Last week, I went to SM Makati to find a dress for a wedding I am hosting. While waiting for my turn to use the dressing room, I commented to the saleslady: "Siguro ang daming tao ngayon. Pasko na eh." ("Since it is Christmas, there's probably a lot of people coming."). The saleslady politely answered: "Hindi nga po eh. Mahina po ngayong taon. Noon, kapag Biyernes, maraming tao. Ngayon, ganito na lang." ("Not really. It is quite slow this year. In the past years, many people come on Fridays. Now, it's just this number.")
This exchange made me realize that in general, Filipinos have very little disposable income nowadays. With skyrocketing prices and low peso power, Filipinos can barely survive. I realized that if it were any other year, I would be planning and completing my Christmas shopping by now. However, this year Ganns and I decided to limit our list to family and very close friends. Multiply us to the number of (lower) middle class young professionals and you'll realize how big a difference our "budget Christmas shopping intentions" will have for the industry.
Indeed, times are hard. We need to learn to use our resources wisely. 168, baby!