Pasalubong is common to all Filipinos. I do it to friends and relatives who travel too. It is the Filipino culture's form of "parayg" or endearment when they ask you for pasalubong (gifts). It's our way of appreciating them for being able to go and see the world. It's a tap on the shoulder saying, "Good job! Have fun!" It is received as a flattery but we have to watch for it so as not to overdo it. Make sure you are not putting pressure on the traveler. Therefore, when you ask pasalubong, don't stress out preferences. Some travelers are kind enough to ask for your wishlist. Say you want this but would be okay to not have exactly it. Make sure you are being supportive and sensitive that the traveler also spends money where he goes.
If you are asking the traveler for a favor, here are some tips to be more humane.
1. Do not let the traveler bring heavy load for you. At most, it should not go over 1 pound (approx half a kilo).
2. Order online and have it delivered to your friend traveler's hotel. That way, he doesn't have to do anything except just bring the package. Of course, give him the right to open it for you. He needs to be responsible enough to know what he is bringing back.
3. When asking your friend traveler to go buy for you something, make sure you pay ahead by either giving him money before he leaves or paying his credit card right after he used it. Don't delay. He will need his card to buy his things too.
4. Also, it might help that you give something for your friend traveler a shopping item or extra cash. You made him go out of his way to do it for you, anyway. The least you can do is give him an incentive. For example, an officemate of mine was asked to buy iPad mini in Lexington. He was given Php2,000 extra cash. He appreciated it very much that he didn't mind asking me to drive him to the mall and go to Apple Store. It doesn't have to be that much, though. Just be creative.
5. Say thank you when he agrees then thank you again when he has bought your item. You cannot stress the "thank you" enough.
The tips I wrote are simple reminders that your friend traveler also has his priorities. Asking favors are okay. Even I, personally, don't mind. However, there are just things that you can do to make the favor more favorable especially that the Filipino culture seldom says No. :)
If you have more suggestions, comment at the box below. As always, I like to hear from you.