Anywhere in the world, whether you’re in other parts of Asia, the Americas, or Europe, you will always find an uncle or aunt, sibling, cousin, mom or dad, or any close or distant relative that has a Filipino blood in them. The fact that Filipinos can literally be found anywhere and thrive in any cultures and seasons, they make also a successful life and become heroes to their families in the Philippines. They always remember to visit their home, the Philippines and that is why we call them Balikbayan. Balik means “return” and bayan means “home – Philippines”.
Stemming from the ultimate goal of providing a better future for their families, Pinoys would try to withstand being away from their families and adapt to a different culture and environment to earn more money for their folks back home. Out of love, they work hard, save a lot, and try to be positive with life despite the homesickness, high pressure at work, and all other hurdles, just to take home a bigger pay.
For this same reason, every Pinoy living overseas would take pride in sending back to their families, and relatives in the Philippines, Balikbayan boxes filled with great stuff from abroad that they would like to share to them. Each Balikbayan box is filled with love and thoughtfulness from the sender with careful consideration of the receiver’s wants and preferences or wish list.
In celebration of another year here at LearnFilipino.org, we are dedicating this post to all Filipinos and people who have grown to love the Filipino culture anywhere in the world.
Here are the top 5 items every Balikbayan box must have:
- Chocolates/Candies and toys
Even when there are a lot of imported chocolates and candies available in most malls now, there is still a sense of excitement when we see big packs of various chocolates for the young and young at heart. Filipinos are mostly sweet tooth and this balikbayan box item will never go old no matter what. Apart from chocolates which most kids look forward to, they would also be thrilled to see imported toys that don’t look like anywhere else, even department stores here.
- Canned goods
SPAM, sausages, corned beef, ham, etc. Pinoys love receiving these items. In fact, you can see it being displayed in the kitchen countertop or cabinet for a very long time because they tend to consume it slowly – perhaps, until the next balikbayan box arrives.
- Shoes and bags
Pinoys have a unique way of getting the exact shoe size of their family member back home. I don’t know if you have experienced it when you were younger, but all Pinoys who have relatives abroad who send them packages know this very well. The process is simple. Get a clean piece of paper or cardboard, a pen or pencil, and then, trace your feet as precisely as possible. Now, take your scissors and carefully cut close to the line you traced, and voila, you get the perfect shoe size for your receiver. Aside from shoes, Pinoys love designer bags (which sells way cheaper abroad than in the Philippines).
- Apparel and Novelty Items
Apart from shoes and bags, you can also find that apparel items are highly anticipated. Most of the family members like to receive apparel items from international brands. Shirts that depict any place in the US like LearnFilipino.org’s products are great as well.
- Body and fragrance products and health supplements
Perfumes and body sprays, soaps in 6-10-piece bundles, and shampoos and lotions in big bottles from international brands. Together with these items, you can also see large bottles of vitamins and other health supplements. These items are typically appreciated by older relatives because these are items you tend to consume every day, especially for vitamins, because hospitalization and medicines are quite expensive in the Philippines.
There are moments also when you just can’t have everything they want, anything that can fill up a balikbayan box is always appreciated. Here at LearnFilipino.org, we have your heart and we are thinking of you. Our products can be shared with any of your relatives. A New York shirt or a Hollywood shirt will be great for your family in the Philippines. On being a Balikbayan, you celebrate your life having a successful life in the US because without it, you won’t be able to send a Balikbayan box. Such US-designed items can be yours and are great to commemorate your sacrifices and successes of being away from your family. Our famous Filipino shirts and some of them are humorous are great additions for entertaining your life while commemorating your life or visits in the Philippines. They make great presents for anyone that you want to introduce the Filipino culture.