こんにちは! Fiestang Pilipino! The most awaited event in Japan

The Philippine Festival

Malapit na ang June! Malapit na naman ang araw ng kalayaan and it’s time to celebrate! Hindi basta-basta ang dinaanan ng bayan natin para maging malaya. Biro mo, dumaan tayo sa ilang daang taon sa ilalim ng Kastila, ilang dekada sa mga Amerikano, tapos nandiyan pa ang Martial Law.

Siyempre, dahil panahon ng celebration, dapat piyesta tayo!

Related: Dito sa BeamAndGo,sigurado na laging may pagpiyepiyestahan ang pamilya. Click here to sign up!

Para sa mga kasamahan natin sa Japan, nandiyan ang Philippine Festival! Gaganapin ito sa darating na June 18 at 19 sa pagtutulungan ng Philippine Festival Organizing Committee at ng Philippine embassy sa Tokyo. Doon tayo magkikita sa Hibiya Park!

Philippine Festival 2016 (1).jpg

 

Noong nakaraang taon, humigit-kumulang sa 100,000 ang mga taong pumunta at hindi lahat doon ay Pilipino. Marami na rin mga kaibigan nating Hapon ang nakisalamuha at nakipagsaya. Siyempre naman masaya ata pag ang daming Pilipino sa paligid.

Related: Play the video for a recap of last year’s Philippine Festival with BeamAndGo

Pero higit pa sa lubos na kasayahan, ngayong 2016 din ipinagdiriwang ang ika-60 taong anibersaryo ng Philippine-Japan diplomatic relations.  Marami na tayong

philippine-food

Miss mo na? Mangan tana!

pinagdaanan kasama ng mga tao sa bansang ito at dito sa Philippine Festival natin ipagdiriwang ang lahat na pinagsaluhang iyan.

May traditional parade, dalawang araw na programa ng kultura, katatawanan, at kasayahan. At dahil siguradong miss na ng lahat ang mga talipapa sa atin, marami ring mga booth na nagbebenta ng mga sari-saring produktong Pilipino. Mawawala ba ang mga pagkain ng mga probinsiya natin diyan? Naamoy na namin ang sisig, barbeque, Pinoy spaghetti, puto, lechon, at sobrang dami pang iba!

Dito sa Philippine Festival mas matutunghayan ng dangal, saya, at kagandahan ng kulturang Pilipino. Maaasahan ang maraming kantahan hindi lang ng mga awiting Pilipino kung pati na rin ang mga kantang Hapon na ibabahagi ng mga kababayan nating mahusay umawit.

At ano pa nga ba ang isang maaaring makapagpakita ng ganda, kulay, at diwa ng pagdiriwang ng mga Pilipino kundi ang Ati-Atihan ng Aklan? Sayaw kalye, baby!

ati-atihan-festival-2IMG_3790

At dahil marami nga namang magaganda talaga sa ating mga kababayan, hindi nalalayong masiyahan tayo sa beauty pageant tulad ng sa nakaraang taon.

IMG_3751.JPG

Ang dami nga namang festivities! Tiyak na hindi kayo mauubusan ng matutunghayan.

Paano naman ang BeamAndGo?

Related: Find out how BeamAndGo has been helping Filipino families across the world! Sign up with us now and experience it yourselves! (click here)

Kami ba sa BeamAndGo ay mawawala sa ganyan? Aba hindi! Nandoon kami at maghihintay doon nga sa Hibiya Park para makipagkwentuhan sa inyong lahat. Alam naming gusto sana ng marami na magpadala ng mga biyaya ng kanilang trabaho sa mga mahal nila sa buhay sa Pilipinas. Makikipagkwentuhan kami at tutulong muli para sigurado kayong maramdaman din ng pamilya ninyo ang ligayang taglay ninyo at ang biyayang nakamit sa pagtatrabaho sa Japan.

jcb

Unti nalang ang hihintayin at matutunghayan narin ng mga Beamer sa Japan ang bago nating payment partner – ang JCB! At dahil nga tiyak kaming marami sa inyong natulungan na at patuloy na nakikinabang sa JCB, sisiguraduhin namin na maaari na ninyong gamitin ang inyong credit card na ito kapag namili kayo sa BeamAndGo. Abangan na lamang ang mga karagdagang detalye tungkol dito sa www.beamandgo.com o kaya sa aming Facebook pageComing soon na, mga kababayan!

Okay, di ba?

O paano? Kita-kits tayong lahat sa Hibiya Park para magsaya, magtawanan, magpakabusog, magdiwang, at magpakita ng pagmamahal sa ating inang bayan at sa lahat nating mahal sa buhay.

Huwag rin kalimutang bisitahin ang www.beamandgo.com para alamin kung paano kami mas makatutulong sa iyo sa Japan at sa pamilya mo sa Pilipinas.

Beamer from Bicol? Para sa indo ini!

Mga kaibigang Bicolano! Saan ka man naroroon, mas sigurado at ligtas na ngayon ang pagpapadala ng tulong sa mga minamahal ninyo sa buhay! Members of BeamAndGo, ang ating mga magaganda at magigilas na mga Beamer, you can now send everyday needs and goodies to their family through our partnership with Liberty Commercial Center (LCC). Ang matagal na ninyong inaasahan at pinagkakatiwalaang LCC ay ang panibagong offer namin sa pagtulong sa inyong mga minamahal na nakatira sa Bicol.

lcc DS logo.jpg

Hindi lang iyon. Dalawang uring BeamAndGo gift certificate and pwede ninyong bilhin para malinaw sa inyong pamilya kung sa LCC Department Store ba sila pupunta o sa LCC Supermarket. Malabo naman yatang may bitbit silang bayong kung bibili ng damit para sa graduation di ba?

Related: did you know that BeamAndGo has more to offer than just supermarkets? Click here to find out

At totoo namang ang ganda ng ating timing ano?

Daraga

LCC Branch in Daraga

Maulan nananman sa Pilipinas at for sure, may mga kakailanganin ang pamilya mo pang-handa. Wala kang dapat katakutan kung gusto mong pagpadala ng pagamahal sa mga mahal mo. Bili lang ng LCC gift certificate sa BeamAndGo at siguradong ligtas at sigurado ang kanilang magiging pagbili.

Related: Kung BeamAndGo member ka na, silip ka muna uli sa ating website para ma-review mo kung anu-ano nga ba ang mga pinadadala mo.

Pero sandali. Bakit nga ba dalawang uring GC ang pwede mong mabili para sa LCC? Dahil pinagsikapan ng LCC mula pa noon na makapaglingkod nang lubusan sa inyo, meron silang department store at supermarket. Kailangan ba ng gagamitin para sa salu-salo? Sa supermarket ka. Kung kailangan naman ng mga kagamitan at mga kapote o payong, sa department store meron niyan lahat!

SMR Banner

Hindi na bago sa buong Bicol ang LCC. Matagal na itong pinagkakatiwalaan at unang nagbukas ng kanyang mga pintuan noon pang 1945. Noon pa nito naipagmamalaki na kabisado nila ang pusong Bikolano sa kanilang paglilingkod, serbisyo, at sa katotohanang madali silang mapuntahan. Para sa kanila mahalaga ang buhay pang-araw-araw ninyo kaya pinagbubuti nila ang paglilingkod nila para espesyal ang inyong araw-araw. Di ba? Parang parati na lang piyesta.

Dahil dito, tunay na pinagkakatiwalaan sila sa buong Albay at sa kabuuan ng kabikulan!

Game! Paano ba ito gawin?

Sigurado kaming maraming gustong maging Beamer ngayon sa pagsama sa atin ng LCC. Kung hindi ka pa Beamer, o may kilala kang gustong maging Beamer at nais mo siyang tulungan, eto, pag-usapan naman natin kung paano nga ba magpadala sa Pilipinas.

Una, kailangan kang maging member ng BeamAndGo.

Mag-Sign Up sa aming website at sagutin ang mga tanong doon. Kailangan kumpleto ito.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 17.16.38

Halina at mag sign up na.

Pag member ka na, pwede ka nang bumili ng digital gift certificate. Piliin mo muna sa website ang Groceries (kapag LCC Supermarket ang nais ipadala) at Department Store (kapag LCC Department Store naman ang gusto nila). Click ka doon. Tapos, kailangan mong piliin sa susunod na screen kung saan mo planong magpadala ng gift certificate. Dahil Bicol ang pinag-uusapan natin, click mo ang Bicol Region. Makikita mo naman ang LCC sa mga puedeng mong piliin. Ngayon naman, isipin mo lang kung ilang Php 500 gift certificate ang ipapadala. Siyempre, hindi naman isa lang ang pwede mong bilhin. Puede ang isa, pero mas happy ang lahat kung mas marami! Kung lampas sa isa, pindotin mo ang Quantity para dumami. Tapos, pili ka ng padadalhan mong tao. Cell phone number niya ang kailangan mong ilagay. Kung nagawa mo na ito dati, nakalista na ang mga dati mong napadalhang cell number.

Kung tapos na iyon, bayad na. Maraming payment option na puedeng gamitin. Tandaan lang na may kaunting convenience charge ang BeamAndGo na USD 1.99. Pag nakapagbayad ka na, magpapadala kami ng SMS sa napili mong cell number na padadalhan. Para sigurado, mag-email ka o mag-text sa pinadalhan mo kung nakuha niya ang text message namin.

Once nakuha na niya ito, pwede na siyang pumunta sa LCC!

Ipakita lamang ang SMS sa mga sumusunod na LCC Redemption Centers:

LCC Legazpi- Peñaranda St,. Legazpi City

LCC Naga – Felix Plazo St., Naga City

LCC Tabaco- Ziga Avenue Tabaco City

LCC Sorsogon- Magsaysay St., Sorsogon City

LCC Masbate- Zurbito St., Brgy. Bapor, Port Area, Masbate City

LCC Market Plus Daet- Barangay 6 Market Site, J. Lukban St., Daet Camarines Norte

 

IMG_9678Pagkatapos ng confirmation sa tauhan nila, maari na mamili ang iyong kamag-anak sa kahit alin na LCC Supermarket (LCC Expressmart, Market Savers at Store Plus ay kasama rin) para magamit ang Supermarket GC at sa kahit alin na LCC Mall Department Store para sa Department Store GC.

Ang serbisyo na ito ay tiyak na mae-enjoy ng mga mahal mo sa LEGAZPI, TABACO, NAGA, PILI, LABO, DAET, GOA, IRIGA, NABUA, POLANGUI, LIGAO, GUINOBATAN, CAMALIG, BACACAY, TIWI, SORSOGON at MASBATE.

Okay na? Punta na sa BeamAndGo website at magpadara na kamo sa inda!

*************

Click here to send LCC SUPERMARKET GCs

Click here to send LCC DEPARTMENT STORE GCs

(For the complete list of LCC participating branches, visit their website!)

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.

多謝: Salu-salo ng mga OFWs sa Hong Kong!

 

Nagkasama, nagkita, at nagsaya ang mga Beamers, kanilang mga kaibigan, at ang mga kasama natin sa BeamAndGo sa isang salu-salo sa Hong Kong at kasama ang Mindanao Hong Kong Workers Federation (MinFed).

12716206_477443055798049_1169629487784935227_oNagkatuwaan ang lahat sa mga games at mga raffle na ginawa. Aside from the games and raffles, there was a lot of sharing and enjoying each other‘s company. Ganoon ang Pilipino. Pag nagsasama-sama, may tawanan, mahalan, at siyempre pa, kainan! Para mas maganda, nagbigay ng mga regalo ang I-Remit at Generika Drugstore. May duda pa bang mahal tayo ng mga merchant natin sa BeamAndGo?

Sa Generika pa lang, sampung tao na ang nakakuha ng mga t-shirt at may sobrang swerte pang nakakuha ng Php 1000 na gift certificate na maaaring gamitin sa BeamAndGo. Sigurado at ligtas na ang pagpadala sa Pilipinas ng pambili ng gamot, libre pa. Saan ka pa?

Sa I-Remit naman, may mga nakakuha ng powerbank (hindi na sila malo-low batt!), selfie sticks, mga multi-purpose mesh cases, sling bags, at windbreakers! May pang selfie na, may pamporma pa sa panahon ng taglamig. Wagi!

Generika logoI-Remit logo 02

Nandoon ang mga bida natin sa BeamAndGo – si Jonathan E. Chua, Albert Christian Go, Vanessa Cartera, Tom Acuesta, at Raizza Encinas. Nagtulong-tulong silang lahat para siguraduhing buo ang barkada lalo pa’t pagpapasalamat at patuloy na pagtulong ang pinag-uusapan. Namigay din sila ng mga naggagandahang mga BeamAndGo t-shirts.

Sikat na sikat dito siyempre ang MinFed. Pinasalamatan talaga sila sa event na ito dahil na rin sa mga naging pagsuporta sa BeamAndGo at sa pagtatanghal ng kulturang Mindanao sa ibang Pilipino at sa mga ibang lahi. Makikita ngayon ng iba na hindi lang Luzon o Visayas o dili kaya’y Metro Manila lang ang Pilipinas. Hindi kukulangin sa 26 ang mga miyembro nilang dumating.12696953_477443822464639_7671935342286487578_o

Sabi ni Cindy Pesidas Encabo, kasalukuyang namumuno sa MinFed, ang pinakaproblema nga raw ng mga nagtatrabaho sa Hong Kong ay ang paglustay ng perang padala nila.

Narinig na ninyo siguro ang kwentong ito: Magpapadala kunwari ng Php 1000 ang isang OFW para sa groceries ng pamilya sa Pilipinas. Malalaman na lang ng kawawang OFW na kalahati lang pala ang ginamit sa groceries. Ang natira, pinanlibre na ng mga kabarkada ng kanilang paboritong toma o alak.

Dahil sa mga digital GC ng BeamAndGo at sa pagtuturo sa kanila, mas naging handa na ang isang OFW sa mas siguradong pagpapadala sa Pilipinas.12657807_477443685797986_1912665462331426362_o

Naikwento ni Cindy na nung una, nagdududa pa sila dahil daw hindi pa naman matagal na kumpanya ang BeamAndGo. Pero natuwa silang lahat nung nasubukan na nila kung gaano kadaling bumili ng GC at ipadala ito sa pamilya sa Pilipinas. Hindi lang ito sobrang daling gawin, mas maganda pa ang naidudulot nito sa mga mag-asawa o sa iba-ibang mga kapamilya.

Halimbawa dito ang mga mag-asawang dahil hindi nagkakasundo sa pagbili ng pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan, nauuwi sa sigawan. Dahil sa BeamAndGo at sa mga GC nito, hindi makapaglulustay ang isang tao ng perang padala ng OFW.

Kita mo na? Nakatutulong ang BeamAndGo para mas magkaunawaan ang mga mag-asawa habang napangangalagaan ang kapayapaan sa pagitan ng mag-asawa.

12657986_477442535798101_3705527537622997323_o

Mga masasayang Beamer kasama si BeamAndGo CEO, Jonathan Chua, si Vanessa Cartera at si Raizza Encinas.

Siyempre, we also had visitors. HelperChoice was there to give a short talk on how they could help OFWs especially in finding good employers and protecting themselves from abuse.

Ganito talaga dito sa BeamAndGo. Masaya na, marami ka pang makikilala para hindi ka malungkot. Bukod pa doon, may mga matututunan ka ukol sa pag-alaga ng pera mo. Sagot ka namin. 

Baka hindi ka pa namin member. Para talagang matulungan ka namin, punta ka lang dito. Hihintayin ka namin. Kapag di pa kayo kumbinsido, panuorin niyo na lang ang video ng Salu-Salo sa ilalim.

 

Dagdag Sahod Pang OFW: Sino ang dapat makinabang?

saving-money

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.

missingmymom

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?

BAG-160120-002

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
missingmymom

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.

BAG-160120-003

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?

Barya na lang ba ang natira?

How not to keep losing your hard-earned money

Part I

Christmas is over and we’re on the first few weeks of the New Year. Many of us now find ourselves with a lot less money than we once had. Admit it: You kinda spent a bit too much and now you’re worried about the payments you have to make. This is not the best way to start the year.

We all have to plan better and start actively managing our finances. Filipinos are too used to being galante, just living for today, or both. There’s this idea that one should always share blessings and that’s true. However, you can’t feed the entire barangay. You can’t always feed your entire extended family either.

PiggyBank_20150105

Kailangan na bang basagin ang alkansiya mo?

Many Filipinos deal with “maraming umaasa sa akin.” Fact check: No, it doesn’t have to be like that. The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency tells new overseas Filipino workers something like this: You are not your family’s savior and you don’t have to send all your nieces and nephews to school. (Yes, I heard this myself and if you didn’t, maybe you should have.) It seems like a selfish way to think but the reality is that you did go abroad to give yourself a better life and help your family. However, that does not mean you should bleed yourself dry.

Think of it this way: If you always allow yourself to be the family’s milking cow, you may just end up with nothing and when there’s a serious situation with a real need for help, you may not have anything to help with.

What is crucial here is being able to manage your finances, planning your budget, and allocating your funds this early. In fact, no time is really early enough when emergencies strike. The time to start managing finances is obviously NOW.

PayDayLoan_20150105

Hindi naman utang lang parati sa sagot. Hindi talaga.

For this purpose, we need to assume that you are at least not in debt. Debt complicates things. Sobra. You can more effectively plan a budget for the year if you don’t have the extra burden of a looming debt payment.

The first few steps of managing your finances involve doing a budget and this is deceptively simple:

  • How much do you earn? (Monthly and the bonuses separately)
  • List down the non-negotiable expenses: Food, school, clothing, rent or mortgage, gas, water, medicine for parents, etc.
  • How much is for leisure? (You know – dinners, movies, the occasional shopping spree, etc. You can’t be all serious.)
  • How much do you set aside for savings? (You do, right? Save for the future and not so you can just spend it later.)
  • Is there anything you expect to be left?

That’s just the first stage because all plans are inadequate and they are proven or disproved by the realities of life. You have to test your plan for one whole month. Nothing beats a good plan than testing it against what it’s supposed to prepare for. This way you see what else you should have planned for – maybe you forgot to allocate money for the repair of your house’s roofing or you actually wanted to do some repairs to the house since summer is around the corner and you forgot to set aside money for that. Or (who knows?) maybe you just kept spending on those unplanned getaways or shopping binges that you actually have much less than what you had expected to have at the end of the month.

What about all those things you still have to send to the family back home? Surely there’s a better way to do that. And there is. You can start doing the smarter thing by signing up now at www.beamandgo.com/member/signup. Registration is free and you also get Php 50 worth of credits you can use on your first transaction.

This and other issues are dealt with in our LearnAndGo Workshop Series. We have them in January, April, and May of this year and do have more planned. It is here you can learn not only about taking better care of your finances but also how to invest, making good investments and even taking care of your kids.LearnAndGo Workshop Series

photo_mayor

Iriga City Mayor Ronald Felix “Gang-Gang” Alfelor addresses his constituents on personal finance and saving.

Meanwhile, stay glued to these pages for the next parts of this blog post. Money is important. Let’s all learn to manage it better together.

 

Reaching out across the seas: A family’s celebration

Cookai is a 26-year old Print Producer who hails from Bulacan, a province north of Manila in the Philippines. Coming from a tight-knit family with only one sister as a sibling, she’s used to having a complete family around her most of the time. But like many Filipinos, her sister Kei chose to pursue better work opportunities overseas. A lucrative offer came from a company in South Korea and after months of prayers, she decided to take it.

11407283_10153384044000489_7240795904852492743_n

Cookai and Kei enjoying some Korean street food

Cookai and her parents have visited Kei in Korea, but nothing beats having her sister beside her at all times. When Kei decided to work overseas, everything changed. Instead of all four of them together in the family – her mom, dad, Kei, and Cookai – now, it was just her parents and Cookai on every important holiday. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months until it was already three years that her sister was in Korea, but the family never really got used to Kei not being around. Not many people would know that extreme loneliness plagues both the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) and the families who are left behind.

“It’s really hard. Especially pag Christmas. S’yempre sanay kami talaga na complete kami sa bahay. Pero ganun talaga, eh.”

[It’s really hard especially during Christmas. We’re used to having the family all together at home but that’s the way it is now.”]

This Christmas though, they got a simple but meaningful surprise from Kei. She couldn’t celebrate with them, but that didn’t mean she didn’t show her love. She sent groceries that her family in Manila could use for their Christmas celebration!

1000Final (resized to 1024)“Naexcite kami sobra. Minsan naman kasi hindi lang pera yung kailangan, eh. Alam ko na si Ate, gusto niya iparamdam sa amin na she may be far, but she is thinking of us this Christmas. More than anything, yung goodies na pinadala niya, hindi lang tulad ng pinadalang pera – may effort attached to it; pinag-isipan and I find it more thoughtful.”

[We were really excited. Sometimes, it’s not really money that’s needed. I know my elder sister wanted us to feel that though she may be far away, she was thinking of us during Christmas. More than anything, it was the goodies she sent us, unlike money that is sent, that showed some effort attached to it. Knowing that there was some thought involved in it made the gesture more thoughtful.]

11057639_10153384026455489_3713758390405215706_n

Food: Always a bonding experience

The fact that a loved one actually took the time to choose and buy something makes the act of giving much more personal. Yes, money is important, but a goody basket sends the very tangible message that the loved one working abroad is reaching out in the most concrete way possible. It conveys the message that each and every item sent was chosen carefully knowing what the family back home needs and will appreciate. For Cookai, it’s almost as if Ate Kei herself handed her family the groceries herself.

This is the Pinoy way of doing things, right? You reach out as much as you can and embrace your loved ones in a virtual hug that they can feel as soon as they get their package. Yes, Kei is still in another land, far away from her loved ones, but that doesn’t mean she can’t break bread with them especially during the season closest perhaps to Filipinos’ hearts. Christmas is special to all Filipinos and all it takes is a tiny reminder – a gift pack, a balikbayan box, a gift certificate – to tell those back home that all is well, that the miles apart cannot overcome the closeness of hearts.

If you want to reach out to your own family and make them feel your caring presence regardless of where you are, head on to BeamAndGo and get them a digital gift certificate for use with your chosen merchant. If you have any questions on how to get started, feel free to email us at support@beamandgo.com or send us a message using Viber or WhatsApp at +63 949 839 3322. We are getting more and more merchants to serve your family back home and this will serve to keep you closer to them.

575611_10151577845830489_435839046_n

Cookai and Kei enjoying South Korea

Startups team up to provide OFWs modern, safe remittance service

 

BnGandHelperChoice_partnership 01042016

Hong Kong – Two fast-growing social startups dedicated to improving the breadth of services available to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Asia, have teamed up in a bid to maximize opportunities for mutual growth.

BeamAndGo, the Singapore-based alternative remittance service provider, and HelperChoice, the leading online platform for connecting domestic helpers with employers, are committed to empowering OFWs globally by enabling them to access basic services without the need to pay unnecessary fees and charges.

“The two companies have lots in common,” says Laurence Fauchon, founder of HelperChoice. “We have both – in a short period of time – established solid reputations with OFWs around the world. Our helper members know we are working to disrupt the industry and make illegal fees and charges obsolete.”

“Our partnership with BeamAndGo complements our helper empowerment strategy perfectly. We help domestic workers save illegal agency fees so they can provide for their families, not to waste their earnings. Sending cash home is inefficient, expensive and open to misuse. Now our members have access to a modern, safe remittance service where they can choose how and where the funds are distributed.”

BeamAndGo CEO Jonathan E. Chua adds, “HelperChoice and BeamAndGo share the same commitment to ethical business. The main purpose of the partnership is to improve the welfare of OFWs and their families back home. From a business perspective, we estimate that the partnership alone will provide BeamAndGo with an initial revenue growth of 8% month-on-month within the first 2 quarters. And with HelperChoice, we can grow in countries where we do not have a large presence yet. We believe that our membership numbers will grow from 78,000 to over 100,000 within the same period.”

The partnership will present both companies with cross-marketing opportunities. BeamAndGo will propose their remittance services to over 50,000 HelperChoice members currently registered on the platform, and HelperChoice will be a member of BeamAndGo’s sales channel. The partnership is particularly suitable for domestic workers who do not have credit cards or access to online banking.

For further details on HelperChoice visit the website at www.HelperChoice.com or email at contact@helperchoice.com.

For further details on BeamAndGo visit www.beamandgo.com or email at marketing@beamandgo.com.

Press Release Helper Choice

Staying with an OFW family in Iloilo City

Blog

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.

Blog2

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.

Tatoy's

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.