. Dave,

    Don’t you just love christmas shopping. I do most of mine online. All you can do when you go shopping with your asawa is just follow along like a lost puppy. Believe me i wish i was in the Philippines shopping now, rather than trudging along with work. So what are your getting your asawa for christmas? Your right about Walmart, you would be lucky to get someone to help you. You try to walk in the aisles and people just throw things all over the floor. Thats why i don’t go there any longer. Love that photo with the filipina and your asawa. You just wanted a photo with two pretty filipinas. Thats ok we understand. As long as your Asawa doesn’t care. I hope you drank a few cold ones to relieve the stress from shopping. Have a nice day.

    1. Hi Maria. Good to hear from you again. Well, at least back in the States my wife got a break from me when I went to work. Now we’re together 24-7. I think I might get on her nerves occasionally. My former co-workers could attest to that. 🙂

  2. I really don’t like Christmas here. Just doesn’t mean anything but BUY THIS OR BUY THAT. I thought is was bad in the States!

    Meriam and I don’t have money for shopping so we just walk around town. Left at 5:00 am today and didn’t get back until after 8:00. Did find brewed coffee for 31 pesos. Now that was good shopping. 😀

    1. Well, Gary, you’re right about the commercialized aspect of Christmas in the Philippines. It’s especially bad at our local SM City. Went there yesterday, on a Saturday, to pay some utility bills, and it’s total chaos. Surprising to find in such an overwhelmingly Catholic country.

      We don’t have any extra Christmas shopping money either, Gary, except for that TV we are going to buy. Been checking out a CDR KING store that does carry TV’s, thanks for that tip, and are going out to a couple a more places today (but not SM City; I can’t handle those crowds.) The new TV will be our Christmas gift for ourselves, but that means the budget will be tight, and I’ll be eating a lot of Spam this month. 🙂

  3. SPAM? I love Spam but it costs too much here in Tagum City. Good thing tomorrow is payday, dried fish and rice gets old by the last week of the month. Good luck on finding a good TV. I would like to have the 32″ but they didn’t carry that size at the mall last year. Well better go — time to get ready for church. We are trying new church today. My friend Art met a pastor that will do a English service for us. That is cool!!

    1. How much is a can of Spam cost you, Gary? I pay 97 pesos at SM Supermarket and can get three meals out of it. Tried “Hot and Spicy,” Spam, that is is, last month and it does have a kick.

      Glad you found an English-speaking church, Gary. Is that at a Baptist church? We had an English mass back in Guimaras, but since I’m not Catholic, I would just have to follow my asawa’s lead as to when to rise or sit down. Had a good priest that would occasionally throw out some messages from the Gospels.


    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Misc

    Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
    ——– ———— ——————————–
    1 cn Spam, cut in strips
    2 Carrots, thinly sliced
    1 Zucchini, thinly sliced
    1/4 c Finely chopped onion
    1 Garlic clove, minced
    6 tb Olive oil, divided
    1 9 oz package linguini,
    1/2 c Grated parmesan cheese
    2 tb Lemon juice
    1/4 ts White pepper

    1. In a large skillet, cook Spam, carrots, zucchini, onion and garlic in 3
    Tbsps olive oil until vegetables are crisp and tender.

    2. Toss together linguini, vegetable mixture, parmesan cheese, 3T olive
    oil, and lemon juice until well coated. Serve immediately.

    Source: Geo. A Hormel Co, 1992

    1. Thanks for the recipe, Gary, sounds tasty. I’m out of Spam right now, but here’s my recipe:
      1. Open can. 2. Cut Spam into 9 individual slices. 3 slices per meal. 3. Fry Spam. 4. Slather it with mustard and serve with a microwaved baked potato.
      Your recipe sounds so much better. 🙂

    1. Gary, I have oatmeal usually every day for breakfast. I love it. I didn’t buy any Spam at the Hypermarket yesterday but actually bought some brown rice and fish. Fortunately, it was our payday :-). I did buy two Snickers bars to offset the healthy stuff, but my asawa already ate one.

  5. Snickers sure don’t last long at our house. Meriam doesn’t buy them for me anymore. I think she buys one and eats it before she gets home so I don’t feel bad. 🙁

    I ate brown rice back in Michigan and still eat it here. I love the stuff!!!

    Nothing better than a SPAM sandwich Dave. I wonder if Dagwood eats SPAM??


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