Padala from Melbourne

It’s my Dad’s birthday in a few days. Being in another country makes it difficult to buy gifts for friends and family on special occasions. I could probably buy a gift from a Philippine online shop and have the item sent to my Dad’s home address but somehow that feels a little impersonal.

Also, I think it would also make the gift I buy extra special and maybe even unique if it was bought from here in Australia. Even if the same item is available in the Philippines.

So I settled on the idea of sending a Padala — usually a box, also called a Balikbayan Box (translates as Homecomer’s Box), sent by a person from one country to his or her family in the Philippines. We could do it buy sending it via post but I don’t trust our postal service in the Philippines. I’m afraid it’ll just get lost or taken. Another (safer) option is sending the box through one of the major courier services but that would just be an expensive way to go.

Or just go with the third option.

From experience, in every foreign place I’ve been to where there is a sizable Filipino diaspora, there is always that enterprising Filipino who offers money remittance and parcel courier services. Usually, their fees are cheaper and delivery door-to-door is very fast and reliable.

So, I asked our friend Mike if he could recommend a Filipino packager (or should I say, packer?). He said he used Atzarah Air Cargo run by Nelson and Pearly in the past.

Here are their details if you happen to be a Filipino living in Melbourne thinking of sending something to the Philippines:

Atzarah Air Cargo
Contact: Nelson or Pearly
Phone: (03) 9306 1996
Mobile: 0409 706 331

Air Freight Rates:
Metro Manila: $3.70/kg (minimum of 15kg)
Handling Fee: $8

Weekly pickup. Delivery in 5 to 8 days. For more info or other rates, just call them up.

And if you are in Canberra, call Mang Cesar instead on his land line at (02) 6290 1090 or his mobile at 0408 487 379.

Anyway, I called up Nelson on Friday and arranged for my package to be picked up the next day (yesterday). They happen to do weekly pickups around the Western Melbourne suburbs on Saturdays. He told me that I could expect the package to get delivered at my Mom’s place by Thursday or Friday. It’ll be a little late for my Dad’s birthday but it’s still better late than never.

Published in: on February 12, 2006 at 1:15 pm  Comments (4)