Balikbayan Boxes Amid Pandemic, OFWs Have To Face This Fear

Some changes in Balikbayan Boxes

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are now facing this fear when it comes to the Balikbayan Boxes that they are sending home for their families in the Philippines amid the pandemic.

It has been a part of the Filipino culture that those working abroad would send large boxes filled with goods for their loved ones.

However, this holiday season while there is still a lingering pandemic, OFWs had to do some changes. Based on the article from The Philippine Star, many Pinoy opted to have smaller Balikbayan Boxes, just like Florence Fajardo and Bianca Balin who are working as nurses in Abha, Saudi Arabia.

balikbayan boxes
📷: Inquirer

As early as October, OFWs are already starting to fill the boxes with various items, and usually, it is for the Noche Buena celebration of their families. Fajardo shared that this year, she will be sending 1 jumbo and 1 smaller box but years before this she was sending 2 jumbo boxes to her family.

One of the factors that affected to this was the curfew hours in malls amid the pandemic. On the other hand, for many OFWs there might not even a small box that will be sent to their familis.

Amid the pandemic, many Pinoys working abroad were forced to return to the Philippines even before the Balikbayan Boxes were filled.

Sociology professor Mario Aguja explained that sending boxes for their loved ones at home is not just the desire of OFWs to give the best for them. He also said that there is guilt in this.

It’s also “about compensating for the guilt of being away from home during the celebration,” Aguja said.

It’s another thing to be away from home. It’s another thing not to be home during Christmas. Christmas is always about the celebration of life with loved ones. We were taught about it; we lived with it,” he added.

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