Children of Filipino workers who have gone overseas in search of employment struggle to survive in this drama from filmmaker Mes De Guzman. Ilyong, Jun-jun and Moymoy are three young boys living in the rural Philippines. Their parents are OFW's -- "Overseas Filipino Workers," a local term for people who have traveled to the Middle East, Hong Kong or Japan in search of jobs that are hard to come by at home. Most OFW's support their families by sending home "Balikbayan boxes," parcels containing cash and presents that have been designed with Filipino shipping regulations in mind. But the boys have learned that a Balikbayan box is a poor substitute for a mother and father, and that despite their parents' good intentions, getting by on what they're sent is difficult if not impossible. Ilyong, Jun-jun and Moymoy steal food to get by and occasionally scrounge up enough change to take in a show at "Betamax House," a makeshift movie house where bootleg videos of American action films are shown. Just as the youngsters suffer in the absence of their parents, their folks discover that the fortune they imagined would be found elsewhere proves to be elusive at best. Balikbayan Box was screened as a work in progress at the 2007 Rotterdam International Film Festival.
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