(From South China Morning Post)
Byline: Rex Aguado
THERE IS THIS terrible but very telling joke about a mother-daughter tandem of Filipino domestic helpers working in Hong Kong, although they could have been based in Singapore, Rome or any one of innumerable, interchangeable postings.
One December, the daughter sent a huge box home to her family in a tiny, thirsty town in the Philippines.
In local parlance such cargos are called balikbayan boxes, named after Filipino expats who return to the motherland after a long stint abroad loaded with pasalubong - the accretion of their years of economic exile.
The box was huge - about three by six feet, and three-feet deep - and contained the well-preserved fruits of the two women's labours: tinned cans of sardines and meatloaf, bags of cookies and candies, …