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Balikbayan Boxes: How Filipinos Send Items Back Home

Balikbayan box packaging

Want to stay connected with your loved ones in the Philippines?

Balikbayan boxes are perfect for Filipinos living overseas!

Whether it is The United Arab Emirates, Singapore, United Kingdom – Balikbayan boxes are the perfect solution to deliver all your pasalubong with excellent service no matter the journey.

What is a Balikbayan box?

Ever heard of a care package? That is precisely what a Balikbayan box is!

Translated from Tagalog, Balikbayan means ‘return to country’.

A Balikbayan box is a simple gesture to bind family and friends closely through transported cargo and money remittance. The symbolism of a Balikbayan box upholds a precious love language and connection, binding families closer across seas.

Who wouldn’t want presents delivered right to our door? Especially when the service is exclusively catered to serve Filipinos?

Generously hand-packed with clothing, beauty or cosmetic products, canned and packaged food, candy – everything you could possibly be homesick for!

On the other hand, not all of us have the privilege to explore and visit another country to see, experience and marvel at its beauty. The luxury of travelling afar is something Filipinos with excellent work ethics would know best.

Thus, a Balikbayan box is perfect for overseas Filipinos who want to send gifts back home too!

Can I send a Balikbayan box?

Yes, absolutely!

No matter the delivery lead time, whether you are based in Manila, Cebu, Singapore, or another city, express is the largest choice to deliver your Balikbayan box, specific to your location.

Priority Mail Express Singapore aspires to serve and unite Filipinos with our excellent service no matter the difficulties.

If you and your recipient fall under these categories, you are eligible for the Balikbayan Program:

  1. Filipino citizens that officially work overseas for a minimum of 1 year
  2. Filipino citizens working overseas that are naturalised, in the country of work
  3. Immediate relatives of Balikbayan (spouse and children); abiding by nationalities under countries listed by EO 408 requirements

What delivery companies should I search for?

Recommended services include Priority Mail Express, the largest express courier service via air freight and sea cargo.

Priority Mail Express is a company in Singapore that offers transportation of cargo and money remittance.

Initial prices for delivering packages to Manila, followed by other parts of the Philippines, are subjected to land freight services. City and village shipping may be arranged accordingly.

Don’t forget to check out Priority Mail Express online to see updates and services available for your Balikbayan box!

Is the shipping for a Balikbayan box expensive?

Well, it depends…

Prices and shipping are subjected to the kilo and the height of the box, courier companies and their rates.

It is common to invest in the largest express courier under Priority Mail Express for the quickest shipping prior to its delivery lead time.

Priority Mail Express at Chang Valley Mall branch

For instance, let us have a look at Singapore.

Did you know that 200,000 employed Filipinos are living in Singapore?

Singapore is one of the leading countries for courier cargo and money shipping services that serve Filipinos and their Balikbayan box, whether to receive or send out parcels to and fro the Philippines.

Thankfully, the option for sea cargo costs less than air freight.

In addition, COVID-19 may have altered delivery rates, so keep track of updates and services specific to your Balikbayan box!

The largest express courier cargo in Singapore is Priority Mail Express, with quick and easy delivery.

Estimated shipping via sea cargo between Singapore and the Philippines ranges from 2 to 5 weeks.

Our exclusive door to door packages is desired for many Filipinos with our excellent rates.

Let’s look at our Balikbayan sea delivery:

Thinking about a medium-sized box to and from Manila? Our medium-sized boxes will ship at only SGD 70 per box!

Isn’t it worth it?

Perhaps you’re thinking of shipping to Mindanao with an extra-large box. With our amazing courier service, shipping would only cost SGD140!

For more information on delivery via sea cargo, click here for more information.

What about tax rates?

Want some good news? It may be free!

Tax rates depend on the things that you decide to pack in your Balikbayan box.

While taxation may be subjected to the Balikbayan box, keeping tabs on updates and services specific to your courier cargo and money sent is important. See updates and services here for Priority Mail Express.

What should I pack in a Balikbayan box?

Balikbayan box ideas

There are specific international requirements that we all have to abide by when shipping parcels.

Here are some do’s and don’t’s to keep in mind when sending things back to the Philippines via Balikbayan box:

Do pack

  1. Clothing specific to your location (e.g. lighter clothes for employees based in hotter climates)
  2. Small to medium-sized canned or packaged food (snacks that are unavailable or too expensive in other parts of the world)
  3. Basic household necessities (such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)

Do not pack

  1. Prohibited items that are declared illegal and/or harmful
  2. Unpackaged food or consumables with a poor shelf life

It should also be noted that you should not pack objects heavier than the weight limit stated on the box or overstuff the box. Consider getting a bigger box if there is not enough space.

Other things to consider

  1. Basic customs requirements and limitations in another country to reduce hassle and remain penalty-free
  2. Online or physical copies of documents relevant for custom declaration
  3. Potential tax rates per kilo and purchased goods
  4. Prohibited items (e.g. no chewing gums are permitted to be sent nor smuggled to Singapore).
Photograph by Ketut Subiyanto

What else do I need to know?

Please refer to your specific country to see updates relevant to your delivery to and fro the Philippines.

Boxes weighing more than specific kilo rates will cost more.

Additional shipment measures may be calculated if you send parcels from Manila to another city within the Philippines; these include Cebu, Mindanao and more.

Pack securely to ensure smooth travel from door to door.

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