Living In The Philippines Forum

Living in The Philippines => Expat life in Philippines => Topic started by: codefreeze on February 18, 2018, 11:48:00 AM

Title: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on February 18, 2018, 11:48:00 AM
My 4 week trip to Philippines is just drawing to a close, fly back Tuesday. It will probably take me another month or more to process everything that has happened - good and bad! All I can say right now is it has been a hell of a trip which has included dodging a tropical cyclone (Basyang), being scammed once and avoiding it twice, snorkelling incredible coral reefs, visiting some amazing and not so amazing places, and eating some really bad and really good food! Having a severe respiratory infection and a fever, and receiving the best dental care I've experienced. I have met one or two friendly expats and some that look like they have just eaten glass. I have been from Manila to Camiguin, and quite a few places in between, and back again! Wow, what a ride.

So, will I retire here? I have been surprised by many of the things I've seen, and this has not been my first trip to Philippines, and I have spent a lot of time in South East Asia (Thailand, Malaysia). This has been an education though...
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on February 18, 2018, 11:55:06 AM
Sounds like you have done more in 4 weeks than I have in a decade!

I would not recommend just anyone to retire in the RP.

Life can be hard.

You really have to want it. The good and the bad.

Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on February 18, 2018, 12:06:38 PM
Sounds like you have done more in 4 weeks than I have in a decade!

I would not recommend just anyone to retire in the RP.

Life can be hard.

You really have to want it. The good and the bad.

I agree. This trip has certainly given me a new appreciation for some of the things I took for granted in my home country.

Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on February 18, 2018, 12:18:55 PM
I agree. This trip has certainly given me a new appreciation for some of the things I took for granted in my home country.

Like toilet papers.

Have you learned to take of business with only a cup of water yet?  ;D

I actually prefer it. I would do it in the States, but the CR floor is made of wood!
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on February 18, 2018, 12:43:50 PM
Like toilet papers.

Have you learned to take of business with only a cup of water yet?  ;D

I actually prefer it. I would do it in the States, but the CR floor is made of wood!

Oh yep, I am a pretty comfortable using the tabo. :)
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Bisaya gyud on February 19, 2018, 06:14:37 AM
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.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Lee2 on February 19, 2018, 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.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: chimellie on March 01, 2018, 04:23:17 AM
I've been travelling to the Philippines almost a dozen times and every time I go there I learn something new or meet more relative of my wife's, big families there. Like you said, there's good and bad and I agreed with you on that. But I really enjoy it when I go there, I'm happy to see my wife spending time with her family, giving chocolate to the poor kids in the neighborhood, it's priceless to see them chowing down the chocolate fast so they can get more from me. I feel good when I can spare a dollar or 2 to the poor people working in the market or on the street. 
We also travel to many places when we 're there, places like Palawan, Camotes, Bohol, Davao in Mindanao, many waterfalls and nice beaches on these islands.
We built a retirement home in Cebu a few years ago in my wife's family neighborhood, but sometimes I wish I hadn't done that, it's too close to her family, living too close to family could be a big problem. If I have a chance to do it all over again I would buy a condo near the beach or a house in a gated community.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Lee2 on March 01, 2018, 04:32:48 AM
My 4 week trip to Philippines is just drawing to a close, fly back Tuesday. It will probably take me another month or more to process everything that has happened - good and bad! All I can say right now is it has been a hell of a trip which has included dodging a tropical cyclone (Basyang), being scammed once and avoiding it twice, snorkelling incredible coral reefs, visiting some amazing and not so amazing places, and eating some really bad and really good food! Having a severe respiratory infection and a fever, and receiving the best dental care I've experienced. I have met one or two friendly expats and some that look like they have just eaten glass. I have been from Manila to Camiguin, and quite a few places in between, and back again! Wow, what a ride.

So, will I retire here? I have been surprised by many of the things I've seen, and this has not been my first trip to Philippines, and I have spent a lot of time in South East Asia (Thailand, Malaysia). This has been an education though...
When you have time, I, and I am sure others, would like to hear more about your trip and if you will retire to the Philippines or not, and why?
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: piozam13 on March 02, 2018, 12:57:31 AM
no doubt you've seen a lot.  but there may be other things you have not observed yet, both  positive and negative. i hope you'll come back again and again and stay?
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 02, 2018, 05:40:43 AM
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 bring TP when I go out. I refuse to do a water bottle at SM :P
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 02, 2018, 05:45:50 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.

I don't use tabo. I use my shower head. Kind of like a Pinoy bidet. Or an empty cup, when the water is out. I use paper to help dry.

Interesting topic really.

Easier than using the 3 shells...
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: M.C.A. on March 02, 2018, 08:15:21 PM
The Dental office we use is the finest spot I've ever seen, my wife and kids have been there several times and I've never seen dental chairs with TV's playing movies before.  The waiting room is marbeled floors, huge exported furniture, two desk top computers with internet access, massage chair like in the malls only free, free drinks, cookies, snacks and cable TV.

The Dental work is also amazing the cost is very low.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on March 09, 2018, 12:19:21 AM
When you have time, I, and I am sure others, would like to hear more about your trip and if you will retire to the Philippines or not, and why?

I thought this thread was devolving into a discussion of Tabo so I didn't check back. :) Yes this was my original intention. I have made extensive notes and I kept a daily log while I was there. I have written up some summary thoughts long hand - I just need to get around to typing those up - hopefully in the next few days or so. I will post them here.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on March 09, 2018, 03:02:51 AM
Part 1 - General thoughts

1) Air BnB - game changer, 25 a night for a great apartment. Hotels are now very expensive. Legend Villas for example used to be 25 a night - it's now double that at least - if it's not booked out.

2) Pollution in Manila is bad. Really bad. Within days both partner and I developed sore throats, and later chest infections. We carried these through the 4 weeks we were there, and partner still had a cough. Even out on the islands pollution is an issue. The main culprit on Camiguin for example, which is an otherwise tranquil place are the trikes. On any trip you are likely to be breathing in a lot of diesel and petrol fumes.

3) Dogs. A right pain wherever you go. I was frequently barked at or even lunged at by random dogs. In the end I stopped going for a walk because I got fed up dealing with the dogs.

4) Minor medical ops and especially dental work were superb and cheap. I had a dental cleaning session at Dentista in Shang Plaza and it was the only time, ever, that I've had a painless cleaning. The dentist was wonderful. Full check up too and a total bill of PHP1,200. I pay a lot more for a poor quality cleaning in the UK.

5) Body Tune in Mega Mall - I had a Balinese massage for around PHP800 and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I literally felt ten years younger after it. I was buzzing. We also had a pedicure there which was really relaxing and well done. Very cheap too compared to what you'd pay for these services in UK. Philippines is great for providing these sorts of service at low prices.

6) Traffic in Manila - what to say - it's horrible. There is one saving grace - Grab car is a really, really good service. If you've not come across it it is a ride hailing app similar to Uber. Traditional taxis are cheaper, but we found we tended towards the safety and convenience of Grab. We also used Uber and found it reasonable too. The Grab and Uber drivers were always pleasant and had very nice cars.

7) Flights are cheap and very good. We used Cebu Pacific and they were cheap, clean and an effective way of getting about. One minor issue - booking online with a debit card doesn't work - you need a credit card.

8) Food was very, very variable and often disappointing. One of the best places I found to eat was the Vietnamese noodle shop in Shang Mall. The buffet at Dad's in MegaMall is also incredible. There's a Japanese restaurant up near Viking's that also served really good food. Out of Manila the food was mostly horrible (and cold). Even Tatoy's in Ilo Ilo was, I thought, pretty shoddy stuff.

9) Getting about in the provinces. I got absolutely sick of taking those damn trikes everywhere. If I go back to Philippines I am learning how to ride a motorbike because I'm convinced it's the best way to get around on the islands.

10) Diving and snorkeling in the Philippines continues to be, for me, one of the best reasons to go there. Did not go diving this trip, but snorkeled quite a bit. Highlights snorkeling around Camiguin island and especially the Sunken Cemetery - incredible!

11) Typhoons in Feb. When we got down to Romblon island things were looking very dicey. Bear in Mind this was Feb and the typhoon season is supposed to end in November. We were on Camiguin when typhoon Basyang hit and while not major it was enough to keep us trapped on the island for a couple of days, and, but for a break in the weather, potentially much longer. Weather wise - expect the unexpected. By the way when we arrived in Manila late January it was raining - a lot!

12) The Malls in Manila tend to be something of a refuge. The interesting thing is I hardly ever buy anything other than coffee or perhaps some food at the supermarket or a restaurant. However, they are incredibly clean, cool, secure, and well maintained places on the whole. The selection of merchandise is far, far greater than what you will find in UK. For example the range of trail running shoes alone blew my mind! I have also never seen such an enormous display of different G-Shock watches. In the UK you are lucky to find half a dozen watches - I saw hundreds of different G-Shocks in the malls. Shang Mall, Mega Mall, and the mall out at BGC were all superb. Some items you may want to consider buying in Manila if you are coming from UK: watches (incredible selection available), running shoes, other footwear, clothes. I also have to give a shout out to Habagat - awesome quality outdoor clothing/equipment shop.

13) Did I mention that Manila is really really polluted? To be fair there are nice areas. The Greenfields area is pretty nice. The Capital Commons area is also really clean and nice and you can walk around. I would be quite happy to rent one of the fancy new condos there long term. I also enjoyed hanging out at the Buffalo Wings sports bar joint there. Twin Oaks area, and Shang Mall/St. Francis were all quite liveable. I do realize these are fairly pricey areas to live compared to being out in the boondocks though.

14) Cebu was quite a place! I had not been expecting such a massive city. It also seemed to have a significant Chinese/Japanese/Korean presence. I was not there long though. It is a city that never sleeps. I cruised through the city at three and four in the morning (to/from the airport) and the McDs, Jollibees, and even Dunkin Donuts were full of people. Ayala Terraces is quite a nice place to walk around and eat at - watch out for the GROs on the prowl there for a foreign b/f though!

15) I found expats to be a funny lot. They often would not acknowledge my nod, smile, or greeting. To the African American US serviceman (I am guessing the last bit) I met at the supermarket in Odiongan on Tablas I'm sorry I did not chat for longer - I was so taken aback by an expat who actually said good morning!

16) On Tablas island I want to make a recommendation. Avoid San Augustin like the plague. You are much better off going to Odiongan and getting the ferry from there. Yes, I know it's a longer ferry trip if you are heading to Romblon, but it's worth it. One of the few bad experiences we had on the trip (I think the only one) was in San Augustin.

17) After the bad experience in San Augustin we headed to Romblon by ferry where Swiss national Ivon, the owner of Marble Beach resort and long term resident in Romblon, restored our faith in human nature with coffee and lovely homemade banana cake, which we consumed with relish! Meeting Ivon and his lovely wife Mary Grace was one of the highlights of the trip and we only wish we had made the decision to stay with him longer. In our defence we were still in a state of shock after the shenanigans at San Augustin.

18) I want to shout out to San Pedro Beach resort next to Marble Beach resort too. The owner was really lovely and helpful and they whip up a decent dinner in the restaurant too. Sorry we could not have stayed there too!

19) Impressions of Ilo Ilo were very favourable. I got the impression of a clean, well laid-out city. Everything had a new feel. We stayed at Diversion 21 which was a really great hotel to stay in after some of the places we slept! The hotels in Ilo Ilo can fill up at an alarming rate when there's a conference in town so check your bookings and double check your bookings. We had problems with some hotels (in Ilo Ilo) where you made a booking via Booking.com only to find the hotel was actually full! This is really bad news for multiple reasons!

20) As a foreigner you are always something of a target, either for scams or even as a subject of curiosity. We got scammed once (cost PHP 1000), but managed to avoid two considerably larger (but more obvious) scams. The worst thing about our scam was, we knew we were being scammed, but were in a vulnerable situation, so had to play along. It was the right decision but left us with a very sour taste. Also, some of the stories we heard would make your hair curl, so watch out, and remember that not all scammers in Philippines are filipino!

21) Smart Mobile and Smart Mobile Broadband which we purchased in MegaMall Manila were worth their weight in gold. We had a pretty effective internet connection through Smart Mobile Broadband (SIM plugged into the mobile broadband router we brought with us) wherever we went (including remote places Romblon and Camiguin) as well as voice. I was quite impressed with Smart. The prices were quite cheap too. We bought 10GB broadband as well as the local pay as you go SIM for voice. Nice one!

22) Van drivers are completely nuts. We took a six hour van drive down from Caticlan to Ilo Ilo and nearly died about six times. We ended up feeling sorry for the driver though despite him nearly killing us, as one of the passengers, a middle aged woman, who he'd gone out of his way to help, stole his smartphone while he was getting her bag out of the back of the van. Keep an eye on your fellow travellers when taking a van! Having eyes in the back of your head can be considered very useful!

23) We met so many nice and helpful people. The trip we took, which involved a lot of island hopping and seat-of-the-pants travel decisions, would not have been possible without the sheer generosity, helpfulness and kindness of both many filipinos and several resident expats.

24) One of the best decisions we made was to travel light. I used an Osprey Transporter 65 and Ana used an Osprey Transporter 40. The Ospreys performed superbly - incredibly tough and well made. If I was doing this again I would probably use a smaller bag, either the Transporter 40 or a slightly bigger rucksack of maybe 55L. My Osprey 38L would not have been big enough. I had no problem taking my Osprey Transporter 65 on Cebu Pacific as cabin baggage. I was always under the 7 kg limit, although the only time they checked was when the weather was iffy. A couple of other things I found useful. I picked up some shoe bags really cheap at a mall near Montebello Villa hotel in Cebu (really cheap stuff in that mall). I used one shoe bag for shoes and the other for clothes and that worked really well. Headlamp - didn't think I'd need it but turned out to be very useful.

25) Philippines, even out on the islands, can be very noisy. Even in what should have been a tranquil spot way out of town on Camiguin, we found the noise incessant. Motorbikes, scooters, trikes and so on create noise and pollution. Loud music was played at some houses from 6.00am to gone midnight - and I mean REALLY loud music. There was also the usual cacophony of cockerels crowing and dogs barking.

26) Visa extension. We tried to extend our visas on arrival at Ninoy Aquino airport. We asked several "officers" at the aiport where to do it and got several different answers ranging from it can't be done to Mall of Asia! In the end we gave up and decided to sort it later.

27) I was REALLY shocked and disappointed by Singapore Airlines and, frankly, I will never use them again. We flew out (LHR to Changi) via an ageing A380 and it was a trip from hell. There was zero leg room and when the people in front of me pushed their seats right back, my seat became unusable. We had a much smaller plane for the return flight from Changi to LHR (13 hours) and the same problem again. Luckily we were able to find two seats elsewhere  that were usable and made the best of it. Generally the service on Singapore Air was poor. It gives me no pleasure to say this as I have been singing SA's praises for years, but things seem to have gone very much downhill since my last experience of them in 2011. We decided we would not go this route again. I believe we will opt for Emirates and stop over in Dubai for a couple of days. This reduces flight time to a more manageable 6 hours. We also came back a few days early due to the sudden death of a good friend and so needed to change our flights. That little change cost us GBP460 (230 per ticket)! Especially grating as the flight back was not full as the SA service staff had told us! Almost tempted to file this under "biggest scam of the trip". Thanks for your help in our hour of need SA. FU Singapore Air - never again!

In summary: An amazing trip with heady highs and some gut wrenching lows. I've deliberately *not* given a blow-by-blow account of the trip, rather just highlighting some points of note/general thoughts. We saw a lot of the Visayas, but you need a lot more time than 4 weeks to do it justice. I would like to go back and see more of Ilo Ilo and also see Davao. I hear very good things about Davao but we just ran out of time on this trip. The natural beauty of Philippines continues to blow my mind. The filipinos we met were incredible people too.

I will follow this up with a Part 2 containing my thoughts on retiring to Philippines (something we have been considering for a while now).

---
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Lee2 on March 09, 2018, 07:54:49 AM
Thank you very much for the in depth great report post, we look forward to more from you on the subject, these types of posts are fantastic for all of us to learn from, I hope you will elaborate on the scam part a bit in your next post so we can all learn how to hopefully prevent being scammed or at least learn to take it like you apparently did, getting riled up or causing a ruckus can end up causing problems in our health or even possible jail time rather than the few dollars are worth, happy to read you apparently avoided any issues when it happened to you.

1) Air BnB - game changer, 25 a night for a great apartment. Hotels are now very expensive. Legend Villas for example used to be 25 a night - it's now double that at least - if it's not booked out.
Great to know, this trip I had a couple of friends looking for  places to stay and my wife and I ran our butts off trying to find some reasonably priced hotels.

2) Pollution in Manila is bad. Really bad. Within days both partner and I developed sore throats, and later chest infections. We carried these through the 4 weeks we were there, and partner still had a cough. Even out on the islands pollution is an issue. The main culprit on Camiguin for example, which is an otherwise tranquil place are the trikes. On any trip you are likely to be breathing in a lot of diesel and petrol fumes.
That is one of the reasons my wife and I never go to Manila anymore, I get bronchitis fairly easy and my wife has caught colds here even here in Cebu, so far this trip my wife and I have either been lucky or our taking of a 2,000 units of Vitamin C twice a day upon arrival and taking it once a day after week one seems to have worked, I had gotten sick in the past a few times each stay and usually a few days right after arriving was the first time.

3) Dogs. A right pain wherever you go. I was frequently barked at or even lunged at by random dogs. In the end I stopped going for a walk because I got fed up dealing with the dogs.
Dogs are not only a pain and have kept me up at night in the past when out in the provinces but we had run into rabid dogs, one attached the V-Hire we were in years ago and tried to eat the motorbike riders in front of us, good thing the guy was in shape enough to put his legs over the handle bars and his head as he went buy it, I hate to think what would have happened had it been out of shape me on that bike. :(

4) Minor medical ops and especially dental work were superb and cheap. I had a dental cleaning session at Dentista in Shang Plaza and it was the only time, ever, that I've had a painless cleaning. The dentist was wonderful. Full check up too and a total bill of PHP1,200. I pay a lot more for a poor quality cleaning in the UK.
We use a dentist in Cebu and find that the cost is less or around my copay back in Florida, I had 4 caps put on for the price of one and the wife had a bridge made and we both saved a fortune doing it in Cebu.

5) Body Tune in Mega Mall - I had a Balinese massage for around PHP800 and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I literally felt ten years younger after it. I was buzzing. We also had a pedicure there which was really relaxing and well done. Very cheap too compared to what you'd pay for these services in UK. Philippines is great for providing these sorts of service at low prices.
That is one of the things I love too.

6) Traffic in Manila - what to say - it's horrible. There is one saving grace - Grab car is a really, really good service. If you've not come across it it is a ride hailing app similar to Uber. Traditional taxis are cheaper, but we found we tended towards the safety and convenience of Grab. We also used Uber and found it reasonable too. The Grab and Uber drivers were always pleasant and had very nice cars.
Traffic in Cebu has gotten unreasonable too, we too find that we have to use Uber since a taxi never seems to be around when we need one except at the malls, so far this year we have not had a problem getting a taxi at the mall but in past years we had to wait upwards of an hour to finally get one at SM City if we stayed too close to closing time, something those of you who visit Cebu should be aware of. :(

Food was very, very variable and often disappointing. One of the best places I found to eat was the Vietnamese noodle shop in Shang Mall. The buffet at Dad's in MegaMall is also incredible. There's a Japanese restaurant up near Viking's that also served really good food. Out of Manila the food was mostly horrible (and cold). Even Tatoy's in Ilo Ilo was, I thought, pretty shoddy stuff.
I find food very disappointing and about only on the acceptable level in most places in the Philippines we have been except Makati, the food there was decent, lack of quality meals is one reason that I do not wish to live full time in the Philippines, everyone's MMV.

9) Getting about in the provinces. I got absolutely sick of taking those damn trikes everywhere. If I go back to Philippines I am learning how to ride a motorbike because I'm convinced it's the best way to get around on the islands.
Please learn to drive one back home or get a lot of experience when in quieter places, learning here might get your hurt or killed, I am an experienced motorcycle driver and I find the driving here to be unacceptable to drive in, and many people I know have gotten hurt on a bike here over the years.

12) The Malls in Manila tend to be something of a refuge.
The Malls are excellent there and in Cebu, we go to them for exercise in a cool place, for some of our eating out, for shopping for food etc, IMO the malls are just one of the best things about the Philippines. The supermarket at Robinsons Galleria is one of the cleanest and neatest we have found in the Philippines, I was indeed very impressed with it.

13) Did I mention that Manila is really really polluted? To be fair there are nice areas.
Yes there are nice areas but unfortunately one has to go thru Manila to get to most. :(

14) Cebu was quite a place! I had not been expecting such a massive city. It also seemed to have a significant Chinese/Japanese/Korean presence. I was not there long though. It is a city that never sleeps. I cruised through the city at three and four in the morning (to/from the airport) and the McDs, Jollibees, and even Dunkin Donuts were full of people. Ayala Terraces is quite a nice place to walk around and eat at - watch out for the GROs on the prowl there for a foreign b/f though!
GRO (Guest Relations Officers), often used for ladies of the night but there are real GRO's who work in hotels etc that are not ladies of the night, also something to be aware of is the very large presence of ladyboy's working Ayala mall.

Did you get to see SM Seaside, IMO that is the best mall in Cebu and will be a fantastic mall  once it is totally filled up and Rogbinsons Galleria is also a very nice mall but IMO very quiet, too quiet for my liking except to shop, then quiet is good.

15) I found expats to be a funny lot. They often would not acknowledge my nod, smile, or greeting. To the African American US serviceman (I am guessing the last bit) I met at the supermarket in Odiongan on Tablas I'm sorry I did not chat for longer - I was so taken aback by an expat who actually said good morning!
I too find most unfriendly, I think many are hiding from the law or their x-wives and child support or are afraid one of us will steal their ladies or show their ladies what a nicer westerner is supposed to be like. I find the tourists and those who have not been in the Philippines for a long time to be the friendliest and occasionally I will find a long timer who is also nice, I try to be nice to everyone we meet along the way but after a while of being snubbed, I guess eventually we may too end up burned out on westerners.

25) Philippines, even out on the islands, can be very noisy. Even in what should have been a tranquil spot way out of town on Camiguin, we found the noise incessant. Motorbikes, scooters, trikes and so on create noise and pollution. Loud music was played at some houses from 6.00am to gone midnight - and I mean REALLY loud music. There was also the usual cacophony of cockerels crowing and dogs barking.
Noise is a major issue for me. I guess it might be due to my heath issues but after a time it pushes me towards the edge, thus we spend less and less time outside the city away from our condo where it is much quieter, picking a good location is very important when picking a place to live and at least for us, a condo in the city is our refuge from most of the local noise and when in our condo, I can wear a set of earplugs during the few noisy party weekends and still feel comfortable, I could never feel comfortable wearing earplugs while on the ground in a home anywhere but that is just crazy me, we feel quite safe in our condo since it has no windows in the hallways to break in from.

27) I was REALLY shocked and disappointed by Singapore Airlines and, frankly, I will never use them again.

So far my wife and I have been very happy with Korean Airlines, they cost us more than double the cheap flights available on China Easter and a little more than flights on SA but IMO it is well worth it, and once reaching Morning Calm status, flying with them got even better, I highly recommend everyone join the sky mileage program with whatever airlines you fly with, if you will be flying often, Delta and Korean Air are partners, so we get KAL mileage while using both of them and it seems that Delta has learned what Balikbayan means, and even have it in their computers now.

Also, when flying with any airline please get up and move around and move your legs and arms around even when in your seat, blood clots can be life threatening, please keep moving on those long flights to prevent getting one.

Thank you again for your great report.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: jjcabgou on March 09, 2018, 11:41:57 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.
We live like the "locals" and we always have toilet paper etc..   Many times when I hear "locals" on here I feel it is just referring to the "poor".  Millions of filipinos, who would consider themselves locals, can afford toilet paper etc.   I am with you Lee, I would not move here to live the life of poverty, but to each his own.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: chimellie on March 10, 2018, 04:05:44 AM
The Dental office we use is the finest spot I've ever seen, my wife and kids have been there several times and I've never seen dental chairs with TV's playing movies before.  The waiting room is marbeled floors, huge exported furniture, two desk top computers with internet access, massage chair like in the malls only free, free drinks, cookies, snacks and cable TV.

The Dental work is also amazing the cost is very low.

Where is that Dental office located ?
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: M.C.A. on March 11, 2018, 10:59:27 AM
Dental Office we use is in Sta Cruz Laguna here's a link it's upstairs on the second floor, called Feliciano and Associates.
https://www.google.com.ph/maps/place/The+Dental+Clinic+-+Feliciano+and+Associates/@14.280448,121.416532,15z/data= (https://www.google.com.ph/maps/place/The+Dental+Clinic+-+Feliciano+and+Associates/@14.280448,121.416532,15z/data=)!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x58e6ce0ffdefc1f2!8m2!3d14.280448!4d121.416532

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=dental+assiociates%2C+sta+cruz+laguna&rlz=1C1RLNS_enPH781PH781&oq=dental+assiociates%2C+sta+cruz+laguna&aqs=chrome..69i57.9739j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 (https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=dental+assiociates%2C+sta+cruz+laguna&rlz=1C1RLNS_enPH781PH781&oq=dental+assiociates%2C+sta+cruz+laguna&aqs=chrome..69i57.9739j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dental-Clinic-Feliciano-Associates/110280219059943 (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dental-Clinic-Feliciano-Associates/110280219059943)
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on March 11, 2018, 01:35:18 PM
And for the sake of future reference here's the dentist I used:

http://www.dentista.com.ph/new/branches/shangri-la/ (http://www.dentista.com.ph/new/branches/shangri-la/)

Great service! I only had a checkup+clean, but they are far better than any of the dentists I use in UK, including on occasion private. Would certainly use them again and for other work as required.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: iamjames on March 11, 2018, 04:42:32 PM
Strange but I have had three very good dental experiences in the past 10 years: Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Philippines. Quality and expertise are every bit as good (if not better) than our western service in these so-called third world countries.
You really packed a few years experience into a short time Codefreeze. Your observation skills and patience far exceed our norms. I have been nearly five years here and I still learn every day. I am even hesitating about moving on and continuing travels.
I have had a great life with few regrets but living here feels like I have a second opportunity to do something different. 
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: BudM on March 11, 2018, 08:28:10 PM
It should come as no surprise that there are good dentists in the Philippines.  My previous dentist for years back in the US was a Filipina.  Well, for that matter, my regular doctor was a Filipino.  My current dentist is also a Filipina.  I think the ones going to the US and other so called western nations are teaching a few of those doctors and dentists a thing or two about dentistry and the medical field.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on March 12, 2018, 06:20:09 PM
Lee: thanks for your feedback and I agree with everything you've said there!

Iamjames: thanks, appreciate your comment. For me the Philippines represents the possibility of a "new life" or at least, a new way of life.

Lee: On the matter of the scam...

First, you need to understand the nature of our travel, it was often what I call "seat of the pants" in that we deliberately had no plan other than "heading south from Manila" and so did not know where we would go or where, if anywhere, we'd be staying. We wanted things to be that way and in contrast to our previous Philippines trip which was planned with meticulous detail. We wanted to see places off the beaten track (which we did) and be surprised along the way (yeah, there were good and bad surprises).

Anway, to the scam. We pitched up in San Augustin on Tablas island planning to get the first ferry out to Romblon (which turned out to be early the following morning). We found what looked like decent guesthouse - possibly the only guest house in San Austin (this guest house is also on AirBnB). The guest house is owned by a woman who we briefly met, but she leaves the day to day running to a certain individual who turned out to be disturbing. This first problem was he asked very very personal questions. These went way beyond what you the typical friendly questions like where are you from. That was initially a bit strange, then annoying, then disturbing. He also crept around our accommodation under flimsy pretences. Once I found him looking at me through a window while I was getting changed. Another time he was snooping around while my partner was in the shower. I confronted him and he made up some lame excuses. This was all rather worrying.

San Augustin is a small place in itself, and mainly revolves around the small ferry terminal. I'm not sure that there are any other guest houses other than the one we stayed in - it has a shop below, and two floors of accommodation above it. The few places you can eat are pretty bad - to the point that even my partner went without dinner (look, if a filipina goes hungry you know there's some serious s*** going down). I would not have let a dog eat the food that was on offer there - it was literally crawling with flies and goodness knows when it had been prepared - they basically didn't even bother to reheat it. I passed.

Basically we were kind of stuck. We were not aware of any other accommodation available and when we asked in a small chemist we were told there was none. Back at the guest house the guy was still snooping around and was about to hit us with the scam.

When we got back he was waiting for us (at our outside table) and claimed there was a problem. He claimed we'd paid with "fake money". All my cash was crisp notes straight from the ATM and so was Ana's. I had counted the money myself that morning so I knew all our money was crisp 1000PHP notes. He held up a some ragged old 1000 peso note and claimed we'd paid with it. I knew 100% we had not. Of course there was no way I was falling for that. But then we realized our vulnerability. The room we had picked was not especially secure - and this guy, who I had already determined was probably not the full ticket, probably had a spare key. We did not want some guy standing over our bed in the middle of the night. San Augustin is the sort of place where you could just "disappear". If we refused and moved to some other accommodation (which as far as we knew did not exist) then we would still be 1000 out of pocket. Also, it was already dark.

I thought quickly. I agreed for him to move us to the somewhat more expensive room for no extra charge. I knew it would be far easier to secure. I changed his dodgy 1000 peso note. So I was now 1000 PHP out of pocket. We moved, secured the room and spent a restless night - partly we were worried about this crazy guy, plus the wind was howling that night and rattling the roofing and fence panels.

By the way, another slight annoyance with that guest house. We'd agreed a price of 1000 for an aircon room with the owner, only to be then told the price was 1,200 with aircon. No amount of arguing on our part seemed to change what we'd agreed, so we went without aircon! Luckily it was quite cool that night.

We couldn't wait to get out of San Augustin and there's no way I'd go back there. Creepy place, with some creepy people.

I strongly advise people to avoid it. I recommend going to Odiongon instead. If you are going on to Romblon the ferry trip is longer (three hours rather than one hour) but it's worth it. We visited Odiongon on the way back. Stayed at Wavefront hotel and I would recommend it - very nice room and lovely beach front aspect. Sea was way too rough for swimming though. In contrast to the creepy guy from San Augustin, the woman running Wavefront is one of the kindest and most helpful people we met on the trip.

On a more positive note, the vast majority of people we met were lovely and soooo helpful, but, do yourself a favour and stay away from San Augustin!





 


Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on March 17, 2018, 12:18:34 AM
As mentioned earlier in this thread...

Part 2 - Thoughts on retirement

Our recent four week trip to Philippines was primarily a chance for me to see a bit more of the Philippines, warts and all. But the trip also had a secondary purpose - help answer a question that I'd been wrestling with for quite a while - could I retire there?

The Dream

1) Cost

Philippines is cheaper than the UK, therefore any pension would go further, and I could perhaps retire a lot sooner than if I wanted to retire in the UK.

2) Change

A chance to do something different and have a different way of life.

3) Climate

Phils is a lot warmer than UK.

4) Outdoor activities/natural beauty

The islands can be very beautiful with clear seas, coral reefs, and white beaches. Phils is a paradise for divers and snorkelers.

5) Travel

The Philippines is a fantastic base from which to explore South East Asia.

The Reality

1) Pollution

I didn't seem to be able to get away from breathing in diesel and petrol fumes. Pollution in Manila is a nightmare. The smog hangs over the city. Very unhealthy. There is a lot of pollution out on the islands, mainly from scooters, trucks, cars and trikes.

2) Noise

You also can't seem to get away from noise. There always seems to be something: loud music, dogs, karaoke, motorbikes, trikes.

3) Climate

While the climate is Philippines can be great (think clear blue skies) there can be a dark side to it - specifically typhoons. I have been in a typhoon (Basyang) and it was not a pleasant experience.

4) Food

It's weird, but for a country where food is high on everyone's agenda, I found the food generally to be not very good. I think I would most likely end up buying ingredients in the supermarket and then preparing and cooking my own food. This is in stark contrast to Thailand where eating out is one of the notable pleasures of the place. While in the city you can find decent food by a process of trial and error, it is harder to find decent places to eat in the provinces. There were many times when I simply went hungry because the food just wasn't edible (think reheated, crawling with flies, prepared in extremely unhygienic conditions). I lost nearly a stone in 4 weeks (probably a good thing!). A side note on hygiene - even in the posher malls of Manila I saw a lot of filipinos using the loo (1 and 2) and not washing their hands! Let's hope they don't work in restaurants.

5) What to do with yourself?

In the cities there are many things to do beyond the ivory tower of the apartment block. But you will have to contend with hellish traffic and pollution to get anywhere. When I couldn't bring myself to face the traffic/pollution I would gravitate towards the apartment pool swim and then read. This is wonderful initially but gets boring after the first week.

Out on the islands it is perhaps less challenging to get around, but the flip side of this is on the islands there's far less to do than in the city. Once you've done the notable sights the urge to take a dip in yet another hot spring or snorkel yet another pristine coral reef just doesn't inspire!

It's no secret that some expats who move to Phils end up couch potatoes and/or alcoholics. Believe me I totally understand that. When you run out of things to do, or the hassle of dealing with city traffic doesn't feel worth it any more, it can be very tempting to purchase a big TV, a cable package, a six pack, and then just veg out in front of the telly.

6) Family and friends

It's funny how many expats in Philippines will avoid their wife's family due to the constant requests for financial support. They will then park themselves off in an area far away. While this reduces financial requests it can result in isolation.

Expats can be quite stand-offish in my experience and they sometimes have good reason for this. Often expats will isolate themselves deliberately due to the aforementioned financial requests, but also because they fear scams perpetrated by locals or even expats.

I must admit our forays "into town" resulted in reactions ranging from the harmless (staring) to in-your-face begging for money - sometimes in an aggressive manner. All part of the "warts and all" experience - we had wanted to see the reality of life in Philippines.

I think it is possible to get too isolated in the Philippines - even in Manila. The thought of living in one of those apartment complexes into my 70s and 80s scares the hell out of me. While we do have friends in Manila I would miss the connection of the family and friends we have back in the UK. The option of a more remote location, such as Romblon or Camiguin, leads to the possibility of a quieter life, but with more isolation and less to do. I would probably end up in a house off the beaten track spending my days reading, watching TV and surfing the web - all things I can do back in the UK, or in fact from anywhere in the world.

Being away from family and friends can result in loneliness and isolation. The saving grace is that many filipinos are friendly and welcoming. No doubt new friends would be made, but in the back of your mind you are probably going to be wondering when the request for a "loan" is going to hit you. The motivations of filipinos, while often genuine and heart-felt can sometimes have a dark side, as we found on several occasions. For example, we got on really well with one individual, who we met while traveling. Then one evening the conversation started with a reference to Japanese gold and I realized straight away the clear intention was to get me to pay for this gold to be excavated! An obvious scam that I wasn't falling for. While one doesn't want to be overly paranoid, it always pays to err on the side of caution.

7) Costs

Finding good accommodation for low cost in key to affordable living in the Philippines. Especially in Manila costs for accommodation can quickly spiral. It takes some decent insider knowledge to find locations that are both affordable and decent. We had mixed results. AirBnB is unrivalled for finding great quality, affordable *short term* accommodation, but people on the ground with local knowledge are best placed for finding long term accommodation.

Generally Philippines is cheaper for most things. Services such as massage, dental treatment, medical care, pharmacies and so on are generally excellent and very affordable. For example, I paid 16 for a thorough dental clean. This would cost around 45 in UK. I paid 11 for a one hour Balinese massage and it's the best 11 I've ever spent. I'm not sure how much this would cost in UK, but possibly around 65.

Clothes, taxis, flights, food, drink and eating out are generally cheaper in Philippines, compared to UK.

8) Misc

Some aspects that I thought would be problematic, such as visas, turn out to be almost a non-entity. I think one of the reasons I thought this is because both Thailand and Malaysia put all kinds of visa obstacles in the way. The situation in the Philippines is a breath of fresh air in this respect - none of this having to leave the country every 90 days as in Thailand, or the huge financial hurdles of Malaysia's MM2H. In this respect Philippines has an attractive range of visa options such as the SRRV or simply  in-country extensions - long may they continue!

On the flip side things that I hadn't anticipated as a problem turned out to be somewhat problematic. For example, the pollution is a lot worse than I remember from 2011.

Another problem that I have mentioned elsewhere - those darn dogs. As someone who loves a long walk, I found the dogs roaming around made this quite problematic. Those dogs with puppies hidden somewhere nearby can be especially aggressive due to their protective instinct. I strongly advise everyone to have the rabies vaccination before traveling to Philippines.

Learning the lingo. As most people speak English this would appear to be a solved problem compared to somewhere like Thailand where it's much more necessary to be able to speak Thai - at least beyond the tourist traps. However, I've changed my mind on this one. I would be compelled to learn Tagalog at the very least (and possibly a dialect depending on where I located). I got tired of people talking about me and I could not understand what they were saying. As my partner is filipina locals would often (but not always) default to tagalog, and so I would not have a clue what was going on! I ran into this problem in Thailand back in 2003, and learned to at least understand the gist of what was being said, even though I could not speak the language. This proved incredibly useful such as the time (about a year before I met my current partner in 2006) I had a Thai g/f in UK, who used to quite happily chat on the phone in Thai to her boyfriend in Thailand while out with me! Of course I had never let on that I'd been to Thailand and could pick up the gist of what was being said!

Conclusions

The decision, for me, on whether to retire to Philippines or not has proved to be less clear cut than I had imagined it would be.

While Philippines checks a number of boxes (my pension would go further in Philippines than in UK) there are some deep questions to be answered. Would we end up isolated and lonely? Would we run out of things to do? Would the terrible traffic situation and pollution prove too much to bear and lead to living a "siege mentality" in an ivory tower? Would we always feel like a walking target for scams or other unwanted attention leading to paranoia?

I would like to say I came to a definite conclusion on the retirement question but I'm afraid I did not.

I have not written off retirement to the Philippines, but there are certain things I think would be necessary:

1) A base in a city. Pollution rules out Manila, but perhaps Ilo Ilo would be a better option. You have all the activities and liveliness of a city, without the dreadful pollution and traffic of Manila. I dare say Ilo Ilo will one day resemble Manila or Cebu in that respect, but it will take some years yet.

2) Escape to the islands. From your city base escape to the islands via a cheap flight, but do it in small doses. I think two or three days once every month or two would allow for a scuba/snorkel fix, a bit of chill time, a few beers and a short escape from the bustling city. I personally would not be tempted to try and live somewhere like Romblon or Camiguin full-time, although there are some expats happily doing it.

3) A clear source of income. This goes without saying. While I was thinking 500 a month would be enough, I am reassessing that and feel 1000 a month would be the minimum to allow a decent apartment in the city, dining out, travel and so on. Some are going to say that looks like a lot, and some will already spend twice that.

4) Transport. Getting around in a small city like Ilo Ilo is relatively easy with taxis and Grab. Out in the sticks renting a scooter is probably the way to go. Having used trikes extensively I have no wish to do so in the future! Obviously riding around on a scooter exposes you to some of the world's worst driving! Wear a helmet!

5) Part-time. I would probably only try to live in Philippines 3 months of the year, at least initially. This is partly because I believe living in the Philippines, and staying sane, really does require you to fully acclimatise and that takes time.

6) I would keep a base in UK. I'm not sure I would want to be in the Philippines in my 70s and 80s. Not because there's anything wrong with it, just I'm not sure it's what I would want. I do have a huge amount of respect for the wonderful way Philippines treats its senior citizens - the 20% off everything for over 65s is an incredible perk and shows how much respect for the elderly Philippines has. I would rather be out in the Philippines than a nursing home in the UK to be sure.

Final words

Philippines does have a lot going for it, but it's necessary to bear in mind it's still a developing country and plagued by a number of critical problems - massive inequality, pollution, and congestion just to highlight a few items. Visiting for a holiday is a far different proposition to living there. For many the attraction of a young filipina wife overrides all considerations, and I can understand that! My own situation is slightly different in that I met my filipina in UK and we've been living here together for 11 years now. So, will I retire to Philippines? - bottom line - not yet!

p.s. these are my own thoughts - standard disclaimer - your mileage may vary!
----
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on March 17, 2018, 10:16:15 AM
As mentioned earlier in this thread...

Part 2 - Thoughts on retirement

The Dream

Conclusions

Final words


I don't post on here much anymore, because I've read the same old topics that most retirees are concerned about making the Philippines one's permanent home away from one's home country they grew up in and I too had all the same concerns, but 20 yrs later I have settled into my own little world "niche" I'm content and satisfied with without all of the "Worry Wart's" worries codefreeze has mentioned in his thread of his "thoughts on retirement", "The Dream", "The Reality", "Conclusions" and his "Final Words" which says it all: The Philippines does have a lot going for it, but it's necessary to bear in mind it's still a developing country and plagued by a number of critical problems - massive inequality, pollution, and congestion just to highlight a few items. Visiting for a holiday is a far different proposition to living there.
So, it's all about each to their own lifestyle in the Philippines whether one likes it or not.
As my mottoes says:
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
"It's always a matter of money"!
"Do on to others as they would do on to You, but do it first"!
"Different strokes for different folks"!
"Que Sera Sera"!

Only you can make it how you want it to be without any regrets.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on March 17, 2018, 02:29:54 PM
I don't post on here much anymore, because I've read the same old topics that most retirees are concerned about making the Philippines one's permanent home away from one's home country they grew up in and I too had all the same concerns, but 20 yrs later I have settled into my own little world "niche" I'm content and satisfied with without all of the "Worry Wart's" worries codefreeze has mentioned in his thread of his "thoughts on retirement", "The Dream", "The Reality", "Conclusions" and his "Final Words" which says it all: The Philippines does have a lot going for it, but it's necessary to bear in mind it's still a developing country and plagued by a number of critical problems - massive inequality, pollution, and congestion just to highlight a few items. Visiting for a holiday is a far different proposition to living there.
So, it's all about each to their own lifestyle in the Philippines whether one likes it or not.
As my mottoes says:
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
"It's always a matter of money"!
"Do on to others as they would do on to You, but do it first"!
"Different strokes for different folks"!
"Que Sera Sera"!

Only you can make it how you want it to be without any regrets.

Very nicely summed up Art!
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: chimellie on March 17, 2018, 07:34:10 PM
As mentioned earlier in this thread...

Part 2 - Thoughts on retirement

Our recent four week trip to Philippines was primarily a chance for me to see a bit more of the Philippines, warts and all. But the trip also had a secondary purpose - help answer a question that I'd been wrestling with for quite a while - could I retire there?

The Dream

1) Cost

Philippines is cheaper than the UK, therefore any pension would go further, and I could perhaps retire a lot sooner than if I wanted to retire in the UK.

2) Change

A chance to do something different and have a different way of life.

3) Climate

Phils is a lot warmer than UK.

4) Outdoor activities/natural beauty

The islands can be very beautiful with clear seas, coral reefs, and white beaches. Phils is a paradise for divers and snorkelers.

5) Travel

The Philippines is a fantastic base from which to explore South East Asia.

The Reality

1) Pollution

I didn't seem to be able to get away from breathing in diesel and petrol fumes. Pollution in Manila is a nightmare. The smog hangs over the city. Very unhealthy. There is a lot of pollution out on the islands, mainly from scooters, trucks, cars and trikes.

2) Noise

You also can't seem to get away from noise. There always seems to be something: loud music, dogs, karaoke, motorbikes, trikes.

3) Climate

While the climate is Philippines can be great (think clear blue skies) there can be a dark side to it - specifically typhoons. I have been in a typhoon (Basyang) and it was not a pleasant experience.

4) Food

It's weird, but for a country where food is high on everyone's agenda, I found the food generally to be not very good. I think I would most likely end up buying ingredients in the supermarket and then preparing and cooking my own food. This is in stark contrast to Thailand where eating out is one of the notable pleasures of the place. While in the city you can find decent food by a process of trial and error, it is harder to find decent places to eat in the provinces. There were many times when I simply went hungry because the food just wasn't edible (think reheated, crawling with flies, prepared in extremely unhygienic conditions). I lost nearly a stone in 4 weeks (probably a good thing!). A side note on hygiene - even in the posher malls of Manila I saw a lot of filipinos using the loo (1 and 2) and not washing their hands! Let's hope they don't work in restaurants.

5) What to do with yourself?

In the cities there are many things to do beyond the ivory tower of the apartment block. But you will have to contend with hellish traffic and pollution to get anywhere. When I couldn't bring myself to face the traffic/pollution I would gravitate towards the apartment pool swim and then read. This is wonderful initially but gets boring after the first week.

Out on the islands it is perhaps less challenging to get around, but the flip side of this is on the islands there's far less to do than in the city. Once you've done the notable sights the urge to take a dip in yet another hot spring or snorkel yet another pristine coral reef just doesn't inspire!

It's no secret that some expats who move to Phils end up couch potatoes and/or alcoholics. Believe me I totally understand that. When you run out of things to do, or the hassle of dealing with city traffic doesn't feel worth it any more, it can be very tempting to purchase a big TV, a cable package, a six pack, and then just veg out in front of the telly.

6) Family and friends

It's funny how many expats in Philippines will avoid their wife's family due to the constant requests for financial support. They will then park themselves off in an area far away. While this reduces financial requests it can result in isolation.

Expats can be quite stand-offish in my experience and they sometimes have good reason for this. Often expats will isolate themselves deliberately due to the aforementioned financial requests, but also because they fear scams perpetrated by locals or even expats.

I must admit our forays "into town" resulted in reactions ranging from the harmless (staring) to in-your-face begging for money - sometimes in an aggressive manner. All part of the "warts and all" experience - we had wanted to see the reality of life in Philippines.

I think it is possible to get too isolated in the Philippines - even in Manila. The thought of living in one of those apartment complexes into my 70s and 80s scares the hell out of me. While we do have friends in Manila I would miss the connection of the family and friends we have back in the UK. The option of a more remote location, such as Romblon or Camiguin, leads to the possibility of a quieter life, but with more isolation and less to do. I would probably end up in a house off the beaten track spending my days reading, watching TV and surfing the web - all things I can do back in the UK, or in fact from anywhere in the world.

Being away from family and friends can result in loneliness and isolation. The saving grace is that many filipinos are friendly and welcoming. No doubt new friends would be made, but in the back of your mind you are probably going to be wondering when the request for a "loan" is going to hit you. The motivations of filipinos, while often genuine and heart-felt can sometimes have a dark side, as we found on several occasions. For example, we got on really well with one individual, who we met while traveling. Then one evening the conversation started with a reference to Japanese gold and I realized straight away the clear intention was to get me to pay for this gold to be excavated! An obvious scam that I wasn't falling for. While one doesn't want to be overly paranoid, it always pays to err on the side of caution.

7) Costs

Finding good accommodation for low cost in key to affordable living in the Philippines. Especially in Manila costs for accommodation can quickly spiral. It takes some decent insider knowledge to find locations that are both affordable and decent. We had mixed results. AirBnB is unrivalled for finding great quality, affordable *short term* accommodation, but people on the ground with local knowledge are best placed for finding long term accommodation.

Generally Philippines is cheaper for most things. Services such as massage, dental treatment, medical care, pharmacies and so on are generally excellent and very affordable. For example, I paid 16 for a thorough dental clean. This would cost around 45 in UK. I paid 11 for a one hour Balinese massage and it's the best 11 I've ever spent. I'm not sure how much this would cost in UK, but possibly around 65.

Clothes, taxis, flights, food, drink and eating out are generally cheaper in Philippines, compared to UK.

8) Misc

Some aspects that I thought would be problematic, such as visas, turn out to be almost a non-entity. I think one of the reasons I thought this is because both Thailand and Malaysia put all kinds of visa obstacles in the way. The situation in the Philippines is a breath of fresh air in this respect - none of this having to leave the country every 90 days as in Thailand, or the huge financial hurdles of Malaysia's MM2H. In this respect Philippines has an attractive range of visa options such as the SRRV or simply  in-country extensions - long may they continue!

On the flip side things that I hadn't anticipated as a problem turned out to be somewhat problematic. For example, the pollution is a lot worse than I remember from 2011.

Another problem that I have mentioned elsewhere - those darn dogs. As someone who loves a long walk, I found the dogs roaming around made this quite problematic. Those dogs with puppies hidden somewhere nearby can be especially aggressive due to their protective instinct. I strongly advise everyone to have the rabies vaccination before traveling to Philippines.

Learning the lingo. As most people speak English this would appear to be a solved problem compared to somewhere like Thailand where it's much more necessary to be able to speak Thai - at least beyond the tourist traps. However, I've changed my mind on this one. I would be compelled to learn Tagalog at the very least (and possibly a dialect depending on where I located). I got tired of people talking about me and I could not understand what they were saying. As my partner is filipina locals would often (but not always) default to tagalog, and so I would not have a clue what was going on! I ran into this problem in Thailand back in 2003, and learned to at least understand the gist of what was being said, even though I could not speak the language. This proved incredibly useful such as the time (about a year before I met my current partner in 2006) I had a Thai g/f in UK, who used to quite happily chat on the phone in Thai to her boyfriend in Thailand while out with me! Of course I had never let on that I'd been to Thailand and could pick up the gist of what was being said!

Conclusions

The decision, for me, on whether to retire to Philippines or not has proved to be less clear cut than I had imagined it would be.

While Philippines checks a number of boxes (my pension would go further in Philippines than in UK) there are some deep questions to be answered. Would we end up isolated and lonely? Would we run out of things to do? Would the terrible traffic situation and pollution prove too much to bear and lead to living a "siege mentality" in an ivory tower? Would we always feel like a walking target for scams or other unwanted attention leading to paranoia?

I would like to say I came to a definite conclusion on the retirement question but I'm afraid I did not.

I have not written off retirement to the Philippines, but there are certain things I think would be necessary:

1) A base in a city. Pollution rules out Manila, but perhaps Ilo Ilo would be a better option. You have all the activities and liveliness of a city, without the dreadful pollution and traffic of Manila. I dare say Ilo Ilo will one day resemble Manila or Cebu in that respect, but it will take some years yet.

2) Escape to the islands. From your city base escape to the islands via a cheap flight, but do it in small doses. I think two or three days once every month or two would allow for a scuba/snorkel fix, a bit of chill time, a few beers and a short escape from the bustling city. I personally would not be tempted to try and live somewhere like Romblon or Camiguin full-time, although there are some expats happily doing it.

3) A clear source of income. This goes without saying. While I was thinking 500 a month would be enough, I am reassessing that and feel 1000 a month would be the minimum to allow a decent apartment in the city, dining out, travel and so on. Some are going to say that looks like a lot, and some will already spend twice that.

4) Transport. Getting around in a small city like Ilo Ilo is relatively easy with taxis and Grab. Out in the sticks renting a scooter is probably the way to go. Having used trikes extensively I have no wish to do so in the future! Obviously riding around on a scooter exposes you to some of the world's worst driving! Wear a helmet!

5) Part-time. I would probably only try to live in Philippines 3 months of the year, at least initially. This is partly because I believe living in the Philippines, and staying sane, really does require you to fully acclimatise and that takes time.

6) I would keep a base in UK. I'm not sure I would want to be in the Philippines in my 70s and 80s. Not because there's anything wrong with it, just I'm not sure it's what I would want. I do have a huge amount of respect for the wonderful way Philippines treats its senior citizens - the 20% off everything for over 65s is an incredible perk and shows how much respect for the elderly Philippines has. I would rather be out in the Philippines than a nursing home in the UK to be sure.

Final words

Philippines does have a lot going for it, but it's necessary to bear in mind it's still a developing country and plagued by a number of critical problems - massive inequality, pollution, and congestion just to highlight a few items. Visiting for a holiday is a far different proposition to living there. For many the attraction of a young filipina wife overrides all considerations, and I can understand that! My own situation is slightly different in that I met my filipina in UK and we've been living here together for 11 years now. So, will I retire to Philippines? - bottom line - not yet!

p.s. these are my own thoughts - standard disclaimer - your mileage may vary!
----

Wow you know so much for just being there only 4 weeks. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: codefreeze on March 17, 2018, 08:32:39 PM
Wow you know so much for just being there only 4 weeks. Thanks for sharing.

I don't know that I know a lot! Just sharing my thoughts. Also, not my first trip.

Cheers.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: FastWalk on March 18, 2018, 02:43:54 AM
So, it's all about each to their own lifestyle in the Philippines whether one likes it or not.
As my mottoes says:
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
"It's always a matter of money"!
"Do on to others as they would do on to You, but do it first"!
"Different strokes for different folks"!
"Que Sera Sera"!

Only you can make it how you want it to be without any regrets.

Those are wise words. 
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: FastWalk on March 18, 2018, 02:47:07 AM
I don't know that I know a lot! Just sharing my thoughts. Also, not my first trip.

Cheers.

Nice presentation of the info and ideas.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 25, 2018, 11:58:37 PM
The Dental office we use is the finest spot I've ever seen, my wife and kids have been there several times and I've never seen dental chairs with TV's playing movies before.  The waiting room is marbeled floors, huge exported furniture, two desk top computers with internet access, massage chair like in the malls only free, free drinks, cookies, snacks and cable TV.

The Dental work is also amazing the cost is very low.

I am always surprised with "low cost" medical and dental in the Philippines. Many of us come from 1st world nations with free medical and dental. Can't get cheaper than free.

I have NEVER seen a dental clinic like that in the Philippines! You are usually lucky to get a lawn chair instead of a stool. I don't think I have seen ANY place in the Philippines like that...

Wait, your dentist gives you free cookies? Hmmm.... Good for business I guess?
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 12:13:45 AM
Only thing I would say is, AirBnB is expensive, and can be a scam. You can get a nice hotel for 6 quid. I do not see how 25 a night is cheap, or that hotels are more expensive. Next time look up what the locals call "apartelle" and you will have better luck.

Most places have free massage at work. But my wife does not want competition on her daily full body massages :D

You have to pay for dental in the UK? And the Brits are always making fun of our healthcare in the US. We have never had to pay for dental in America.

Great summary. Sounds like you had fun. And gave an honest report of good and bad. You rarely hear that. The Philippines is not paradise. it's a tropical, crazy, 3rd world nation, that can be fun.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 12:22:52 AM
I am always surprised with "low cost" medical and dental in the Philippines. Many of us come from 1st world nations with free medical and dental. Can't get cheaper than free.

I have NEVER seen a dental clinic like that in the Philippines! You are usually lucky to get a lawn chair instead of a stool. I don't think I have seen ANY place in the Philippines like that...

Wait, your dentist gives you free cookies? Hmmm.... Good for business I guess?

I accept what M.C.A. says as accurate. 

More than 20 years ago, maybe 1996, I was in Tuguegarao with my girl when she developed a toothache.  Her family lived out of town aways, but knew of a dental clinic in town. 

So we drove to this location in "Centro" and parked outside a row of conjoined rickety old wooden structures and took the stairs up one flight.  Upon opening the door I expected to see a dental "office" perhaps resembling what one would find in the US or Canada circa 1900.  Some rusty pliers for pulling teeth, hung on the wall, etc.  Instead we were met by a young Filipina dentist and premises and equipment just as modern as one would expect abroad.  She spoke perfect English, said she had trained in New Jersey, and had come home to practise.  The bill for a filling was about $7.

I was shy to ask, so I did not, but I have ever since wondered how it was that that dentist was able to afford the equipment she had, while charging almost nothing.  Never mind make a profit.   

Over the years since then, I have encountered a few other dental offices not much different.  One of the two I have in mind is also in Tuguegarao, the other in Quezon City very close to where we lived there.  I accompanied my wife there twice.  Not quite as elegant and thoroughly appointed as that of which M.C.A. speaks, but very clean, neat and welcoming facilities with modern equipment and competent staff.  Perhaps, Unggoy, you can share you experience of where the lawn chair dentists are situate, so others here can avoid them.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 12:40:13 AM
We live like the "locals" and we always have toilet paper etc..   Many times when I hear "locals" on here I feel it is just referring to the "poor".  Millions of filipinos, who would consider themselves locals, can afford toilet paper etc.   I am with you Lee, I would not move here to live the life of poverty, but to each his own.

Most locals ARE poor compared to Western standards.

I am American and have one of the highest salaries in the country.

I have water for 3 hours a day. We sleep in one room on the floor. We only have one room. My toilet is in the kitchen, which is on the porch. It does not flush. We have 1 fan. We eat fish and rich every day. If we are lucky. There have been times we can only afford salt as our ulam. We have no fridge, aircon, clothes washer machine, TV, that sort of thing.

One of the benefits of using water on your bum, not only is it cleaner in a hot and sweaty climate, but there is no toilet paper in the trash. When you wipe your bum, you have to put it in a plastic bag and cook it in your windows in the hot sun for several days, until the garbage truck comes. That has to be unbearable stinky!
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 12:42:33 AM
It should come as no surprise that there are good dentists in the Philippines.  My previous dentist for years back in the US was a Filipina.  Well, for that matter, my regular doctor was a Filipino.  My current dentist is also a Filipina.  I think the ones going to the US and other so called western nations are teaching a few of those doctors and dentists a thing or two about dentistry and the medical field.

What? I'm sorry, but doctors and dentists from the Philippines either graduated from Recto University, or have the equivalent of a high school diploma.

I do not mean that as offensive, but it is the truth.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 01:14:50 AM
Most locals ARE poor compared to Western standards.

I am American and have one of the highest salaries in the country.

I have water for 3 hours a day. We sleep in one room on the floor. We only have one room. My toilet is in the kitchen, which is on the porch. It does not flush. We have 1 fan. We eat fish and rich every day. If we are lucky. There have been times we can only afford salt as our ulam. We have no fridge, aircon, clothes washer machine, TV, that sort of thing.

One of the benefits of using water on your bum, not only is it cleaner in a hot and sweaty climate, but there is no toilet paper in the trash. When you wipe your bum, you have to put it in a plastic bag and cook it in your windows in the hot sun for several days, until the garbage truck comes. That has to be unbearable stinky!

I'll take it you are an American, as you say, and you work on salary in the Phils (presumably you have some kind of legal ability to do so) AND you command one of the highest salaries in the country.  Yet the standard of living you describe is that of a squatter or a pauper.  There must be something I have misunderstood. 

I have been in plenty of homes of "locals" at various places in the Phils, folks with somewhat ordinary jobs, paying in the range of P20,000/mo.  They live modestly, but their toilets flush, they do not cook used toilet paper in their windows (now I have heard everything).  These folks all bring in far less than the highest salary in the country, but they do okay.  Again, there is probably an explanation for the apparent (perhaps to me only) non sequitur in your post.

On a somewhat different (but related) note, in the Expat Life/Terrorism thread you commented:


And you can not avoid crime in the Philippines by "not acting stupid". I am not a visitor. I am an Immigrant. One notch below Citizen. I am not a foreigner. I speak several Filipino languages. I have a wife and children. I do not drink or do drugs. Does not stop people from putting a gun to my head when I go out, because I am European.


So, in one post, you are American, in another, European.  A combo, perhaps?  Just curious.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 02:29:44 AM
As mentioned earlier in this thread...

Part 2 - Thoughts on retirement

Our recent four week trip to Philippines was primarily a chance for me to see a bit more of the Philippines, warts and all. But the trip also had a secondary purpose - help answer a question that I'd been wrestling with for quite a while - could I retire there?

The Dream

1) Cost

Philippines is cheaper than the UK, therefore any pension would go further, and I could perhaps retire a lot sooner than if I wanted to retire in the UK.

2) Change

A chance to do something different and have a different way of life.

3) Climate

Phils is a lot warmer than UK.

4) Outdoor activities/natural beauty

The islands can be very beautiful with clear seas, coral reefs, and white beaches. Phils is a paradise for divers and snorkelers.

5) Travel

The Philippines is a fantastic base from which to explore South East Asia.

The Reality

1) Pollution

I didn't seem to be able to get away from breathing in diesel and petrol fumes. Pollution in Manila is a nightmare. The smog hangs over the city. Very unhealthy. There is a lot of pollution out on the islands, mainly from scooters, trucks, cars and trikes.

2) Noise

You also can't seem to get away from noise. There always seems to be something: loud music, dogs, karaoke, motorbikes, trikes.

3) Climate

While the climate is Philippines can be great (think clear blue skies) there can be a dark side to it - specifically typhoons. I have been in a typhoon (Basyang) and it was not a pleasant experience.

4) Food

It's weird, but for a country where food is high on everyone's agenda, I found the food generally to be not very good. I think I would most likely end up buying ingredients in the supermarket and then preparing and cooking my own food. This is in stark contrast to Thailand where eating out is one of the notable pleasures of the place. While in the city you can find decent food by a process of trial and error, it is harder to find decent places to eat in the provinces. There were many times when I simply went hungry because the food just wasn't edible (think reheated, crawling with flies, prepared in extremely unhygienic conditions). I lost nearly a stone in 4 weeks (probably a good thing!). A side note on hygiene - even in the posher malls of Manila I saw a lot of filipinos using the loo (1 and 2) and not washing their hands! Let's hope they don't work in restaurants.

5) What to do with yourself?

In the cities there are many things to do beyond the ivory tower of the apartment block. But you will have to contend with hellish traffic and pollution to get anywhere. When I couldn't bring myself to face the traffic/pollution I would gravitate towards the apartment pool swim and then read. This is wonderful initially but gets boring after the first week.

Out on the islands it is perhaps less challenging to get around, but the flip side of this is on the islands there's far less to do than in the city. Once you've done the notable sights the urge to take a dip in yet another hot spring or snorkel yet another pristine coral reef just doesn't inspire!

It's no secret that some expats who move to Phils end up couch potatoes and/or alcoholics. Believe me I totally understand that. When you run out of things to do, or the hassle of dealing with city traffic doesn't feel worth it any more, it can be very tempting to purchase a big TV, a cable package, a six pack, and then just veg out in front of the telly.

6) Family and friends

It's funny how many expats in Philippines will avoid their wife's family due to the constant requests for financial support. They will then park themselves off in an area far away. While this reduces financial requests it can result in isolation.

Expats can be quite stand-offish in my experience and they sometimes have good reason for this. Often expats will isolate themselves deliberately due to the aforementioned financial requests, but also because they fear scams perpetrated by locals or even expats.

I must admit our forays "into town" resulted in reactions ranging from the harmless (staring) to in-your-face begging for money - sometimes in an aggressive manner. All part of the "warts and all" experience - we had wanted to see the reality of life in Philippines.

I think it is possible to get too isolated in the Philippines - even in Manila. The thought of living in one of those apartment complexes into my 70s and 80s scares the hell out of me. While we do have friends in Manila I would miss the connection of the family and friends we have back in the UK. The option of a more remote location, such as Romblon or Camiguin, leads to the possibility of a quieter life, but with more isolation and less to do. I would probably end up in a house off the beaten track spending my days reading, watching TV and surfing the web - all things I can do back in the UK, or in fact from anywhere in the world.

Being away from family and friends can result in loneliness and isolation. The saving grace is that many filipinos are friendly and welcoming. No doubt new friends would be made, but in the back of your mind you are probably going to be wondering when the request for a "loan" is going to hit you. The motivations of filipinos, while often genuine and heart-felt can sometimes have a dark side, as we found on several occasions. For example, we got on really well with one individual, who we met while traveling. Then one evening the conversation started with a reference to Japanese gold and I realized straight away the clear intention was to get me to pay for this gold to be excavated! An obvious scam that I wasn't falling for. While one doesn't want to be overly paranoid, it always pays to err on the side of caution.

7) Costs

Finding good accommodation for low cost in key to affordable living in the Philippines. Especially in Manila costs for accommodation can quickly spiral. It takes some decent insider knowledge to find locations that are both affordable and decent. We had mixed results. AirBnB is unrivalled for finding great quality, affordable *short term* accommodation, but people on the ground with local knowledge are best placed for finding long term accommodation.

Generally Philippines is cheaper for most things. Services such as massage, dental treatment, medical care, pharmacies and so on are generally excellent and very affordable. For example, I paid 16 for a thorough dental clean. This would cost around 45 in UK. I paid 11 for a one hour Balinese massage and it's the best 11 I've ever spent. I'm not sure how much this would cost in UK, but possibly around 65.

Clothes, taxis, flights, food, drink and eating out are generally cheaper in Philippines, compared to UK.

8) Misc

Some aspects that I thought would be problematic, such as visas, turn out to be almost a non-entity. I think one of the reasons I thought this is because both Thailand and Malaysia put all kinds of visa obstacles in the way. The situation in the Philippines is a breath of fresh air in this respect - none of this having to leave the country every 90 days as in Thailand, or the huge financial hurdles of Malaysia's MM2H. In this respect Philippines has an attractive range of visa options such as the SRRV or simply  in-country extensions - long may they continue!

On the flip side things that I hadn't anticipated as a problem turned out to be somewhat problematic. For example, the pollution is a lot worse than I remember from 2011.

Another problem that I have mentioned elsewhere - those darn dogs. As someone who loves a long walk, I found the dogs roaming around made this quite problematic. Those dogs with puppies hidden somewhere nearby can be especially aggressive due to their protective instinct. I strongly advise everyone to have the rabies vaccination before traveling to Philippines.

Learning the lingo. As most people speak English this would appear to be a solved problem compared to somewhere like Thailand where it's much more necessary to be able to speak Thai - at least beyond the tourist traps. However, I've changed my mind on this one. I would be compelled to learn Tagalog at the very least (and possibly a dialect depending on where I located). I got tired of people talking about me and I could not understand what they were saying. As my partner is filipina locals would often (but not always) default to tagalog, and so I would not have a clue what was going on! I ran into this problem in Thailand back in 2003, and learned to at least understand the gist of what was being said, even though I could not speak the language. This proved incredibly useful such as the time (about a year before I met my current partner in 2006) I had a Thai g/f in UK, who used to quite happily chat on the phone in Thai to her boyfriend in Thailand while out with me! Of course I had never let on that I'd been to Thailand and could pick up the gist of what was being said!

Conclusions

The decision, for me, on whether to retire to Philippines or not has proved to be less clear cut than I had imagined it would be.

While Philippines checks a number of boxes (my pension would go further in Philippines than in UK) there are some deep questions to be answered. Would we end up isolated and lonely? Would we run out of things to do? Would the terrible traffic situation and pollution prove too much to bear and lead to living a "siege mentality" in an ivory tower? Would we always feel like a walking target for scams or other unwanted attention leading to paranoia?

I would like to say I came to a definite conclusion on the retirement question but I'm afraid I did not.

I have not written off retirement to the Philippines, but there are certain things I think would be necessary:

1) A base in a city. Pollution rules out Manila, but perhaps Ilo Ilo would be a better option. You have all the activities and liveliness of a city, without the dreadful pollution and traffic of Manila. I dare say Ilo Ilo will one day resemble Manila or Cebu in that respect, but it will take some years yet.

2) Escape to the islands. From your city base escape to the islands via a cheap flight, but do it in small doses. I think two or three days once every month or two would allow for a scuba/snorkel fix, a bit of chill time, a few beers and a short escape from the bustling city. I personally would not be tempted to try and live somewhere like Romblon or Camiguin full-time, although there are some expats happily doing it.

3) A clear source of income. This goes without saying. While I was thinking 500 a month would be enough, I am reassessing that and feel 1000 a month would be the minimum to allow a decent apartment in the city, dining out, travel and so on. Some are going to say that looks like a lot, and some will already spend twice that.

4) Transport. Getting around in a small city like Ilo Ilo is relatively easy with taxis and Grab. Out in the sticks renting a scooter is probably the way to go. Having used trikes extensively I have no wish to do so in the future! Obviously riding around on a scooter exposes you to some of the world's worst driving! Wear a helmet!

5) Part-time. I would probably only try to live in Philippines 3 months of the year, at least initially. This is partly because I believe living in the Philippines, and staying sane, really does require you to fully acclimatise and that takes time.

6) I would keep a base in UK. I'm not sure I would want to be in the Philippines in my 70s and 80s. Not because there's anything wrong with it, just I'm not sure it's what I would want. I do have a huge amount of respect for the wonderful way Philippines treats its senior citizens - the 20% off everything for over 65s is an incredible perk and shows how much respect for the elderly Philippines has. I would rather be out in the Philippines than a nursing home in the UK to be sure.

Final words

Philippines does have a lot going for it, but it's necessary to bear in mind it's still a developing country and plagued by a number of critical problems - massive inequality, pollution, and congestion just to highlight a few items. Visiting for a holiday is a far different proposition to living there. For many the attraction of a young filipina wife overrides all considerations, and I can understand that! My own situation is slightly different in that I met my filipina in UK and we've been living here together for 11 years now. So, will I retire to Philippines? - bottom line - not yet!

p.s. these are my own thoughts - standard disclaimer - your mileage may vary!
----

I quoted this long post to keep it alive and reference it. It is great.

Rarely do I see such a balanced, intelligent, heart-felt description of a personal experience.

People either talk about how the Philippines is basically the cheapest nation in the world, filled with perfect wives, zero crime, everyone lives on a tropical beach drinking free beer. Ha ha. Or the other side. People have been there and been disillusioned and hurt and have nothing but bad to say.

I feel really bad for foreigners that come to the Philippines, honest ones, that end up hurt in heart and body, and broke, or broken. They need to be warned. It is a rough, dangerous, 3rd word nation. But it can be fun. There is nothing more fun than going to work hanging on for dear life on a makeshift tricycle. That is actually how I coined the "more fun" catchphrase. But I promise, I did not intend it to become the national slogan! lol

There are only a few points I want to counter-point.

Cheaper
If you live like you do in the west, it is going to be more expensive. Basic things like electricity, furniture, and food that is not fish and rice, are really expensive. Housing is expensive to purchase, and you can't own land.

English
I always here that most Filipinos speak English. But I rarely meet people in the Philippines that can speak it at all. People that speak the best English? Girls, from online chat, and scammers, used to making money off foreigners. I rarely encounter English speakers. And I work in American call centers! Ha ha! But more English speakers in the Philippines than Thailand would be accurate.

That is it. Everything else was great. I really appreciate your honest assessment.

There are so many "expat" forums I have been on that I swear are run by DoT operatives pretending to be foreigners.

Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 03:05:48 AM
I accept what M.C.A. says as accurate. 

More than 20 years ago, maybe 1996, I was in Tuguegarao with my girl when she developed a toothache.  Her family lived out of town aways, but knew of a dental clinic in town. 

So we drove to this location in "Centro" and parked outside a row of conjoined rickety old wooden structures and took the stairs up one flight.  Upon opening the door I expected to see a dental "office" perhaps resembling what one would find in the US or Canada circa 1900.  Some rusty pliers for pulling teeth, hung on the wall, etc.  Instead we were met by a young Filipina dentist and premises and equipment just as modern as one would expect abroad.  She spoke perfect English, said she had trained in New Jersey, and had come home to practise.  The bill for a filling was about $7.

I was shy to ask, so I did not, but I have ever since wondered how it was that that dentist was able to afford the equipment she had, while charging almost nothing.  Never mind make a profit.   

Over the years since then, I have encountered a few other dental offices not much different.  One of the two I have in mind is also in Tuguegarao, the other in Quezon City very close to where we lived there.  I accompanied my wife there twice.  Not quite as elegant and thoroughly appointed as that of which M.C.A. speaks, but very clean, neat and welcoming facilities with modern equipment and competent staff.  Perhaps, Unggoy, you can share you experience of where the lawn chair dentists are situate, so others here can avoid them.
I am not saying clean facilities do not exist at all. I am just saying, do not expect them in most places. Where are the lawn chair dentists? They are hard to find, since they are so expensive. Most places have a stool. They are dirty. Operate out of a tiny room on the street. Do not have a "waiting area", let alone free cookie and wifi. Ha ha!

Where?Just about any dental clinic you go to. Again, I am not saying there are no exceptions. But many dentists in the Philippines have never even been to school. They are "self-taught". Have you ever seen the inside of a hospital or clinic in the Philippines? There is a reason why everyone prays to God! They are living on faith! Dental clinics are even WORSE than those nightmares they call medical clinics!

I just think it is funny when people talk about how "great" and "modern" the Philippines is. most people do not even have running water in their homes. They drink the water off their roofs.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 03:25:53 AM
I'll take it you are an American, as you say, and you work on salary in the Phils (presumably you have some kind of legal ability to do so) AND you command one of the highest salaries in the country.  Yet the standard of living you describe is that of a squatter or a pauper.  There must be something I have misunderstood. 

I have been in plenty of homes of "locals" at various places in the Phils, folks with somewhat ordinary jobs, paying in the range of P20,000/mo.  They live modestly, but their toilets flush, they do not cook used toilet paper in their windows (now I have heard everything).  These folks all bring in far less than the highest salary in the country, but they do okay.  Again, there is probably an explanation for the apparent (perhaps to me only) non sequitur in your post.

On a somewhat different (but related) note, in the Expat Life/Terrorism thread you commented:


So, in one post, you are American, in another, European.  A combo, perhaps?  Just curious.
Some kind of legal ability? I live in the Philippines. I can work the same as a local. With the exception of government jobs.

Standard of living as a squatter or pauper? I have never heard of paupers here, but skwater? No. I am pretty wealthy, as I said.

20,000 for an ordinary job? Where? Ha ha. Maybe 2 working, educated professionals. To put things in perspective for you, when I met my wife, she was working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week to support a dozen people on 2,500 a month.

Now you know why water is important for your CR activities!

I am a European-American. We make up the majority in the USA. You seem to have a lot to learn about the USA and the Philippines. Glad I can help!
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 03:42:39 AM
Have you ever seen the inside of a hospital or clinic in the Philippines? There is a reason why everyone prays to God! They are living on faith! Dental clinics are even WORSE than those nightmares they call medical clinics!

I just think it is funny when people talk about how "great" and "modern" the Philippines is. most people do not even have running water in their homes. They drink the water off their roofs.

Yes, I have been in a few clinics and hospitals in the PI. 

I mentioned before having a long-time gf with family living near Tuguegarao.  We visited there a lot, including when we lived in the U.S.  One visit was Christmas 1995.  We flew from LA to Manila, with a connecting flight to Tuguegarao.  When we arrived in Manila, my gf was obviously ill.  We were directed to a clinic at NAIA.  The doctor there diagnosed pneumonia and said I should put her in hospital in Manila. In fact, he was adamant that he would bar her from flying.

The doctor did, however, agree when I said that a patient's recovery often is influenced by psychological factors.  I suggested that my gf had family waiting for her one hour away, that it was Christmas, that we had just flown all the way from LA and she was still alive, and I did not be the one to tell her that she would not be allowed to fly one more hour to get home for Christmas.  I promised to take her to hospital in Tuguegarao.  The doctor relented, cleared her to fly, and I kept my word to check my sweetie into a hospital up north. 

The hospital was clean and decent, but not on a par with what one finds in a major city in, say, the U.S.  The staff were caring and, to my untrained eye, competent.  She was there for 4 days.  I was permitted to sleep on a cot in the same room.  Her family was able to be around much of the time.  She recovered very quickly and I was pleasantly surprised by the bill.  I had been castigating myself for not having taken out medical trip insurance before we departed the U.S.  I worried for naught.  The bill was about $200.  Insurance would probably have cost more.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 04:30:26 AM
Some kind of legal ability? I live in the Philippines. I can work the same as a local. With the exception of government jobs.

Standard of living as a squatter or pauper? I have never heard of paupers here, but skwater? No. I am pretty wealthy, as I said.

20,000 for an ordinary job? Where? Ha ha. Maybe 2 working, educated professionals. To put things in perspective for you, when I met my wife, she was working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week to support a dozen people on 2,500 a month.

Now you know why water is important for your CR activities!

I am a European-American. We make up the majority in the USA. You seem to have a lot to learn about the USA and the Philippines. Glad I can help!


I always thought that non-citizens required an Alien Employment Permit to work in the Phils.  I think the PI Department of Labor and Employment needs you to set them straight:

http://www.ble.dole.gov.ph/index.php/web-pages/118-alien-employment-permit (http://www.ble.dole.gov.ph/index.php/web-pages/118-alien-employment-permit)

And yes, I think many people working at fairly mundane jobs are making in the range of P20k/mo.  When I was in Cebu 3 years ago, I recall having a discussion with one woman who was employed by a company teaching English to Koreans.  Her salary was P18,000/mo.  She said she was working to complete a masters degree and hoping to teach school.  She said that would see her pay increase to P30,000.

Another of personal experience is the sister of my former gf.  Back in the 90s, she was employed by the Department of Agrarian Reform in the Cagayan Valley.  In what I would describe as a clerical job, not at the bottom rung, but nowhere near the top.  Her pay THEN was P15,000/mo.

And sorry, but I'll just call flat out bs your claim that your wife worked 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I am not a physician, but I am sure that one could simply not function and survive with what would have to be less than 4 hours sleep per night, steady.  And P2,500/mo.?  I will admit to being a bit out of touch, but I would think that even the lowest paid katulong in the Phils gets at least that, and not for a 140-hour week.

I very much doubt that you could teach me a single thing about the U.S. or the Phils.  I simply asked why in one thread you call yourself American, and European in another.  I suggested the possibility that you have both backgrounds.  You have clarified.  No need to get all shirty and tell me I have a lot to learn.  You are the one living where (so you say) people dry dirty tp in the windows.  If you are as erudite and master of all things as is a motif running through your posts on this board, why are you living in squalor?

In the past 24 hours you have seen fit to denigrate posts by me, JoeLP and Gray Wolf and who knows who else.  The latter felt constrained to write:

That is some of the most twisted, bizarre stuff I've ever read. It must be miserable living around you. Please remind me to not be in the same province as you. Ever


With that post I find myself in respectful agreement. 

Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 06:13:31 AM
Yes, I have been in a few clinics and hospitals in the PI. 

I mentioned before having a long-time gf with family living near Tuguegarao.  We visited there a lot, including when we lived in the U.S.  One visit was Christmas 1995.  We flew from LA to Manila, with a connecting flight to Tuguegarao.  When we arrived in Manila, my gf was obviously ill.  We were directed to a clinic at NAIA.  The doctor there diagnosed pneumonia and said I should put her in hospital in Manila. In fact, he was adamant that he would bar her from flying.

The doctor did, however, agree when I said that a patient's recovery often is influenced by psychological factors.  I suggested that my gf had family waiting for her one hour away, that it was Christmas, that we had just flown all the way from LA and she was still alive, and I did not be the one to tell her that she would not be allowed to fly one more hour to get home for Christmas.  I promised to take her to hospital in Tuguegarao.  The doctor relented, cleared her to fly, and I kept my word to check my sweetie into a hospital up north. 

The hospital was clean and decent, but not on a par with what one finds in a major city in, say, the U.S.  The staff were caring and, to my untrained eye, competent.  She was there for 4 days.  I was permitted to sleep on a cot in the same room.  Her family was able to be around much of the time.  She recovered very quickly and I was pleasantly surprised by the bill.  I had been castigating myself for not having taken out medical trip insurance before we departed the U.S.  I worried for naught.  The bill was about $200.  Insurance would probably have cost more.
Holy crap! Well, if you are willing to throw around that kind of money, then no wonders you had a better experience! Not everyone is that rich though. I pay $4 a month for my family. But we have the national health insurance. Which is why we go to the real hospitals. That are scary.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 06:37:18 AM
I always thought that non-citizens required an Alien Employment Permit to work in the Phils.  I think the PI Department of Labor and Employment needs you to set them straight:

[url]http://www.ble.dole.gov.ph/index.php/web-pages/118-alien-employment-permit[/url] ([url]http://www.ble.dole.gov.ph/index.php/web-pages/118-alien-employment-permit[/url])

And yes, I think many people working at fairly mundane jobs are making in the range of P20k/mo.  When I was in Cebu 3 years ago, I recall having a discussion with one woman who was employed by a company teaching English to Koreans.  Her salary was P18,000/mo.  She said she was working to complete a masters degree and hoping to teach school.  She said that would see her pay increase to P30,000.

Another of personal experience is the sister of my former gf.  Back in the 90s, she was employed by the Department of Agrarian Reform in the Cagayan Valley.  In what I would describe as a clerical job, not at the bottom rung, but nowhere near the top.  Her pay THEN was P15,000/mo.

And sorry, but I'll just call flat out bs your claim that your wife worked 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I am not a physician, but I am sure that one could simply not function and survive with what would have to be less than 4 hours sleep per night, steady.  And P2,500/mo.?  I will admit to being a bit out of touch, but I would think that even the lowest paid katulong in the Phils gets at least that, and not for a 140-hour week.

I very much doubt that you could teach me a single thing about the U.S. or the Phils.  I simply asked why in one thread you call yourself American, and European in another.  I suggested the possibility that you have both backgrounds.  You have clarified.  No need to get all shirty and tell me I have a lot to learn.  You are the one living where (so you say) people dry dirty tp in the windows.  If you are as erudite and master of all things as is a motif running through your posts on this board, why are you living in squalor?

In the past 24 hours you have seen fit to denigrate posts by me, JoeLP and Gray Wolf and who knows who else.  The latter felt constrained to write:

With that post I find myself in respectful agreement.


If you read the link you posted, you would see that one does NOT need an Alien Employment Permit to work in the Philippines. There is no need to contact them about a rule YOU made up.

p20,000 would NOT be a mundane job! lol. Maybe 1,000 a month. 2,000. English teacher to Koreans is one of the highest paying jobs out there. With the exception of commercial airplane pilot. I have only ever met ONE person that made 30,000 a month.

30,000 salary is a Pay Grade Level 17. Most people do NOT earn level 17. Most people, with a Master's degree, years of experience, and connections with INC, can only DREAM of being Level 1. Let alone 17? Very rare. I am at pay grade level 12. Mind you, I am European-American, educated in America. That is how I was able to get so high. I could possible make level 17 some day. But not too likely. I have actually considered opening my own business teaching Koreans English!

More perspective. 1st Lieutenant in the Army makes 30,000 a month.

Don't forget, most "basic" jobs require a BA or MA to get. The Mc Donald's clerk is not a high school drop-out that was just released from prison for child rape. They hold a university degree and have a spotless record.

I did not live in the Philippines in the 90's, so I will not comment on the salary then.

Funny how you know nothing about the law in the Philippines, culture, salary, or anything at all, and you insult ME? Why are you here? Just to troll?


(http://i0.wp.com/davaotoday.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Kasambahay-minimum-wage.png?fit=850%2C443)

(http://cnnphilippines.com/incoming/qybhk8-10-best-paying-jobs.jpg/ALTERNATES/FREE_720/10-best-paying-jobs.jpg)

(http://cnnphilippines.com/incoming/6530s5-police_marine_salary_infographic_CNNPH.jpg/ALTERNATES/FREE_720/police_marine_salary_infographic_CNNPH.jpg)

(http://i2.wp.com/bulatlat.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/table-01.jpg)

(http://[url=http://www.imoney.ph/articles/assets/government-salary-table.png]www.imoney.ph/articles/assets/government-salary-table.png[/url])



https://www.ecomparemo.com/info/here-are-the-updated-salaries-of-politicians-and-government-officials/ (https://www.ecomparemo.com/info/here-are-the-updated-salaries-of-politicians-and-government-officials/)

http://cnnphilippines.com/investigative/2015/02/18/pnp-pay-scale.html (http://cnnphilippines.com/investigative/2015/02/18/pnp-pay-scale.html)

https://aseanup.com/philippines-salary-guide/ (https://aseanup.com/philippines-salary-guide/)

http://cnnphilippines.com/business/2015/03/06/highest-paying-jobs-philippines.html (http://cnnphilippines.com/business/2015/03/06/highest-paying-jobs-philippines.html)

http://davaotoday.com/main/politics/p2000-per-month-helpers-ask-for-decent-wage/ (http://davaotoday.com/main/politics/p2000-per-month-helpers-ask-for-decent-wage/)
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 06:50:01 AM
Holy crap! Well, if you are willing to throw around that kind of money, then no wonders you had a better experience! Not everyone is that rich though. I pay $4 a month for my family. But we have the national health insurance. Which is why we go to the real hospitals. That are scary.

It never occurred to me that $200 for 4 days in a private room in a hospital, with around the clock care, all medicines, oxygen, etc. constituted throwing money around. 
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 06:52:24 AM
It never occurred to me that $200 for 4 days in a private room in a hospital, with around the clock care, all medicines, oxygen, etc. constituted throwing money around.
It should have. You are clearly a millionaire. That is one of the things you need to learn about where you are from, versus the Philippines.

If anyone I know had a US$200 hospital bill, they would be paying it for years...
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 07:03:24 AM
If you read the link you posted, you would see that one does NOT need an Alien Employment Permit to work in the Philippines. There is no need to contact them about a rule YOU made up.

Funny how you know nothing about the law in the Philippines, culture, salary, or anything at all, and you insult ME? Why are you here? Just to troll?



The link I posted outlines on the first page:

1. What is an Alien Employment Permit (AEP)?  An Alien Employment Permit is a document issued by the Department of Labor and Employment which authorizes a foreign national to work in the Philippines.
2. Who are the foreign nationals required to apply for an AEP?
   All foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines.
   All foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines;
   Foreign professionals who are allowed to practice their profession in the Philippines under reciprocity and other international agreements and in consultancy services pursuant to Section 7(j) of the PRC Modernization Act of 2000.
   Holders of Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Retirees Resident Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders Visa (9d) or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47(a)2) for as long as they occupy any executive, advisory, supervisory, or technical position in any establishment.

I haven't even begun to insult you.  But it's tempting to start.

Here are some links to salary stats (from 2015) supporting my claim that a monthly wage in the range of P20,000 is not all that uncommon in the Phils:


https://www.psa.gov.ph/content/average-family-income-2015-estimated-22-thousand-pesos-monthly-results-2015-family-income (https://www.psa.gov.ph/content/average-family-income-2015-estimated-22-thousand-pesos-monthly-results-2015-family-income)

http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=171&loctype=1 (http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=171&loctype=1)

One speaks of an average of about P22,000, the other, about P45,000.  I think the latter to be stating things on the high side, but perhaps not. 

Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: UNGGOY on March 26, 2018, 10:16:13 AM
The link I posted outlines on the first page:

1. What is an Alien Employment Permit (AEP)?  An Alien Employment Permit is a document issued by the Department of Labor and Employment which authorizes a foreign national to work in the Philippines.
2. Who are the foreign nationals required to apply for an AEP?
   All foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines.
   All foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines;
   Foreign professionals who are allowed to practice their profession in the Philippines under reciprocity and other international agreements and in consultancy services pursuant to Section 7(j) of the PRC Modernization Act of 2000.
   Holders of Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Retirees Resident Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders Visa (9d) or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47(a)2) for as long as they occupy any executive, advisory, supervisory, or technical position in any establishment.

I haven't even begun to insult you.  But it's tempting to start.

Here are some links to salary stats (from 2015) supporting my claim that a monthly wage in the range of P20,000 is not all that uncommon in the Phils:


[url]https://www.psa.gov.ph/content/average-family-income-2015-estimated-22-thousand-pesos-monthly-results-2015-family-income[/url] ([url]https://www.psa.gov.ph/content/average-family-income-2015-estimated-22-thousand-pesos-monthly-results-2015-family-income[/url])

[url]http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=171&loctype=1[/url] ([url]http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=171&loctype=1[/url])

One speaks of an average of about P22,000, the other, about P45,000.  I think the latter to be stating things on the high side, but perhaps not.


OK, I make about 20,000, on average, and I am basically the richest person I know. Apart from my bosses, there are very few people you will meet that make more than me.

One thing you are probably not considering, is that even if the PSA link is accurate, it is likely for LEGAL jobs. The vast majority of the populous works illegally. Not only in Manila, but there are entire barangay where not a single person has a real job. They run sarisari, sell fish in the pelengke, are yaya. Most people you encounter working are not getting SSS, PhilHealth, PagIBIG, etc. And are getting paid 1,000-2,000 a month, under-the-table. Think about any place you go. Not only the ones I listed above, but sales ladies, restaurants, pharmacies, transportation.

If the PSA link is correct, they are probably looking at 10% of the population.

As for the Alien Employment Permit being required for working? Don't you feel like a dunce for lying earlier? It does not "insult" me. It makes you look less credible.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: bigrod on March 26, 2018, 10:47:43 AM
3. Who are exempted from securing AEP?
The following categories of foreign nationals are exempt from securing AEP:

1. Members of the diplomatic services and foreign government officials accredited by the Philippine government;
2. Officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippine government is a cooperating member, and their legitimate spouses desiring to work in the Philippines;
3. Foreign nationals elected as members of the Governing Board who do not occupy any other position, but have only voting rights in the corporation;
4. All foreign nationals granted exemption by special laws and all other laws that may be promulgated by the Congress;
5. Owners and representatives of foreign principals, whose companies are accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), who come to the Philippines for a limited period solely for the purpose of interviewing Filipino applicants for employment abroad;
6. Foreign nationals who come to the Philippines to teach, present and/or conduct research studies in universities and colleges as visiting, exchange or adjunct professors under formal agreements between the universities or colleges in the Philippines and foreign universities or colleges; or between the Philippine government and foreign government; provided that the exemption is on a reciprocal basis; and
7. Resident foreign nationals and temporary or probationary resident visa holders employed or seeking employment in the Philippines.

Chuck
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 12:52:48 PM

As for the Alien Employment Permit being required for working? Don't you feel like a dunce for lying earlier? It does not "insult" me. It makes you look less credible.

I recognize that the poster in question has been banned, but I'll not permit the above comment to stand uncontradicted. 

True, I did not copy and paste the exemptions from the Alien Employment Permit requirement, because I did not think for a minute that someone who writes like Unggoy could possibly be a member of "the diplomatic services", nor could he fall within any of the other exemptions.  So he, like most foreigners, would require a permit, just as I said.  So should I feel "like a dunce for lying earlier"?  Where was the lie?  To top it off, we got onto the permit tangent because I made what I thought was a non-provocative statement, saying I assumed he had a legal right to work in the Phils.  I did not suggest he was working there illegally, so I am at a loss to know what set him off.

I know I should not be bothered by any of this, but in some way I am.  The banned member manifested a seething rage and hostility to people who are strangers. 
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Lee2 on March 26, 2018, 01:08:32 PM
Okay, it is done and you had your say, and rightfully so, but lets not push this onward, as UNGGOY is Blocked and therefore cannot reply, and IMO, even banned members have some rights.

Thank you for hopefully understanding.
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: bigrod on March 26, 2018, 01:18:41 PM
I recognize that the poster in question has been banned, but I'll not permit the above comment to stand uncontradicted. 

True, I did not copy and paste the exemptions from the Alien Employment Permit requirement, because I did not think for a minute that someone who writes like Unggoy could possibly be a member of "the diplomatic services", nor could he fall within any of the other exemptions.  So he, like most foreigners, would require a permit, just as I said.  So should I feel "like a dunce for lying earlier"?  Where was the lie?  To top it off, we got onto the permit tangent because I made what I thought was a non-provocative statement, saying I assumed he had a legal right to work in the Phils.  I did not suggest he was working there illegally, so I am at a loss to know what set him off.

I know I should not be bothered by any of this, but in some way I am.  The banned member manifested a seething rage and hostility to people who are strangers.


Since the individual stated that he is a permanent resident visa holder(If I remember correctly) he would be exempt under Rule 7.  Unless the rules have changed 13a Visa holders are permitted to work in the Philippines.  According to Rule 7 they would be exempt.  I am not arguing one side or the other, just trying to provide correct information for the forum.  We have many 13a holders in the forum and if my interpretation is wrong please advise.

http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visa-inquiry/permanent-resident-visa (http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visa-inquiry/permanent-resident-visa)

Chuck
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 26, 2018, 01:29:10 PM
Since the individual stated that he is a permanent resident visa holder(If I remember correctly) he would be exempt under Rule 7.  Unless the rules have changed 13a Visa holders are permitted to work in the Philippines.  According to Rule 7 they would be exempt.

[url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visa-inquiry/permanent-resident-visa[/url] ([url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visa-inquiry/permanent-resident-visa[/url])

Chuck


I guess that means I lied and I am a dunce.  Perhaps the banned member should be invited back into the fold. He is learned, and has rights. It is I who should be excommunicated. 
Title: Re: 4 weeks in the Phils coming to a close
Post by: bigrod on March 26, 2018, 01:39:10 PM
I guess that means I lied and I am a dunce.  Perhaps the banned member should be invited back into the fold. He is learned, and has rights. It is I who should be excommunicated.

Being wrong or incorrect has never been a reason to be banned. ;D  We hopefully learn on the forum from those that have prior experience or knowledge.  I still learn things daily at 70 years of age and hopefully don't forget more than I learned that day.

Chuck