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.
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- They have a full selection of current newspapers, magazines and such for you to read.
- It is a nice comfortable place with nice couches, padded chairs where you can relax.
- They even have computers which are free to use, and have internet access.
- If you prefer to use your own computer, you can bring your laptop or Smartphone and connect to their wireless network.
- 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.
- 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.