The Philippines is known for its tropical weather, exotic animals, delicious fruits, incredible beaches, unique culture, and warm and friendly people. Known as “The Pearl of the Orient Sea,” the Philippines is home to 115 million Filipinos. A rich mix of diverse cultures blending into one makes the Philippines a top destination to travel to and explore from end to end.
Filipinos love finding reasons to celebrate, and plentiful holidays allow families and friends to gather and truly maximize experiences shared together. As many sellers in the Philippines have shifted to selling their products online, joining e-commerce sites, and producing live selling videos, online shopping has entered the mainstream consciousness. Deals and discounts have become entwined with holidays. Listed here are the biggest sale events in the Philippines that every seller should join:
New Year Sale
On the 31st of December, families and loved ones in the Philippines come together to greet the new year with colorful fireworks, lively parties, loud karaoke, and a seemingly limitless supply of food. While many host these gatherings inside their homes, others are fearless enough to brave the fireworks outside in order to trek to various party locations such as the oldest park, Luneta Park (also known as Rizal Park), the largest shopping mall, SM Mall of Asia, or the beaches with the finest white sand and lush scenery, in Boracay. However, what sets it apart from other countries are the quirky new year traditions and superstitions, to which locals subscribe.
Besides utilizing loud noise from firecrackers, musical instruments, the banging of spoons on frying pots and pans, horns, and car speakers to drive evil spirits and bad luck away, locals also turn on all the lights inside the house and open doors, windows, cabinets, and drawers to allow fortune and good luck to enter and pass through.
As the round shape symbolizes prosperity and riches, they place round fruits such as oranges, grapes, melons, guavas, and apples on tables, scatter coins all over the house and inside their pockets to shake once the clocks strike 12, and wear clothing overwhelmed with polka dots. To gain a longer life, they eat pancit (long noodles), and to grow taller, they jump up and down, come midnight.
Also, sellers should remember locals believe buying on the first day of the new year will lead to spending money haphazardly throughout the rest of the year; instead, they do their online shopping for the New Year sale either on December 31 or earlier, or January 2 and later.
Chinese New Year Sale
Millions of Filipinos are of Chinese descent, and countless locals celebrate Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, which usually falls between January and February, calculated based on the phasing of the moon and sun.
Similar to January 1st, Chinese New Year is rich with tradition. For the Chinese, the color red is the luckiest color, bringing with it fortune and good luck. Houses are decorated with red paper lanterns, locals are dressed in red from head to toe, and the ang pao, money carefully folded inside a red envelope adorned with gold, intricate designs, is handed out to family and friends. Fireworks and firecrackers are once again used to ward off bad luck, while dragon and lion dances are held to attract good luck.
Served on tables are tikoy, a sweet, often flavored glutinous rice cake, pancit, long savory noodles, which are stir-fried and supposedly give long life, mooncakes, sweet baked cakes filled with red bean paste, spring rolls, fried thin pastries filled with vegetables or meat, and dumplings, small pieces of boiled, fried, or steamed soft dough. Food sellers and Chinese establishments invite good fortune and energy by encouraging shoppers to spend to promote the flow of money.
Valentine’s Day Sale
Although it is already widely known that Valentine’s Day traces its origins to a bizarre beginning, in a country full of romantics, Filipinos are dead set on enjoying this day of love and romance.
In the Philippines, love is shared in a number of ways. Partners cook meals or bake goodies for their significant others, and spend the day partaking in this labor of love. Gifts in the form of cards, flowers, chocolates, and wine are exchanged between lovers.
Adventurous soulmates travel across the country to visit romantic spots like Vigan, Coron, Sagada, and Intramuros. Candlelight dinners between two people in love are offered all over the city of Manila. Valentine’s Day is a seller’s paradise as many couples want value for money in creating magical moments to nourish both hearts and souls.
Graduation Day Sale
Originally, the school year began in June and ended in March, but for many schools in the Philippines, a shift in the academic calendar has moved the opening of classes to August or September and the closing to May or June.
Finishing school and obtaining a certificate or degree is a source of pride for many Filipino families. The value placed on education is high, especially if it translates into a secure job that pays well, soon after. Graduation is usually celebrated with family gatherings at home or in restaurants, with gifts being given to the new degree-holder. On this day, sellers advertise their sales to reward fresh graduates for achieving this milestone.
Lazada Birthday Sale
Launched in the country in 2012, Lazada remains one of the top e-commerce sites in the Philippines. Every March 27 and for a few days surrounding that date, Lazada celebrates its birthday by hosting a sale with massive discounts. Top local celebrities endorse this birthday treat, with memorable ads and catchy jingles running all over cyberspace. Deals, discounts, and vouchers are offered by sellers all over Lazada, making it a birthday extravaganza not to be missed!
The Philippines has one of the hottest summers in the entire world! Children step outside to buy cold, refreshing desserts like ice cream (sorbetes), halo-halo, or ice scramble (iskrambol). Adults would rather spend time in the workplace because of the air-conditioned offices or stroll in malls during weekends. The weather is dry and humid, forcing many locals to visit the beaches and resorts near them to beat the heat with their children.
Because of its cool weather, situated high up the mountains, Baguio is the top destination for summer vacationers, followed by Boracay, Siargao, and Palawan. One of the bright spots of the sweltering heat is a huge markdown in summer and travel equipment. Sellers take advantage of the need to take a break during these hot, lingering months of sweat by launching summer sales to help people cool off.
A large majority of Filipinos are Catholics, and Holy Week, a time of reflection and prayer, is observed religiously during the month of April, culminating with the promise of Christ’s resurrection on Easter. It’s a festive occasion when young Filipino children participate in Easter egg hunts, with contests encouraging creativity as, using paint and clay, they decorate the eggs they find. Talented bakers spend time with kids by baking Easter treats together. There are Easter parties with chocolate bunnies and eggs handed out in loot bags overflowing with candies. Sellers may use Easter to promote themed goodies such as eggs, candies, chocolates, and stuffed rabbits.
Mother’s Day Sale
In the Philippines, Mother’s Day is in May, when mothers and women who took on similar roles are honored all over the country for all the love and sacrifice they unselfishly pour out. Children serve breakfast in bed to their mothers, create playlists of their favorite songs on Spotify, accomplish chores without being asked, and give flowers such as pink carnations to the first women in their lives. Families eat out, and restaurants have special offers for mothers on this day. Sellers are quick to include all these in their deals to pamper moms on this special day Filipinos take seriously.
Father’s Day Sale
Father’s Day is celebrated in June in the Philippines when fathers and men thrust in fatherly roles are honored for the guidance, protection, and life lessons they impart to their loved ones. Typical gift suggestions for fathers on this day include luxury watches, gadgets and phones, gym memberships, and tickets to a basketball game. A trip to a restaurant to eat out is also a favorite way of showing fathers some love. Tons of deals are up for grabs from sellers wanting to treat fathers like kings!
Back to School Sale
Also known as the Rainy Days Sale because the return to school coincides with the rainy season in the Philippines, stores hold Back to School sales to urge parents to buy new school supplies for their children. During this sale, even e-commerce giants Shopee and Lazada offer deals on laptops and gadgets children would need in the current hybrid school set-up. Many online sellers jump in as well, including brick-and-mortar sellers like the stalls in Divisoria.
Most of the time, Filipinos are granted a long weekend depending on when the All Saints’ Day (Undas) holiday falls, and this affords them the opportunity to go back to their hometowns, sometimes in the provinces, to visit family and honor the dearly departed. Tombs and mausoleums are cleaned by families who bring food and mats to camp out at cemeteries. It is also a time to celebrate Halloween with friends. No longer an event limited to just children, even adults now wear costumes to Halloween parties filled with dancing and music. Others host all-night horror marathons and scare fests in person or via live stream. Sellers revolve their sales around this frightening but fun theme of ghouls and candies.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale
Although it’s been introduced to many Filipinos working in US companies engaged in business process outsourcing, Thanksgiving isn’t really celebrated in the Philippines. However, many Filipinos are fans of the Black Friday Sale, even asking favors from relatives and friends abroad to hold onto their purchases until there is enough to send back home via a balikbayan box.
E-commerce sites have hyped up the Black Friday sale even more, but many products, especially gadgets, are really much cheaper during this sale. Locals are willing to wait for November before upgrading if it means saving a lot of money. High from the rush of Black Friday, some are pushed to continue shopping during the Cyber Monday Sale, which also allows shoppers who were unavailable during Black Friday to still snatch good deals. Sellers have to make sure they are fully stocked during these 2 sales to avoid running out.
11.11 and 12.12
The marketplace monthly sale has been a fixture for a few years now. Dubbed the “Double Double” sales of e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada, the biggest ones happen at the end of the year — in November and December, in time for the holidays. It’s been so prevalent it has become so ingrained in our culture.
Out of all the seasons, the 11.11 and 12.12 seasons are definitely one of the holiday sales that many online shoppers look forward to. If you’re an e-commerce seller, especially one who is on these marketplaces, you need to ensure that you have an ongoing sale during this time. To learn how to prepare for these, we’ve compiled this helpful guide on double-double and payday sales.
Shopee Birthday Sale
At the end of the first quarter of 2022, Shopee emerged as the most popular e-commerce site in the Philippines, having around 77 million web visitors monthly. Each year, Shopee fans eagerly await December 12 for Shopee’s biggest sale ever to commemorate its birthday. Price drop downs are significant on 12.12., with discounts going up as high as 80%. Most Shopee sellers participate in this sale because of the huge returns without spending a lot on advertising. Shopee takes care of that, using only the most popular celebrities, both here and abroad, to pump up the excitement!
As early as September, Filipinos are already preparing for Christmas. The season is without a doubt the country’s biggest holiday, with shopping malls covered in beautiful Christmas decorations, bright Christmas lights, and warm Christmas music. It’s one Christmas party after the other, as families reunite and friends catch up over good food and even better drinks. Gifts are given aplenty, exciting sellers who need to let go of unsold stock to make room for newer inventory. Time and again, December’s Christmas and year-end sales are often some of the best deals of the year.
Knowing how to leverage your products based on the holiday event can greatly increase your profits. Gain a deeper understanding of what motivates people during certain occasions to capture a market eager to spend.