A “Balikbayan box” is a large box or package that Filipinos living abroad send to their family and friends in the Philippines. It’s a way for overseas Filipinos to send goods and gifts to their loved ones back home. The term “Balikbayan” itself means “returning to one’s homeland” in Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines. Sending a Balikbayan box is a common practice in Filipino culture, especially during special occasions like holidays and family celebrations.
How to Send Balikbayan box?
In this brief, we are going to guide each and every step to follow if you are sending balikbayan boxes from the Philippines or to the Philippine
Prepare the Box
Get a sturdy cardboard box in the desired size. You can purchase these boxes from shipping companies or local Filipino stores catering to this service
Pack the Box
Fill the box with the items you want to send. These can include canned goods, non-perishable food items, clothing, toys, electronics, and other gifts for your family in the Philippines. Make sure to pack items securely to prevent damage during transit.
Check Prohibited Items
Ensure you are not sending any prohibited or restricted items. Items like firearms, drugs, perishable goods, and hazardous materials are usually not allowed in the boxes.
Choose a Shipping Company
Select a reputable box cargo company. These companies specialize in shipping boxes to the Philippines. They will provide you with the necessary information on their services, rates, and procedures.
Fill Out Forms
Fill out the necessary forms provided by the shipping company. These forms usually include a shipping label, customs declaration, and other required documentation.
Pay the shipping fees, which usually depend on the size and weight of the box, as well as the destination in the Philippines.
Tracking and Delivery
Once the box is in transit, you may receive a tracking number to monitor its progress. Shipping times can vary based on the destination and the shipping company’s policies.
Balikbayan Box Privilege
The Box Privilege is a policy in the Philippines that allows Filipino citizens or former Filipino citizens who are now citizens of another country to send a certain amount of goods to the Philippines without paying import duties or taxes. This privilege is extended to encourage overseas Filipinos to maintain their ties with their homeland.
Its privilege is a special benefit for Filipinos who are living abroad or have dual citizenship. It allows them to send up to 150,000 Pesos worth of packages back to the Philippines without paying taxes. This privilege can be used three times in a year, and the packages should only contain personal items and household things.
Recommended Balikbayan Box Cargo Companies
Reputable companies that are often recommended by the Filipino community for sending boxes include LBC Express, Forex Cargo, Atlas Shippers, and Johnny Air Cargo.
Generally, boxes that meet the eligibility criteria for the Box Privilege are exempt from import taxes and duties. However, it’s important to accurately declare the contents of the box, and there may be limits on the quantity and value of certain items.
Balikbayan Box Sizes
The sizes can vary between different shipping companies, but common sizes include 24″x18″x18″ and 24″x24″x24″. These boxes are usually large enough to fit various items and gifts for your loved ones in the Philippines. It’s best to check with the specific shipping company for their available box sizes and dimensions.
In conclusion, balikbayan boxes hold a special place that goes beyond their contents. They’re a testament to the strong bonds among Filipino families, even when they’re far apart. These boxes carry not just items, but also emotions and traditions that help keep families connected.
It also tells stories of Filipino workers who leave home to support their loved ones. These boxes show the love and care that knows no distance, even when physical presence is hard. The items inside become reminders of the sacrifices made and the commitment to family.
In essence, they are more than just packages – they’re symbols of the enduring Filipino culture, the dedication of families living apart, and the unbreakable ties that bind them. As time moves forward, these boxes will continue to represent the unity, love, and unshakeable connections shared by Filipinos across the globe.