Best Way to Call the Philippines

Filipinos are all over the world, so you expect more and more people will call the Philippines and vice versa. There are about 11 million Filipinos, roughly 11 percent of total population living or working overseas and and a big chunk of that is in the U.S. (about 4 million)

These Filipinos are mostly overseas workers who send money back home regularly to support their families. Home sickness is very common among overseas workers and people call their love ones as much as possible and whenever they can afford. Fortunately, the rates for international calls now go down by as much as 50 percent compared to say 10 years ago. A typical rate from a US phone provider (Like AT&T or Sprint) was about 50 to 60 cents per minute. Now its down to something like 30 cents or so.

Then there's the phone card. Same AT&T provider now also offers a phone card which is cheaper than their IDD rate. It's 16 cents per minute but you have to be a AT&T domestic long distance plan subscriber to be able to get the low rates.

Another types of phone cards are those you can buy from convenience store which I'm not going to elaborate but most if not all of them are junk and sort of scams because of disappearing minutes, tons of hidden charges and lack of customer support.

There's also another type of phone card which is an online phone card that you can refill online or through phoning their support. My favorite one and currently using is, a long distance prepaid service company. Onesuite got good rates and 24/7 customer support.

With the invention of the internet comes many good things like VoIP. This is the cheapest way to call. PC to PC calls are free except for the fact that you will pay for the internet connection which whether you make your call or not, you will still shell out some dough for your DSL line. Yahoo Messenger and Skype is the 2 most popular PC to PC client. Most people now has a Yahoo account one way or the other so most of your contacts has Yahoo Messenger most probably.

VoIP is not limited to PC to PC calls, it can also call a regular telephone like a house phone or a mobile phone albeit it isn't free anymore but still cheaper than most phone cards or regular IDD rates.

Skype seems the most popular for making PC to PC calls and PC to regular phone combined. Thought its popularity has its downside because more often than not, people complain of bad quality calls maybe due to too many users. Skype rates are actually more expensive than most voip providers including Yahoo or Onesuite.

Onesuite actually has a voip feature too that can compete with rates and quality of some of the most popular voip providers in the market. In fact, its slowly gaining recognition on the voip world and been awarded as best phone service in 2007 by Kiplinger Magazine.

So to summarize the best way to call Philippines its down to:

Yahoo Messenger - PC to PC calls

Skype - For contacts using Skype

Onesuite - For calls via a phone card or voip