Thelma is a Filipina expat living in Germany. She is a very creative person, shares tips and DIY about anything she has done in life.
As always I am looking around the house or at my surroundings what might be my next topic I can write about for Hub Pages. Then I remember that I still have a lot of things to do regarding my holidays in the Philippines with my husband this year. There are lots of things scattered in our living room due to my preparation in sending a lot of goodies to my home country and it should arrive at our destination a few weeks after we arrive. Things that we need for our vacation and some things for our family like perfumes, body creams, protection for the sun, German canned goods, baking equipments and many others. Then I saw the big box besides the things that I am going to send. It is the Balikbayan Box. Voila!!!! I have my topic now.
Balikbayan derives from two words balik (means return) and bayan (means town or country). Balikbayan box is a huge Filipino package made of corrugated cardboard and is used for shipping or for air freight for a Filipino who returns home to the Philippines from working a few years abroad. Almost all Filipinos who are living abroad are using these balikbayan boxes when they return home for a holiday like me. As I don´t like to carry much luggage when I travel home, so I benefit from these logistic company.
This Balikbayan Box was founded in the early of 1980´s, during late President Marcos time to help the Filipino overseas workers to save money in sending goods to their relatives in the Philippines. It is a custom in my home country to bring gifts to relatives and friends when going back home. This gifts called "Pasalubong" can be anything you like to give. It could be perfumes, watches, electrical appliances and many other things from abroad. By sending this Balikbayan box home, you can save a lot of money because it is tax free and there is no weight limit.
Where Can You Get Balikbayan Boxes?
You can get Balikbayan boxes from the Filipino-German shipping company here in if you are in Germany or else in any country from where you are sending. Balikbayan boxes are send from everywhere in the world where Filipinos are living or working. If you don´t know any, just ask a Filipino for surely she or he knows where you can get it. Some are even collecting fully packed Balikbayan boxes for the shipping company and get a discount payment. The more Balikbayan boxes you send the more discount you get .The prices range from €65 to Manila and €95 to Mindanao. Just ask the Balikbayan Box Door-to-Door services about the prices because some services are higher than the other and it depends on how many boxes you are going to send and where to in the Philippines. The Filipino Service size of the empty Balikbayan
box is 72x43x56 cm and it costs €5 with free delivery at home.
3 Balikbayan Door to Door Services here in Germany:
- CONPHIL SERVICE
- FILIPINO SERVICE
These are the three door to door services that I know of. I have always used the CONPHIL Service for many years and I am very contented. I will try the Filipino Service this time and I hope my boxes will arrive. I heard that they are collecting the full boxes at least twice a week and they are shipping at least 2 containers every month so I don´t have to wait for weeks until it is collected from where I live. Through friends I have learned that they are good. My boxes will be picked up from my place (the sender) and delivered to my family (the receiver), hence the door to door service. The average delivery varies from 6-8 weeks, it depends on what part of the country in the Philippines. To Mindanao where my boxes should arrive, it will be at least 2 months until it will be delivered to my door.
Note: Please read the updates and the comments as they might be helpful for sending your balikbayan boxes. (updated July 20, 2013)
In sending a breakable thing, one should buy a thick and hard corrugated box especially if the contains are breakable. Though I use the Balikbayan boxes of the company I am sending my boxes, I still put my things inside a corrugated box or boxes before putting them in the Blikbayan box to be sure that the things will not get damaged easily.
I put any cosmetics like toothpaste, shampoo and other goods in a zip lock box to be sure that if they get opened, the contains will not spread inside the box.
Packing The Balikbayan Box
Packing a Balikbayan box costs a lot of time and effort as you have to go shopping for what you want to send. Most of the Filipinos go shopping the whole year when there´s a sale for the contents of their boxes. They are collecting the goods to be send the whole year round, so it is not much expensive when the time comes for sending.
Paper and Biro are ready on the table next to me for writing temporarily the goods I am sending before I write the contents on the sending form permanently. Scissor, tapes and ziplock or plastic bags are there as well.
When I pack my corrugated Balikbayan box, I first cover the bottom with a packaging tape with the use of the very durable one. Then I put plastic bags which I always have from shopping, on the bottom inside the box before I start putting the contents. I put the heavy things first which are usually electrical appliances for the kitchen like a baking machine. I use the original box of the baking machine and put some baking ingredients inside like flour, baking powder or anything that makes the space useful. Then I cover it and seal it with a packaging tape before placing it inside the Balikbayan box.
When I send shampoos, body lotions or other liquid goods, I seal them with a tape then put them in a plastic bag and seal them again in case the liquid is out of the bottle. When I send chocolates, I pack them in an alu foil and put them inside a freezing or ziplock bags and seal them. I just hope that it is not melting when the box arrives at the destination area. Sometimes I send a flower vase of glass. I put some goodies inside like Haribo candies for the children and then pack the vase with towels and put it inside a box and seal it tape.
Remember to put the heavy things first then the lighter ones. When there are still voids to fill in the Balikbayan box, I fill them with old clothes or towels. Before closing the box and sealing it with tapes, I cover the above content with plastic shopping bags which I always have from different supermarkets, just to protect the contents from any stuff that might get into my box. Then my final taping all over the above part of the box. After packing the box, I write my name as a sender and the name of my father as the receiver with respective addresses.
Do not over stuff your box for it is very heavy to carry for the worker. Remember also that you are not allowed to put firearms, munition, explosives and other materials which are not allowed by our Philippine and European law.
After packing the things inside the corrugated box, the box should be sealed with durable sealing tapes. This will help keep the box intact.
Sending The Balikbayan Box
Now is the time to send my box. I call my Door to Door Balikbayan Box Service and tell them that I am ready for the collection. I give the collector my Balikbayan Box Form which I have filled out. It is stated in this form the contents of the items and the prices of what I have send. In case of damage or lost, the box is insured for up to $400.
My Balikbayan boxes which were sent from Ireland last year in Sept. 2010 was opened somewhere in Belfast, Ireland or in Manila. They were collected from a door to door Balikbayan Service ( a Filipino company who is situated in Belfast) from our home in Ireland before we moved back to Germany. They arrived last year before Christmas but it was only when my husband and I came home in the Philippines last month Sept. 2011 that there were things missing like my electric frying pan, electric raclette, the insides of our sound boxes and some corned beef. The things missing are not stolen here in my home. I am sure about that. They were stolen somewhere. It is too late for us to complain.
Be sure to check your balikbayan boxes when they arrived to your distination place. Let them check by your relatives in case you are not there when the boxes arrive.
I have received my Balikbayan boxes (the photos are in this article) from Filipino Service Germany 2 weeks ago. Exactly 2 months after they collected them from my house in Germany. They are in good condition and the FS sealed are still intact when they arrived in the Philippines. So they were not open somewhere. I know it because I was the one who received them when they were delivered at home.
Thank you Filipino Service, Germany
Update: December 16, 2012
Be sure to ask when the next shipping of Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines from your Balikbayan boxes service company you are sending.
Before I went to the Philippines last end of July 2012, my 2 balikbayan boxes were collected on the first week of July. It was supposed to arrived 2 months after the Filipino Service collected them from my house in Germany, but the boxes arrived 5 months later in the Philippines. That was on the 8th of Dec., 2012. They send balikbayan boxes twice a month, they said.
After my almost 3 months of waiting in my home country, my hubby phoned the company and asked about the said boxes. The company informed my hubby that they were still in the container in Hamburg to be sent to the Philippines. Just imagine that!
After long months of waiting, phoning and e-mailing, they arrived. Thank God they were not damaged or worse, stolen. This should not happened. I don´t think I´ll be sending again balikbayan boxes to the Philippines. Well, I might change my opinion. For now, I just have enough of stomachache due to this matter.
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© 2011 Thelma Alberts
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on April 03, 2016:
Sorry to tell you that I am no longer sending balikbayan box through Filipino Service due to my bad experience which I have written above in the UPDATE 2012. I have not tried sending b-boxes through Herold so I can´t tell you how it is. I am sending my balikbayan boxes now through LVM which is from Holland.
Thanks for your comment Sonia. I hope you will find some Pinays who sent b-boxes to those forwarder.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 20, 2015:
Hi Aimlhen ! Sorry I can´t give you the telephone number in Kuwait because I do not know. I am here in Germany. Thanks for your comment.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on May 19, 2015:
I know Wim because I am already a client of LVM Cargo. They are indeed reliable. I am planning to write a review about them soon base on my experience with them. The owners are friendly as well. Thanks for your comment. Doi!
Wim on May 19, 2015:
Well, if you like a reliable forwarder in Belgium, Holland or Germany. Try LVM Cargo. They have 4 box sizes and include security tape. There are no charges for their boxes and tape.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on May 19, 2015:
Hi Larisa Heinrich!
I see you have also Filipino Service in the UK. I am no longer using their service as I was not happy about their last delivery. I am glad the guys collected your box were prepared with their duct tapes. Yes, you always have to ask not only the collect time but also the estimated delivery time. Thanks for your wonderful comment. Have a nice day!
Larisa Heinrich on May 18, 2015:
Thanks Thelma. I've sent balikbayan boxes to family in Leyte from the UK but not from Germany. I will try Filipino Service. Thanks for the tips on packing. My last box I sent was the biggest jumbo size box and as you say it needs to be a good weight and taped correctly. First the collection men, also Philippinos, were not impressed by my selected box size, that it was full and that I hadn't taped it up properly. Luckily they had the correct tape in their van by chance, which they kept reminding me how lucky I was that they had it by chance, and they helped me tape it up correctly as they said my items would have spillt out. All item arrived in tact. Very late obs due to environmental factors out of their control. But I had been warned by the collection men there were already going to be delays just from the original estimated arrival time due to changing factors. So it's worth asking the collectors an estimated time of arrival again.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on January 11, 2015:
Hello Sonia! You have to contact the balikbayan box company and ask them where your box is. Good luck!
sonia on January 10, 2015:
helo . my box sent last october 2014 until now is not yet arrived here in cagaayan de oro city...
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 25, 2014:
Hi Dareeeaaaaa! Thanks for your visit. I have heard a news a few weeks ago that there are still a lot of undelivered b-boxes because of the new guidelines or road rules for big trucks bringing the goods for shipping in the ports in Manila. I wish you good luck if you send one.
Dareeeaaaaa on September 23, 2014:
Thanks for the post. I am not sure now if I want to send one to the Phils when I read your box was not delivered on time and some are missing.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on May 23, 2014:
Hi Ade Pye,
I have just search the number of Filipino Service owned by Stephan Herold. It´s 06266 96 99 99 9. Anyway you can google this Services and they have all the informations you need. Thanks for dropping by.
Ade Pye on May 22, 2014:
Hi Thelma, I'm hoping you can help me, I'm in the Philippines at the moment, and left all my paper work in Germany, I'm after a phone number from Flippino services, I think the owner is Stephan Harald or Harold sorry I can't give you more info than that, I look forward to your reply. Ade
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on September 25, 2013:
Balikbayan Cargo Service,
Thank you for your comment. I´ll check your website. However, I am not allowed to post your comment as it contains your website address. I have to delete it. Thanks for your visit.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 25, 2013:
Thank you Johan. I´ll check that.
Johan on August 25, 2013:
Just try also ELJO Balikbayan Box from Belgium with also agents in the Netherlands, just see website balikbayan.be thanks
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 15, 2013:
I´m sorry to not approve your comment. Promoting other sites in the comment section is not allowed, however I´ll send your address in e-mail whoever ask for it. I hope you understand that. Thanks for dropping by. I hope we see each other soon.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 13, 2013:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Cabading,
It is LVM cargo balikbayan box forwarder in Holland. I´m not allowed to send the link here so just google it. The owner is Jane En Wim.They have fb account and a website. You can ask them what you want to know. I have not tried them yet, but my hubby have ordered b-boxes for us to use this Aug. or Sept. I can not say that they are good. We´ll try. Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice weekend!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 13, 2013:
@ Ampi, you´re welcome.
Mr. Cabading on July 13, 2013:
hi my wife and i were searching about forwarders for the Balikbayan box in the Netherlands and we did searched and found 2 possible companies they are, LVM and PB (Pinoy Box) in Netherlands. I am here in the Philippines and my wife Lynn is in the Netherlands right now. u said in your comment that u heard of a forwarders in the Netherlands and u said about the positive comments on the services? can u post it here what company was it? Because my wife Lynn will send a Balikbayan boxes over here in Mindanao (CDO). she intends to go home middle part of July till August. More power And keep us updated. thanks!
Mrs. Cabading on July 13, 2013:
Did you already get your hands on the adres of the company in the Netherlands, kindly share it to me here, there im trying to find a reliable
company over here.
Also would like to know if they have a counterpartner in the Philippines that is accredited by the DTI-PSB.
I'm kinda impatient because I want to go home already.
Thanks in advance.
Mrs. Cabading on July 13, 2013:
PSB-DTI* (sorry my bad)
Mrs. Cabading on July 13, 2013:
Did you already get your hands on the adress in the Netherlands, there I'm searching for a reliable company over here also I would like to know their counterpartners who should be acredited in the BRM-DTI in the Philipppines as my husband told me. If you got the name of that company would you kindlly post it here for us to know.
I's kinda impatient because I want to go home already!
Thanks in advance.
Ampi on July 10, 2013:
Thanks for giving time on my case, I am still trying my best to fight this case in behalf of my dead Mom.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 10, 2013:
I´m so sorry of the death of your mother. I hope she did not suffer much before her death. It´s aweful to hear that your sick mother had waited and waited for her box but nothing arrived. I don´t think that said box will still come to your home. I´m sure those things inside the box are now being used by the "thief" whoever that might be. I know how you felt and I hope I can consul you by saying that those people who betrayed the trust of other people will be punish in their life, in one way or another.
I have not sent my Balikbayan boxes through Conphil since 2008 so, I have no idea if they are still existing. I will delete the name of this company as my source of information in this hub.
Yes, of course it is not fair to the customers. You can consult a lawyer and can file a case. The box was insured for the lose as stated in the filled up form, but you have to think of the cost that might bring to you. It might not worth the trouble anymore as the sender is no longer with us on earth.
Your comment can be read worldwide so thank you for this as it might help others to be careful to what company they are sending. Talking about this problem to other Filipinas who are working and living abroad is good as this is helping getting off the "black sheep" out of the way.
Thank you for your visit. Have a nice week!
Ampi on July 10, 2013:
My mother send Balikbayan Box last January 2012 thru Conphil, Gutersloh, Germany, expected arrival in Cebu is March 2012 but unfortunately until now July 2013 the said box is still unknown when it will arrive. Every time when I call Mrs. llorente she will make a follow up in Cebu. My mother have her important belongings in this said box because it was her last box for Cebu. She waited until she died with her cancer in Cebu July 2012. It was so sad to see her waiting her belongings and also it is so sad that the said Mrs. llorente have no conscience.
My son send also 2 bicycles together with the box, he was so happy that it arrives but so sad that the bicycles was changed from a new one to an old one.
I told Mrs. Llorente about consulting this matter with an attorney and she answered, "you can do what you want because the Conphil balikbayan box does not belong in her name but to his husband, Mr. Mar Llorente and it does not exist anymore". Mrs Llorente have her own business now.
Is this the kind of fairness for the customer? I am hoping that someone can pass this message to Mrs. Llorente so that she knows that I am not spreading bad rumors but writing the truth.
How can I expect an arrangement with fairness to my dead Mom? Thanks in advance.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on March 21, 2013:
I can relate how you feel about sending balikbayan boxes to the Philippines. As you have read my update above, I too was thinking of not doing it anymore due to the stress that I had for waiting. Imagine, waiting, e mailing, calling and so on for 5 months. Well, I might send one again but not the same company like the last time. I´ve heard of a balikbayan boxes company in the Netherlands who are collecting balikbayan boxes from Germany, too. I got some positive comments from those who are sending. I might try them. Well see.
Thanks for stopping by. Take care;-)
She on March 21, 2013:
I had the experience of sending a balikabayan box from to UK to Manila. It was not really my intention to send one but a shopping spree in a dept. store in UK got me to buy cheap cooking wares. So I went on to contact one of the biggest forwarding company in the UK. I thought it would be hassle free but no.. there's so much stress calling in for the pick up time. then I learned later on that they used different company for the delivery service then the shipment was delayed for 3 weeks. So after3 mos still no box arrived. I don't know anymore if it's worth sending one as it cost too much stress from calling, sneding email following up for the delivery date. Hayysst..
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on December 16, 2012:
I just wrote a new update on this hub.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on October 10, 2012:
Yep, this service of sending things to our destination through ship is affordable. It takes a few months to arrive. As long as they arrive, its good. Thank you Brett for your visit and for sharing my hub to others.
Brett C from Asia on October 09, 2012:
Although not exactly for the same purpose, slow post (often on ships, taking up to 3 months) is a service many EFL teachers use. It is an affordable way to move everything and return with a few gifts.
Up, interesting and shared.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on April 26, 2012:
@ abs: Sorry it took too long to answer your question about "balikbayan box" from Philippines to Germany. I´m sorry again. The company whom my friend was using is no longer existing. Whenever I heard about another kind of shipping company which are transporting goods from Phil. to Germany, I´ll let you know.
maharlikan on April 24, 2012:
Make sure to find a forwarder who does not cut corners so that your balibayan boxes will not get delayed or confiscated by the Customs Bureau. Itemized your items in a bill of lading form and declare the values of the items. If you are in the Midwest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin or Chicago, Illinois you can send your boxes thru Maharlikan Forwarders. http://www.maharlikan.net . Salamat po!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on March 09, 2012:
Dear Regi R,
I did not write that "every Filipino" knows about the Balikbayan box. I wrote "almost all Filipinos are using this balikbayan box" for means of cheaper transportation for their goods to the Philippines. I am writing this article from my and my friends experiences here in Germany. Everything that I write here is base on my experiences and my opinion. I did not say or assumed that I know everything about my country just because I am a born Filipina. In fact, I still have to know more.
Well, I think it is good that I write about this topic to inform the Filipinos abroad who don't know yet about this Balikbayan box services. Thanks for your comment.
Regi R on March 09, 2012:
I think it is funny that the writer thinks "every Filipino" knows about the Balikbayan box, it's a bit stereotypical to assume that - it is like asking a random Chinese person where the best Chinese food is, or asking a Black person where the best African food is. Just because someone is (or appears to be) of an ethnicity does not mean they know everything about their culture and you shouldn't assume that, even if it is something you think is popular.
abs on February 24, 2012:
Thank you so much Thelma! :-)
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 22, 2012:
Hi abs! Thanks for stopping by. I don't know of a "balikbayan" box from the Philippines to Germany but I will ask an information from my friend who did send things from the Philippines to Germany. I'll post the information when I know something about it. Have a nice day.
abs on February 21, 2012:
Wow! Very useful information! Thanks for posting this!
Does anybody know of a "balikbayan" box from the Philippines to Germany? I know it should not be called balikbayan but maybe there are similar services. Please let me know, thanks!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on January 19, 2012:
Hi carozy! I am sure your Filipino friend knows about this Balikbayan Box Service. You can ask her next time you meet. Thanks for your stopping by. Have a lovely day.
carozy from San Francisco on January 17, 2012:
I have a Philipino friend and she never mentioned this ~ I'll have to ask her about it next time we meet up. Interesting!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on January 12, 2012:
You're welcome looniestlove. Thank you, too for your follow and for your visit.
looniestlove from Davao City, Philippines on January 11, 2012:
wow this is a very useful tips and a very intresting at that...I would like to thank you because you gave me an idea on how I would be able to layout my hubs even better...thanks and god bless
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on October 29, 2011:
Hi gaye. I am sorry I don't have any numbers of conphil in the Philippines. Try to search their number in the internet. Thanks for stopping by.
gaye on October 28, 2011:
hi do u have any numbers of conphil here in the phils thank u so much
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 26, 2011:
Hi deeanna. Thanks for coming back. Yes, will just hope that our boxes will arrive with complete contents. That is good that you told them about what´s in your mind so that the service will be better. I hope. Thanks again.
deeanna on August 26, 2011:
Hi Mrs.Alberts, thank you for your reply.Finally yesterday they took the box.But I really told the lady who is not accomodating at all that I am disappointed by their service.Yeah, definitely you cannot do anything.For now,I just hope that my box will arrive on time and complete.;) Keep up the good hubs mrs.roberts.Thanks
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 23, 2011:
Hi deeanna. I am with you. Today I have also waited for the Filipino Service collector to pick up our 2 balikbayan boxes. They did not show up and my husband called to their office this late afternoon and FS said, " the collector will be definitely here tomorrow." So, there´s no way I can do except waiting.
deeanna on August 23, 2011:
Hi,my balikbayan box by Filipino Service is now ready for pick up but unfortunately this people do not know how to communicate with their clients when they dont make it for pick up and even try to lie that they we're there but actually not. Its my first time and definitely my last time!Time is gold and I hope this people knows the feeling of sparing time just to wait for them to come. This is a reminder for pinoys out there who will try with this transport service. thanks anyway mrs.Alberts for useful tips! ;)
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 16, 2011:
Hi Masmasika! Thank you for your visit and your comment. This hub really helps those who are a first timer in sending balikbayan box to our home country. I will add more information when I have a new experiences in sending b-box. Have a nice day.
masmasika on August 16, 2011:
Nice work kabayan. You did a good job detailing this hub. Helpful tips for all our fellow Filipinos out there.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 04, 2011:
Morning J@ps! Thank you too that you read and commented on my hub. You can finish and publish your article and I would love to read it. Sending Balikbayan box is really a help to me when I go home to the Phils. as I don´t like to carry many things with me.
J@ps from Southern California on August 03, 2011:
Lots of great info in here Thelma. Thanks for sharing. I too have a balikbayan box article that I wrote a long time ago. It's still not finished, so it hasn't been published yet. Anyway it's good I found this hub, I might just go ahead and finish it one of these days. Mabuhay!
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 23, 2011:
Hi deeanna. Thanks for visiting again and commenting on my hub. It is natural to get excited sending some goodies to the family in the Philippines. Just think positively like: " it will arrive home".
deeanna on July 23, 2011:
Yeah your most welcome Mrs.Alberts,I am packing now to send it perhaps next week.I am really excited however worried if unfortunate happens,when someone may try to stole some of the items upon arriving in Philippine Customs.Anyway,I hope it wont happen.;) Have a nice day too.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 16, 2011:
Hi, Mary. I am sorry I have no contact number in Manila only in Germany but I think my contact man must be in Manila right now distributing because he has not answered my phone call, that is why I am using Filipino Service now. Just wait for a while and ask the sender of the box to call her/his contact man in Germany. Thanks for your stopping by.
Mary on July 15, 2011:
Hi, we have been waiting for a box from Germany which I understand was sent through Conphil...can you give their contact number here in Manila? Please help. Thanks.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 15, 2011:
Thank you deeanna for your good comment. Have a nice day!
deeanna on July 15, 2011:
good blog! now im convinced to send one in the philippines.
deeanna on July 15, 2011:
good blog! now im convinced to send one in the philippines.
Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on July 09, 2011:
Thank you Francesca27 for making me one of your friend. I like it. What a pity your former Filipino friend is not having contact with you. Distance does not matter nowadays due to internet. Maybe you´ll be able to find her in facebook. Thanks for encouraging me to write. Have a good day.
Francesca27 from Hub Page on July 09, 2011:
You did a fine job writing this hub! I had a Filipino friend, back in the 70's. We did a lot of things together. She moved and we lost contact... now you are my new Filipino friend. Keep writing!