Balikbayan Boxes - Shipping to the Philippines

Balikbayan Packing containers – Transport to the Philippines

My empty balikbayan bins – oh, the possible!

Balikbayan Containers

About a 7 days ahead of I stepped on the plane to the Philippines, I despatched myself two huge balikbayan bins stuffed complete of clothes, electronics, and a wonderful and different collection of personal effects.  Balikbayan packing containers – or BB’s – are a easy and convenient way to ship some of your house goods if you at any time decide to go to the Philippines. The bins that I despatched myself had been every 24 inches by 18 inches by 24 inches and each and every value just about $85 USD to ship to the Philippines. What’s excellent about that is there is no body weight limit on the containers – some boxes assembled by OFW (Oveseas Filipino Staff) to ship to their households again property can weigh in at a couple hundred kilos!   The only adverse  is that it can get about two months right before your bins finally arrive as they are delivered by using cargo ship.  My  boxes took 10 months to arrive:  8 weeks to get to Manila and an extra two weeks to get to Dumaguete.  Continue to keep in mind that I sent mine through the Christmas rush, when quite a few Filipinos are sending BB containers to their family members around the holiday seasons.


BB packing containers (“repatriate box” in Tagalog) are supposed as a duty-totally free way for Abroad Filipino Staff to deliver items back again to their families in the Philippines.  It is also a remarkably hassle-free way for an expat to ship about a significant selection of own goods. I used a business referred to as LBC  which had been suggested to me by other expats. I acquired the packing containers at the local LBC distribution web page (a Filipino store/restaurant in Quincy, Massachusetts), brought them home, packaged them up, and taped them shut. I then termed LBC who came in excess of to pick them up: The male labeled the packing containers, took my payment and off they went!. LBC also provided on-line monitoring, so I could get some standard indication of where by my containers ended up.  The total course of action was extremely straightforward and entirely pain-free. The only actual concern I experienced was my own obsessive compulsive need to compulsively pull every little thing out and repackage it considering that I had overlooked a little something.

Here is a checklist of some of the things that I included in my balikbayan containers (along with feedback):


T-shirts – Loads of light-weight T-shirts – I run XL/XLL which is really hard to come across in this article.

Denims:  Five pairs – will most probably never ever wear them – just much too durn incredibly hot and humid.

Socks:  My genius self sent about 30 pairs.  Most will be made use of as sock puppets in the course of electric power outages.

Sneakers/footwear:  Offered here, but a bit much more expensive and tough to locate your dimensions.

Undies:  Boxers, toddler.  You are in the tropics – obtained to permit that location breath!

Polo shirts: On the (quite) uncommon situations that I make a decision to costume up.

Hats: I introduced a spare jungle cap and a few additional baseball caps.  Sunshine protection for my bald dome.

Spare laptop computer:  Electronics in this article are incredibly pricey.

Rechargeable batteries:  Use them all the time and incredibly handy.  Get the Enloops.

PlayStation 3: Rainy period recreation.

A 1 TB USB drive total of laptop or computer game titles.

A 2 TB push stuffed with flicks and Tv set shows as Netflix does not get the job done in the Philippines.

Two surge protectors:  120 Volt (doh!)  so will most probable use them as paperweights.

A spare copy of Jens Peters Information to the Philippines (remarkably recommended!!!).

Some private paperwork: Not a great deal – I experienced scanned all significant files just before leaving.

Some camping tools: Ten, sleeping pad, light-weight sleeping bag, and an inner frame pack.

And a total bunch of random things these kinds of as old MP3 players, a couple spare phones, assorted chargers, USB cables, and a boatload of assorted personal consequences.


Wanting back again, what I should really have done is bundled the pursuing:


Multivitamins: Natural vitamins/dietary supplements right here are incredibly pricey and of questionable origin.

Sheets: most right here are cheap Chinese, of low thread count, and are ridiculously overpriced.

Zip lock baggage: high quality ones here are virtually impossible to locate.

Protein powder: powder listed here is twice the price tag of that in United States.

A backup GoPro Hero movie digicam.

Aspirin and ibuprofen.

Kitchen area utensils: Pots and pans are alright here but I have I should’ve brought all my utensils.

My 47 inch Lcd Television set: TV’s here are somewhere around 150% of the expense in the US, and I could’ve shipped mine here for only about $130.


All over again, Balikbayan bins are a straightforward and successful way of acquiring your things to the Philippines. Regulations condition that you are not allowed to send out above electronics, but as long as they are of course not

new and meant for resale, you are ok. Customs can and in some cases does open and analyze the containers, but the two my containers arrived unopened.


The finest way to mail a balikbayan box is to know somebody who is presently there that you can have confidence in with delivering them. I experienced belonged to an expat Philippine forum for in excess of a yr ahead of really shifting to the Philippines, and just one of the forum members was good more than enough to obtain my BB containers and notify me of when they arrived.


Discussion board users experienced also recommended me to make positive that I taped the packing containers well prior to sending them off. Yet again, owing to my psychological deficiencies, I took that to heart and practically wrapped each individual square inch of the BB boxes in uninteresting black duct tape. By the time I was completed, they seemed like two somewhat box-like stealth bombers.  When my packing containers lastly arrived the person who sen them to shot me a textual content stating “Hey, I have obtained two piles of duct tape sitting down on my porch for you.”


Meh – everyone’s a comic.




If you want to see a few of lengthy, rambling movies I did on BB containers, look at them out on You Tube:



Who is Hari?  They are meant to go to me!