Few minutes after I woke up yesterday morning, I heard the door bell rang. Then I saw someone was at the gate asking for my wife.  As I approached him, I also saw a delivery truck; I knew it was the package from my in-laws that we were expecting.

I guess giving pasalubong or padala  from someone abroad to their families and relatives here in the Philippines is one unique Filipino trait that we had been used to.  And my relatives abroad and in-laws are not an exception.

Go to an arrival area of any airport and you’ll see a balikbayan box from a Pinoy definitely.  Only Pinoys aren’t satisfied with just luggages; there has to be those boxes!  In fact, some business-minded individuals have been so creative in producing zippered nylon bags that can cover and protect these balikbayan boxes.

I remember my aunt in LA used to keep balikbayan boxes in their garage that we saw when we were there several years ago. We’re told that she continuously add things to those boxes bought whenever they’re on out-of-season-sale from branded shops and factory outlets and in groceries in California.  A balikbayan box usually contains samu’t-sari – from clothes and toiletries to chocolates and cans of spam and corned beef, lol. 😀   


Upon seeing it, our preschooler son, Gabby became too excited to open this huge heavy box.  However he had to wait until the day’s over. 

After dinner time, as my sister-in-law came over to get her family’s share, my wife Tina and Gabby finally opened the box with the usual stuffs, properly labeled with the names to whom the things are due.  It has towels, T-shirts, pants and shorts, perfumes, make-ups and toiletries, a mobile phone, and yes, canned goods and coffee! 😀   

It was the first time Gabby witnessed the opening of a balikbayan box and he was delighted with what he saw inside…


These were just a fraction of its contents.  Of course, what caught my attention were the yummies that are enough to keep us hyperglycemic for few weeks  months, lol. 😀  


I know everything should be consumed in moderation otherwise, a visit to the dentist might be inevitable.  

I love pistachios (even as an ice cream flavor), so glad a big pack was included in the box.  I also like those microwavable popcorns; too bad our oven retired from its service that we have to buy another before we get to enjoy those snacks get to pop.


I can’t blame my son for being so excited with all these sweets that he got from his grandparents… And have I told you that I like those Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Mini Chocalte bars?  😀


It’s not that recipients of  a balikbayan box cannot afford to buy these stuffs here (defensive, lol), but the gesture of sending some things to your love ones and receiving gifts are sweeter than a box’s contents.

The package contained sweet candies and stuffs that anyone can buy, but my son’s joy that came with it was priceless! 😀



25 thoughts on “A BOX OF HAPPINESS

  1. sana doc gelo na capture din ang excitement ni gabby! hehe! i am a follower of your awesome blog and I always make it sure that i dont miss any of your latest posts! More power to you!

    1. hi ed! glad to received a comment from you for the first time.
      and thank you so much for following my posts. those kind words really mean a lot. 😀

      you’re so welcome to view my previous entries, just feel free to hit my search engine on my side bar on the right. thanks! swing by again. 😀

  2. wow nakakatakam naman yun mga chocolates pero diet ako eh hehehe, anyways, it’s really true, it’s the thoughts that count . My ate and kuya just received the balikbayan box that I sent and it took me 4 months to fill that up, ang hirap punuin kasi jumbo box, unlike when I was in LA, CA mas maliit ang box at mas mura here in Japan it’s jumbo and expensive around $120. And there’s no outlet stores here and the clothes here are so expensive 🙂

    1. seems like everything’s expensive in japan?! siguro may lamang techie gadgets and electronics ang packages mo lagi, hehehe. i won’t mind receiving those boxes anytime. 😀
      anything for the family, right? thoughtfulness, indeed beyond material things is more important of course.

  3. so true, pinoys are very thoughtful. how every thing in the box is labeled for some one here. my relatives abroad make it sure pa if the boxes arrived and sometimes would let us wait to open it for Christmas! i think pinoys who live abroad send those things back home because they also want their families here to “experience” foreign products din (but most of their padala naman is available here). anyways our balikbayan boxes also contain those you mentioned and pots and pans, pati curtains kc matchy daw sa house namin hahahaha

  4. Ooh, I can so relate! Every time my mom goes to the States, she brings home a wealth of goodies from my aunts in San Francisco. We’re all nut-crazy at home, so bags – almost sacks! – of pistachios and almonds are a must-have.

  5. “It’s not that recipients of a balikbayan box cannot afford to buy these stuffs here (defensive, lol), but the gesture of sending some things to your love ones and receiving gifts are sweeter than a box’s contents.

    I never realized the impact of a balikbayan box compared to just sending money as gifts to relatives back home until I read your post. No wonder some of those I sent money to, except for a few, do not even take the trouble of thanking me!

    1. How so true. Some never bother to say “thank you.” It means a lot to us who send boxes and money to hear those words. My nieces thank me profusely, but others…ngeeeh. LOL

      1. @ bert and mari : people should always be grateful, whether they received big or small blessings; packed in balikbayan box or wrapped with ribbons.
        but bert, i wouldn’t mind receiving monetary gifts as well; i’ll be more than thankful… my bank account number is… lol. 😀

  6. Im also an addict of those balikbayan boxes. My grandparents too are in the US so we also have that feeling when you just want to hide all the stuffs but too bad you had to share it with some relatives. haha. Good thing, my nanay (our grandma) patiently labels the stuffs with our names so no one will be left out. I always got dark choco and popcorns with super butter flavor. That’s my yearly request 🙂

    1. welcome to my blog justine! thank you for leaving your first comment to my posts.
      glad to know i’m not alone in having dark chocolates and buttery popcorns as favorites 😀

  7. Ang ganda naman Doc ng ibinigay niyong kahulugan sa mga natanggap niyong padala, especially ang significance nito kay Gabby.

    Ang dami naman ng para kay Gabby. Favorite talaga siya. U

    1. doc rj, salamat sa appreciation. 😀
      gabby is my in-laws’ first grand kid so spoiling a bit with those stuffs is inevitable.
      whatever gabby can’t consume, his dad is always ready to the rescue 😀

  8. Puro GABY ‘yung nakalagay sa stickers ng pistachio and chocolates! LOL!

    Which reminds me, kakatawag lang ng nanay ko at tinatanong ako kung ano ang gusto kong ilagay nila sa Balikbayan box that they’re going to send here sa Pinas soon.

    Pahingi naman ng Toblerone. Hahah!

    1. umaapila nga ang anak ko sa lola/lolo nya sa Ca, kulang daw ng isang letter B and spelling ng name nya, lol. 😀

      toblerone? sure, here ms. dyosa, catch it before it melts…:D

  9. I came across your blog when I was googling “Talangkanin” recipe that (like most TFC subscriber) saw in Only You. Since then I started reading most of your blog and most of the time I will be ending up drooling from all your food pictures with complete descriptions. But this blog is my personal favorite and almost made me teary eyed. I am doing the same thing, I will have boxes in my garage and I will start filling it until it’s ready for shipment.This Filipino tradition is something that not everybody understands. My american friends keep asking me why do I need to send money and boxes regularly. But that is what makes me happy. Seeing you guys back home enjoying our balikbayan box gives us happiness.I also feel that I am with my family everytime they open my boxes.Most of the time they will video taped it or they will be chatting with me so I can see their reaction while they open my box. I love to see them trade items with each other. This coming holiday season will be my next shipment and I am on my third box now.

    1. hello texan! thanks so much, that’s really heartwarming.
      i’m glad you like my humble blog and expressing that this post is your favorite made me so happy beyond words. 😀

      blogging has been a part of my limited social life, and a venue for me to de-stress after a long day at work. this site is somehow my virtual soul.

      it’s just overwhelming that few people across the globe get to appreciate my posts. i cannot thank you enough for leaving such comment; i’m just overwhelmed. 😀

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