OFW SHOPPING ADVICE: Why more and more Filipinos choose Metro Supermarket and Department Store

Parami nang parami ang Overseas Filipino Workers ngayon ang nagtatrabaho sa iba’t – ibang bansa. Taon ang sinasakripisyo nila para lang maibigay ang pangangailangan ng kanilang pamilya. Kaya naman, siniguro ng BeamAndGo na mas mapapadali ang pagbibigay saya nila gamit lamang ang gift certificates from Metro Retail.

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Smart OFWs know how to #remitsmarter.  Metro Supermarkets and Department stores offer one of the most affordable household needs from groceries to kitchenware, and appliances.

For 25 years, Metro Retail is providing the best shopping experience for their customers. This shopping mall is very keen to offer inexpensive but perfect goodies that consumers can rely on. Sa ganda ng service ng Metro Gaisano, sulit ang shopping experience rito dahil bukod sa grocery products na mabibili; meron ding wide selection of clothes, shoes, basic items na swak sa bahay at pang-regalo sa pamilya mo!

Metro Supermarket!

Una sa lahat, hindi na mawawala sa tradisyon ng bawat pamilya ang paghahanda sa tuwing may mga okasyon, tulad na lamang ng summer outings o graduation

Walang pagod kung sa Metro Gaisano Supermarket ang punta niyo, bukod sa budget-

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Hindi kayo mawawalan ng healthy and affordable choices! Karamihan ay fresh from the farm ang mga fruits vegetables, and quality meats.

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a prices sigurado pa na bago at sariwang-sariwa ang mga items dito. Tips lang bago pumunta sa supermarket, siguraduhing naka-prepare na ang listahan ng bibilhin. Unahin ang mga goods na mas importante at sure na magagamit sa araw-araw.

Tandaan, ang kita niyo bilang OFW ay hindi dapat ginagastos kung saan saan lamang. It’s your responsibility to teach your children and family the importance of spending wisely.  One easy way is to ensure you provide them with a list of items they will be getting in the supermarket.

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Sanay tayo sa mga karne! Ngunit ang sikreto to live long is to have a balanced diet which includes fish because it is packed with omega 3

 

 

Metro Department Store

Punta naman tayo rito sa Metro Department Store kung ay hanap mo ay general merchandise o mga items na pang-regalo sa pamilya. Good choice ‘to kung hilig nila ang pag-sa-shopping ng mga dekalidad na gamit.

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Kumpleto diba? Lahat ng mga damit na kailangan ng mga kapatid, anak, or asawa, available na po sa Metro Department Store. Photo Credits to http://www.metroretail.com.ph

 

They offer a wide array of great quality items that can be used personally or at home. From home appliance, clothing for men, women and children, kitchenware, gadgets, and many more.

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Kaya tungo na po tayo sa Metro Department Store! Don’t forget to ask for their customer service for the best deals and promotions!

Redeem at the following METRO branches in Luzon and Visayas:

  • Metro Legazpi – Pacific Mall, Imperial Street, Bitano, Legazpi City
  • Metro Market! Market! – Mabini Street corner McKinley Parkway and C5 Road, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Metro Antipolo – 162 P. Oliveros and General Luna Street, Barangay Dela Paz, Antipolo City
  • Metro Mandaue – Pacific Mall, Ibabao Estancia Mandaue City, Cebu
  • Metro Naga – East Poblacion, Naga City, Cebu
  • Super Metro Bogo – Corner J. Lequin and N. Lepitin Streets, Barangay Gairan, Bogo City, Cebu
  • Metro Lucena – Pacific Mall, M.L. Tagarao Street, Barangay 3, Lucena City
  • Metro Alabang – Alabang Town Center, Alabang-Zapote Road Alabang, Muntinlupa
  • Metro Cavite – Emilio Aguinaldo Hi-way corner Daang Hari Road, Anabu 2D, Imus City, Cavite
  • Metro Maasin – Espina Boulevard, Barangay Tagnipa, Maasin City, Southern Leyte
  • Super Metro Carcar – National Road Valladolid, Carcar City, Cebu
  • Metro Ayala Cebu – Ayala Center Cebu, Cardinal Rosales Avenue, Cebu City
  • Metro Tagaytay – Silang Junction North, Tagaytay, Cavite

HOW TO AVAIL OF METRO GCs?

Madali lang ang pagsali sa BeamAndGo! The first step is you need to register your personal account at www.beamandgo.com. Just key in your full name, location overseas, and your valid email address or mobile number. And take note, FREE lang maging miyembro ng BeamAndGo community.

Once you’re already done with the registration process, simply log in your account at piliin ang METRO Retail (Supermarket kung groceries ang ipapadala; at Department Store kung mga damit at household appliance naman).

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Just show the SMS with the serial number and confirmation code, provide a valid ID to the foreign exchange/credit department

It’s up to you kung ilang worth Php 500 GC/s ang iyong ipapadala at kailangan ng iyong pamilya. Mas marami, mas masaya! Make sure rin na tama ang full name at contact number ng iyong recipient hanggang sa mag-proceed na sa payment. Simple lang ito dahil pwedeng-pwede ka magbayad via credit card, debit card (PayPal), online transfer, thru our sales partners Pacific Ace, iRemit, PayRemit, PNB o sa kahit saang remittance centers that accept BDO deposit.

Your beneficiary will receive transaction codes via SMS once your transaction has been processed. At kapag i-reredeem na nila ang gift certificate, pupunta lamang sila sa Credit/Foreign Exchange Department ng Metro Gaisano at ipapakita ang serial numbers at isang valid ID.

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It’s so simple, you will keep sending digital gift certificates in the Philippines every month!

Piece of cake, right? Kaya mag-sign up na sa www.beamandgo.com at bumili ng gift certificates for your family! For as low as Php 500, sure na sure na masaya ang salu-salo nila dito sa Pinas!

Pwede din niyong panuorin ang video na ito para maintindihan ng maigi ang benefits kapag kayo ay magpapadala ng gift certificates sa Philippines mula sa BeamAndGo!

 

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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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Staying with an OFW family in Iloilo City

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Group picture of BeamAndGo and the Cartera family taken immediately after Ben shared his miraculous 34-year OFW story as a seaman.

The heritage rich city of Iloilo is located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Known for its “oohhh sooo yummy” Biscocho Haus Butterscotch and Chinese inspired Molo Soup, the city is also littered with traditional catholic churches dating back from the Spanish colonial era.

While much of its rich tradition has been kept preserved, the BeamAndGo team witnessed firsthand the city’s lightning speed infrastructure makeover with the acclaimed Iloilo International Airport and the Sta. Barbara Highway.

The very moment we hit the road from the airport, we were absolutely dumbfounded when we passed by the bustling 6-lane diversion highway on our way to the residence of one of our very own and Iloilo native, Vanessa Cartera, Director of Sales at BeamAndGo.

Vanessa, who hails from Iloilo and comes from a family of seamen, said it concisely: “Hindi dati ganito ang Iloilo. Times are changing. And I’m proud to be an Ilonggo.”

If you are wondering, BeamAndGo was one of 90 companies that participated at the PESO Office Mega Christmas Job Fair attended by 1,500 Ilonggos.

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BeamAndGo poses with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and the PESO Office department. The province of Iloilo has long been known to be the world’s resource for seamen and nurses.

In recent years, the BPO industry has spurred growth in local employment. But this city is where the world gets its pool of seamen and nursing professionals. This is the reason why Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., and his PESO office team invited us to orient jobseekers about what we do for OFWs and encourage them to register here  for an account even before they set off for international placements.

But the best part of this trip is the story of Vanessa’s father Ben Cartera, a retired seaman who has had stints in Abu Dhabi, Sweden, and Norway. In his heyday, Ben told me his motivation was to build his dream house and provide education to his children.

After 34 years, he suffered a stroke that paralyzed half his body. It was painful for his family who depended on him for financial assistance. At that time, his daughter Vanessa was studying in a university in Metro Manila. She literally cut back on unnecessary expenses while the family dedicated most of their time to assist their ailing dad.

With tears in his eyes, Ben recounted the times he had to be away from his family during important celebrations such as Christmas and graduation. Thankfully, he has now recovered after years of rehabilitation and physical therapy to restore his facial and body movement. He credits his loving and supportive family who stood by him in his most difficult state.

While I was savoring the home-cooked Molo soup, I couldn’t help but cringe and imagine the thousands of Filipinos who have similar stories demonstrating the Filipino spirit of grit and determination to bounce back from tough times.

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A hearty dinner with Cartera family at Tatoy’s, the pride of Iloilo.

From groceries and medicine to insurance and payments of bills, BeamAndGo aims to instill in the mindset of OFWs the importance of covering the basics first. We tell our BeamAndGo friends through our LearnAndGo Workshop Series and daily reminders that their hard-earned income should be spent on the things that matter – health, insurance, food, and education.

And what makes it better? Iloilo Supermart is now an official partner of BeamAndGo.com. Ilonggo OFWs can now purchase digital gift certificates that they can use to buy groceries and medicine from the said supermarket!

The Cartera family displayed to us the famous Filipino warmth and hospitality but it is their story that touches us the most. It serves as an inspiration for us at BeamAndGo to champion our cause to empower OFWs like you. We hope it would impact you the same way it made an impact on us.

Good news for OFWs who want to be financially literate

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All smiles from BeamAndGo and TGFI at the Global Summit

As of late, the news coverage related to the OFW community has been negative.

  • “OFW who won $2.3 Million in Singapore lottery accused of stealing ticket”
  • “Bong Bong Marcos decries alleged “bullet-planting” of OFW”
  • “OFW Remittances faces Downward risk”

You might be asking, “Hasn’t there been any encouraging news or inspiring stories among OFWs?” After all, the old adage bad news sells is probably true. Journalists are often quick to report events and incidents that would ignite public outcry or strong opinions from politicians.

Well, there has been inspiring stories. Last Saturday, (Oct 24, 2015), The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI) organized a day long financial literacy event for OFWs in Singapore. The event was called Global Summit and it featured 10 finance experts sharing their wisdom with a full house of over 500 OFWs.

And thanks to the kindness of Floi Wycoco (TGFI CEO) and Malvin Dinlasan (TGFI Marketing Head), BeamAndGo had the opportunity to share our advocacy to promote alternative remittance for basic needs to the OFW community.

I have attended many investment forums but TGFI’s Global Summit provided the most content-rich program with a full range of relevant topics for OFWs: personal finance, business registration and taxes, real estate, mutual funds, and stock market investing.

My personal favorites included:

  • ANC News “On The Money” Host Salve Duplito’s warning for people to refuse the lies of investment scams. For more on her personal finance articles, Click here 
  • I-Remit Chairman Bansan Choa’s focus on the 3R’s: Real estate, Remittance, and Retirement
  • Suzan Bigay, my former finance professor at UA&P, who famously said “Our real asset is our creativity.” (Thanks Suzan, you are the reason why I am not so poor!)
  • Marvin Fausto’s Putting Eggs in Different Baskets – This man has raised a family of investors together with FQmom.com blogger Rose Fres Fausto.
From L to R: BeamAndGo with

From L to R: BeamAndGo with “On The Money” Host Salve Duplito, FMAP Founder Marvin Fausto, and COL Financial Chairman Edward Lee

I also found it mind boggling to discover from Salve Duplito that many OFWs do not plan on how their remitted funds are used. In a survey she presented, when asked the question “When your household receives money, do you plan how it will be used?”,a staggering 45% of the OFWs responded “no”!

At BeamAndGo, through our research, we also noted a lack of financial literacy amongst OFWs. And many wanted to learn but they just didn’t know how. So in September, we launched the LearnAndGo Financial Literacy Workshop Series with our first event held in Iriga City. Over 500 members of OFW families attended. And just this month, we partnered with the Mindanao Federation to conduct a financial literacy workshop in Hong Kong, which was attended by 250 OFWs. We have another event planned before the year and we’re setting up the schedule for 2016.

So while the news circulating related to OFWs has been rather gloomy of late, there are rays of sunshine around. At least in this blog and the TGFI community, we work together to provide the tools, knowledge and encouragement for Filipinos to become financially literate. We Filipinos are known to be resourceful, creative, hardworking and resilient. That is good news!

Lowering taxes and preventing another Balikbayan Box controversy

(Marketing Director, BeamAndGo, Albert Christian Go)

It was in August when the Bureau of Customs (BOC) announced that it would start to impose taxes and inspect balikbayan boxes.

In less than a day, blood was boiling amongst OFWs demanding the government to scrap the plan or they would stop monthly cash remittances to their families.

Just search for the hashtag #notoBOCbalikbayantax. You will feel the pulse of angry Filipinos blurting out profane laden language (for good measure).

The controversy erupted like wildfire, deadlier than the haze in Singapore. Within weeks, the government had no other recourse but to strike down the plan to randomly inspect balikbayan boxes upon direct orders from President Benigno Aquino III.

Bottom line: Your voices were heard and the government responded (albeit miraculously).

I was once an OFW. I lived in Singapore for over 4 years because at that time, I felt that was my only way to escape the poorly thought out policies of the government. Just imagine. Taxes are at an astounding 32% compared to Singapore that gives tax relief to our first $30,000. I often asked myself, “Where can I earn the money to buy my own house, get married, or support my parents?”

Keep pushing: Lower Income tax pushed (Inquirer.net headline on October 21)

Keep pushing! Lower Income tax pushed (Inquirer.net headline on October 21)

In January 2011, I took the leap of faith and got employed at a non-profit organization that provides mentoring for children and youth. If I factor in the taxes, my salary in Singapore was 6 times more than what I would get in the Philippines.  It didn’t help that I often read news of bogus NGOs and senators pocketing hundreds of millions. DAMN! This is hopeless, I said.

If I were to have it my way, I wouldn’t leave my country! Not by a long shot. I missed my mom, dad, and everyone who was there to provide support. Although my job was very noble (a non-profit organization for children and youth), I had to hustle at work and wrestle with my emotions every night. The distance could break your heart (literally) in many aspects, believe me. I had to cling to my goals and motivations and of course my faith in the Almighty.

But I had no choice. It became a necessity. If you think we left because we simply want to travel and explore the world, it’s safe to say you’re grossly mistaken. We’re not that shallow.

Like millions of Filipinos, we packed up simply because we saw a fair and equal employment opportunity in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and other countries. To be honest, every country seemed better.

BeamAndGo with officers of Mindanao Federation

BeamAndGo with officers of Mindanao Federation

For many OFWs, it seemed as if our talents are better appreciated overseas whether we are occupying a skilled profession or not.

Myrna Padilla, whom I recently met in Davao, spoke at the Mindanao Federation in Hong Kong last October 17. Her life is an inspiration to many OFWs. Having worked in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for 24 years, she is now the Founder and President of OFW Watch and Mynd Consulting.

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A Mindanao Federation member receives a LoadAndGo Gift Certificate from BeamAndGo

We also had the absolute pleasure of meeting Cindy Pesidas Encabo (Chairperson) and Aura Ablin (Treasurer), who spent more than decade in Hong Kong. Today, Mindanao Federation exists because it provides much needed support for Minadanaoans.

At that event, I also spoke about BeamAndGo and how we contribute to the financial freedom of Filipinos through our digital gift certificates. If you are an OFW, I’ll personally invite you to watch this short video.

Together with Raizza Encinas we spent hours interacting with dozens of Mindanaoans. Believe us, they want to return to the Philippines. One of them even angrily told me, “We are sick and tired of politicians promising to install generators, provide jobs, and end war.”  It’s almost as if they have all given up.

Having said so, 2016 will be the most important year for Filipinos. If you want your voices to be heard, at the very least, you should vote for national candidates who would enact genuine change – lower taxes, infrastructure, and promote quality education.

If we vote for the right candidates, we would never have to endure another BOC scandal. It’s election season and again we are reading news of lawmakers promising to reduce taxes. Click here for the Inquirer story titled “Lower income tax pushed.” My only piece of advice, if any lawmaker reads this (I wish!), is to follow through your talk in media. After you get re elected, just do it!

As a Filipino, let’s give it a shot! Let’s vote. Maybe…just maybe..we could all return home one day!