Balikbayan boxes are a huge part of Filipino culture. It is a way for Filipinos to connect with family and friends back home in the Philippines. A balikbayan is a person who is going back home (balik: return; bayan: country); balikbayan boxes are sent to the Philippines, from all around the world. My parents migrated to the United States from the Philippines a little over 30 years ago, and since then have seldom returned to visit their family and friends. So, every year it has become custom for my mom to send a few balikbayan boxes to our family, making a tradition every holiday season to send at least one box for Christmas. We send items that are exclusive to the US or are cheaper here. My mom sends an array of items, including candy and chocolates and even bars of soap. Sometimes, we send hand-me-downs for our younger cousins. My mom sends Christmas gifts for my grandma and my aunts and uncles. Balikbayan boxes are related to the custom of "pasalubong", or souvenirs. Travelers coming from the Philippines will bring back goods from the Philippines and will in turn bring back goods from where they traveled to. [I've included images I found on the internet because we have already sent our boxes for the year].
– Beatrice A.