Diane Reyes spent the last six years working in Japan as a teacher, but this year, she finally spent Christmas with her family.
The holidays have become even more enjoyable for Reyes and hundreds of overseas Filipino workers as SM Global Pinoy and BDO held its “Pamaskong Handog para sa Global Pinoy” as a special Christmas treat for them and their beneficiaries at SM Supermalls nationwide.
Giving OFWs like Reyes and their families a special day to celebrate a uniquely Filipino Christmas celebration, SM Global Pinoy and BDO worked with SM Supermalls and The SM Store to stage a variety show and celebrity appearances exclusively for them in 10 SM Supermalls across the country.
“The Pamaskong Handog Para sa Global Pinoy is really for our modern heroes and their families, because it’s not every year that they get to experience Christmas here,” said Glenn Ang, senior vice president for Operations of SM Supermalls and program director of SM Global Pinoy.
“We want to them to experience the unique Filipino Christmas to make their homecoming memorable and truly heartwarming,” Ang added.
OFWs were also treated to a free movie day at select SM Cinemas nationwide, a 10 percent discount at all branches of The SM Store and a 5 percent discount at any branch of SM Appliances.
OFW families also got a chance to win prizes and giveaways from Jollibee, SM Foodcourt, Watsons, Toy Kingdom, SM Markets, Taal Vista Hotel, SM Storyland, Sky Ranch, and SM by the Bay Amusement Park.
SM Global Pinoy “has always recognized the valuable contributions of the country’s seafarers and other OFWs to the country, which is why the program was launched,” Ang said.
John Arnold Corcuera, a nurse who had worked in the Middle East, expressed his joy for being an SM Global Pinoy member. The program has made it easier for OFWs to spend some precious time with their family because of the perks and privileges, he said.
“My experience as a member of Global Pinoy is the best. This isn’t present in other malls, only at SM, and we feel very special whenever we get into a Global Pinoy center,” Corcuera said.
OFW beneficiaries also shared their experience with the remittance services of BDO.
“Their service is fast. We will continue to use them because we get a lot of privileges,” said Regina Montalbo of Tierracon Homes of Caloocan City, who receives remittances through her BDO Kabayan Savings Account. She was one of the winners of SM Gift passes from BDO.
BDO has always been at the forefront of serving OFWs and their families through BDO Kabayan Savings Account, and various activities that cater to the needs of OFWs, said Genie T. Gloria, senior vice president of BDO Remittance.
BDO treated OFW families to a day of fun and entertainment by bringing their endorsers to the Pamaskong Handog event. For instance, Piolo Pascual was at SM Consolacion Cebu, Xian Lim at SM City San Pablo, and Maine Mendoza at SM Novaliches.
Kim Chiu was at SM City Cabanatuan and SM City Marilao, Enrique Gil at SM City Rosario, Angeline Quinto at SM City Batangas, Richard Poon at SM City Cagayan de Oro, JC Santos at SM City Sta. Rosa, and Jona Viray at SM City Iloilo.
“It has always been BDO’s commitment to address the remittance needs of OFWs, and we make this possible through BDO Kabayan Savings Account,” Gloria said.
“We do our best to ensure their remittances arrive fast and safe, and at the same time help secure the OFW families’ future through the account’s free insurance. In line with this commitment is giving honor and gratitude to our kababayans by holding the annual ‘Pamaskong Handog para sa Global Pinoy .’”
Ang added: “There is no Christmas celebration like what we have in the Philippines, and so we gave our OFWs and their families an unforgettable one-day Filipino Christmas celebration that they have missed for many years, filled with entertainment, fun, games and prizes.”
The SM Global Pinoy program was created as a fitting tribute to OFWs, giving them the exclusivity to stay connected with their families and spend quality time together in SM malls.
Part of the program is the establishment of SM Global Pinoy Centers in every SM Supermall, with 40 centers so far in select SM malls all over the country.
SM Global Pinoy also conducts free educational seminars and activities that are relevant to its OFW members. Members are also entitled to exclusive perks and privileges from SM’s partner establishments nationwide.