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Nila and I went to Smart in SM Seaside with our original card that our old full size sims came in and they replaced both of ours for free with new multicut LTE sim cards that work great. The only hang up was that it took hours for the new cards to come online, so do not do it if you might be expecting a call or text.
Sort of straying off topic, but If I only had $300 a month to live on, I would prefer to be on my own living in the U.S. out on the streets or out in country side with only my ATM card, back pack, tent and sleeping bag and visit soup kitchens where available. I'll have to do without a cellphone and or health insurance since it would not be in my budget, even though I'm a Veteran. TRICARE and the VA aren't free! I would eventually die from a serious illness, penniless at my old age and alone.
Luckily that would never happen to me now, because I'm well off to date with an adequate income. This is just my worst case scenario living on $300 a month, let alone in the Philippines like the locals do.
Great news that Ayala appears to be making a prompt recovery after the fire. It could've turned out a lot worse.
My Philippine condo experience hasn't been bad at all. I bought a brand new budget/economy priced studio that cost a little over 50,000 PHP per sqm.

Construction/finish quality was fully acceptable for a unit in that price range. On-site management is competent.

Monthly condo fee is only 1000 PHP.  The site is completely walled/gated, with 24/7 security guards at the entrance gate and the elevator area of my building, as well as a roving guard after dark.

Buildings and grounds are kept pretty clean and neat. No garbage chutes/areas inside the building, there's an outside dumpster area for trash.

Free first-come, first serve parking. There are always at least a few unoccupied spaces available.

No problems whatsoever with insects, rodents, geckos etcetera. Have never seen any rodents and geckos. Virtually never see any insects, the very few I see get up to my floor via the elevator. I've never seen any come through the window.

My high-rise building isn't far from the ocean and my floor is near the top, thus I get a nice breeze year around, so no air-conditioner needed. Just a ceiling fan.

Water pressure in the sinks, toilet and shower are quite good. The building has its own filtration system, so the water is safe to drink, though not the tastiest/refreshing.

All things considered, I've got no major complaints regarding my condo.

Meet Your Neighbors / Re: Introduction-Permanent Resident
« Last post by UNGGOY on Today at 11:40:40 AM »
I am going to guess he is paying p2,000 a month rent.

I second the wow on living so inexpensively, for $300 a month one would have to basically live like a local, with some western extras tossed in, such as we have sky cable basic for p299 a month.
And we are in Metro Manila. "So expensive". $300 a month is richer than 99% of the people I know. But it can sometimes be challenging being a Westerner. I have always admired the Spartan life though. And the wife is a hut-dweller. I am more or less like a local. Middle-class. Lower-middle. Not sure how the classes work. There are rich bastards and there are skwaters. I'm somewhere above skwater. Ha ha. 2,000 rent. No Sky. I can't pay 300 a month for cable. But I did get a good antenna and invested in a fancy 4 meter pipe. So that is already nicer than most of my neighbors.

People say to always send your wife to do business. Everyone must be married to business women! My wife does not know a thing about business. She is from a bamboo hut. I do all the business myself. House-hunting, deals in the palengke. I do far better than her. One of the biggest things I am trying to work on now is finding real-estate agents to take my Pag-IBIG, becasue they are racist. If you look on their site, they are selling foreclosed properties super cheap. We'll see. 
Meet Your Neighbors / Re: Introduction-Permanent Resident
« Last post by UNGGOY on Today at 11:25:14 AM »
Wow!  18 on 300 bucks a month?  If that is doable, just a few on 300 bucks a month should be easy.  I am interested in checking in to that further.  You have any pics of surroundings and/or way of life?  Or elaborate on it?  By the way, what is it you are tired of dishing out p2,000 a month to someone else on?
Since I work, I have to live in Manila.'s metro. Nothing special. I live on the edge of MM, so it is not quite as congested, and close to province. But still close to jobs.

Yeah, the trick is being local. I actually find that interesting. Every nation I have lived in, foreigners try to become like the locals. But here, probably a majority try to live like they are still in the West. I suppose if you have the money. But it's more fun when you get down to the nitty-gritty. Sleep on the floor, eat rice seasoned with ants, never use toilet paper. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of balut or bidyoke. So I have not gone full native.

I never came to the Philippines for the chicks(not judging), I came for the simple life. As complicated as it can be, it is still simple in other ways. If I can find a good job or an idea for a business, I would love to go to the provinces. So long as there is a hospital and a mall, you have all you need to survive.
Banking / Re: What is an ICR card?
« Last post by UNGGOY on Today at 11:14:19 AM »
Since this thread randomly came up on my internet search, I just wanted to fix some misinformation here.

IC- Identification Certificate-Issued to Foreigners born to Philippine Citizens under the process of Recognition of a Philippine Citizen. (In the absence of an ROB and current nationality of the parents and living status.)

ACR- Alien Certificate of Registration-A document issued to Aliens staying more than 59 days in the Philippines.

ICR- Immigrant Certificate of Residence-A document granted to an Alien to Reside in the Philippines.

With the advent of the I-Card, the ACR, ICR, CRTV, RP, and Visas are all represented with a credit card style document, without need to carry papers.
Expat life in Philippines / Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
« Last post by Lee2 on Today at 07:41:04 AM »
No tabo for me either, just because we live in the Philippines (part time) does not mean we have to live like the locals do, that is one of my big beefs, since I worked my whole life and often two and three jobs, or a lot of overtime, I feel that I am entitled to enjoy living just as we live in the U.S. and if we lived in Makati, BGC, Angeles or other very modern area, then it could and would be even more like back home.
No tabo for me.  ;)

When I'm out and about in the Philippines, I always have a drawstring bag on my back with various necessities - toilet paper, sun hat, poncho, hand cleanser, insect repellent, several over-the-counter meds, etcetera.
I agree that one shouldn't rely primarily on dogs for defense from intruders, since they can be easily poisoned, clubbed etcetera. Though they can be quite useful as "early warning systems" with their barking.

Pepper gel/spray and stun guns are useful and pretty reliable for defensive purposes, and can be legally purchased, possessed and carried in a lot of places. I've seen them for sale at some malls, stores and street vendors.

I'm hoping to help my little lady get a LTOPF (License To Own and Possess Firearms) and a Glock 9mm next year.
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