Vonage’s unlimited calls to the Philippines… finally!

Vonage has recently added an unlimited plan that allows you to call the Philippines. I have been waiting for this for so many years. We had a Vonage account a few years ago and was paying $24/month. We sent the device to the Philippines so that we can call them locally. The problem is it was expensive and we were only able to call one place. We have family all over.

To lower the cost we tried using Skype. We bought a phone that can be plugged into the network and use a Skype account. This was a cheaper way of communicating. It’s only $8 every 3 months.

Since our cell phone provider right now is T-Mobile, we also have their “at home” service. It’s a router that allows you to plug in a phone. It’s similar to Vonage. This one cost around $15/month after taxes and is at another family’s house.

Even though Skype and T-Mobile’s at home solution is cheaper than Vonage, you would still need internet access for each location. Internet speeds in Philippines aren’t as great over here, plus they do have occasional black outs. The communication is only available where the device is.

This is why I’m so excited about Vonage’s new unlimited plan. For about $75/month after taxes, I’m able to call anyone in Philippines. Sounds expensive? I don’t think so. If you are using phone cards at $5 and it gives you an average of 30 minutes of talk to a mobile number, the monthly cost of the Vonage plan is equal to about 15 phone cards a month. Now let’s assume you get 30 minutes for each phone card… keep in mind that this would be a perfect connection. Remember, if the call is incomplete or you hang up and redial, they will rape you. Plus, you will have to call again once the card runs out of credits; such an inconvenience. Another advantage with the Vonage plan is it will allow you to call anyone in the US (not really an advantage if your cell phone can already do it) and Canada.

We’ve been using it for a day now and so far it’s been good. The quality is as good as our internet connection and our family’s land line/mobile connection in Philippines. There is no contract and the equipment is free. I suggest trying it out for a month. All you got to lose is $75 which I’m sure you are already spending calling the Philippines.

For more information about this plan, check out Vonage’s website http://www.vonage.com/lp/US/philippines/.

PHILIPPINE FPGEE SHARING INFORMATION AND COMMENTS

Hey Everyone! I have shared my story when I passed the test back in Jan this yr.
https://abbyandwin.net/blog/2008/01/20/wooohooo-i-passed-the-fpgee/

I noticed that in most forums they really discouraged forming a group base on race, as reasonable as it is, sometimes we would still want to talk specifically to somebody who we can relate to. I am dedicating this page for those who will be taking their Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exam who are Filipino and who would want to share their experience or perhaps for those who may have some inquiries. Feel free to help anybody or blog about your experience. My goal here is not to discriminate rather than to support those who are having difficulty getting information. Hopefully I can help in my own little way as well as those who will be blogging and visiting this site.

I have shared my experience to this site since I myself took the FPGEE too last Dec 2007. We have a group in LA (all Filipino) that help each other to make the review easier. Its not a formal review with a guideline of what to discuss per week but nevertheless it has been most helpful. There are some who made a comment already after I posted my experience back in January, but really the reason why I had that post is chiefly to share how I am feeling at that time I got the result. But now, I am opening this to help our kababayans who will be on the same process. I am studying now for my TOEFL, hopefully everything will turn out good so I can start my internship already here in CA.

Some Books I suggest you read before taking the test: 1. Comprehensive Pharmacy Review by Leon Shargel- this is a great book but I think it is not enough to use alone for the FPGEE, as the title says this is a review so there may be some topic in which you have to browse to the basics again. But if everything is still fresh on your mind then it would be easier to study this. In my case, I graduated 10 years ago so, there are things that I forgot already that didn’t stop me from my goal of being a pharmacist. So I supplemented other materials for the test. 2. Manan Shroff- I bought the whole set 5 books and cds. I will say that it is a good supplement but start with other material first since there is quite a number of errors in this book. Thus, if you have prepared well already you will be familiar with those irregularities. Generally, there is still a lot you can learn from this book. I know somebody who passed the test, she took a risk and just used this material. The main purpose of her taking the test is just to familiarize herself. Risky but she made it. I wouldn’t suggest it though. It is still better to be prepared in a battle. The Pharmacy Management and Pharmacoeconomics are really important as well for the afternoon part of the test. 3. Dr Dutta Pharmacy review I have never used this, but I have heard good reviews about this because it follows the FPGEE blueprint. So if anybody has used this please share what you think of the book.

I am a person who use book as my security blanket, thats why if I feel what I know is not sufficient enough I borrow books from the library. 10 years of not dealing with the basic pharmacy subjects is a long time, although I am a doctor our study is more on diagnosis and management, in contrast to making a drug work to be used for the diagnosis and treatment. I borrowed several books from the library like Easy Way books of different subject matters, Organic Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, and I also got an Immunology book. I bought a separate book for General Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Calculations. I am not saying this step is the right step to partake to be successful in the exam since everyone of us has a different study pattern and habits. I just want everyone to know that even if I am a doctor I still went through the same process as most of the test taker has gone through, back from scratch since I was not expose to the work field of a pharmacist. More or less if you are able to answer the 1000 question and answer from Manan Shroff(80%), it gives you an idea on how far you have gone to your study. Just don’t take the basic subjects for granted cause even if it doesn’t have the same bearing as the major subject has like those of the Phar Cal or Phar Chemistry, everything counts since we don’t know which questions are just being used for evaluation for the next exam.

Good Luck to Everyone who is Taking the test this June 28th!