PADALA – the bane of the Balikbayan

The Pinoy balikbayan is always thrilled with the thought of going home and bringing gifts to families and friends. This anticipation however is dampened by the thought of friends wanting to send padalas along with the balikbayan box. Would I have enough room for my own pasalubongs? The international traveller is only allowed 2 x 70 lbs worth of baggage. Most people think its a lot but really not – it’s one luggage for yourself and a balikbayan box for the pasalubongs. Frankly, when you’ve been away for 5 years, a balikbayan box isn’t big enough to carry all your pasalubongs. Some Pinoys friends however don’t care and unabashedly asks you to lug along their big packages ! And you know what the problem is? Most of us Pinoys don’t have the guts to say – hell no! I won’t mind bringing envelopes containing important docs or even money for that matter. But an 8lb. package full of soaps and chocolates? Aren’t these things available back home? Hindi ka ba nahihiya when you’re invading a much needed space in the balikbayan box?

The return trip is worse. Their families will be sending you packages to your Pinoy friends, many of them things that can be bought locally. I know a friend whose return flight was nearly jeopardized by an over-weight baggage full of padalas from families. The airline was gracious enough to provide him a courtesy baggage box to unload the excess weight thus avoiding a hefty baggage fee. Also be careful with jewelries – you can be taxed at your point of entry. Damn these things!

Be careful with padalas and avoid the stress of dealing with them during travel. Heck, say no if you can’t deal with them and focus on enjoying your vacation.


3 Responses

  1. Mahiyain tayong mga Pinoy at ayaw nating magkasamaan ng loob sa mga kaibigan natin. But there should be a limit naman. Kung sobra namang hirap ang dadanasin natin dahil sa paki, aba e we should also look after ourselves muna.

  2. Greetings From Mars…Pasalubong cklearly makes the heart sigh.

  3. Hi!

    Pinoy culture talaga. =) We are expected pasalubong upon arriving from travel, or balato when we win the lotto, get a bonus, etc. Perhaps a way of sharing the blessings, so to speak.

    But I do agree that we do have to set a limit to such practices. Kawawa naman mga balikbayan, mauubos ang pinaghirapan sa pasalubong! Sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, I’d prioritize my own family muna. 😉


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