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intrepid last won the day on January 5

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About intrepid

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    Royal Member

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    Sta Rosa Laguna,Proudly
  • Interests
    model ship building, machining, scuba diving

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  1. Dave, With using BoA safepass an international wire fee was $45.00 if sending in usd. plus the accepting fee at the deposited bank was $10. usd You can also send in peso which cost $35.00 if sending in peso. However, I did not check what the exchange rate they were giving at the time. Might be worth checking out.
  2. If you are using Bank of America you can send any amount you wish. However, will will need the safe-pass option. The best option for using the safe-pass in the Philippines is to get the fob from BOA before you leave. You can do this all on line by making a wire transfer to your dollar account at your Philippine bank. Another option I am now using is Western Union. Find one with the best exchange rate, and set up an account with them. Ours requested documents to show where the funds originated and also where the funds were to be spent, such as contract for house, construction, land, or vehicle. I send WU in dollars and transfer right there for pesos and then drive to the bank for deposit. My latest transfer and deposit was last week of $35k with an exchange of 50.0 days later was up a little more but now back down a little.
  3. Wow, I had to run several errands today and was surprised to see and read all the posts. I would like to respond to each but time dictates one response to all. After reading all it is apparent that for one thing most all have in common is a wife or SO that is our best friend. It is also interesting to see some others who don’t drink or smoke. I have nothing against drinking myself just don’t like the taste. So therefore am not a bar lizard. I don’t smoke and usually a little smoke does not bother me. I wanted to comment about the posts where a wife’s friend has a foreign husband. Within a year after marrying my wife in the US we started meeting other Phil-Am couples. For a remote area of western Maryland, we ended up with network of roughly eighty-five couples and had an annual picnic at our house usually with 100 attendees. Seems almost every weekend and holiday there was a birthday, anniversary, or something. Most all were so close we felt them as cousins. But we had a smaller close group of about six couples we met with several times a month,..again usually at my home since we had the space and were centrally located. These husbands I felt of them like brother-in laws. Can you imagine that with all these people there were only two or three who were smokers. Even more amazing, none of the men drank and less than about 12 of the ladies would sip some wine coolers in the evening after the sunset. Now that we have located ourselves here, I find in interesting my wife prefers to be friends with mixed foreign couples. She seems to have more in common with them. We are hoping to build that kind of network here also. However, as many of you know with children here, school takes a big chunk of your time. For now as others have said the acquaintances I have made will have to do until something more develops. Thanks for all the comments.
  4. I didn't mean to imply that the other person had to hold all of my interests, but one would be nice. I have a very broad range of interests and always interested in learning more on most any subject.
  5. Who do you hang with? I moved here to the Philippines fourteen months ago. So far no regrets and overall am happy. One thing lacking is to have a close friend to share some common interests and bonding time. We have some family not too far away and love them dearly. But like others have found out with family members as well as locals, communicating more than simple conversations can be challenging to the point that sometimes I just give up. We have met a few other other foreigners that we meet sometimes for lunches. Since we have a daughter in sixth grade my wife has made friends with some other mothers but I still feel left out. Thankfully I have a large network of friends and family back in states and spend a lot of time talking, testing, and emailing them. Also friends here on the forum along with machining forums and model ship forums. However, I still would like find someone local with common interests to hang out with a few times a month.
  6. I know the check clearing fee is only $5.00 but you know, five dollars is five dollars. Every time I say or read this it reminds me of an old joke. Although it should go in with the Clean Jokes but it fits here too. Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say, "Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter". Esther always replied, "I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars -- and 50 dollars is 50 dollars". One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, "Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance." Esther replied, "Morris that helicopter is 50 dollars -- and 50 dollars is 50 dollars". The pilot overheard the couple and said, "Folks I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's 50 dollars." Morris and Esther agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word. When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, "By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!" Morris replied, "Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know -- 50 dollars is 50 dollars."
  7. Welcome Tommy, I'm sure you will find some great people and information here on the forum. So are you from West Virginia? What part? I'm from western Maryland and also spent a lot of time on the Appalachian Trail. Some pleasure but mostly looking for lost hikers. I'm sure you can find plenty of hiking areas in the Philippines.
  8. Maybe I just got lucky. But we hired an architect to design and build our house and have been so satisfied words could barely explain. He has gone far and above anything I could have expected after reading and hearing all the horror stories and problems others have experienced when building here. Of course we are not complete yet, but I have no worries and no stress. Once our project is done, sometime late August, I will do a complete write up on my experiences with the architect. Now to your question on payment. Like I said we hired the architect for the complete project. The cost to build our place complete is under 23,000 peso per meter. His foreman is an engineer with great skills and the work force has ranged from 12 to 20 men depending what stage of the process. Since we broke ground last November they have worked six days a week never missing and only taking off on the major holidays. For payment he asked for 1/3 down, then 1/4, another 1/4 and the final payment when complete. Although he does not yet know, he will receive a bonus. Everything has gone by the plan like clockwork and so many details completed without a single issue. He may call us once or twice a week asking for opinions or choices and then sometimes two weeks may pass without a word. He is managing several projects in different areas at the same time and only stops at our project two times a week or as needed. I usually stop and check in every other day. If I see an issue, which I have maybe three or four times, I usually take a photo is needed and send him a text or email. He responds no later than an hour or so and the issue is resolved! Like I said in the beginning, maybe I just got lucky. I have built other homes in the US myself and many smaller remodeling jobs but this has got to be the least stressful bar none!
  9. That was one of the options I was considering. Like making two or three deposits a year. But seeing how we always withdrawal the dollars and then go the changer for a much better rate, then back to the bank to deposit the pesos, I can now go to the changer, and make one less step. Plus the big advantage is not waiting several weeks for clearing. That is usually not an issue because we always keep extra, but you never know. By the way, our bank requires notification of dollar withdrawals at least 2-3 advance.
  10. JGF, If your pick up in the Philippines is pesos sent through WU, the exchange rate they pay is usually one peso less than the going rate you can exchange for in person with dollars.
  11. Don, My wife still has an account at BPI and while there yesterday I asked the manager and she advised me that BPI started the $5.00 foreign check clearing fee this April 2017.
  12. Okay Robert, My first attempts on the computer showed a fee of $10. It then showed $2.99 using the mobile app. So I didn't go any farther on the laptop. For some reason I still cannot sign on using my phone. Everything you suggested is what I was doing. I finally went back to the laptop and this time filled out the entire form and it now shows a fee of $2.99 WOW, I pretty sure I will close my dollar account at the bank and only keep the peso. Earlier today I went to our money changer and was told they would usually always have the extra dollars and enough to payout my monthly. If not, they would easily payout the going rate in peso. As I mentioned before, in our area they have always had the highest rate. Thanks again.
  13. My first thought was you meant between Philippines and US. Then after reading Daves post I thought a little but my comments then will be off topic so I stick with Philippines vs US. However, my reasoning would work with most any country. Like many other things in this world,…Follow the money. Where you you get your retirement from? Whether investment or pension. Again I would suppose most would pledge allegiance form where your majority and safest income originate. Without that retirement income, as much as I like the Philippines, I don’t see how we could survive. Even with a nice house paid for, without income to support everything including medical, most people wold be foolish to give up any income ever how small. So again I suppose most will Follow the Money! Now, age could make a difference for some. As in younger. Just my two peso worth.
  14. Okay after many attempts and unable to sign in with the mobile app, I continue to get a code(S1001). After contacting WU the rep told me the phone app is not available outside the US. Are you in the Philippines using this app? If so, what am I doing wrong
  15. Robert, this may be the ticket for me. I would just close out my dollar account and just keep my peso account. After some searching, we found a money changer nearby who always has the best exchange rate. So good that after comparing with the other bests back and forth over several months, we no longer check around. The best part is they happen to be a Western Union. So now I could send my monthly in dollars and just ask them to pay out in pesos. I'll stop by later this week and confirm with them. Now for the $2.99 WU fee, I found you must use the phone app to get that low fee. On line it is $10.00 unless I am missing something. So far I am getting a code on my phone app and unable to sign in. If this continues today I will call WU to resolve the issue. Thanks.