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  1. We all know its easy to criticise some of what happens here down, were probably all guilty of it. But wanted to share to a nice positive story. Was in Bantayan for all of December and got to see some of Odette etc. Meanwhile one day there was cooking dinner and unbeknownst to me, the airbnb condo I was staying in had sharpened their previously blunt knives. Cue deep finger laceration and loss of lots of blood. Managed to patch it up for the evening ( thanks owner for providing a good useful first aid box ) and the following morning drove to a doctors only for him to tell me that only in the hospital can they apply stitches. Drove to the only small hospital on the island where there were a few forms to fill in and then a nurse proceeded to attend to my cut. I was the only person in A&E that morning. Cleaned with distilled water, then betadine then made 6 stitches, then wrapped it up and gave me spare gauze pads. She checked with a doc somewhere along the way and he prescribed antibiotics ( as usual here). When all is done, I move back to the reception area and ask the nurse how much this was. She totally astonished me by saying "Sir, no cost at all. Free". Not much in life is free but this treatment was. Very surprised and very happy to have been so well treated. Was a nice positive experience. As a funny postscript, I went 10 days later to my local clinic for stitches removal but was told only a surgeon doctor could remove. So a nurse can put in , but needs a surgeon doctor to remove?
    16 points
  2. This is what I was asked for and provided during check-in check-in: Passport, One Health Pass QR code from Bureau of Quarantine site (electronic is fine), PCR negative test result, electronic - the requirement is changing from 72 hours to 48 hours prior to departure as of Monday the 17th. Proof of vaccination, and Proof of booking in a verified quarantine hotel at destination. Nothing has changed on the exit immigration. Was all pretty seamless to be honest, we'll see how it goes at the other end.... Edit: Just to let you all know, I'm currently at the terminal awaiting departure.
    10 points
  3. They are the ones who can afford to have a test done.........anyone else who has a cough or a sniffle just stays home or toughs it out. How many vendors in your local wet market when as soon as they sneeze will run down to a test center, plop down 1500-2000 pesos, get tested, turn up positive, get hauled off to a camp and loose their income for 10 days.... The Philippines is in the "endemic" stage now, even if the powers that be dont want to admit it.........Your average Pinoy is just living with the virus.
    10 points
  4. Well first off, you aren't the only Person with a bit of money on this site and my suggestion, don't spruik about your wealth or dress in top of the range cloths when your over there. Another thing you haven't said whether it's only a holiday or fulltime, if it's a holiday splash your money around, draw attention to yourself there's plenty over there that will notice you and relieve you of some of it. Then again if your staying fulltime, invest in your daughters future, there's no need to lock yourself up in a condo, there's plenty of nice estates that are well patrolled and close to the city proper. The PI people aren't all scammers or crooks, most of what you've probably heard are half drunken yarns told over and over to make then sound plausible. What's been said may times to new visitors, keep a low profile and stay out of sleasy bars and enjoy your daughter and wifes company. Good luck Try a bit of his lifestyle.
    10 points
  5. TL;DR (Too long; Don't Read): Have your sh#t in one sock or they will deny you entry. To begin with, it should be noted that the PCR timeframe prior to departure for PI has been reduced from 72 to 48 hours and you should plan accordingly. Bureau of Quarantine officials are enforcing this upon entry. Anyway, to the matter at hand. Upon arrival at NAIA disembarkation will be delayed by various announcements with regards to COVID procedures etc. Some of them repeat the same points, but there’s information that is surprisingly helpful in each one. After you finally leave the aircraft, you take the usual meandering walk towards immigration with the addition of some of the departure lounges that have been added to the normal routes to accommodate the “checkpoints”. Before describing the process, I can’t emphasise how important it is to go through the One Health Pass (OHP) registration prior to departure on the Bureau of Quarantine website: https://onehealthpass.com.ph/e-HDC/OHP-Registration/ it must be completed within 3 days of your date of arrival. No sooner. I witnessed quite an interesting discussion between an Aussie and one of the officials due to the flight being delayed a day thus making his registration 1 day beyond the 3 day limit. They let him through but probably better to avoid the issue entirely. It should be noted that the current list of approved quarantine hotels found here https://quarantine.doh.gov.ph/boq-allowed-and-dot-accredited-quarantine-facilities-as-of-december-20-2021/ isn’t entirely accurate. Hotels are constantly having their accreditation revoked but they’ll stay in the pull-down list in the OHP registration. To be on the safe side, my advice would be to call your chosen hotel directly and confirm they’re still accredited. Checkpoint one, manned by Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) personnel they’ll require you to show the following: · Passport, · OHP, · Proof of negative PCR test, · Proof of vaccination from your home government app or hard copy. Checkpoint two – again BOQ personnel: · Same as checkpoint one but with the addition of proof of accredited quarantine hotel booking. Immigration: · OHP, · Entry paperwork you filled out on the plane, · Passport with valid visa, and · In my case proof of relationship (marriage certificate) supporting my 9a. Interestingly I noticed that the Balikbayan’s were being processed much faster than the visa holders. Head over to baggage claim, grab your bags then go over to.. wait for it… Checkpoint 4 (BOQ personnel): · OHP only. The guys at checkpoint 4 will then direct you to either the hotel shuttle vans, or if your hotel doesn’t provide one, to the un-metered taxis. For me it was the unmetered taxis. Exit the terminal, cross the road to where the taxis usually are, head to the left and you’ll see a booth. Go to the booth and show your OHP and they’ll give you a ticket with a fixed price and a copy of it to your driver. The non-metered taxis are all white with the old “3 stickers” on the front windscreen. The ride to my hotel in Malate just across the road from Robinson’s, was 530PHP; not a great price but not horrible either. Traffic was light even for 830pm at night, a sign of the “new norm” I guess. Upon arrival at my hotel, I had my temperature checked and signed a declaration I’ll comply with the quarantine regulations, then checked in as normal. Interestingly my hotel won’t allow food deliveries, which is in accordance with the regulations, but I know of some people that have been able to do this in other facilities. No big deal for me as they have a pretty reasonably priced restaurant for room service here and I’m in a studio with a decent kitchenette and they will go and do a grocery shop upon request. At some point the scanning of my OHP QR code triggered the randomly selected pathology lab on the OHP registration form (you’ll see what I mean when you fill in the form) to send me an email confirming my hotel and room number and after following the bouncing ball linked in the email, they sent another email detailing the date and procedure for my day 5 test. I think that about covers it all. Like Sydney, it was a reasonably seamless but unlike Sydney a time consuming process. I hope this helps some of you. Hopefully they’ll start making moves on the tourist visa front soon and you’ll be spared the process entirely. Oh, none of the money changers were open when I went through but it was well after dark so nothing unusual there. The Smart and Globe people were there to sell you a sim if you wanted one. On a whim I changed some cash in Sydney, glad I did despite the rate thus avoiding the international ATM fees which tend to be even more exorbitant. The old sailor in me can smell Ermita from here….
    9 points
  6. My (province) neighbours are only jealous of my videoke performances, and amazing dance moves. It's so much less stressful not having to worry about money and status.
    9 points
  7. Finally some good news. We have lost a lot but just gained another grand niece. I am a happy "daddy lo".
    9 points
  8. Ok, PCR test at Sydney international: Showed up at 1345, showed receipt from online request, passport, and proof of travel (e-ticket). Swab taken at 1350, results in my inbox at 1510 (negative )
    8 points
  9. Australia has had 2 years of quarantines, curfews and more lockdowns than the Philippines. Except for a noisy (and small) minority people are mostly ok with it... it's seen as "the lesser of two evils". It's been my observation that people from the USA stress about this sort of stuff more than most of the rest of the world.
    8 points
  10. Why would you end up in jail if you did things legally? There are certain business categories foreigners can own 100% and others at a certain percentage and usually others form a company 60/40 with Filipino 60% owned but obviously ways around control of the business. Places like the Subic freeport zone to save on tax and the goverment give you incentives to do business. There is lots of info on the internet as to foreign owned and what's allowed or not. Look at places like McDonalds, they form a subsidy company which allows them to operate here but I dont know a great deal about how its done. You will always find some people will say never do business here in the Philippines. Many would not know if a business was Filipino owned or not and most who give this advice have never been into business so take it with a grain of salt. Anyway look how many Chinese businessmen are in the Philippines who own a business, what about the new telco which is China owned so it can and is done. There are risk for wealthy and that includes wealthy Filipinos but at the same time us poor can get shot dead for being an ass to so probably depends on how you conduct yourself. A few years back a video circulated of an Australian business owner confronting a woman who confronted him over a driving matter. His conduct did not look good in the eyes of many so possibly could make himself a target. Several years ago two foreigners set up a well known ice box manufactory company and ran it for years, I think they were brothers. Eventually one got shot dead. Never heard of the outcome so who did will remain a mystery. Personally I think even if wealthy its how you conduct yourself in public, better to not show how wealthy you are like posting income on the internet and thats the reason I edited your first post. The less others know about personal income the better, no matter where you live.
    8 points
  11. I don't think any of them are much use at stopping the Covid. But maybe they keep people out of hospital. My brother has had 3 vax shots so far (2 AZ and a Pfizer) and him and whole family have the Covid now. He says its the Omicron and it sucks but so far no hospitalization needed.
    8 points
  12. Lol. After all these years together my wife and her one liners can still crack me up. As you probably all know of me and my wife by now, we don't loan money. We sometimes give an occasional and small gift. One of our air headed nieces apparently forgot that today and asked her aunt for money (this is after we had given some for Christmas). My wife just looked at her and said "What you think I am, ATM?" and made motions like putting a card in her mouth and crapping out money. The niece quickly left and I was left howling with laughter after she was out of earshot.😆😆😆
    8 points
  13. My wife and I have a small ministry "Philippines Blessings of Hope". We were able to supply 20 families with meals for four days following the typhoons. Pictures from our Facebook page.
    8 points
  14. Another picture. Our neighbors were just hammered. You can see this girl's house (what is left) in the background. In the foreground is the bed where the whole family now has to sleep. She is holding a bag of fried chicken and rice that we were able give each family. These kids have become part of our lives and we are anxious to get back.
    8 points
  15. You may chuckle about taking care of their women, there's a Facebook page where couples post photos of themselves and write a few lines explaining the government is keeping them apart and breaking relationships, pleading for the borders to be opened back up. Lets just say I recognise a few of the girls and have seen how loyal some are.
    7 points
  16. 7 points
  17. So, there I was, fat, dumb and happy in Zoom with a couple of mates having a beer in my hotel in Sydney, flight out to Manila the next day. Then this sequence of [email protected]#kery happened: 1700: Received an email from PAL stating that my had been changed from Saturday to Sunday. 1715: Received an email from JMM Grand Suites in Malate that they were not longer an accredited quarantine hotel despite still being on the Bureau of Quarantine list. 1715 and 23.5 seconds: I realised my negative PCR test would be 4 hours out of date at time of departure due to the 24 hour delay. 1716: Necked two beers in panic with that deer in the headlights look AKA also known as the.. never mind, you get the picture. 1717: Confirmed with PAL that I would be on the Sunday flight. 1725: Cancelled on Agoda my JMM Grand Suites booking. 1726: Refund came through with PayPal (yeah I know, but there it was). 1740: Looked up and called by phone the Kimberly in Malate to confirm that were still accredited quarantine then booked them - Major lesson learnt. 1815: QANTAS pilot in reception at my hotel here overheard me asking where I could obtain a new PCR test at very short notice. He told me walk-ins were accepted for international travellers and results within 3-4 hours at Sydney airport international departures area. 1816: In Zoom, having a couple beers with mates.
    7 points
  18. They do Geoff. Its one of those national traits that is easy to explain, but almost impossible for a non yank to really understand...sort of like pinoy pride....tea time,,haggies and warm beer
    7 points
  19. Cannot get this out of my mind - no offence intended!
    7 points
  20. If we cut to the chase, i doubt it would have made any difference how much it was stressed that the vaccines won't prevent Covid - those of us who took it would still have because it still makes sense and those who didn't would still have found reasons to justify their decision.
    7 points
  21. Got power back on Christmas day, little damage but wooden pole that carries power and internet lines was almost blocking the road from my jungle house. Spent most of the day chopping bamboo away from my power lines that had been toppled, a whole bunch of bamboo had been uprooted and completely blocked another dirt track.
    7 points
  22. My wife and I have been married 50 years and we are considering moving to the Philippines after the independent living retirement stage. Our background includes 30+ years on Oahu as transplants with our younger son still there as a teacher at Nanakuli High School. The Philippine location should be close to a major hospital for medical services. Another is nearby restaurants offering international cuisine, a Western style supermarket, and a wet market. We may need 24 hours in-resident caregiver services which is inexpensive compared to Hawaii. At the time of my research, cost for caregivers on Oahu was between $60,000 to $150,000 a year. Our budget for the Philippines for live-in is less than $20,000 a year. Social networking requires just a little effort. Join a church group, hobby group or look for an expat community that meets on a regular basis. If either one of us are still independent, the plan is to volunteer. Perhaps offering conversational English practice for high school and college students. Volunteerism will also result in social networking as you get to meet parents, school administrators, etc.
    7 points
  23. Unless you’re an Aussie. Then you have a roo
    7 points
  24. Finally heard from the Asawa. She and her family survived the typhoon - no one hurt and only light damage to their house. But they did loose almost all of their crops (mostly lettuce and herbs).
    7 points
  25. One thing I admire about UK politics, is that politicians dont get paid much, they serve out of love of country obviously. I mean the Prime Minister can not even afford a comb.
    7 points
  26. I tell them if they can find anything of value in my shack I'll split it with em.
    7 points
  27. Breaking News MANILA- Aussie detained at immigration office at Ninoy Aquino International Airport pending arrest. As this is breaking news details are sketchy but it is reported that the Aussie arrived without a wedding band. The suspects wife had filed charges and now the Aussie can be deported for being an undesirable husband. More to come. Read More: https://sunoverthemoonpress.com Arrest of an Aussie
    6 points
  28. Actually you can. The SRRV marketeer is paid by the SRRV people so its not advertising the way I see it as the person you mention is not posting. There are a couple other recommendations posted here somewhere over the years Secondly new members can not use the PM system to stop those joining and blasting off spam to members. List of marketers to contact. Most of these are through businesses but individual's can also sign up to be marketeers. https://pra.gov.ph/marketers-agents/
    6 points
  29. Judging from what BrettGC has been through, and reading other forums on other peoples experiences with travel and airports, I dare say that my days of going to the airport early, going to the Qantas lounge and getting a skin full before the flight are well and truly over. Seems you have to be alert and have your wits about you for the changes that occur.
    6 points
  30. Good to see everything going to plan. Most likely in the back of your mind you knew this wont be easy but this time "one day" you will be here thinking about what crap you had to go through. When you are finally on the way and the captain comes over the PA and says, Brace, Brace, Brace, it's not an issue with the plane, just another change that he has to announce.
    6 points
  31. Sorry mate, but I was always under the impression that you Tottenham supporters didn't have ANY testicles!! Safe travels mate, see ya for a beer or two when you finally get your arse here.
    6 points
  32. This is only my area. Powered restored last Sunday. Still power off in some parts of IT Park. Water was never an issue as trucked in but drinking water was hard to find but seems fine now. Supermarkets slowly restocking. 7/11 seem to have some supply issue as all 8 of them here in the park are stripped bare or were a day ago. Clean up, still much to be done. Market across the road almost put back together but no power that way. Nothing done that I can see to fix high-rises where pieces have come off as well as all the roofs or part roofs I can see from my window around me still missing. For the first time in almost 2 years the car parks are full as they had no choice but to bring back call center workers because of lack of power. Incidentally Cebu city only about 30% restored. Issue with call center workers back is lack of food or places to get it. After a 2 year lull, plenty of lady boys back as working in call centers Beer and coke supply short but looks like comming back slowly. Almost no where to go for a beer here as destroyed or partly destroyed plus some places never reopened before typhoon. Filipino type bar/eatery just out the back of the IT Park that I went to a few times is usually to full now and cant get a seat. ATMs usually no long lines now which is better than the hour or so wait after the typhon. Other than that it's going to be a long road. Other areas and provinces much worse off than me so cant complain. Girlfriend back at work after a week off, 8 or so hours of peace now Almost forgot. Since power has been back on my internet is on and off all the time. Was better before with generator power.
    6 points
  33. In the Alcantra area near Moalboal zero power and intermittent phone signal. I managed to coerce about 80k peso from my friends in Scotland and with a contact on the ground have helped out a few villagers. Where my ex lives twelve house completely blown away and many others lost their roofs. No potable drinking water and no means of getting money without a trip to Cebu.
    6 points
  34. In Guihulngan still no power to homes but they fixed the street lights.... Beer is plentiful according to bro-in-laws No internet and data on Smart is sketchy with nothing on Globe, so AM is driving up to San Carlos every couple of days so we can organise for my impending arrival. The Dumaguete FB page tells me that things are basically back to normal there so she's heading down this week to find a rental for us until the house is built.
    6 points
  35. So other than the perfect storm of shit that the PI embassy in Canberra combined with Australia Post created, a bureaucratic nightmare , I finally have my passport with 9a visa in my hand despite receiving notification of approval of said visa over a month ago... Anyway, a story for another time. Booking my flights the other day, and I naturally went for Singapore Airlines as I have Kris Flyer points out the ying yang. Keeping a close eye on the prices, Singapore Air stayed pretty constant at about $AUD1700 one way Sydney -> Singapore -> Manila and they'd cancelled all flights out of Brisbane; whatever, $AUD44 one way from the Gold Coast to Sydney at the moment. PAL were anywhere between $AUD1750-1900 from Sydney direct to Manila. Anyway, Singapore Air have cancelled all flights from Singapore to Manila until the 14th of Feb as of Saturday, unless you'd already booked. So conceding defeat I booked PAL but tried a little experiment: I put in Syd -> Manila -> Hong Kong as I need a throwaway even on a 9a as things stand at the moment. For those that don't know, the 9a works exactly the same as the visa on arrival used to, but rather than 3 years, it's 2 with extensions to be filed at least 7 days prior to expiry. Guess what? $AUD1576 in total, a saving of about $AUD200-300 with the added leg rather than just to Manila. Anyway, posted for those that may come after and worth investigating when it's your time to book.
    6 points
  36. If you are willing to adapt and overcome the problems then yes. But there are problems and BS that may not exist where you live. Best advice I ever heard is: If you want all the comforts and amenities of where you live now then stay where you live now.
    6 points
  37. Welcome Dont know why you would want to leave Guam,,lovely place (except for the 30 mph speed limit boy that drove me nuts lol) But I understand living there and visiting there might be completely different than just visiting. I wont touch on the business part of your post, I am retired with secure income, so I will just address what I know about. The more money you have the safer you will be. Live in a higher end subdivision, have a driver to take you about, have live in maids. The area you mentioned is near Ayala Alabang, really high class area. From there you can go to 1st class malls and restaurants, 1st class hospital, all the bells and whistles. Even a good international school for your kids. The only time you would really have to mix with the great unwashed is if you went a a road trip somewhere. Long story short, unless a person is a complete rube and just rubs people the wrong way, is involved in some shady dealing and stays away from politics and family disputes, the Philippines is just as safe as any place else in the world,,,especially Chicago
    6 points
  38. Just give me a hotel room and spare me all that nonsense.
    6 points
  39. I didn't have overly high expectations for this "world class" amusement park. We watched several You Tube videos that were shot in early December, and there were few people, and it looked clean. Supposedly, under the IATF rules, they were supposed to operate at 70% capacity. I have no idea if they were, but it did not appear to be. We stayed at a condo literally on the other side of the fence, and then arrived when they opened at 11 AM. We bought our tickets online and thus had a short line at arrival, except for them have to do a bunch of extra stuff for my 5 year old to make sure we were not cheating on the 48 inch height limit. They go by height, not age. My 7 year old is over 48 and had to pay adult price. It is only about p120 difference. Then we had the kids do two quick kiddy rides with almost no line. That is when it got bad. We got in line for a small roller coaster. It took over 2 hours waiting. Sometimes the line would not move for a long time because they let "premium pass" customers flow in from a separate line. We found out that you can buy a premium pass for p2500 for 2 years. They also were letting to coasters go with empty seats almost every run. Something to do with Covid, I think. Yet, the narrow line area was jam packed with no social distancing. I didn't take a pic of the line but here is a pick of the railing, where they welded a ridge on it to make it uncomfortable to sit on, I guess. Well it was also uncomfortable to put your hand on. After that long wait it was 2 pm and we got in line for a hot dog. 40 minute wait to get a hot dog and water. The employees didn't care. Slow as molasses. All the food lines we observed were similar. We went around looking for some rides that had a reasonable line. There were none except for the 7D theater that you have to pay 100 pesos extra for, but only vaccinated are allowed in, no kids. My step daughter and I did it and it was fun, but super short. I was done at that point. My hip could not take it, nor could my temperament. The place appears to be very poorly managed, made worse by Covid rules. My experience at other parks is that sometimes they clear out in the evening. Their published hours say open until 7 pm. That is misleading. The night before, we saw the rides going very late, until 9-10 pm. What that means is, they will let you in until 7 pm. I don't know when they kick you our. My wife and kids still wanted to try to ride some of the big rides, so we went back to the condo about 4:30 pm, and then I dropped them off again at 6:45 pm. That worked, and they were able to ride the rides and left at 9 pm. The parking lot is an absolute unorganized disaster. Unbelievable! A 5th grader could draw a better system.
    6 points
  40. Welcome to the forum Brian. We are pleased to have you and your wife join us. Have you both visited Philippines before? If not spend some time in country before making any serious plans. Filipinos are not overtly racist. There is a slight stigma (class structure?) that darker skin means someone from a poor background may work in the fields or whatnot. Skin whitening lotions are big there. Very quickly your wife would be recognized as American Filipina and "rich". She would then be seen as slightly important by having perceived wealth. LOL, the only "discrimination' is she and you will sometimes be over charged due to the fact you are Foreigners. You wife will easily find new friends there.
    6 points
  41. A related fear is testing positive 24 or 48 hours before your flight. What happens next? Do you get a refund or voucher for a future flight? We don't want to stop our overseas travel because the United States has become too expensive for us. On average, hotels and motels have increased prices in the 20% to 25%. Services have also been cut. We are currently in a hotel charging about $135.00 per night. Breakfast has been reduced to a cup of coffee and a muffin which you are required to take back to your room. Housekeeping is every two weeks unless you are willing to pay an extra $40. I have to empty the trash myself. For that kind of money, I think the Philippines can provide a nice hotel and full services including breakfast.
    6 points
  42. A look around our flower garden today... (oops...+ a bunch of bananas ) .
    6 points
  43. Got an cell phone emergency alert for tsunami warning here in the Seattle area from an eruption explosion near Tonga of all places. Not sure how that may affect Philippines hopefully not. Video is amazing.
    5 points
  44. Without his wedding ring! Don't worry, I lost mine a few years ago and lived to tell the tale!
    5 points
  45. In my case it was, Jack. She holds the purse strings so I needed her there for the 310php.
    5 points
  46. I concur, my wife's family members who live in the NCR all have cold/flu symptoms.
    5 points
  47. I am starting to get this sinking feeling that no matter where you are, how careful you are, what precautions you take, that is is only a matter of time before everyone is going to get this bug....or the next one.....or the next
    5 points
  48. So security threw the towel in ?
    5 points
  49. Yes to that. I always try to find a group of attractive teenaged girls to tag along with.
    5 points
  50. I can't comment on Filipino politics as we have Boris Johnson in charge in the UK.
    5 points
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