Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hari ng Padala

It’s full and it’s filled with stuff ranging from electronics to clothes to toys to chocolates to house wares. It’s signed and sealed, from top to bottom and sideways with multi layered of packing tapes just to make sure it won’t be open in the middle of its month long journey. The only portion of the box that is visible is the middle part showing the address where the box is to be delivered and the name of the cargo company that prides itself as the “Hari ng Padala”. Astonished, I suddenly wondered who better deserved that accord. Is it the cargo company that physically delivers the package or is it us OFWs who trade our sweats and tears to make that box evolves larger that the sum of what’s inside it? You judge.

Christmas is just around the corner. More than any other month in the year, it is during this time that cargo delivery trucks appear more visible across the streets not just in the Philippines but also here abroad where the boxes originate. Customarily, it has become a call for Filipinos working abroad to send their best efforts and fruits of labor to their loved ones back home right at this time and right inside a box. As if pulling it off together is as easy as collecting sands in Arabia, snow in Canada or tin cans in America, we try to absolve our absence in these special times to be with our family by sending not the best gifts but our best thoughts and efforts thru a box for at least making up for the moments where we should have been with them.

Meet Dennis. As early as May 2009, he’s been saving a portion of his monthly salary to buy things that would comprise his first ever balikbayan box. At each payday, he would visit the hypermarkets with one thing in mind: buy the cheapest yet most useful and sincerest gifts he could give his family back home. Below his bed, soaps, salts, sugar, shampoos, shirts, shoes, stuffed toys, school supplies, casseroles, celfones were in plastic bags for months waiting for day they get boxed in and cargoed to his family in the Philippines. Dennis works as a salon attendant here in the UAE and just recently, he was able to send his highly anticipated box right to the Philippines. Meet Joseph, he is an engineer, two weeks ago, he ordered a big box from LBC and in two days, he was able to fill it up with varied types of expensive clothes, gadgets, shoes, toys for his family and relatives in Manila. Both of their boxes are now in transit.
The joy a balikbayan box brings is never contingent on what’s inside it and the joy of sending it to our loved ones is never dependent on how fast we could afford to fill it up. When these boxes reach its intended recipients, more than tangible things that comprised the goodies, it’s the thought and attention that matters and overwhelms. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive that would make them happy. I know Dennis’ family will feel just as proud as Joseph’s because he was able to send a balixbayan box though he’s just a minimal earner. I know, when his family open a box of Sneakers and try to eat it, they will be reminded of his sacrifices and willingness to live less of a better life abroad so he could provide more for his family back home.

A balikbayan box is more than just a big box of chocolates that serves good while it’s there. Like the image above, every inch of it represents what we are and every time we try to send the box to our loved ones back home, we are stripping a part of us, more than our sweats and tears so that the same thing could bring joy and comfort to the people whom we derive our inspiration to work harder.

LBC Number in the UAE is 800-035-702-444


  1. If only we could put ourselves inside that box so we can be home surely before christmas time, we will definitely do that!

    i like the photo. parang it says:

    "lahat ng kayang ilagay, ilalagay mo kahit walang matira sayo... basta masaya sila sa pasko" :)

  2. @ azel:

    oo nga kung pwede lang siguro isama yung puso ko sa loob ng balikbayan box eh ginawa ko na para di ko sila mamiss sa pasko. hay watudu yanie. OFW eh.

    advanced meri xmas. malamig na rin simoy ng hangin sa dubai eh. kita kits.

  3. grabe naman kayo... lalo na ako naiyak...ang dami namin boxes isend sa Pinas, not the padala but the things of our loved ones who were here for a long time who suddenly has to go back home. sure we will be missing them on Christmas. I wish we could pack ourserlves too.

  4. buti ka pa...

    yun lang ang masasabi ko.

    pangarap ko kasi yan eh

  5. hi. i tagged you as one of my friends whom i love. please get your badge on my blog. mwah!

  6. I think Christmas day was the hard season for some OFW's. But the only thing that your family would bring you joy was their voices on the other line of the phone. I hope this christmas would still be a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ;D

    Travel and Living
    Job Hunt Pinoy

  7. ganda naman po ng image sa banner/header niyo. super artistic and creative... i love the taong grasa amidst dubai's famous landmarks hahaha. inspiring. kala ko tuloy graphic artist po kayo not a doctor.

  8. Merry Christmas and have a blessed new year. From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia...

  9. What's the contact number of LBC (hari ng padala) here in Dubai.