(Francis’ Full-time VA from the Philippines)
Virtual Assistants from the Philippines have to deal with frequent power outages due to their location. As an employer, you want them to stay online so that they can complete their tasks for you sufficiently. What means and ways does an ordinary citizen during power interruption have?
How does an ordinary Filipino person live when the lights will go out?
This is in response to my recent post that showed how a virtual assistant from the Philippines lives all throughout these inevitable circumstances.
Due to the lacking source of energy, our city suffers from more or less four hours of rotational brownout. That four-hour brownout is agonizing since the weather is extremely hot and humid and often times accompanied with no water in our faucets.
How does that sound? Irritating, right?
A Mini-Machine’s Big Contribution
In some places, there are lucky people who own a generator –a machine that generates electricity through gas fuel. And this mini machine can help alleviate the irritating heat of the sun./
Luckily, the summer months have just ended and we no longer suffer from the scorching heat and brownouts. Unfortunately, due to the unlikely weather, recently we have suffered from another episode of power interruption that happens on random hours of the day or night — you can check my post here.
Ordinary Citizen versus Prominent Individuals
Since I am just one of the ordinary citizens and employees, I can’t afford to acquire that electricity generator. So, I will just wait patiently for the lights to go back.
And, personally, I think it’s not practical for me to spend on a machine that will only be of use most of the time during summer.
Yes – rotational brownouts are an expected phenomenon during the months of summer.
On the other hand, some rich people in prominent places around the city would probably acquire this kind of thing. I don’t know them personally, but they are able to have one.
And me? I’ll just spend an hour inside the bathroom or chip some ice cubes or ice cream to cool down.
And guess what? You can’t even spend some cooling-off-time inside the mall because they also do conserve their energy…!
Profit or Loss
Do you think because they’re a big store and have a big generator to supply power, you can just come and go once the power is off? No, you don’t.
The only hunch I have in mind is—the fuel costs them big bucks if they will use it fully to continuously provide comfort.
One day, I went to our local mall’s hardware store and saw this mini-generator. The cheapest cost was about $250 (or Php 10,000 in our local money), which is a big amount. And I just want to be practical and spend this kind of money on more important stuff.
If someone would gladly donate me some mini-generator, well, I will not think about saying yes or no! 😀
Do jump in on the comment box and let me know about your thoughts.
Comments for Generators: An Alternative for Filipino Virtual Assistants for the Frequent Power Interruptions
|Sep 18, 2014||Advanced equipment for pros
As a beginner VA, I agree that it is not the first investment that comes to mind. A fast and reliable computer is probably a wiser decision.However, it’s interesting to see how the weather conditions play a crucial role in your day-to-day work life. Most employers are probably not aware of this situation for Filipino VAs. If you nonchalantly mention the temperatures and humidity you experience during summer, more employers will (probably) be more understanding.
And let you work during hours where work is doable.
|Sep 18, 2014||Power Invertors are the better choice
As a virtual assistant, I have almost overcome the problem. In my feeling, power inverters are by far more efficient than generators.Why?
|Sep 25, 2014||Power Inverter versus Generators
This is the first time that I heard about power inverters, and we’ll definitely try and check it out.And I think it is less annoying because you’ll just have to attach it to a battery. Unlike generators, they create a noisy and annoying sound and also they have the same hours of power supply.
Thanks for that tip by the way. 😀
|Sep 26, 2014||I was not aware of power inverters either – until yet
Funny but I found a power converter in a supermarket today! I even took a photo of it. Price here in Germany for it was 150€. And the device was portable but not well suited for flying it around the world in my briefcase. 😉I would love more about using these power inverters for electricity for portable computers.
|Oct 15, 2014||another option?
Hi, I wonder if a 80-100watt (or more) solar cell and a truck size battery is a practical alternative to a generator? Also, no there is fuel to purchase, but it must be sunny, so it’s no good for rainy weather.(obvious)How does the (solar cell and battery) initial purchase prices compare to a small-ish 4 stroke generator- remember a generator can also charge a battery/s as well, so it can really give double value- use fuel while charging a battery at the same time,(maybe a fridge also) then run your laptop (and a small “car type” fan) from the battery- several large bottles of (frozen)cold water in the base of the fridge help keep it colder, longer.
A solar cell, battery AND generator combination would allow the most flexibility. Remember a very “cheap” generator often makes “dirty” 240v power, much too dirty to “safely” use with electronics without a filter of some type… a big battery can, together with a small inverter smooth the “bumps” enuf to keep a laptop happy- a computer “UPS” IS a perfect filter for “generator direct” power….
An “inverter” type generator is SPECIALLY made for running electronic devices, safely, but is a bit more expensive…. especially the big brand name ones… but some of the cheaper ones are made in the same factories, so shop carefully. Ebay -can- be a source of surprisingly good quality generators, of both types,(with care).
Power blackouts are not unique to the Philippines,
We also have them in rural Western Australia – where temps sometimes can get to 45 degrees- just today I used a generator for five hours during an outage, so I speak from ong (AND also qualified) experience-
This is NOT a technical level comment, but enuf to provoke thought, I hope.
|Feb 20, 2015||Great Ideas!
Hi Bill, thanks a lot for taking the time to really share your experience with your alternative to a generator with us. You obviously have put a lot of thought into writing this comment.It’s interesting to see that not only the Filipinos are struggling with those power outages but even so-called western countries or should I say more modern countries like Australia. Forty five degrees definitively sounds very hot 🙂
The challenge for many virtual assistants, especially for those who are in developing countries, is that the cost position for a more complicated generator alternative is often too expensive for them. Also, the only thing they often need to take care of is to make sure that the energy is there for running the computer and probably their router. So they often don’t need a solution that generates lots of electricity.
Can you think of a technical solution that is sufficient for only one laptop, and ideally, is in a low price range? I would really look forward to hear from you again. But anyways, thanks for taking the time to leave such a great comment.
Helen Bell says
I have a virtual assistant that is based in the Philippines specifically in GenSan. There were times that we cannot communicate properly because of the random brown-outs in their area. His scheduled timeline for his tasks have been greatly affected. That’s why I decided to sponsor him a Generator Set. I hope the government would address the energy problem in the Philippines.