Mag-Noche Buena kasama ang pamilya even while you’re abroad

When you live far away from your loved ones, any form of communication is vital. Bilang mga OFW, we consider technology as our best friend. Ito kasi ang gamit natin to keep in touch with our loved ones sa ‘Pinas! Gamit na gamit natin ito, especially during the moments we can’t make it back home. Kaya para sa ating mga kababayang OFW na hindi makakauwi sa papalapit na Pasko, don’t worry! Heto ang mga paraan para maka-bonding ang ating mga mahal sa buhay, even when we are miles away:

Mag-chat

If there is no need to make a call, sending a text or chat is the most convenient way to relay your message to your friends and family. Hindi mo din kailangan gumastos ng malaki para mag-text sa mga kaibigan at kapamilya mo! Basta may wifi or data connection ka, makakausap mo sila. Okay ito, especially kung iba ang time-zone ng kausap mo. Kung tulog man siya, siguradong mababasa niya ang message mo pagbukas niya ng kanyang cellphone.

Isang paraan para maging updated sa buhay ng mga kapamilya mo ay ang paggamit ng social media. Kapag friends kayo sa Facebook, Twitter, at Instagram, makikita mo ang mga updates sa buhay nila. Pwede mo pang gamitin ito para maka-chat sila, tulad ni Kassy at ng kanyang mommy. They use social media to keep in touch and maintain constant communication. Kaya nga close pa rin sila, kahit nasa Dubai si mommy at siya ay nasa Pilipinas.

wechat-phoneAside from social media, there are a ton of messaging apps you can choose from. Ilan sa mga ito ay Viber, Line, WeChat, at WhatsApp. Iba-iba sila ng special features pero lahat ng ito ay pwede mong gamitin to chat with your friends and family.

Pero teka muna, may gagamitin na ba ang mga mahal mo sa buhay para maka-chat mo sila? Kung wala pa, you can send a Kata i3L using BeamAndGo as a gift to your loved one this Christmas! Perfect ito to for chatting and mobile browsing. With a 16 GB Storage + 1 GB RAM, you can download your favorite social media and chat apps and see them on the 5-inch IPS super HD display. It has an 8 megapixel front camera and 13 megapixel back camera para makapagsend ka ng pictures sa mga mahal mo sa buhay!

 

chirstmas-kata-i3l-a

Send a Kata i3L to your loved one today!

Tumawag

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 7.47.28 PM.pngPara sa mahaba-habang kwentuhan, itawag mo na lang yan! You can even subscribe to your network’s most affordable IDD promos to call your friends and family. Pero mas madali nang tumawag, basta may internet ka. Most messaging apps already have a voice call feature. Kahit nasaan ka man sa mundo, pwede kang tumawag. Convenient diba?

Syempre, dapat may load ang mga kapamilya mo, para maka-subscribe sila sa iba’t ibang promos ng kanilang networks. Just visit your network’s website or call their hotline to inquire about their different promos. Ang iba pa nga ay may free Facebook at Viber!

Send eLoad using BeamAndGo!

Mag-Video Call

Ang pag-video call na marahil ang pinaka-magandang paraan to keep in touch. 10 years ago, naririnig lang natin ang mga kausap natin using our phones. Ngayon, pwede na rin natin silang makita sa screens gamit ang ating computer, phone, o tablet.

Ngayong Pasko, send a Kata T mini 3 to your family! Sino man sa inyong bahay ay maaaring gumamit nito para makatawag sa iyo:

christmas-kata-t-mini-3-1-1

Choose between the RAM 1GB + ROM 8GB version or RAM 2GB + ROM 16GB version, kung kailangan niyo ng mas malaking memory. May 3000 mAh battery ito na tatagal kung gagamitin niyo itong pang-video call. Kitang-kita niyo pa ang inyong kausap sa 6.95″ HD display nito at kitang-kita ka din nila dahil may 5 megapixel front camera ito at 8 megapixel back camera.

For other Christmas gift ideas for your parents, click here.

desktop_mainv2Ilan sa mga paboritong video calling apps ay ang Skype, Google Hangouts at Facebook. Kung computer o laptop ang gamit mo, you just have to open the website of your chosen video calling app using your browser, register, and make the call! Ang dali lang! Skype and Google Hangouts are known for their reliability. Facebook, on the other hand, is an all around platform. Besides being a social media platform, magagamit mo ito sa pag-chat at pagtawag. With just a few clicks, makikita mo na ang ngiti ng iyong pamilya habang sinasabi nila na miss ka na nila.

Ano man ang gamitin mo to stay connected with your loved ones, ang importante ay nadadalian kayo sa paggamit nito.  Hindi mo man nakakasama ang inyong pamilya, nakikita at nakaka usap niyo naman sila. These advancements in technology make it easier and cheaper keep in touch.

Now, it’s even easier and cheaper to send love to your family using BeamAndGo! Click here to know more. 

OFW Shopping Advice: ‘Wag mong bilhin yan!

Bilang isang OFW, ikaw nga ay nagpapadala ng Supermarket GCs using BeamAndGo, pero sinisigurado mo ba na nagagamit ito sa wastong mga bilihin? Nararapat lang na ang maging wais tayo sa ating mga gastusin bilang OFW. Ilan lamang ito sa mga remittance advice at shopping tips on what not to buy and their alternatives when grocery shopping in a supermarket.

Gusto mo o kailangan mo?

Bago pa man pumunta sa supermarket, ugaliing gumawa ng listahan ng mga kailangan sa bahay. Siguraduhing ang nasa list mo ay ang inyong household needs at hindi wants. This is a good way to spend under your budget and make better buying decisions sa pag-grocery shopping. Pagdating sa supermarket, unahing bilhin ang mga nakasulat sa listahan. Kapag may sobra pa sa budget, saka kumuha ng ibang mga bagay na gustong bilhin. Avoid impulse buying. Don’t buy items that aren’t on your list or those that will go over your budget.

Kung kailangan mo pa ng mas maraming tips kung paano mag-budget, punta lang dito.

Maramihan o tingi?

Mas mabuting bumili in bulk (maramihan) para sa mga produktong matagal mag-expire. Kadalasan, mas napapamahal kapag bumibili ng patingi-tingi. Kung in bulk at isahan ang pagbili, makakatipid tayo sa presyo mismo ng produkto at sa effort at gastos ng pagpunta natin sa supermarkets. Para sa mga bagay na hindi nabubulok o matagal mag-expire, do buy in bulk. Halimbawa, kung may sobra pa sa budget mo, ‘wag lang isang soap bar ang bilhin mo, bilhin mo na ang pack of 6. Nakatipid ka na, hindi ka pa pabalik-balik sa Supermarket.

IMG_9881

Pero kung ang bibilhin mo naman ay mabilis mag-expire, tulad ng gulay, prutas, karne, at iba pa, bumili lamang ng sakto para sa iyong pamilya para hindi ito masayang. Para sa mga bagay na nabubulok at/o mabilis mag-expire, do buy just enough.

Jenra_BeamAndGo_fruits

 

Healthy o junk?

May iilan sa atin na nakasanayang kumain ng junk food araw-araw, kahit na alam nating hindi ito maganda para sa kalusugan. Okay lang namang mag-indulge paminsan-minsan — everything in moderation. Kaya lang, don’t buy junk food on a regular basis.

Regular price o sale?

Madaling masilaw sa mga items na on sale. Iniisip kasi nating makakatipid tayo kapag bumili tayo ng mga gamit na naka-promo, pero mas madalas tayong napapagastos dahil sa mga ito. Don’t buy items on sale, if you don’t really need it. Kung hindi naman talaga kailangan, mas mapapagastos ka pa kapag bumili ka ng naka-sale, lalo na kung hindi pa ito kasama sa inyong grocery list.

More tips on making a budget, click mo lang ‘to!

Generic o sikat?

Isa sa ating mga values bilang Pilipino ay ang pagiging loyal, kasama na dito ang pagiging loyal sa mga brands ng mga produktong ating nakasanayan. We trust these “household brands” dahil sanay na sanay na tayo sa brand na ito, pero palagi tayong may mahahanap na alternatibong mas mura at mas sulit. Don’t always buy products from big brands you’re used to. Once in a while, makabubuting sumubok ng mga bago o hindi gaanong sikat na produkto, kasama na dito ang mga generic brands ng mga supermarket. Karaniwang mas mura ang mga ito pero ganoon parin ka-epektibo.

Cover Photo blog 3.jpg

Local o imported?

Iniisip kasi nating mas maganda ang quality ng imported products, pero sa katotohanan, pareho lang naman ‘yan! Minsan nga ay mas maganda pa ang mga produkto natin. Don’t buy imported products just because they are imported and do support local products. Kadalasan pa nga ay mas makakamura tayo, at makakatulong pa tayo sa negosyo ng ating mga kababayan kung bibili tayo ng gawang Pinoy.

Cover Photo blog

Kapag napadalhan mo na ng Supermarket GCs ang inyong mga kapamilya sa Pilipinas, i-share mo sa kanila ang article na ito! Sa susunod nilang punta sa BeamAndGo partner supermarkets, alam nila ang mga dapat bilhin at dapat iwasan.  

Para sa mga katanungan tungkol sa BeamAndGo digital gift certificates, you may contact us at customerservice@beamandgo.com. The favorite brands you love from Luzon to Mindanao are now available!

BeamAndGo_Merchants _October_2017

 

You can pay via credit card, debit card (PayPal), online bank transfer, at any remittance centers that accepts BDO deposit and through our partners, Pacific Ace, Payremit and iRemit!

BeamAndGo_PaymentOptions September2017

Jonathan E. Chua and Mount Iriga

Hula Hoops, Ping Pong Balls and Tennis Balls

The City of Iriga is located at the heart of the Bicol Economic Growth Corridor and is one of the fastest growing cities in the region. It has evolved into an eco-tourism, agro-economic and educational hub with two big universities within the city. Surrounding the area are more than thirty natural springs giving the city the name “City of Crystal Clear Springs.” Iriga is also referred to as a “Character City” and its citizens have earned the reputation of being warm, friendly, and industrious.

But that’s not why I was there …

Recently at Singapore Management University, I gave a talk about Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), their families, remittance, and BeamAndGo. After the talk, I was introduced to the Honorable Ronald Felix Y. Alfelor, the Mayor of the City of Iriga.

Turns out the Mayor and I share the same advocacy – fiscal responsibility and financial literacy. As a result, he invited me and the BeamAndGo team to a visit and speak with the Iriga’s business, education, utilities and healthcare leaders.

With the wind at our backs, Albert Go (Marketing Director), Jasmin Co (Business Development Associate) and I packed our bags and headed to Iriga for a 3 day, 2 night adventure.

On our first day in Iriga, we spent the afternoon talking with a group of city leaders and business people, discussing the social issues that OFW families are experiencing. We presented the BeamAndGo platform as an agent of positive change and spent time fielding questions and exchanging ideas.

Everybody say

The gang is all here

The merchants, schools, hospitals and utility companies provided great feedback on implementation, concerns, and adoption. It was encouraging to see both the private and public sector acknowledging the plight of OFWs and the willingness to work together on a solution. Love it!

Gawad Kalinga Character Village

On our second day, we were given a tour of Iriga’s Gawad Kalinga Character Village. This village was, and continues to be, the pet project of former Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazman.

Situated along the hillside facing Mount Iriga, the Character Village was built by the poor and less fortunate. Those who participated in the building eventually became the residents. The village is clean and well-maintained. And over the years, through the hard word of the dwellers, this community has become self-sufficient. Power!!

GK Steps

The Steps of Gawad Kalinga Character Village

At the top of these steps is a wonderful vista of Mount Iriga. I have a bunch of pictures of the view, but I think it’s better if you visit it yourself and enjoy the scenery with your own eyes.

A word about Madelaine Alfelor-Gazman: she is the former Mayor of Iriga and served that position for 9 years, ending in 2013. During those years, she was responsible for much of the city’s progress. She is also a member of Kaya Natin and an avid proponent of good governance.

When there was free time, there was good food …

C’mon, this is the Philippines, you know the food is going to be delicious! We were lucky enough to have the time to enjoy 3 meals a day and each meal was yummy: crispy pata, dinuguan, corned beef hash, pancit, manok inasal, kare kare, sisig, bulalo, inihaw na posit … these are a few of my favourite things!

masarap!

masarap!

In one of our meals, we had the pleasure of tasting the Bicol speciality pinangat. I was already full before I had my first bite, but the pinangat was soooo good, that the taste of all that coconutty goodness made me hungry again.

By the end of the trip, the Mayor noticed that I had gained weight. And he was right!

So what does all that have to do with Hula Hoops, Ping Pong Balls and Tennis Balls?

On our last night in Iriga, we were invited to the surprise birthday party for the President of the University of Saint Anthony. We arrived a little late and missed the surprise part, but we didn’t miss anything else …

Highlight #1. A group of very talented singers and dancers did an Iriga version of Your Face Sounds Familiar. One word: Bondying.

Bondying relaxing

Bondying relaxing! Couldn’t find a better pic, so this will have to do. I think this is from the movie The Little Big Boy (1989)

Highlight #2. Lechon and home-made ice cream.

Highlight #3. Well-sung, really fun karaoke lead by ma’am Madelaine and Romy. While they sang, we danced.

Highlight #4. Three parlour games: the first game involved passing a set of hula hoops through 10 of us, while we were holding hands; the second game was to shoot ping pong balls into a cup, which rested on top of a person’s head; and the last game was a relay race where the participants had to run around a chair while dribbling a tennis ball.

Our visit to Iriga was productive and the party was great way to end the trip. To paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger, “we’ll be back.”

Shout outs to Mayor Ronald Alfelor, former Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazman, Nenet Berina, Nona Santiago, Peter Lagyap, Lilo, and everyone we met at Iriga.

My Grandma Was Dying

I just saw the latest remittances figures in 2014 for overseas Filipinos. US $24.3 billion. That is a 5.8% increase over 2013. Sounds great, right?

It would be, if the money was spent on the essentials and used to help recipient families gain financial stabilty.

Now, check this out – a friend sent this to me last week …

when my grandma was dying ...

This makes me mad.

I don’t know the whole story and there are usually two sides to every story. But this is a tale with a common refrain: overseas Filipino sends money back home and the money then disappears.

Sometimes the money is used for self-profit; sometimes gambling; sometimes drugs and alcohol. In these cases, the end result is that the provider’s hard work is wasted and the whole family ends up no better than before. Millions of Filipinos go overseas to work not expecting this to happen, but it happens all the time.

Philippines Peso

Cash is the most flexible form of payment in the world.

And in the Philippines, cash is accepted everywhere. So cash is great when used properly. But is it really the best way to provide for one’s family needs? There is no control on what it is used for, no accountability, no transparency.

When we started BeamAndGo nine months ago, we wanted to attack this problem. We wanted the hard working Filipinos around the world to have control over their hard earned money AND still be good providers for their families in the Philippines.

At BeamAndGo, we believe there is a better way for people to support their loved ones in the Philippines other than just sending cash. Our goal is to enable providers to buy food, medicine, health care, insurance, education and other essentials for their family in a way that is affordable, convenient, transparent and sustainable.

If you like this article, please share with your friends and loved ones.

To see what we are doing at BeamAndGo, visit us at http://www.beamandgo.com. Also, I am always looking for ways to make BeamAndGo better, so if you have suggestions or comments, you can contact me directly at jonathan.chua@beamandgo.com.

The New New Look, Part 2

In The New New Look, Part 1, I described the changes we made to the BeamAndGo products page in order for our users to get all the product information at a glance. In Part 2, I will show you guys what happens after a user clicks on the Buy button.

We worked hard to streamline our screens so that a user only needs to enter the minimum amount of information necessary to complete a transaction. As users of BeamAndGo ourselves, we wanted less pages and less fields. And as a result, this is what we came up with …

It's all in the details

First, we created a section that displays all the item details related to the order.

It's all in the details

Then, we made it easier for the user to select a recipient for the order.

Recipient

And lastly, we provided an estimate on when the recipient will receive the SMS with the digital gift certificate information.

Delivery estimate

The SMS will contain the following information: the sender’s name (you!), the value of the gift certificate, the gift certificate code, the merchant and the locations where the gift certificate can be redeemed.

In many instances, the SMS will be sent instantaneously and the recipient can redeem the digital gift certificate immediately.

In The New New Look, Part 3, I will explain the different payment options we have added to BeamAndGo to make it easier and more economical for our users to provide for their families.

To see the new changes at BeamAndGo, visit us at http://www.beamandgo.com/store. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me directly at jonathan.chua@beamandgo.com.

If you haven’t heard, the Pope was in town.

Late last week, I was working in Manila, which coincided with the Pope’s visit. Now, I have been in cities when dignitaries visited: Nelson Mandela’s first UN visit in 1994; George Bush’s post 9/11 World Trade Center site visit; and Bill Clinton’s visit to Singapore in 2005. But I have never seen anything resembling what I saw when the Pope visited Manila.

En route

Millions of Filipinos lined the streets to see the Pope as he moved between appearances at Malacañang Palace, Mall of Asia, Manila Cathedral and Rizal Park. Major roads were shut down. Flights cancelled. Airport terminals were closed. Commemorative t-shirts, handbags, beer mugs and adult diapers were made and hawked. And for the length of his visit, the government declared a public holiday in Manila.

It was an enormous spectacle of biblical proportions.

But through all the hoopla and pageantry, the Pope kept it real and dispensed with insightful advice and outlined his view on what ails people in the Philippines and all over the world. To list everything he said would be too long for this blog entry. In my opinion, these are the top 3:

The Pope greets the people“Men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the ‘culture of waste.’ If a computer breaks it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs and dramas of so many people end up being considered normal … In this way people are thrown aside as if they were trash.”

I am guilty of this.

We live in a world of “stuff” and the attainment of that “stuff” consumes our lives. As a result we lose track of humanity, our family, and our friends. And not only are we fostering a “culture of waste” but also a “disposable society“.

Keep things in perspective and caring for others should be the top priority.

Smiling Pope“The perfect family doesn’t exist, nor is there a perfect husband or a perfect wife, and let’s not talk about the perfect mother-in-law! It’s just us sinners. A healthy family life requires frequent use of three phrases: ‘May I? Thank you, and I’m sorry’ and never, never, never end the day without making peace.”

Not much else needs to be said about this.

Making a family strong and sustainable takes hard work, commitment and suppression of ego. Like most things: what you get out of your family is in proportion to what you put in.

Can't we all get along“Modern society should be respectful of authentic human values, protective of our God-given dignity and rights.”

Basically, this is a plea for all of us to get along.

People are hurting other people for no apparent reason other then the differences in skin color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. We are all human beings; respect that; and we will be able to create better communities and better societies.


The Pope’s messages and insights need to be repeated and repeated often. And it doesn’t matter if you are red, yellow, white, black or brown: these messages are universal.

For some, the Pope’s Manila visit was an inconvenience and distraction but I think the positives far outweighed the negatives. It is priceless when a world leader inspires all of us to be better people; to be better fathers, mothers, sons and daughters; and to create a better world.

If you like this article, please share it with your loved ones and friends. Also, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at jonathan.chua@beamandgo.com.

Setting the Record Straight

Recently, we posted an explainer video on the BeamAndGo.com site and on our YouTube Channel (http://youtu.be/jItsKJjMLPk). If you are unfamiliar with the term, an “explainer video” is  a short online video used to explain a company’s product or service in a simple and entertaining manner.

The premise of our video is a female overseas worker who forgets to remit money to her family back in Manila. Causing some alarm.

BeamAndGo to the rescue

But fear not, BeamAndGo to the rescue. Within minutes she’s able to make sure her family has the means to purchase groceries. As a result, no one goes hungry.

This scenario is fairly common.

However, some viewers didn’t think the video was all that innocent.

The flat mateMany asked “who is this guy?” and “what’s he doing in her house?”

If you have seen the video, you’ll recognize him as the guy who tells the woman to “chillax” and proceeds to explain how to use BeamAndGo.

Chillax y’all, he’s just the flat mate.

Nothing scandalous is going on here. He’s being a friend and helping her with her predicament. He provides her with the URL, how to start it up, and then goes through all the steps (there are only 3!) to ensure that she’s able to provide for her family.

I think it’s admirable. Don’t you?

The HusbandAnother frequently asked question is “why is the husband not working?” Followed by the words “lazy” and “sad”.

Sure, we could have depicted a husband working abroad and his wife staying back home to take care of the kid. But we chose the opposite and didn’t see a problem with that. Here’s why …

First, these days, both men and women work for a living; it is common to see women in the workforce doing the same jobs as men.

Second, in 2014, over 50% of Filipinos that work abroad are women.

And lastly, over 20% of households in the Philippines are supported by a family member working abroad. Those left behind are not lazy but are unable to find a steady job or they work in a low paying job and need the overseas remittance to make ends meet.

What we depicted is typical. Is it sad? Yes, it’s very sad, but it happens all the time. It is NOT scandalous; it is a reflection of our times.

Now, I have to say a little more about the actor who plays the husband.

The ActorYes, this guy!

The actor who played the husband – Dino Pelagio – is also the lead software architect for BeamAndGo.com. When he’s not acting in our explainer videos, Dino is THE MAN responsible for developing all the software that makes BeamAndGo GO GO.

I have known Dino for more than 4 years. He is a very good software developer and one of the nicest guys I know. Furthermore, his peers respect him and enjoy working with him.

And according to his wife, Dino is an excellent father. (note: his daughter is also in the video).

At BeamAndGo, we love the guy. How can you not love a guy with smile like that?

If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can watch it at http://www.beamandgo.com or http://youtu.be/jItsKJjMLPk. If you have any questions or comments, you can email me at jonathan.chua@beamandgo.com. Feel free to share it with your friends and family.