Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Friday, The SM 3-day Sale and Consumerism

What is it with all these so-called holidays designed to empty the bank accounts and max out the credit cards of everyday hardworking people?

These past few days, the Western media has turned its focus on the long queues in shopping malls and has interviewed weary shoppers carrying large bags of products from laptops, cellphones, ipads as well as the latest in designer wear.  Boyfriends accompanying their girlfriends to the malls were seen slumped on chairs as everyone tried to make sense of the chaos that was termed "Black Friday".  Expectedly, the Philippine media also showed snippets of what went on half-way around the globe as if the ordinary Juan could take advantage of such deals.

I'm not much of a mall rat.  My idea of shopping is going to the closest mall that I am familiar with, buying whatever it is that I have pre-identified as something i need, and getting in and out of the place as fast as I can.  If I stay longer than an hour (usually with a female friend who drags me from shop to shop), you can bet that I would find the most comfortable seat in the mall so I can tinker with my phone and count the seconds to the next burger which serves as my "reward" for being cooperative.

Consumerism is defined as a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts.  It is what encouraged the US government to drop interest rates which led to people buying more than what they already need.  It fans the voracious appetites of people to purchase the latest gadgets and the outfits that celebrities wear.

Here in the Philippines, our version of the "Black Friday Madness" is what we all know as the "SM 3-day Sale."  Coincidentally (or not), last weekend also had the Henry Sy chain of malls attempt to induce Filipinos to permit their savings to take a hit.  Such sale resulted in gridlocks in every part of the Metro as well as the absence of an empty taxi cab anywhere near an SM mall.

Hmm... I wonder how much money these stores make exactly during such spending bonanzas?  It was reported that this year's Black Friday had the American public spend about 52.4 Billion Dollars.  Now, if only I could think of something that would make the public throw one percent of that in my direction...  the UP Law Student Lounge could definitely use a new airconditioner.

Norman Roland E. Ocana III.  Entry #1

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