Monday, March 9, 2009

What’s in an ordinary Balikbayan Box?

Seasoned travelers know how to pack their own stuff but ask them to pack your Balikbayan box and be prepared to be met with blank stares. The challenge of packing a Balikbayan box is one that has taken most of us years to master. To those who are unaware of the significance of the Balikbayan box, you might ask “But what is so difficult about packing stuff in a box?”

The Balikbayan box has its social role and significance. Tied to it are the pride, joy, love, anticipation and hope of each balikbayan. Every balikbayan who is about to visit the Philippines wants to cram everything inside the box – as if wanting to let his loved ones experience all that he saw, tasted, touched, smelled and felt in a country so far, far away. Nothing gives balikbayans more joy than the excited ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ of ate and kuya, tito and tita, inay and tatay, and everyone else in the barangay!

Yes, the Balikbayan box is not an ordinary thing. It’s where you can find love, pride and joy – where else in the world can you find that in a box?

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