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About afathertobe

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  1. afathertobe

    To Retire At 56? Or Rough It Out...

    I feel so lucky I didn't buy the condo I liked last year, best investment decision of my life. The Peso has since depreciated by more than 10% vs. my own currency, which makes me a lot richer and the condo a lot cheaper, but I'm still not buying... wait and see what happens in the Phils.
  2. afathertobe

    To Retire At 56? Or Rough It Out...

    For the vast majority of regular savers actively managed funds are a terrible choice. Buy a very cheap index fund (which essentially buys all the stocks of a particular index) and keep them for a very long time. This outperforms the majority of expensive, actively managed funds. The very reason why Warren Buffet doesn't like hedge fund managers much.
  3. There must be well-paid jobs for foreigners in the Philippines because those 100k+ PHP/month condos in BGC and Makati have to be paid for somehow.
  4. afathertobe

    Airbnb as a option !

    Can second Airbnb, use it often and mostly good to very good experiences.
  5. I've made very good experiences with Airbnb, though there are few offers in the provinces. Just rent for a few days, talk to the owner.
  6. afathertobe

    Monorail system eyed Cebu

    I have long been saying that monorails should be built all over the country, easily the best way to decongest the main commuter routes. Start with Manila and Cebu based on simple and robust designs that are cost-efficient, then scale up across the country. Light rail, mono rail, some metro... the Philippines needs an awful lot of investment in public transportation.
  7. afathertobe

    Frustrations of Thailand

    I experienced and heard the same about Thailand. Immigration officers at the airport are often shockingly rude and unprofessional, much better here. I think they have a clear policy to only allow in well-heeled tourists for short amounts of time and discourage expats to live and work in the country, similar to China, with which coincidentally they share ever cozier bonds. In that regard the Phils are much easier to deal with from my limited experience. But there are also clear drawbacks compared to Thailand. Renting, banking, services, retail, just about everything is much less developed here and often more expensive. Housing more expensive/quality much lower, food no comparison, much more poverty and associated problems, crime, lack of professionalism even compared to Thailand, underdeveloped transportation system and infrastructure in general... I think if Thailand made it easier to live there and English was more widely spoken few people would really consider the Philippines. You can live a real lavish, luxurious life in Thailand, or easily get by with 500 USD/m outside of Bangkok, both things are more difficult in the Philippines. Those are all rather objective criteria, at the end of the day some people just feel more comfortable in one culture or the other, so you might love or hate it, really depends on the person.
  8. Rent, both short and long term, is quite a bit more expensive here than in Thailand and of lower quality. You may be disappointed if you don't adjust your expectations accordingly. You won't get anywhere with 14k php for a studio in Cebu city, especially for short term rentals. The locals make next to nothing, that's true, but they also live in conditions few people would put up with elsewhere. Even the middle class live in places I couldn't bare.
  9. I think the market is just too small at the moment, for most a 150cc "racing bike" is already aspirational. But you're right, few mid-level bikes on the market unfortunately.
  10. As far as I know yes - SLEX and NLEX, really important to leave the metro area.
  11. Sorry for the late reply, that was 55k new I think, but I got a discount plus helmet plus top case.. think I paid around 51k cash? http://ph.priceprice.com/Honda-CB110-10005/ Incredibly reliable and fuel-efficient... but just a tad too slow for me.. will sell it again for a 400cc bike to get on highways.
  12. Sorry for the late reply. I had my passport on me, they searched for the entry stamp both times. The other times they just wanted to see the driving license and OR.
  13. afathertobe

    Whats your favorite "Big" city in Philippines?

    Anything up to 150cc is widely available, above that you're less likely to find it in the provinces. Personally I'd go to Cebu, very nice riding down South once you leave the country (search in my threads for more info)
  14. Careful about some of the advice on here, some things are not true in Manila at all. First of all, there are more frequent police checks than you'd imagine. I managed to get stopped three times within 4 days between Manila and Subic. Once in Makati, once one the road and once in Subic Freeport. Every time they checked helmet, lights (on at night), my driving license (foreign), checked how long I've stayed in the Philippines (less than 30 days!!) and checked my vehicle registration paper - valid for one year. So believe me, they do take that stuff seriously, and given that there's usually two dozen policemen at a police checkpoint bribing them with a 500 or so will most likely not work in case your papers are not in order. They confiscate bikes that aren't registered until the owner pays the fine at the traffic police office or similar where the bike is registered. Happened to a couple poor bastards who were waiting there with me. There's a shortage of license plates (another topic you can research if you feel like it...), so you'll get an "under registration" plate plus some monthly papers to be shown to police that you are in the process or so. I got mine within 6-7 months, delivered to my address (you need one to register bike). So yes, you can indeed just walk into a motorbike store, bring some cash and drive away half an hour later, but the paperwork has to be done, and you better make sure they do it right! I drive a Honda CB110, very economic bike, hardly uses any petrol at all, cost me 50k PHP - but I wish I had bought a larger bike, on country roads and uphill it just doesn't accelerate fast enough.
  15. afathertobe

    What are the reasons to travel to Philippines?

    Except for the great people who seem not so great because you think they look like people who are not great even though they are great, of course.