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Filipino expatriates in Dubai continue the tradition of Balikbayan

Overseas employees fill up gift packages for the families for the festive season as part of a time-honored ritual.

Overseas employees fill up gift packages for the families for the festive season as part of a time-honored ritual.

Embracing the Balikbayan Tradition

In the bustling city of Dubai, Filipino residents are gearing up for the holiday season by continuing the cherished tradition of balikbayan, a practice where overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) prepare special Christmas surprises for their families back home. 

Despite being far from home during the festive season, these expatriates are determined to make their presence felt by filling cartons with a delightful assortment of gifts.

A Box Full of Love: The Essence of Balikbayan

The heart of the balikbayan tradition lies in the meticulous preparation of these surprise packages. Many OFWs diligently save for months, contributing to their balikbayan boxes a little at a time. From Barbie dolls and mobile phones to canned food and chocolate, each item is carefully chosen to bring joy to their loved ones. 

This thoughtful process not only reflects the strong family ties among Filipinos but also symbolizes the sacrifice and effort made by expatriates to provide for their families.

Strategic Shopping and Saving: Crafting the Perfect Balikbayan Box

The art of creating the perfect balikbayan box involves strategic planning. Expatriates in Dubai wait for sales and discounts, maximizing their budget to ensure the box is filled with a diverse array of goodies. 

Gadgets, clothes, and various food items find their way into these cartons, creating a Christmas experience that mirrors the festive atmosphere of the UAE. 

This meticulous approach demonstrates the commitment of OFWs to share their overseas experiences and provide a taste of their adopted home to their families.

Building Bridges Across Distance: Balikbayan as a Connection

Beyond the material gifts, the balikbayan tradition serves as a powerful means of connection. As the boxes are opened under the Christmas tree, families experience the joy of unwrapping not just tangible items but also the love and care that went into selecting each one. 

This practice strengthens family bonds, bridging the physical gap between expatriates and their families back in the Philippines.

In summary, the balikbayan tradition in Dubai is more than just a collection of gifts; it’s a heartfelt expression of love, sacrifice, and the enduring connection between Filipino expatriates and their families during the joyous Christmas season.

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