Balikbayan Box Travels Across The Ocean


Big package ready to ship.
Big package.  Balikbayan Box.

It’s been a month now and the big package you are seeing is still in transit.  The package is containing personal effects which include used and new clothing, bath essentials, and personal care stuff.  These things are for my family and some friends in the Philippines.  At least once a year, my husband and I send a package to them especially to my nieces and nephews.  We call it Balikbayan Box literally means “repatriate box”.  I can imagine happy faces when the kids get their gifts every time a Balikbayan Box from us arrives. These type of packages are shipped and carried by a cargo vessel.  So they go sailing by across the ocean for more than four weeks.

Below are the three cargo companies/agents I tried over the years.

Forex Cargo, Inc.

When my husband and I were living in Fort Worth, a Filipino friend recommended Forex Cargo, Inc. to me while we’re at a party.  I was very excited to ship my very first Balikbayan Box to my family in the Philippines.  What I liked about Forex is that, they pick up the packages at our house. After a month from shipping, my packages arrived at the port of Manila.  My family received them about a week after.  Depending on some good situations, Forex delivers the packages in about a month after the actual vessel loading.  But shipping rates had become a little pricey now.

PNB Remittance Center (Philippine National Bank)

So after trying Forex Cargo, Inc.’s service, we switched to PNB Remittance Center’s cargo shipping.  They were offering this service to their bank/remittance customers.  We had to take the packages to their office though.  The shipping rates were a quite affordable.  The transit duration is about two months.

LBC Express

Then last year, one of my friends told me to try LBC Express Cargo.  The shipping rates are cheaper plus the agent picks up the packages once they’re ready.  I went ahead and gave it a try last year.  The package I sent mid-October arrived December before Christmas.  The shipping rates are reasonable.  I paid $75 Large Box going to the Visayas, which is $20 cheaper than the other sea cargo service I tried.

I have a good experience with LBC Express so far.  Hopefully, the packages that are currently in transit will be delivered safe and sound by end of May.

Hotel Family Rooms

You know we haven’t tried getting a family room accommodation in a hotel or resort hotel.  This is an idea that my husband and I will be taking into consideration on our vacation to the Philippines end of this year.  I mentioned that my family back home, and us too, loves swimming and staying in a resort would be ideal.

I checked the resort’s accommodation room rates again and seems like the price is reasonable for a family room.  There are kids staying with us and we want them to stay together sleeping in a bunk bed.  I am just wondering if the family rooms have bunk beds.  If so, would they look like Bunk Beds AtoZ?  We will find out soon.


For the meantime, I will focus on gathering pasalubong (gifts) again for everybody.  The last year’s package has been delivered the other day.  Everyone was excited and happy to receive belated Christmas and Birthday gifts.  The kids were hands full with goodies too.  What a wonderful feeling to know how much joy the family experiences when a huge box full of presents delivered.  We are planning to ship the next package three months before our departure here so my family will receive the presents when we arrived.

Early Christmas Presents Already Received

Thank God the Balikbayan box package arrived 7:00 P.M. on Sunday night at home in the Philippines. It was delayed for a week than we expected but we were informed about the reason why. My younger sister next to me sent a text message expressing her happiness and appreciation of the gifts, surprises for her family especially for the kids. She cannot explain how delighted and thankful she is for the ring we gave her. Then my youngest sister joyfully said she liked the pink bella luce diamond earrings. We bought the very attractive birthstone ring and pink bella luce earrings for my sister from My husband and I like to shop at because they have many affordable genuine gemstone jewelry for sale online. We are lucky to come across with discount prices on jewelry and other accessories there. The shipping cost is low and the delivery period will only take five business days. My honey is happy that my family liked the gifts.

When the Balikbayan box arrived, my mother said they will not open it until she is done cooking dinner. So they were so eager to see the gifts, but they waited. Then after my mother prepared the dinner on the table, she gave a “go” signal to open the box. Everybody is so happy…so excited with the early Christmas presents. (Nagkaguliyang jud.)

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