Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Surprise Kabayan Homecoming

Wazzup Pilipinas!
Concepcion “Connie” Cabasa couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw her daughter Ruselle standing at the front of their house.  Ruselle Cabasa, who had not been home to the Philippines for seven years, has just arrived at their doorstep in Navarcan, Ilocos Sur unannounced.  What her mother Connie and her father Eddie Cabasa didn’t know about is that Ruselle had just won MoneyGram’s Kabayan Homecoming promotion where one MoneyGram customer from Japan could win an all-expense paid trip back home to the Philippines.  For Ruselle, it was a long time awaited visit

Ruselle had been working in Japan for 13 years now. She didn’t visit her loved ones home for seven years to send them more money. A roundtrip ticket costs as much as PhP40,000– an amount that would cover her family’s living and household expenses in Narvacan.  So, instead of regularly flying in for a visit like other OFWs, Ruselle had chosen to sacrifice her need to be with her family and support them financially instead.  To make up for her absence, she regularly phoned home to keep in touch with her parents and siblings. 

As the third out of four children, Ruselle always had a strong sense of responsibility for her family.  After college graduation, together with her twin sister Raquel, she immediately started working in Manila to support their family’s income.  Soon they learned of an opportunity to work in Japan.  Both sisters applied for this position, but only Ruselle’s application was accepted.  

Although it was difficult to work in a foreign country, not to mention being oceans away from her family, Ruselle stayed motivated and did her best at work.  She adapted to the culture and norms, and soon started her own family in Japan.  Whenever she was tired, homesick or longed for her loved ones in the Philippines, her children, Yoshitaka and Nozomi, kept her spirits up.

MoneyGram Kabayan Homecoming winner Ruselle Cabasa with her parents Connie and Eddie at their home in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.
MoneyGram Kabayan Homecoming winner Ruselle Cabasa with her parents Connie and Eddie at their home in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.
 MoneyGram Kabayan Homecing winner Ruselle Cabasa enjoying a get-together with family and friends.
In 2006, Ruselle’s received very alarming news as her mother, Connie, was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer.  The diagnosis was shocking to the whole family.   For Ruselle, it meant tightening her belt and working even harder to be able to send a substantial amount each week to help pay for the treatment, medications and other related expenses.  Although being away from loved ones in such a critical time was painful, Ruselle knew how important it was for her to stay focused and help out financially.  Unfortunately, at that time she was limited to sending money via door-to-door services which involved high fees.  

Her sacrifice paid off because in 2007, her mother was declared cancer-free.  Ruselle continued to support her family by sending remittances regularly.  It was at this time when she was actively looking for a different way to send money home as  door-to-door service was too expensive and slow, while sending cash through postal services was unreliable.

Fortunately, Ruselle read about MoneyGram while shopping at a nearby Filipino store.  She quickly decided to try it out and been using MoneyGram’s services ever since.  In fact, she has been a loyal MoneyGram customer for five years.

She finds MoneyGram’s money transfer services faster and more reliable than the others she tried.  She also loves the fact that only a minimum amount is charged in comparison to expensive door-to-door services.

“Easier to use ang MoneyGram at trusted po.  Mabilis na, mura pa,” said Ruselle.  She continued by saying other OFWs should use MoneyGram as well, “ Ang masasabi ko sa ibang OFW, mag-MoneyGram na sila kasi safe, reliable at mura ang rate. Trusted. Trusted.”

Thanks to MoneyGram, more and more OFWs like Ruselle now have a reliable and affordable way to send money to their loved ones. MoneyGram has a global network of approximately 350,000 locations in 200 countries and territories worldwide and more than 12,000 locations across the Philippines.  Aside from sending money via MoneyGram agent locations, it also has a convenient cash to account service that enables OFWs to send the remittance directly to their loved back one’s account.  This allows Filipinos to send and receive cash anytime from anywhere in the world hassle-free.
Making the most of family time during Ruselle Cabasa’s surprise homecoming in Navarcan, Ilocos Sur, sponsored by MoneyGram.

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