This Domestic Helper will make you think twice about cash remittances!

Have you imagined yourself working for somebody while your loved ones are a million miles away from you? If yes, maybe, your life in the Philippines is truly tough that you have to go overseas for work.

It’s been three awesome years since BeamAndGo was born. Since then, we know that the number one reason many Overseas Filipino Workers leave our country is poverty or better opportunities to support their family. That’s why until now, we’re helping OFWs provide for their family’s needs through our digital gift certificates.

Malapit sa puso ng BeamAndGo ang isa sa mga bansa kung saan ay marami tayong Kababayan na OFWs. Kaya naman, yearly ay nagpupunta at nakikisaya kami sa Hong Kong kasama sila. Continue reading →

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Balik-Pilipinas: What Makes You Miss Home?

Missing home is a feeling we often experience, especially as an OFW living far away. Home is where the heart is, ‘ika nga nila. At para maiparamdam na mahal mo ang pamilya mo sa iyong hometown, subukan mong magpadala gamit ang BeamAndGo.

To learn more about BeamAndGo and our services, click here.

Tinanong namin ang ilan sa mga Beamers what it’s like to live in each of their hometowns — from their simple experiences to the memories they cherish the most. Ito ang kwento ni Raizza, Tom, Angela, at Shelly.

Raizza, Bicol

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Raizza is from Albay, Bicol, home of the infamous Mayon Volcano. The last time she’s been there was a year ago, October 2016. Swerte raw kapag nakikita mo ang Mayon ng buo. Kadalasan kasi, natatakpan ito ng mga ulap. Fortunately, Raizza always gets to see Mayon’s true beauty every time she visits.

For someone who spends so much time in the city, Raizza enjoys the slow pace in Bicol — yung feeling na hindi nagmamadali o minamadali. She says it makes one appreciate the little things that go by your day even more. Here’s how she describes coming back to her hometown of Albay:

“As cliché as it sounds, maririnig mo sa umaga ang mga tumitilaok na manok. I’d still be half

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Raizza’s favorite: tablea chocolate & binugtong

asleep by then, but I’ll always remember that my provincial home would be alive and bustling as early as 4:30 am. Maghahanda si Lolo at Lola para sa 5 AM mass at para mamalengke. ‘Pag 7 AM na, halos lahat ng nasa bahay ay gising na upang magsalu-salo. Siguradong nakahanda ang paborito kong tablea tsokolate at binugtong, a Bicolano delicacy made of glutinous rice with coconut cream wrapped in a banana leaf. Very similar to suman, only creamier.

After breakfast, I’d usually have somewhere to be in the city. Either bibisita ako ng mga friends ko from childhood or iikot lang ako para magliwaliw. Ang masaya diyan is there’s barely any traffic. I prefer going around the area via tricycle or jeep.

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Raizza’s family at Biggs

‘Pag in the mood si Lolo at Lola, lalabas rin sila kasama ang rest of the family. Usually, in the afternoon mamamasyal kami sa LCC Mall in Legazpi. Sasamahan ko ang Mommy ko at Lola ko na mamili sa department store. Kapag dinner, walang tatalo sa iconic Biggs food chain. Meron nito sa LCC Mall kaya it’s good narin na nandun kami. Biggs is a famous diner (and the biggest fast food chain in Bicol) that serves western food with a Bicolano twist.

 

Maaga natatapos ang araw kapag nasa probinsiya. By 7 or 8 pm, handa na ang lahat na matulog at mapahinga para sa susunod na araw.  No pressure at all thoughout the day, kaya you always feel so relaxed.”

We also asked her what she misses the most. Sabi niya, it’s being around with her grandparents. Besides the satisfaction of having her favorite people around, the calmness and serenity of the environment. Fresh na fresh and hangin at hindi masyadong mainit dahil sagana ang mga pananim at puno sa paligid, as she would say.

Tom, Iloilo

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Tom is from Jaro, Iloilo City. Ang huli niyang punta doon ay noong May 2016. Iloilo is known for it’s virgin beaches, batchoy,  heritage sites, and modern jeepneys that roam around the city. Coming back to his hometown always excites him. And whenever he does, he makes sure to spend a lot of time with his family and friends.

“Every time I visit Iloilo, I always make sure that I’m doing something each day. In the morning, Its either I try new restaurants, maybe visit the beaches or maybe just chill outside my home and enjoy the fresh air. At night, we go out and drink because the night life scene in Iloilo’s crazy.”

Tom remembers how delicious the food is in his hometown, especially the seafood. He even says, “you can never go wrong with the seafood in Iloilo. They’re huge and you can get them for a very cheap price.”

Angela, Negros Occidental

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Angela was born in Escalante City, Negros Occidental. The last time she visited was three years ago before she entered college. The province of Negros is quite known for their festivals: Pintaflores at San Carlos City, Panaad and Masskara at Bacolod, Manlambus Festival sa Escalante City, and a lot more.

Angela shares with us her favorite memories in Negros:

“I feel happy whenever I’m on a vacation in my hometown because I get to see my family and friends. Nakakapag-bonding kami. Catch up catch up, ganon. Andun ‘yung nostalgic feeling everytime uuwi ako. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam.

Simple lang ang buhay sa probinsya. Doon, kapag may vegetable garden ka, mabubuhay ka na! Ang hanapbuhay ng mga tao ay simple lang din, kumakasya lang ang kinikita nila sa pang araw-araw na pangangailangan. Laging kumakayod, bawal magpahinga. ‘Yung iba, umalis na papuntang ibang bansa para magtrabaho, tinitiis nilang malayo  sa kanilang pamilya para lang mabigyan sila ng magandang buhay. Kaya saludo ako sa mga mahal nating OFWs na kinkaya lahat matustusan lang ang pangangailangan ng kanilang pamilya. Mabuhay po kayong lahat!

Para makatulong sa mga OFWs with families in Western Visayas, may partner merchants ang BeamAndGo sa regions na ito. Kasama na dito ang Gaisano Capital, Iloilo Supermart, at Prince Retail.

Marami ka pang ibang puwedeng pagpipilian dito!

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Ang pagpapadala mo ng BeamAndGo Supermarket GC ay isa sa paraan ng pagpapakita ng pagmamahal sa pamilya mong, miss na miss mo na. Here’s what Angela misses most about her hometown:

“The spirit of Bayanihan. Sa probinsiya, madaling lapitan ang mga tao, lalo na sa panahon ng pangangailangan. Namimiss ko na din ang fiestas doon. May sayawan kasi doon sa ilalim ng buwan at mga niyog kapag fiesta, dito wala kasi di naman uso ang maingay na fiesta, at wala namang puno ng niyog dito sa Maynila, haha! One of the memories I cherish is nung nagpunta ako ng Panaad Festival sa Bacolod City, kasama ang kaibigan at pinsan ko. Pakiramdam ko halos nalibot ko na ang buong Negros Occidental!

Siguro kung may namimiss man ako ng sobra sa probinsya ay ang pamilya ko. Naalala ko, bago matulog ay ang pagdadasal namin ng sabay-sabay. Pag-gising naman sa umaga ang routine namin ng mama at mga kapatid ko is magwalis sa bakuran. Iba kasi talaga kapag kapiling ang pamilya, lahat gumagaan.”

Shelly, Davao

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Shelly at GMall, Davao City

Shelly is a proud Davaoeña. Her hometown is in Davao City, a coastal commercial center near Mt. Apo, the Philippine’s highest peak. It is also notably famous for Philippine Eagle and a place where you can get a lot of fruits and crops. Shelly tells us that aside from the numerous beaches and resorts, maraming mall sa Davao: Abreeza Ayala, SM, NCCC and the famous GMall. We also asked Shelly how it’s like in living in her hometown. Ito ang sinabi niya:

“Waking up in the Land of Promise is a great feeling. You are truly home safe with the people you spend everyday with. You can just go around and plan what you need to do for the day without worrying too much because the city has friendly beautiful men and women who love peace.

A typical day for me would be waking up with my coffee, doing routines at home, going to the mall. I actually like going to GMall, the place has variety of items from their supermarkets, food chains, to department stores. It’s a one-stop shop. And this mall really has a lot of affordable things to offer. Jeepneys pass by the mall making it convenient for commuters and shoppers. Taxis are everywhere too. It’s amazing to be here and every place is definitely accessible in the city.

Sleeping at night is one of my favorite things. Karaoke is limited to 10 PM so you can sleep soundly, hearing the chirping birds and animal friends in the background. And yes, I am living in an urban city but I can still feel like I’m in the countryside too. That is what most of us desire, I guess.”

Shelly misses the peaceful environment in Davao the most — how people treat you kindly, how they follow rules, and the lovely weather to match.

Ito ang mga namimiss nila sa mga lugar na kanilang kinalakihan. It’s such a good feeling to look back on those moments and places that have significant places in our hearts. And just because we don’t come back regularly, doesn’t mean we can’t show the people we miss how much we care for them. Sending Supermarket GCs using BeamAndGo is one of the ways to do so. Kahit saan pa man ang hometown mo, siguradong may option ka dito!

Send Supermarket GCs now!

 

Kadto ta sa Iloilo Supermart! Bonding ideas para sa mga kapwa OFW

Marami rin ang lalaking OFW. Yun nga lang iba siyempre ang kadalasang trabaho nila. Sa maraming mga lalaking Ilonggo, isa na sa pinakamadalas na trabaho ang pagiging marino. Ibang klaseng pakikipagsapalaran sa malalayong lugar at wala kang ibang makita kundi barko ninyo at ang parang walang katapusang dagat. Tubig lang sa kaliwa, sa kanan, sa harapan, at sa likuran. Iyan ang buhay marino at sa araw-araw, alam mong miss na miss mo na ang asawa mo at ang mga anak mo.

Ang ilan sa kanila, nilalabas ang lungkot sa Dondi Acuesta.jpgpagpunta parati sa gym kung may gym ang barko. Kung wala, jogging na lang nang katakut-takot. Ganyan talaga habang nasa laot at habang malayo sa pamilya.

Kapag nakarating na sa Pilipinas uli, aba, gimik na! Shopping na! Ilabas na ang lahat ng frustration na hindi kasama ang pamilya.

Start Now: Provide for your family’s basic needs! Click here to choose from BeamAndGo’s wide range of supermarket partners.

Ganyan si Captain Dondi Acuesta. More than 29 years in service bilang isang marino na nagdadala ng tanker vessel sa iba’t-ibang lugar – Sweden, Germany, Norway, at sa iba pang lugar sa Europa. Galing no? Pero kung tatanungin ninyo siya, ano ang sasabihin niyang mas gusto niyang gawin?

Mas gugustuhin niyang pumunta ng Iloilo Supermart kasama ang asawang si Agnes na 26 years na in service sa government. Ngayon naman, siya ay isang School Registrar sa Iloilo State College of Fisheries.

Malalaki na ang mga anak nila. Si Tom ay isang Creative Professional sa BeamAndGo, si Pearl ay isang account manager ng isang fashion styling company, si Ereka ay nag-aaral ng Culinary Arts sa College of St. Benilde, at si Doneza, aba, first year proper na sa med school.

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Bili na! The family can’t wait!

Hindi biro ang makapagpalaki ng ganyan. Hindi rin biro ang buwan-buwan mo silang hindi kasama at hindi nakikitang lumaki. Kaya nga sobrang halaga ng mga bonding moment sa mga lugar na tulad ng Iloilo Supermart. Sa sandaling panahong iyon, bawing-bawi na ang mga panahon ng pangungulila.

Kuha na ng BeamAndGo GC para sa Iloilo Supermart!

Halimbawa, to celebrate, gawa na ng spaghetti! O kaya pangahasang gumawa ng La Paz batchoy sa bahay. At para maganda, kailangang bumili ng sariwang karne at iba pang mga sahog. Alam ninyo naman, kung hindi sariwa, iba ang lasa. Swerte lang at sigurado kang sariwa lahat sa Iloilo Supermart. Malapit na sa bahay, maaliwalas pa, masarap pa ang mga benta.

Gusto mo mas mag-manage ng iyong finances?

Tumingin lang dito.

Puro good time na lang ba?

Family bonding e pero paano ba maging good parent sa loob ng isang supermarket? Kasama sa mga pagsubok nina Dondi at Agnes ang maituro sa mga anak nila ang tamang paggamit ng pera. Sabi nga ng matatanda: Hindi iyan tumutubo sa puno.

Idea 1: Compare prices. With a place like Iloilo Supermart, you don’t just have one brand of spaghetti sauce. Look at all the varieties available. Tapos, isipin mo: Ako ba ay sobrang walang oras o tinatamad na hindi ko kayang maggisa at maghalo ng tomato sauce at giniling na karne at keso? Baka mas marami kang magawa at mapakain kung sa halip na ready-made ang bibilhin mo, ikaw mismo ang magluto.

Idea 2: Learn to window shop for future planning. Ano kamo? Walay ka pang kwarta kaya tingin lang muna. Tignan mo kung anu-ano kaya ang magandang ihanda. Halimbawa, para sa isang darating na birthday. Baka may gusto kang panregalo. May pera ka na ba? Baka kailangan mong mag-ipon. So, ipon muna! Ganyan din kasi ang turo nina Dondi at Agnes sa mga anak: Kung wala ka pang pera, wag manghingi. Pag-ipunan mo ang gusto mo. Kung birthday mo, puede ka sigurong manghingi pero kung hindi, sariling kayod, di ba, anak?

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Ito kaya? O ito? Ay magugustuhan nila ito!

Idea 3: Don’t give too much allowance. Kids, don’t ask for too much allowance. Yung tipong sakto lang. Ano ba ang kailangang pera sa school para makakain? Yun naman dapat ang allowance e. Kung may gusto ka, save 10% ng baon. So kung may PHP 1,000 per week, aba, dapat naman at least may matitirang PHP 100 sa dulo ng linggo. Isipin ninyo na lang, kung PHP 100 kada linggo, sa dulo ng isang taon, mayroong PHP 5,200 siguro ang isang bata. Hindi na biro iyon!

Idea 4: Andyan ang BeamAndGo. Gamit na ng mga digital gift certificate para siguradong mabantayan ang lahat ng gastos. Mas madaling mag-budget gamit ang mga GC ng BeamAndGo. Wala nang hassle, aalagaan ka pa nang todo sa Iloilo Supermart.

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Madaling mag-manage ng gastos basta gamit ang mga GC.

Ganyan dapat ang mga magulang: Kailangang magturo magtipid at pahalagahan ang pera pero, kapag puede naman din, salu-salo na. Habang wala pang bagong lakad si Daddy sa kanyang barko, game na game na. Kain na muna lahat!

Punta na sa BeamAndGo website at pumili na ng gusto mong GC!

 

 

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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!

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Dagdag Sahod Pang OFW: Sino ang dapat makinabang?

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We recently talked about domestic workers in Singapore now having a minimum salary of SGD 550. That’s a good thing, of course but too many of us don’t know what to do with even an extra SGD 50 or SGD 100. Meron pa nga diyang nakapulot lang ng Php 20, di na alam ang gagawin.

The main idea is this: Continue to live like you were still earning your old salary. Yes, treat yourself to something good or special. Movies are expensive in Singapore so you may want to choose that. Have a nice pepper or salted egg crab dinner with cereal prawn and some satay on the side. What about a day in Sentosa, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo, or Universal Studios? You deserve that.

BAG-160124-001However, after the little treat to yourself, go back to living frugally. This is actually your best chance to save. You do this effectively by revising that budget you started making as suggested in a previous blog post. (Find it here.) Don’t think about this money as a bonus. Think of it as an opportunity.

An opportunity for what? Marami.

There are many choices but here are some:

1) Send at least 30% of that extra to your mother and father. If you are now getting SGD 100 more, 30% is SGD 30 or Php 1,000. That’s Php 12,000 for a whole year! Hindi na masama iyon. To make things more secure, go to BeamAndGo.com and send them a gift pack they didn’t expect. Next is to make this a regular thing they can count on month on month. Get started here.

2) Put at least 30% in the bank. If you don’t have a bank account yet, open one but take note of the minimum monthly balance. DBS, POSB and OCBC are excellent banks and though SGD 30 may not seem much now but when you have SGD 360 more in your account at the end of the year, that’s definitely something to smile about. Be careful with the minimum maintaining balance. For example, you may need to have at least SGD 1000 in your account every monthly. If you can’t maintain that amount, you may get hit with a penalty resulting in your losing money little by little.

3) What about the remaining 40%? Find an investment plan. The banks in Singapore or the local insurance companies in the Philippines offer various investment products. The younger you are, the better to start because the benefits are bigger for much less money.

That 40% not enough for an investment plan you want? You can also redirect a little from your present budget to get that investment plan. Don’t think about this will result in more money leaving your pocket now. It will be a better future for you if you invest while you can.

4) One other option is just splitting the extra funds into half or a 40%-60% split. One part for your parents and one part for your investment into the future.

5) Look into medical insurance for your parents or your kids. There are different options, of course, but consult with your family doctor to determine what is the minimum needed. Need some options? You have PhilCare and Standard Insurance to choose from. Try looking here.

Also, make sure they are already enrolled properly with PhilHealth.

 

Standard Insurance

6) Send your parents or your spouse and kids a goody bag using BeamAndGo. Yes, you can’t go to the supermarket with them but with a BeamAndGo digital gift certificates (GC), it’s almost the same thing. Have you gone to Gaisano Mall or Iloilo Supermart with them? Get a GC at one of the participating supermarkets and make sure to have them send you photos. It’s not only for memories, it’s also a way to bond with them. Do that here.

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Mag-shopping na para kina Tatay at Nanay!

The bottom line here is that regardless of how much money you make, you really have to have a budget and you need to stick to that budget. Though you should be happy with this new reported increase, you should also realise that on the whole, it’s not a whole lot of money and you have to make the best use of it as possible.

Many times, helping your family with the everyday necessities is part of what you can do best. BeamAndGo makes that happen and you start doing that by clicking here.

Working overseas and missing your mom

Your first and truest ally

Face it: When things get really difficult at work or when the people you live with prove more challenging than usual, you will normally grab your phone to have even a short talk with your mother. It’s normally just an issue of how much money you have set aside for making calls. Thank goodness for things like Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber.

When I was still an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Singapore, I was one of the musicians in my church. In one Mass for Filipinos, the priest focused on how each and every one of us there owed so much to our mothers. Hit with some inspiration, I began playing the notes of “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” on the piano. When I glanced at the congregation, hardly any person there, male or female, had dry eyes.

Why does any discussion on mothers cause such a reaction? For starters, a mother is always a person’s first supporter, the first fan. If you think about it, the mother is also the first real friend and chat mate with some mothers talking to their children as early as the pregnancy stage. Many of us have the experience of our mothers knowing something was up even before we knew about it or had the gumption to talk about it.

For example, when I was seven years old, I came home and my mom just looked at me. “May lagnat ka.” I gave this quizzical look and said, “Ha?” True enough, I was running a fever even though I didn’t feel it yet.

That’s how moms are and this is one reason why we can’t hide much from them and why our mothers are normally our first and truest allies.

This is why each OFW will always have this nagging question: How is my my mom? Is she okay?

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Remember the times when you were too tired that she carried you?

This question is made stronger every time an OFW comes home only to leave for work again. You just can’t get rid of that feeling that maybe just so you don’t worry about her, your mother is not telling you everything she actually needs.

This is one of the reasons why BeamAndGo came to be. Each OFW wants a good measure of assurance that things are okay back home. You’re like that, aren’t you?

The surprise and the usual

Giving your mother chocolates is a good thing. So is giving her a bag of groceries. Mothers love that their little baby is able to earn a living, live a life independently, and send a goody or two back home one in a while. She won’t tell you though. You just see the twinkle in her eye and perhaps the hastily-brushed-off tear.

With BeamAndGo, you can actually do this much more easily and more frequently. For example, if you send her a BeamAndGo gift certificate of Php 1,000 (approximately SGD 30 or HKD 160), she can easily get perhaps the following items:

  1. Adult milk (600g): Php 270
  2. Sugar-free Coffee (20 packs): Php 106
  3. Crackers (850g): Php 147
  4. Dried Mangoes (100g): Php 50
  5. 5 cups of instant noodles (35g): Php 79
  6. Spaghetti (450g): Php 36
  7. Sweet Spaghetti Sauce (25kg): Php 22
  8. Cooking oil (1L): Php 170
  9. High Fiber bread loaf: Php 90
  10. Cheddar cheese: Php 45
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Halina. Bili na!

What’s even better is that BeamAndGo’s partner merchants offer better value than leading supermarkets. These merchants are your “neighborhood” groceries such as Gaisano Mall of Davao (Davao), Gaisano Capital (Cebu), or Iloilo Supermart (Iloilo). Knowing these guys are also on your side can truly give a whole new and meaningful importance to your hard-earned money.

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She was your first companion and lakwatsa buddy.

When you miss your mother, maybe, instead of going out with some friends to burn that SGD 30 or HKD 160, you can just go to the BeamAndGo website and send your mom something that she appreciate.

What we have above most likely won’t last a month but think of it as something like your way of giving back to mom for all the times she didn’t have a lot of money but spent it on one slice of 3M Pizza or a Burger Machine cheeseburger and a bottle of Coke just so her little baby could have something to eat after a tiring day in school.

Yes, that’s your mom, nanay, mama, nanang, inay, ima, mudra. Why don’t you give her a call now and tell her something is on the way to make her smile?