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OFW News: How to Send Money to the Philippines

We, Filipinos, are fun-loving people. We are known for hospitality and very close family ties. But because of financial problems within the family due to lack of employment options and/or family circumstances like being a single parent, people are driven overseas to find greener pastures. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) sacrifice being together with their family to work abroad, earn, and send a good sum of money to the Philippines to support their family’s needs.

Besides providing for their families back home, these remittances are a crucial component of the Philippines economy according to World Bank estimates. The Philippines is the world’s third-largest recipient of remittances. Remittances, which accounted for approximately 9.8% of GDP in 2015, are an important source of income for many Filipino families and thus a main driver of private consumption. Remittances came mainly from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

But despite the fact that there are already a lot of ways to send money to Philippines, some OFWs are still not aware of these options and choose to send money based on the recommendation of their friends or colleagues. It is already a pain to be away from the family, so risking their hard-earned money by sending it through another remittance center, which they haven’t tried or known before, is very much less of an option.

So to help you know them, here’s a list of the top remittance centers that OFWs can use to send money to the Philippines, proven to be secure and accessible for both them and their families:


  1. Moneygram

MoneyGram is located in more than 190 countries and can deliver both pesos and dollars through three ways. They can send the money directly to the receiver’s residence, make the money available for pick-up at their branches nationwide, or have it retrievable by the use of LBC ATM cards at over 6,800 ATMs in the country.



  1. Xoom Money Transfer

It is a tried and trusted option for many Filipinos and with more than 10,500 pick-up locations in the country. It definitely has a wide reach and a solid customer base and network partners like M Lhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier, as well as bank deposits thru BDO, BPI, and Metrobank among others. Plus, Xoom offers a money-back guarantee for your peace of mind.


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  1. M Lhuillier

Powered by M Lhuillier Financial’s expansive network of branches in the Philippines, an equally strong partner network abroad and an extremely reliable technology-based system, Kwarta Padala is delivered whenever and wherever it is needed. Money can be then received through any of the 1,850 branches of M Lhuillier all over the Philippines.  Pick-up your money anytime at any of the 150 branches operating 24/7 in the key cities of the country, or as late as 10:00 p.m. in most other branches.


  1. Cebuana Lhuillier

Cebuana Lhuillier’s Pera Padala service is an easy, quick, and safe way to send and receive money. With more than 1,800 branches nationwide and accredited international partners, this money transfer service is made available to clients within and outside the Philippines. All transactions are real time, which enables clients to claim the money as soon as the sender completes the sending process in the branch.


  1. SBI Remit

SBI Remit works with MoneyGram, who’s a global network of more than 350,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. The SBI Group has extensive knowledge and experience of the internet and the financial markets. This service can be accessed from both the website and mobile site. This is widely used by OFWs in Japan.


  1. Palawan Express

With over 1000 branches nationwide and growing numbers of remittance partners and agents, including LBC and SM Malls, Palawan Express Pera Padala is one of the country’s leading money remittance companies today. Being a local company, Palawan has partnered with international money transfer companies like Xoom and MoneyGram to serve OFWs around the world.


  1. LBC

With over 3,000 branches nationwide and partner agents nationwide, they also make money transfer easier. With partners internationally, like Xoom and Zenje, money remittance is much more possible and safe.


  1. Sigue Money Transfer

Internationally, Sigue’s global arm is headquartered in London and is a UK payment institution duly authorized to do business in 30 European Economic Area Member States, in order to provide money remittance services pursuant to Directive 2007/64/EC (PSD). Sigue agents, offices and support centers are available all around the globe in over one hundred countries and is partnered with local money remittance centers in the Philippines like M Lhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier.

Logo MoneyExpress

  1. Money Express

Money Express is a subsidiary of Groupe Chaka born in 2002 to meet a need for reliable electronic money transfer, fast and secure. Money Express has quickly established itself as a money transfer solution on the African space.

Doing research will help OFWs feel at peace when sending their hard-earned money. Hope this list helped! You can click on each Remittance Center in the list to know more about them. Take care!

BayanMall Online Shopping. Malayo ka man, kapiling pa rin.


Credits: FocusEconomics and CNBC



Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is only a month from now! Picking the best gift(s) can be a tough one. Yes, you could probably give him the usual “World’s Best Dad” coffee mug or shirt – he won’t complain about that. But why not get him something different this year? After all, we’re talking about the very person who taught you how to tie your shoelaces, play catch, and helped you become the person you wanted to be. To help you make him happy, here’s a list of suggestions that we know will help turn his Father’s Day into more than just any other day.



This is the perfect gift that will wrap him with your love wherever he goes. Keep that tight hug with a leather belt just for him!

BUY NOW: bit.ly/hickokbelt



“Dad, thanks for supporting me with my financial needs. Here’s a wallet for you to contain all that. Now, can I borrow a hundred pesos?” (Haha.)

BUY NOW: bit.ly/BM-Wallet


Whether Dad is going for the casual or a little dressier, achieve both looks in one with polo shirts! Wear untucked with jeans for a laidback choice, or tuck in and pair with tweed pants to dress things up! Dad’s gonna look younger than he is now!

BUY NOW: http://bit.ly/BM-Doneil



He watched, watches, and will watch over you forever. His love is timeless, and like watches, Dad has always been reliable and remarkable. Give him a watch this Father’s Day!

BUY NOW: http://bit.ly/BM-Seiko-DBTTboxershorts

Boxer Shorts

Dad may want to hop on the Boxer Shorts revolution! Back then, everyone was put into the mindset that wearing briefs is the kind of guy everyone should be. Not now.

BUY NOW: http://bit.ly/BM-Bench-Blue-BS


Shave Gel and Razor

Have your dad get the smooth and fresh-looking face with a shaving set.






Is your dad the sporty or the classy type? Shoes play a huge part in fashion. Choose from sports shoes and leather shoes for Dad this Father’s Day!

BUY NOW: http://bit.ly/BM-Mens-Accessoriescologne


Smelling good is important for men. Married or not, it boosts confidence and energy throughout the day!






Shorts never go out of style. Dad will have that laid back, stylish gent he is with a pair of new shorts!

BUY NOW: http://bit.ly/BM-Camo-DrawString


Still not decided? We got these prepared just for you! Father’s Day Packages made just for Dad! It’s a combination of treats for Dad! Choose from any of the packages below and we’ll deliver them to him at his doorstep as a surprise! Malayo ka man, kapiling pa rin!


BUY NOW: http://bit.ly/BM-Lechon


Fathers Day Package 1
Fathers Day Package 1

Father’s Day Package 1


Fathers Day Package 2
Fathers Day Package 2

Father’s Day Package 2


Fathers Day Package 3
Fathers Day Package 3

Father’s Day Package 3


Who is Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte?

Photo by Rogue Philippines
Photo by Rogue Philippines

Many have already been rejoicing over Mayor Rodrigo (nicknamed Digong) Duterte’s landslide victory based on the unofficial vote counting from the COMELEC. Having a huge lead from his rivals, he will soon be the Republic of the Philippines’ 16th President. As the Philippine Elections draw to a close, let’s take a closer look at Digong’s history aside from the several news stories we see, hear and read about him.

Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte was born to Vicente G. Duterte and Soledad Roa on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, capital of Southern Leyte. His father is a Cebuano lawyer, while his mother is a native of Cabadbaran, Agusan, and was a school teacher and a civic leader of Maranao descent. His father used to be mayor of Danao in Cebu. Other relatives has also served political positions in Cebu and Davao Provinces. The Dutertes finally settled in the Davao Region in 1951, where Vicente as a lawyer engaged in private practice, while Soledad taught in public schools as a teacher, but later retired as a supervisor in 1952 when her lawyer-husband entered politics there. She left government service owing to the demands of being a wife of an active politician. As wife of the governor, she became familiar with the social and economic problems of the people, especially out-of-school youth, women, children and the disabled.

Duterte went to Laboon Elementary School in Maasin, for a year, then spent his remaining elementary days at the Santa Ana Elementary School in Davao City, where he graduated in 1956. He finished his secondary education at the Holy Cross Academy of Digos after being expelled twice from previous schools due to misconduct. He went to college at the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Manila, where graduated in 1968 with a degree in the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He also obtained a law degree from San Beda College of Law in 1972. In the same year, he passed the bar exam. Duterte eventually became Special Counsel at the City Prosecution Office in Davao City from 1977-1979; Fourth Assistant City Prosecutor from 1979-1981; Third Assistant City Prosecutor from 1981-1983; and Second Assistant City Prosecutor from 1983-1986.

He has siblings named Benjamin “Bong” Duterte, a one-term city councilor of Davao between 1992 to 1995; younger sister Jocelyn Duterte, who lost in several attempts to grab a Third District city council seat as well as for the mayor post in 2001; and Blue Boy Duterte who ran and lost in the First District congressional race in 1998.


Digong is also an avid fan of big bikes, and loathes luxury cars. He once owned a second-hand Harley Davidson and currently a Yamaha Virago. Once a habitual smoker, he eventually quit after a doctor’s suggestion due to health concerns. He is also openly supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and is an enthusiastic reader of Robert Ludlum and Sidney Sheldon novels.

He has his own local show in Davao City called Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa (“From the Masses, For the Masses”) aired as a blocktimer on ABS-CBN Davao. He is also a member of Lex Talionis Fraternitas, a fraternity based in the San Beda College of Law and the Ateneo de Davao University.


He was once married to Elizabeth Abellana Zimmerman. She is a flight attendant from Davao City and is of German American descent with roots as well in Tuburan, Cebu. Together, they have three children: Paolo (“Pulong”), Sara (“Inday Sara”) and Sebastian (“Bastê”). Paolo and Sara ventured into politics while Baste concentrated on business. Duterte’s father Vicente died in 1968, while his mother Soledad died on February 4, 2012, at the age of 95. Zimmerman was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2015.

Duterte has been publicly very open about his infidelity and philandering while married to Zimmerman and cited it as the reason for his failed first marriage when asked in interviews. In 1998, Zimmerman filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court in Pasig to nullify her marriage. Duterte never appeared in court and did not contest Zimmerman’s petition. Two years later, the court decided in her favor, ending the 27-year marriage of Duterte and Zimmerman. Duterte and Zimmerman have been on good terms in recent years with Zimmerman stating, “Yes, he [Rodrigo] is really a very good leader. That is all he is. But when it comes to family, he is not capable of taking care of it.” In 2001, Zimmerman eventually ran for a seat on the city council but lost. Duterte and Zimmerman are said to have patched things up and appear to be civil to each other, 15 years after their marriage was declared null and void. Zimmerman eventually joined the campaign trail for Duterte’s presidential candidacy in early 2016 called Byaheng Du30 in which she would travel by bus to major cities together with her daughter Sara and a number of delegates.

Photo by NewsFlash.org
Photo by NewsFlash.org

Despite his status being listed as “single” in the Davao City government website, Duterte is currently living with his common-law wife Cieleto “Honeylet” Avanceña, a nurse, with whom he has one daughter named Veronica (“Kitty”). Duterte has eight grandchildren, half of whom are Muslims and the other half Christian.

Despite being raised as a communicant of the Catholic Church, on January 19, 2016, while meeting with businessmen in Binondo, Manila, he clarified that he has not attended Mass for quite some time already since he deemed it incompatible with his mayoral responsibilities: “(Kung) pakinggan ko ‘yang Ten Commandments, pati ‘yong pari diyan, wala na akong magagawa sa pagka-mayor ko” (“If I listened to the Ten Commandments or to the priests, I would not be able to do anything as a mayor”). Duterte then clarified that he had not abandoned God, only “forfeited” his religion for the meantime.

Duterte personally disclosed that he suffers from Buerger’s Disease, an inflammation of blood vessels mostly in the limbs that has been traced to previous habitual smoking, contrary to earlier rumors of throat cancer.


Credits to: Wikipedia

Why do Filipinos love Videoke?

It is a known fact that if you are a Filipino, you most definitely love videoke or karaoke. True?

Bayanmall Karaoke

In the Philippines, whenever there’s a party, celebration or fiesta or even just on ordinary days, you’ll hear your neighbors singing their hearts out in videoke. Young or old, rich or poor, party or no party, singing in tune or out of tune, at the mall or at home – these circumstances don’t matter at all! Everyone just loves to grab the microphone and sing their favorite songs.

And it’s not just in the Philippines, but also in other parts of the world like Japan, China, and Korea. Even Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) look for ways to have videoke wherever they may be! Most OFWs bring back videoke systems back to their place or country of work and use it there when they come home to the Philippines.

Generally, Filipinos all over the world just love using the karaoke – to bond; laugh with each other; talk to each other; spend time together; sing; dance and have fun together. It makes them forget their worries and problems and brings them into a state of happiness and enjoyment. Singing their hearts out is usually paired with good food, drinks and most of all, the company of family and friends!

Now, you need not worry about renting videoke machines for a day because you can now purchase your own handy videoke microphone packed with all the newest songs at BayanMall!

TJ Media Videoke

TJ MEDIA VIDEOKE TKR-304P-700x700_0 (love)

Priced at Php24,131, the TJ Media Videoke has a built in 500GB Hard Disk with various high quality songs and HD background videos that are officially licensed.

Wow Concerto Pro 2 Videoke

WOW CONCERTO PRO 2 VIDEOKE-700x700_0 (love)

The Wow Concerto Pro 2 Videoke has 2,027 built in songs including hottest hits, funky DJ remixes, and K-pop videos. It also has 2 wireless microphones with built-in remote control for easy song selections. Get them at Php 22,590!

Wow Grand Videoke

WOW GRAND VIDEOKE-700x700_0 (love)

The Wow Grand Videoke makes you feel like you’re singing live with complete instruments and back-up vocals. It has a 16 GB internal memory with a song recording and easy song search function. It also has an easy to use and understand remote control. Grab them at Php 29,670!

Wow Mabuhay Plus 2 Videoke


The Wow Mabuhay Plus 2 Videoke boasts of 3,000+ songs (1,918 English, 1,062 OPM, & 20 K-POP songs ), 2 high quality wired microphones, 2 GB memory videoke background that includes MTVs, Dance Anime, Wow Philippines and K-pop. Grab them at Php 10,798.80 only!

Order yours today!

Why do Filipinos love Videoke? | BayanMall

What is the Zika Virus?

zika virus

We’ve all heard the news about the Zika Virus spreading in some parts of the world, but do we really understand what it is?

The Zika Virus infection was first detected in Uganda and outbreaks were reported in 2007, 2013, and 2015 in different parts of the world.

zika virus

This virus is usually spread by mosquitoes and it is the same one that transmits dengue and yellow fever. This mosquito is known as the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus or tiger mosquitoes, which is usually found in tropical regions.

People who have the Zika virus may experience mild fevers, skin rashes and conjunctivitis or red eyes. Other symptoms, which may last for up to 7 days, include headaches, fatigue and joint and muscle pains.

microcephaly - zika virus

It is believed that the Zika virus and microcephaly in babies, the rare condition of having an abnormally small head and incomplete brain development, have a link. Some countries have asked women in their areas to refrain from having babies until 2018 because of the spread of the Zika virus infection. But the World Health Organization issued a statement saying that this relationship should still be further investigated and researched on.

The Zika Virus is now spreading throughout 20 Latin American and Carribean countries including Brazil and Mexico. The surge in incidents in Brazil has caused some countries to issue travel warnings to Zika-stricken countries, especially pregnant women, to avoid contamination. Brazil has recorded 3,893 microcephaly cases in October 2015 as compared to an average of just 160 cases. This is a troubling thought, especially since the 2016 Olympics will be held in the country and thousands of people from around the world are expected to travel there for the event.

plenty of rest and drinking a lot of fluids - zika virus

There is still no known treatment from the Zika virus infection and it is treated as a normal fever with common fever medication, getting plenty of rest and drinking a lot of fluids to hydrate the body.

According to the DOH, one of the ways to prevent the Zika Virus is to keep our area mosquito-free. We should always practice to make our surroundings clean.

What is the Zika Virus? | BayanMall

Movie Review: Everything About Her


It truly makes us proud as Filipinos when we are able to watch quality and meaningful films made by our kababayans. This 2016, Star Cinema released a movie directed by Joyce E. Bernal called Everything About Her starring Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto and Angel Locsin.

Vilma Santos, the Star for All Seasons, who plays a strict, intimidating, but very successful businesswoman named Vivian is the CEO of a big company in the Philippines. Vivian learns that she has stage 3 cancer and hires a private nurse named Jaica, played by Angel Locsin, to take care of her.



Jaica then proceeds to play a bigger role in Vivian’s life by becoming the bridge between Vivian and his estranged son Albert, played by Xian Lim. Jaica tries to convince Albert to come home from the United States to live with Vivian in Manila.

The movie is graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and is rated Parental Guidance by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB)


It started showing in the Philippines on January 28, 2016; in the United States on January 29 and the United Kingdom on February 6.

This movie is definitely a must watch for every family and will truly touch the hearts of every mother and child out there. It will make you laugh and cry all at the same time.

Movie Review: Everything About Her | BayanMall

How to Apply Day and Night Make up | BayanMall


There is so much to learn about make up, especially if you are a beginner. It takes a good amount of practice to be able to perfect your look and study all the ins and outs of applying make up. Most of us women actually need it when we go out or go to work. But did you know that there is what they call the day and night make up? Day and night make up are 2 totally different looks that you can transition to.

Day make up is usually light, natural and fresh looking while night make up is more dramatic and bold. Here are some tips on how to do both looks.

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Make up should be fresh and natural looking. For the eyes, don’t put too much eyeliner and mascara.  A little mascara will go a long way and will already be able to carry your daytime look. Try Eur Mascara for the perfect looking lashes. If you are not keen on using too much mascara, you may try eyelash extensions. Use eyeshadows that are light colored. There are so many colors to choose from when you use the M&Co Love Champagne eyeshadow palette! Well-groomed brows are a must! For the cheeks, use a blush that is pink and light and will compliment your skin tone. And for the lips, a light colored lipstick like the Eur Biscuit color lipstick or shiny lip balm will do the trick.


The night look is a much more sophisticated and dramatic look. For the eyes, use an eyeliner to make your eyes stand out. Use a deeper shade of eyeshadow or just enhance your eyes with a cats eye or a smoky eyes look. To achieve the smoky eyes look, use the Eur Eyeshadow Earth Angel Eyeshadow Palette. Choose eyeshadows that compliment your look – you may use darker colors or add a touch of shimmer to the eyes. You won’t run out of colors to use in the M&Co Love Serenade Eyeshadow Palette. For the lips, a darker shade is recommended like the M&Co Brick Red Lipstick.

How to Apply Day and Night Make up | BayanMall

OFWs will soon enjoy higher tax-exempt ceilings for sending balikbayan boxes | BayanMall


The Senate has passed a bill that may soon allow Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to send more “pasalubongs” to their loved ones in the Philippines tax-free. The bill was approved by 19 senators with Senator Eduardo J. Angara, sponsoring Senate Bill 2968 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The present tax-exempt ceiling is Php 10,000 and this bill will increase the amount to Php 150,000 tax-free balikbayan boxes. It also aims to increases the de minimis value or small items with small values from Php 10 to Php 10,000.

This privilege may be enjoyed by our OFWs three times every year. They may be able to send their families 2 boxes at the same time, but not exceeding the value of Php 150,000. The items inside the boxes should also only be items for personal use and not for commercial sale or hire.


The bill also allows these tax-exempt values to change every 3 years to account for inflation. Donations and relief goods will also be duty-free during times of calamity.

OFWs who have not returned home to the Philippines for at least 10 years will be granted a tax-exemption for personal and household items of up to Php 350,000. Those who have stayed overseas for at least 5 years will be allowed up to Php 250,000 worth of tax-free goods.

This move was put into light when the controversy of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in August 2015 drew so much attention as they randomly and physically inspected and opened balikbayan boxes of OFWs.

The bill has been designated as a priority legislation by Malcañang. Many hope that this will improve and modernize BOC and its services and will attract more foreign direct investments. According to Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., “If the bicameral conference committee can work fast to harmonize the House and the Senate versions, our OFWs will enjoy the benefits of this law very soon.”

OFWs will soon enjoy higher tax-exempt ceilings for sending balikbayan boxes | BayanMall

Refund of Terminal Fees for OFWs | BayanMall


Starting October 2015, the NAIA Terminal Fee of Php 550 will now be integrated to your airline tickets upon purchase. This means, no more lining up at the airport during your international flights to pay for the terminal fee. But what about OFWs who are exempt from paying the terminal fee?

The terminal fee or the international passenger service charge (IPSC) of Php 550 is used in airport operations. 71% or Php 390 goes to maintenance, 18% or Php 100 goes to the national government and 11% or Php 60 goes to aviation security.

According to Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers’ Act of 1995 or as amended Republic Act 10022 or the Amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are exempt from paying travel tax and airport terminal fees. Other existing laws also exempt Muslim pilgrims, national athletes and individuals approved by the Office of the President.

To avoid violating this law, the MIAA or Manila International Airport Authority has set up refund counters for those who are exempted from the payment.  These counters are set up at the airports just after the immigration counters.


In order to get your refund, exempted travelers will have to present the following to the counters:

  1. Exemption Ceritificate (Airport Copy)
  • For OFWs – Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
  • For Pilgrims, Athletes and Others – MIAA Exemption Certificate (MEC)
  1. Any of the following documents clearly showing payment of terminal fee (LI International)
  • Itinerary / E-receipt
  • Official Receipt
  • Invoice
  1. Presentation of Boarding Pass

In 2015, the Senate and House of Representatives passed resolutions asking the MIAA to temporarily stop the merging of terminal fees in airline tickets because many problems arose due to this Memorandum Circular enacted by MIAA which established the refund system for OFWs.

The refund counter has proved to be an injustice for OFWs because many of them are either not aware of the refund or decide to forego their refund for fear of missing their flights as the refund requires them to line up at the airport and collect it.

Since MIAA’s jurisdiction is only under NAIA Terminals, OFWs departing from Cebu, Davao, Clark or other international airports in the Philippines have no office to go and claim or secure their refunds from. This is according to Senator Blas Ople who has received many complaints from OFWs in his Ople Center.

Refund of Terminal Fees for OFWs | BayanMall

Valentine Gift Ideas for Long Distance Relationships | BayanMall

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There are so many ways to surprise the love of your life and make him/her happy this Valentine’s day even though you’re miles apart. But how will you know what to give her? First, recall all the things you’ve done for her or given her and list down which ones she loved the best. Second, think of things that she mentioned to you recently – for example, she needs a new phone because her phone was soaked up in water recently or she needs a pretty dress to wear for her friend’s wedding. Is she the practical type or the romantic type? You may get ideas for your gifts from these.



Call first thing in the morning to greet him/her a happy valentine or surprise him/her with an email and tell them how much you love and miss them.


Send munchies like chips, popcorn, etc. on Valentine’s day and schedule a skype movie date with him/her. You can be miles apart, but nothing can stop you from enjoying your favorite movie together. Check out this movie munchies package: https://www.bayanmall.com/Packages-1/Movie-Munchies