Top 5 Supermarkets in Luzon for OFWs

When BeamAndGo first opened its social enterprise and financial technology services for Filipinos in 2014, we made it loud and clear that our mission is to empower OFWs by providing them an alternative means to ensure that their hard-earned savings are invested on their families basic needs: food, medicine, bills payments, and education.

Granted the fact that most money remittances by Filipinos are intended for their families’ supermarket shopping for their daily needs, BeamAndGo today offers digital gift certificates or vouchers at  9 supermarket chains spread throughout the entire archipelago.

Three steps

BeamAndGo’s Digital Gift Certificates in 3 simple steps

Out of the 10.23 million  overseas Filipinos (Commission on Filipinos Overseas, 2014), did you know that close to 50% are from Luzon, the largest and most populous island of the Philippines?   Can you imagine the millions of overseas Filipinos from the north who provide for their families? In some cities in Ilocos, almost 60% of the population of families rely on OFW remittances.

In this blog post, we will give spotlight to overseas Filipinos from Ilocos, Calabarzon, National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Bicol.

If you are one of them, here are our Top 5 Luzon Supermarket picks for you:

1. LCC Supermarket 

Branches: LCC branches are located in Daet, Iriga, Legazpi, Masbate, Naga, Sorsogon, and Tabaco. List of branches, store hours, and address can be accessed here.

Supermarket_BeamAndGo_LCCSupermarket

Why we think it’s best for you: Almost every corner and every street in Bicol is filled with LCC supermarkets. From fresh seafood and vegetables to poultry and choice meats, you can count on LCC. It’s located almost everywhere in Bicol.

2.  San Roque Supermarket

Branches: San Roque Supermarket has 10 branches in Luzon scattered in Manila, Novalichez, Cavite, Navotas, Antipolo, and Valenzuela. List of branches, store hours, and address can be accessed here.

supermarket_BeamAndGo_Sanroquesupermarket

Why we think it’s best for you: We know you are gonna love San Roque Supermarket because OFWs get the best deals for their Sari-Sari stores and household needs. No further explanations needed!

3. Super 8 Grocery Warehouse 

Branches: Super 8 Grocery Warehouse has branches in Laguna, Cavite, Metro Manila, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Pampanga, and Bulacan. List of branches, store hours, and address can be accessed here.

supermarket_BeamAndGo_Super8

Why we think it’s best for you: This place really defines “Super!” The prices are affordable and they provide a variety of items. From groceries to school supplies, anything that your family would need can be bought here.

4. Jumbo Jenra and Jenra Supermarket

Branches: Jenra Supermarket has branches in Dau, Sindalan (San Fernando), and Angeles City. List of branches, store hours, and address can be accessed here.

supermarket_BeamAndGo_Jenra

Why we think it’s best for you: Jenra is popular among Kapampangans. Sari-sari store owners  as well as Kapampangans in Japan and Hong Kong have taken advantage of their incredibly cheap prices and wide selection of items.

5. Johnson’s Supermart (new merchant!)

Branches: Johnson’s Supermart has two branches in Laoag City for your family to enjoy. It is also the trusted and friendly neighborhood supermarket in town.

Supermarket_Johnson_1024

Why we think it’s best for you: You wouldn’t know what no-frills means until you go to Johnson’s Supermart. Its compact space lets you find what you need in an instant. Fast and easy!

Here’s our remittance advice and more tips for your supermarket shopping!

Budgeting:  Daily, weekly, or monthly shopping.

Shopping must be done weekly so that food at home is kept fresh. It’s also dangerous to bring a lot of cash inside the supermarket. Plan your weekly or monthly visit and have a grocery list prepared.  When using BeamAndGo gift certificates, your sister, mother, or children only need to show the SMS at the customer service counter or cashier.

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Just show this SMS with the serial number and confirmation code. The cashier and customer service are trained to encode them in the system for validation. Don’t forget to bring a valid ID

Pay close attention to the amount you are comfortable sending to your families using  BeamAndGo. Purchase any Supermarket GC now and within 24 hours, your family member in the Philippines will receive an SMS with a serial code and confirmation number to present at your selected Supermarket.

You may use your credit card, debit card, PayPal, or even pay cash through a remittance center once you have selected a Supermarket. Check out the list below to see the best option for you:

BeamAndGo_payment_options

Save up to Php 560, on us! Just enter the discount code BNG7 before checkout and we’ll give you a 7% off on your first purchase.

So what are you waiting for? If you want to ensure your remittances will be spent on supermarket needs and not on anything else, visit BeamAndGo and try out our digital gift certificates.

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Opinion: The middle class OFWs and the cost of higher income

It was the year 2010.

Having been voted by more than 15 M Filipinos, President Noynoy Aquino delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). His electrifying speech against corruption and the culture of “Wang-wang” or special treatment to VIPs was a hit in local press and the business sector.

Noynoy Aquino

A photo of President Noynoy Aquino. Credited for fixing the fiscal policy, reducing foreign debt, and tightening of spending. During his term, income taxes were unchanged. Good or bad for middle class?

Back then, I was working in one of the largest Universal Banks in the Philippines and was drawing a moderate salary but it was not enough for me to be financially free.

Related: Did you know that as OFWs, you can send remit smarter to your families’ household needs from groceries to medicine?  Register now for free and let BeamAndGo help support your family needs

Like many middle class college degree holder employees, my dream was to own my own house and be financially independent. I asked myself the question,” How long would it take for me to accomplish my noble aspirations? 20 years?”

So in January 2011, I finally boarded the cheapest flight to Singapore after months of deliberation with my family.

I armed myself with the very small stash of savings from the past 4.5 years. That’s it! #Bahalanasibatman ika nga but I was confident with my qualifications. So I bid goodbye to my parents, lola, and friends. It was painful, hard, and dramatic. A month after, I landed my first job to oversee the marketing and fundraising programs of a Singaporean NGO. I drew a salary more than 5 times my take home pay in the Philippines.

There were many things I learned while working overseas from cooking, washing of clothes, moving flats, and even dealing with abusive landlords (that’s a different story). But the most important is sending cash remittances back home and its enormous repercussions if not planned wisely. I could just imagine how much more I’d saved and invested if BeamAndGo was already available with its digital gift certificates on supermarkets, medicine, and other basic needs. If you don’t have an idea how it works, just watch this video below:

From my own personal experience and from the testimonies of dozens of OFWs whom I’ve personally met, many of us choose to work overseas because of better employment opportunities and lower taxes.

I will emphasize this because I want our next President to focus on the immediate welfare of middle class Filipinos. You can be assured, just like the millions of Filipinos who left their families, I will be watching your first State of the Nation Address! All of you promised to reduce taxes.  I will be taking down notes and I will hold you accountable. Tandaan niyo, sinabi ninyong lahat na babawasan niyo ang taxes. We are not endorsing any candidate but what we want is for the President to walk the talk, make the biggest sacrifices, and lead by example.  Don’t we all deserve this?

While OFW remittances has been widely acknowledged as the driver of the Philippine Economy (USD 29.7 Billion in 2015), the high costs of absentee parents, loneliness, and risks to life on both physical and mental are enormous. That subject cannot be brushed aside because their are serious concerns. Just read the story of a domestic helper who took her life a few days ago here.

We invite our fellow OFWs to become a member of the Beamer family. It’s a community for OFWs where we freely share stories and provide advice on a range of topics from saving, budgeting, and money allocation, to healthy nutrition.

Not long ago, my blood pressure went up to 160 / 100 in Singapore, when I gorged on chicken rice almost everyday. That was before I noticed that all of my Singaporean friends were eating vegetables and fish soup. Did you know that the mortality age in the  Philippines is 68.5 years as opposed to Singapore at 84.5 years? Stop the chicken rice,  friends!  If you want to learn practical tips on how to live longer, sign up at BeamAndGo now.

Laoagposter

I was in Laoag, Ilocos Norte last Saturday delivering a workshop with Vanessa Cartera, our director of sales, to retired OFWs on the keys to claiming victory in both health and finances. One of the highlights was the subject on 8 dimensions of Wellness. I will discuss more on our findings and also learnings from the participants in my next blog. We will give you tips from Dr. Raymond Escalona, a lifestyle nutrition specialist, on how you can reduce the risk of cancer and live a healthy lifestyle. We thank the Laoag City LGU and its Community Affairs Division for inviting their OFW associations to attend.

But right now, since we only have less than 30 days before we elect a new Chief Executive, let’s  watch the debates attentively and cast our vote according to our conscience, wisdom, and knowledge on what is best for our country. There are more issues from poverty alleviation, crime, drugs, women’s rights, contractualization, and K-12.

We have less than 30 days before we elect a new President. Let’s move away from personality politics and focus on knowing how our presidential candidates will solve our nation’s issues.

I believe it’s time to lower income taxes. There are 1.3 M of us OFWs that can cast a vote and make a difference. We will never forget all the days when we thought about quitting, when we reluctantly left our families, and when we almost lost hope in life. But we can always choose to change the game. We may find the ideal president who can walk the talk.

If you are an OFW and you like what you read, join the Beamer Support Community now. We’re now helping 80,000 Filipinos and you could easily be one of them. Together, let’s cast our votes and be heard by our government.

Kwento natin bilang OFW: Hindi tayo nag-iisa Vol. 2

Handa na ba kayo sa isa pang set ng mga kwento ng mga kagila-gilalas na pakikipagsapalaran ng ating mga Beamer? Mga nanay silang lahat at hindi tayo sobrang naiiba sa kanila. Maririninig mo kaya ang sarili mo sa mga kwento nila?

Di mo pa nakikita yung ating Unang Yugto? Click ka lang dito.

Experiencing the most of life: Karen Jaque

Kilala natin ang kwento ni Karen ng Iloilo: Pumunta Karen Jaque.jpgsiya ng Hong Kong para sa pamilya. Ang hindi natin masyadong naririnig ay ito: Gusto rin niya ng bagong karanasan.

Para sa marami nating kababayan, halos buong buhay nila, doon lang sila sa lugar nila. Maaari itong sa probinsiya nila o, para sa iba, sa mismong barrio pa nga. Si Karen, ngayon ay gumagala na sa malilinis at malalawak ng kalye at building ng Hong Kong.

Matindi ang ligaya na nabibigyan mo ng mas magandang buhay ang pamilya mo pero may halong lungkot pa rin, siyempre.

“Sobrang nami-miss ko ang mga anak ko, si Brian at si Sandy. Sana ma-appreciate at maintindihan nila kung bakit wala ako sa tabi nila while they’re growing up. Nandito ako sa Hong Kong para sa edukasyon nila. Hindi lahat ng gusto nila ay maibibigay ko. Yung best na makakaya ko lang.”

Mula sa malayo, kayang-kayang ibigay ang best sa tulong ng BeamAndGo. Nasubukan mo na?

Halina at maging miyembro na ng BeamAndGo. Mag register na para masimulan na namin matulungan kayo sa pagbigay ng mga advice sa mga usual na isyu at problema.

Every centavo counts: Judie Anne Lauron

Wala nang asawa si Judie Anne at bagong salta lang Judie Lauron.jpgsa Hong Kong at ang layo na nga naman nitong buhay niya sa Hong Kong sa kanyang buhay sa Mindanao. Para sa kinabukasan ng mga anak ang kanyang paghihirap at pagtitiyaga.

Hindi biro sa bagong salta ang mawalay sa mga anak lalo pa’t sa kanila na lang umiinog ang buhay niya. Buti na lang at tunay na mabait ang amo niya at pinapauwi-uwi naman siya. Kaso nga lang, naisip ni Judie Anne na ipagpapaliban na lang ang pag-uwi dahil magastos nga naman. “Yung ipapauwi sa akin, I-pera ko na lang pag umuwi na talaga ako.”

Ganoon dapat mag-isip ang isang Beamer. Oo nga’t malungkot minsan pero para sa higit na ikabubuti ng mga anak natin, dapat kaunti pang tiis. Plus, andito naman nga ang BeamAndGo para tumulong na hindi mapunta sa mali ang perang ipinadadala mo.

Precilla Anares.jpgSi Darna: Precilla Anares

Parati siyang sinasabihan ng anim na anak na umuwi na sa Iloilo pero bilang nanay, alam niyang hindi pa siguro panahon. Mahirap ang buhay sa lugar nila sa Iloilo at malaking tulong ang pagpupursige niya sa Hong Kong para makapag-aral nang maayos ang mga anak niya.

Sila ang D-family. Si Dario ang asawa nitong si “Darna” at ang kanilang mga supling? Sina Darwin, Dariel, Dianne, DJ Diet, at Daylin.

Siyempre, hindi naman puro ligaya ang bunga ng kanyang pagpunta sa HK. Pag wala ang magulang, wala ang magulang. Sabi nga niya, “Mahirap ding wala ako doon sa amin kasi ang mga anak ko hindi makapag-aral nang maayos. Nagbabarkada, siyempre walang nagdi-disiplina nang maayos sa kanila.”

Ano ang gusto niyang ipaabot sa mga anak? “Mag-aral kayo nang mabuti dahil mahirap talaga maghanap ng pera. Ang pinaghirapan ko ay dapat ginagastos n’yo sa mabuting mga bagay.”

Kaya nga siguro Beamer na ngayon si Darna.

Genalyn Magaso.jpgPara sa pangarap sa mga anak: Genalyn Magaso

Labintatlong-taon na sa Hong Kong si Genalyn. Beteranong-beterano na kung tutuusin.

Dating midwife si Genalyn pero hindi nga naman ganoon kalaki ang kinikita ng isang midwife sa Pilipinas at hindi talaga magkasya sa mga pangangailangan nila. Tubong Davao siya at naisipan niyang pumunta na lang ng Hong Kong.

“Umuuwi ako every two years pero mahirap. Nilalabanan ko na lang (ang lungkot) kasi pangarap ko talaga sana na gaganda ang buhay nila t sana matupad ang mga pangarap nila.”

Para sa mga tulad ni Genalyn at ng marami sa atin, ang pagkatupad ng pangarap ng mga anak ay siyang mismong pagkatupad ng sarili niyang pangarap.

Habang nasa malayo, alagaan natin sila sa tulong ng BeamAndGo. Sa pagtutulong-tulong natin, makakaya iyan.

Ano ang kwento mo?

Sigurado kaming may sarili ka ring kwento. Sa Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Middle East, o saan ka man, gusto naming marinig ang kwento mo. Share mo naman sa amin. Huwag ring magpahuli sa pagiging isang Beamer. Sign up ka na sa www.beamandgo.com!

Kwentong Beamer: Kanya-kanyang kwento

Unang Yugto

Nagsimula tayo nitong nakaraang buwan sa ating Kwentong Beamer. Nakita natin ang kanilang mga adhikain, mga alalahanin, at ang kanilang dahilan para ng pag-alis ng Pilipinas. Sino nga ba naman ang gustong iwan ang kanyang pamilya?

Ngayon, babalikan natin sila. Sabi nga ng ating pamahalaan, sila ang mga bagong bayani ng ating bayan. Kayong lahat actually. Sa susunod, baka ikaw naman ang maipakita natin sa lahat. Payag ka ba? Sabi ka lang. Gusto naming marining ang kwento mo.

Ang baguhan: Lotlot Jardin

Kaya mo bang hindi makauwi sa mga magulang mo ng Lotlot Jardin (resize)tatlong taon? Hindi biro-biro iyon. Ganyan nga ang naging pagtitiis ni Lotlot Jardin na tubong Quezon.

Good thing for her, she’ll be coming home this month and will be staying for two whole weeks. “Excited na ako makita (ang) pamilya ko.”

Single pa rin si Lotlot; walang asawa’t anak pero sinusuportahan ang magulang pati na ang isang pamangkin na ulila na sa magulang. Sila ang mga dahilan niya para pumunta ng Hong Kong at doon makipagsapalaran. Pero, awa naman ng Diyos, marami siyang nakilalang mga kaibigan kaya masaya naman siya. Things have been really good for her in Hong Kong.

Right now, she’s really looking forward to seeing her parents and her siblings: “Sa aking mga mababait na kapatid, magkikita tayo sa March 2016. Wag kayo mag-alala, maganda parin ako walang kupas. Okay lang ako dito kahit malamig. Miss na miss ko na kayo.”

Apat nang taon: Si Laarni Gonzales

Laarni Gonzales (resized)Kung tutuusin, baguhan pa lang si Laarni sa Hong Kong. Apat na taon pa lang siya doon. Dalawang beses na siyang nakakauwi mula nang dumating at nagsimulang magtrabaho. Yun nga lang, parang parating bitin ang pagbisita sa Pilipinas kasi tig-isang linggo lang parati. Parang kulang no?

Pero malinaw naman din kasi sa kanya ang kanyang pag-alis parati: “Bumabalik agad at kumakayod para sa pamilya. Nag-Hong Kong ako to secure my family’s future at tsaka para matulungan ko ang pamilya ko.”

Mahirap pa rin pero mas napapagaan ang pakiramdam kung alam mo kung para saan ang paghihirap mo.


Ang Negrense na 20 nang taon sa HK: si Melinda

Apat na taong pagitan bago mo makita ang anak mo. Wow. That is not easy, right?

Melinda (resized)Pero sa tulad ni Melinda, isa ito sa mga kailangang gawin. Dalawampung taon na siyang nagtatrabaho sa Hong Kong at tulad ng maraming nagtatrabaho doon, pumunta siya doon para sa kapakanan ng kanyang mga anak na sina Princess at Zania.

“Namimiss ko na sila pero wala akong magagawa kasi kailangan ko maghanap ng pera. Dati every year ako ummuwi pero ngayon mas strict na.”

Fortunately for Melinda, the less frequent trips back home was also rewarded – She now gets to go to different countries like the US, Japan Korea, and others because she’s working with a famous actress and model. For this month, she’ll be going to the US and Australia. How’s that for luck? Swerte no? Siguradong mas maraming magiging pasalubong sina Princess at Zania.

Masipag na Masbateño: Merlinda Gallares

Anim na taon na sa Hong Kong itong Masbateñong ito. Mahirap ang buhay sa Masbate at Merlinda Gallares (resized)kahit mismo sa Maynila, marami pa ring mga pagsubok. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit siya lumipad patungong Hong Kong. Mahirap sa isang ina ang iwan ang kanyang mga anak at parati ang turok ng katotohanang ito sa puso ni Merlinda sa bawat sandaling makakausap niya sa chat ang apat na anak na sina Kaye, Kim, Kean, at Karen – ang kanyang 4Ks. Kung maging malungkot man o magkasakit ang isang anak, hindi niya ito maaaring bigyang aliw o ginhawa.

Pangarap niyang makapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang mga anak at patuloy niyang pinagsisikapan ito. Dahil dito, tinitiis niya ang pag-uwi ng minsan lang sa isang taon para mas makaipon para sa pangangailangan ng mga anak.

Ewan na lang sa lahat ng mga sinasabing naglilingkod sa bayan ngayon, ang mga tulad ni Merlinda ang mga tunay na bayani.

Ano ang kwento mo?

Sigurado kaming may sarili ka ring kwento. Sa Hong Kong, Singapore, Middle East, o saan ka man, gusto naming marinig ang kwento mo. Share mo naman sa amin.