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Shipping to Philippines Cheaply Travel Tip

Shipping to Philippines Cheaply Travel Tip
Balikbayan Boxes in the Philippines is a special box targeted at Philippines people to ship large amounts of goods back to the Philippines.
(Maybe to the USA also?)

This is probably a great tip for Expats moving to the Philippines; maybe you want to forward this post to your friends moving here.

There are insider travel tips to all countries, this is maybe a Philippines one, I was just given a glimpse of the story, and I do not know the whole story. Maybe readers can explain better, I am not a Filipino insider, I am an outsider.

Balikbayan Box Philippines

Bauang - Paringao - San Fernando, Philippines
La Union Province
Southeast Asia
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Buy gear recommended by Andy


An old lady who sits by the pool reading multiple books told me about this Balikbayan box. She has lived in the Philippine for 30 years and is an insider. And as is normal assumes I live in the Philippines and have studied this place in a fearful, I need to know way. I am a tourist, I do not live here, the Expats do not meet many foreign tourists so this confuses the Expats frame of reference when they meet tourist.

Questions for readers
Where do I get the Balikbayan box?
Is this cheaper or just a marketing scheme?
Is this just same as normal container shipping or special?
Can I get hard to ship items in the country easier, for example items that would normally be stopped by customs?
How long does it take, weeks, months?
Is it truly safe?
Give me a list of shipping companies that specialize in these Balikbayan boxes.
Maybe to the USA also? - If a discount and customs bypal, this is a good import export tip...? (I do not recommend starting business in the Philippines, the country is clever to the level of thieves.)

Thanks in advance to readers, and thanks to, the first wonder of the world, the greatest advance in human understanding and knowledge in the last 200 years.

A balikbayan box (literally returnee's to one's homeland box) is a ubiquitous cardboard box containing any number of small items and sent by an overseas Filipino known as a "balikbayan". Though often shipped by freight forwarders specializing in balikbayan boxes by sea, such boxes can be brought by Filipinos returning to the Philippines by air.[1]

These boxes might contain nearly anything that can fit and that the sender thinks the recipient would like, regardless of whether those items can be bought cheaply in the Philippines, such as non-perishable food, toiletries, household items, electronics, toys, designer clothing, or items hard to find in the Philippines.[2]

A balikbayan box intended for air travel is designed to conform to airline luggage restrictions and many Filipino stores carry them. Some boxes come with a cloth cover and side handles. Others are tightly secured with tape or rope, and thus not confused with an ordinary moving box more lightly wrapped.

Shipped boxes are delivered directly to the recipient, nearly always the family of the overseas Filipino.

Part of the attraction of the balikbayan box is economic. If the items were sent individually or in smaller boxes through postal services, the cost could be significant. The tradeoff is a long transit time by container ships, typically taking several weeks, and the lack of a solid delivery date.

Another part of the attraction is the cultural expectation that returning travelers will bring gifts to family, friends and colleagues left behind in the Philippines. In this way, it is related to the practice of "pasalubong"

BalikBayan Box on

Shipping to Philippines Cheaply Travel Tip


I tapped into a Baguio "Insiders" newsgroup, a great source for Philippines questions.

A response, they aer like a club, you must find them...


Balikbayan literally means "returning Filipino" and the use of a "balikbayan
box" is a marketing ploy used in the US to entice Filipinos (and others) to
use a shipping company's services to send goods back to the Philippines.
There are dozens of shipping companies offering these services, over 50 of
them in the San Francisco, California area alone. A few of the better known
companies are Forex, Willex, Bayoni and LBC.

Each company has it's own operation. There is nothing special about these
boxes. Each shipper uses his "standard" sizes and there are no weight
limits. They are typically about 2' cubed. Many of these companies have
made prior agreements with Customs not to ship cameras and electronics or
any other kind of dutiable goods or contraband. Even so, Customs does
inspect a sampling of these boxes at their POE.

Amount of goods shipped are limited only by the size of the shipper's
"standard" box. Depending upon company and location in the US the cost will
range from US$60 to over US$120. They will take about 30 days from the west
coast and again, depending upon company, will deliver in the Philippines to
the door or to a nearby location. A couple of the shippers will even take a
photo of your box being delivered.

Unfortunately, there haven't been any like services for packages going the
other way.