Balikbayan box

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A balikbayan box, is a large package sent by a balikbayan (one returning to his/her homeland). It is a cardboard box containing novelty items brought or sent by a Filipino in a foreign country, especially one who is returning to the Philippines. This is in keeping with the Filipino tradition of bringing pasalubong (presents from the place one has traveled to) when returning from a trip, as well as a form of support to relatives since Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are seen as more prosperous than those working in the Philippines. Such boxes tend to contain non-perishable food items, canned goods, other food items, toiletries, household items, time-saving devices, computer parts, electronics, toys, designer clothing, personal items, and other items hard to find or expensive in the Philippines.

A balikbayan box is sized specifically to conform to airline luggage restrictions. Boxes made for this purpose can be found in Philippine stores. Box variations are available with a cloth cover and side handles for portability. Plain cardboard balikbayan boxes are secured with extra tape and/or rope. After the package is properly secured, the balikbayan may bring this as part of his/her luggage or freight forwarders may send the boxes provided by OFWs to their relatives in the Philippines. Sometimes pictures are taken of the recipients with the balikbayan box by the freight forwarding companies at the request of the sender, to confirm receipt.

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