Wednesday, October 04, 2006


My mother is a balikbayan. She is a true-blue kuripot Ilokana. She lived in the United States for 15 years working hard for the green bucks that clearly helped ease the life of her 5 loving children.

While in the States, Mom had always amazed us with her mastery of the science of balikbayan box packing. She could put the whole state of New Hampshire inside one box and still have room to spare. Whenever she would make trips to the Philippines, her “maleta” would be a veritable jack-in-a-box with little goodies popping up from every little compartment, nook, cranny, pocket, corner, fold, cuff ...

As her years in the US started to pile up , I had always feared that death might catch up with her in that cold and faraway land. I had imagined how I might have to take on the role as eldest among the children, of tackling the dreaded job of rushing to the States and arranging the transport of her remains to the Philippines – her beloved homeland.

I would shed tears during sleepless nights as I imagined the letter to my brothers and sisters that I would have to write from the States as they waited anxiously here in Manila:

Mga minamahal kong mga kapatid,
If you are reading this letter, that means na dumating na dyan sa Pinas ang coffin and remains ni Inang.

Pasensya na kayo, at hindi ko nasabayan ang flight ni Inang, dahil naubusan na ako ng perang pang pamasahe. Naghihintay ako ng budget fare ... wala kasing buy-one take-one ngayon.
Umutang pa nga ako kay Angkul Veneracion de Asis (na ang pangalan pala ngayon sa Amerika ay naging Venereal Disease).

Anyway nagpadala ako kasabay ni Inang ng:

- Dalawang dosenang lata ng corned beef – nakatago sa likod ni Inang. Mag hati hati na lang kayo
- Apat na Nike sneakers – tig-isa kayo. Yung isang size 7 suot ni Inang; yung iba nakasiksik sa may ulo nya.
- Apat na Lacoste t-shirt, suot ni Inang patong patong. Tig-isa din kayo .
- Dalawang WonderBra suot ni Inang. Bahala na kayo my dear sisters.
- Dalawang Levis na maong –patongpatong din nyang suot. Bahala na kayo my brods.
- Dalawang Victorias Secret na panty at dalawang Calvin Klein na brief din ang suot. Alam nyo na kung kanikanino yan.
- May Nestles Crunch, Hersheys at M&M din na nakaipit sa may binti ni Inang. Pakibigay sa mga pamangkin natin.

- Pag binuksan nyo ang bibig ni Inang, naka ipit sa pustiso nya ang isang diamond ring na padala ng anak na narses ni Kapitana Sosing... pasundo nyo na lang dyan
- Ang ibang accessories ... suot ni Inang, isang Tag Heuer na relo sa bawa’t kamay, Gucci na hikaw at Salvatore Ferragamo na bracelet . Kayo na ang mag-decision kung kanikanino... pagod na rin akong mag-isip e.
- Ang medyas niya Chanel ... apat din yun.

- And last but not the least, yung mga pabangong Davidoff at Issey Miyake, nakatago sa likod ng pwet ni Inang.

Mga kapatid, bahala na sana kayo hanggang sa pag-uwi ko. Wag nyo siyang pabayaan. At bago ko makalimutan – pakibihisan ng maayos si Inang pag nahubad nyo na ang lahat ng pasalubong niyang suot.

Touch up nyo na rin yung ilong kasi parang napitpit nung sinara namin yung kabaong. Kinailangan pa kasing upuan ni Ankel VD para magsara ng maayos !

Ang nagmamahal nyong kapatid,


– Needless to say, I never had to send the letter.
My Mom is now 81 years old. She is alive and kicking. She is now finally here with us in the Philipiines where we can shower her with the unending love that she deserves.
Love you Mom ............


Sidney said...

Good to hear that your mom is still alive and kicking! She deserve it after so many years working in a foreign country.

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

she has been the light in our lives.
like me she enjoys life each day as iy comes ...

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

... ooops - "enjoys life as it comes"

Mercie said...

Hmmm, uncanny, ha? I was thinking of this joke but cannot find an appropriate place in my article for it.

For as long as there are new postings in your weblog, I know you're okay and in good spirits. I am, too, thanks for asking.


BalikbayanBoxer said...




Filipino-Americans in the NY-NJ area starting this spring can ship balikbayan boxes to the Philippines through United Parcel Service (UPS), the world's leading package delivery company.

This was announced by Joel Belen, president of Send Company, who said that his New Jersey-based customer service firm struck a partnership agreement with the shipping giant for it to pick up and deliver the balikbayan boxes to the Philippines. Send Company is launching the service in NY and NJ for a flat introductory price per box. Each box will be limited to 70 pounds, Belen said.

"While it is true that the balikbayan box business in the east coast is crowded, we are confident that our original business concept, value added service and with UPS' known efficiency and reliability we will still be able to get a major share of the growing market. Customers have diverse preferences. We cater to hardworking individuals who yearn for good personalized service," he said.

Specially designed Send balikbayan boxes will be made available in Filipino stores for $5 each. Once the box is ready to go all the customer has to do is call Send Company's toll free number to pay for the shipment and arrange the date and time for the brown UPS truck to pick it up.

The Send Company president said that customers will soon be able to track by computer the location of their boxes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For customers who do not know how to use computers they can call Send Company direct through its toll free number and speak with a representative in English or Tagalog, he said.

"Sending balikbayan box is a tradition for many Filipino families in the US. Family members take part in preparing the box for the trip half-way around the globe. Our mission at Send Company is to ensure your package is handled properly while in transit. We partnered with UPS to achieve that."

"Starting this spring, men and women in uniform will pickup balikbayan boxes, and transport them in big brown trucks. Send Company will follow your shipment like it is our own. We aim to provide the best customer care should problems occur. Your satisfaction is Send Company's highest priority. Our web site and professional staff will be available to answer your questions, comments and concerns," Belen said.

He disclosed that Send will expand in due time its operations to other states.

"This is just the beginning. Opportunities look bright and boundless. Filipino-Americans will soon beable to send balikbayan boxes from anywhere in the US. We will announce availability of service in the nearfuture."

"It is a privilege to be part of this exciting venture with UPS, and UPS looks forward to serving our kababayans throughout the nation. We hope to be our customer's first and best choice for all their shipping needs," Belen said.

For more information, call 888.337.SEND or visit the website:


Filipino - Asian Bulletin - April 5, 2006

ANA said...

I have not laughed this much in a long time!!! super funny!

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I found this hilarious!! Reminds me of my mother. ;-) - Linda

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

I find myself laughing just imagining you guys laughing.
Thanks for droppin' by the blog !

Minnie Puno said...

Angkul Ernie, Mom and I were laughing our tears out! sooooooooo funny! - ang mahal mong pamangkin, Regina
...................... HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

It is funny coz you know it's true ...