Culture in a box

@sol_cee (12229)
Japan
August 16, 2017 10:43pm CST
Fact, almost three million Filipinos work abroad, away from their families, in search of greener pastures, to give a better future to their loved ones. Most of these Overseas Filipino Workers scrimp and save their monthly stipend to fill a huge box with random assortments of everyday, household goods- canned meats, imported chocolates, toiletries, small electronics, gently used clothing and more, then send it to their families back home. This is called a ‘balikbayan’ box, ('balik’ means return and ‘bayan’ means country), which symbolizes Filipinos’ love and generosity to their families who are left behind. At least a corrugated box might somehow compensate for their absence. Then I saw this post on FB about two balikbayan boxes which got lost and can’t seem to return home. I feel sad for the senders. And the expectant sons and daughters or mothers and fathers waiting on the other end. I hope these boxes are found soon. Photo is from FB.
18 people like this
20 responses
@magallon (16608)
• Philippines
17 Aug
you know what? I dialed the cellphone number written on the first box just this moment and luckily the owner of the phone answered. He said that they already have the box. It was delivered to them.
5 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
Wow! That's good news! Thank you Cristy-san!
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (10149)
• Germany
22 Aug
Wow! That is a great news @magallon
1 person likes this
@kiran8 (14251)
• Mangalore, India
15 Sep
Good to hear that.. @magallon
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (109442)
• Switzerland
17 Aug
How is it that those boxes cannot be delivered? They should be returned to the sender in this case, at least this is how it should happen.
3 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
Someone posted it on FB and it was 'shared' many times. One myLotter called the number and was informed that the recipient got the box already.
2 people like this
@YrNemo (4091)
17 Aug
hmm.... Can't someone just open them out and find the address of the receivers, then re-send? (Or did I understand it wrongly?)
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
Or the courier can just call the recipients (mobile numbers are written on the box) and confirm the address. But I don't really know what the problem is.
2 people like this
@YrNemo (4091)
17 Aug
@sol_cee the cost of the phone call? (I have no clue how expensive how such a call would be in your country.)
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
@YrNemo one myLotter called the number and was informed that they got the box already. Happy news! ;)
2 people like this
@toniganzon (37513)
• Philippines
17 Aug
Hello Sol, I don't browse FB pages anymore because there are a lot of sad things there and I don't want to be depressed with that.
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
True. Well there are inspiring stories too.
2 people like this
@toniganzon (37513)
• Philippines
17 Aug
@sol_cee I can see inspiring stories elsewhere. Facebook is mostly full of crap.
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
@toniganzon everywhere else is full of crap. ;)
@bluesa (9868)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
17 Aug
That is sad, because, as you say, these boxes are a way for the person sending them to show their family they are still with them in a way. Even if it is a way to make their lives a little easier from miles away. I hope those that need to receive these "balikbayan" boxes do, @sol_cee .
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
18 Aug
Wonder if one can box succulents though.
2 people like this
@bluesa (9868)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
18 Aug
@sol_cee I suppose if they were potted in soil then they could be boxed
@thelme55 (10149)
• Germany
22 Aug
@sol_cee the plant will die in the box as it will not be watered and no air comes inside.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (52452)
• Delhi, India
17 Aug
It is interesting to hear about ‘balikbayan’ box. I think those who stay away from their countries try to save money and buy and accumulate goodies for their near and dear ones, when they are likely to return to their respective countries. It is good that box(es) have reached at the right destination. Do you also make ‘balikbayan’ box?
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
As a matter of fact, I did! Last year, I sent a balikbayan box to my family. Thankfully, it arrived safely. Do you have a similar culture in India?
2 people like this
@dpk262006 (52452)
• Delhi, India
17 Aug
@sol_cee It is good to hear that you care about your near and dear ones and you in fact dispatched a ‘balikbayan’ box to you family last year. . I am sure that your family members would have appreciated your kind gesture. . Those Indians who are abroad keep sending goodies to their family members. They prefer to send it through a person who is returning to India from their place of stay. Otherwise, when they make a short visit to India, they bring goodies along with them for their near and dear ones.
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
@dpk262006 We also do that. We call those goodies 'pasalubong'. Unfortunately some people are more excited to get their pasalubong than meet and talk and say pleasantries to the actual person with the goodies.
2 people like this
@Genipher (4802)
• United States
18 Aug
Perhaps the boxes ran away together for a romantic get-away?
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
18 Aug
And they multiply. That means more balikbayan boxes for everyone. Happy dance! ;)
2 people like this
@Genipher (4802)
• United States
20 Aug
@magallon (16608)
• Philippines
17 Aug
I saw these boxes in Facebook yesterday. Why it got lost? There is an address of the receiver. Did they tried to deliver these boxes to the address written on it? I hope these boxes will reach its owners.
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
I read your good news before this comment. Thanks for checking, really.
1 person likes this
@magallon (16608)
• Philippines
19 Sep
@sol_cee You're welcome...
• Philippines
17 Aug
What do you think happened to the boxes. It's sad that some of them gets stolen or just gone, all hard work just gone..Maybe it's logical not to sent anymore boxes just in case.
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
I have no idea. The contact numbers are written on the box. The courier could have called them.
2 people like this
@thelme55 (10149)
• Germany
22 Aug
@sol_cee some of the balikbayan boxes were stolen and the contains were sold in a certain shop in Manila or somewhere in Luzon. It was in the news when I was there in the Philippines a few months ago. I had experienced also that some of the contains of my balikbayan boxes I sent from Ireland before were stolen. I sent it from Ireland as we were living there at that time.
@jstory07 (57540)
• Roseburg, Oregon
17 Aug
Those boxes mean a lot to the families so I hope they are found soon.
2 people like this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
17 Aug
True. Those boxes mean more than a box.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (17609)
• Canada
18 Aug
What happened that they can't return home?
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (12229)
• Japan
18 Aug
One of them has been found. I'm not sure with the other one. :(
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (22482)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
21 Aug
Many years ago when my grandma was living she always sent packages of things to relatives in Poland. I think she sent cereal as they loved American cereals and it 'might have changed but Poland did not have cereal like that She sent then other things they could not get also
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (33428)
• Philippines
21 Aug
there are addresses. these should be delivered to the recipients of the boxes.
1 person likes this
@AliCanary (1591)
19 Aug
I hope no one stole them! The sender worked so hard to buy those things, and the family needs them :(
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (73104)
• Philippines
18 Aug
I wonder why it got lost, when the address of the lower one seems complete. The first one's address though has no number of the house. Though, it has a telephone number.
1 person likes this
@kiran8 (14251)
• Mangalore, India
15 Sep
I can relate to that because it is the same with many Indians working in the gulf and elsewhere mainly the labor class that works hard so that their families can live a relatively comfortable life back home. They live under terrible condition and I have seen some of them . I wish they bring in some labor laws which takes care of living conditions for these poor workers.
@responsiveme (12683)
• India
6 Sep
I hope so too....Why can't the people be located?
@averygirl72 (11822)
• Philippines
28 Aug
Are you a Filipino? I see you are from Japan. Filipinos love to send this balikbayan boxes to their love ones.
@JudyEv (90247)
• Bunbury, Australia
23 Aug
That would be very sad to be expecting a 'balikbayan' and it doesn't arrive. I hope the boxes find their way home soon too.
@thelme55 (10149)
• Germany
22 Aug
I hope they will receive the bbox soon and still full.