FOREX is having a blast these days
And the airports/airline companies/airplanes are heavy with loads of boxes marked “BALIKBAYAN!”
Am I the only one, or are there thousands of us getting our boxes filled with goods for sending home, with unwrapped gifts marked with pentel pens for “Lola”, “Ineng” “Kuya” “Tatay” “kumpare ni Tatay”.. ?
It contains our pasalubongs. Treasured gifts for our families this Christmas. It’s filled with canned goods of Spam and corned beef, chocolates of all kinds, warehouse-sized shampoos, new shoes, dollar bills cramped into the new shoes, brand-name shirts… packed to the brim and packed even more until the scale reads “70″ pounds.
And if you happen to be going back to the US or anywhere, you carry a balikbayan box filled with Pinoy goodies too. Maybe different varieties of mama sita mixes, dried mangoes, polvorons, bottles of bagoong or your favorite sauces, new clothes bought at Divisoria or Megamall for pennies on the dollar…
Did you know that the Philippines is among the short list of countries that airlines allow 70 lbs per luggage? The rest of the world, including the USA, is only allowed 50 lbs! HA!
And why is that? They know Filipinos love their boxes.
Well, here’s an old article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer that blogger pinoyX of Wretch dug up. It’s a nostalgic look at what, and how much, a balikbayan box defines who we are and where we are going.