Over the years, we have all heard of drug mules, I think. Well, if you search Google for “Drug Mule” this is what you find:
But, today, I am not talking of drug mules. I am talking of a very popular Filipino system of “sending” or “shipping” things, which makes use of “mules”.
Right now, my son, Aaron, is in the USA. Over the previous few months, Feyma and I have ordered a number of products on Amazon and had them shipped to Aaron where he is staying. Mostly we have ordered items for health, business needs and a few food/drink items. Our intention was for Aaron to collect all of these ordered items and then put them in a Balikbayan Box and ship them to us once he has enough to fill a box. Problem is, a balikbayan box can take up to 2 or 3 months to make it to the Philippines!
A few items were more important, and we needed them more quickly. Important things like some small keychain type pill boxes for carrying important medicine, some pills for breaking up kidney stones, and a few other things. Basically, small stuff, but stuff that is needed more quickly than a few months down the road.
Back a month ago or so, a very dear friend of ours, Lourdes, told us that she would be going to the States in early January to visit her sister and would be there for about 2 weeks. Well, we had an item that we wanted to send to Aaron, and we had this “important” stuff that he was holding for us. We asked Lourdes if she would be willing to carry the item that we have for Aaron and then drop it in the mail for him once she reached the USA. We also asked her if Aaron could ship a small box to her containing our important things. This is a very common procedure in the Philippines, everybody does it, and since Lourdes is a very close friend, she readily agreed!
Well, Aaron has received the item we sent to him, and today Lourdes received the small box that Aaron sent to her. The small items can be taken out from the box and placed in her luggage. Lourdes will return to Davao this weekend, so sometime next week we will go see her and get our stuff!
All very simple, very quick to transport small items, etc. Very, very convenient! It’s the mule system, just not the “drug mule” system!
So, if you are going to the Philippines, or returning home (wherever that may be) don’t be surprised if somebody asks you.. “hey, can you carry an item for me on your trip?” As a precaution, if you do carry something for a friend, be sure that you know exactly what you are carrying.. you would not want to get caught with some kind of contraband that you did not even know you were carrying!
Thanks to Lourdes and to Aaron for making this a simple and quick shipment for us! It is greatly appreciated!