Friday, June 29, 2012

Unusual Balikbayan Experience 1.0

It's been months that this blog gathers cobwebs as i was totally engrossed with photography and its time to balance my time between blogging and photography.

To begin with, let me share some of the unusual experiences I encountered during my vacation in the Philippines which could have happened to you during your brief stay as Balikbayan .

Dollar Currency Experience

I have withdrawn 500 US Dollars from our BDO's US Dollar Saving Account and the Bank Teller gave me five pieces of 100-Dollar denomination bills. On the same day I went to SM Branch Foreign Currency Exchange Counter to have it exchanged to Phil. Peso.

SM's Money Exchange clerk told me that only 3 out of 5 100-Dollar bills will be accepted for Forex transaction. I asked her if the money was fake and she said NO and added that the 2 other US dollar bills belongs to "old series". I asked them, "Is it a Central Bank of the Philippines regulation not to accept such notes and why it was not posted on the counter window, she said NO, it was just an instruction from their Manager. 

I just shake my head in disbelief, my money is not fake but was refused because of "old series", I went back to the Bank clerk who issued the bills and they told me there is nothing wrong with the money they issued and offered to replaced the bills to a newer series. I smiled at them as I declined their offer, I have decided to have it deposited back to my account. 

It is ironic that all SM Branches got a BDO Branch inside their malls.

Peso Currency Experience

I accompanied my niece in buying a pair of shoes in SM Mall of Asia. She spotted a nice pair at Celine shop, a popular shoe store in the Philippines. As she is approached the Cashier Counter to pay the item, she pulls out 2 pieces of 500-Peso bill, one crispy new bill and the other is an old and crumpled one. 

The Cashier Clerk returned one of the 500-Peso bill to her and requested that it be replaced. My niece politely asked why and the Cashier said that she suspected that the bill "seems fake".  Being present, I asked the Cashier if her Ultra-Violet Currency Bill Machine rejects it, she simply say NO, but she depended herself that personally she's "doubtful on its authenticity". My niece starts to got irked and scolded the Cashier Clerk.

I took the disputed and replaced it myself to prevent further arguments. It is a frustrating observation when a disputed bill yields authentic in their Currency  Bill Machine Detector but some moron disagrees with its result because of her capricious and stupid whims.

We headed to a nearby popular restaurant cool fuming heads for lunch, as we have ordered our foods, I showed the disputed to the waiter and asked him to present the bill to their Cashier if they accept such "old and crumpled" bill. He came back grinning as he says "money is old but authentic and they accepts it.

More unforgettable stories during my OFW holiday in the Philippines on my next posts.

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