Tips on Safeguarding Your Balikbayan Box Shipment from Dubai to the Philippines

According to data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dubai has recorded the highest number of complaints about balikbayan box shipments a few years ago. Cases of late deliveries, damage to shipments, pilferage, and lost packages have plagued OFWs working in the country. Dubai is one of the many countries where OFWs suffer from this issue.

As an OFW working several miles away from your family, we understand how difficult it is to endure the loneliness of working abroad. Cases of late, damaged, and missing packages can only make the experience worse. With that said, here are some tips to protect your balikbayan box from these shipment mishaps.

  • Book only with accredited forwarders. Click the following links for a list of DTI-accredited sea freight and Civil Aeronautics Board-accredited air freight
  • Declare a detailed list of contents complete with their corresponding prices and attach it to the box. This makes it easier for checking both for the Bureau of Customs and for the package’s recipients.
  • Print the complete name, full address, and contact details of the recipient on white paper and place it on the box in case the courier can’t find the location.
  • Keep and secure important documents such as the shipment’s invoice, official receipt, and Bill of Lading.
  • Secure your balikbayan box Sending your package from Dubai to the Philippines is a long journey and the contents inside may be damaged in the process. Make sure you use bubble wraps or clothing cushions for fragile items, tap the cap for shampoo and lotion bottles to avoid spilling, as well as seal the opening and sides of the box properly.
  • Be wary of very low shipping rates. These might be too good to be safe.
  • Follow DTI’s social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) or visit their website at for regular advisories and alerts.
  • Track your shipment from its origin to its destination. Ask your forwarding company about how you can monitor your cargo.
  • Inquire about important shipment details like the name of the shipping line & the vessel, the container number, and the voyage number. Also get the name and contact details of the agent in the Philippines. Make sure such details are specified in the transport document or official receipt.
  • Ask your consignee to check your package with the Philippine forwarder’s counterpart even before the shipment arrives.
  • Avoid sending prohibited items such as pirated products and jewelries as they can cause delays and issues for the entire cargo. For the full list of prohibited items, click here.
  • If you encounter pilferage, lost item, or non-delivery, file an immediate complaint with the shipping company’s customer service. You may also coordinate with the DTI thru the following number: 751-3330 or 0917-834-3330.

Shipping a balikbayan box from Dubai soon? Don’t stress out and take note of these tips to safeguard your package the next time you pack and send your parcel. Save balikbayan box from late deliveries, damage items, pilferage, and getting lost in transit; make it reach your family safely and soundly.


5 Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Home Health Care Provider in the Philippines

Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Home Health Care Provider in the Philippines

There is a myriad of reasons why you should invest in home health care. Home care supports activities of daily living (ADLs), diet & nutrition, medication management, caring companionship, one-on-one focus and support, and it’s an affordable alternative to facility or hospital care.

When choosing among a variety of providers, always ask these first:

Q: How long has the agency been in business? 

First things first: you need an agency that’s been around the market for a long time. Health is not something to be taken lightly. Ask them how long they’ve been providing home care services. In addition to this, make sure that the agency is certified and licensed by the state.

Q: What kind of services do the agency provide?

Do they offer the services that the patient needs? Does the patient need physical therapy? Speech-language pathology services? Blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing monitoring? Make a list of all the services that the patient needs and coordinate them well with your chosen home health care provider here in the Philippines.

Q: What is the cost of their services?

Home health care cost is varied. It depends on the type of care, the place provided, and the region where you receive your care.

Also, does the agency offer discounts or free service to people with limited means? Do they provide a summary of benefits explaining all of the costs and payment plan options? These vital details are some of the reasons that make or break your choosing decision.

Q: How do they select and train their home care employees?

Always, always do a background check especially when it comes to credentials. Putting your loved ones’ life into the hands of another person can be scary. Determine whether the agency’s staff undergo a thorough, professional testing and screening process. The patient and family members should discuss the kind of care needed with a home care representative. This will help you decide whether the agency’s staff can meet the patient’s needs.

Q: How do they handle emergencies?

Are their home care providers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Not all agencies can provide this kind of service so better start with this if the patient’s condition is emergency-sensitive.

Inquire about how they follow up on and resolve problems. This helps ensure that the home health service provider is performing the services correctly and responding to the patient’s changing needs.


The most important thing to do before you settle on a home health care provider here in the Philippines is to check their reference. Request for a list of references like PCPs (Primary Care Physicians) who are affiliated with the service provider. Don’t forget to ask for feedbacks!

Road Accidents in The Philippines

Convincing someone to get to talk about life insurance in the Philippines setting could be really hard. And let’s be honest, this isn’t something that we can just casually discuss as it throws in the topic of death, separation, responsibilities, and money to the conversation.

If you really think about it, getting life insurance can be strategic.  Of course, no one can really tell when a person will really die. But that what life insurance is for. Its ultimate purpose is that in case untimely death of the holder, the dependents that will be left behind will not have to carry the burden of worrying for the expense of the death care service.

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Now, there are many cause of an untimely death. According to the World Health Organization, road injuries ranks number 10 as the main cause of untimely death. Road injuries kill more than HIV/AIDS which only ranks at the 13th spot.  This data seems to reflect well in the Philippine setting as the Road Crash Statistics Report of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System reported that in the National Capital Region alone in 2015, there are a total of 95,615 road accidents. In this data, 517 were considered as fatal accidents.

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In Tanay Rizal, 15 people, mostly consisting of students of Bestlink College of the Philippines, met an untimely death when the tour bus they were on lost its brake and rammed an electric post while they were on their way into a camping trip.

Ten of the victims died on the spot while the five others died in the hospital. Included in the casualties are the driver of the said bus and a teacher.

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Just after the Lenten break, April 18, 2017, an over-loaded mini bus fell into a 100 feet deep ravine along a winding road near the boundary of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya on their way back to Manila and Ilocos. The said accident has claimed 29 dead passengers, including a six-month infant and 7 other children.  Many are still critically wounded and 38 were injured.

According to a survivor, the accident occurred when the said bus tried to overtake another bus but then its engine stopped. The driver lost control of the vehicle when he was trying to restart the engine on a sloping part of the road.

Many factors may have contributed to these accidents like human error and the condition of the roadways in the Philippines but we cannot deny that these two cases show how unpredictable death can really be. One moment they were just taking a vacation, camping, having a laugh with their friends and family, enjoying their Lenten break—the next moment, they are gone. Families are left grieving. Dreams are shattered. A million conversations will be left unsaid.

With all this accidents occurring in the roads of the Philippines, it leads us back to our previous discussion about life insurance. Will we be ready when death takes us?

4 Reasons Why You Should Buy a House and Lot For Sale in Lapu-Lapu City

Are you one of those who like experiencing the best of both worlds? At Lapu-Lapu, you enjoy the comfort of island-living at the heart of a bustling city. The highly urbanized area is a first city income region in the “Queen City of the South.” The city occupies most of Mactan Island, a well-known tourist destination, plus a few other panoramic islands in Cebu.

Here are several advantages of living in Lapu-Lapu if you’re planning on buying a house and lot any time soon:

Rich Historical and Cultural Background

Rich Historical and Cultural Background Lapu-lapu City House in Cebu

The history of Lapu-Lapu City influences the cultural involvementof its residents. Most of the celebrations showcase different cultural interests, Spanish reflections, ancestral legacy and modern trends.

People from around the country also flock to Lapu-Lapu City to take a peek at the marvelous  Lapu-Lapu Shrine. It serves as a symbol of courage and success by defeating the Spaniards.

Lapu-Lapu is best known as the hero of the Battle of Mactan which happened on April 27, 1521. This historic duel stopped the invasion of Magellan in Cebu and delayed the Spanish occupation by over forty years.


Comfortable Island-Living

Comfortable Island-Living Lapu-lapu City House Cebu

If you want a change of view, investing on a house and lot in Lapu-Lapu might be a smart thing to do . The hustle and bustle of the city can sometimes be quite overwhelming. This is why moving to one of the most beautiful islands in the whole world is a nice way to settle down.

People save a lot of money just to be closer to the pristine waters of Cebu but being a resident will save you a whole lot more. Imagine taking the time to sit down while watching the sun set each evening.  The gorgeous island of Lapu-Lapu will offer you relaxation and enjoyment like no other.


Mouthwatering Delicacies

Mouthwatering Delicacies in Lapu-lapu City house Cebu

Who wouldn’t want a bite of Cebu’s lechon, chicharon, danggit, otap, chorizo de Cebu and dried mangoes? These can be found in almost every part of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu is no exception. You will definitely embark on a gastronomic journey that will make you want more.

The most famous delicacy in Cebu is lechon. It’s not your ordinary roasted pig. This delicacy is prepared with ingredients that make it stand out on its own. The flavors are just bursting with every bite.  It has even gained worldwide recognition when top chef Anthony Bourdain declared Cebu lechon as the “best pig ever” on his hit travel-food show “No Reservations.”


Colorful Cultural Events

Colorful Cultural Events in House Lapu-Lapu City

Way before the arrival of the Spaniards, Sinulog was danced by the natives in honor of their wooden idols or anitos. With the Spaniards’ arrival came the advent of Christianity. This festival is an annual cultural and religious celebration where residents from Cebu participate in street dancing. It is one of the major events not only in the island but also highly anticipated by the whole country.


Transportation and Travel

Transportation and Travel LApu-lapu City House

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Philippines and is located in Lapu-Lapu. We live in a time where the “economy of speed” is prioritized and l  iving near an airport isn’t just for the purpose of accessibility, it’s also essential for individuals and businessmen to stay competitive in the 21st century.

Aside from these, Cebuanos are also known for their hospitality. It wouldn’t be a shock if people from all over the country would buy a house and lot for sale in Lapu-Lapu City. Enjoying the atmosphere away from the urban jungle would be a nice change, wouldn’t it?

7 Fun Family Summer Activities to Do in Your House and Lot in Bacolod

It can be a bit overwhelming when you’re living in a city filled with wondrous summer getaways. With a wide array of tourist destinations, looking for an escapade with the family can be a tough decision. Don’t worry, if you haven’t decided on your summer escapade yet, here are 7 fun activities that will make you and your family beam in the “City of Smiles.”

Make ice cream sandwiches

Make ice cream sandwiches in your Bacolod house

What better way to beat the heat than this delicious treat? Ice cream is one of the most important food of the summer. It helps you cool down, it’s a yummy treat both for kids and adults, and it steams down hot heads. Ice cream sandwiches are not that hard to do. Bake some cookies (or brownies) then pair them off with the ice cream flavor of your choice. To make this even more delightful, top them off with sprinkles or M&M’s!


Have a backyard luau


Yes, you can turn your backyard into a tropical paradise. Create a lively, tropical atmosphere replete with festive colors. There’s nothing quite like a luau to enjoy everything that this sultry season brings: warm temperature, shakes and smoothies and an array of tropical food items that will help you celebrate the fleeting days of summer.


…or a backyard campfire

or a backyard campfire at your Bacolod House

A campfire is a great addition to your backyard. It’s an entertaining and cozy way to sit together, chat and enjoy roasted hotdogs or tasty s’mores under the stars.



Gardening Bacolod House

Here’s a way to adorn your home in Bacolod without having to spend a huge amount of money. All you need are recycled cans, paint and miniature plants. First, you have to get your kids creative with the used cans. Second, fill your cans with rocks (for drainage) and a small scoop of soil. The last step is to carefully add in the small plant and you can now have your very own mini garden.


Make homemade pizza

Make homemade pizza at your Bacolod House

One of the best feelings in the world is sharing a whole pan of warm pizza with your loved ones. Getting in the kitchen together, where everyone gets to pitch in their own pizza ideas is a simple but enjoyable way to get your kids busy this summer.


Create your own glamping site

Create your own glamping site at Bacolod

You don’t have to go too far to go glamping. You can now experience the great outdoors without having to spend thousands. Setting up those tents may be a tedious work but you can gather the kids to help you pitch them up. Just make sure to bring a bug zapper along.


Game Night

Game Night Bacolod House

There are a ton of board games that you and your family can engage in. Your fun night does not have to be that complicated. Just take out a board game like Monopoly and enjoy it while munching on your homemade pizza.

It’s good to break away from technology every once in a while. Engaging in these kinds of recreational activities with your kids is a cool and different way to have an unforgettable summer in your house and lot in Bacolod.

Your Ultimate Guide to an Exciting New Year Celebration in Cebu

There are several reasons why you should pack your bags and move into a house and lot in Cebu.  From the sprawling beaches and boundless career opportunities, spending the first day of the year in this wonderful province is something that you must experience. Here’s your guide to making the best out of your New Year:

Spend the day at Bantayan Island


Last July 2016, Cebu was hailed by a New York City-based magazine, as the 6th best island in the world. According to a reader of Travel + Leisure, “There is never a dull moment in Cebu. The island is perfect for travelers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on recreational activities.”

Bantayan Island, one of the most beautiful islands in Cebu, is an exceptional way to experience the New Year. Upon arrival, you will get struck by its powdery white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Located at the northern tip of Cebu, this picturesque spot is a breath of fresh air. You can either go by air, land or sea. There are direct flights from Manila and other parts of the Philippines to Cebu. The city is also accessible via ferry rides. Cebu can be reached by land thru bus rides going to Central Philippine Nautical Highway via RORO.


Feast on a gastronomic adventure that is Rico’s Lechon

(Facebook / Rico’s Lechon)

Cebu is known as the ‘Lechon Capital of the Philippines.’ Rico’s Lechon is a restaurant that pioneered the spicy flavored lechon throughout Cebu. The spicy hot roasted piece of heaven has been a blockbuster for tourists and residents. Rico’s has been serving delectable dishes around 13 years now.

Aside from the mouthwatering lechon, they also serve some appetizing scallop dishes, sinigang na hipon, beef with broccoli and desserts like mango oreo floats. The restaurant offers only the best Filipino cuisines with a Cebuano twist. It is located along Maria Luisa Road.


Take part in a cultural experience


The annual celebration of Sinulog Festival is in honor of Senyor Sto. Niño. It is a solemn but festive gathering at the same time. People shout “Viva Pit Señor” during the festivity. Pit means ‘sangpit’ which means to call upon while ‘senyor’ refers to the Holy Child Sto. Niño de Cebu. This year’s month-long celebration started from December 1, 2016 and concluded on January 31, 2017.

The Sinulog features a parade and a dance-prayer that expresses devotion to the holy child of Cebu. Those who attend the vibrant festival will witness a colorful cultural encounter of Cebu.

If you’re planning on a staycation in the province and if you’re taking part in the month-long celebration, it might be best to buy that house and lot in Cebu instead.


Witness its rich history


Speaking of house and lots in Cebu, one ancestral house turned museum is another must-see. Casa Gorordo Museum was the home of Juan Gorordo, the first Filipino bishop of Cebu. It was built in the 1850s.

What makes the house special is the display of old relics which reflect the lifestyle of the Filipino people during the Spanish era. Old furniture and paintings add to the museum’s antique vibe. The ancestral house is well-maintained which makes it more appealing.

A walk in the museum is like a journey thru Cebu’s history.

These are the reasons why Cebu is a great place to spend your New Year. t If you want a nonstop experience of everything, you know you have a great place to live in.

The Call Centre Culture: The Breakdown of the Success of the BPO Industry in the Philippines

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The Philippines over the course of the years of being a niche for outsourcing technical support services and customer support has quite build a reputation in the international market. In such a short period time, we have overthrown India as the call center capital of the world. It has been both beneficial for the economy as it has provided job opportunities for many Filipinos and the revenues have been very significant.  And with the tension going in the Middle East, the BPO industry revenue might exceed the remittances from OFWs.

Quality labor at a reasonable price has been the selling point of BPOs in the Philippines and makes it a more preferable location for outsourcing. Add in the Filipinos’ world renowned natural courteousness and patience and they will be getting the most of their investments.

But what if we will look closely in the BPO companies here in the Philippines, you will notice that the culture that has been developed with it plays a big role in their success.  Gone are the days where call centers play by the numbers or metrics to measure their efficiency.  Nowadays, BPOs put a lot more weight on measuring the customer’s satisfaction ratings through feedbacks and surveys. While this eliminates robot-like/transactional tone in customer service, it also removes the pressure among the employees to hit almost impossible numbers. It has transitioned a statistical objective into a more customer-centered approach. At the same time, this promotes a lighter atmosphere among the production floor which can also uplift the quality of service and the morale of the employees.

BPO company policies and facilities are also a contributor in building a culture. In most companies, employees have the liberty to look how they want as long as they dress reasonably presentable.  Facilities like sleeping quarters, game rooms, and gyms help in relieving stress. This might not seem like much but it shows how BPO companies cares for the wellness and comfort of their employees.

Another factor that has contributed to the success of the call center industry in the country is that business processing outsourcing companies are able to meet the international demand despite the fact that it has become more dynamic and now requires to go beyond what usually asked. And this has helped us to gain advantages among other outsourcing countries. As BPOs that provide technical support service recognizes that clients nowadays look at their partnership as a relationship that should go beyond their short-term objectives, they have also been more strategic in providing value-added services that will give them an edge over other competitors. In today’s competition, more and more BPO companies are now looking at the possibilities of incorporating aspects of free cash flow, market penetration, and customer satisfaction in their usual technical support services.

If we will break these points carefully, we can narrow down that the keen observation of what matters and being open to what is not conventional have been the keys to the success of BPO in the Philippines. And with this kind of mindset, no matter how much demanding the market could turn, we can all see through that the culture of call center will be able to take it in and turn it into another opportunity to excel further.