Have you sent a balikbayan box to the Philippines in the last 12 months?
Sending a gift package or receiving one, there is probably no difference in which makes you feel better. And it doesn’t even have to be a birthday or a Christmas or a special occasion, either, it is merely the act.
Xoom, one of the global leaders in money transfers, conducted an exclusive survey of its Fil-Am customers recently and asked this intriguing question: ‘Have you sent a balikbayan box to the Philippines in the last 12 months?’
More than half of the respondents, 56 percent, said yes they had, while 44 percent said they had not. That probably means they are getting around to it soon.
There is something special about the decades-old custom of sending boxes to family and loved ones back home, filled with such items as non-perishable food, clothing, linen, household items or toys. Often it doesn’t even matter if some of the items aren’t difficult to find in the Philippines. Rules allow one balikbayan box from the sender every six months. The boxes are easy to get at most shipping container stores.
Most of the time, it doesn’t really matter what’s inside, because the impact balikbayan boxes have is about something else – enhancing the Philippine tradition and culture for preserving family ties that can be expressed in gift-giving.