Thursday, November 10, 2016

My LBC Kuwait Experience

My father, who is an OFW for more than 20 years has used almost all of the known Balikbayan Box couriers around the Middle East. But never had he experienced using LBC to send our boxes back home in the Philippines. When I had the chance to try it out, I wasn't hesitant but was feeling very pleased and grateful since I've used LBC's local services when I was still in Manila. But this time, we are sending it internationally.

When I first received my balikbayan box, rather, a Balikbayan Drum as I prefer to call it, it somehow reminded me of our water drums back home. It was big, thick and definitely heavy. As I checked every corner and tried to even knock to hear any sound or vibration, I knew that it was made of solid plastic and it was definitely tough to break! Oh, it only costs 13 KD.

This is how it was exactly delivered to us.

Top cover with steel lock.. and a key hole area if you want to put a padlock in.

The steel lock when opened.

Inside of the drum..quite deep and sturdy! Will definitely fit a lot of things in there!
But putting all of our goods to be sent home was another story since you need to have longer arms (I'm 5 foot and 3 inches in height) to put everything in. Thankfully my fiance was there to help arrange everything. It took us half a day to finish everything in but when we're about to lock it, lo and behold we forgot the key!
This is how it looked like while inside the house..ready for packing!

Our goodies inside the drum. Not yet final though since we're checking how it would all fit in.
My father, who just came and asked if we're done checked the drum and all our contents. He then told us that LBC's key hole needs a longer kind of padlock since the size of the hole is smaller than the usual. This, I must say, was kind of tricky. For two days we were searching all of Salmiya's hard ware stores to find that lock and we found one that cost 1.5 KD that can fit it.

The padlock that we found that is suitable for the drum's key hole

All set and ready for delivery!
Once we're done, we called our contact person Mr. Rian Jay Bañaga and have all the delivery services settled. Once the pick up date came, we were surprised to know that it only costs 25 KD for Sea cargo rate for our area in Bulacan. Honestly, the rate was just right since I think our 1 drum's total weight is equivalent to 2 ordinary balikbayan boxes (cartons) already! Plus, you can still reuse it to put it your water especially for areas in the Philippines that needs water drums for keeping.

Our Balikbayan Drum arrived safely! Photo taken by my Aunt. Sorry for the pixelized image.

The LBC seal is all tight

All in all our experience was pretty good! Add the fact that it arrived at exactly 55 days since we last sent it on Sept 8 and it arrived safely this Nov 2! All sealed and tight! No damage. So what are you waiting for? Trust the name, you definitely won't regret it!

For more information about LBC EXPRESS KUWAIT and their products, you can check their official Facebook Page. You can also visit their office located at Shop 28 Basement 1,2,3 Block 13 Fahad Al Salem Street in Al Salhiya, Kuwait City or you can call +965 22200428 or +965 99616522.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

#PHvoteDuterte

Rody Duterte is believed to be a tough-machismo-unethical-wanna be dictator who have low moral values by how he has instilled fear among his people because of his strict reputation against drugs, corrupt officials and criminals; from the way he speaks like a kanto-boy; by cracking unethical jokes relating to important national issues; swearing like he's doesn't care about anything; opposing sensitive issues like same-sex marriage and pushing for peace talks with the "Mindanawans" by connecting with the rebels to know what they really want; belittling women's rights because of his status as a known womanizer; and so on. BUT, in times like ours where all the unethical-wrongdoings is the "new right thing" where people thought they can get away with just about anything by thinking that their principle and ideas are correct.. the quote "words is mightier than the sword" doesn't seem to be applicable anymore. What the current Filipino society now needs is someone who can BREAK THE STATUS QUO.
We, Filipinos, are known for being a democratic, conservative yet modern, free-loving people who actually thinks that everything that we have is "entitled to us". Unfortunately, these kinds of mentality creates a wrong notion for us, the Filipino people, to believe that we can turn ALL things in our favor by disregarding the moral values that our parents have taught us. Today, we need someone who can break the status quo by slapping us with the reality that we, Filipinos, need to change not only from the outside but as well as from the inside. We are a "judgmental nation". That's a sad fact. We see things superficially and not by what they have done to make some change. This crazy 2016 Philippine Election is a great example of how we are as a nation. If we don't want to CHANGE THINGS NOW by exercising our right to suffrage WISELY.. it's definite that there will just be another never-ending cycle of craziness coming soon. Whew.
May God be with us all!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Balikbayan Box



Balikbayan boxes has always been regarded as a symbol of an OFW's love for his/her family back home in the Philippines. The box doesn't only contain material things that the family, friends and relatives ask as favor or pasalubong after being away for quite some time but it is also filled with an OFW's hopes, dreams and aspirations to have a better life for his/her loved ones.

Ang bawat balikbayan box ay produkto ng pawis, luha, dugo at pagnanais ng bawat OFW na maibigay sa kani-kanilang pamilya ang isang masaganang pamumuhay. 

Official logo of LBC
Since the box is very important, finding the right, affordable, reputable and trusted cargo service is not an easy task lately especially with all the bad feed backs and news that affects cargo shipments back home. Instead of uplifting news, OFWs are faced with varying issues that deal with custom problems, tampered boxes, lost items, taxes and the so called Balikbayan Box Law which proposes total dutiable value on boxes limiting the amount to Php 150,000 and that which can only be enjoyed three times a year. But despite all of this, OFWs are still firm in making sure that all the goods that they have slowly and meticulously saved during their stint working overseas will be received and enjoyed by their loved ones back home.

Trusted couriers are a hard find especially in the Middle East so when a Philippine-owned brand emerged in Kuwait to compete with the local ones, it's not surprising to find fellow Kababayans booking their services. LBC EXPRESS INC., has been in the courier industry since 1945 and has expanded their services to 1,020 branches in the Philippines alone and 60 international branches. Here in Kuwait, they have released two balikbayan boxes that would surely be a hit to our fellow OFWs. The LBC Balikbayan Trunk and the LBC Balikbayan Drum! These two new containers are made of stainless steel trunk and heavy duty plastic that would definitely ensure that the items inside will not be spoiled by any means and will be delivered safely back home in the Philippines!


Also, both containers can be sent through Air Cargo and Sea Freight. There is a money-back guarantee feature for containers sent via Air Cargo for lost shipments only with the prerequisites of declaring all the items in the packing list and photos of the container before it was sealed to ensure that there are no prohibited items inside.


Personally, we have used LBC's services for years and I grew up knowing them as the Hari ng Padala, just like what their commercial jingle always says back in the day. Even as of today when they have re branded their company with the motto - We like to move it, LBC Express is still the number one and trusted choice for express cargo - both for airfreight and sea freight. With the two new containers available, made of steel trunk and heavy duty plastic drums, LBC Express Kuwait has made sure that all the items in the Balikbayan containers will be safely delivered to the families of OFWs in the Philippines. Because of their reputation in delivering fast and efficient products and services through the country, it is no doubt that LBC Express has gained the respect of its clients for over 70 years all over the world.

For more information about LBC EXPRESS KUWAIT and their products, you can check their official Facebook page HERE. You can also visit their office located at Shop 28 Basement 1,2,3 Block 13 Fahad Al Salem Street in Al Salhiya, Kuwait City or you can call +965 22200428 or +965 99616522.

Ngayon ito ang tanong ko sayo kabayan...

Ano'ng pinaka-safe na cargo company para sayo?




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ayoko kumuha ng Insurance

Ayoko kumuha ng Insurance/VUL.  Forced savings yan eh.  Sapilitang pag iipon..Mapipilitan...mapipilitan ako..

1.  Mapipilitan akong  mag budget at pagkasyahin ang budget..Wala sa budget mag Jollibee ngayong Linggo. Mapipilitan akong bumili ng chicken sa palengke at gayahin ang recipe ng Jollibee...

2. Mapipilitan akong maging honest.  Yeah, 10 years na ako dito sa trabaho ko.  10 years pero wala akong ipon..Hindi ko talaga alam..Hindi ako aware na nagtatrabaho ako para sa credit card...Masarap mag swipe teh, 0% interest!

3. Kapag kumuha ako niyan, mapipilitan akong kalimutan ang friends kong pasosyal.  Magbabaon ako every payday.  E ano kung lunch out sila? Ako naman pipila sa bangko para magdeposit...Isang oras lang silang masisiyahan.,Ako habangbuhay..😊

4. Mapipilitan akong lampasan ang SM every payday. E ano kung 70% off? Mas matalino ako kay Henry Sy..bago pa niya makuha pinag hirapan ko, na i top up ko na sa VUL ko..

5.  Mapipilitan akong maglagay ng Critical illness benefit..iyon bang kapag nagkasakit ako e hindi ako pabigat? Hindi ibebenta ang kalabaw, hindi isasangla ang bahay...Pero teka..madami akong kamag anak sa abroad na magpapautang sa akin, isa isahin ko na lang kaya sila? .Im sure maaawa sila sa akin kapag nag ca cancer ako..E ano kung pabigat ako sa kanila..Kasalanan ko ba kung mag kasakit ako?

6. Mapipilitan akong tanggapin na hindi ako super sayan..Na maari akong maaksidente paglabas ng bahay. Kapag naaksidente ako, mahohospital ako.. Uutang na lang ako sa ate ko, palagi namang may pera iyon..E ano kung mababawasan iyong pang educ plan ng anak niya? Ate ko siya! Hello!

7. Mapipilitan akong mag retire ng mayaman..Grabe..Hirap nun! Baka hindi ko kayanin gastahin lahat ng milyones ko.

8. Mapipilitan akong tigilan ang pag gy-gym kuno. Sayang lang membership ko.  Kumakain naman ako after..

9. Mapipilitan akong tanggapin na mas mahalaga ang insurance ng buhay ko kaysa kotse ko..Pero pre! Pumapalakpak tenga ko kapag sasabihin mong astig ang mags ko..

10. Mapipilitan akong masaktan.  Biruin mo, tatanggihan kong pautangin ka friend.  Kasi naka budget na ang pera ko...

Tulungan mo ako please.  Tulungan mo akong huwag ipasa itong application ko.
Ayoko...ayoko kumuha ng VUL.

Sige na nga, mai submit na nga ito..

Credit: Neh Crucillo

Monday, December 21, 2015

Philippines won Miss Universe 2015

The whole country is just thrilled to know that our bet, Ms Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach has brought back the Miss Universe 2015 crown after 42 years!  When asked about what can she do as a Miss Universe winner, she replied by simply saying "I am confidently beautiful with a heart."

Although her win wasn't all sunshine since the host for the night, Mr Steve Harvey first declared Miss Colombia as the winner. Then just after 4 minutes of happiness, Mr Harvey apologized by saying that he misread the card and showed it on live TV. It was indeed Miss Philippines and not Miss Colombia.



Congrats again Ms Pia! :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

We are God's Masterpiece

I came from a typical OFW family. My father went to Saudi Arabia when I was seven to search for greener pasteur while my mother who was a public school teacher raised me and my two brothers. Growing up, I never really had a physical father figure and I thought my family's structure was normal. My father would go home every two or three years and would only spend a month with us. That's how I remember my childhood with my father. On the other hand, my mother became the de facto head of the family with the responsibilities of raising three children all by herself. Financially, my father would support and provide us with everything that we need by sending us to Catholic schools and giving us a good lifestyle that we were really grateful for. But his lack of physical presence in our lives seemed to give us that feeling of emptiness as we grow older.

My lovely family 
By God's grace, I finished my education with flying colors while all the time acting as a good role model to my two younger brothers. I thought that was enough since I became the obedient daughter and supportive sister that I should be. Unfortunately, my brothers and I doesn't seem to share the same ideals.

One of my brothers, a former YFC like me, who we thought was doing okay with his Nursing degree had been having a hard time all along coping up with peer pressure and instead resorted to smoking and drinking. His growing addiction to computer games led him to fail his grades which inevitably got him kicked out of the program. His problem escalated more when he got his then-girlfriend pregnant at 18. This news came as a big shock to both my parents who have been great providers and supporters in their own way, especially to my mother who has been actively serving in the Church and is a CFC HOLD leader. My father, who thought everything is going well with us because we are all Catholic-schooled and had been guided spiritually by our Parish and CFC family felt devastated with what happened to his eldest son. He was even brought to the ICU and was hospitalized for a couple of days due to a heart attack after learning of all this because he never thought that his quiet, smart, altar-server-son would do such a thing.

Then, unexpectedly my youngest brother who at that time just started going to College as well suffered depression when he learned that his girlfriend from high school cheated on him when she went to the US. Instead of telling us about his problems, he simply kept silent and diverted his attention to smoking. Because of this, he got himself kicked out of his Accountancy program because of inconsistencies in school requirements.

During those times, I would remember that whenever I would pray so hard, I would always ask God why this is happening to us. I felt like we did something wrong. All of these trials came unexpectedly and has shaken our quiet family. What's worst is that I really feel bad seeing my parents going through the pain of disappointment and always questioning themselves about where could have they done wrong? Aalso, it pains me to see my two brothers going through all of these problems that we would only hear from stories of friends and relatives. It even came to a point where I felt helpless and as their Ate, I blamed myself that I wasn't able to guide them properly and that I just couldn't protect them.

I thought that what we have before was enough. Even though we have a dysfunctional family structure we have always been happy. But truth is, the problems arise because God intended for it to happen. Crazy as it may seem, God's plans are way better and complex than ours.

If God didn't separate my parents physically for the last 20 years, they wouldn't probably be celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary next month while still acting like lovestruck teenagers.

If God didn't allow us to be raised alone by our mother, we probably wouldn't be as strong as who we are now even with all the trials that had come our way.

If God didn't made my brother feel the addiction to vices and hadn't gotten him in a situation to become a young father, he wouldn't be the mature, hardworking and devoted husband to his wife that I know now who is also a father of three beautiful children.

If God didn't made my youngest brother suffer heart break, depression and confusion as to what he really wants with his life, he would've not found his girlfriend of 3 years now and won't be able to know that he wanted to become a Doctor.

God has his own plans for us because he created us, whether we may question his ways or try our best to understand everything. His plans are way bigger, better and more beautiful than what we can imagine and hope for.  It's simply trusting him to unfold his promises and to realize why they all happened. Everything will take its course according to his plans at the right time and all we need is to have faith. All of this is possible because We are God's masterpiece.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chatime in Kuwait

I've always been a fan of shakes and tea since I was a kid. In the Philippines, we have this local ice cold drinks of different fruit puree, powdered milk and juice that is mixed with tapioca shells (gulaman/sago). Because of its popularity, companies started to create commercialized products and sell them of at food stalls for a good price. This kind of drink is really popular during the summer season and since the Philippines is a tropical country, people would always want to quench their thirst with something nice and cold.


On my way home last night, a friend recommended for us to drop by a new franchised store that serves different kinds of ice cold milk tea. I've known the brand in the Philippines so when I found out they finally had one here in Kuwait, we went there eagerly to try out their best sellers.

Since I'm a fan of green tea, I ordered Matcha with Red Bean Milk Tea with Coffe Jellies drink for only 1.750KD and my boyfriend had his Taro (Ub) Milk Tea with Rainbow Jellies. The taste of my drink really reminded me of what a milk shake with tapioca shells (sago) should taste like. My Matcha drink has this authentic oriental tea taste and gives you that perfect combination of sweetness that you would want to drink again and again! Add the fact that the crew were all Filipinos and the owner, who is a Kuwaiti, Dr. Adel was very nice and friendly. He even gave us 20% discount when we ordered 3 drinks and also took a picture with us while having our refreshing drinks!

With the owner of Chatime Kuwait, Dr. Adel
If you want to have the same experience, be sure to drop by Chatime Kuwait located at Fayzah Complex Block 4 Street 114 Shop 8 near Jollibee Farwaniya or contact them at 69977575. Just mention PinayDiaspora when ordering your drinks and for sure you'll get more discounts. :)

You can also follow them at their official FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and TWITTER accounts by clicking the links.

FBK Book Launch and Signing

The Filipino Bloggers in Kuwait (FBK) held its first Book Launch and Signing activity at the Philippine Embassy last 21 August 2015 Friday in Faiha for The Global Filipino Bloggers Slambook - OFW Edition of Ms Gracia Amor, FBK founder. The event was attended by various Filipino Community members and supported by the officials of the Philippine Embassy.

Pinay Diaspora has been recognized by the Philippine Embassy Kuwait. Thank you!
Also in the event itself, different Filipino bloggers including me, PinayDiaspora has been recognized by the Philippine Embassy for my contribution in the creation of the book and for the advocacy that we have been doing to help other fellow OFWs here in Kuwait through online media and communication. This unexpected once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of course doesn't happen everyday and I'm just blessed to be part of this event. So Kudos to all my fellow bloggers! :)

Receiving the recognition for PinayDiaspora by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait with the Ambassador to Kuwait Hon. Renato Villa
With Congen Atty Raul Dado of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
With the author of the book Ms Gracia Amor (R) and other fellow OFSI members and bloggers Mr Renz Leano (L), Mr Mark Averill Tan and Mr Garry Nochefranca (center).





Filipino Events Week

The Pinoy Youth Ministry Salmiya Kuwait (PYMSK) performed an interpretative dance presentation during the Solidarity night of the participants for the 11th Consultation Meeting of International priests and nuns coming from the different parts of the Middle East, Asia, Europe, North and South America last Tuesday night 18 August 2015. The Filipino group composed of students and young professions who have been serving the Salmiya Church community for two years now performed their own rendition for the Heal the World song.

PYMSK group with the Theresian Filipino Community heads Mr Charlie Somera and Mrs Angel Somera
PYMSK with visiting Bishop Rupert and Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara (Diocese of Pasig, Philippines) and Fr. Ben Barrameda (St. Therese Salmiya)

PYMSK with CFC Kuwait heads
Credit to SaintGregorie Production

The Overseas Filipino Stocks Investors (OFSI-TGFI Kuwait) group held their second session for Batch 8 last 21 August 2015 Friday focusing on One's Life Protections and Avoiding Unnecessary Financial Risks. For more information on the group's upcoming events, check the website for more info. OFSI

                                                     Credit to SaintGregorie Production


Monday, May 25, 2015

Are you Financially Secure?


Image credit to TGFI
Do you have any savings? Are you even aware how much interest it gives you? Is your savings more than 3-6 months worth of your salary? Will it be enough to cover your needs if tomorrow you will be laid off from your work or your family will need money because of unexpected emergencies?

Do you have a house of your own or do you just rent because you think its practical? Do you even have a car or simply commute because you can't afford to get one? 

Have you been paying all your bills, grocery and shopping wants through cash or you charge them as debit from your cards? Do you have some fund set aside to pay for your dream vacation? When you or one of your family members get sick, do you take a loan or ask other people to lend you money because you don't have any left on your wallet? 

Are you debt-free or are you like the others who are buried in debt you don't know what to do with it anymore? Do you have any idea how to free yourself from these debts?

If you have kids, can you even send them to good schools and give them the best education possible? Can you even afford your children's needs without touching your active income and savings? 

What if you meet your maker tomorrow (knock on wood) and you are your family's breadwinner -- who would be left to support them? Are you even ready at the thought that even without you, your family you would be leaving behind will be ok -- financially speaking? 

Do you even know or have the slightest idea how much is your total net worth, assets and liabilities? Are your finances enough to take care -- if not all, some of those needs? These are only few of the basic real-life questions that we all should be able to answer HONESTLY and be actually AWARE to know more about. 

Unfortunately Filipino culture makes us shy and awkward to talk about money and anything about finances. It's a very reluctant topic among family members and a somewhat taboo conversation even with friends especially with those you're only acquainted with or of course with strangers since asking someone about their net worth or assets is clearly a sign of prying and disrespecting one's pivacy. Unless the Government would inquire about one's SALN (Statements of Assets and Liabilities), we don't have a choice but to open and share that private information. But is that even healthy not to know? Or are we just in denial not to really know about it?

Opening oneself to public about your financial status would make you fall between being modest or arrogant. But the only important thing about is not actually knowing what you have but knowing what you need. By being honest about your financial needs, you may be able to think ahead, plan ahead and act ahead to prepare for the worse case scenarios that could happen. 

Kailangan pa bang antayin na may mangyari na hindi maganda para malaman ang mga kulang at dapat gawin kung pwede naman paghandaan ngayon pa lamang?

So how can we know in order to prepare ourselves to secure our family's financial needs? 

The answer is very simple. 

EDUCATION.

If you want to know more, click these links to find out how: TRULY RICH CLUB and