Balikbayan by Jan-Henry Gray

A balikbayan box or “repatriate box” is a package containing any number of small items sent by an overseas Filipino. Though often shipped by sea, these boxes are often brought by Filipinos returning to the Philippines by air.


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[hide History]  [edit these boxes] fill with what the sender thinks the recipient would like: non-perishable food, toiletries, household items, electronics, toys, items (American) hard to find Medium: 18 x 16 x 18 Large: 18 x 18 x 24 Extra large: 24 x 18 x 24 inches 75 pounds max part of the benefit: bulk versus individual. tradeoff: long transit time, lack of delivery date, a custom passes customs, returnees are expected to bring home gifts to family and friends—the practice of pasalubong[1] Work overseas as maids in Saudi, a brothel in Dubai, nurses in the States [citation needed] ever since Typhoon Ketsana (now Haiyan no Yolanda) and Homeland Security: almost all shipments have been delayed.



Jan-Henry Gray is a Poetry MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago. Born in the Philippines and raised in California, his poems have won the Dan Langton Award and the Mark Linenthal Award. He is a recipient of the 2014 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award.