These days, you can’t trust just any courier company to deliver your package safely to your loved ones. If you choose the wrong company, it might take forever before the package gets delivered, or worse, it won’t reach your loved ones at all.
The boxes you have worked so hard for to fill could end up in a container van to rot like these abandoned balikbayan boxes:
There have been a number of complaints about freight forwarders opening cargoes and stealing items. Sadly, this has been happening in the Philippines since time immemorial.
To avoid such incidents, better have your parcels delivered by DTI-accredited freight forwarders.
My husband and I used to send packages to the Philippines using Korea post. Korean delivery service does not disappoint because of Korea’s pali-pali culture. Parcels arrive in the Philippines on time, but since it isn’t door-to-door delivery, my family encountered minor problems when they were claiming the packages. Once, my Mom was asked to pay “extra” for the box of dried seaweeds and digital camera that we sent. When she asked what the fee was for, she was told that it was for the delivery boys’ merienda (snacks). My golly! The box was not even delivered to her house.
Also, sending parcels through the post office is more costly than using door-to-door delivery service, because the post office charges per kilo.
My Mom suggested I look for LBC in Korea. When she was in Oman, she would send balikbayan boxes through LBC. The boxes would arrive intact and usually without delay.
I googled LBC Korea and found a branch in Hyewadong. I dialed their hotline (1661-5899), and it didn’t take long before a Korean-speaking staff replied. A Filipina staff was then called to answer my queries.
LBC had a promo then. Their 120,000-won-jumbo balikbayan box (Luzon bound) cost only 99,000 KRW (4,300 PHP) (96 USD), much cheaper compared to other door-to-door delivery services in Korea.
Here are the promo rates as of July 1st: (I think they are still offering the promo.)
After one day, two boxes were delivered to me, one to fill and the other for future use.
I was able to put in the box all of the things that I wanted to send to the Philippines: clothes, shoes, our 3D PC monitor that my husband can’t seem to part with plus the CPU and computer accessories, a heavy-duty blender, a dozen traditional Korean lunch boxes, kitchen utensils, a tofu maker, one set of Tupperware containers, a portable grill, a few books, some chocolates and other goodies.
LBC’s “jumbo” balikbayan box is enormous! You could place two big boxes of 김 (gim or seaweeds) and have plenty of room for other stuff. I had more space to fill, so I included some cosmetics and toiletries. I was reminded, though, that it should not exceed 100 kilos.
The box was so heavy that we could barely lift it. Abonim (father-in-law) put a lot of tape around it, making it look like a mummified balikbayan box. ^^ It took us one day to get it ready for pick-up. When it was ready, I called LBC hotline again. They retrieved the box the next day. My husband paid the fee the day the box was picked up. There was no “extra” charge.
The box was delivered to our house in the Philippines after three weeks. It used to take one to two weeks only, some after a couple of days, but because of the truck ban in Manila, delivery of cargoes is getting delayed.
Three weeks isn’t that bad though. We were pleased that our balikbayan box arrived without damage; nothing was taken from it; and we were spared the stress of having to deal with corrupt PhilPost employees.
LBC Korea’s address is 1F 101, 102-1, Hyehwa-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul City.
You can contact them through their hotline (1661-5899). There are Filipino, English and Korean-speaking staff.
For more tips on how to avoid balikbayan box scams, watch this news clip from ABS-CBN: