Before the advent of the Internet and all the free ways to communicate online, friends and family of overseas Filipinos had to go to a payphone, line up, and wait for their turn to talk. If that doesn’t work or if their town does not have an RCPI outlet or a payphone, the only alternative is to send letters that would take weeks or months to be delivered.
Now, thanks to all the internet technologies at our disposal, we can contact friends and family all over the world. You don’t even need to pay extra if you have a device and an internet connection.
A phone call to the Philippines from the USA is very expensive. But it’s important for us to see the faces and hear the voices of our loved ones. And if we can do it for free, that’s even better! Here are the three free ways that we communicate with our family and friends in the Philippines.
Almost everyone in the Philippines has a Facebook account. My parents are in the province of Isabela, up North. My wife’s family are in Bulacan, Metro Manila, and some are scattered around the world. Yet, for all of them, Facebook Messenger had become the best way for us to communicate with them.
The video call feature of Messenger had really improved over the past few years. Our son even enjoys playing with all the cute video effects and emojis there. It’s distracting, but it also adds an element of fun for a kid.
Before using Messenger, Skype was our go-to communication platform. But in the past year or so, it had become clunky and unreliable. There were times that it would spout robotic voices and would drop off several times during a call.
Before my parents subscribed to a home connection, I subscribed to Skype’s monthly 60-minute call to the Philippines. It cost $6.99 and it meant I can call any number in the Philippines for up to 60 minutes monthly.
These two are probably the least popular in the Philippines (at least for the people I know). But they are still free and very convenient to use. They are connected to your phone number and they are free to use as well.
What other platforms, websites, or apps do you use for communicating with friends and family in the Philippines?
Featured image credit: iphonedigital via Flickr