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Filipinos 4th most romantic in Asia-Pacific

By: - Business Features Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 06:25 AM February 13, 2016

They may be the fourth most romantic lovers in the Asia-Pacific, but alas, Filipinos are less willing to splurge on Valentine’s gifts, a survey by a global payments firm indicated.

MasterCard said in a statement issued on Friday that based on the survey, people across the region have fully embraced Valentine’s Day, with 44 percent, or two of five people in the region, planning to buy a gift for loved ones.

Men, the survey showed, intended to spend 40 percent more than women on gifts this year.

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“The biggest discrepancies in spending are in New Zealand, Japan and India, where men plan to spend more than double on gifts than the women. The only markets where women plan to spend more than men are Sri Lanka and South Korea,” MasterCard said.

Tight budget

Three of five Filipinos plan to buy a gift for their beloved on Valentine’s, making them the fourth most romantic people in the region, next only to the Thais, the Chinese and the people of Hong Kong, according to the latest Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey in Asia-Pacific by MasterCard.

When it comes to cost, however, Filipinos keep a tight rein on their budget, with the men planning to spend an average of $58 or P2,767 on gifts, with the ceiling set at $65 (P3,102). Filipino women are meanwhile setting aside just $50 each (P2,397).

Love in the air

The spending pattern among Filipinos also varies with age, the survey said.

Those aged 29 and below plan to spend $36 (P1,707) while those aged 30 to 44 have a budget of $71 (P3,396). Those who intend to splurge are those aged at least 45, who are willing to shell out as much as $74 (P3,501) to celebrate Valentine’s Day

The biggest spenders in the region are Hong Kong locals with an average budget for Valentine’s Day set at $243 each, followed by consumers in China, at $239, and Singapore, $189. On average, people in the region plan to spend $100 on Valentine’s gifts this year, the survey said.

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To mark the red-letter day, 72 percent of Filipinos plan to go out and share a meal with their loved ones, while 33 percent prefer to go on a movie date, MasterCard said.

To woo their special someone, the survey showed that 39 percent of Filipinos plan to buy flowers; 18 percent contemplate on giving jewelry; 18 percent plan to buy clothes and leather goods; another 18 percent intend to purchase high-end gadgets; 9 percent plan to buy chocolates or candy, while 4 percent are looking to buy cards.

Eric Schneider, MasterCard’s Asia-Pacific region head, said: “Love is certainly in the air across Asia-Pacific. Half of the people across the region plan to buy gifts for loved ones this year, (with) spending during Valentine’s Day up 23 percent from 2013 to 2015. What’s surprising is that Valentine’s Day is more popular in markets such as Thailand, China, and Malaysia, than Australia and New Zealand, places that have more of a tradition of marking the day.

Getting physical

“In China and Vietnam, it is even considered the preferred day to propose or receive a marriage proposal,” Schneider said. “The spread of Valentine’s Day shows that everyone likes to take the opportunity to celebrate love, buy presents and share experiences with those they care about the most,” he added.

Across the region, flowers are the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day.

However, according to the global “MasterCard Love Index,” MasterCard users in the region spend more money on “experiences” than stuff during Valentine’s Day. Between 2013 and 2015, 36 percent of money spent on this day went to hotels, while 24 percent were spent on restaurants.

The recent “Love Index” also showed that people want to get physical when it comes to shopping for loved ones, preferring the personal touch by picking out presents in-store for Valentine’s. In the Asia-Pacific, 84 percent of Valentine’s Day transactions were made in person from 2013 to 2015, the survey said.

Jewelry, a common big-ticket item, made up 14 percent of Valentine’s Day expenditures from 2013 to 2015, MasterCard said.

Some of this money was likely spent on engagement rings, as MasterCard’s Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey revealed that almost three quarters of consumers in China and Vietnam—and over half in Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand and a third in the Philippines—believe Valentine’s Day is the best day to propose or receive a marriage proposal.

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TAGS: 2016 Valentine's Day, Credit card, MasterCard, Valentine's Day
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