How to Send Food to the Philippines

Updated July 20, 2017

Sending food is a popular thing to do between families who want to share goods from their country with their relatives in the Philippines. A popular shipping method is by sending a large box called a Balikbayan box by boat. If sent by boat, the weight does not matter as long as everything you are sending fits into the box. Another method is sending it by air, or opting to use a plastic drum to ship food items. The most important thing to remember is to only place non-perishable items into the box and wrap each item separately with bubble wrap or newspaper.

Buy a Balikbayan box from a nearby shipping centre that specialises in sending goods to the Philippines. The common size is 4.5 cu/ft (18"x18"x24"), but they also come in smaller sizes of 3.0 cu/ft (18"x18"x16"), or even smaller: 1 cubic feet (12"x 12"x12"). If sending by sea, there is no limit to weight, as long as all fits into the box. By air, standard shipping costs apply.

Choose non-perishable items to place into your box such as rice, canned meat or vegetables and candy. Wrap more fragile items in bubble wrap and newspaper and wrap less fragile items in just newspaper. This is to ensure that the items don't get damaged, but also to prevent the items from shifting and damaging other items.

An alternative to the box is a plastic drum with dimensions: 5.95 cubic feet (28.5" x 19" x 19"), 30 gallons or 10.5 cubic feet (37.5" x 22" x 22") 55 gallons. These are water tight and can be used if you are shipping any liquids.


Popular food items to ship to the Philippines are corned beef, spam, powdered milk and chocolate candy.


If shipping liquids, make sure that items are watertight, ensuring no leakage. Never send any flammable materials or items that can spoil, especially if shipping by boat.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy box or plastic drum
  • Shipping materials (bubble wrap, newspaper)
  • Packaging tape
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Black marker
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About the Author

Stephanie Loleng has written professionally since 1998 for print, radio and the web. She has contributed to the travel anthology "Expat: Women's True Tales of Life Abroad," and was a segment producer for the Peabody Award-winning radio documentary "Crossing East." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature and history from the University of California.