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  1. Dave Hounddriver

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/05/2017 in all areas

  1. 24 points
    In all my time in the philippines I have tried hard & succeed until this Morning, that is to give in to aggressive beggars and wanters However my heart was turned when I walked the Dog after his lunch. a Little Lad (about 7 or 8) was sat outside his house crying his eyes out, Now I have seen this lad growing up since I have been here in this House full time, ( about 4+ years now) so it is not as if I do not know him or the family. I know how some of the Locals get offended at times but on this one I was given to a little shame. I asked what's up Din Din? I can't go to school today, OH! why not, I don't have a notebook he replied. The Mother came out and said oh don't bother sir with our problems, it's Ok I said I don't mind listening she smiled and she said that the money was late from her Husband (he works in Cebu) and that is why he has no Book, I have to feed them all first, so I asked what book is it, OH! number 3 double lined OK, off I go to the sori sori and get him the Note book and 2 kilo of rice for mama. So Din Din, go to school this PM and learn plenty. The Mother was so grateful that she was near to tears, as I said it is not the thing I do as a rule but the Lad wanted to go to school, I am happy to have done it the Lad is over the Moon and the family are fed at least for today, I don't need thanks from them as the smiles on their faces was enough That was me & my Pooch not that long ago
  2. 21 points
    Proud? Yep Darned Proud Of My Little Girl Not so Little any more and all dressed up for the Uni - Christmas Ball. . Love her to Bits
  3. 21 points
    Just a follow up on this foreigner living on the street. He did disappear for awhile but been back for a month I guess. Looking bit worse for wear. Anyway my GF and I put together some lunch and a few things for him and walked over to give it not knowing what his reaction would be. He was asleep on the bench and I was busy today so did not want to come back later. I said hello twice and he woke up and slowly rose up to a sitting position. Obviously sleeping on a hard surface is causing some pain. Anyway I said I would like to offer you some food if thats OK. He said Oh thank you very much mate. Not sure if he is Aussie. We wished him a merry Christmas and he did the same and I shook his hand. He was shaking a bit, not sure if from hunger or nerves. I said I might come and talk to you tomorrow and he thanked again and said god bless and we left. So he seemed a nice enough guy down on his luck for whatever reason. Put in a couple of bananas after picture taken.
  4. 20 points
    Hi everyone, I have not been on this forum for some time and by chance was browsing through today and suddenly realized I have not updated things for some time. For those of you who remember I am one of those expats that needs to work while living here. About 5 years ago I was teaching in a local English language school here in Angeles and then moved to teaching from home online through a platform called Verbling. I am still teaching on this platform and currently teach about 35 sessions per week, which earns me about 450 to 500 USD per week. This is enough for me and I earn enough to pay my rent on a two bedroom house with garden and covered driveway for both cars. We have a smallish garden where Siobhan (9 year old girl) and Saimus (15 month old boy) can play, along with the dog and cats. My rent is 4,000 pesos a month, electric is about 2,500 pesos a month, (with one A/C in our bedroom). I have garden LCD lights that surround the house and come on when it gets dark. I have a covered back area attached to the house with a wet kitchen, and a large work and storage area. There is an 8 foot brick wall around the house with gated entrance for the car. Internet is 1,500 pesos a month, water is from our own well. Food costs are about 4,500 pesos per week, and my daughter goes to a private English teaching school. Her tuition is about 40K pesos per year and the transport about 4K pesos per month for 10 months, school uniform, books etc are another 20K per year. Life is good, we live about 3 miles outside of the city of Angeles towards Porac, so have easy access to everything if required. Generally life is good, unable to save much, but can work more each week if I want to save money for anything. Hope this helps for those of you in the same position, wondering if you can live here on what you earn. I have no other income, however at 64 years of age will hopefully also receive pensions from Canada and the UK towards the end of next year.
  5. 20 points
    Hello everyone, now this is not going to be a short post but there is a reason, thanks for your patience. In a recent post, about a week ago I reckon I mentioned in a thread that I was going to Australia and was seeking advice about isolation etc. This is what happened:- Before I arrived in Australia I booked a cabin in a caravan park that I have frequented very often, so they knew me personally, they took the reservation after I informed them that for personal reasons I will be going into self isolation for a week so as not to cause any concerns with anyone, as I had only been out of the country for 3 days and in that 3 days had no contact with anyone, apart from the airport. No problems they said we will get you to do your own linen changes etc. No problems I agreed to that. On the day of arrival the government here imposed a 14 day isolation period on all arrivals into the country, so I received an email from the owners of the park saying that they were not willing to allow me to stay, so reservation cancelled. So I called a few hotels and they said the same thing, no bookings for arrivals seeking doing isolation. What to do, I am really in a bind here, looks as though park benches for me. Go back a couple of days when I was talking to a member of this forum, about what was happening in Australia and this member was keeping me informed of what was happening here with the lockdowns, lockouts, Quarintine periods the works. He even mentioned that should I get in a bind he can help me out. So I gave him a call and he said "No problems we will sort you out" He met me at the train station and took me to the place where I had stored my car, and then we went to the house he had for sale, where I could stay for 14 days to do my isolation that the government had imposed, now this house is fully furnished and is very comfortable in a quiet town, I can go to the shops and get my supplies and alcohol, nothing is a problem. Of course I am here by myself as the rules dictate, nothings a problem. So I am into day six of this and all is going well. So in ending this long story, I would like to express my gratitude to GeoffH for looking after me the way he has. Without his intervention I don't know what I would have done, it is something you read out of the bible, and I haven't even read it. The end. But once more thanks GeoffH
  6. 19 points
    Well, I have been formally retired now for 15 days and its feeling good. I have now reached my destination of Dumaguete, I got into Manila at about 1AM Saturday morning, lashing with rain. Got a cab over to Makati and spent Saturday there catching up with friends and trying to avoid more heavy rain showers, even managed to catch some streamed footie in a bar, actually my own team of Westham United, that was a bonus as I cant even get to see it live on TV at home. Took an early morning flight out of Terminal 3 today (Sunday) to Dumaguete, flew with PAL, all good as we left on time and arrived early into Duma, it was definitely a better experience than flying over with Cebu Pacific which I did for the last two years. I had already rented a studio since last month as I knew I was coming out but was just unsure of the date, Hermagina Apartments. I stayed there last year and the year previous but just short term as I was on holiday then but of course it is all so different now, I am here to stay. Tomorrow we will begin shopping for the many items we don't buy when we are on vacation, microwave, toaster, fans, rice cooker for the missus, etc etc lol. Its a nice feeling I am enjoying at the moment, I have read articles on here over the past year about retiring and how people consider what it will be like in taking that big step, i.e. retiring and relocating to the Phils, in particular money worries and will it ever be enough etc. For me personally I did a couple of private messages on here to forum members that I have met and trust and got a breakdown on what I would need per month on a reasonably tight budget and I consider that to be good information. I don't have any family back home in the UK and apart from giving up my dog it was an easy decision for me, I have nobody to miss and apart from a few friends nobody is going to miss me so therefore no emotional ties back home tugging on the heart strings. I am totally committed to my new life as an expat, its what I want to do and the Philippines is where I want to be, sure there will be bad days and maybe even bad weeks at times but not really a major problem, I had plenty of them back in the UK as well! I think Dumaguete is a good starting location as there is a nice little group of forum members already here, a bonus of that is that there is a wealth of information amongst them, many collective boots on the ground so to speak Lol, but I do believe that the Phils is worth travelling and exploring and over time we will begin to do so, initially it will be to explore the whole of Negros and hopefully as we gain confidence and experience we will venture out further and explore much of the Visayas. I would like to maybe get out to some of the more remote islands that have less foreigners and see if it will bring different experiences, I mentioned before in a previous topic that I would like to do some voluntary work in the community, perhaps to try and give back a little where some help is needed. So, tomorrow Noime and myself will start chipping away at an ever increasing shopping list and we will start to slowly build our new life together here, it is a new and exciting chapter in my life, actually to be truthful it is a new chapter in our lives not just mine. Regarding finance, I have what I have and it will have to be enough, life is too short to stay at home any longer worrying about it, the time to live is now, I am newly retired and I am a new expat in the Philippines. What more could a person want?
  7. 18 points
    Philippines is not noted for its food. There is food here. Thats all I have to say about that. Well one more thing, going to the Philippines for the food would be a bit like going to Alaska for the weather. They got some, but you're not gonna like it.
  8. 18 points
    A Little self indulgence I am afraid to make a point. For those that know me sorry to say it again but for those that don't and can get unsure of Hospitals and Doctors here's my story to show a little faith. In 2012 I had a stroke (Whilst i was living in Spain) I was married to my SO who is the love of my Life but I was going to see out my working life in Spain But events took over and as the Consultant ( In the UK) said no need for Surgery at this time as you are only 60% Blocked ( the Arteries) to my Brain ( yes I have one) I could hardly walk, talk write or even type at times and forget driving However I made the decision to Come here Full time and got myself booked in with my wifes Doctor and now some 6+ years on I now walk some 5/6 kms a day, Passed to Drive and what I consider as fit as i am ever going to be. Now all this together with a reduction of blockage to now 45% is due to the Constant monitoring of the said doctor together with the Therapy and Diet she and others suggested, just goes to show that with our help and understanding (In my case anyway) The Medical care is not as bad as many would make out. To illustrate I put up a few photos to show the progression that a stable marriage and good Doctor can make, I often say that we are in a lot of cases our own worst enemies and just do not follow medical suggestions, Instructions and planned Diets and medication ( not to mention exercise) Yet we Blame the Hospitals and Doctors here as useless, well not me I will hasten to add. Yes it is expensive but not as expensive as it could be elsewhere ( even the UK as I hear it reported of late) So with a vote of thanks to My Doctor and her colleagues at SUMC (Dumaguete) the Love and caring of my Wife and daughter I will be around I hope to bug you all for some time to come Not well at all Getting there Trying to enjoy never forgetting the Friends that helped me along the Way plus all the others And last but not least The best Friend I ever Had and the Sprog of course Thank you for Reading Jack
  9. 18 points
    I have been here for around 7 years and in this time I have been waiting for the right circumstances to build a house.We bought a lot just before Christmas and we have now started to build.The lot is 500sm and the house will be 117 sm.I am also going to build some rentals so my family has an income when I go. Here are some pictures to give you some idea I will add more as it progresses.Her indoors is a very happy Pinay at the moment.
  10. 18 points
    This week Elizardo, a local carpenter, fashioned us a new bench of his own design out of a heavy duty locally grown bamboo that grows wild nearby. Great craftsmanship and very comfortable too! It's always amazing to me what a talented person here can sometimes make with their hands and simple tools. We;ll get it out into the garden soon.
  11. 17 points
    Hi All, hope all is well, Got a recent nice birthday greeting email, from Kuya John, and I thought I'd stop by and post some pics of my orchids (mostly vandas) blooming right now. It has been six years now that I've been living out here here in Cebu, and I'd just like to say hi again after a long hiatus, and I hope to be less lazy and post once in a while. I hope that you enjoy seeing these orchids in bloom right now in my front yard..
  12. 17 points
    I would have put this in Jokes then Thought, is it really a Joke ?
  13. 17 points
    I dunno, I tend to ascribe to the dying art of treat others how you want to be treated. I'm not always rewarded in kind, but it mostly works and it tends to be universal.
  14. 17 points
    Yes it is common. I have lived here full time since I retired four plus years ago. I think a lot of the things you hear come from people reading the news. One thing the news organizations know is that "negative" news seems to be what people want to hear. Poverty, crime, corruption, vigilante killings, typhoons, volcanoes, etc, these are big news. Who wants to read about a warm and friendly people, a country where Americans are still welcome unlike much of the world. Who wants to read about a country where health care is affordable? Those of us who live here and make it home know that the Philippines is no paradise, but neither is it a dangerous, disaster ridden country. It is a developing country and has it's share of problems. The United States is a developed country that has it's share of problems. People ask me "what is it like to live there?" I tell them that it is a country that you will either love and want to stay, or you would never consider it as a place to live permanently. To live here and be happy, or at least at content, depends mostly on two character traits: 1 - Do you like people who are "different" from you in values, culture, outlook, etc? 2 - Are you mentally and emotionally flexible, can you get past frustrations and problems or do you allow them to build up?
  15. 17 points
    I am putting this here because it affects us all as Expats trying to get on with Life as normal people in a strange yet fascinating place, either Living here or closely connected by our loved ones or those that would consider moving as a retiree or just fed up with home. PEF (The Forum) used to be a quaint family oriented forum full of Fun and Friends; Just lately we have gone to a face book type thing in my Opinion, with Sex, Drugs, Killings and Political angles on things we would have rather left at home. It is not, I am sure, what anyone else wants either, we see personal issues rising again (We had some a few years back) For me it is not a blog Page ( and JGF will agree I am sure) we do not need to be taught things that mean little here today. It is what it is here on the Fantasy Islands. it is our Home now and most of us love it, Those that don't or just want to put the PI down have no real place here. There are more than enough pages out there in the Land of the Spammer, Troller and Bloggers that anyone can vent their anger, insecurity call it want you want Yes I am having a go at these types and I am sad to say it. I am not a MOD or Admin, just a member of a few years now that would very much like to see this great Forum get back on path. Guided by the Boss and his gang it is we the members that make the forum either Fun and enlightening, educational for our needs here, not sales Pitches, Political Dramas from places we left that are not sorting themselves out either. Sorry JGF & Jamie but I am sure it is not just me. I am only one voice, but fellow members if we are not careful we will become one of the many Spamming, Trolling Argumentative Forums that are plentiful out there that many left to be here. No! not spamming, just pouring out my Heart here to Friends Sorry but that is me this morning @Jollygoodfellow Jack Morning all
  16. 17 points
    I was at a eatery in Valencia this morning and. a man I know told me this story. He said that yesterday afternoon he lost his wallet.In it was just over 8000p and some of his IDs.He went back to the cafe where he had been sitting and asked if they had seen it. He was told a small boy had it and he thought oh well that is the last I will see of that.After about an hour the small boy knocked on his door and handed over his wallet.He checked the contents and everything was still there even the money.He gave the small boy a sizeable reward. So maybe we are seeing a change in the locals and maybe it is for the better. A nice story for a change.
  17. 17 points
    Good morning all, We are into our last week here in Thailand and looking forward to our new life there in Phils. Balakbayan boxes on their way (slowly) but no apparent hassles. Accommodation all in order and meets most of our requirements (except for the stairs) but will have to cope with that. Will be seeking a motorcycle once we get there, they are very expensive compared to Thailand. But it evens itself out if you sell, I suppose. I am not looking forward to the paper battle to transfer ownership, that seems very 'old hat'. After 5 plus years on this forum, I am not going to the Philippines with 'rose coloured glasses' but am certain life will be better for us there. My SO is a native for a start, where as here we are both 'farangs'. She is also fully fluent of course in the language and that will be great. I am tired of hand signals, facial expressions and stares here! I am deeply indebted to the members of this great forum for all the help and advice I have been given over that time. I feel as though I can fit right in when I get there, but feel sure there will be plenty more questions from me in the future. Of course there are always difficulties with living in a foreign country but overall, I am sure it will be a better life there. See you all soon.
  18. 16 points
    I moved to the PI in 2011 intending to probably stay permanently. I lasted 13 months. Drove me nuts. The little things just ground me down until I couldn’t take any more. So now I visit several times a year, I stay 2 or 3 months, then retreat back to my fortress of solitude in Canada. Best of both worlds.
  19. 16 points
    All Just an update to my earlier post regarding iVF treatment. It was confirmed today that we have a little girl due in July/Aug 2020. Well worth the expense!! Paul
  20. 16 points
    I thought I was last year, then after coming back home after six weeks tripping and not feeling well over there I went to the doc. Bowel cancer, full of old sh--, the Professor told me and within a few months the polyps were gone and so was most my bowel. Along with the diagnoses of bowel cancer the old Pro had picked up, a bit of lung cancer as well, and I went off to see the specialist, only a floater, we have to wait until it attaches itself to part of the lung before we can do anything with-it. I'd already had lung cancer and they'd cut the effected lob out, about 8 years earlier, technology had moved on, they'd caught it early enough this time and said it would be only Radiation. On the 4 Th, I on was on my way ( 5 ) hr drive to get the final health clearance for the end of the months trip, 4 weeks over there, spend a bit of time with a few blokes I'd meet up with previous. Old Oscar decided I wasn't going, he'd pulled the plug on the ticker and out of the blue I had a massive heart attack. From time of first feeling something wrong to time of last heart procedure was 5/12 hours, they also had to fly me 300 km. Now I know a fare bit about the PI hospital system and you wouldn't even have made it to a hospital, so before you go over full time, it might be wise to check the ticker out.
  21. 16 points
    Hello to all! Now back in the US after my awesome 3 week trip to the Philipines. Arrived in Manila and injoyed a 5 day stay there.We stayed at the Casablanca Hotel directly across from the large Robinson Mall which was a great location for quality shoping ,dining,and fun activities.The hotel had a small apartment type layout and was reasonably clean but no warm water or microwave available.Its a bit expensive but if you are just staying for one or two nights I can recommend the Golden Phoenix...as we stayed there one night before I retured to the USA.Visiting the Manila Aquatics center was great fun complete with a water show with Seals.This is a huge facility that has all things aquatic and more.Really enjoyed viewing the various fish tanks and actually walking through a huge fish tank.So many interesting things to see an do there.We also visited the Mall of Asia.If you want to shop till you drop or have a endless choice of restaurants this might be for you. Then went to Iloilo for four days.Stayed at the Injap Tower which I can highly recommend.Its directly across from the huge SM Mall.We also went to see a beautiful Mansion once belonging to a government official and now open to the public.You can view exotic artwork and shop for souvenirs.There is also a very nice coffee / snack shop on the property Left Iloilo by car and traveled about 5 hours to Boracay.This was really a nice ride to see the Phillipines country side.It is truly very beautiful with strong overtones of a tropical climate.Lots of greenery including banana and Palm trees everywhere.I think we passed through abought 8 towns along the way along the way..a couple of them fairly large.The roads are ok but where they are working on them you almost need a truck to pass through.When nearing Boracay we crossed over a large mountain and arrived on the other side to find a somewhat busy small town and a nice airport that can handle the large jets should you want to fly directly to Boracay.We put the car in storage and snagged a large boat to travel to the island which took just a few minutes.From there we took a taxi through the Boracay shopping district /mall / town to reach our mountain top hotel - Alta Vista.This is a 4 star hotel located about 8 minutes from Puka Beach.The view from our balcony was incredible.So it was 6 days of sun and fun at Boracay- swimming,snorkeling on the reefs,cliff jumping,boat rides and more.I was one of the only americans anywhere around.I would say around 85% Japanese staying at our hotel.I knew that Boracay had a infrastructure revamp last summer and its complete for the most partI think.But they are still doing quite a bit of work on the roads.Even if your traveling in your hotels shuttle van you could spend a lot of time in traffic.The beaches are clean and the ocean is the beautiful turquoise color.It was truly the best vacation resort I have ever been to. We got our car out of storage and returned to a province of Iloilo which I don't know the name of.We stayed there one night and the next day traveled about 3 hours to San Joaquim Iloilo.There we visited Garin Farm Resort which is a Christian Pilgrimage / journey.Its located on top of a mountain overlooking the ocean and has a very nice resterant along with accommodations if you want to stay overnight.- Loved it! And then returning to Iloilo City to just relax with my filipino partner...But sadly after drinking some toxic water I became very ill and had to spend 2.5 days in the Iloilo Mission Hospital - I will write a post on this very soon. I could close this synopsis with one of many pertinent subjects but I would just like to say that I was very impressed with what I saw and heard from the Filipino people.Overall they seem to be very down to earth and simple natured.Also It was refreshing to see friends openly showing their affection for each other.Anyway ,It was truly a pleasure to visit with them here in the Philipines
  22. 16 points
    I think I will leave most of the personal obstacles we faced (illnesses) for another thread and just comment on the trip itself. We left on Monday from Clark and returned on Friday. -- Clark airport park and fly still leaves something to be desired. Last time, I got the last spot. This time, they opened a new lot near the security gate and it was almost full. When I got back, it appeared to be full. It is a long walk from that lot to the building. The sign in front said p30 hour, indicating short term parking. However the guard said it was also long term, p90 a day. -- As described in another post, they killed me on fees. Travel tax p6480. Departure tax p3000. ECC-B 2880. Ridiculous. -- Surprisingly, even though the flight was full, there was no queue at all at Cathay Dragon to check in. Staff was really great with the kids and took them behind the counter and played with them. -- We were very happy to have chosen Cathay Dragon over Cebu Pacific. The crew was great even when the 2 year old was acting up. The leg room was much better for me. We were allowed 150 kg of checking luggage of which I used about 80 + a stroller. I will definitely use them next time. -- Arrival in Hong Kong was without incident and they are efficient in immigration. -- We took a taxi to the hotel. We had to wait a while to get a 5 person taxi. They are strict and a 4 person taxi only takes 4 persons, even if the 5th is a baby. We went in a blue taxi because of that and Disney is not normally their area, and the driver spoke very little English. Even though I repeatedly told him Disney Explorer and the dispatcher told him too, he took us to Disneyland first. I think the fare was about 10 hkd too high because of this. The fare with baggage was 182 hkd, about p1236 or usd 23. Ok by me. On the way back, from Disney to Regal airport hotel, it was 158 hkd, about usd 20. -- We stayed at the Disney Explorer's Lodge. Except for the high prices, we loved the hotel. The only thing that would improve it is a playground for the kids. The kid's participated in some activities at the hotel and on the 31st, joined a trick or treat. It was a bit lame but the kids loved it. They have a really nice big heated pool but because the kids had been / were sick, we did not use it. -- We went to Disneyland on Tuesday and Thursday. Our original plan was for Tue/Wed, but we were so burned out we decided to have an off day Wednesday. Then we checked out of Explorer's Thursday morning and they kept our baggage. When we got back from Disneyland around 6:30 pm, we grabbed the bags and grabbed a taxi to the Regal Airport hotel, for the last night before our flight. -- The shuttle buses between the hotel and Disneyland were great. They run constantly so no waiting. -- One mistake I made was not bringing two strollers. One of ours is not so great I figured I would rent one, which I did. However, the walk from the bus dropoff to the stroller rental was very long, and very hot in the morning, and very tired in the evening. We were missing the second stroller there! -- With an exception mentioned later, Disneyland was great! We took it slow. Our plan was to go back to the hotel mid-day and rest, but that never worked out. We had any lines to speak of. I had 4 priority passes from the hotel and only used one. I talked my 14 year old into joining me on Hyperspace Mountain and she loved it. Her first coaster! We used the priority pass to go to the front of the line. - The weather was actually great for an amusement park. Some clouds and some overcast and a breeze to keep it cool. We had been watching the typhoon and it was still tracking to miss Hong Kong. So it completely sucked on Thursday when they announced that all outdoor rides were closed due to level 3 warning! The weather was perfect except for a stronger than normal breeze. The bay was calm. Outdoor rides included even the covered carousel. This did make the indoor rides more crowded but in the end, the closures did not impact us much. -- So, Thursday night we transferred to the Regal Airport Hotel to make it easier to catch our 1210 flight back on Friday. The Regal was fine as it was my last stay on my visa run. I'm having a billing issue but it will get worked out. -- Overall, we had a good trip despite my wife and I not getting much sleep when the kids were sick in the night. We lived. Here are a few pictures... Sunset the first night at Explorer's. There is a really nice, beautifully landscaped area along the bay. Leila on the Merry-go-round Watching the 5D movie, highly recommended! Leila puffing some bubbles! Trick or treat at the hotel! Katy made a new BFF, the little Chinese girl, Summer. The kids loved meeting Moana!
  23. 16 points
    Hi Guys well I'm back home in not so sunny England ,its quite surreal to leave a hot and humid Manila and return to what must be one of the coldest springs on record. The vacation was very enjoyable and i had the experience of phillipino family life from two different families ,one in compostella mindano and the other at porac pampamanga .the first being very much a farming community that relies heavily on the vast surrounding banana plantations and the latter in porac being a family who have mostly worked overseas to earn money to buy their Jeepneys , we also stayed at Davao , Samal island and subic bay ,my favourite place was Samal island ,it was paradise. Ive experienced the hussle and bussle of the night market ,ate at road side eaterys ,up market restaurants, jollibees and mcdonalds. i will return at some point for a longer visit ,next time i wont set myself up with a woman ,id like to explore other areas , ive never seen people who are so happy in such impoverished living conditions , the lady that i met was a nice girl ,,however her father started questioning me on how much i earned and pensions etc , it was quite blunt that they wanted me to marry their daughter and support a family of around 20 people , during the trip the lady never spent a single peso despite me giving her 8k ,my buddles lady on the other hand bought the odd bottle of water for us etc , it was went i was asked if id pay for her son to come along that i decided to end the relationship after the two weeks . We spent 6 nights at the hof gori resort in samal ,owned by a lady boy ,we founf out that she pays her staff a pittance 250p a day to wait hand and foot on us ,she also pockets the service charge herself and takes back any tips that you give the staff ,so we slipped the staff a quiet tip ,the place itself was paradise the food was excellent we left there and after a stop over at Davao we flew to clark and were picked up in a jeepney and driven to porac ,I'm 6ft 1inch and the jeepney was the most uncomfortable ride that i can remember ,we had a day in porac before heading to Angeles ,i screwed up there ,i had booked us into a knocking shop type hotel , we stayed the night and had breakfast before our van picked us up and off to Subic we went ,i had booked us into the Treasure island resort ,it was a decent enough place and from ther we explored a little , a day trip to poondakit was enjoyed as so was the trips to the mall and the yacht club , i did not do the boat trip around the bay . overall a great experience and adventure
  24. 16 points
    Today in the US it will be Thanksgiving Day. I'm sure that in every other place in the world at some time of the year there is a day that people that although in in a different context, might also give thanks for many reasons. Please allow me at this time to thank each and every forum member here today, may you be a constant or sometimes contributor, or just one who joins in quietly here to share the collective experience that we all share called the Philippines. I'm almost at the four year mark here in my new and old adventure living here permanently. Thanks today to you all for sharing your experiences, and being there to hear and take stock in what I have to say. Even though I've never met any of you in person, I feel that you're friends that have unknowingly helped so much in getting me to where I am so far here. Whether it be honest insights, general information funny life stories shared, frustrations and heartbreaks, high and low points, and love stories of all kinds, and at some points "a voice in the wilderness", when I need one the most. For the folks that we don't hear from--just the collective feeling that you're out there and share some or all of these things along with me too, I thank you. Your experiences are mine now too, and I'm very grateful and will continue to be glad that I have such a wonderful resource as you all. For those who celebrate Thanksgiving Day today, I hope it's a happy one for you. Just know that you're all on my list of people and things to be thankful for today and every day.. Queenie
  25. 16 points
    Well, I finally got there. Saturday 30th September 2017. Retirement Day. 4 months short of 30 years working for British Telecom (BT). No more working outside in all weathers, no more dragging through the London traffic in my BT van. Today I woke with a smile, to be honest since I had my retirement confirmed 2 weeks ago my own little world has been a happy place to be. In the past 4 years since my ex broke our marriage life has been challenging and to be honest, often quite lonely. BUT THAT WAS THEN AND NOW IS NOW!! I am SO looking forward to the next chapter of my life. I truly cannot wait to be in the Philippines, to meet Noime again, its been 1.5 years since we were last together. I know that there will be challenging days ahead, after all it is the Phils, Lol, but in my opinion it's far better to have them challenging days relaxing in the sun on the beach or amongst friends having a beer or two on the boulevard. I was in Dumaguete last year and also the previous year, I have a few friends there already plus I also count our own forum members living there as friends, hopefully the friendships will grow in strength. Steve (Always RT) was living a couple of doors away from me last year at Hermogina Apartments and I also had the pleasure of meeting DaveH, Jack and Kev for a beer down on the boulevard, I am really looking forward to meeting them all again asap, plus I believe Davewe has also joined them. Hopefully the boys monthly meeting will have grown from 3 to 6, Lol. There has only been one big negative in this move for me, I had to give up my dog Smudge, an adorable old Cocker Spaniel I had since he was just a puppy, he will be 13 years old next week. Very sad.... but it is what it is, it had to be done. We all know the old saying "Is a glass half empty or half full?" Well, for me today my glass is overflowing with joy, bring it on. The Philippines and all that it holds, good and bad will be my new home. Can't wait to be there!!!
  26. 16 points
    I could just say a "me too" to Mogo's topic but I'll add a few more details about our own journey to the Philippines. He does have us beat by a week or so. We are due to arrive in Dumaguete August 1st (more or less). Our house is sold and the last checkbox toward the closing process is done; so it closes in a week. Will spend a week at a friends house before we take off. We booked a month to month rental apartment, where we were able to ship our BB boxes. There was a hiccup last night. The apartment people sent me an email detailing what I would need to take care of myself (bed sheets, pots and pans). They also told us the apartment has a LAN cable only. Janet, who has gotten used to fast internet and wifi pouted a minute until I reminded her that I would be bringing my wifi router and having worked in Networking for 15 years knew how to plug the ethernet cord into the wifi router lol. Of course I can't solve the speed issues. Unlike Mogo I don't think a bike is in my future but a car is. Also unlike Mogo, I am bringing my slightly rose colored glasses (Maui Jims of course). I think that both he and I feel pretty optimistic about our moves and that's a good thing. There will be plenty of opportunities to feel pessimistic in the future and probably a few people to encourage me along those lines, so starting out with a brighter tint works for me. I too discovered this forum years ago after being frustrated by the general negativity of a couple of other forums. I too want to thank all of you for your well reasoned thoughts and guidance. Now if only my guitar can survive the journey the trip will be perfect!
  27. 15 points
    Well after a few cups of tea and quite a few slices of toast I am ready to say ,I am back in the uk . Traveling from Manila Wednesday evening and onwards to Hong Kong there was no mention of the corona virus , there was lots of folk wearing face masks and even a few wearing around there neck is that for fashion I wonder, we did have the temperature gauge put on our foreheads as we went through immigration, and when we landed in Hong Kong nothing at all even landing in Manchester there was nothing other then a leaflet saying if you feel unwell stay indoors and call 111 for more information . Anyway like I said back home and a nice drive through the countryside through the snow to get to our Cosy home where I am king of that castle , hang about Emma’s here ‘We are king off our castle ‘.
  28. 15 points
    I have been here for six years. In that time I have met two, out of quite a few, where I enjoyed their company. It seems that many of the expats who move here have "issues" and expect to leave them behind. There also seems be to be rather high percentage of expats who drink a LOT. Another thing you will run into is the expat who can only bitch about how backward the Philippines is. As other posters have mentioned it pays to be cautious in being overly friendly with expats.
  29. 15 points
    Six years ago (April 12 2012) I had a Stroke that could have ended it all for me as it has for so many, We all moan a little at times about healthcare here in the PI BUT I for one, have not a lot to moan about. After going to the UK from Spain for what at the time I thought would be Surgery, I was cleared to Fly here to Retire from that daily Routine of the 4 letter word (WORK). In Spain and Gibraltar [July 31st I arrived 2012] My Doctor her has been Great although a Couple of things have popped in those 6 years but she is on top of them, I got my Laboratory results back this morning for my Physical on Friday and they are good [ I do have a prostate problem but it can be sorted] So Doc, I send you my for all the good work you have done and I hope will continue to do on this ole Body of Mine Not to be too Boring but a before and after Photos to show my progress Not a blog but just an Update for those that knew me before or now even Jack Morning All
  30. 15 points
    im finding the discussion about beer quite funny , I am teetotal and have been for 24 years , I have no idea how much booze costs these days . Anyhow , back on subject lol , I returned to the UK after three weeks in Davao , I met a woman from gensan on my arrival , we did the tourist trips to the crockodile park and the malls etc , that one was an experienced holiday girlfriend , she had posted a photo of her that was from at least 10 years ago , that and other stuff helped me to decide to send her home . I had other options , a girl from Samar and a girl from Cebu ,the girl from samar was too young , I do not feel comfortable when there is an age gap of almost 40 years , on top of that she had a great plan of how I would hire a car and take her and her family on holiday to the chocolate hills for a week all at my expence , she also wanted me to have a baby with her , I was polite and declined her kind offer . I sat in a hotel in Davao , at this point I was aware that the foreigner PESOnality as it has been put to me gave me bird pulling power that I had never experienced before , the young ladies in the mall asked me if I had a girlfriend and also the therapist in the massage parlour made enquireys . I went on DIA to see if there were any mature ladies available and I sent a message to G , we met up later at the mall , we started a friendship and she straight away began looking after my interests , I had been quoted 27000 for a condo for two weeks , she said to leave negotiation to her and the result was a 7000 peso saving . She was not the most pretty lady whom I had met but I felt that she was very trustworthy , her postion as a middle to senior manager in the government was evidence that she had no criminal past etc as we got to know each other , I learned that she was involved in charitable stuff , her pet project is to bring education to street children ,she is the governor of a school. We went to a beach on samal and she asked if she could bring her kids for a treat , so off to the beach we went , 3000 pesos on food and drinks , the kids had a great time and so did we , I was taken aback when her daughter asked her if she had slept with me ,but heyho its a different culture , we made up a story that we had been talking online for about a year that seemed to satisfy the daughter . It felt good to bring a day of happiness to a bunch of kids , somehow there were 8 of them a few friends had tagged along hehe. On the Sunday , I went to church ,its been a while for me but before I met her mom who is a pastor we had to go to church , I met mum ,dad, and a lovely little girl who was her mums great granddaughter , I took them to a restaurant of their choice , I was pleased to note that they picked an inexpensive one and made sure that we got the appropriate discounts . Her mother invited us back to their farm , and I toured the array of fruit trees and ate the obligatory Durian ,her mother at 71 years of age posseses a very sharp mind ,she has two degrees and a PHD ,her dad was a quiet guy. On the Monday I met her co workers and picked up the tab for a pizza , I later made several site vists with her as her primary job is as the safety officer for the water board in charge of up to 120 souls , that was interesting. I also wanted to find out more about property and stuff on this trip , we visited several condos around Davao , again G looked after my interests , I was getting Kanu prices quoted and could not get them to come down from 3.2 mill , so I let her do the talking , the condo that I was staying in became available so she got it down from 3.3 mil to 2.7 mill , so im now in the process of buying a condo , im soo glad that G is an intelligent woman , I could not have worked out their system , I met chris a guy who is studying for the bar , he took care of the legal paperwork , a nice bloke I liked him , if I had used an attorney I would have cost 300k but chris got it down to 100k for legal expenses . Im looking at the condo as somewhere to stay when I return and to generate a bit of cash , im doing the money transfer next week and already its been rented out ,so things are looking good , only time will tell if ive done the right thing . G is in the condo as I type along with a janitor scrubbing the place spotlessly clean and dealing with the clients , it was all a bit quick but ,ive saved 600k on a condo Im planning to return in December , im starting to wind things up this end , I need to sell some capital assets and get rid of the ususual garage sale type stuff ,but im hoping to be semi retired in the phils by 2019 , if I feel confident enough ill try to find a cheap property in the boonies , I prefer countryside to the city ,but ive definitely made my first major step to living in the phils , ill probably do 3 months UK , 9 months phils , im to young for a pension and do not want to erode my savings , I could live off of my private pension but I want to keep that as a reserve , I can do contract work in the uk and earn enough in 3 months to support a decent lifestyle in the phils I got lucky , I met a trustworthy woman , she has her own house , earns a lot more than your average philipino and she used that word that I had never heard from a philipino before , she said we "share" the expence of living in the philipines . Heres a couple of mug shots of us having fun at EDEN center mount apo
  31. 15 points
    If any of you remember I did a post about the Cup of Gold vine in a post a while back. The other day I saw that a Maya or Black Headed Munia had build a small hidden nest between the vines on the window grill. Fun to see, and we've been careful not to go to near as to disturb the small pink eggs in the nest. I'd say that we have about maybe 15 different kinds of birds in the yard here in Cebu. Down by the sea we find small Chinese Egrets on the mudflats during low tide, as well as White Collared Kingfishers. Swiftlets dart back and forth over the sea and back into the yard. also seen are cuckoo birds and other wild doves. A native Tamsi or the Philippine's version of a hummingbird darts around favored flowers looking for nectar. We have a yellow bellied flycatcher that can project it's call like a ventriloquist to another spot in the garden! Another bird makes a sound like EEEEk! The birds have simple birdbaths to visit and I think that our walled garden is a kind of refuge for them. It's kind of fun to find out what the bird is called in Bisaya, and then googling images it to find the English translation I recently picked up a book here called Birds of Cebu and Bohol. The writers explained that due to illegal logging/overtaking of land for farming/housing etc. has cut back on many endemic trees that were once homes for many birds. Birds is the past and still now are sometimes hunted for sport or pet trade, which keeps numbers down. We're just glad for all the birds that we observe, and think that it makes a nicer place to share space with them. I was surprised to read that many birds have adapted to city areas too, and have become more plentiful there. Do you have any particular birds that you see and observe in your areas? I'd love to hear about any that you might know. Google images when looking to identify a particular bird here in the Philippines. You'd be surprised that after looking around you can spot the exact bird that you'd been looking for!
  32. 15 points
    In the past I have read quite a few posts on similar topics to this. This is just my experience after a very recent arrival. We quickly realized that Filipinos are not good at maintaining their own properties, let alone rentals. This is not a surprising position as Thais are very similar. However, where I lived Pattaya, many properties were owned by 'Farangs' and were well kept. But you could always tell the local owned. The property we rented at Marand Resort Bauang, left much to be desired, under equipped lacking basic necessities (at least by my standards anyway). We moved only to find the next place no better, even though the promises were there that certain things would be done, - they were not. Quite unexpectedly, we came across a property for sale. We both had already discussed that we were very happy living here in Bauang and it suited both our needs ie. closeness to her family (not too close), near beach, good shopping areas and still reasonably quiet. One minus, is poor road facilities and bad traffic congestion in San Fernando. Have now found the back way into there and much better. The small town of Bauang has a great market and people are friendly and helpful in the main. Anyway back to the property. Owned by a Filipino youngish woman whose husband died 2 years ago. Has got herself into financial trouble and needed to sell. We viewed the property through a friend and liked it - only downside its a townhouse. I made an offer well below the market price (which I had established prior) and it was accepted. There is also a very good payment plan attached which makes it an even better deal. I will not go into other personal details. We were sent to a local solicitor who has handled western clients for over 15 years and well regarded. All searches completed and property clear. The guy who told me about the property, also lives opposite and actually built the complex, 9 units, half occupied by Aussies, 2 European, 1 Filipino. 3brooms, 2 bath, lovely kitchen/dining area and bedrooms good size, not the small dog boxes we have seen about.in a nice area near the beach. So here we are after only a couple of months moving into our own home mid month. We are both happy and excited to have something of our own together after 6 years.Furniture expedition completed and delivery in 10 days. The deal I negotiated made the decision a 'no brainer' and only brought forward what I intended to do within the next 12 to 24 months anyway, so better than paying rent IMO under these circumstances.
  33. 15 points
    Good morning all, Apologies for not posting sooner, but we have little or no internet at this place, Villa Marand Resort, Bauang. It is 2 weeks now since we arrived and plenty of ups and downs (No not that sort!). But interesting just the same. The townhouse was very sparsely equipped when we got here, not cooking, eating utensils, a stove that must be as old as me and slow as a wet week (which we have also had). So we are moving in another 6 weeks. Have a back up place, which is old but spacious, which we tried to book but they do not answer their emails. Apparently the lady who runs it is just too busy! Judging by her size, its from sitting on her rear end all day doing zip. But we can get a 1br there when our 2 months is up here (reduced from 6) and it is a backup but trying to find something better. Furnished places are somewhat hard to find. Whilst we could buy furniture, we want to make sure this place is suitable for both of us before committing to that level. Our trip thru Thail Immigration was appalling, 1 hr check in, 2 hours security check and Immigration. We had to run to the plane after Immigration (something that does not go well with me) and made it by 10 minutes. Plane full, had us sitting apart, but thankfully a lady swapped her seat and we were ok. Bus trip to Bauang was fine, arrived at 3am in the morning a bit worn out. No cooking utensils, pots pans etc. eating utensils the same, apparently owner does not consider these her problem. Given it is basically a holiday location, I find her reasoning somewhat adrift. We will move in 6 weeks by which time our balakbayan boxes will have arrived we hope. Nearby market is great, much cheaper than Thailand. Bought a whole reef cod for 240 pesos and it was superb. SO has found previously untapped cooking abilities, some great pansit a couple of times this week. I did not know it but been cooking Pansit for years. Last Monday it decided to rain and forgotten to stop ever since. As many would know deep Tropical depression on our doorstep. I have never seen so much rain before. We have sorted banking using Maybank (recommended) as it turned out the Bank Manager lives 2 doors down and a nice young guy. I may buy his car, which will wipe out any ownership problems. Just got to get him a bit more realistic in price. Anybody know anything about Kia Soul, sort of a semi SUV or sedan/cross wagon. haven't driven it yet. Inquiries reveal that once we get further towards San Fernando we can get PLDT line internet. Optic fiber has been laid around but very little connected at this stage here. /The line is giving 8-10mg most of the time from guys I have spoken to that have it. I think at the moment I have about 1kb! Went to the dentist yesterday and the bad news is %60k pesos to bring my teeth up to speed. I had gum and bone issues so transplants are not an option, I have to have a denture upper, then bridging on lower, 8 fillings and extraction and a few other things. Great looking surgery, latest Xray machine which they did in a few minutes sent straight to his laptop. Not a pretty sight looking into your own mouth, especially when my teeth are like me - showing their age. I have found it basically cheaper here but until I start my budged from 1st August, cannot support that, but just general costings seem in favour of Philippines. Hope I have not bored you all to death.
  34. 15 points
    After my stay in the US Peace Corps I returned back to the US and my Filipino fiance joined me shortly after and we got married in the US. Within a year we both decided to adopt a child from the Philippines after seeing the many children there without a family. In less than a year we had a new lovely two year old adopted child originally from Davao. He was raised in Rhode Island with us and he later attended university in Philadelphia. We traveled a lot with him when he was a kid so he caught the wanderlust like us, and now lives and teaches abroad in South Korea. He's a great guy and we're very close. Being raised as an American I see a young man who has a different sensibility and set of experiences. Raising a child in the Philippines would have many good advantages too, but also having many differences in outlook and experience. With good parents looking out for a child, I think that there are no real advantages on either side overall though, and in the end we all make the most of our circumstances if we're lucky.
  35. 15 points
    My biggest change is I no longer shout at the television when I see some lying politician or libtard defending the undefendable. I don't have to put up with people being offended because I think their gender neutral or binary fluid label is a crock of sh@@. No more worries about not being politically correct or putting up with bad weather. No unemployed crying because their human rights have been violated as the Government has cut their benefits to just under £26,000 per year. I now live on a beautiful island with hard working locals, sure some like the Red Horse too much but as has been said just keep out of the way. I smile when I see a job advertisement that actually says the type of person they are looking for and don't bother applying if you don't fit the mould. A President that if you don't do your job you're out on your butt and no lawyer chasing tax payers money defending you. Real issues like drugs and terrorism attacked with full force regardless whose feeling get hurt. So in short for me things have been a big improvement. Sure there's risks and challenges but every 24hr period is now mine to organise and do as I wish. I'm no longer a wage slave and can pretty much decide what I want to do and when I want to do it. I couldn't have that freedom in the UK.
  36. 14 points
    Tomorrow is the wife's birthday. Can't take her anywhere for dinner and nothing open to buy a gift. So I will surprise with a sketch. I hope it is good enough to get rid of any "social distance" tomorrow night.
  37. 14 points
    Starting a new thread since I didn't want to sidetrack another one Last year on a 4 week holiday in PI I spent 8 days on Siargao and not only is it one of my favourite places in PI it's one of my favourite places in the world. Very clean with hardly any rubbish or plastic on the streets, beaches or in the sea. Anyway below is a 4 minute video I made which shows a lot of the island and surrounds including Magpapunka rock pools, Sugba lagoon and Sohoton Cove. I wanted to share some of these experiences which help to explain why I love the Philippines and Filipino people especially when you get away from the cities and tourist areas. The children on the beach I rode my scooter down to a place called Secret Beach to the south of General Luna with the intention of going for a swim. But it was low tide so I would have had to wade out several hundred metres whilst trying not to tread on any rocks so I just sat down on the beach to relax and soak it in. Soon after these local kids came over wanting to chat, maybe I was a novelty since I suspect they don't get too many foreigners there. Anyway they were lovely kids, all smiles and after a while one of their brothers who would have been about 12 came over. They told him I wanted to go swimming so he offered to take me out in his canoe. So I helped him drag it down to the water and we jumped in and paddled out far enough that I could slip over the side and go swimming. Then when we got back in and before I left I took them all across the road to a little shop and bought them a treat each. The dancing men One day I rode around the island and got a bit lost so pulled over to check my map. As luck would have it there were a group of 7 or 8 men having a party in their front yard and they saw me and motioned for me to come in. I ended up staying for a few hours It was a Sunday afternoon and they had music playing and I was offered beer, a few actually, and some freshly caught crab. And then a few started doing that dance you see and they wanted me to join them. Which I did and I did my best to copy that style of dancing I think it even has a name? Anyway they thought it was the best/funniest thing they'd ever seen Eventually I had to leave but it was a lot of fun, no scamming or ulterior motive just a bunch of men having a good time and sharing it with a stranger. I've had a lot of these types of experiences on my trips and I look forward to more in the future.
  38. 14 points
    There was an earlier Corona virus... it made me pretty sick a few times
  39. 14 points
    Steve, hate to be negative mate but I have never seen how it can work for you there in as much as I hope that it will. TimL puts it very clear ...Move away from her family! Since day one, even when you were in the UK, you have had issues with them, how much more so now that you are here? The family of my missus are on the next island over, 7 hours away by bus and ferry... that's close enough for my liking. We have the occasional visits to each other and that works out just fine, they also don't hit us up for money although we will help when I deem it necessary. I have been here a lot less time than many of the other members , I am now at 2 years 3 months, but apart from coming across the occasional expat who turns out to be a wanker I am loving it here, I wouldn't dream of going back to the UK. I have the occasional bad/gloomy day or two but in truth I am very happy, to use a Philippines expression 'I feel blessed to be living here'. You are the one providing all the cash for the numerous projects and improvements which they seem happy to let you do (no surprises there) but unless you have the genuine support and respect of her family they will be just as happy to milk you and let you get on your way, just my own opinion of course. Being careful not to offend you, your wife comes across as not really being considerate of your needs, it has always seemed to be about her and her family from what you have written over the years. Get away from them and come and see some other expats in other parts of this wonderful country, I think your appreciation and enjoyment levels will rise dramatically. Happy New Year fella!
  40. 14 points
    Yeah, it was pretty exhilarating. I use to live in the Cavite area (south of Manila) along the coast of Manila Bay. It was interesting to see knee high brown water gushing in and out during low and high tides. I lost count on how many bio-hazards (diapers, dead animals) were running pass my elevated front yard. And with a couple shots of tequila, I use to go windsurfing during those times. Puerto Galera (south of Batangas) was one of the best place to scream across flat water, while holding on for dear life and not get airborne. Thinking back, I would never do that again.
  41. 14 points
    I came here to live 8 years ago and have been here ever since.It has not been an easy transition as i had to get used to how things are done here which seem to be stacked against us. This now does not bother me as if I think something is going to be stressful I pay a local to do it. I was having problems a few years ago and I was pissed off, I then thought about it and realised that 95% of my problems were from the UK. The rules there can be more harder to follow than here when you are living here. After 5 years here I sold all I had left in the UK and decided to look out for my wife and Daughter and stuff , in many instances the UK. A lot of the problems I had were from government employees who don`t give a toss and you end up with the crap that follows because they did not do their job. I have on several occasions made an official complaint and 3 times have been compensated for the behavior of workers in the UK. We now have 4 rentals and so far 1 tenant who seems ok ,time will tell, and life is so much better now. Life is now settled and I only have to deal with idiots in the UK once or twice a year. So how was your transition moving here did it go smoothly or did you have problems, are you still having problems.
  42. 14 points
    Elite Jet The only picture ever taken of Concorde flying at Mach 2 (1,350 mph). Taken from an RAF Tornado fighter jet, which only rendezvoused with Concorde for 4 minutes over the Irish Sea: The Tornado was rapidly running out of fuel, struggling to keep up with Concorde at Mach 2
  43. 14 points
    Others words may start an new Argument if read by her Indoors:
  44. 14 points
    Just to set the scene. I'd been going out with a girl here for a few years. I met her over 3yrs ago but finished with her last year. Lets just say she never took it too well and gave my next partner grief even though she wasn't on the scene at the time. I've got friends over from Scotland and although I'm living in Puerto Galera I decided to take them to Boracay for a few days. I surfed the web for digs and from a few hundred narrowed it down to one. I booked in yesterday to a place that has individual apartments with balconies at ground level opening out to the gardens. I'd just booked into my room and stood on my balcony, looked to the left and there's my ex and her new partner looking at me from the next balcony. Just a bit awkward. Lol.
  45. 14 points
    I've only been here for getting on 4 years but I feel comfortable and have no desire whatsoever to return to the UK. To settle and enjoy it here you have to really want it. Many, I believe, find that the reality does not live up to the fantasy, which for those the fantasy was all it ever was. Each to their own though, no use staying somewhere if you're not happy.
  46. 14 points
    I have stopped reading Blogs now after 10+ years here as I feel that many are written by disgruntled Expats that just never gave their Retirement here the full commitment it deserves. We have over the (Certainly last few years) had members with a Totally negative Attitude and it showed in their Topics and Postings that they Just Did not want to here ( if they ever wanted to be in the First place) I for one will never go Back to the UK for many reasons, maybe a Visit if I could get my Wife and Sprig there ( But that's another story) 5 years only sounds a bit like the marriage 7 year itch to me ASs many have said and no doubt many more will say and agree? there are an awful lot of people that will not really be happy anywhere. Me? happy as a pig My friends
  47. 14 points
    Stopped off at the LTO to get a license for the wife and I and had to take the drug test and physical. I talked to a young lady thorough a little window and she hands me a form to fill out. So I fill it out and sit back down. Then she says to go in to the back through this small door. When I get inside it was her sitting at her desk. Why the window in the front I have no idea. She gives me the paper work to fill out and hands me this LITTLE bottle to pee in. After 20 years in the miltary and 15 years driving a commercial truck i have done more drug testes then i can count. But this bottle was small. So i looked at the young lady and asked if she had a bigger bottle. She gave me that deer in the headlights look that only a sweet filipina can give. Thats when the older lady sitting next to her said"Dai, it going to get stuck" and started to laugh. It took the young lady a few seconds to get what the other lady had meant. Wow this was the frist time in 33 years i have ever seen a filipina turn red from embersoment. She could Only set there with the papers covering her face making the lady setting next to her laugh even harder. This made my day. By the end of the day I got my license but my filipina/American wife did not, but that is another story.
  48. 14 points
    It’s a big adjustment coming to a faraway foreign country with different rules, culture, norms, etc. My wife has come a long way in the 14 months she has been in the US. She’s working and passed her driving license test Friday and I was thinking back to last June when she first applied for her “Learner’s Permit”, a probationary driving permit that allows her to drive while a terrified licensed driver (me!) sits in the front seat “teaching” her. She was standing at the counter at the DMV while a female employee and a trainee asked the usual questions. One of the questions was, “Do you wish to become an organ donor?” She froze and looked back at me in terror and quietly asked the woman, “Do you mean NOW?” After they stopped laughing they quickly assured her they weren’t going to remove anything right then.
  49. 14 points
    A couple of years ago I bought a shrub in the nearby nursery because I was attracted to it's giant science fiction looking flower buds. Over time I found out that it was actually a sturdy vine that went from that shrub planted in the garden by the sea and made it's way up to the upper part of the garden, planting fresh roots in the ground as it grew. Because the flowers were so exotic and the vine being seaside tolerant I'd discovered, I started to coax it over and attached it to the window grills with twist ties on one side of the house. It has now taken off and has started to bloom too! The flower and vine name is "Copa de Oro" or cup of gold, Golden Chalice vine. The flowers are huge and exotic-- like large wine glasses, and at night the blooms give off an exotic coconut vanilla scent. This plant originates from Mexico I've read, and all parts of the plant are considered dangerous/poisonous. Back in the day it was said that ingesting the flowers produced a peyote like hallucinating state. Mexican shamans used the plant in many rituals too. It was considered quite a potent but rather dangerous aphrodisiac too. I don't think there is any such interest in that aspect of the plant here in the Philippines, but it might be an exotic vine of interest for some of you garden loving readers out there.
  50. 14 points
    Since retiring to the Philippines I feel like I've retired twice. The first time more than prepared me for the final retirement. My first retirement was from the military. I walked through the gates of my first military camp on my 16th birthday as a 5ft 2 inch, 7 1/2 stone weakling. Over the years I trained hard put on the muscle and grew 6 inches. I completed Commando and Paratrooper courses and a whole load more. Traveled the World and done my fair share of operational tours. I worked my way up the food chain to get to Warrant Officer class 1 at the age of 35 which was well ahead of the game, by the time I reached 40 I was in charge of auditing all the units in Scotland and the eyes and ears to the Commander Equipment Support. At 40 I was told go for a commission or retire. I couldn't sell my soul so opted for no choice retirement as I never wanted to become an officer. My final day was a complete eye opener and set my mind for the future. I walked into the headquarters carrying all my uniform and identification card. I was met by what can only be described as a bell end when I went to sign off. It was almost lunchtime and this guy told me to come back after lunch. I explained that as of today I'm a civilian and had given over 22yrs of my life to the Military so would like to do it now. After almost threatening to turn him into a casualty he handed me a signing out form to go around different departments to ensure I never had any outstanding issues. The day proceeded like a comedy of errors with most departments not knowing who In was or for some reason I wasn't on their system ( I'd worked independently and used to set off from home and had served with some foreign units). The headquarters is pretty much staffed by civilians. By 3pm I had handed everything over and the last act was to cut my Identification card up in front of me. I walked out of the camp and it felt like a knife through my heart. In total I'd given 24 yrs and 32 days of my life. My whole youth and the best years of my life. I'd worked hard and professionally up until the last day of service and not even a thank you. At the end of the day I was just a number and easily replaced. Sadly we all have a sell by date. It took me about 10 minutes to decide to retire finally. Sure it's a big risk but fortune favours the brave. I'd rather lay on my death bed thinking of the risks I took than have regrets. You will one day have no choice but to retire and in my mind it's better to retire with your health as long as you can financially afford it and I think compared to the locals here most Westerners have a decent quality of life. I'd hate to think of being retired as a 67 year old with failing health and pretty much thrown on the scrap heap in the cold and wet UK. Dark winter mornings and also getting dark by 4:30pm. It's so much better waking up warm every day with beautiful beaches and clear blue water with a body of like minded retirees. Did I mention the pretty women?
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