A present surprise - Weekend

A present surprise

What you should never give to your special someone

Text by Joan Navaja, Angelica Fernandez and Jem Felicilda


VALENTINE’S Day and the Chinese New Year are over, and the Christmas season is oh so far away. That means you’re done with gift-giving for the moment and it’s time to just chill. Right? Wrong.

There’s this unwritten rule that couples should continue being thoughtful with each other for the rest of the year. For one, why would you give presents only on birthdays or anniversaries? There’s a reason a gift is called a surprise — it is meant to catch your special someone off guard, to sweep her off her feet when she least expected to be. Another rule applies to the male of the species, in particular: a man should continuously court his woman even long after she’d said “Yes.” That should keep the fire burning for a long time.

So what to give? No, let’s keep it simple: what not to give the woman of your dreams. Here’s a quick list for you to ponder on:

Cash or gift certificates

Don’t even start with “I could just give her cash or gift certificate and let her buy what she wants.” Why? That only means one thing: you are too lazy to think of any gift idea, or worse, you’re playing it safe because you have no idea what she likes and wants. If you’re the type who does this, you definitely need a crash course on “Get to Know Your Girl 101.”

Your own photo

Some girls might find it sweet and cute to get a picture of you as a gift, or perhaps a framed collection of your beloved selfies. But for many, this smacks of egocentricism, since the gesture screams that your self-love eclipses everything else. A better idea: customize a framed photo of the two of you together or surprise her with a photo booth date. You’ll get at the very least an “A” for effort.

Ready-made card bearing just your signature

Seriously? And may we know how much time you actually spent choosing that card? What matters to girls is the message you’ve scribbled after agonizing for hours just to string phrases together. Girls just turn to jello knowing how much effort you’ve poured into something that’s meant for them, you know. Now, go to your room, get some pen and paper, and write.

BouquetBouquet of plastic flowers

Let’s just say she’s not materialistic. But that’s no reason for you to give her such a gift that reeks of artificiality. This is so wrong on so many levels we’re gagging just trying to explain.


Some girls are okay with this, especially when there’s no occasion. But surprising her from time to time for no reason but your irrepressible urge to give her a gift will always be priceless. Whether it’s a movie date to a film genre you swore never to be caught dead in or indulging in or a romantic dinner over wine when she least expected it.

Social media greetings

A greeting in social media is “okay” but it doesn’t make her feel appreciated and loved that much. Your girl deserves better than that. If you’re on a long-distance relationship, why not book online in advance a bouquet of flowers delivered at the exact time you’re having a video call with her. Wouldn’t you love seeing the look on her face, speechless as she receives the bouquet you’ve just sent? That’s a long-distance winner, for sure.

Clothes that don’t fit

Lots of girls dream of this scenario: getting a note from the boyfriend that says, “Wear this. Don’t eat yet. I’ll pick you at 7 tonight!” But there’s a catch: what if you chose the wrong size of dress? So, if you’re the type of guy who relishes buying his girl clothes, then make sure you pay attention to detail every time you accompany her shopping for clothes. Otherwise, diss the whole idea.

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