Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sealed and delivered.
I sent a Balikbayan box to my family last Sunday. Yehey!
But that's not the real cause of my jubilation. No no.
It's the sight of seeing Ken's puzzled face on how I was able to fit so many things inside a single box. He could not believe that those items he saw scattered on the floor in my room could be crammed inside the box.
Oh, unless you are a Filipino you probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about when I mention about a balikbayan box.
Okay, the word "balikbayan" is actually a combination word coined in the 1970s. "Balik" means to go back and "bayan" means home town or home country. So "balikbayan" is someone going back to their home country, but it only pertains to people going back to the Philippines.
Therefore the term "balikbayan box" refers to boxes shipped by Filipino overseas via cargo containers to there loved ones back home.
Mind you, it is a box that Filipinos eagerly awaits from family members, relatives or friends living overseas. The box contains from canned goods to clothes to shoes or any items requested from a Filipino recipient that can fit inside a Balikbayan box.
It is a good thing though that shipping boxes to the Philippines is much more economical than one might expect because there is no weight limit. I simply need to pack all I can get into a Balikbayan Box without ripping it off and ship it for one price! No extra cost.
You see the Balikbayan box has its social role and significance. Tied to it is the pride, joy, love, anticipation and hope of each balikbayan. I admit I want to put so much stuff inside because I want my boys and relatives to experience all that I saw, tasted, touched, smelled and felt in this country. And nothing would give me more joy than the excited ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ of those who will be present when they open the box.
Ken put his stamp on the box by carefully and meticulously tying it up so it will get there in good condition. Aside of course from sending all eleven pairs of his running shoes he had bought but never use inside the box.
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?