Friday, July 27, 2012


Magicjack.  Have you heard of it?  I think it was a couple of years ago when I first heard it mentioned by a friend who was visiting the Philippines from the US.  He excitedly mentioned that he had Magicjack and asked if I had the same.  "?" - was the look I must've given him.  What was it for?  He said I could use it to call people in the US for free.  "Mmm!"  -  my look changed into one of more interest.  Tell me more.  Since we didn't have the time nor he the patience, he told me look it up on the internet.

But my interest wasn't followed-through and when we got home I forgot about looking up Magicjack on the net.  I did hear it mention again when the grandmother of one of Joselyn's classmates mentioned that she had Magicjack and used it to call family in the US.  This time, back in March of this year, armed with a little more information on the subject, I didn't give her the ? look I had given my friend.

It was only in the later part of March when my cousin and aunt from LA visited us that I found out what Magicjack actually is.  It is a gadget that you purchase (so it's not totally free, but for me it was since my cousin bought it for us :) and you attach to your computer and hook up to your phone line.  You can look it up on, since they can explain in better, pictures and all, plus I don't have the patience.

Why so much hype about this device when we have other ways of communicating like video chatting over the internet, which is really free?  This device seems to have captured a market of its own.  Ever since my Mom left and went back to the US I have constantly been using it to call her and other relatives almost daily.  There were times when the internet was down or our computer kept crashing that I couldn't use Magicjack.  But I guess they've found a solution to this by inventing Magicjack Plus so you no longer need a computer.  This is great for non-techies or those who don't use computers or are not connected to the internet.  It may astound a lot of us who are always armed with some kind of gadget, that there are people who either choose or do not have the money or interest in getting on the internet.  My mom for one, who can afford to buy a computer, doesn't have one where she lives in San Francisco, so Magicjack gives us a way to talk to her without worrying about rising phone bills.  My aunt, Nanay Vicky, who lives in LA, is in a similar situation.  Some of the older generation are still not adept with the internet or using computers and it may take them awhile to learn.  They still prefer the old-fashioned phone call rather than turning on the PC, clicking on a site, pressing this and that to see and talk to someone.  It may be a learning curve that they can no longer climb.  I would love to teach my Mom, but she's at a stage that when she uses the computer she would rather play Text Twist or some other computer game than have me teach her something new.

So it is that I am grateful to my cousin, Tess, for buying magicjack and giving me a connection with my Mom that we somehow didn't have when she was here in person.  On the phone, talking for even 30 minutes a day, is something that we look forward to.  We talk about anything and everything, and it is during these times that I feel very close to her, even if she is thousands of miles away.


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