No fighting, please
…All of us are excited to open [the balikbayan box], especially the kids. They can’t wait! But all the items are labeled individually, more so if they are limited. I guess the sender wanted to make sure the kids won’t fight over the box’s contents, and not just the kids—even her sisters-in-law! But we’re expecting another box, maybe in a few days. It’s been more than two months since it was sent.
—Liza Maiquez, 36, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan
Balikbayan box sender: Sister-in-law from Tel Aviv, Israel
A great hero
…[While] there’s this excitement in me from anticipating what I might get from the mystery box, I cannot get rid of the thought that the items inside the box are just part of the hardship, talents and strengths that my sister shares. The goodies also represent the precious time lost when she was away from home. I will give value and sentiment to whatever I might receive. My sister has been a great hero for me: She supported me and defrayed my school expenses in college and selflessly lent a hand to my parents. I know not all of my listed wishes will be granted, but one thing is certain: There is something awesome for me inside that big balikbayan box.
—Junie B. Albacaro Jr., 21
Balikbayan box sender: Donna Mae Alabacaro (sister) of Taif City, Saudi Arabia
Happiness to poor kids
…Almost all the delicate and much-appreciated items sent by my Bro. Terry from San Diego, California, have been sent over the past 35 years by LBC, always without any damage. To protect delicate things, my Bro. Terry uses as packing stuffed toys. So cheap to purchase from Goodwill stores. These toys also bring much happiness to poor kids when we have games, prayer gatherings and raffles.
–Fr. Dick Pommier, OMI
Mapayapa Village, Mindanao
Balikbayan box sender: Bro. Terry, from the United States
Strong as an Amazon
…When the [balikbayan box] arrives, we or I alone immediately head to the post office to receive it. Usually the box is very big and actually heavy for me to carry, but maybe because of my eagerness to open it, I do not actually feel its weight nor even care what I look like when I am actually carrying it (like an Amazon, maybe?)
Such a blessing to us
…My brother, Bryan Icalina, has a generous heart. He always makes sure that his family and relatives can enjoy the packages he sends us. Every balikbayan box he sends delights us. It is like a big ‘I love you’ box to us. It is like a manifestation that he remembers us and wants to show that he still cares for us. I am forever thankful that he has been working diligently abroad to give our family a comfortable life. He is such a blessing to us.
—Rhea Mel A. Icalina, 26, Cebu City
A way to dispose of old clothes?
…Considering the cold weather here in Manila, my tita (aunt) never fails to include some oversized sweaters along with thick socks [in the balikbayan box]. Although she understands that these sometimes won’t fit us as they are in American sizes, does she also find this a good way to dispose of some of her old clothes?
—Edelyn Valdoria, 28
Thank you, mom, dad
…I’M VIANCA M. Pangilinan, 15. My father is Felicisimo Pangilinan Jr., and my mother is Maria Exaltacion Pangilinan. Both of them work abroad in Singapore as logistics officers. They always schedule a balikbayan box every quarter, filled with coffee, noodles, T-shirts and chocolates. They also never fail to include my favorite Van’s shoes. Thank you, dad and mom, and may God continue to give both of you strength to support us, your family back home, and your beloved country, the Philippines.
—Vianca M. Pangilinan, 15
Bags of pistachios
…Very tasty and immensely addicting to eat. This nut, however, is way too pricey for me when bought from a local store. But if purchased abroad, it’s a dime a dozen. That’s why Nanay would always buy tons.
—Ivan Carlo M. Jose
How I wish
…How I wish I had a balikbayan box to wait for. How I wish…
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