Before leaving for the States, I was able to drop by the Balik sa Bayan Box: Travels of Rizal. It was an outdoor installation done by Team Manila at the Ayala Museum. 
The entire thing is eye-catching- a funky display of some of Rizal's best known itineraries and famous lines. It made me wonder about what our national hero would have carried around in his suitcase as he moved around the world. What are those Filipino-made things he simply could not do without?  What were the articles of clothing that he couldn't find anywhere else?Did he bring his favorite tsokalate eh from home even though he had an array of chocolates available to him in Europe?

Pondering those things, I was inspired to document a reverse balikbayan box. What are the things our many OFWs ask for from people coming to visit them? Though, there are bound to be differences- there are certain staples everyone comes to expect. Upon entering the US,  my immigration officer asked me if I was bringing food into the United States, I said, "just pastries". He quickly replied, "Polvoron?".
Yes, there was definitely polovoron in there. There was also a lot of other things. Like Philippine folk tale books, back issues of Yes magazine, pork rinds more popularly know as chicharon (with laman), house slippers, Master facial cleanser, baking molds, more polvoron, Marty's vegetarian chicharon, Team Manila and Electromagnetic Tentacle shirts, Cinemalaya DVDs, Chef Tony's popcorn, and last but not least a new barong for my brother. Not shown here but definitely always requested: Eng Bee Tin's hopia and Megamelt ensaymada.  
What's in your reverse balikabayan box?