The Global Pinoy Center

Have you ever heard of the Global Pinoy Center?  It is a relatively new thing, perhaps a year or so old now.  It may be even older than that up around Manila, but we have had it here in Davao for a year or less now.

The Global Pinoy Center is owned by SM, and can be found in almost all of the SM Malls around the country now.  The Global Pinoy Center is primarily aimed at Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s), and the member ship to the Center is limited to OFW’s and other Filipinos who have traveled or worked abroad.  Expats can also qualify for membership in the Global Pinoy Center.

I joined the GPC about 6 months ago or so, and I am glad that I did.  I find that I use it on a fairly regular basis.

Global Pinoy Center at SM Malls

Global Pinoy Center at SM Malls

The cost of membership in the Global Pinoy Center is around P150 per year.  Since it’s been a while since I joined, I don’t remember the exact cost, but as I recall we got a 2 year membership for P300 each (Feyma and I each joined).

What can you do at the Global Pinoy Center?  Well, to be honest, most of the services are things that I don’t and won’t use.  Things like making phone calls overseas, doing cash remittances and such.  These services are squarely aimed at the OFW members, and really are the primary reason for the existence of GPC.  But, I like the GPC for other reasons:

Join Expat Island
  1. They have a “storefront” in SM that is in a quiet, not well traveled area.  I can go there to relax and not get inundated with people who “know me” from seeing me on the web.  Because of this, I can meet with friends, or just sit down and have a cup of coffee or read the newspaper without constant interruption.
  2. You get free coffee, tea, water and other refreshments.  Want 2 or 3 cups of coffee?  It’s not a problem, you can have as many cups of coffee as you want, and it’s free.  Want a Latte?  Yep, they have those too!  All free.  It’s included in the membership fee of just P150 or so per year.  Heck, if you go to Starbucks or Bo’s coffee shops, you’ll spend nearly P150 for one cup of coffee!
  3. They have a full selection of current newspapers, magazines and such for you to read.
  4. It is a nice comfortable place with nice couches, padded chairs where you can relax.
  5. They even have computers which are free to use, and have internet access.
  6. If you prefer to use your own computer, you can bring your laptop or Smartphone and connect to their wireless network.
  7. If you are shopping and need to use the rest room, the GPC has a very nice rest room, which is clean and stocked with toilet paper, soap, etc. for your comfort and convenience.
  8. They have a currency exchange counter, where you can exchange dollars or other foreign currencies into Philippine Pesos.

All of these services are for members only, so it keeps the crowd down.  In fact, whenever I have gone to the GPC, usually I am the only one there, or maybe 2 or 3 other people at the most.  It’s quiet, well lit, well decorated, and really a nice service.

The Global Pinoy Center!  I think it’s a great place.  I was even reluctant to share information about it here, because I don’t want it to get too popular, and spoil the peace and quiet I can find there!

Additional note:  As a member, whenever you visit you are entitled to bring one guest with you.  So, if you want to bring a friend who is not a member, he may also enter with you, based on your membership.

Post Author: MindanaoBob (956 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.


Comments

  1. Ricardo Sumilang says

    And I am glad that you decided to share this piece of useful information with the rest of us, Bob. Don’t worry, I will not be disturbing your peace whenever you visit the GPC, because I doubt that I will be visiting your facility there in Davao anytime soon. But, for the balikbayan doing some shopping in Manila, or simply sightseeing, the GPC, as you described it, appears to be a convenient, well-appointed shelter providing relief from the crowd, heat and humidity of the city. Somehow, it reminds me of the USIA.

    • says

      Hi Ricardo – Thanks for commenting, and I’m glad to hear that you found the information useful. I’ve been intending to write about the GPC for a few months, but always had something else that I preferred to write about. I think it is important information for people to know about. Heck for P150 per year on the membership, it’s worth it even if you only visit the place one time during a vacation here or something. Just a nice place to rest, use the CR and have a cup of coffee… there is plenty of value in that!

      If you do happen to ever see me in the GPC, don’t hesitate to say hi, though! :lol:

  2. Kenneth Crawley says

    I have been a member for two years now. My membership renewal is about due. I thought when I first saw this place that it would become overcrowded, but that doesn’t seem to happen.
    9. There is a Global Pinoy at every SM Mall in the country. Your 150 peso membership allows you to go in any and have the same benifits.
    I have used a couple others. The last one I was in outside of Davao was at Iloilo. It is larger and in a busier area of the mall there. Right outside the Global Pinoy at Iloilo is the Bo’s coffee.
    This membership is the best deal I have seen in the Philippines.

    • says

      Hi Kenneth – I agree, it is a great deal, and I really like the place. The last time I checked, there was a GPC at all SM Malls except for one, but I don’t recall which mall that was. Perhaps they have already opened a GPC there, though.

      I met your wife at the GPC one time, Kenneth! Nice lady.

    • Henry Stewart says

      Hi Kenneth – Thanks for taking me to GPC during my visit. I found the services offered were outstanding. The staff is extremely attentive and the atmosphere is very professional. I could see myself using their services when I relocate there.

  3. says

    Hey Bob, thanks for sharing that…something I did not know about but will plan to join now as I love coffee, relaxation and a clean & stocked CR to use when out shopping so I agree its got to be one of the best investments going. Cheers!

  4. John Miele says

    Bob: Never heard of it until now…. Interesting concept. Reminds me of the airline lounges at the airport (but much, much cheaper).

    • says

      You know, John, I had not thought about that, but you are right. The GPC is much like the lounges for business class and first class fliers. And… like you said… a lot cheaper! :wink:

  5. queeniebee says

    Hi Bob,
    Just googled the Cebu GPC and it opened in 2010 at SM Mall. I see how you could qualify, but the description seemed to mention only OFW’s Could you explain a little more about how we might fit in as members, and how one would qualify to apply?
    Also, with all the OFWs hailing from Cebu and neighboring islands I wonder if it’s often crowded there…
    Regardless it seems like a great stopover place to take a break! I’m going to check it out! One article said that members can use any GPC location when traveling too. Thanks for sharing the info! Queenie

    • says

      Hi Queenie – They showed me the membership requirements, but I must admit that I don’t recall all of them. I do know that they specifically told me that expats living here do qualify. I’d be surprised if the Cebu GPC is very crowded, it’s probably just like here in Davao. Give it a try and see how you like it! You can’t beat the price of membership!

  6. says

    Queenie, Bob may have some further info, but what I was told in my GPC is it is open to _all_ in the Philippines or those who live in the Philippines and work abroad. Their website, last time I looked, did a poor job of explaining anything. Drop in your local one and meet the people … there’s no strict requirements at all from what I have noted. Thank you, SM.

  7. Jonathan says

    Hi Bob,

    I never seen or heard of this until now. I have to take a visit to one of ‘em SM Malls when I came home, are you sure they have those in Manila? I have never seen one honestly. Well, it’s a good thing you shared it with us Bob! BTW, do they offer extended membership to immediate family members of the OFW, like to your minor kids and non-OFW wife? Can they join me while using their facilities? Thanks Bob

  8. Michels5098 says

    Bob,
    Have to check it out in Olongapo in Oct they have a new SM there. Heck a free cup of coffee and a clean restroom w/ toiletpaper and soap is worth the price already. :)

  9. Rey says

    I only noticed this GPC at SM while i was waiting for my wife having her nails done in a salon nearby and yes it is indeed so out of the way hardly noticeable so i got inside and inquired and made my wife a member. Everytime i got home to Davao, i’m my wife’s guest there in GPC whenever we go to SM. LOL

  10. roy says

    Wow I have never heard of that. If I ask a friend to get membership, is the membership good to all SM branches?

  11. kikas_head says

    Another option for similar service is the BDO rewards card. The bank issues it to you if you have an account with above x amount. If you have the black card or the blue, you can access all SM Prestige lounges. I have only gone in to use the restroom, but they have the sofas, wi-fi, coffee, etc. If you have a BDO account, there is no charge & they will send you the card automatically.

    • says

      Hi Kikas Head – Thanks for sharing that. I am not familiar with the SM Prestige lounges, as our SM here in Davao has no such place. My wife and I have an SM Prestige Advantage card, so I assume that we could use the Prestige lounge if there was one.

  12. Gary Wigle says

    Wow that sounds like a nice deal Bob. I guess next time Meriam and I are in Davao City we will go to the SM Mall. The bus stops there! Free coffee? Free is for me! :-P

  13. PapaDuck says

    Bob,
    Sounds like a good deal. One visit will more than pay for it. It must be just a courtesy to attract shoppers to the SM Malls, because it appears it might not be profitable. Will be coming in October, so will get to try one in the Manila Area. Also will be flying down to Davao for a few days. Maybe we can get together there for coffee or coffee or lunch elsewhere if your schedule permits or i could just look for you at the GPC lol. Thanks for posting the info and have a nice day.

    • says

      I think the profit comes go from the OFW services – money transfers, video phone calls and such.

      Yes indeed, lets get together when you are go town. I’ll be looking forward to that!

  14. jiji says

    Been a member for more than a year now, we would go there once in awhile to exchange but hardly stay for too long. I didnt know the interior design is the same in most GPC, but the one close to us is ok too except the coffee suck, and it can get a bit crowded too at times but staff are nice though.

    • says

      Hi jiji – A friend and I always comment that they have great coffee at the GPC, but the last time we went the coffee was not good. They said they were out of stock of their normal brand, though.

  15. Opus says

    Saw one of those and asked the wife what it was. She thought it was for customers who paid for “VIP” services. Good to know! Thanks, Bob! At P150, that isn’t too bad of a deal. Will tell my parents to check it out since they are there now.

  16. James P says

    Would I have found about this otherwise, probably. Modern, polite, comfortable and convenient and coffee, and just happens to be on the way, I’d stop off at least once. Thanks Bob.

  17. sheenz says

    Hi. I am also a member of GP. i just wanna ask how many friends can u bring with you, am i allowed to bring 3 or4 friends with me? I notice that one or two of their staff is not approachable , they dont smile when u enter and most of the time they talk with their friends and co workers. ( loud voice) I also notice that on this branch ( will not mention)they will not ask you if you want something to drink, i think its very seldom. I normally go to Gp and bring my laptop. I can feel that the staff are not hospitable, the place are not quiet bec of the staffs that always talk with a loud voice.

  18. Mike Collins says

    I live at an Australian citizen living in Baguio Citry. My Pilipino wife is a member of Global Pinoy here, and I recently asked for membership for myself; but this was denied because I am a foreigner. You mentioned that ex pats can get membership…so why can’t I get membership?

    • says

      Hi Mike, that is very strange. When I joined, they gave me no hassles, just issued my membership. I literally know dozens of foreigners who are members.

  19. danielle says

    HI Bob,

    I was browsing about GPC and landed on your page. Mike Collins’ wife is our member in Baguio. Im sorry to say Mike passed away last November. If you want to know more about GPC you can also email me.
    in fulll honesty, the requirements for membership need to be cleared with our Head Office. This is to provide proper alignment among all centers.

    Thank you for the nice comments. We have members who are expats too. Good guys.

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