I’m sorry for posting late this week. I’ve always tried to write at least once a week and publish my article on the weekend. However, this time, I was pretty busy with a lot of happenings especially a big recent life change for me- moving back to the Philippines. I promise to write about it on my next blog post including the reasons why and my feelings which if you can guess had been bittersweet.
Anyways, what I am going to write about is the process of how I sent a balikbayan box from Bangkok to the Philippines particularly in Cebu City. So, the truth is, I accumulated tons of things for the years that I lived in Thailand. It included souvenirs, books, footwear and tons of clothes. For the other big stuff such as the fridge, tables, chairs, printers, etc, I decided to sell the fridge for a cheap price and the rest just gave them to a very close friend of mine.
Clothes in Balikbayan Box
I know, I always say I follow minimalism but how come, I had all those stuff with me. To be honest, I tried very hard but what I had were things that were necessary at the same time, helped me saved some money. For example, are the fridge and kitchenware. I needed those so I could cook my meals instead of buying or eating outside. Worse case was if I constantly use the “grab a food” app in every meal. Instead of spending a minimum of 100 THB per meal in grab, if I cook, I could only be spending 40-50 THB.
What I was guilty about was the number of clothes I had collected over the years. I discovered while packing that I had dresses I only wore once or twice. Tsk tsk. Still, those clothes were not all branded clothes anyways. If you’ve been to Thailand, you would know that shopping for fashion clothes is very cheap. I only want to explain my side because not one piece of my clothes even cost more than 500 THB. Mostly, I bought them for 100-250 THB.
So, I was looking for a company I could entrust to send my things back to the Philippines. Most of my friends highly recommended Seabra movers. I checked their website and then contacted their staff through email. In all fairness, they responded pretty quickly to my inquiry. They explained the cost of 5,000 THB for a jumbo box (22x22x29 inches (8.12 cu.ft) and the fact that the destination of my package is in Cebu City. If it is only in the Manila area, the fee will be cheaper, around 3,800-4,000 THB. There is also a maximum of 69 kgs.
After exchanging a few emails back and forth with their staff which by the way, was also Filipino. I decided to use their service. First, they sent a jumbo box to my apartment for 200 THB. Then, after filling it up, I emailed them again so they could pick up the box. Their advice was to contact them if my box was ready for pick up and expect at least two days for the actual pick up. I think it was because they would need to check with the other customers or the availability of the truck. Normally, the ship that brings the boxes departs from Thailand to the Philippines at the end of every month.
Finally, expect the arrival of the balikbayan box for a month or so. It will still depend on the destination address. If it is in the city especially if it’s only in Manila, it will take fewer days compared to those who sent their boxes in the Visayas and Mindanao areas.
As I am writing this, my family hasn’t received the balikbayan box yet but we’re expecting it to arrive at the end of this month. I hopefully wish it to be true. So, until I know that they receive it then I will update this post.
Update as of September 16, 2019
Good news! The balikbayan box has arrived today in our house in Cebu after a very long wait. If I’m not mistaken, it took almost 3 months from the day the box was picked up from my apartment in Bangkok to this day. I was expecting it to arrive at the end of July because I was told so. By August, I emailed and asked for the status several times because we still haven’t received it yet. They told me there was a delay in the customs check and the ship itself traveled late.
Nevertheless, I’m happy it’s here in the Philippines now despite the delay. My mom and sister are the most excited recipients of the box. I only hope they’ll find a good use for my old stuff. =)