Sending out a Balikbayan Box to the Philippines

Since its Bakasyon season, time to do a reblog.

May 31st update:

I received a coment from a reader who used one of the vendors I mentioned. I decided to add my insight on my reblog.

When I send BB boxes to the Philippines especially before my travel back home, I sometimes count 40 days max just in case there are “delays”
Some of the causes of the delays are either the date they pick up the box  at you place or when you dropped it off at the BB vendor – is past the company’s cut off date. One company ships out their BB boxes on a Saturday and leaves San Diego Friday. Their cut off can be 2-3 days before shipment.

Reference for box sizes. Small Tipid Box 20x17x10   Regular Box 23 x 20 x17   Jumbo Boxes up to 23x23x23

Balikbayan couriers outside California may take longer to send BB Boxes to the Philippines and more expensive. Example if you live in New York or Florida, the boxes needs to travel to a shipping dock and most likely those docks are in Los Angeles CA.
Another major issue is customs, when a particular shipment is chosen for audit, it delays delivery of the boxes to their recipients. Holidays like Christmas should be given consideration since there’s a surge of BB box deliveries to the Philippines. If there is something small I would like to send on a certain date then I would use a balikbayan courier with air package cargo like LBC. I pay more but they get it with in 2 weeks.

The Adventures Of Ms. Circumstance

A balikbayan box container from Alas Cargo A balikbayan box container from Alas Cargo

The Balikbayan Box is forever associated with Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs) and Immigrants that work hard for their family and friends abroad.
Balikbayan Boxes are care packages/pasalubongs sent by Filipino’s living or working overseas which are packed with various request and gifts for loved ones. Most commonly sent items are stuff toys, canned goods, chocolates, new and hand me down clothes, rubber shoes, DVD and games and other electronic knick knacks. When a vacationing Filipino visits the Philippines, she uses the same box as a luggage alternative packed with native souvenirs and presents they have bought for themselves.
Even with the advent of online shopping in which family members can now send gifts through local stores in the metro, other relatives that live far in the rural provinces often rely on getting these care packages-sometimes with some cash through Philippine forwarding cargo companies. Vacationers back to the Philippines use…

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5 thoughts on “Sending out a Balikbayan Box to the Philippines

  1. Hi~ Thank you much for posting this great info. I’m planning to send Balikbayan Box to my friends. I’m glad that I found your blog when I was searching online about how to send Balikbayan box. I really appreciate that you provided the info of the shippers, especially that I live here in SD. (Still debating if I should use the service of LBC or Alas.) About your blog update, I was surprised to find out that air package cargo exists. I just bookmarked your blog.

    • Hi Joe, thanks for finding my post helpful. I’m actually planning to use LBC air package services in 2 months or so so it will be a first. I believe LBC and another company Manila Forwarders located in National City does the air parcels. I also found out they do Philippines to US shipping too though they are more expensive.
      This is something I may experiment on since I am flying back to Manila this year sometime in October when tickets sell for $790-850 or if I am lucky around $690/RT all tax included
      Ive always used Alas btw. They are ok but transmittal time is now longer due to the new custom regulations back in Manila and here. So Expect 40-45 days delivery from Ship Out for Manila deliveries

      • Hi, I appreciate the reply and tips. Thanks to you I was able to send my Balikbayan Box successfully. I used Alas’ services because of the affordability. I’m surprised that you mentioned about the RT flight ticket to Manila. I think you should make a blog about the travel and teach us how to score the deal. $800 sounds awesome. Last year, I made a mistake about my trip to Manila. I went June and got surprised by the rainy season. Also the ticket costs like around $1200-1300. I ‘m hoping that I can have a more pleasant experience on my next trip. I’d like to visit Manila again, so please tell me what’s the process to save money. I’ll keep in mind to reserve my flight around October. (Good weather plus save money). Many thanks again.

      • Hi,

        Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I plan to fly back out sometime in Late October to celebrate All Saints Day back home. From my experience Manila and surrounding areas as far as Laguna and/or Bulacan can get affected by some rain. Not as bad as my trip back in September-that was a miscalculated planning on my part. It RAINED nearly everyday and for the 3 weeks I was home I encountered 3 typhoons.
        Though the southern islands like Boracay have a more sunnier weather in October is not a bit overcast. Less tourist- according to a friend of mine who stayed there in October.

        If you really want to keep it sunny. Leave around after January 16- weather should be nice back in Manila.

        You were asking about tickets flying back home. If you are in California, ticket rates are cheaper if you are flying via EVA, ANA, Asiana and Korean Airlines. if you are lucky they throw promos every now and then for as low as $700-850. As for more into PAL they do promos too Last week hey did like 870$ from LAX/SF-Manila

        I check weekly for prices around Tuesday mornings. I use Mango Tours as a guide to check for promo rates- but go through my own personal Travel Agent or directly to the airline company to buy the ticket.

        I prefer Japan Airlines or Delta even though they have stopovers for 1 or 2 hours in Japan. The quality of the flights is much better (PAL really sucks at seat space) and they have the option of Economy comfort if you are willing to pay slightly more for better room and some level of priority boarding. Also the stopover is worth it since the airport in Narita is like a HUGE mall- I get to buy more “pasalubong”

        You asked about saving tips. I actually did a few follow up articles and they are listed below

        https://mscircumstance.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/your-guide-to-philippine-travel-spending/
        https://mscircumstance.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/vacationing-to-the-philippines-what-to-expect-in-spending-and-enjoying/

        As for saving for my next trip, I have planned at least 13 months to save up for my plane ticket. I allocate 35$ per pay check to a saving account just for the ticket alone. By the end of 13 months I should be able to save up $900 cash to buy my ticket. Takes a LOT of self control to do this.

        I do plan to write another article soon about some accommodation deals I found that I was able to use on my last trip back home. So keep checking my blog.

        Thanks again and more power

  2. Pingback: New Balikbayan Box Rates as of 2015-2016 | The Adventures Of Ms. Circumstance

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