Keeping in touch while living in the Philippines

Hello everyone,

What are the best ways you've found for keeping in touch with friends and family back home while living in the Philippines? How frequently do you stay in touch with loved ones?

Are there local equivalents to common instant messaging and online video calling services that you prefer or are more widely used?

If there is a sizeable time difference, how do you manage this?

Do you make international phone calls from a landline or mobile phone from the Philippines? What do you think of the cost?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


use social media software like wechat, whatapps, skype through phone or computer device.

Day by day or few day depend on the group.

yes. Globe telecommunication , but the data monthly speed seem like slower than Malaysia and the line hard to receive .

We usually use Skype to keep in touch with our Family in Germany. Quality is not very good here, but we manage,
Time difference 16:00 here is 10:00 there. so that isn't much of a Problem.

My Wife has a German Cellphone which she uses to  Text  friends outside the Philippines . But only occasionally. Last Month we had a Bill for 133 Euros. Which was a shock! The costs were for Internet time. It was a new Cellphone, and although I had turned off "Mobile Data" There was somthing called "International Roaming" enabled. This meant that every time the phone was used to send or recieve Texts. It logged on for 1 Day's Internet at 7 Euro's a time. The controll for "International Roaming"
was not easy to find. Buried somewhere in what is called "Additional Settings". Now it's turned off.

Things are much, much better we first were Married almost Thirty Years ago. Then we only had PLDT to communicate.

I use a Magic Jack, to communicate with the USA.  It can also be used to call Mexico and Canada. 
Magic Jack to Magic Jack to other international locations.  You can also purchase international minutes.
The cost is, $35, per year.  All you need is a high speed internet access, computer and phone.  Voice mail is accessible thru your email on a computer. … gJjvvD_BwE

I have a Globe number and I purchase a P100 pesos, IDD card, to call from my Philippine number.  P100 pesos get you appx 45 minutes, good for 30 days.  If you have a data plan with your cellphone phone service, you can use MagicjackGo or Facebook.  (Facebook is free on some networks if you have a smartphone.)

Smart offers a one day international/US, text service for P20 pesos.

Use the promos in the Philippines and save money.

When I am in the USA, I have an AT&T, prepaid service, ($30), that include unlimited texting to all countries.
Data and international calling is also available at an additional cost.  (Calls to the Philippines are not included)

I basically use two communication services to keep in touch at home.    Number 1 is WhatsApp for free texting and voice calls.  (occasional video call).   Number 2 is just a simple email note.
     Viber and Messenger are similar internet services, but basically I find WhatsApp is more popular than Viber in North America.   Messenger also works for Facebook lovers.
      Unfortunately, it is still necessary to contact banks and other businesses overseas,  with an expensive voice call, if the information cannot be shared on an email.    Some services like Skype allow you to make a landline call, but you need a fairly good internet connection. 
       I will point out that any voice based or video based internet communication  app. requires a reliable wifi or data connection which we all know that here in the Philippines.... it is another story !
      That's it, short and sweet !

I do not have internet here in the Philippines because I have not wanted to sign a three year contract. Therefore I purchased a basic Android smart phone and in it a put  SUN LTE -Ready card to not need internet to make international calls. Service is 100 pesos for 45 minutes. I usually get 500 pesos at a time so can talk for more minutes without having to worrry about running out of time. I call my banks on non 800 numbers. To make 800 calls I use Skype which charges 20 cents a minute I believe. Commuicating from the Philippines is a hassel. I have another basic phone with USA phone number chip so people can call me without having to dial an International phone number. Few do and this phone costs $3.99 a month. I get texts on it from banks trying to sercuity check my logging into my bank accounts.

I forgot. Get Whats App and get your friends with smart phones to get it to. The calls cell phone to cell phone are free and you can also video chat for long periods of time for free. Often, Whats App connections are better than Skype connections. While I was getting involved with a woman here who I have married now. We use to talk for one hour at 9. 9 AM here 9 PM me or vice versa every AM and PM for 4 months without fail. For the most part Whats APP worked better than Skype. However, there were a few times that Skype worked better. If our connection was bad regardless if Skype or Whats App we would change.Whats APP works here in the Philippines, all of Mexico/Latin Am and even the Ukraine.

One of the easiest ways to keep in touch with your loved ones is via Facebook messenger. You can send text messages or if you have a decent Wifi connection of at least 3mbp, you can use both voice and video chatting. The voice and video chatting works when your loved on is online. There is a 12 time difference between Florida and the Philippines. With Florida being 12 hours behind. And as far as regular phone conversations are concerned. The best deal is with Globe and their GOCALLIDD promotion. The cost of a direct dialed call to the United States is approximately 2.50 pesos per minute. Keep in mind the time difference especially if you are calling a business.

we use viber or facetime. nobody uses wechat (discouraged by US gov’t due to chinese affiliation and hacking) here in the US.

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