Balikbayan boxes and the slow erosion of the Filipino family
It was always a random day when I heard the delivery truck sputtering as it squeezed into our cul-de-sac. The box wasn’t just any other brown paper package taped all around — it came from America. It traveled far just to get to my island, trapping the zeitgeist of its starting point and the unmistakable scent of America (“amoy tate”).
Someone had to be home 24/7 during the two-week arrival window so we didn’t miss the delivery. That wasn’t much of an issue since my lola was always home. The problem was that I also wanted to be there when the box came.