On Family Reunification and Technology – Manila Bulletin

When was the last time you had a reunion? 10,15 years ago? As for me, I couldn’t even remember the last time we were complete. Until we had the opportunity to reunite once again after 20 years. My sisters and I went to Davao last month. While it was just a short trip, it certainly gave us a meaningful time and many realizations. One of which is how technology made this reunion bearable.

But in Filipino family reunions, it has been a tradition that someone is on vacation for work or to be “present” to fully enjoy the moment. I hate to rain on your parade, but those days are gone. In this digital world, it is almost difficult and impossible to go offline, especially if yours is online.

Well, at least for our family, we spend our time wisely. There is a time for work and a time for karaoke moments; a Filipino reunion isn’t a reunion without Karaoke, right? So looking for places that will help us achieve a “work-life balance” is essential.

Good thing, working anywhere has become a way of life for most of us now.

During my trip to Davao, we stayed at Hotel Acacia. They have a Club Lounge area that offers free use of meeting rooms.

For someone who works everywhere, a quiet lounge like this is heaven sent!

Acacia Hotel Davao’s Club Lounge offers buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails. They also have Luk Foo on the 3rd floor and of course, their signature restaurant, Waling Waling.

As the seasons have changed, there will always be one family member who needs to be updated with many things. My sister has not been in the country for many years. She didn’t know about Grab and Lalamov. While the systems and processes are more advanced in the US, she was quite impressed with the dynamic growth of the Philippines.

Let me share with you how these technological advances helped make our reunion as smooth as possible.

Digital Couriers

My sister’s first night was a disaster. She did not know where to eat, where to go and order food. I live in Tagaytay and she stayed in Manila. She arrived so late that the restaurants were already closed. Thankfully, there’s Foodpanda and Grab. I was able to order on their behalf, and voila, they were able to enjoy a sumptuous but extremely late dinner.

And since I live far away from where she was, Lalamove became our “personal delivery boy”. We were able to use it to send documents, parcels and more!

Digital wallet

Oh, she was so surprised by how powerful digital wallets are here in the Philippines. G-Cash and Maya were our best friends during her stay in Manila. One of her reasons for returning was to reactivate her dormant accounts. As you know, some companies are still not digitally inclined. Having a digital wallet is not a must, it should be the privilege of every Filipino to have one. It’s easy, noiseless and safe!

These apps were useful for all of us, well, at least for us. I wouldn’t know how I could help my sister gather her belongings from various places to their proper destinations without using the aforementioned discoveries. I wouldn’t know how she would be able to pay if I wasn’t able to transfer money from GCash to her account. These apps solved most of our societal issues like the ability to open or maintain a bank account. How to get there on time without Angkas or Grab? I often question the processes of our government, but this reunion made me realize that small steps can make a difference.

With great technology comes great responsibility

While I love the fact that technology makes our lives so much easier, we have to stay responsible. We need to learn how to be diligent so that we don’t end up regretting things that are completely controllable.

This era has made our family and bonding time more accessible than ever. Thanks to technology.

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