Monito Monita is a gift-giving tradition in the Philippines. Bukod sa common na bunutan ng pangalan, may iba pang themes ng exchange gift depende sa mapagkakasunduan. At dahil dito, hindi maiiwasan na makatanggap tayo ng mga regalong beyond sa ating mga expectation. Kung inaakala mong wala nang mas weird pa sa picture frame, ‘etong weird Christmas gifts na mga ito ang makakapagpabago ng isip mo.
***Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.
1. Let’s start the weird Christmas gifts game with something long… and unexpected.
“I received sitaw (string beans) the theme of that exchange gift was something long. I was expecting something like ballpen or toothbrush haha.”
– Jasmine Manabit / CDD
2. There’s no problem with personal hygiene kits until you decide to give it to someone as a gift.
“Receiving a pangkuskos ng katawan, nail cutter, lagayan ng sabon, and a weird toothbrush na isang kuskos ko lang sa ngipin ko naglalagas na yung bristles. Upon receiving it, I was like, “Yung totoo? Di ba ako naliligo?! Mabaho ba ako?!”
– Hannah Alforque / Career Development Specialist, CDD
(Maligayang pasko at maligong bagong taon!)
3. Sometimes, we mixed up intimate stuff with those worth treasuring.
“The weirdest Christmas gift I’ve ever received were underwear and condoms. This was from my dearest friend Jona Riza Vallesta during our yearly gift-giving (something treasurable) last 2010.”
– Anne Michelle Peregrina / Manager, CDD
4. Just because it’s long, hard, and has “corners”, doesn’t mean it’s a bar of chocolate.
“I got an oddly shaped gift during my Elementary days. I thought it was a long bar of chocolate but when I opened it, it was a long bar detergent soap.”
– Christopher Rivera / Team Leader, CDD
5. Some gifts are not weird but will bewilder the heck out of you because you didn’t ask for them in the first place.
“The weirdest gift I’ve received was way back in 2009. I think it was the season of Angry Birds. The present that my aunt gave me was an Angry Bird wallet, Angry Bird Tumbler and Angry Bird necklace–even though my aunt knew that I really don’t like angry birds at all.”
– Dennies Mag-isa / TSR, Flexi Team
(Titas will get you what is uso even if it’s not your gusto.)
6. Even the simplest wishes can make you question Santa’s generosity.
“Since my mom would always tell us tales about Santa who visits during Christmas Eve, me and my siblings would hang socks on our window, hoping he would grant our wish, which we usually list in a small piece of paper and put it inside the socks. I wished for an apple, as I’ve always dreamt to at least get a small bite of it. Upon waking up, I excitedly opened my sock only to find a Dalandan inside. I cried out and crawled on the floor while saying, ‘Kuripot si Santa, ang damot nya. Bakit hindi niya binasa yung sulat ko? Bakit kapag mahirap nagwish, pang mahirap binibigay niya?’”
– Rosalinda Aribal / Account Executive 1, AMT
7. Themed Monito Monitas can make people give gifts that are way too unexpected, because WHY NOT?
“Potato peeler – One family member gave it for “something useful,” then eggplant for “something long” (CDD Monito Monita. Haha).”
– Melody Santillan / AMT
(TIP: Kung something long ang theme ng exchange gift, better get ideas just by singing “Bahay Kubo.”) Anak ng gulay!
8. So unexpected, you’ll get used to receiving indecent gifts after all.
“Happened to a colleague. Theme: Something fragrant gift: Albatros”
– Camille Ann C. Ople / DCM
9. Weird Christmas gifts can sometimes test how much you appreciate ‘little things’.
“This was during grade 5 days. While everybody received things like towels, handkerchiefs, the ever reliable picture frames, and things like that, I got a big crunchy red apple. I thought I had the most unique Christmas present, because I was the only one munching it. The sender of my gift approached me and asked if I was okay with it. Because I was already mabait that time, and seeing her mom looking from our classroom’s window, I cheerfully replied, “Oh yes, I love it!” and took a bite of that big crunchy red apple.”
– Bryan Sapico / Senior Programmer, WDD
10. Some weird Christmas gifts seemed normal back then, until you grew up and realized it’s way too awkward.
“The weirdest Christmas gift I’ve ever received was a box of 6’s So-En panties. It was from a GUY classmate who picked my name for Monito Monita when I was in grade 4. I didn’t know it was an awkward gift until I grew up.”
– Jonnah Dela Cruz / Digital Content Specialist, DCM
11. Sometimes, it’s not the sender or the gift BUT the receiver who possesses this kind of “malas.”
“I have always been unlucky in exchange gifts since elementary but the weirdest gift I received was a pirated VCD of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, tapos disc 1 lang. 30 pesos lang yata nun yung price range ng aming exchange gift kaya tinanggal yung pangalawang disc hahaha. Mangiyak ngiyak ako nung umuwi ng bahay after the party. This was way back elementary.”
– Diana Reglos / Team Leader, CDD
(Is there another way to express dismay than facepalming? Kulang eh!)
12. Or maybe the giver is just too lazy to think of a gift, so he/she will let you decide what you’re going to do with it.
“200 pesos worth ng token sa Tom’s world na binigay ng ka-opisina ng nanay ko nung bata ako, pero di naman kami nagpunta dun kaya binenta ko na lang.”
– John Cristopher Coruña / TSR, Flexi Team
(Ayoko na, bes!)
After all, these weird Christmas gifts are still presents na nanggaling sa mga taong nag-effort na naghanap at bumili. Let’s remember that Christmas should not be about giving and receiving gifts but more of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with our loved ones.
Do you also have a ridiculous Christmas gift experience? Kwento mo naman sa ‘min! Share this to your family and friends. We’re sure makaka-relate din sila. Merry Christmas!