We have all been physically separated far too long from our friends. After quarantine, never again will we take for granted hanging out with them by canceling plans. Despite the loss of skinship (shout out to folks with physical touch as their love language), a lot of us have kept sane through the past couple of months by hanging on to encouraging messages and meme exchanges in the squad group chat.
To show your pals how grateful you are of their presence in your life, why not send them a gift? Treat your pals with a surprise to tell them platonically (or not if you’re hoping for that friends-to-lovers arc), “And when I felt like I was an old cardigan under someone’s bed, you put me on and said I was your favorite.”
If you’re the type of person who gets overwhelmed by gift choosing, let us help you narrow down your choices. We’re sharing some of our favorite local Instagram shops with goodies sure to get your love across.
La Boîte is on a mission to deliver happiness through their curated gift sets that come in a sliding wooden box, an MDF (medium-density fibreboard) box with an acetate cover or a kraft box. If your BFF is a classy gal who loves her booze and tea, this shop’s catalog has a couple of options that can put a smile on her face.
Their best selling Tea-ta box contains a coffee spoon and clipper, three tea tubes, a tea infuser, a marble mug and a French press. An alcoholic alternative is our personal pick from their Tipsy series which includes either a bottle of Stella Rosa or Bottega Prosecco, an Auro chocolate bar, Kirkland almonds and Houven chocolate balls. Call me fancypants because I too want to be indulged with these.
They also have boxes with bath and office products for friends who already have a nice stock of beverages at home. La Boîte delivers within and outside Metro Manila.
Frőmage by Sweets Cart
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Who doesn’t love food? Fromage’s selection of graze boxes, sandwiches and naked cakes look mouthwatering and Insta-worthy. The catering company’s filling products put a new meaning to the phrase “feast for the eyes.” They’re perfect for reliving those picnic at park and backyard party memories together.
Their signature graze boxes include an assortment of premium meat and cheese, fruits, crackers, spreads and wine. Choose between their Venice, Tuscany, Rome, Versailles and Sicily variants. If your friend isn’t a big fan of charcuterie, you can get them tea sandwiches instead.
Curtsy Gift Studio
Is your bestie a fun-loving collector of unique knickknacks? Curtsy Gift Studio might have something that’s right up their alley. They’ve got tons of plushies, pens and other novelty items that are oh-so-kawaii.
Some of our top picks from their shop are an R2-D2 coffee press, a wing-shaped self-protection alarm, a wooden Colosseum music box and the “Sailor Moon” kitty plushies with matching blankets. Your friend is sure to remember you whenever she sees these kooky gifts at home.
Shop from their Instagram store or website.
Pampanga-based Filmob is the shop to peruse if the pal you’re treating is a shutterbug or your barkada’s designated documenter. They have an array of film cameras that they ship in kraft boxes tied with twine.
If you want to gift your friend something fancier than the shop’s best-selling Fujifilm Simple Ace disposable camera, you can pre-order reusable cameras such as the Kodak M35 or the Vibe Photo 501F.
Filmob ships nationwide and their IG has some sample photos you can check out.
L’élément are the makers of artisan home and body essentials made from natural ingredients and they make sure that their goods are sustainably packaged. They have scrubs, oils and candles that can help keep the stress away from your buddy.
Their gift boxes are aesthetic care packages with dried flowers inside for that cottagecore vibe. You can customize your order but their usual box includes an all-natural coffee scrub, a lip scrub and a hand-poured beeswax candle with a wood wick that usually comes in a ceramic bowl.
The Cleanup Files
Simple jewelry never goes out of style. The Cleanup Files creates hand stamped pieces made out of hypoallergenic stainless steel in gold and silver tones. For that personal touch, get your barkada personalized necklaces or bracelets with their names or initials.
You can take your pick on their Instagram account or their website.
Art by Dana Calvo
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