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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Calling Philippines from Singapore (The Cheapest Way)

My family calls me everyday from Philippines.  I really missed them so much that a minute is not enough hearing my son says "Hello Daddy!".  A three-minute call is the average time we spent over the phone, but sometimes it's longer when some intriguing "tsismis" gossips are spreading over the neighborhood.

Then the billing of my postpaid line (SMART) had finally arrived for the month of April.  So I asked my wife how much was the cost of my Singapore loneliness.  My hand was gripping tight at the sides of my chair hearing the values in!!! Whattt???

My goodness, I learned that a minute call costs P15.00 (S$0.50) and a SMS Text Messaging is P9.00(S$0.30) from Philippines to Singapore.  This is bad, totally bad for my budget.

Now, I bought a SIM card which is SMART Pinoy. It costs S$20.00 at the convenience store and I bought a top up load card worth S$15.

Where to buy the Smart Pinoy SIM?
You can buy the Smart Pinoy SIM and Top Up Cards at 7-eleven, Cheers and other stores.  Some outlets don't sell these especially when the location has less Pinoys.  To make it sure, the best places are inside the malls and markets.

How To Top Up Your Smart Pinoy Card?
So, you have the SIM and it comes with few minutes of calls and SMS.  What if the load has already depleted? You now need to buy the Top Up Card at the locations stated above.  Then simply, scratch off the protective ink and dial:

55551 + 12-digit PIN ---> CALL

Very simple, right?  So, if you forget these instructions, no worries, it is printed at the back of each card. *smile*

What is the Call Rate?
This is quite tricky, I have been lured and enchanted by these rates.  I will only tell you the cheapest and the 2nd to the cheapest.  What do you want to know first?

OK, I'll tell you the 2nd one...when you dial these numbers:

021+Country Code+Area Code +Tel. No.
Example: 021 63 2 811 22 33 (for landline)
                 021 63 918 911 22 33 (for mobile)

The rate is at S$0.65 (P22.00) per minute.

The best way to save few cents and your peso is to dial these numbers...

1561+Country Code+Area Code +Tel. No.
Example: 1561 63 2 811 22 33 (for landline)
                 1561 63 918 911 22 33 (for mobile)

The rate is at S$0.34 at the first 2 minutes and S$0.16 thereafter.  This is a great savings for you and your family.

When your family sends an SMS to your Smart Pinoy, it costs only P1.00 and your SMS to them is S$0.05.

Of course, you can also do the chatting by Skype, Yahoo Messenger or Facebook.  This is only an option for you to consider.

Other Related Post:
Using Smart PINOY DOS in Singapore


  1. hi ben!

    here's another way to make cheaper calls... tell ur family to buy SUN idd sim card and load idd call card for 50 or 100pesos. 100 peso call card makes 60min call to singtel number or 50peso makes 25min call. ONLY call to singtel or overseas number as it is waaaaay expensive to answer phone calls using smart,globe and sun.

    and if u want to send text sms to ur family, use chikka text messenger for free to their phones!

    just have your extra philippine sim phone with u to receive their love at all times when they text.

    emily :)

    1. Way to make Cheapest phone calls to mobiles and landlines

      Hey guys you can try Smartgroschen phone calls to mobiles and landlines, because at start you get 0,50 euro gratis!
      try this app for cheap calls.You will surely enjoy this apps voice quality which is availabe in cheap rate

      Smartgroschen is for free calls and text chatting. You can also use chat with video clips, pictures and your current position on the map.
      Smartgroschen is an instant messenger that allows you to connect with any Smartgroschen-user worldwide for free.
      The app syncs with your mobile contact list, detecting your contacts using Smartgroschen.
      - free calls between Smartgroschen users,
      - free text chats,
      - free text chats with video clips attached,
      - free text chats with pictures attached like MMS,
      - geo target functionality,
      - short movie attachments,
      - audio attachments,
      - photo attachments,
      - delivery confirmation,
      - free conference calls,

  2. Thanks emily, that is a cheaper way to do more communication. I use also chikka but it's limited to a PC only.

    SMART Pinoy has new promo, they call it Pinoy DOS. My SMART Pinoy SIM will have a virtual Philippine number and Philippine Text and Call to Singapore will be at Philippine rate only. There is $2/month deduction on my side...I'll try it next week.

  3. hello po... paano po magtext from pinas to singapore? yung smart number lang ba diretso o may iba pang number or character na dinadagdag? tapos yung incoming call from pinas may kaltas ba dito?

    thank you po... nang nabasa ko po tong post niyo bumili po agad ako ng sim :)

  4. If Pinas calls Singapore with Pinoy DOS, Pinas pays at Philippine rate and Singapore will be deducted (not sure yet on how much).

    If Singapore Smart Pinoy has no Pinoy DOS, use the +65 9xxx xxxx to call or text from Pinas. If with DOS, just call/text the SMART Pinoy virtual Philippine number.

    I'll make a new post regarding this...

  5. Hi Ben, I just bought the smart pinoy dos. I used it to txt to a phil number in the phils immediately. The charge was sgd 1 instead of sgd .o5 as per retailer information. What happened?

    thank you.

  6. Hey, it should be SGD0.05 text charge only to SMART/TNT. Please call (+65)6836 7648 for Smart Pinoy Hotline.

  7. HI Ben and Everyone,

    If you hear about VOIP, i believe its the cheapest call per minute. Give here in Singapore most of us have a bundle 3G data plan so it won't consume your minutes. Check this out:
    Call2connect- Calling Rate to Philippines

    For : 10 USD or 12SGD or 425 Pesos or 37 QAR or 38 AED

    Call Philippine LandLine =88mins

    Call Smart Mobile = 71 mins

    Call Globe Mobile = 80 Mins

    Call Suncellular Mobile = 81 mins

    Not only in the philippines you can use this to call anywhere in the world but of course they have different rates per minutes. This is just like Skype that you normally buy credit, but our rate is cheaper and crystal clear quality.

    If your intrested email/msn chat:

  8. hi Ben,

    i'm a telecom guy based in Lapulapu City, Cebu. what i'm gonna lead you is not very popular because it's still new.

    hv u heard of iNum or DID? that's the key to your woes. DID is a local number (in your case, Singapore) but it's linked to a SIP device in the Philippines. if you're only interested to call one location, home, that would suffice. if to any phone in PH, that would require iNum.

    i'm using MagicBox.PH, a SIP device connected to an ordinary phone. i'll post about DID and iNum in my blog next week. i'll cite an example how u can reach me for free. feel free to drop by my site. have a nice weekend.

  9. anyone can tell me more about smart pinoy dos?
    how can i know my virtual pil no.?

    calling from PhiliPine with smart buddy, how much per/min?
    send sms from PhiliPine with smart buddy, how much/sms?

  10. hi all
    just now i call to pinoy dos 24/7 customer service, then i just konw that it need to activate DOS service. text 'DOS ON' to 55550.
    then you can receive 1 month activated 10 digits virtual philipine no., charge 2SGD. to this no. from Philipine will only be local time charge.

    before i know that i give my wife 8 digits singapore no. and she call to me. then it charge IDD rate. her topup all gone very fast, dun know how much it is.

    i told the customer service staff, that this activation instruction never printed on the SIM card and customer would have so much trouble.

  11. try also iTalk BB, just 15 SGD a month unlimited call from SG to PH.

  12. Hi Ben A., is SMART PINOY better than Singtel Kababayan Sim? Thanks!

    1. Sorry but I haven't used the Singtel SIM. But Smart Pinoy is alright. I'm still using it now to call/text to Philippines.

  13. Hi Ben A., thank you for your reply. Sige po, i will search na lang which is better. kasi dati nung nagsearch ako ng magandang roaming sim para sa singapore, yung singtel globe kababayan sim lang yung nakikita ko or nababasa sa mga forum at sa inyo ko lang nalaman ung tungkol sa smart pinoy.. balitaan po kita pag nalaman ko na.. :D

  14. Hi Ben!kailangan ko po bang magactivated DOS ON every month or automatic na xa mgdediduct ng load ko for continous service?salamat po.

  15. Smart Pinoy DOS is a one-time activation only and they'll provide you a Philippine number. They will deduct a fee of $2.00 every month on your Smart Pinoy so be sure that your load is sufficient. A notice from them will be sent to you every month to automatically deduct that fee, and if ever you have no load at that time, you will receive a reminder from them or else they'll void the Philippine number and you need to reactivate it with a new Philippine number. Cheers...

  16. Thanks Ben, your article is really helpful. Just to make it clear, how come the format of the number is 1561+Country Code+Area Code +Tel. No. ? No need to add a + in front of the country code? How come there are different formats for calling? Are there different formats for texting too? You're sure it only costs 1 peso per sms when people in the Philippines text me? How much will it cost them to call me? Is it more expensive for me to call them or for them to call me? I am trying to reduce expenses for my family there. Thank you.

  17. Does it also mean that even if I don't use the sim card for a certain month, $2 will still be deducted?

  18. Hi, I made a post that answers your questions..Please read it here.

  19. Thank you. But I went to 2 7 eleven stores at busy malls yesterday and they said they don't carry the card. Are there any places where I am more likely to find the card?

  20. You can go to lucky plaza, there's a store selling this Smart Pinoy just beside the Metrobank Remittance at 3rd floor. If they don't have a stock, just visit some other stores around Lucky Plaza. Bring your passport.

  21. Anlayo po kc ng lucky smin..=/

  22. Hi, you have traveled from Philippines 'til here and lucky plaza is maybe just few MRT stations from your can do it! Just give yourself a slight push. :D

  23. Hi ben
    Pwede ba magpasa ng load ang smart pinoy sim sa pinas . Thanks

    1. Sorry, as far as I know they don't have this feature yet.

  24. Hi Ben,

    thanks for your very helpful post. btw, i got my smart pinoy dos sim from the Indian store near our flat and it only costs $8.50 w/ a pre-loaded value of $10.


  25. Hello Ben,

    tanong ko lang po kung pano po macheck ung load after gamitin? Salamat po.


    1. Hi, look for the SMART Pinoy in your MENU and Select SMART CS Care and select Load Balance, that's it. Just wait for th SMS message indicating the balance of your load. :D

  26. check out unlimited call to/from Philippines using 2 magicjack units,


    1. Apply for the Smart Pinoy DOS so you will have a Philippine number. They should reply to the number provided.

  28. Hi po, magano po ang cost per text SG to Indonesia Batam? Using Smart Pinoy DOS. Pls do reply po.

  29. Hello ben sn po pde gmtin ung local mins n 100 po?

    1. Hi, you can use it for Singapore local calls.

  30. Hi Mr. Ben! May data plan na rin po ba ang Smart Pinoy? If so, how do you activate the data plan?

  31. Thanks for giving information.
    Your article is very useful for me.
    According to your Article I bought Smart Pinoy SIM card.
    But my mobile phone is restricted by particular network provider.So i needed to unlock my mobile phone to put Smart Pinoy SIM card .For unlocking i referred and i got free mobile unlock instructions from Now i really enjoy with Smart Pinoy SIM card.

  32. helo po qya Ben.i just want to ask po,what if unlimited text promo ang gamit nila sa pinas tapos nagtext sila sa smart pinoy sim ko piso pa rin po ba ang bawas sakanila or wala?thankyou po


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