Update: December 3, 3012I ended up getting the 2013 planner (and pen) anyway. Here’s the Starbucks Philippines 2013 planner (and pen) unboxing video.
Note: If you’re looking for “good 2013 planner besides starbucks” or “best planners of 2013 philippines”, there’s an exhaustive list by Spot.ph that lists the “50 Best Planners for 2013“. If you’re a planner junkie, better head on to that site AFTER reading this post. :)
After 6 years in an on/off relationship with coffee (and 2 planners later — 2011, 2012), I think I can now call myself a coffee aficionado. After all, if I were to choose between carbonated drinks and coffee, I’d choose coffee in a heartbeat.
You see, there’s something about coffee that makes me feel “old” — in a good way. More than a pick-me-up, I consider coffee a reliable friend — best for clearing one’s mind when writing or engaging in internal monologues in the dead of night.
Coffee’s always been my trusty companion while doing all-nighters, contemplating about life or simply having a good time with just about all sorts of people. In the company of good coffee, venue and topic may seem irrelevant. In retrospect, I think most of the best conversations I’ve had involved coffee in some way.
November, in particular is when it starts getting cold in the Philippines, especially here in Calamba City, Laguna where it’s almost always a little colder even on ordinary days. And what better way to warm yourself up but with good coffee?
This is also the time of the year when I start going Starbucks-coffee-crazed. And it’s not just because of the planners I get for gulping 18 cups of coffee. Between the planner and the weight gain, we know we’d rather be able to fit ourselves into our skinny pants than proudly whip out a shiny new limited edition planner come new year .
So no, it’s not just the planner (at least not for me). It’s the general feel of the atmosphere — that “Christmas-y” feel in the air and the buzz of busy people harried at squeezing themselves in line for mall bargains — that feeling — that makes me want to drink a cup of coffee and people-watch for hours.
But of course, when you’ve had far too much coffee, you know you’d need to justify that purchase somehow — and that’s where the Starbucks 2013 Planner comes in. You get good coffee and you get a planner after 17 drinks (which translates to the same amount of stickers) This planner, I am told, is supposed to make you feel like a million bucks. After all, the only (other) way to get a Starbucks planner is by buying P5,000.00 worth of Starbucks merchandise.
Don’t get me wrong here, I do love Starbucks and I’ve always felt at home in every store, especially this branch in SM City Calamba where barista smiles are sweeter than the coffee. Or maybe I’m just biased because I live here.
However, this year, I don’t think I’d be as eager (and crazy) to get that planner. It must be my age. My newfound clarity in things. Or the simple practicality of it. There’s this blog that made an infographic called “The Cost of a Starbucks 2013 Planner”. It’s very informative if you’re new to this sticker-collecting-for -planner phenomenon. But for us who’ve bought in to the idea for years now, there isn’t anything new to learn except the realization that you spend a lot of money, effort, and weight gain just to snag that coveted Starbucks Limited Edition YYYY.
So why then am I not getting that Starbucks 2013 Planner? Here’s why:
1. I’ve grown tired of the annual exercise. Yes, I will still get that coffee and slurp and gulp all of those Christmas blends they offer. But I won’t force myself to get at least 9 holiday featured beverages and 8 core beverages. I will buy what I want and how many I want.
2. The planners aren’t getting any better. Year on year, the planners seem to forgo the essentials for the beautiful. Yes, we adore beauty. But it’s a planner. More than anything, it has to be functional, otherwise I should just keep it in mint condition and place it beside trophies and plaques.
3. Calories count. Big time. I am earnestly trying to lose weight just in time for the holidays but this coffee-drinking-binge isn’t helping. Sure, I can get tea but I can’t escape those holiday blends if I want to have that planner. And really, something’s gotta give.
4. Let’s face it, it may not be the priciest planner there is but it also isn’t the prettiest (and most functional and ergonomically-designed for that matter). For the same price spent on coffee, I could get myself a Moleskin Planner and feel like a million bucks too! Not to mention, feel very smart and artsy.
Coffee and Christmas go together like “Simbang Gabi” and “bibingka”. And planners herald the coming of a new, better year ahead. But beyond the pretty and classy, the status symbol and the reputation, let us not forget that coffee, planners, Simbang Gabi and bibingka are but means to an end and not the end itself. If you think Starbucks Planners make you feel better about yourself because of a personal challenge won, or the fact that some of the proceeds go to charity, then go for it. We are defined, after all, by what we do, not by what we buy.
Here’s to more coffee cups and warm hugs!