Before my mother goes on her annual trip to the Philippines, she would pack these large boxes filled with goodies inside. As a child, I always wondered why I couldn’t have any of the goodies inside those boxes. I mean, there were Snickers, Twix bars, and those LARGE M&M Peanut Chocolates, as a ten year old I couldn’t help but be a little greedy. It was always that idea until April 2017, when my entire family planned to go to the Philippines. As usual, my mother filled the two large boxes with goodies. I remember constantly prodding her to keep some chocolate at home. To satisfy my greediness, she gave me a single Twix bar. “It’s for the Philippines”, she told me. Skipping the 21 hour plane ride, we were finally at my brother’s house. It was humid, mosquitoes everywhere, and I remember seeing at least 4 huge cockroaches roaming around. Once we got settled, my young nieces gathered around the boxes. They looked excited, asking their Lola, my mother, to open the boxes. As I saw my mother open the boxes and gave them the goodies, I looked around my surroundings again. Our life looked nothing like theirs. The look on their faces stuffed with chocolate--it made me happy. Balikbayan boxes bring our blessings to them. It’s appreciating what we have and sharing it with those we love.
– Micah Grace Gomez