Moving balikbayan list

I'm a single 68 year old man moving to the Subic area in July.  I know bringing the least amount of junk with me is wise, but that said, I see no reason not to ship some good stuff I might want and which might be hard to find here. So here's my possible balikbayan box list - what do you think?

Kitchen -  220 Volts

Knives, utensils
Few stainless pans
Coffee grinder & maker


Motorcycle boots

Books (not kindle available )


Sheets, towels
Pens, office supplies
Pocket knives

Food (stuff I already have)

Canned treats
Honey, jam, treats


Baby Taylor
Small Crate amp


Mechanic basics
Driver set
Tiny screwdrivers
1/4 Ratchet set
Luthier repair kit

Optics - Binocs, scopes



Meds & toilet

Electric razor

Diving - prescription mask

Hi as a 5-year resident the only thing I would add is some ant traps, I am sure you have seen them little square plastic things you can set around to kill the ants, I have never seen so many ants in all my life, from tiny ones to large black ants. Have a good trip!!

Just a couple of things: Tabasco and Deodorant.... both easy to find in the Philippines, although maybe higher priced.

Definitely bring a good electric razor though, I spent ages looking for a good one at the right price, didn't get one till I returned to Australia.

Most things on the list are probably more expensive in the Philippines, so may be worth shipping IF you can avoid taxes.

According to latest news reports, the tax-exempt value of balikbayan boxes, brought in or sent by overseas Filipino workers, is soon to be increased from P10,000 to P150,000.
The current law is at: This states one box every 6 months up to US$ 500 per shipment

Balikbayan Boxes are packages of personal effects and/or “pasalubongs” sent by Filipinos residing or working abroad to their families or relatives in the Philippines to enhance Philippine tradition and culture for the promotion and preservation of strong family ties through love and caring expressed in gift-giving.

If you are migrating, there are higher exemptions for a one-off shipment.

There are a lot in your list that are readily available here in the Philippines. But if those things are as you said a need that you bought there important to you then okay. I hope you live a wonderful life here in the Philippines!

Where can I buy ant trap?

I think they are available in the supermarket and hardware stores.


Didn't you forget 'toilet paper' in your list?

1 x plastic lid........  cover lid with borax........I tablespoon of syrup in the centre of the lid....... with a tooth pick mix the borax and syrup together......put out in the shade 48 hours no more ants.....ants come along smell the syrup walk over borax to drink, go back to nest. as they entre are cleaned by other ants, they ingest borax. first ant drops his syrup for the queen she eats dead.

List looks good to me. I also did the boxes only and not the furniture or vehicles even though i so wanted to bring the motorcycle, too many tax horror stories on all of the above.  I still have a dozen boxes coming and now wondering where to put it when it does come.  Good luck

I bought a nice little Honda here (xr150l ) very aggravating that it's so difficult to take between the different countries in the region. I'm refining my list based on appreciated feedback:

Good shoes, quality linens, good razors & my Braun electric, Waring blender, coffee grinder & maker, my collections of Panama hats and Hawaiian shirts, a few musical instruments, old kitchen knives, some pocket knives (can't buy here!), some small tools, hard drives, Kindle & laptop. Maybe one box of books.


I am waiting for my food boxes i shipped in Dec to show up...... just some stuff u cant get.   I like Subic alot, stayed last out at Baloy beach apts,   the wife is a Pina and Husband Danish.  I am up in Tagaytay , love the weather but  i find the people in Subic alot nicer.  I havent been in Subic in a few yrs and since the US Military came back to some degree and was wondering if u see alot of them around or not there? 

Flatpik :

I'm a single 68 year old man moving to the Subic area in July.  I know bringing the least amount of junk with me is wise, but that said, I see no reason not to ship some good stuff I might want and which might be hard to find here. So here's my possible balikbayan box list - what do you think?

Kitchen -  220 Volts
Few stainless pans
Coffee grinder & maker

The problem with  110v appliance is it's hard to find a repair shop for them here in the Philippines. But if you don't want to part with your favorite kitchen appliances that are 100-120v, just bring them. There are houses that have 110v outlets. You can use a converter. Buy the converter here. The one that I bought from the US just didn't work when I used it here. And sometimes, using something from back home, and even just seeing them, can help ease the difficulty of transitioning.

You can bring your coffee grinder and coffee maker. If you like using paper filters, bring a big box of replacement filters. Sometimes, it's hard to find the right-sized filters here. Powder coffee creamer is reasonably priced here, but liquid creamers are not.

If you are particular with the brand of kitchenware and dinnerware,  bring some here. Branded kitchenware and dinnerware, such as Tefal, Corelle, Pyrex, Oneida, KitchenAid, Cuisinart that can be bought at reasonable prices in the US (and cheaply at store outlets) are 3x to 5x more expensive here.

Flatpik :

Motorcycle boots

Bring clothes for warm weather. You can bring light jackets and windbreakers, like for riding a motorcycle or going out in the rain, but not heavy coats. If you're a big and tall guy, bring reserve / replacement clothing because it's hard to find big and tall sizes here. If you do find them here, they're often more expensive than in the US.

If i build here i will wire for both 120V AND 220v, But the bringing stuff that is 120v down here from the states i can say is the thing to do because the  220 to 120 conversion transformers are high here and u need a few of them. For cheaper i could of left mine in the states and bought new here and been money ahead. So the quality is not what it is in the States and that is a shame that this country doesnt get quality stuff but that is kinda out of our control.  Like their washing machines are a joke compared to the one we use in the USA.  Yes u can get some stuff changed to work on 220v but  i game my coffee pot and a new cookplate to an electrician a month ago and still havent seen it.  IF the burn it up u are on ur own, no warranties here like in the States. lol  Asians have ur money, u are not getting any back. good luck

@ Flatpik,

Since your focus is on a "balikbayan box list" and not a container shipment, I will limit my response accordingly.  You may want to consider/fine tune these four areas:

Food storage -  A set of sealable canisters to protect your dry goods (Rice, cereal, etc.) from the many creeping, crawling and flying uninvited visitors that will try to share them with you. 

My choice was the OXO 5-Piece Good Grips Pop Containers Set.   Search in Amazon @ … amp;sr=1-3

With this vacuum sealed set, I do not have any ants etc. getting into my items and it is a very nice set.

Communications by Phone -  Make sure your cell phones are GSM and unlocked (by the carrier is best).  Try to bring 4G (LTE) phones and look into any newer phone that is LTE+ rated.

Communications via broadband/WIFI - Try to get or invest in a good 4G or 4G+ broadband device that is unlocked and will work on Smart, Globe and Sun systems. 

Here is an option to consider:  4G LTE Industrial Broadband Huawei B593 4G LTE CPE Wireless and WLAN Router 100Mbps WiFi Router Supporting 32 Users.    See in Amazon @ … +32+Users.

Consider the "External Log Periodic Yagi" antenna as a good addition if you end up in a more remote area or can't get PLDT with DSL.

These options will save you countless hours of frustration and slow/ bad connection issues. 

Power Outlets - I brought a Heavy Duty Stanley Outlet Center with me and it works great even with 220vac.  Most of places here are missing the numerous outlets homes/apts in the USA have built-in, so this is a fix for with more outlets.  An option to consider: Stanley 32040 Power Horse Grounded 8- Outlet Upright Power Center.  This is rated at 1800+ watts so at 220v, it can handle 3600 watts.  Amazon @ … M8XCHM4GG5

I hope this helps a bit!

Thanks, would not have considered the power center.

agree there.   :)

The only thing that concerns me is customs in Manilla through to De Oro if they open up your boxes its apparently very common for either stuff to go missing or they will tax you extra for anything that could be saleable like phones, laptops anything worth money ? was a huge problem in Manilla just hope that they have addressed these issues and may now be different with the new president in charge ?? lets hope so as im waiting on two cartons from Aus at present,

And if u fancy any foods, even peanut butter is cheaper and  better in the States.  We did not do furniture or vehicles because the  Pinas have a real gray area there and u cant trust u wont get taxed 4 times what the stuff is worth, even on the returning home law where it is suppose to be tax free.  Phils are making a huge mistake on robbing the foreigners at every turn when we bring and send so much money into the Country.  Other Countries welcome u with open arms and no taxes but the Phill get u.

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