Living In The Philippines Forum

Contributions By Members => Central Philippines VISAYAS => Topic started by: JoeLP on May 21, 2013, 03:40:24 PM

Title: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: JoeLP on May 21, 2013, 03:40:24 PM
I am moving to Catarman, Northern Samar on July 10th.  While talking to people who I am moving to live with they shared this link with me.  It's a FB page full of pictures of Northern Samar.  So if you have a FB account, enjoy!!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beautiful-Northern-Samar-Philippines/167870720029235?fref=ts (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beautiful-Northern-Samar-Philippines/167870720029235?fref=ts)
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Robm on May 22, 2013, 03:22:53 AM
Hi Joe,

My wife is from western Samar. Some years ago we bought a beach lot outside of Catarman in Mondragon. I dont know if we will use it now and might sell it.
There is a lot of "unexplored" places in Samar. There is a very big cave near her home town that I would like to see sometime too.

Robm
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: wildbill on May 22, 2013, 08:59:20 PM
WOW very nice place to live do they have an SM there
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: JoeLP on May 23, 2013, 06:16:06 PM
Robm....my fiance and I are looking down the road for property on the ocean and Mondragon is one of the places we seek actually due to the waters there being more safe than in Catarman.

Wildbill, no. LOL Actually, about 3 years ago they posted bill boards that hey will be bringing a new shopping center into Catarman.  Just last September or October they started building it.  They headlines for the base of new chain?  Chow King. :)  But, a bill board just popped up that Robinson's(i believe, don't quote me on that yet) as having purchased land in Catarman and is seeking to build a mall there.  So who knows.  (edit: not Robinson's, but gaisano are the owners of the mall that is to be built in Catarman)

Let me put it this way.  Catarman is the capital of Northern Samar.  The high way runs through the middle of the airport runway.  Yep....exactly the type of place I'm looking for, but may not be for most on here.

(mods, is it ok to use all caps on LOL because they are anagrams/initials? if not, won't do again)
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 23, 2013, 08:04:11 PM
Yes, you're okay.  It's only the posts that are entirely in ALL CAPS or an obvious annoying rant that bother me.  A word or two is fine.   :)
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Robm on May 29, 2013, 02:28:43 AM
Yea, I have flown into the airport in Catarman. Pretty rough runway. Seems like i read an article not too long ago that one of the politicians up for re-election flew into Catarman and then promised some funding to help fix the airport. But that was pre-election.  Try the Pili nuts that are grown in that region. I like them.

Robm
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Leinster Lad on December 26, 2013, 09:41:20 AM
Robm....my fiance and I are looking down the road for property on the ocean and Mondragon is one of the places we seek actually due to the waters there being more safe than in Catarman.

Hey Joe, Mery Xmas !
Any updates on the move to Catarman ??

Regards
David
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: JoeLP on December 26, 2013, 08:26:41 PM
Leinster Lad, moved here for good in July.  Tina started our new house without me.  I love her, and God bless her, but spent my first few weeks trying to find ways to undo some of the things done, and still needing to change a lot of the plans we had.
The first and second levels are "livable". LOL
Love the community.  It was what I was looking for really.  I enjoyed life in Bataan, but the air still wasn't always clean.  Still too close to Manila.  Where I live now, I can get all the things I need.  It's a city of 90k and has all the shops to get what really is needed to let me live comfortably.  Sucks that sometimes Tina and I need to run to Calbayog or Tacloban to get things done. i.e. Cell phones contracts, clothes that fit me, etc.  But otherwise, I can stay here for months on end and not feel any point of going into a bigger place to get something. 
It's been fun, and is very beautiful.  Seen a share of waterfalls already just on my travel to somewhere that Tina needed to go for her catering business or taking an off route on way to Calbayog or Tacloban.  Can't wait till her workload lightens and we actually can take an extended weekend off and tour more of the province. 
One of Tina's sisters works for the provincial government and they have her working in Las Navas.  Where the caves and spelunking abounds.  She has a cousin in Mapanas.  I guess some nice big Lagoons and some pretty waterfalls are there also.  So much yet to be explored.  Really excited about it.  But, the house comes first, and the Mrs. wants a nice SUV for us so we can take the kids on longer trips.  2 motorbikes aren't really made for that.  And she wants a baby, so the exploring may take some time yet, but we'll get it done a little at a time for now. 
BTW, I saw your post about the solar kits/generator that you have now.  What's the cost of something the size of yours?  The house that Tina and I are building now is really on her family's lot and is more of a quickie build to make our life more comfortable for now, but inside of a few years, we hope to get some land somewhere in the Babon, Catarman, Mondragon area and build our own place on a nice lot to give us breathing room.  And I talked to her about a solar/windturbine type set up to get off the grid.  She loves the idea, but I never knew that solar could produce that much alone.  Now I would be more curious about going the just solar route.
Thanks and enjoy life.
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Leinster Lad on December 29, 2013, 10:36:35 PM
Hey Joe, thanks for the great reply,
Firstly, I am also posting in the "Solar" section ....... here....   http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php?topic=46449.45 (http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php?topic=46449.45)
An interesting read if you have the time.

Todays (my) output can be seen here.... http://pvoutput.org/intraday.jsp?id=2894&sid=2217&dt=20131228&gs=3&m=1 (http://pvoutput.org/intraday.jsp?id=2894&sid=2217&dt=20131228&gs=3&m=1)     
As you can see, I generated just over 41 kWh today ( 29/12/2013 ) .... which is more than double what we will use for the same day and night.

It is a great web site, have a look around, the data is really interesting.
You will also see that my "life time generation" is about 20.5 mWh   in just over 2 years.  I am very pleased !!!
I paid just on $18,000 Aussie dollars for my system 2 years ago, but since then, prices have dropped dramatically.

Today, a similar system, fully installed, will cost about $8,000 AUD  ( ~ PHP 320,000 )

I will definitely be bringing a system with me if/when we every make the move up to the Philippines.
There is some debate regarding the power company buying "excess" power that the PV system generates.
A clear answer on this is very hard to come by.
If that is the case ( ie, no export allowed or paid for ), excess generation can just be used to pump water from the well into tanks, or run a reverse osmosis water purification system, giving you high quality drinking water at no cost.
A credit from Meralco would always be better though !!

My wife ( Mary Jane ) was born on San Juan Island ( near Bani Island, off the coast of Lavezares. ) and moved to Manila when she started school.
She has family ( cousins etc ) in Catarman. A brother in Lavezares and a sister in Allen.  The rest of here family are up in Luzon ( Bulacan )  Marilao, Quezon City, Rizal, Antipolo and Santa Maria.

Mary Jane is a bit more hesitant about moving to the RP, as the kids have not finished school yet.
Eldest daughter ( Tori ) has a couple of years to go before heading off to University. ( UEP ??? )
The two little ones are just about to start school.......

I am currently exploring ways of early retirement ( I am 51 now ) and living in the Philippines has a real appeal to me.
I am not interested in living in suburban Manila ( QC, Bulacan etc ) as it is just another "suburb"... why would I want to live there ???
The appeal to me is somewhere a bit more "provincial" like Catarman or Bobon or San Jose or Mondragon  etc.
This would give us a much more relaxed lifestyle  :)

There are some nice properties for sale ( with good size land ), on / near the beach etc that are very do-able.
I will need to do a lot more research to make sure that we are not getting ripped off.
I also need to get my head around all the various taxes that surround property ownership in the Philippines.

I also believe that there are plenty of opportunities to supplement ones income with various "projects" or "ideas".
Tourism is one such area that has huge development potential.  Solar PV is another. 

Well, it's getting late so I'd better go.

Plenty to think about !!
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on December 29, 2013, 11:51:55 PM
Leinster Lad,
If my simple math is correct, I could recoup my P320,000 investment on a solar powered system in 4 years (48 mo X P6,667) if just a 1 HP A/C usage is included.
I still need more info in how to get started, but first I need to absorb all of the technical data in building one or have a reputable solar company install one for me at a reasonable cost around the cost you mentioned in your OP.
Just put your replies or any related links on this subject back on the topic of "Solar Panels", but your solar PV output info doesn't make any sense to a novice like myself.
I maybe technically inclined, but this old body of mine may not! So, some one else has to do all the manual labor as long as I can afford it!  ??? :o ;D     
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: JoeLP on December 30, 2013, 10:32:32 AM
Leinster Lad,
be careful when buying land here.  There are a few shady dealers that Tina knows of personally.  She's actually helping an Aussie friend of ours out now.  We had to meet with him yesterday actually and help him go though the process of getting a title for the land he bought(and already built on) over in Babon on the shore. 
Basically, he has his receipt of purchase, he has the title for the land showing the three lots divided on the main property, but never got a title for his lot that is one of the three.  Then the two investors got in a fight and everything is going to hell in a hand basket now for him.
Tina has friends who are selling lots now.  Probably not what you are seeking for the most part, but she can help.  She will not recommend any lots, for foreign or local friends, that is not clean.  She's trying to help a friend now who has a a nice clean lot located in a dry area behind the Northern Samar Justice building in Catarman.  (small, or I would be interested, I think, from memory about 200-300 sqm).  Also, I want some water front land and am more interested in Mondragon myself.  So we'll see. 
As far as the solor panel system, you will want to use battery to back up first, then spill the rest into the system.  Tina said that they do "buyback" power.  She said it's not the best set up here, but they do have on in place. 
Hope this helps answer a few more questions.
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Leinster Lad on December 30, 2013, 12:02:07 PM
Thanks Joe, so what are "laws" surrounding property ownership and taxes ?

I have "heard" that there are annual taxes, capital gains tax, etc etc...........  very confusing.

Can you shed some light on this subject please?
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: BingColin on December 30, 2013, 03:33:35 PM
Foreigners can own property but not the land it sits on. You can lease land and therefore own a condominium. Most of us that 'own' property here simply put it in our wifes name.

There are seperate taxes for the land and 'improvements' ie property in the form of a house etc. The local planning department asses the value and this determines the tax payable. This varies around the country and depends whether you live in a City or the provinces. The status of Cities is also complicated, some being able to raise extra taxes and some not.

Commercial importing could qualify for very high import duties you would need to check on that.
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Leinster Lad on December 30, 2013, 04:09:05 PM
These property taxes....

I have heard that there is a  "Real Property Tax" = assessed value x assessment level x 1% ?
then there is a "Special Education Fund Tax" = 1% of assessed value ?
Capital gains tax ?
Different rate over 2.5 M PHP ?

I wish there was a simple and clear explanation
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: JoeLP on December 30, 2013, 07:53:02 PM
LL,
The taxes are cheap.  My ex inherited a nice large piece of property in Bataan.  Nice modern Americanized home.  About 3 hectares that it sat on, all walled in with a nice 10' high gate.  It is a nice piece of property.  Then she was told that she would have to pay taxes on it.  She was scared and afraid it would be hard to do, until the bill came.  Total cost was about 1500php.  Only about $38usd.  She decided for that much, and an additional sum for her tita to be the homekeeper/housesitter of $50/mo, she is going to keep it. LOL  The taxes here in Northern Samar are about the same.  Very cheap. 
Tina's sister is actually moving into Dalakit in January.  Their home is small, and the taxes will be about 600php.  Small lot also.
Also, as Colin said, you can own the building, just not the land.  So it's up to you and your asawa how you want to handle that.  Tina keeps telling me when we do buy a lot, she wants my name on it even though it will carry no weight.  I told her no, there my be some problems with inheritance down the road. So she then said she wants the house we build on it as separate property and to make that mine.  I laughed and said it will be for both of us on the house.
I'm sure you and your asawa love each other, and this isn't to put doubt in that, but truth is, as foreignors, we really don't own a damn thing.  Sure, we own the house, but if, but some crazy way, her relatives take over her land and she happens to pass first, well, they can just kick you off the land.  Any "contract" you have with her is easily made null and void.  All the power sets in the hands of your asawa. 
Somewhere on this site is a long thread about all I just said in the previous paragraph.  It's some crazy stuff, but long story short, if you love your pinay, then enjoy and realize all the money you invest in land and building, in the big picture, is going to be staying in the Phils when your time comes. 
I've made peace with that a long time ago, and really, seeing as I have no kids form my previous marriage am all set with it because my kids with Tina would get it anyway, and they'll be pinoy, maybe dual citizen, and in either case be able to take ownership of the land/buildings we pass on.

ps. I am horrible on checking my messages, but I did see that I got one from you on this site and have returned one to you.
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: BingColin on December 30, 2013, 08:08:34 PM
It depends very much on where you live. We have just paid our tax, P32k and that includes a 20% discount for paying early. Our house is just under 400 sq metres on a double lot totalling 3000 square metres. Our neighbour opposite has a large bungalow on 4000 square metres and pays somewhere in the mid P20k region.
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Gray Wolf on December 31, 2013, 09:58:42 AM

I wish there was a simple and clear explanation


This is the Philippines.  Practically nothing is simple and clear.   :D ;) :)
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Leinster Lad on December 31, 2013, 12:07:27 PM
This is the Philippines.  Practically nothing is simple and clear.   :D ;) :)

HA !!  This is a fact I am learning more and more !!
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: intocebu on January 01, 2014, 01:29:00 AM
I Have Been on this fourm for 3 years and i still am learning always things change fast in the Philippines and i probably will forget something when we move there in a Number of years ..thankfully my wife knows more than I obviously being from the Philippines  8).......Dave
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Leinster Lad on January 20, 2014, 11:18:50 AM
Leinster Lad, moved here for good in July.  Tina started our new house without me.

G'Day Joe  :)
Any updates on your move to Catarman ?

I see the airport terminal has been upgraded. Is it finished yet ?  When will the run way get an upgrade ?

Three new shopping malls being built also...... will be great when they are finished.

Also, has it really been raining that much ??  Seems like every day !!  Is that just the time of year ?

cheers for now

Regards
David
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: JoeLP on January 20, 2014, 06:48:33 PM
Leinster Lad, moved here for good in July.  Tina started our new house without me.

G'Day Joe  :)
Any updates on your move to Catarman ?

I see the airport terminal has been upgraded. Is it finished yet ?  When will the run way get an upgrade ?

Three new shopping malls being built also...... will be great when they are finished.

Also, has it really been raining that much ??  Seems like every day !!  Is that just the time of year ?

cheers for now

Regards
David

Been raining everyday the last 9 days or so.  Most days it's been raining all day on and off.  So yea, the rain's been crazy here lately. 
The "shopping mall" in the market is an ongoing headache.  Tina is the top level government worker in the market.  She's not the actual "head of market" as a post by the mayor, but, her family is tight with the mayor, and he is "using" her ability to run the market peacefully and keep 95%+ happy that he just put a friend in charge of the terminal and made him in "name" head of market also.  That building with the Land Bank and Inasal on one side, and an optical and clothing botique on the other side should have been 100% complete last November.  As of now, the complete upstairs is only about 50% done, and the downstairs still has parts needing attention, and due to it's delay Chow King has stopped it plan expansion into it.  That building falls under Tina's job as rent collecting.  As well as the Jolibee infront of it. 
The "new mall" near the Novo I have not been in.  Seems like it should be opening soon and that's all I know. 
The big mall that many have been waiting for is the one on Diversionary road 2.  That's still a time in the making and finishing, but should be the biggest and when done should hold a good number of stores/restos.  Talk is that will be where Chow King ends up now. 
The new terminal is nice, the runway is still the same runway that Tina has known all 37 years of her life.  LOL  That should be finished soon I think, but I hardly see it.  I don't go that way too often.  At best I see it a little when I take the highway across the runway and look to that end.  But the plans are to have it looking better.  I'll probably need to use it in the next couple of months, then I can get a look at it then.
Were you just here or are ya talking to locals? 
The life here is great.  Living in the new home, but it's still an ongoing project that I'm putting about 1/2 effort into.  Tina wants to rent it out when we build our own house on a lot more on the outskirts of the city.  Her family doesn't like that. So I'm not too sure how much we'll finish it if in the end her family decides it should be a gift to them.  So we are sorta looking more at the move.  Otherwise, life is great here. 
If you did stop by, drop me a line the next time you're around.  We'll get together for a beer or something. 
Til the next,
Joe
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: Leinster Lad on January 21, 2014, 12:45:03 PM

If you did stop by, drop me a line the next time you're around.  We'll get together for a beer or something. 
Til the next,
Joe
[/quote]

Cheers Joe, a cleansing ale or two will go down very nicely  :D

I have not been to N.Samar for quite a while, so the info that I have is just from research.
My wife, Mary Jane, wants to buy a house in Bulacan, Marilao..... but I have my heart set on N.Samar !

If I can organise that with my other dream of setting up a solar business, then i'll be set, and the drinks will be on me  :D

All that cloud cover is not very good for solar PV production, but the rains would be keeping thje panels very clean !!
My research, so far, is showing that a good quality system of around 3kW ( peak output ) should, on average, produce about 10kWh per day, and cost ( installed ) between PHP 400,000 and PHP 500,000  ( this depends on the local import taxes etc, which i have not yet got a clear answer on. Also, depending on the wiring in the house, some upgrades may also be needed )
Return on investment looks to be less than 5 years, and no more power bills  8)

Hopefully, I can achieve both of these dreams in the near future.

Hoping to make it back to the Philippines by the end of this year, so i'll definitely be looking you up then !

cheers for now
David
Title: Re: Beautiful Northern Samar
Post by: JoeLP on January 21, 2014, 10:22:18 PM
LL,
One thing to take into consideration when your talking about those systems and putting them to use in Northern Samar is the following.  Pretty much every weekend there is a brown out.  These brown outs are usually about 10-15 hours, and can be either at night, or during the day.  Pretty much depends on when they want to do them.  On top of that, plan on at least one if not 2 more brown outs during the week each month that will last 4-8 hours.  Usually during the day, but at times at night also.
I love the idea of just returning the power back into the network and make money off it.  The problem in Northern Samar is that when the power goes out at night, even with the solar panel system, I'd still be out of power. 
This is why I made mention of the thought to have some batteries for back up first, then when they are full have some system where the power then goes back into the grid.  This might mean a bigger investment and needing 6 years to pay off the system, but I have no plans on going anywhere anytime soon.  This move was for life.  So I think the move to have one of those installed would be a good idea. 
Cheers, hope all goes as you plan.