Box of Love

Have you seen similar box like this before?   This is no ordinary box. There's something about this box that is deeper than we knew the contents are.  It stands as one of the many symbols of the OFW phenomenon in this time.   This box will be transported many miles across the skies from OFW abroad to his  beloved family back home.

Surely, the content of this box will bring big smiles and cheers to the keen receiver who had waited sooooooo….. much for this thing to arrive.    This may be sent because of the OFW wife birthday presents, anniversary gifts, or just the manifestation or expression of his enduring love to his son or daughter who were consistent to call about their wishes and populating his email inbox with precise detail pictures of what they really want.

Most of the list items that the OFW Engineer painstakingly fill inside the box are the common stuff like toys, clothings,  rubber shoes, perfumes, chocolates,  electronic items, kitchen wares, books, hardware tools etc..  Items like these are really a lot cheaper here compare to buying at home.  Plus,  OFWs find some stuff that is  hard to find elsewhere.  It takes a lot of skills to organize this stuff inside the box considering every space as much as possible to maximize the freight cost.   Here in KSA,  the average cost of freight to the Philippines is SR 6 to SR 7 per kg, depending on your location ( Manila or Province ). 

When this box finally arrives in the Philippines  it shall be the center of attraction among the family members.   Probably,  meals may be skipped,  television may be shut off, cell phone calls and text message may be ignored, to make sure they will not miss anything from the opening ceremony.   If only you can install a spy audio transmitter, you can eavesdrop the various voices......  saying:

“    Ang dami naman tape….. hirap buksan, akin na gunting  “
“   Ayun nakita ko na yung akin. Yung kulay orange na may check!!  “
“   Tsarannnnn!  Wow!    ganda kasyang kasya….”
“   Eh,  Asan na yung akin ay.........”
“  Sandali,  mayroon pa sa ilalim….  “
“  Sarap netong chocolate, ang tatak sulat parang bulate ???  “
“  Gusto ko ito , tamang tama pang exercise ko… “
“  Yehey!,  gagamitin ko na yang bagong bag ko sa school bukas ano…."
“ Oy, yung chocolates bigyan mo mga classmates mo ah…
“  May alak ba dyan?    Walaaa, bawal dun yun.
                “ Tawag nyo na Daddy nyo. thank you na kayo….” 

Seeing them happier and full of joy is more than enough for the OFW Engineer to compensate his love for his family.   It is not that he makes them become spoiled brat or something, that make them love the box more than the sender of the box. It is  only his way of mirroring his image to show that say " hey, I am still  here, I am still around, I may be far away, but I am looking after you all the time and I will always love you whatever it takes..."  So sweet so cool!...  

He wanted them to know that the box is just the symbol of his unconditional love for them.  That whatever the contents are, it is his way of giving back the love to his family for praying for him in his work,  staying faithful,  studying well and doing  good  all the time.   

The next time you see this kind of box somewhere, paused for a minute and utter blessing and prayer to the sender.  Wherever he is right now,  he will always be blessed.  That he may always be in good health and still succumbs to his previous deepest reason why he chose to be an OFW.   That he will not seek a second, a third or fourth family.  That he will stick to his first one and only family who truly deserved to receive the OFW Engineer's Greatest Love of All....

Till my Next Post.

Seize the Day,

Allan Laranang 


Here in the Middle East,  life is not just work and work harder.   We were also given the opportunity to take a break,  actually a  5 day  long break.   Thanks to Eid Mubarak Holiday.   Our team of engineers took this chance to go to khobar beach for that most needed respite from the four corners of our office.

3 Days 2 Nights Trip to Khobar

It was a long  5 hours drive to Khobar from  Riyadh.   In the stretch of the road, looking at your left and right window was just a plain, infinite, dark orange desert sand.    We saw a big number of  self supporting camels scattered like a buffalo.  I don't know if they are wild or being taken cared of by somebody. And,   I wonder how they survive the scorching heat of the sun! 

Even inside the coaster, obviously' as we are all very excited to reach our destination, we already started to have  some fun.  Typical pinoy stuff  for men like singing, role playing,  fun stories, picture takings and sleeping were among the antidotes to ignore the agony of prolonged sitting position.

On average, we were able to utilize 4  stop overs for gas refilling,  chai or latte drinking and emptying our gall bladders.    We noticed  that a lot of our kababayans were heading to the same destination like ours.  Just an indication, that even outside of our country, pinoys can always find ways to have some fun.

When it became visible to us the panoramic view of the Khobar beach coastlines,  our sleepy mode suddenly switched to high energy chanting mode of excitement.    Each like saying, Alright!   This is it!   I wanna plunge my tired ass in that salt water...  It was not that beautiful like our Boracay beach, but just enough to cool down our physical engines.

Ever wonder why food taste great in the Beach?    Because soaking your body to salt water and burning calories from swimming, running, walking and laughing will fine tuned your mouth to crave for that sizzling barbecue, grilled meat,  pancit, fish sinigang, bulalo, water melons and sodas.

After our daytime fun in the beach, we proceeded to the khobar city proper for mall tour and scout for some bargain shopping.   They've got many sales offer this time from 50% to 70%  perhaps mainly because of the Eid holiday season.    I was able to buy some beach sandals, shorts and shirts at a very low price. 

We  checked in to our hotel in the center downtown of Khobar to relax a bit after a day of  escapade.   Our hotel room  was not that classy, but just enough to get shower, cook and sleep.   The service was superb and unbelievable!  They booked two clients in one rooom?.  Arrghh!   Anyway, we got our room after hustling with the receptionist.

Going to Khobar without visiting the beautiful corniche area near the coast lines can be a missed opportunity.  In the morning sunrise, the park was really clean, beautiful and quiet.  It is ideal for a morning walk, jog  or just to meditate.  With a nice landscape, lagoon matched with fountains, popular restaurants nearby,  and some decorative external lightings,   I think it would be much better viewing this area at night.   

Did you know that the country of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is just separated by a bridge?   It is known as the King Fahd Causeway.  The bridge is composed of four lane road, 25 km long and approximately 23 m wide according to Wikipedia.   We enjoyed the view which is breathtaking  when traversing the long bridge in the middle of a sparkling blue water.  It is indeed, no doubt...   a wonderful masterpiece of Engineering Ingenuity!

We spend our last night mostly in the beach.   The sea water was calm and warm which was really ideal for relaxing while floating, watching the glittering star light  in the sky and  just simply lying down there in the soft sand.

It was really a satisfying trip for all of us.  Our batteries are all fully charge again for going back to work.  Hopefully in the next Eid, we will be having another day out.  For sure,  pinoy engineers are always looking forward to a lot of fun after a back breaking work.   It served as a reward to our sacrifices, hardwork and patience while working here in the middle east.

Thank you for viewing...

Till my next post.

Allan Laranang