Since my lovely asawa and I moved to the Philippines almost eight years ago, my capacity for waiting has been tested numerous times. A recent visit to Banco de Oro, BDO, the largest bank chain in the Philippines, proved to be another exercise in endurance. “90-Minute BDO Transaction Taxes Crusty Old Expat’s Patience” chronicles my latest foray into “Filipino Time.”
“ATM Skimmers Hit Iloilo City BDO Branch” is today’s cautionary tale. I like to believe I exercise a fair bit of caution whenever withdrawing money from any local ATMs. My asawa always stands to my side and I make sure no one is standing directly behind me while I’m conducting my transaction.
Lead Photo from Imgur
Never buy your asawa clothes for Christmas. If she’s anything like my wife, you’ll end up going to a SM City Mall the day after Jesus’ birthday celebration and face massive mobs that rival the hordes of Hade. I kid you not. I would (almost) rather have each of my fingernails and toenails pulled out then encounter the crowds that my spouse and I had to deal with. I had to navigate the crowded mall filled with morons that hypnotically gazed downward at their cell phones as they checked their latest asinine Facebook message and never watched where they were going. Crowded eateries that reduced us to eating at Pizza Hut (at Robinsons, our first stop) which is never packed out.
Does BDO belong in the Philippines’ Top Ten Banks List? That’s a question I asked myself repeatedly this past Friday as I inquired on a transfer of funds we have been waiting on since late November. Our local SM Shopping Mall, where our Banco de Oro branch is located, was filled to the gills with Filipinos fishing for last minute Christmas bargains. I like Christmas but I hate the crowds it brings. Yes, even in the Philippines, which is over 80% Catholic and virtually shuts down on Christmas week for Baby Jesus’ birthday, is becoming increasingly commercialized. More and more people are buying gifts, much to the delight of SM and all other merchants, and potbellied Santa’s litter the landscape everywhere you go.
I’m not a patient man. Ask my asawa. Ask any former co-worker of mine from AT&T. The older I get the grumpier and more impatient I become. Again, ask my asawa of almost 15 years. After trying for over two weeks, however, BDO Online Banking has finally added our dollar account. The process should only have taken five business days but after three emails to the eBusiness Service Center at Banco de Oro and one trip to our local branch in Iloilo (which requires a four hour round trip from our home in Guimaras) I finally can view all of our accounts online. BDO has no ATM in Guimaras where I can check our balances so viewing everything on my PC is extremely convenient.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons
BDO, Banco de Oro, is the largest bank in the Philippines. It belongs to the SM Group owned by billionaire Henry Sy. In previous comments to a post regarding a dollar account my asawa and I were trying to open with Banco de Oro, I had threatened to close our account with the banking giant and go to BPI, Bank of the Philippines. But there’s a possibility that BDO has fixed our dollar account in the Philippines. Maybe. How? Let me tell you the story, O True Believer (as I borrow heavily from Stan Lee.)
Hanging out with Metrobank guards. I’ve never hung out with BDO security yet.
My asawa and I have had a peso savings account with BDO, Banco de Oro, for a couple of years. We established it when my ATM debit card from our bank in the United States expired. At the time we needed to open an account so my sister-in-law from Kuwait, Marjorie, an OFW, Overseas Filipino Worker, could easily send remittances to us. We care for her two children, Shaina and Sherwin. Here’s the story of how BDO screwed up our dollar account in the Philippines.
What are the Top Ten banks in the Philippines? Although BDO, Banco De Oro, was ranked the best bank in the PHL for the fourth straight year, there are other good financial institutions which will suit the need of most expats. Let’s take a look at some of the top establishments.