Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Work in Malaysia Compared to Philippines

In the early 90s, there was a huge demand for Filipino skilled workers in Saudi Arabia for manual labor. With their struggle to feed the family and give their kids a proper education, Filipino parents would often remind them to “study hard and get a good job.” Soon after, it was believed that working abroad would help Filipinos alleviate poverty thus the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) trend started. People then started to see huge improvements especially from OFW families and government keeps praising them as the modern hero of the Philippines. With the recent economic factors that aggravates the living conditions of the masses, Filipino parents would now remind their kids the same phrase… with a little tweak – “study hard and get a good job abroad.”

One of the most promising countries to work abroad is located roughly 1500 miles southwest of the Philippines – the Malaysia. Their labor force often demands a potentially huge number for manpower where Filipino workers often wage competition with laborers from neighboring countries such as India, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

However, they still want to work in Malaysia due to a variety of reasons which our country, the Philippines, does not adequately provide or makes it impossible to reach by sheer hard work and determination. As one of those employees who previously worked in our hometown, going abroad sounds like a fairly natural response that brings solution to this issue. Nevertheless, no matter what occupation you do or what skill set you have, many of the things here might make you say “Yes, this is exactly the reason I’ve gone abroad!”

So without further ado, here are the top ten reasons why it’s better to work in Malaysia compared to Philippines:

10. Different culture

Once you step foot on a foreign land, you’ll notice that everything you lay your eyes on is different from home. You may suddenly pay attention to the women wearing Muslim scarfs known as hijab. Also, when you’re roaming the malls that you’re so used to when you were in Philippines, you’ll observe that there are specific prayer rooms in some floors that they call surau, which we are not accustomed because we belong in a different culture.

Humans, in general, are curious beings and we as Filipinos, do not stray away from that behavior. We tend to be fascinated with these divergent perspectives including the mere differences in religion and celebrations. Moreover, as millenials, we embrace change so much that we like living out-of-the-norm and share our experiences in social media.

As such, we abide to these cultural standards, respect them and if possible, meet-in-between since we have an obligation to go to Church every Sunday and spread the word of God. And whatever you do, believe me, they will respect what you believe as well.

9. More opportunities

Although Malaysia is a developing country like Philippines, working here opens the gate to countless opportunities. In our home country, it is evidently hard to get a job even if you have the most impressive resume in town. However, in Malaysia, you can get a call for an interview in an hour provided that you have the right skills and experience that the foreign agency or headhunter needs.

If you have plans for furthering your career (especially in IT or engineering field), working in Malaysia is a boost on your hard-earned credential since HR often takes into account how you deal with your foreign bosses. It’s also a huge plus for a candidate to have the experience of managing superb work relationships with foreign clients.

Also, if you have other life event goals like immigrating to first-world countries such as Australia, Canada or New Zealand, processing the documents you need is relatively easier, faster and safer in Malaysia. Even though you need to go back home to gather papers for the lengthy list of immigration requirements, still its better to ‘just get it done’ in Malaysia because you have the edge, financially right?

8. Delicious cuisine

I’m turning 6 months now in Malaysia as of the time of writing and I have to say it out loud that Malaysian cuisine, in the simplest sense, is incomparable. No matter how I become “foodsick” (no it’s not what you think – I mean it as missing food back home) while living here, still every Malaysian dish I try completely satiates my craving and satisfies my tummy albeit going to toilets (because I cannot handle some spicy dishes).

Due to the different cooking traditions and practices from the three main ethnic groups in Malaysia – Malays, Chinese and Indians – Malaysian cuisine are so much imbued with a variety of spices that makes foods so much better than the ones at home. The popular everyday food you encounter here in Malaysia are Nasi Lemak, Mi Goreng, Rendang or Bak Kut Teh and some hot Teh Tarik on the side.

To top it all off, they are all cheap. The Fried Nasi Lemak in the picture costs around RM 6.70. With a huge plate and lots of servings on the side, you cannot get this type of food for P80 in the Philippines except if you live in the provincial area. Even with the GST (Goods and Services Tax) newly implemented this year, you can still eat on a budget by buying from wet markets and cooking it yourself. That way, you can eat at an even cheaper price AND can cook Filipino foods the way you want it.

7. Improved lifestyle

Once you arrive here in Malaysia, you’ll automatically be called a foreigner or expatriate. If your work does not have free accommodation, you’ll have no choice but to rent rooms on condominiums or on landed estates. Oftentimes, rental rate at major states like Kuala Lumpur and Selangor turns out to be higher than the usual.

However, housing units in Malaysia are usually equipped with aircon, automatic washing machines, fridges, water heater and induction cookers which will mostly make your life a bit easier. If you are living in the Philippines with just an electric fan and cold water, then your lifestyle in Malaysia will definitely get better.

If you choose your place right, you can have access to other engaging lifestyles such as going to gyms, shopping at malls or maybe swimming at condominium pools. Whatever your job is, I promise you, your life will be better, if not a bit then slightly better, but will still be better than it used to be back home, probably with your parents.

6. Easy travel back to hometown

With the boom of low-cost airlines and the accessibility of Asian countries to the world, it has now been very easy to book tickets online and fly back home. Tourists and backpackers from all parts of the world easily fly back and forth everyday to Malaysia including our very own OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers).

If an OFW becomes so homesick that she wants to be with her daughter during the school awarding ceremony or on her 7th birthday, she can just hit the keys on websites like AirAsia or CebuPacific, book flights and board the plane on the travel date to see her kids. With flight discounts ongoing every month, she can definitely travel back home and still be in budget thus a win-win situation for every OFWs in Malaysia. Moreover, it’s less than four hours going back to Philippines so it’s not that much of a hassle.

However, if your work partially restricts you from leaving the country (probably for domestic helpers), you can still contact them through social messaging apps like Whatsapp (very common in Malaysia) or Messenger and video call through Skype.

5. Tourist destination

As Malaysia strives to live up to their tourism brand – Malaysia Truly Asia – and remain a strong contender as Top 2 in the World Tourism Rankings on Asia’s top destination, it has always been included on every traveler’s checklist of the most wanted travel places. As a Filipino, can attest to the beauty of Malaysia and its awesome tourist attractions as I’ve seen it firsthand.

If you’re free on weekends, you can always travel to famous tourist destinations like Petronas Towers, Genting Highlands or the Petaling Street easily through trains and buses. You can also travel a bit farther to places like Melaka or Penang especially on long holidays since it’s surely a long drive from the city but I promise it’s definitely worth it. You need not to go taxi if you don’t know where they are located since you can fully navigate Malaysia, especially Kuala Lumpur, through web mapping services such as Google Maps.

On the other hand, if you are not sure where to go, you can browse TripAdvisor OR you can browse here at Roumery since I will be posting travel guides in Malaysia soon enough. Stay tuned for more updates!

4. Low cost of living

Some economists use a more digestible exchange rate theory called the Big Mac Index to enact a global standard in measuring Purchasing Power Parity. In layman’s term, it can be used to gauge, although not accurately, the cost of living in a certain country. If base rate is USD, then Malaysia’s currency, the Ringgit, is undervalued at 63% per the mentioned index. Thus, it means that the Big Mac in McDonalds Malaysia is cheaper than most of the countries hence it has low cost of living.

However, you don’t need to consult an expert to measure the cost of living since we do it ourselves automatically without knowing it. Often for first time OFWs, they always convert Ringgit to Pesos every time they buy something and conclude from their everyday groceries if Malaysia is generally cheaper than in Philippines.

In my opinion, food and transportation are customarily cheaper in Malaysia since oil is one of Malaysia’s ace card for its economic growth. Unit rentals are higher in urban areas but mostly normal on the outskirts of the major cities. In general, Malaysia still maintains a low cost of living (if outside Kuala Lumpur) compared to Philippines, or Singapore for that matter.

3. Faster internet

According to this chart, you’ll see that in year 2014, Malaysia has an Internet Speed Index of 5.5 Mbps while Philippines has an Internet Speed Index of 3.6 Mbps. If you are a Filipino reader, you can agree and attest that this is not true. This is one of the reasons why I worked in Malaysia – because they have faster Internet than the Philippines.

I was in the Philippines on the year 2014. The average plan for a home DSL (or WiMax) through any telco carrier was up to 1-2 Mbps as advertised and it had been consistently not even gaining at least 500 Kbps download speed even at 2 pm after midnight (to which 100 Kbps is the usual). Also they didn’t have fiber optic network until recently when PLDT Fibr has been introduced. The price ranged from P1000 to P1500 (RM 222 to RM 333) for this type of plan. As I’ve heard, new plans moving forward already have data caps according to the networks’ Fair Usage Policy.

Here in Malaysia, you can order for a 10 Mbps plan that efficiently exceeds after midnight (around 20 Mbps) and is consistent in the morning. This is already connected to the Fiber Network laid out on the condominium (or on landed house) and can range only from RM 100 to RM 150. Moreover, it is unlimited with no cap and can be disconnected (although with minimum 2 yrs bond) once you’re leaving the country. If you’ll look at the comparison, Malaysia is still leading the Internet race compared to the Philippines in this aspect.

2. Better transportation

If you have worked in Metro Manila like I did, chances are you’ve probably rode the MRT once, or everyday OR depending on where you’re coming you need to interchange from the LRT station first. There are already many stories in the Internet describing their misery on commuting through these trains everyday. I would not describe it here anymore but let me tell you that it is very stressful, time-consuming and unsafe to go to work by MRT everyday.

In Malaysia, the railway infrastructure consists of interconnected commuter rail service, rapid transit service, monorail service and airport rail link service. Commuting through train is not stressful since it’s easy to buy tokens from ticketing machines instead of waiting for long queue, not time-consuming since trains arrive faster than you think and safe since there are stationed guards on every train waiting area and locals are very disciplined that stealing is seemingly nonexistent on train stations.

As one of my wise colleague said, “A developed country is one in which rich people use public transport”.

1. Higher salary

Undoubtedly, the top reason you may want to work abroad is and has always been money. Even if you have the nine reasons above, if the salary discussed during the contract signing is not what you expected, then working abroad may not be possible.

Sometimes, if you are in a desperate situation, you’ll accept the job offer abroad regardless of the salary. On the other hand, your work colleagues would often advise you that if you’ll take another job, your asking salary should sure be twice of what you’re having currently. However, for me, part of the reason I took the work abroad is the lower income tax in Malaysia (around 5 to 10% per month depending on the salary) compared to Philippines (roughly 32% per month). It also helps that when you tune in to Philippines news, you’ll see that there are often reports on allegations of graft and corruption to your own politicians using the taxes that majority of the Filipinos pay.

But in all aspects, the salary must also reach your expectation since it’s the main reason you want to work abroad right? As an IT consultant and with conversations from some of my Filipino colleagues here in Malaysia, the salary will always be higher than what you earn in the Philippines. Since most of us are contractual, it is true that agencies have salary standards depending on your work experience and skillset. It’s also true that some agencies give a higher salary than the usual but it usually falls down to your negotiation skills although you can barter a bit more because of the unstable Malaysian currency (there, I gave you one tip – good luck!)

These are the top reasons to consider when you want to work abroad in Malaysia. There is always a job demand for expatriates but recently there had been raids on illegal workers so please be careful on who or what agencies you trust to (especially those asking for hefty placement fees). However, there are news of freeze hiring for incoming foreign workers in Malaysia so if you’re ready then by all means go apply and work abroad here in Malaysia. Cheers!

Acceptance of Adventure Travel in India

Today, India serves as one of the hotspots of adventure travel in the world – housing close to 73% of the entire Himalayan range, with a biodiversity and topography that facilitates almost all kinds of adventure sports, the Indian subcontinent has tons to offer for the adrenalin junkie! But this hasn’t always been the case, has it?

Even as early as a decade ago, Indians weren’t very interested in the idea of an adventure Travel. If a family wanted to take a vacation, they’d probably get into a train, and head to the nearest hill station go sightseeing, take a few pictures and come home. Or they’d visit the temples and other holy places and get their taste of culture and religion, but the adrenalin rush was never in the picture.

And then came the IT boom. The Indian Middle-class went from no adventures to becoming one of the fastest-growing industries within the country? Why, you ask? Simple – with the IT sector came worldwide travel and exposure, along with the need to de-stress and go on long holidays to rejuvenate themselves!

The growth of the IT sector has had a big impact on tourism in a number of ways. The first, of course, is that travel abroad and even within the country has increased; as we work on Western time to meet their offshore requirements outsourced to us, we’ve found ourselves exposed to a whole new gamut of what counts as holiday. And the NRIs who went there to work have come back with stories of how healthy an adrenalin rush can be – curiosity won out, I’d say, didn’t it? We wanted to try these things out ourselves and boom! Adventure Travel in India has become a ‘Thing’ with a capital T.

In all seriousness, though, along with the growth of IT, there’s been a growth in the affordability as well. Earlier on, when adventure tour & travel was an infant industry, most families said no simply because it was either too expensive or they feared for safety. With the increase in wealth, that factor’s gone out the window!

For instance, if you’ve never done any kind of adventure tour before – just go for the simplest of treks offered by a well-established adventure company! Start out small, finish a trek in a few days and then you can jump into diving, skiing and what have you!

India is growing; the adventures it offers are innumerable, given how diverse the topography and the people are. Adventure travel companies are working with the flow – from custom packages to fixed ones which includes long treks across the mountains & Valleys plus they also offer specific adventure activities like River-Rafting, Paragliding or Mountain-Biking etc to short one-day trips, companies are offering both employment to the locals as well as catering to that adrenalin need within the population.

So what are you waiting for? Get up and go today!

Best Couples Spa Packages in Asia for 2016

It is such bliss to enjoy more than your ordinary holiday, to take it to the next step and experience a truly relaxing time that you know you have earned. What’s more, to enjoy it with the person who means the world to you – the other half of you that equally deserves a great vacation – is absolutely amazing…

And that’s one of the things Sri Lanka is renowned for providing- couples spa vacations in the gorgeous island are just divine. They are sought after among the wellness packages in Asia, the continent that is known for its traditional healing therapies handed down from generation to generation, using natural ingredients and remedies that give its seekers, wholesome restorative properties.

One place where you are sure to be able to indulge in a wonderful couples’ spa package in Sri Lanka is at Saman Villas a picturesque location by the sea in the South West of the island. A truly heart-warming experience at an idyllic location perched atop an outcrop overlooking the beautifully blue Indian Ocean. There is no better place to rest and breathe in the fresh sea air and retreat into a haven of natural tranquility with your loved one. Enjoy each other’s company as you let yourself be pampered, revived and prepped to meet the demands of daily life.

Wake up to yoga sessions that cleanse the mind each day and then participate in meditation sessions together with your loved one. After a healthy breakfast prepared using only the best and freshest produce, sign up for a couples’ spa treatment that is unparalleled. Detox your body, exfoliate your skin and rub your cares away. Professional hands will guide you down a path of revival while the natural, traditional and authentic wraps and treatments will offer you a new lease of life.

And you don’t have to accept all this at face value… talk to the spa professionals at Saman Villas and reach a consensus on what’s best for the health of you and your better half. Choose a wellness package that suits both of you.

In the evenings, work up a sweat at the gym together and then enjoy a herbal drink as you put your feet up. And then, when you’re nice and rested, opt for a quiet sightseeing tour of the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many other tourist destinations not far from the hotel that are sure to enthrall you. Whatever your need, the staff at Saman Villas is ready to make it happen…

Sri Lanka is a popular destination for sun, sand and surf, but is now increasingly becoming known for its superb wellness holidays as well. What a great place to enjoy your vacation with your sweetheart or spouse; it is guaranteed that you will have an unforgettable time. And it is indeed a bonus that you will both come out of it, relaxed, rested and ready for life! Many claim to offer their guests a taste of paradise, but you won’t know what you’re missing out on, until you’ve stepped onto the gorgeous shores of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

Enjoy The Best of Natural Splendours in Goa

Situated on the western coast of India, Goa is a state that stretches along the Arabian Sea. When most people think of the place, one of the first things that come to mind is its history as a Portuguese colony. The Portuguese arrived through the Arabian Sea and dropped the anchors here for the first time in the 16th century. It served as a strategic location in their pursuit of securing the spice route. The echoes of the colonial past of the state still seem to linger through 16th-century churches and cathedrals, old houses with Portuguese architecture, forts and spice plantations. Explore more of such places while spending holidays with Goa packages.

Over the years, Goa has earned a reputation for being one of the most vibrant places on planet earth. With pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, Konkani culture, laid-back lifestyle and an array of activities, it lures thousands of globetrotters every year to avail Goa travel packages.

The state is relatively small, but it can be divided into two categories for your convenience – South Goa and North Goa. North Goa is the main tourist hub and the place where all the action takes place. From loud rave parties at Candolim to the hip flea markets of Anjuna, this is a perfect destination for party people. South Goa comprises less-explored beaches like Palolem, Agonda and Benaulim. An ideal place for backpackers, the southern part of the state provides quiet time and an ideal setting to enjoy relaxed evenings.

A large number of music and dance festivals, hundreds of beachside shacks and dusk-to-dawn events make it the party capital of India. There are some places that you must visit to experience the best of natural splendours of Goa.

Dudhsagar Falls

The magnificent waterfall, situated near the Goa-Karnataka state border, is undoubtedly the most impressive one to gush down the hills of the Goan land. With a height of approximately 600 metres, Dudhsagar is among the highest waterfalls in the country. If you see this natural spectacle from a distance, it looks like many streams of milk, flowing through the verdant forest. In a state, where the landscape is dominated by the open sea and sandy beaches, a visit to this waterfall is indeed a rejuvenating experience.

Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Away from all the noise and hustle-bustle of tourists, Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is situated on Chorao Island. Named after a famous Indian ornithologist, this protected territory is a paradise for birdwatchers. Covering an area of approximately 1.8 sq km, it comprises mangrove swamps and the Mandovi River, flowing through. You can spot a variety of coastal birds along with jackals and crocodiles here.

Boat Cruise

If you are on a romantic getaway in Goa, then a boat cruise is one of the must-try activities. Cruising on a luxury boat in the Arabian Sea under the natural canopy of twinkling stars or the shining sun is sure to overwhelm you and your special someone.