Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada

Search This Blog

Showing posts with label Statements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Statements. Show all posts

Monday, June 30, 2014

SSS Benefits for Everyone Including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Singapore

Yes, another month had ended and our salary is here again. A great smile on faces of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are everywhere, especially at Lucky Plaza.

This is what OFWs, like me, do every end of the month, to remit part of our money to Philippines for our love ones.

What is Our Future as an OFW?
As a monthly routine, it keeps us alive and motivated because we know that our family in Philippines are fed and well blessed from our hard-earned money.

But, how about us? Do we have an assurance that we can still survive in Singapore for many years from now?  Can we still smile at Lucky Plaza for the next 10 years?

We certainly don't know the future and think about it, this Singapore opportunity had knocked to our doors once, you'll never know if it does the second time around.

I've known acquaintances who left Singapore for good because their Work Permit were not renewed.  This is depressing specially if you have a lot of mouths to feed and debt to pay.

Luckily, I found this video as an interesting tool for all of us OFWs or even those who are working in Philippines.  We need to be educated on how to plan our future.  Please have time to watch it...

 

Few months ago, I made a blog post about How to Continue the SSS in Singapore.  Please read the post for you information.

Enjoy your salary and leave some for your next budget.

Other Related Posts:
Remittance: Sending Money to Philippines
Get an OEC at the Philippine Embassy

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blogging as a Hobby and a Business Opportunity While Working in Singapore

One of my reader sent me an email at benalagnam@yahoo.com, asking me about blogging.

Her name is Cassie, her hobby is writing. She had created her blog websites but was not able to maintain it.  She writes contents for other people as well.

Cassie's problem is that her blog is not popular enough and few visitors are coming in to her website or nothing at all.  She wants to know more on how to attract people to visit her blog and earn money from it.

Cassie and Me are just few examples of hobby bloggers.  We blog because we are passionate about something.  

The only thing that separates me from her is that I had learned how to separate a hobby blog to a money making blog.  

Also, I learned how to do these,
  • Attract more readers/visitors (getting traffic at your site)
  • Keep readers loyalty at hand (keeping the reader returning to your blog)
  • Having an authority at your niche (expert at a specific product).
  • Analyzing visitors behavior.
  • Monetize the blog (earning money from blogging)
The above lists are gained through time, research and reading lots of materials.  I've been reading blogs and studying authoritative websites to gain more knowledge on how they do their thing.

As a disclaimer, I am currently not making lots of money on blogging but I'm on my way to make that possible.  Earning a little is still good to keep me from doing the things that I love, blogging.

This is an additional money for me while working in Singapore and this will be my future income when the time of a big harvest comes.  

What are the Different Types of Bloggers?
I know a lot of bloggers who are all the way to the top, earning thousands but end up broke at the end. 

Some are so successful until now.

There are many types of bloggers, I'll name a few:
  • Hobby Blogger - Someone who creates blog websites and writes blog posts almost everyday, just for fun, but never monetizes it.
  • One-Time Blogger - Someone who blogs for a few months straight and loose enthusiasm, leaves the blog hanging.
  • Business Blogger - creates a blog website and a lot of money making posts, only cares about the visitors money.
  • Long-Term Blogger - Creates websites, taking care of the readers, keeping them loyal and recommends them products that leads to sales.
Now, where do you think you belong to from the list?  

How Do You Learn Blogging From Scratch?
Blogging is not an overnight get-rich scheme...NO!  It takes time and effort. That is why it's a future income, which you plant the seeds now, watch it grows, and harvest the fruits later.

Interested?  You can visit my blog just for this topic and I named it as Make Future Income .  There are posts about earning offline there as well, but I will concentrate on blogging for now.

In that blog, you can expect future posts for the following:
  • Posts about how to create a blog at a beginners level
  • How to attract readers to a blog by quality posting
  • How to take care of your readers
  • How to earn money from your readers without hard-selling
  • How to make a sustainable blog using free web host.
  • ....and a lot more about blogging
one more thing,
  • You can ask anything, and that would be about blogging
Remember, the Make Future Income is not only for me, but for you as well.  Blogging is a continuous learning and we should do it together.

You can leave a comment below if you have questions about this post or email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com for your private emails, all is FREE.

We'll see each other at the Make Future Income blog and let's do it!

Other Posts:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blogging While Working in Singapore Help Me Pay My Annual Insurance

You've read a lot of my blog post here in BenAlagnam.com and some of you thanked me for it and others will just say, NICE! great post Man!

But how do I get from doing this blog?  Do I get anything from it?

Some people enjoys a lot posting messages or selfies in Facebook, because it's their thing.   They love sharing staff with friends and even to public.

For me, It's O.K. to do that since they are happy after all.

Yes, I still share posts in my Facebook accounts but not for selfies or random messages.  I really like and enjoy sharing information online and even offline.  For me, these are the fun things to do.

When Did I Start Blogging?
When I discovered blogging, it was one afternoon while surfing at the net, I was really interested right away when I saw a personal website of a friend.  He blogs about anything, from food to road trips with his wife and kids.

Back then, although I knew a bit of computers and softwares but I don't know how to set up blogs and I don't even know how to make a single post.

Until I created my first ever blog (http://greenthumbwit.blogspot.com), I kept this blog to remind me that it's my first post right there!

Why Am I Blogging?
The reason for me at that time was to practice my writing skills because I was getting ready for my FSW Canadian application and it requires an English test.

The way I wrote during that time was like writing a book.  I'm not sure if it's still the impression of my readers at this moment.  But things have improved quite a bit and I made more than 5 blog websites as of this year 2014.

On my second blog, where I got a lot of excitement, is that I started to add a Google Adsense account. This will earn me money while blogging.  The only difficult thing to do here was the first approval from Google and the rest was easy.  Everything can be linked to one account.

At the first 3 months of my blog.  I earned my first $0.05 dollars and I was jumping with joy.  My wife was surprised to see me doing that.

Yes, I know, it's a tini-mini small amount, but where can I find a dollar out of doing something that I love?  I cannot see it under my couch or anywhere in the corner of my house.

This when I started to do more post and fueled me up.  For about a year, I blogged 3 times a week, it accumulated to 200+ post per year.  But, you see, I did not complain about doing it, because I love it!

Then I started BenAlagnam.com to record all my activities in Singapore.  This is some sort of a diary but with a touch of sharing information to my readers about the country.

I really love blogging in Singapore because of the fast internet speed that can reach 40Mbps download and upload speed. WOW!  The experience is just superb, it's like surfing at your own hard drives and linking videos while reviewing it has no pain at all.

In this blog where it started me to interact with my readers and advice them on something they want to know.  It's a fun process for me, because I love it!

The good thing about this blogging is that you'll be surprised that Google will email you that they have sent a payment cheque for you.

When I first received my cheque, I was very excited and was steamed to do more blogging and sharing.  It motivates me more to do and create more blogs.

I am paying a yearly life insurance in Philippines and it is also earning with dividends.  The cheque which Google gave me helps me pay my Insurance.  This is awesome, right!

Why Am I Sharing This?
I know what it feels like being a Foreign Worker in Singapore.  The heartache of thinking about our families back in Philippines is indescribable.   Thinking of them every minute will totally break my heart.

That is why I recommend you to take a step for blogging and who knows it might give you more freedom on your financials someday.  I see great opportunities on this kind of activity.

Take advantage of the internet speed in Singapore and the power of your tablets and gadgets.  Venture the world of blogging and come and join me.

Why waste on selfies and sharing posts that you don't earn.  Share things that you love sharing and monetize your blog.  It takes time but hey, I did it for over 5 years now and it seemed to be like only yesterday.

Now, I will continue to blog as long as my fingers can type and my eyes can see. It's because I'm earning while blogging and doing things that I love.

You can reach me at benalagnam@yahoo.com if you're interested in blogging and earning so I can update my post here on how to setup and maintain your blog forever.
________________________________
If also you want to know about migrating to Canada, visit the site MeMovingToCanada.
Press the Like button below if you love blogging.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Moving to Canada from Singapore

For me, Singapore is really a great place to live, earn and save money.  That is why I tried to apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) status here in Singapore.  But, it seems that my qualification is not enough for the eye of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority in Singapore.

Life is all about luck, destiny and perseverance, but I don't have those as of the moment, and I'm not getting any younger.  The need of having an option B is taking my side now.

After knowing the result of my Singapore PR application, which is REJECTED, I then decided to take a new path.  This is not a path for me but also for my family.  Of course, I need to be with them and I cannot do it anymore in Singapore.

If I really want to, I have to apply for the long term or student visa for my wife and kids.  I don't think I can still survive for that here.  That would be a different story.

What is My New Path?
Few days ago, I started my new path.  This is a long time dream, to be in Canada.

The Canadian Immigration opened their country for foreign skilled workers to apply for a Permanent Residence outside Canada.  It has been years since it was implemented.  But, from time to time, they provided a set of new rules.

For this year 2013, they have another set of immigration rules. This is what they call the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW).

What is a Federal Skilled Worker?
A foreign skilled worker, provided that he has a 1-year experience of one of the 24 occupations listed by the Canadian Immigration as of May 4, 2013, and some other basis for the education, age, language and adaptability, if found eligible, he can apply for the Federal Skilled Worker immigration program of Canada.

It so happened that my job here in Singapore is a perfect match to the one of the 24 occupations list.  This might be luck or the start of my destiny?

So I prepared all our documents as a requirement for the Canadian FSW.  I made a new blog that will be my guide and also to those who are willing to move to Canada.  My new website is:


At this website, I will be posting the latest status of my application and also some tips on how to prepare the documents and everything related to Canada.

Some of the applicants asked for the help of the immigration agents, but I don't think it's a must.  Anyway, please visit my new site and you are free to leave some questions and maybe share some views about my journey.  Let's do it!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

What Caused the Foggy Monday?

This morning, just like an ordinary day, I looked at the window and saw that it was foggy.  Well, I thought that it's a normal foggy morning but it's quite a bit strange since I don't feel the cold air.

So I went to work, everywhere I look is foggy, like you have a defective or scratched lens in your camera. Then, after reaching my office, logged-in to Facebook and saw a post from a friend that Orchard has also this foggy thing.

What is this Fog?
I checked the internet and found out that this is not a fog at all.  This is what they call Haze, a slight obscuration of the lower atmosphere, typically caused by fine suspended particles.

The haze is actually due to the smoke that was coming from Indonesia.  There is a forest fire happening particularly in Sumatra Islands of Indonesia.  The wind blows the smoke on the path through the area of Malaysia and Singapore.

Is the Haze Dangerous?
Haze is considered as an air pollution and it can be measured by the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI).  While we can still breath the air, this is considered as unhealthy to humans or even animals.  The Index that was measured today in Singapore is already at 111 which is in the unhealthy range of 101 - 200.  The last time it reached to the unhealthy level is on the year 2010.

PSI Value as of 11:00pm 17 June 2013 is 150.  (www.nea.gov.sg)
Please check the latest PSI value at the top of the sidebar.

The government already warned the citizens not to expose themselves outdoors specially doing too much outdoor activities.

This is not the first time of this occurrence, this also happened last year.  This year is the highest PSI reading in Singapore since 2010.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Dental Check Up In Singapore: I Almost Fainted!

The worst day of my life came one day when I arrived in Singapore from my January vacation in the Philippines.

My wisdom tooth was aching and it didn't let me sleep for one night.   I went to work the next day with my aching tooth, pumping pain to my veins.  Even if I pull my hair, the pain will be intense.  My goodness, I don't want to go to a dentist not because of the fear, but it's for the costs it may hit my pocket.

So, I asked my boss if I have any Dental benefits.  So she replied that I can avail a S$100.00 for a year.  Knowing the benefits, at a split second, I packed my things and hurried to the dental clinic.

I can't even drive a car because the pain is unbearable.  I waited for the bus to arrive holding my jaw to decrease the pain.  The bus arrived after 20 minutes and the sun was soaring hot, imagine what I felt at that time.  The pain spread through the neck and at my head.  I fell like I was tortured to death.

At the Dental Clinic
I went to the Dental Clinic below the MRT Station and is near to our HDB so I could go home after that. I went in the clinic and ask the receptionist if the doctor is in.

"Do you have any appointment?" said the receptionist.

"Hi hdon't hhave hany happointment", imagine hearing my voice that way.  I want to be angry with the clinic receptionist but I can't do anything.  She checked the appointment list and informed me that I need to come back for an hour, which is the earliest at that time.

I was so disappointed...the ache was at the peak.  I went to find other clinics and found one, but it will open for about an hour.  Grrr..!!!

After 30 minutes of seeking and waiting outside the MRT Station, I came back to the first clinic and asked the  new shift of receptionist.  She told me that I can now have my dental check-up. Lucky!

The doctor called me and he talks so fast...I sat down the dental chair and at one push of a button, I realized that I was lying at my back almost upside down.  Then his assistant positioned the lamp and the doctor checked my tooth and told me that my wisdom tooth is infected.  He pulled down the x-ray and the assistant quickly placed the metal jacket on top of me, like a blanket.  At a split second, he showed me the x-ray result.

He suggested that he will remove it to prevent it from future infections. So I humbly asked him how much.. he told me that the price for  Singaporean/PR is usually around S$950...since I'm a foreigner, he will charge me S$450.

Oucchh, the price hurts..!!!I told the dentist if he can find a way to have a temporary remedy for the pain and I will still consider the tooth removal.

So, he cleaned my infected wisdom tooth with a tooth water spray and it hurts badly.  Then he applied a liquid, some sort of anti-infection medicine.

How much did I pay for the Dental Check-up?
For all the work that the dentist have done for my tooth was already billed at the reception area.  I received the medicines and some advice from the pharmacist.  She gave me the bill and I almost fainted.

Check-up              - S$ 20
X-ray                    - S$ 20
Cleaning                - S$ 45
Medicine & others - S$ 50  
             Total        - S$135

My Dental benefit is only S$100, so I need to shoulder the S$35.

It's so difficult to be sick here in Singapore because nobody will take care of me.  From now on, I will take care of my teeth and body as well...*sigh*

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Visiting Philippines Every 2 Months: How?

I've been thinking about my family, day and night. This doesn't stop torturing my mind here in Singapore.  The loneliness is there always and keeps on visiting me at times when I'm not busy.  This also happens every dawn, when everyone are asleep.  This is the reason why I visit Philippines every 2 months to take away my emotional stress.  

Visiting Concerns
The main problem that I've encountered visiting my family in Philippines is the financial matters.  I need to have lots of "bala" money to enjoy with them and bring "pasalubong" presents.  Then we go on shopping and lots of dining.  

To solve my money matters, I allotted a budget for this.  Usually, my budget includes airfare, taxi from airport to my house in Singapore and entertainment (shopping and dining).

Airfare Budget
Every week, the five airlines serving Philippines to Singapore are giving away discounted fares ranges from S$121.00 to S$160.00 round trip.  But this booking will be done 2 months in advance from the flight schedule.  So I have to make sure that the date is final and had filed my company leave before availing the ticket.  

Company Leave
The usual annual leave given to a worker in Singapore is 14 days.  When a holiday falls to a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday or they will add it to our annual leave days.

But Singapore don't have holidays that much.  The longest holiday is only for 2 days, which is the Chinese New Year. 

Every time a holiday falls on Wednesday, I will go on leave on Thursday and Friday.  This will deduct 2 days on my annual leave and I could stay in Philippines from Wednesday morning to Sunday evening. 

Flight Schedules
As soon as a holiday falls on Wednesday, I will book a ticket that is scheduled at 12:05am, Wednesday.  I will arrive in the Philippines at around 4:00am the same day. Singapore to Philippines trip only takes 3 hours plus, but it also depends on the airline.  There might be few delays but still bearable.    

So after my work, which is 6:30pm, I still have time to pack up things and travel to Changi Airport.  I have to make sure that I'll be at the airport 2 hours before my flight.
 
My return ticket from Philippines will always be at around 9:30pm on Sundays and arrives at Changi Airport at 12:05am the following day.  This time, I have to ride a taxi since MRT are not available at this time.

Budget
To give you an idea on how much I spend every visit in the Philippines.  I'll list down the expenses in details for you.

Airfare                     - S$150.00 (Average, but not including Christmas Day fare)
MRT                       - S$    2.50 (estimate)
Taxi                         - S$  42.00 (I'm at the opposite end of Singapore)
Shopping & Dining   - S$300.00
                 TOTAL  - S$494.50 (S$ 500 rounded off)

So my budget every month will be S$250.00. But December is expensive, I will add S$500 alone for my airfare ticket and another S$500 for entertainment and Christmas gifts.

This is the cost of my happiness, excitement and self fulfillment.  It might be expensive but it's worth it....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012: What's About It?

Chinese New Year 2012 will be celebrated two days from now and I just realized that it's another year for me in SG.

This time of the year is when company workers, especially Chinese, are out for a vacation. Some company closes for the whole week and might have a half-day off on a Friday just before the week of the festival.

This is like Christmas for them.  They will have a reunion with their friends and families.  Others will have a vacation/tour somewhere else in the world.  A lot of preparations to be done especially on food, that's why a lot of Sale on items in every Mall in Singapore is going on this time.

Just last night, at the supermarket, crowds of Chinese are queuing at the counter.  Bringing carts of goods for their Chinese New Year 2012 preparation.  

What will I do during Chinese New Year?
People are doing the what they call "Spring Cleaning".  This is the time to clean their houses. Get rid of old items and replaced it with a new one.

This is also my time to check what's on the garbage bin.  This is weird but I always enjoy it a lot.  I make it sure that there are items that I can still use and bring it up to our flat.

Believe me or not, last Chinese New Year 2011,  I have got a sofa, center table, soccer ball, guitar & kitchen table. These items are all good.  It's just that some people don't want to see it inside their house for the next lunar year.  So, they throw it away and I scavenge it my way....hehe

Other Related Posts:
Chinese New Year 2011 in Chinatown Singapore
Singapore Public Holidays 2012

Friday, December 2, 2011

Crying on a YouTube Video

I left my family in Philippines to find a good and well compensating job here in Singapore.  This started as a plan and end up with no choice.

Of course, when you are only paid less than P20,000 (SGD600.00) a month, you'll have to think of other options, right?  Where do I get a budget for my house, food and etc...

Working abroad is a common situation in our neighborhood. It's either the mother or father that will leave the country to find the milk and honey for the family.

Since young, I am familiar with the words "abroad", "seaman", "balikbayan", and the last and the surprising is the "package".  This is not the 90's, but that was the 1980's era.  Almost every neighbor has one family member that is working abroad.

So, I realized that nothing changed the Philippines for three decades until now.  When will this STOP?

I don't think it will, because around 11 million Filipinos are working abroad.  The Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW's) are contributing to the Philippine economy through money remittance.

The only way how to get away from loneliness here is to go online and have a Facebook and watch videos from YouTube.

I was browsing the internet few minutes ago when I saw this video, it made me CRY!!!


Being an OFW is difficult, it takes a lot of courage and mind-setting.  This is serious and should be thought twice or even thrice...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

EPEC Scheme Discontinued by MOM

It's a sad day for me, you know why?  My friends would no longer be able to apply for an EPEC.  It is applicable for all, regardless of having a degree or a graduate from the best Universities in their country.

Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) discontinued the EPEC scheme starting 01 December 2011.  They will not accept any application or appeal from this date.

In addition, when an EPEC holder applies for a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) that is within the certificate's validity period, Singapore will only give a 3-month non-renewable LTVP.   This is shorter than what was implemented few months back, which is a one-year LTVP.

This will totally change the way applicants seek for employment in Singapore.  The last hope is to take the risk of going to Singapore to find a job or to ask assistance with the job agencies in their country.

We hope that next year, MOM will review the scheme again and give foreign talented workers a chance to apply for an EPEC to work in Singapore.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

EPEC List of Institutions Changed

One of my follower prompted me that the list of institutions from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for the EPEC Philippine Applicants has changed.

Few months back, the list were composed of six institutions, namely:

1. Asian Institute of Management
2. Ateneo De Manila Unviversity
3. De La Salle University
4. University of the Philippines
5. Mapua Institute of Technology
6. University of Santo Tomas

On September 01, 2011, MOM updated their list and took out the last three Institutions from it, leaving the first 3 behind.

I think they are taking their move on reducing the foreign workers in Singapore.  A lot of foreigners are going in Singapore and looking for a job, maybe an effect from the Thailand flood incident. Of course, the locals are not happy with the competition.

As we all know that Thailand is also strong in attracting foreign workers.  But the flooding causes some to transfer to other countries like Singapore where the milk and honey is more abundant.

What we can do now is to make our experience stronger and maintain the job that suits our degree.  This will be our ultimate goal to have the career that we wanted.

Other Related Post:
How I got an Approved EPEC Application
Location of MOM 
What to Prepare Before Going to Singapore

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to Pay in Singapore

One thing I admire in Singapore is the method of payment when you are buying items, food, bills payments and even services .

This is where I can say that bringing cash/notes are optional in a case to case basis.  As what I have experienced when purchasing something, Hawkers are the only places where I pay cash.

Paying Taxi Cab
Back in the Philippines, some taxi driver's don't want to use the taxi meters for the hundreds of reasons they're complaining about.  I have to pay in CASH and even ask you for additional payment if you were stuck in traffic.

This is not what you'll experience in Singapore.  Taxi cabs in Singapore are equipped with credit and debit card readers where you can just swipe your card for your payment.  For me, I used my Debit card from POSB bank to pay for my fare.   These cards are handy and safer than cash.  But, of course, you can also pay cash.

HDB Season Parking Payments
I have to pay HDB for my Season Parking every month.  Payments can be done in the HDB payment centers or the Singapore Posts by cash or Debit/Credit cards.

The most convenient way for me is to pay online.  Few clicks on the mouse, as long as I have my POSB Bank account and online passwords, will be so easy for me.

Buying Groceries
Having plenty of cash makes your pocket or wallet bulky.  Although it's safer in Singapore when talking about robbery, it is more convenient for me not to bring a lot of cash. This is what I do when buying my groceries in Fairprice or even buying Parking Coupons in the 7-eleven stores.

Just a swipe of my POSB Debit Card will do the rest.  I just key in my PIN number and everything are payed.  But, of course, my card should have money in it because it's a Debit card not a Credit.

Airline Ticket Payment
I think this payment system is already been familiar to everyone. But, for the sake of information, I'll include this for you.

When I purchase airline tickets for my way back home to Philippines, I use my Citibank Credit card (Philippine account).  This is easy, but I have to pay the amount in Peso, so Citibank will convert the Singapore Dollar billing to Philippine Peso with a higher currency rate of around P3.00 per S$1.00 (estimate).

This is the most convenient way of paying, but if I'm not careful enough, it will blow my eyes as soon as I see my billing.

Topping Up my EZ-link card
GTM (General Ticketing Machines) is used to top up the EZ-link card aside from the ticketing booth.  This is convenient since you can pay cash just by inserting it to the cash slots.

One way and the easiest is to pay by NETS.  My POSB card is linked through NETS, so all I have to do is to insert my card to the slot and key in the PIN and that's all it takes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coolest Job in Singapore

Playing with computer games takes away your stress and can divert your thoughts to a different dimension.  This is better than drugs, Kids!

I was addicted by commanding Peons, Humans, Zerglings, Undead, Orcs, etc.. and even building those Command Centers with vespine gas refinery and mining minerals.  You name it! Gameplayers out there, you know these, right? Those days were gone now, I'll leave it to my boys.

I wonder if I had a job and it involves playing games where I can go to work at 8:30am  and leave at 5:30pm like a regular employee.   Ideal job right?

What is the coolest department in NTU Singapore?
One day, I was at the NTU (Nanyang Techonological University) and was at the building N4.  When I was on my way up to the elevator, I checked the list on the board of departments to see where I should be going.

I saw a computer department and others...and the one that surprised me is the "Game Lab".  Wow!  I never thought that they have this kind of department here.  They are really serious in creating more than the Angry Birds, huh!

As what I have researched, this Game Laboratory was established in April 2004 to push Singapore to new areas of gaming technology.  Singapore wants to explore the creative use of new technologies for the advancement of the gaming media.

Imagine if my job involves testing or even developing a gaming platform.  This will be the coolest job ever!

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What is SingPass in Singapore and its Purpose?

Few months ago, I renewed my driving license at the LTO (Land Transportation Office) in the Philippines.  It took me 3 hours for the whole process, waiting in a room without air-conditioning.

I didn't complain, because it's the way it is "ganun talaga!", I am not surprised then.

In Singapore, I had made few government transactions and it was totally a different experience.  

It took me just 3 minutes in renewing my Employment Pass card and 1 hour on applying for a conversion of my Driving license.  The government offices are so comfortable, where you can feel the cold air-conditioned rooms, the seats are almost empty with few people queuing-up and counter staffs are fast and friendly.

The reason why there are few people queuing up in Singapore Government offices is because of their online transactions.

How can we transact with the Singapore government Online?
What I like in Singapore is that I can transact to any government agencies by just having the internet connection and the SingPass.  You can visit this link to apply for the SingPass, but you have to read below if you're eligible.

What is SingPass and its uses?
SingPass is short for "Singapore Personal Access" where a person can transact to any Singapore government agencies through the use of the internet.

If you are included in one of these groups, you are eligible to apply for a SingPass.

Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident
Employment Pass and Personalised Employment Pass holders
EntrePass holders
S-Pass holders
Dependant Pass holders (of EP, PEP, EntrePass and S-Pass holders)
Selected Work Permit Holders (check eligibility)




The SingPass has a username and password.  Just like having Facebook, Yahoo or any internet account.  But SingPass account is for all Singapore Government agencies online.  

Some of the uses of having the SingPass is that you can view your CPF, Statement of Account, Registering a company, car and renewing parking, etc...

There's no hassle for me, I can renew my HDB season parking anytime...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Applying Dependant's Pass for Spouse and Children

"Appreciating the beauty of Singapore would be more enjoyable if I'm with my Wife and Kids." - Ben

This is what I used to say to my friends when they ask me about the beauty of Sentosa, East Coast, Singapore Botanic Garden, etc...These places are really nice but could be better if I'm sharing it with my loved ones.

This is why I'm busy researching through friends and online informations about how to bring my Wife and Kids.

Then, a reader of my blog named "Sam" asked me about how to bring his wife along by applying a Dependants Pass. And Jeevan, author of the post "Indian Passport Holders and Visa Applications in Singapore", told me to verify this out.  Thanks guys for helping the community...

So, I want to share to you guys regarding the Dependant's Pass.

Who are allowed to apply for the Dependant's Pass?
Workers holding the Pass type below can apply for the Dependant's Pass.
1. S Pass holders - are the mid-level skilled foreigners (ex. Technicians)
2. Employment Pass (EP) holders - are those with salaries above S$3,000 and possessed a recognized qualifications and are categorized as Q1, P1, P2.

Who can Hold a Dependant's Pass
Dependant's Pass can only be applied for the following relatives:
1. Your Spouse (Wife or Husband)
2. Your children, which are not yet married and under 21 years of age.
3. Legally adopted children under 21 years of age.

How to apply for the Dependants Pass?
After you have assessed yourself on the above qualifications, you can visit the Ministry of Manpower link below for the documents needed in applying for a Dependants Pass. Please click the link below...

Dependant's Pass

Other Related Posts:
Location of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Havelock

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brushing Teeth in Singapore

I remembered my first few days at work.  Had my lunch at the Hawker Station near our place and headed back to the office.

I opened up my drawer, pulled my toothbrush and a toothpaste.  Spread a 2-cm paste on to my brush and prepared to walk to the toilet  or "Comfort Room / CR" as what we call it in my country.

My boss saw me and said, "You're brushing your teeth after lunch?".   I replied, looking surprised as my boss, "Yah!, of course!"...There was a silent "Duhhh!" at the end of my sentence.

Why My Boss Was Totally Surprised?
"Brush 3 times a day!" is what Colgate advertisements are saying in the Philippines.  From the day I

Friday, June 24, 2011

Helping Newbies in Singapore

In my country, Philippines, we have this way of helping someone may it be an individual or a group, which we call "Bayanihan".  One's practice will go in chains and leads to helping others who are also in need.

I started this blog, which I knew at the beginning that it will help thousands of aspiring people wanted to visit Singapore. It doesn't matter who they are as long as I helped them in any way I can.

The feeling of first timers, newbies, stranger, alone in a city specifically in Singapore is what I had experienced.

Doing it in my own is such a risky experiment.  I don't know what will happen if I do this or that...because of this, It changed my way of doing blogging.

I believe in our Bayanihan, so I made this blog and my new free Forum Site to help Singapore hopefuls, tourist or a Singapore fan in the journey of their lifetime, from planning to making it the reality.

BenAlagnam.com
Singapore Newbie (Singbie Forum)

Please support the Forum Site by joining and sharing your own experience and asking questions. Thanks in advance.

Other Related Posts:
Launching of New Forum Site

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Excess Baggage at Tiger Airways

An email was sent to me by Tiger Airways that there will be changes on my schedule, a 30-minute delay.  In fairness to them, they sent it a month before my flight. Wew!

The day of my departure (spooky phrase) came and I arrived at the MRT Changi Station, followed the trail where the sign points "To Budget Terminal".  You will not miss the way, I tell yah!

The Problem. I arrived too early, as usual, and went to the weighing scales at one corner of the terminal.  There are two weighing scales, but needed to wait for my turn at a 2-man queue.  I have two baggages, one is for hand carry and the other is for check-in.  As I weighed my check-in baggage, its at 18.0 kgs and my hand carry is 8.5 kgs. OMG!

Check-in baggage limit for Tiger Airways is at 15kgs and 7kgs for hand carry.  So, this is a big problem for me.  I have to pay for the excess baggage at S$15.0/kg.  But I will not allow this to happen.

I planned to remove the excess 3kg from my baggage, but where can I dispose it?  Is it alright to hand it to the airport staffs or just throw it at the garbage bin, I thought.

The Decision. A decision was made...I will try to check it in and see how it goes.  I'll cross the bridge when I get there, as the saying goes.

As soon as the Tiger Airways check-in counters were opened, my heart started to pound hard.  There are too many "What If" questions.  So, I went straight to the counter, laid down my baggage at the conveyor, keeping my fingers crossed.

The lady handed me my ticket and passport, and tagged my bag...SURPRISE!!! They allowed my 3-kg excess weight. That was a sign of relief, but the problem wasn't solved yet.  I need to undergo another weighing checkpoint for my hand-carried baggage at the immigration. I have an excess of 1.5kg for that.

I handed my passport and ticket at the guard and went in.  To my surprise, they didn't bother to weigh in my hand-carried baggage. As I went out of the weighing room, I clinched my fist and said, "YESSS!".

 I LOVE Tiger Airways!

Other Posts:
Singapore Budget Terminal Experience 
Bus Terminals in Singapore
Airlines Serving Philippine to Singapore and Vice Versa

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Election Day for Singapore (May 7, 2011)

A loud noise echoed through the corners of the HDBs.  A man and a woman's voice alternatively speaking through the speakers mounted on a truck. There were banners and flags waving while the truck passed by the streets.

I was busy surfing at the net when I heard these noises.  They were speaking in Chinese, so I thought it was just another celebration or a party.  Soon I found out that the Singaporean candidates have started there campaign period.

Today, May 7, 2011, will be the big day of Singaporeans.  They will choose the next Generation of leaders to lead their country.  Will it be good for the country?  That, we don't know.  It is in their votes that will carve the future of Singapore.

I have found the reason why loud noises were heard everywhere and learned how they do their campaigning.  They gather their people in stadiums to hear their agenda, and have few banners of the candidates at strategic locations. The street lamps have campaign posters tied on it.

I remembered the Philippine elections when all I can see are the banners all over the place and posters were glued every flat surface they can stick on.

But, this is Singapore, they don't do the way we do it...
Campaign posters tied on poles

400 x 600 approximate size of the posters

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What to Prepare Before Going to Singapore (Part 2)

This post is the continuation of the What to Prepare...Part 1.


What Documents to Prepare?
Looking for a job in Singapore needs documents.  The Employer and MOM wants to see the copy and should be supported with the originals.  Of course, they don't know if it's fake or real, but they (MOM or Employer) will investigate it further...Fans of Recto, better watch out!

Before anything else, make sure that all your documents are complete, such as:
  1 pc   - Airplane ticket (with return ticket)
  1 pc   - Invitation Letter / Hotel Booking
  2 pcs  - Identity Card (Driver's License or any valid IDs)
  1 pc   - International Driver's Permit (if you want to drive in Singapore)
  1 pc.  - Passport (latest or at least have 6 months validity)
  1 pc   - EPEC (Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate) Certificate Original
24 pcs. - Photos (passport size with white background)
  1 pc.  - Transcript of Record
  1 pc.  - Degree/Diploma Certificate Original
  1 pc.  - Marriage Certificate
  1 pc.  - Birth Certificate
10 pcs. - Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Resume
* If you have questions, please leave your comment below...

Don't do the hassles of photocopying here in Singapore.  I remembered the price per copy was S$0.20 (P6.80).  Better photocopy all your documents in your country or wherever the cost is lesser.

Things to Bring Before Going to Singapore
After gathering the documents above, you have to prepare your things and start packing below.

  1 pc.  - Laptop with Wifi (for job-hunting), just buy the adaptor here.
  1 pc.  - Cellphone (that can work for International networks)
  1 pc   - USB (storing your CV/Resume)
  1 pc.  - Notepad (for listing schedules of interviews and details)
  1 pc.  - pair of slippers / flipflop (buying food at nearby supermarkets)
  1 pc.  - rubber shoes (walking and walking and walking)
  1 pc.  - leather shoes ( for interview)
  1 pc.  - sunglasses
  1 pc.  - small umbrella 
  7 pcs.- socks
  7 pcs. - underwears (I need to include...in case you forget!haha)
  7 pcs. - t-shirts (for travelling)
  2 set. - sleeping attire
  1 pc.  - towel
  2 pcs. - Shorts
  2 pcs. - Maong pants (Jeans)
  2 pcs. - Formal pants (business attire)
  2 pcs. - Long sleeves (1st & 2nd interview, signing of contract)
  1pc.   - soap
  2pcs.  - deodorants
  1 pc   - hair gel (for untouchable hair)
12pcs.  - shampoo in sachet
  1 pc.  - toothbrush (fresh breath during interviews)
  1 lot   - MONEY (refer to Part 1 of this post)
  
I have given you the long list, it really depends on what you want to bring. These, for me, are the essential things to bring or I may say it as the optimum gadgets.  This serves as your guide to help you prepare yourself on your quest to Singapore.

* If you have questions, please leave your comment below...
Other post:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner