Cebu City, Philippines – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

A tourist visiting Cebu City for the first time may well be turned off by some of the city sites. The city has several world class resorts, hotels, beaches and dive sites. It also has some areas of the world’s most devastating poverty. Cebu City is the capital city of the Cebu Province and it is the second largest city in the Philippines following Manila. I always feel at home in the city and lived in the city before building my home in the rural Cebu Province of Camotes Islands. Cebu City is a mix of the old and new, rich and poor, good and bad and pretty and ugly. There is also the mix of clean and really dirty or filthy. The rule for anyone going to Cebu for the first time is to not make a snap judgment.

My first trip to Cebu City was in February 2004. I went to the Philippines to meet a girl (Judith) now my wife. I flew into the Cebu-Mactan Airport and was met by Judith and one of here sisters. My flight started in Florida and the last leg of the flight was from Hong Kong. The Cebu International airport is just a little outdated, but very functional. Once outside of the airport doors I saw waves of people waiting to meet people coming off of the flight from Hong Kong. The airport was not all that busy when I arrived and I think my plane was the only arriving flight at the time. As people from my flight walk outside of the airport door they were bombarded with shuttle, taxi and V-hire greeters, all trying to get a fare. I met Judith just outside the airport doors. She, her sister and I all jumped into an old Kia Taxi and we were off to my hotel.

The taxi was old and not very well maintained. The Air conditioner didn’t work and the window wouldn’t go down. Of course that didn’t matter as I couldn’t close the door because the door latch was broken. So, I got lots of air. The hotel was about a 30 minute drive from the airport. As we traveled the city streets I saw crowded sidewalks made even more crowded by the many sidewalk vendors and street vendors. Some of the roads we traveled were moderately maintained while others were in very poor condition. The roads were crowded with many types of cars, but mostly Kia’s and Hyundais. There were also a lot of Jeepneys, a Philippine traditional method of travel. A jeepney looks like a stretched army jeep with a hardtop and a large cargo area used for two benches for passenger seating. Jeepneys are normally painted with several different colors and lots of chrome. Many of the jeepneys are poorly maintained and most have bald tires and the braking systems may be questionable. Also, there were lots of small motorcycles.

After traveling just a few minutes I decided that the most dangerous vehicle in Cebu was the Jeepney, the Taxi and finally the motorcycle. The jeepney drivers tend to rule the road and stop on either side of the road to pick up or drop off passengers. I saw many jeepneys cut both lanes of traffic off just to drop off people and then saw others swerve quickly to the side of the road cutting off traffic so the driver could jump out of the jeepney to urinate along the side of the road. Taxis are no better, but pose a slightly smaller threat because the vehicles are smaller than a jeepney Motorcycles seem to be a danger only to the motorcycle driver and passengers and anyone walking along side the road or on the sidewalk. Motorcycles make their own traffic lanes on whatever little shoulder the road may have to offer or sometimes drive on the painted divider line as a narrow roadway to make an extra traffic lane for themselves. At other times I saw motorcycles throttle down sidewalks weaving around pedestrians. Yet, the pedestrians seemed little concerned of the carelessness and just continued on their way.

As we continued on our way to the hotel we drove through many different areas of the city. Some areas were very old and the buildings looked as though they were ready for demolition years ago. Many buildings and store fronts are concrete with plywood or corrugated steel sheets added to broken windows and steel bars cover the window or plywood. I can’t imagine what would be worth the cost of the steel bars as the buildings were so poor. I was sure the contents within were no better. I noticed several small store fronts with one big open widow covered with chicken wire. These little stores are about the size of a small closet and there are dozen of these little stores on every street. They are called sari-sari stores and sell just a very few items such as canned fish, rice, snacks, cigarettes and so on. Most of these little stores are attached to the front of private houses and are crudely constructed of unpainted plywood and tin roofs. Most of the Sari-sari stores block the sidewalk, forcing people to walk on the road to get around the protruding plywood box. Other Sari-sari stores have a small table or tables along the narrow sidewalks for their rum buying customers and a karaoke machine assist in blocking the sidewalks.

In many of the old areas the…

Source by Patrick Mcgrain

What Is Was Like to Visit the Philippines While on a Navy Warship and Take a Port of Call

I was happy, when I finally learned that I would be meeting up with my ship, it was going to be pulling into the Philippines. I was going to fly from San Diego, to Manila, and then take a van down the country, about 200 miles where the ship was going to be tied up at. About 6 other guys, and me, were going to the Philippines on an Air Force cargo plane that was going that way.

It was totally loaded with pallets of cold merchandise, headed to the Philippines for who knows what. We were just passengers. The seats we sat in, where temporary net seats, and they felt like it. They were seats made out of netting, and they were facing backwards, of the way you would sit on a regular plane, facing forward. We were facing backwards when you took off in the airplane, and you were forced to bend forward, instead of backwards, into your chair. The plane needed to be kept cold, and it looked like a London fog, inside the plane, just like we were sitting in a refrigerator. That was a very long 17 hour flight.

I was 19 years old when I landed in the Philippines. This by far, was one of the funnest countries a service guy could go to. If you just wanted to have a good time in the bars, and a good time with a bunch of pretty sexy Asian girls, you will love it there.

In the Navy, most of the guys that have not been to the famous places, like Thailand, or the Philippines, Korea, or Hong Kong, always want to know if what they heard was true, about what they heard from other guys on the ship. There is no way really to explain another country sometimes to someone, they just need to experience themselves sometimes.

Where are ship was tied up, was about 1/2 a mile from the main gate, which was located right next to party central town, called Olongapo. When you were on the base, it was big. The base had a laundry mat, you could do your own wash at, and the soda machines dispensed cans of beer for you while you did your laundry.

The base had a small casino on it, with slot machines. It had horses you could rent, and a nice golf course, that had wild monkeys, that would be up in the trees, and they would throw things at you, if you came to close to them.

In the Philippines, clothing and services were very cheap and easy to get. You could have all your laundry cleaned, pressed and bagged up for you, for only a few dollars. It was like that in town also. Your money could go far. For clothing, there were out door markets everywhere, and they sold lots of knock off clothing items, for dirt cheap prices. You could be the ugliest guy on the ship, and you would still get a girl. It was not if you could get a girl, but which one you would want for the evening.

Right when you walk out the main gate, there is a small bridge with a river underneath it. All the guys called this “shit river”. It might of been that, raw sewage was always in the river. But that did not ever stop the usually 4 or 5 boats that would sit in it, with young girls dressed up in white dresses, and holding cups, begging for you to throw money out to them. People would throw pesos, down into the boat to them, and this was about 100 feet from the main gate of the base, and the entrance into town, was just steps away.

The town had lots of lots of bars, with various themes going on inside. There were little souvenir stores, or sorry sorry stores, as they called them, and different bars and restaurants, just about everywhere you looked. The funny thing about the town was, girls were everywhere and easy to get, but pornography was not seen around town, and it was illegal.

We had a bar that most of the guys from the office would hang out at on a regular basis. Usually on the weekends, or day times after work each day, we would hang out there, because that was our hangout place. The girls there did not try to hassle you into going with them, only if you wanted to, and the drinks were cheap.

They wrote our names on their bar window, just like a lot of bars did, that had special ships, and special departments, that hung out there, and claimed that bar for their own. Our department, pretty much hung out at the Cindi Bar, right on the first block of town, down one block to the right, and easy to get to.

Some of the bars, did not look so big from the outside. But it might be so huge on the inside, when you went inside. Most all the bars had bands, acts, and other things going on inside, to get more customers. It was a rocking town at night time. Back then, there were no such things as AID’s, or any other decease that might kill you these days. It was one big town party each night, and it was a free for all, young sexy woman everywhere, and plenty of cheap drinks.

Most all of our whole admin office, would hang out together, after work, and we would always start in the same bar for drinks. Some of the bigger, better bars, that had more sexier girls, and where the drinks cost a little bit more, were where we liked to go, later in the evening, to pick the girls we wanted for the night, but not…

Source by Vince Stead

What to Expect of Cheap Budget Hotels in Manila For Last Minute Deals

If ever travelers find themselves stuck in Manila strapped with a tight budget, there should be no cause for worry. The capital of the Republic of the Philippines is rich in Budget Manila Hotels that cater to those in need of some serious penny-pinching. Yet, even with such low and affordable rates, the hotels that fall under this label still manage to provide comfortable accommodations, convenience, and stellar service for the shrewd guest.

Such affordable discount hotels in Manila prioritize being able to give their services at reduced costs. These usually include three (3) star hotels or lower, as well as apartelles, lower-end condotels and motels. Reputation precedes these kinds of hotels, but they offer surprisingly adequate lodging while letting you divert your funds to other purposes.

One might ask what the catch is. With budget hotels, there is undoubtedly a certain compromise with the facilities and features in order to offer affordable rates for everyone. When booking last minute hotel accommodations in Manila, one should not expect the glitz and glamour and state of the art facilities of these hotels’ five-star counterparts. What’s in store isn’t shabby, either. Budget hotels may come cheap, but they still provide quality.

Expect Comfort

In such cheap Manila hotels, there aren’t any grand balconies, lush sky gardens, or epic ivory terraces that seem to be standard issue in today’s top-tier luxury hotels. But that kind of thing isn’t really what the budget traveler is looking for. What is important is that there are adequate facilities for the simple benefits of rest and relaxation.

These discount hotels in Manila don’t come with the fluffiest beds or the most dazzling lights, but they have rooms and beds that provide more than enough comfort for the traveler’s tired physique. It’s down to the essentials with budget hotels. There’s no need to pay too much for fancy trimmings when one can have what one needs at a much lower price.

When one thinks about it, budget hotel room setups differ very little from their lavish counterparts. Their rooms come complete with a bed, the standard hot and cold shower, cable television, and air conditioning. Some are even able to provide wireless internet access nowadays. Guests surely won’t miss a thing.

Expect Convenience

Scattered throughout the metropolis, such affordable cheap hotels in Manila also afford the traveler with proximity to the different establishments a guest would need during the course of his stay. Business establishments, banks, and shopping malls are all just around the corner. These discount hotels are situated in remarkably strategic locations that are also near the primary tourist attractions and must-see sights.

Even lower-starred hotels have at least the basic services within the premises, all of which contribute to a highly convenient stay. These services include tourist services, laundry and dry cleaning services, room service, and airline booking service. Some even have an on-call masseuse and spa services.

Expect Hospitality

If these Manila budget hotels can’t stand out with regard to decorations and facilities, they make up for it with the service. Such discount hotel staff makes sure they attend to the guests’ needs in order to entice them for return visits.

The hotel staff is always well-trained. It doesn’t matter if we talk about high-end hotels or budget hotels – the Philippines is proud of the people’s hospitality, and this is particularly reflexive in the hotel industry. Travelers can expect pleasing personalities, careful attention to detail, and the ever-present smile as the hotel’s staff provides them with stellar service.

All in all, the main thing about such no-frills Manila hotels is affordability. These hotels come with a low price tag, while striking a balance with the accommodations. They do away with the classy trimmings of luxury hotels and give the traveler the essentials of a good stay – comfort, convenience, and service. So come and experience what Manila and the Philippines is all about without having to cough up a hefty sum. Book your reservations now and avoid the last minute rush!

Source by Kelvin Kong

Top 5 Attractions Near Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Flight delays are stressful especially in a city like Manila. But don’t panic. Just book a room at a hotel in Parañaque City, Philippines, Makati or Pasay. Here, you check out the different sites and attractions south of Manila, which will keep you entertained during a long layover or while waiting for a better-timed flight.

Fortunately, there are many places near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) that you could visit to keep you engaged while you are grounded.

Casino Filipino

This government-owned amusement and gaming center is located just a few minutes from NAIA’s Terminal 1 in Parañaque City.

Aside from the nightly entertainment and gambling, this is also a good place to dine, shop, party, and watch world-class events. Casino Filipino has something for people of all ages and persuasions.

Resorts World Manila

This commercial, residential, and entertainment complex is just a 10 minute-drive from NAIA. Found here are the finest casinos, hotels, and resorts in Parañaque City. This upscale place is mostly visited by the rich and famous, but people from all walks of life can also enjoy the entertainment, dining, and designer shops here. It is also a notable nightspot because of its high-profile clubs and performers.

Villamor Golf Club

Take advantage of the long wait and have fun at Villamor Golf Club. This country club is just a 12-minute ride via cab from the airport. While waiting for things to settle in NAIA, hang out with your friends or family. It has fine facilities, friendly caddies, restaurant, coffee shop, lounges, and even a massage area.

SM Mall Of Asia

Hail a taxi and after a 15 minutes you’d have reached the Philippines’ 2nd-and Asia’s 3rd-largest shopping center. It has a land area of 42 hectares and houses hundreds of stores. Everything that you could wish for in a shopping mall is here: restaurants, shops, cinema, activity centers, entertainment, event, sports arena, and concert halls. During weekends, people are treated to an amazing fireworks display. If you get tired of exploring the 42 hectare-property, you’ll be glad that you’ve booked accommodations in Parañaque City that’s just a cab ride away.

Duty Free Philippines

For people who are stressed out, retail therapy is always a good pick-me-upper. There’s no other place in the city where it’s fun to spend cash on ‘comfort buys’ than the popular Duty Free stores. There is a Duty Free outlet store inside NAIA, but you won’t regret the 9-minute cab ride to the bigger store. It is packed with designer brands and other products and goods that are usually found in the US and Europe. There’s a good chance that you will forget about your traveling woes and extend your stay at your chosen hotel in Parañaque City, Philippines, or other nearby cities when you see how affordable it is to shop here.

Source by Richman Caramat

Exploring the Beauty of Philippines – Asia’s Pearl of the Orient

Located strategically in the south east of Asia is a beautiful destination that more and more tourists are able to discover as time goes by. The place is what many call the pearl of the orient. I’m referring about the beautiful country called Philippines. This country is so popular to many travelers who are after a quiet yet satisfying vacation.

If you want the combination of relaxing calm moment with nature while having the option to get involved in fun-filled adventurous activities anytime you want, then this is exactly the best destination for you.

The country’s capital is non-other than the wonderful place called Manila. This place is well known by international travelers from all over the world. The main airport of the country which is called (NAIA) Ninoy Aquino International Airport is also located within its capital, Manila. If you are looking for simplicity in the midst of a modern urban environment then this is the place to be.

Not only will you find world class hotels all over the city, you can also choose your preferred lifestyle in a single day. If you happen to feel like wanting a corporate lifestyle then all you need to do is visit the super busy but equally super elegant cities such as Makati or Ortigas.

Should you choose to spend your day just as a shopper and observer then you can visit humongous malls such as the Mall of Asia and SM Megamall. Otherwise, you can shop from open markets where you will find the lowest of prices suited for both retail and wholesale buying through the busy market places of Divisoria and Greenhills in San Juan.

Philippines is a country that is made up of several islands. However, the whole country is divided into 3 major islands named Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Luzon is known to be the main island as it’s where the country’s capital city Manila is located at.

One of the most famous resorts all over the world, the Boracay resort is located in Visayas. While two other favorite destinations of international tourists, Puerto Galera and Palawan Island are both located in Luzon. And have you ever heard of the monkey eating eagle? These eagles can be found in Davao which is located in the island of Mindanao.

The country’s summer capital is called Baguio. This place is called summer capital because of its very unique climate compared to other places within the country. While the weather in Philippines can get really hot during summer, people in Baguio are used to be wearing thick clothes all throughout the year because of the cold weather out there. During Christmas and New Year season, it can get really cold at this place.

Further south from manila is another very wonderful place to hang around at. This place is called Tagaytay. The city of Tagaytay is well known for its very attractive sceneries including its wonderful weather. While it may not get to be as cold as it gets like Baguio, it never gets really hot in Tagaytay due to its high location. Have you ever experienced the feeling around the sceneries of a lake within an active but sleeping volcano? You can if you go to Tagaytay, as the eye catching spot of Taal lake can be found there.

Source by Pete Miguel

The History of Cathay Pacific Airways

Founded on September 24, 1946, Cathay Pacific itself had its inauspicious and unexpected beginnings in the military, when Roy Farrell, an American, and Sydney de Kantzow, an Australian, forged a friendship during the Second World War when they flew Douglas C-47 Skytrains over the Himalayan “hump” from Calcutta to Kunming for the China National Aviation Company.

Acquiring a war surplus DC-3 in 1945, registered VR-HDB and named “Betsy,” Farrell, along with de Kantzow, inaugurated passenger service from Shanghai until political pressure forced the relocation of its operations to Kai Tak Airfield the following May. Equipped with a second DC-3, VR-HDA “Nikki,” the fledgling airline, adopting the Cathay Pacific designation, commenced charter flights to Southeast Asia. Two years later, it had a scheduled, five-destination route system, encompassing Bangkok, Manila, Saigon, Shanghai, and Singapore, over which it carried 3,000 passengers in five additional DC-3s and two Consolidated PBY Catalinas.

One of two local carriers with rival Hong Kong Airways, it was government-awarded the less lucrative southern routes, while Hong Kong itself was granted the northern ones to China and Japan.

Increasing demand nevertheless necessitated larger, more modern equipment, including the quad-engine, 56-passenger DC-4 Skymaster in 1949, the pressurized, 58-passenger DC-6 in 1954, and the upgraded DC-6B in 1958.

Absorbing competitor Hong Kong Airways the following year, it acquired its first turbine aircraft, in the form of the dual-class, 75-passenger Lockheed L-188A Electra, and was able to spread its wings to Sydney, Australia, and Tokyo, Japan, for the first time with them. Operating one DC-3, one DC-4, one DC-6, one DC-6B, and the two Electras, it carried 69,000 passengers that year.

The pure-jet era dawned in 1962, when it acquired the first of nine, 104-passenger Convair CV-880s, eventually replacing the L-188As with them, Passenger totals continued to climb-from 170,000 in 1963 to 324,000 in 1967.

Larger, pure-jet aircraft materialized as the 154-passenger Boeing 707-320B in 1970 and the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, its first widebody type, five years later. With 12 of the former and three of the latter, it was able to inaugurate long-range intercontinental routes beyond Asia and Australia to Bahrain and Dubai in 1976.

Delivery of the first 747-200B enabled it to launch its first Hong Kong-London service on July 16, 1980, the type that became instrumental in its ability to pioneer ultra-long range routes, including those to Vancouver in Canada, Los Angeles in the US, and Frankfurt and Paris in Europe. Flights to Rome, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Denpasar, Auckland, and Nagoya followed.

In 1985, it took delivery of its first stretched upper deck 747-300 and its first next generation 747-400 four years later, enabling it to operate nonstop, year-round service to Europe and the US without payload restrictions for the first time.

Operating 735 weekly flights with 18 281-passenger L-1011-1s/-100s, eight 408-passenger 747-200Bs, three 747-200Fs, six 422-passenger 747-300s, and ten 361-passenger 747-400s in 1990, all of which were Rolls Royce powered, it served 38 destinations in 26 countries, carrying 7.7 million passengers with an average 75.9-percent load factor.

Today its fleet consists of the 251-passenger A330-300, the 280-passenger A350-900, and the 335-passenger 777-300ER, while its Cathay Dragon division operates the 164-passenger A320-200, the 172-passenger A321-200, and the 307-passenger A330-300. Collectively they serve more than 190 worldwide destinations.

Source by Robert Waldvogel

Discovering the Beauty of the Islands of the Philippines

The Philippines, commonly known as the “Pearl of the Orient” is an archipelago of 7107 islands with a wide variety of great destinations considered by many as paradise. From the hustle and bustle of the great city of Manila to many of the true white-sand beaches and virgin forests scattered throughout the islands, it is a place where everyone can find something that can suit their taste.

Discovering the beauty of each of the islands is a task that may take a lifetime but if you know what you like then you can choose from any of the destinations below that suit your particular needs and taste. Whether you just a tourist looking for the good old souvenirs or the adventurer seeking to find the next new place to discover there is something for you.

For Nature Lovers.

Nature has blessed the islands with a variety of natural resources and this includes virgin rain forests, indigenous wild life and scenic locations. If you are fond of nature then you have many choices to places to visit, from Zamboanga in the south to Vigan in the north.

For the wild life enthusiasts you can go to Davao where you will find the endangered Philippine Eagle, or to Donsol where the famous giant whale sharks ply the local waters, and perhaps take a dive in the waters of Puerto Galera which is home to some of the best coral reefs anywhere in the world.

For the scene lovers, take a trip to Palawan where scenic rock formations, underwater rivers and magnificent caves are abundant. Another place you can visit is Albay which home to the Philippines most active volcano Mt Mayon, a volcano with a perfect cone that has erupted over a few dozen times in the past century. Pagudpud in Ilocos north of the Philippines offers some of the most scenic and panoramic views on the islands which include the Mabogabog Falls and Saud beach.

For the Beach Bums

If there is one thing that Paradise Philippines is famous for it is the great number of sandy white beaches that are scattered around the thousands of islands. From the popular beaches of Boracay to the hidden beaches of Palawan there are literally hundreds of beautiful beaches to visit. A plane or boat ride away from Manila you can travel to any of the paradise beach locations in the Philippines.

A few of the best beaches in the Philippines include Coron, a town in the Busuanga Island in Northern Palawan, Bohol with hundreds of white sand beaches, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, and Cebu City. Where ever you go there are beaches and resorts that will suit everyone’s needs.

For the Party Goers

When the streets of Manila light up after dusk a whole new look to the city takes shape. From the neon lights of the red light districts to the hundreds of casinos, the karaoke bars and discos, and to the wonderful restaurants, whatever you want to do you can. You can party all night in the discos of Makati or the contemporary clubs of Manila and Quezon city, there is virtually no limit to where you can go to have fun and party the night away.

For the History Buffs

Hundreds of years of history have shaped the Philippines into what it is today, a melting pot of cultures from European, Asian and North American cultures. If history is what you are after, then you will discover a vast number of historic locations you can visit on many the Paradise Philippines [] islands, from the walled city of Intramuros in Old Manila built by the conquering Spaniards in the 16th century, to the Rice Terraces of Banaue built thousands of years ago by the indigenous natives of the cordillera, and to the more recent ruins of Corregidor which served as fort for the American troops during World War II.

Source by Luvi Marie Corcuera

Quick Babymoon Ideas For Expecting Couples

A honeymoon has long been a popular tradition wherein a newlywed couple goes on a vacation together for a few days or weeks. The vacation is supposed to be a time for the couple to celebrate their marriage and enjoy each other in seclusion and intimacy.

Nowadays, couples go not just on a honeymoon but also on a babymoon. A babymoon is a similar vacation that a couple takes but this time not as newlyweds but as expecting parents. It is supposed to be a time for parents-to-be to relax and enjoy before a baby joins the family. Sometimes the term babymoon is also used to refer to the days and weeks following the birth of a baby which is a time for new parents to simply focus on, spend time with, and bond with their new baby.

More often, babymoon refers to a pre-baby vacation taken by a couple. Although babymoons are becoming more common, it can be a challenge for some pregnant women on the last few weeks of their pregnancy. However, a babymoon need not be a very complicated and extensive vacation. It can be a very quick and simple vacation that does what it is supposed to do – give the couple a quiet special time together before the baby comes out. Below are some quick babymoon ideas for expecting couples.

  • Nearest beach. Pack your swimsuits and head to the nearest beach. Choose a nearby beach resort that is quiet and not crowded. The tranquility and relaxing atmosphere offered by the beach is enough to put the two of you in vacation mode, allowing you to recharge and be reenergized. You can have short walks along the beach early in the morning or right before the sun sets. Or you can simply lie in a lounger and read a good book.
  • Hotel stay. If one or both of you simply cannot get away from the city because of work or other reasons, you can simply choose to stay in a hotel for at least a night. You can either choose a big, luxurious hotel or you can go for quaint and quiet ones. Makati city has a generous offering of a variety of hotels you can choose from. If you work or in Makati, a Makati hotel is a good choice. You may also want to consider a hotel in Ortigas or in Alabang.
  • Spa resort. Resorts that feature spa amenities have become quite popular especially in Tagaytay. Just a quick 2-3 hours drive from Metro Manila, any expecting couple will find a quick stay in a spa resort relaxing and rejuvenating.

Source by Justin Torres

New Culture Develops in the Philippine Call Centers

In a dazzling city of Manila, the capital of the Philippines is described to be as busy as an anthill, thousands of call center agents are trooping to their respective workplaces not minding the bad weather condition due to rainy season and tropical cyclone that is commonly a normal event in the country’s geographic condition. When the clock strikes from 8 pm until wee hours is officially the starts of the day for the Filipino customer service representatives. This is the scene which you will observe in the Philippines brought about by the fast growing outsourcing industry occupying the gleaming towers in metro Manila. Largest call center operators also brought development and new culture to the Filipino agents in a way of uplifting their lives and be fitted in a fast-paced environment like of this one.

These workers are dealing with clients from all walks of life in which some were using pseudonym American names, donning with their headsets and placed phone calls to their clients as far as from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia in promoting products like Timeshare travel, collecting billings, credit cards, among others. Even on special holidays, call agents workers are required to appear on their schedule on time since their holidays are based in the US.

This is another culture which practiced in the outsourcing industry. For instance, there were numbers legal and non-legal holidays celebrated in this country, but if you work in a call center, there’s no break because you are dealing with 24/7 US office operations. Of course, the compensation is much different compared to the other field of professions. Even though you are required to render overtime or during holidays, everything is paid off, according to Florena V. Abanilla, a call center agent of Unique Interaction.

“It is hard at first but the continuous learning process I acquired from the training gives me the opportunity to improve my communication skills. Working in a highly regulated company is enjoyable,” the 30-year-old live chat support agent opined.

Ms. Abanilla disclosed that since the job requires a night shift schedule, she left her house in Bulacan, a province in the Northern Luzon at 5 pm in order for her to be at the office before her shift starts at 8 pm until 4 am.

“We are like nocturnal animals because we are awake in the evening and definitely sleeping in the morning. I am used to it and I am very happy with my job,” she said.

The former works previously as an area managers secretary at Prudential Life Plans Inc. for four years but quit her job and changed her career path to call center. She also narrated that she was chosen as the “best agent” wherein she was awarded the newest model Nokia cellphone.

The Philippines is considered to be one of the multi-cultural country in Asia. Its chronicle reflects the complexity of every Filipino because of its rich in cultural background, which is widely known in the world. The fragmented structure of the country because of its divided provinces in terms of island to island is also unique in some other countries. The country is also logging its best practices in terms of information technology which boost the country’s economy. Not only the country is known for its sweet hospitality in treating their visitors, customer service is also a way of showing the Filipino values in a telephony technology.


The outstanding call center management expertise of the Filipino agents have been recognized in the call center phenomenon. Showing concerns and putting ones shoes to another is a way of emphasizing the customers. Filipinos are carried away with their emotions especially if the customers are affected with the poor service they got from the package they purchased. If the worst scenario came, American customers showed uncomfortable by being irate and angry if still the concerns were not addressed thoroughly. This is something what makes Filipino proud because of their patients and flexibility many customers were happy on how they assist help to the customers’ concern. In a call center in the Philippines, the agents were trained the value of dealing all types of customers. The call center companies informed them that the customers are not angry with them, instead to the program they got. No matter the rudeness they showed, Filipinos still do their best to maintain the smooth conversation with them.

The trend of outsourcing is remarkable in the country because it now part of the government drive to maintain this industry. Every call center locators offered a world class facilities which makes their agents and employees feel the ambiance like that in their respective homes. The culture of working in a call center is inevitable. Many benefits also shared by 24-hour convenience stores circulated outside the skyscrapers offering different kinds of services. Young and older call center agents like hanging the finest resto and coffee shops spending their breaks together with other agents…

Source by Roberto Bacasong

More Fun To Retire In The Philippines

It is more fun in the Philippines for the short-stay traveler. There are as many reasons for that as there are islands in this western Pacific archipelago.

But for those of the baby-boomer generation, or even those of younger age, you will find out that it is also more fun to retire in the Philippines.

It has plenty of “retirement” activities to offer. Golf, long walks, kite-surfing, wind-surfing, diving, driving, more golf. Or you can take a short flight from Manila or Cebu to elongated Boracay Island and enjoy its long four-kilometer stretch of fine white-sand beach. One of the finest beaches in the world.

In many parts of the Philippines, you can enjoy a bottle of good beer for less than $1. On Boracay where things are a bit more expensive, that same bottle could go for just about $1. Ah, the beer bottle, a good indicator of how inexpensive your lifestyle can be in the Philippines.

You can live like a king (or queen) on these islands. To get an official retiree’s visa, all you need is at least $10,000 deposited in a local bank or invested in some hard asset… a condo, a long-term lease. Retired US servicemen can live quite well on pensions of $3,000 to $4,000 per month, in a country where the per capita income is less than $1,000 per year.

But don’t eat or drink too much, a common temptation for retirees, especially with bar bills so surprisingly low and eating out a constant urge. Health care here meets most expat standards, but some retirees do complain that their health insurance provider is mightily reluctant to cover care in the Philippines. The message is, stay healthy in retirement.

Where would you go? Retired US military often go to Angeles or Subic, sites of the US Air Force and US Navy bases before their leases ran out in 1991. You can go to join the enclaves of expat retirees in the bigger cities Manila and Cebu, or even those living in smaller places like Dumaguete, Camiguin and Bohol. Yes, there are many choices available for those who wish to retire in the Philippines.

But if you want a place where the beautiful beach is literally just a stone’s throw away, where the banks and shopping are just a short walk away, it is time to go to paradisiacal Boracay. You’ll find, like many others have, that it is really fun to retire in Boracay.

Source by Jessica Ann Martin