“Shopping Pest”

The Annie B. (Batobalani) Chronicles

The adventures and misadventures of a ‘not so average’ Pinay trying to make it in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai.


My golly! My regular visits to Fitness First had to take a back sip because of too much work since most of my officemates are on vacation. So eto, my SIZE keeps on fluctuating (like the dollar-peso exchange rate) so it means I have to do something that will make me feel GOOD. Hmmmm….

Ano pa nga ba ang pwedeng gawin dito sa Dubai kapag mas mataas pa sa lagnat ang init at hindi ka makalabas sa tindi ng humidity – eh di Dubai’s favorite past time – shopping!!!!

Dubai is all about shopping. Every year, we have two major shopping festivals – the Dubai Shopping Festival during January and the Dubai Summer Surprises during June-August – to legitimize the number of people staying inside the mall para magpalamig lang. Of course, there are a lot ot ither occasions for more shopping: there’s Ramadan Sale, the Holiday Season Sale, Spring Sale, Fall Sale, End of Season Sale, Moving Out Sale, Inventory Sale, plus a lot more. Kaka-hilo, kaka-excite.

Shopping is like breathing here, you can’t live without it. Of course you have a prepare for it – save money and have a credit cards ready – nothing wrong with the kaskas mentality – just be able to pay them back and do not overuse and abuse them. If you do, welcome to the club – ahihihihi! No, never neglect your obligations. Don’t forget that.

I love shopping in Dubai because they really take one of my favoritest four-letter word very, very seriously: SALE. If in the Philippines, we get excited with 20% price reductions, dito bahaw lang yan. Here, items go as far as 70% off (minsan nga may 90% pa eh – nahiya pa no, di na lang ipamigay?) Common din ang B.O.T.O. (buy one, take one) Ang saya saya!

My friend cannot believe it when she first came to Dubai during a SALE season. In the Philippines, she can only afford to buy a pair of shoes from Nine West during birthdays and important occasions, but here she can grab a pair every payday. And for the regular price of a Nine West pair back home, she was able to buy three pairs here. As in! Todo na itu!!!

Like may girls my age, I love designer brands. Imported and classy names that I only used to see in fashion magazines are all available here in Dubai. Ika nga ng SM Shoemart, “We’ve got them all!” Gucci, Prada, Tods’ Coach, Pucci, Armani, Versace, Dior, Chanel, D&G (yung laging pinasasalamatan ni Boy Abunda sa The Buzz, miski hindi naman niya kilala personally yung designer, Burberry and of course, my favotirest of them all – Louis Vuitton. Ayan ha, tama ang spelling ha? I really don’t know why girls are gaga over Louis Vuitton. Nakaka-gaga talaga! Sure their bags are so classy and stylish. I think every local has at least one LVin her closet. They not only buy one bag, but at least on bag from every season and collection. Well, they have the money for it. That’s the one thing we do not have in common – atik na pumipilantik! Honestly, do you think I’d spend a month’s worth of salary just for a bag? If I was crazy, yes. But will having that bag makes me as stylish and classy as those locals? Eh lahat nga sila parepareho ng bag eh.

Once I saw a group of flight attendants waiting for their service at the airport. All 7 of them, in their uniforms, were carrying the same Gucci bag – same style, same size, same color. Anu yon uniform na rin nila? I wasn’t impressed by their fashion sense. If everyone is wearing the same thing, then it is not special anymore – boring noh? Let’s face it, we buy these expensive brands to impress others – not just ourselves – so that they would think we’re special. Aminin!

Last week while waiting for my Caramel Maquaipo – decapitated of course – in Starbucks, a Caucasian lady asked me where I got my bag from. I was surprised that she notice my abaca bag – eh sa tiangge lang sa Greenhills ko na-iskor to noh? “It’s really lovely and gorgeous…I love it!!! sabi ba naman? “Thanks, I love it too.” “Hirit ko nga. It only meant two things: that it doesn’t matter whether your bag cost Dhs3,000 or Php375 – as long as both design and quality are very good, and miski mas mahal pa ang isang box ng
Greenwich Pizza kesa sa bag ko, pang-business class naman arrive kasi carry ko i-project ito. O laban ka?

So if you’re super duper loaded with cash or can afford to kaskas to max and still be able to pay for it – go ahead, pamper yourself with designer labels. Just learn how to pronounce their names properly ha? Kung hindi, may award ka.

But if you’re a budget, or you want more variety ther are brands like Zara, H&M, Woolworths, Bershka, Splash, and of course our national fruit Mango. Stylish pero more reasonably priced. Nakabili ka na ng imported, nakakarami ka pa.

This way, you can shop every season without spending your annual vacation money over a handbag that’s soooo all over the place – na if you’re not as sosyal as me at hindi ka sanay mag-carry, baka mapagkamalan pang peke! Now, that’s a Hall of Famer – be sure to prepare a speech when you accept your award while weeping buckets of tears.

So, excuse me while I detach the label that reads “Louie Bitoy” from my new handbag. Oh, mukhang genu-wine, laban ka?!

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