-a sour soup. a distinct Filipino comfort food for the soul. as unique as its people. as diverse as its culture. a blend of ingredients prepared to its sour perfection, exciting the palate, soothing the nerves, rousing the senses, bringing back memories of scenic greens, warm sun, blue waters, and the solace of home.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Of Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Turkey

Black Friday.

When I moved to the United States I had no clue what Black Friday meant. As born and raised catholic, I only know of Black Saturday the day after Jesus' death; and Good Friday for the day of Jesus' passion and death. So when I came across the term I was like, there's a Holy Day in November?!

Goodness, I got all hyped up and excited upon learning what it meant! Black Friday is THE day after Thanksgiving. It's not any other day. It's THE day of all days! It's the biggest, craziest sale of the year! It beats even the Christmas or year-end sales! Shopping galore to the max! This is when Christmas shopping officially starts. It's when retailers and manufacturers give their big thank you's to consumers by practically giving away their stuff! And when I say giving it away, I'm not kidding! The items are so cheap it's unbelievable!

current Circuit City ad, Black Friday 2007

I almost never pay for my rewritable DVDs and CDs because I buy them on Black Friday and get it free after the rebate and most stores allow you to buy up to 10 units of the 50-packs (that's 500 pieces of DVDs! All you can burn movies and mp3s!). Headsets? Webcams? you get branded ones like logitechs for free after rebate or as cheap as $5.00! Memory cards? same! 1GB of SD for $2.99! Digital cameras? half the price plus free printers! Printers by itself, free after rebate! Notebooks? an intel-core duo Compaq with everything on it for $300 after rebate plus Vista original OS, free anti-virus software, free printer and free router (marked price at $800)! Mp3 players? 30-50% off! GPS for more than half the price! DVD movies for only $3-5 each! Boxed set DVDs like House, MD for 12 bucks (regular price $50.00)! Notice how I'm only talking about electronics and gadgets? Well that's all you should be concentrating at because clothes are always on sale and sells for cheap anytime of the year. So I don't even bother to go clothes shopping. Circuit City and Staples are my main stores for this. They're pretty great with their inventory. Radioshack is ok. Best Buy? Forget it! They're ridiculous with their set-up like you need a ticket to get an item. Their sale items are so limited that even if you go there early, you still get out empty-handed. Not worth your time.

current ad, Staples Black Friday 2007

Of course almost every one in the 50 states are already planning and scheming their moves for Black Friday as early as last Monday. I have been. You can't go to the stores unprepared or you'll get nothing! The night before, you should have finished that list or encircled the ones you want from the store ad. To get the most of the sale, you have to be relentless, rude and aggressive like everybody else. Forget manners and decorum because even the most elegant of all shoppers let their hair down on this day and become vultures! You don't think, you just grab and put the items on your cart. You can't leave your cart unattended for people will take your items from your cart if you're not watching! You don't linger in the store; you pay for your items, get out as fast as you can and head to the next store! Time is of the essence! The thing with Black Friday is the sale for major items are timed and they call it doorbuster prices! When I first got here, some store offer it between 7am-11am, then the next year, it was 6am-10am and then now it's 5am-10am! To get the major items like the laptop I was talking about, you have to be among the first people in the line- like the first 20! If the store opens at 5am, that means you have to be outside the store by 2 in the morning! It's that crazy! People camped out overnight to get the xbox 360 when the latest version came out this year or when the apple iphone was introduced to the stores.
...to get the most of the sale you have to be relentless, rude and aggressive likeeverybody else...

Last year, Compusa started their Black Friday on Thanksgiving night at 9pm-12mn (They have great sales too, unfortunately the store near me closed! The nearest store is 2 hours drive! So it's not on my list this year). After the thanksgiving party, people head out to the store. I was outside Compusa at 7pm along with hundreds already lined up waiting for the doors to open. It was dark, raining, freezing cold and we were all wet yet nobody seemed to mind. By the time I got home, it was almost midnight. Then I started my online shopping trying to get deals from Amazon and others! At 3am, I start to head out the door to get to Circuit City! Did I mention sleep? Oh no, you don't get to sleep on the biggest day of the year! After being awake for more than 24 hours since thanksgiving day, I was beat up by noon time and I was done. Then I slept. Only to do it all over again the next day if you still have energy or money left! Most stores offer 2-day sales but Saturdays sales are usually so-so that I just skip that altogether and look for more online finds instead.

That's what Black Friday is. To know the history behind the term, go wiki it here.


What can I say other than the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated here in Massachusetts in 1621?! Thanksgiving Day is basically a day to give thanks for what one has at the end of the harvest season in preparation for winter. It is an annual holiday exclusive to United States and Canada (Canada celebrates it every October). Over the years, it has become a solemn tradition for families to come together in a formal dinner to thank each other and talk about good times. It's usually a reunion of sorts for families who are scattered around the US.

I'm sorry but sometimes I couldn't relate to it because I find it a personal matter. You have to grow up in the United States to feel its impact. I don't have my family with me and I feel like a stranger amidst the people I'm eating with during that formal dinner. And I have to do it again during Christmas day. Perhaps I could compare it to our way of 'celebrating' All Soul's Day and All Saint's Day where we, Filipinos usually take the occasion to reunite with families and give respect to those who came before us. Come to think of it, it's one of our biggest holidays in the Philippines, when offices close down from Oct 31 to Nov 2nd sometimes up to 4 days off! They don't celebrate Nov. 1 and 2 here like we do. It's an ordinary day for Americans and it just passes like nothing.

We have lots of celebrations in the Philippines and being thankful to family and what you have is always part of it. We don't have a day for it but we make every opportunity a thank you day! Hence, I can't relate to Thanksgiving Day yet living here I'm sort of forced to...


A whole oven-baked turkey is the traditional food prepared on Thanksgiving Day with cranberry sauce (I don't even like cranberry sauce!), stuffing (pass), gravy and mashed potato. Could I have white rice with Mang Tomas (pork liver gravy sauce for lechon, a roasted pig) instead?! And I don't even really like turkey! I find chicken better in terms of taste and meat. Turkey has tryptophan (an amino-acid that induces drowsiness) so high, it really makes you drowsy and fall asleep after eating. What I want is lechon! Yeah, cholesterol, bring it on! Why turkey? I don't know, same reason as I don't know why Filipinos love lechon! Google it! What I know is millions of turkey are served every year just as millions of pigs are roasted all through out the year in the Philippines.

Now you know the order of the title was according to its importance to me. Excuse me if I find Thanksgiving Day more commercial than its significance. My name is Mae and I'm a shopaholic! I haven't been sober in 365 days... Happy Black Friday everyone!
© 2007

6 taster(s) say...:

Black_Mamba said...

Hey Mae,
You know very well that we do not celebrate Thanksgiving here lol......
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :)

frenzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mae said...

I know... I don't technically celebrate Thanksgiving in the US either. I do Black Friday!! Lol

I haven't started on the meme yet!! I will do it after all the frenzy of my pre-Christmas shopping is over! Be well... :-)

eam said...

Thanks Frenzy! I left a note on your site. Yes, it was shopping to the max! i will be posting an update on my finds in a day or two! :-)

frenzy said...

Happy B-Thanksgiving!! Did you get to finish your 1 day sale xmas shopping galore? haha I was so close to get the GPS navigon for $99 bux, originally $299, it's out of stock already! grrr

eam said...

I didn't mean to delete anything! yaikks. I don't know how that happened... sorry. :-(