News 'Send hope and love home' Not even COVID-19 can...

‘Send hope and love home’ Not even COVID-19 can stop this cargo


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‘Love box’ comes in different sizes—it’s that time again!

While most overseas Filipinos cannot go back to the Philippines just yet due to the current situation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, let alone spend the holiday season with them this year. Nevertheless, there are still ample ways to express our love to them—one example is sending them a box filled with toys, clothing, appliances, groceries, or pre-loved items.

Filipinos, especially those who live and work overseas, fill their balikbayan box throughout the year and send it to their loved ones a few months before the Christmas season or on several occasions in a year. Usually, a jumbo-sized box needs at least AED3,000 or P40,000 worth of pasalubong to fill it fully.

However, the current situation has affected the balikbayan services as some areas in the Philippines are still on full lockdown and the government is still responding to the pandemic. While there are certain protocols being followed, the majority of cargo services have a tracking system so senders will be able to monitor their hard-earned pasalubong for their family.

Depending on the location, a cargo box sent to Manila is expected to arrive 30 to 40 working days from the date of delivery; 30 to 50 working days in Luzon; and 40 to 60 working days in Visayas and Mindanao.

Cargo and shipping companies have a weekly schedule of loading cargo boxes from the UAE to the Philippines.

UAE-based shipping company Makati Express Cargo is one of the few cargo companies that most Filipinos trust because of their reliable and fast services. And in these uncertain times, despite the impending danger brought by the pandemic, they are following recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) in the UAE as they strive to help protect their customers and team members.

“The transit time is still the same that we are giving to the customers, that we have maximum days for each delivery area but kindly expect kind of delay due to some restrictions in some areas in the Philippines. Because of the so-called New Normal in the Philippines,” Mr. Renan De Padua, the marketing executive of Makati Express Cargo, said. 

He advised those Filipinos who wish to send balikbayan boxes to pack their goods properly to avoid damages in shipping. 

“As the season time is approaching, the best time to send you balikbayan boxes for your loved ones, give some allowance or time frame, and best to ask us what are the cut-off dates. Make a listings of the things you needed to buy to have more time in preparing your package. Send it as early as possible,” Padua further added, 

As the pandemic reshapes the world overnight, the company has  taken several actions, including:

  • Educate staff about the virus and share resources on how to keep the workplace clean
  • Urge members to use good hygiene practices, including frequent handwashing and using alcohol or sanitizers
  • Urge members to closely monitor their health and seek medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms
  • Sanitize delivery equipment regularly

Things to consider when sending your hard-earned balikbayan box

  • All bottled liquid shall be wrapped with tape and must be placed in an upright position.
  • Balikbayan box shall be taped, closed, and address labels fixed at the long side of the box.
  • At all times, keep at least a 2-meter distance to the agent
  • Stuff for commercial purposes (bags or shoes to be sold in the Philippines) are not allowed.

This story has been featured on the third issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at

Ryan Namia
Ryan Namia spends most of his days reading over drafts of new written content and determining which ones make the final cut for online and print publication. He received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism in 2015 and has been writing since 2016. Got story to tell? Email him at

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