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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/24/2019 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    I will have been here seven years this coming October. The only family I have left back in the USA is my brother 71, and a sister 68. We keep in touch on a regular basis via email. When I left the USA I told them I would "probably" not be making any trips back to the USA. Thus far I have not returned and, at present anyway, have no real desire to return. Perhaps I would feel different if I had children or grandchildren living there. Am I happy? Happiness is, at least for me, a more difficult term to define and answer. I can tell you that I enjoy my life here and am quite content. My wife and I have a small ministry and I enjoy working with young people. I have found an interest, and some even a little talent, in painting and sketching that I now enjoy. We are fortunate to live on the water and I can enjoy the beautiful view each day of the year. I do miss the convenience and service levels that I was used to in the US. People in the US for the most part follow the "rules", they obey traffic laws, fall in at the end of lines, wait their turn, etc. Business and government are FAR more efficient in the USA. People have asked me "What is like to actually live there?" I tell them that the Philippines is not for everyone. You will either enjoy life here, or wonder why anyone in their right mind would want to live here. The difference will be in how and whether you can adjust to the Philippines culture and a lower standard of service and infrastructure. Would I do it again. Absolutely! The warmth and friendliness of the Philippine people is amazing and I have no desire to leave my Filipino extended family and friends. I was getting ready to click "Submit Reply" and realized I need to add to my post. My Filipina wife came to the USA on a finance visa so she spent 8 years there while we were married. She misses the USA a lot and speaks often about wanting to move back. I was a little surprised when she first talked about it because she had missed the Philippines quite a bit while living in the US and enjoyed our trips here. She has discovered, like many expats, that a vacation here is different than a life here. So it is not just you, but also your wife, who would be making quite an adjustment should you choose to make a permanent move.
  2. 7 points
    I was a single dad for 16 years. My kids were both in college and in other cities. I quit work at 48 and moved over here. I "should" have worked a few more years. I 'could' have looked into Mexico or South America, and been closer to the old country... But, yes I would do it again. If not - I would go back now. I did not come all this way to be unhappy. If I did not like it I would look elsewhere, or go back. 6 1/2 years and still loving it. Every day is a holiday, every meal is a feast ha ha (an old Navy saying)
  3. 6 points
    Yes, if I was going back in time. But this is a different time. I would surely look at other options before taking a leap of faith that the Philippines is some kind of paradise. Note that I am being very carefull not to suggest you don't do it. You won't know until you try. But don't burn any bridges for a couple of years. It may take that long for the euphoria to wear off.
  4. 4 points
    I stated this in an earlier post - I believe that most of the bad driving habits we see here are a result of people observing other drivers. Filipinos are some of the best imitators in the world. L tells me that all the time too. They imitate western and other cultures. But somehow, they have not picked up on driving etiquette and courtesy even after watching how many movies? Maybe too many movies with car chases and crashes? Some Filipino friends and neighbours here who have spent time in USA are astounded and shocked and appalled by the local drivers. And I want to echo the previous comment about drivers having cars they cannot control. Many of the roads here were not designed to carry huge, modern cars - more likely just motorcycles or tricycles. I see so many Fortuners (yes, I dislike most of those drivers...sorry) or Hillux's that can barely enter some tiny alleys. They barge in a bit, then just stop if someone is coming the other way. And they will not usually back up to allow traffic to flow again, just sit and maybe flash their lights waiting for the other driver to back up and give way. Okay, okay, I am generalizing again, as usual... But I see this behaviour often - big cars driven by people with maybe big egos but small driving skills... There... right or wrong, that is my opinion...
  5. 4 points
    I have been here 8 years and the only regret I have is that I was laid off from work and not able to save for 2 more years apart from that no regrets.
  6. 3 points
    What amazes me is the people on MBs who drive stupidly with young kids on board. Don`t they even think of the safety of their children, seems not but they would be the first to crucify an expat who got into an accident with them even though it was their own fault.
  7. 3 points
    If you are married the easiest visa is probably the balikbayan stamp (not really a visa). You enter with your wife and get a 1 year stamp for free. The 13a visa is easy (spouse visa). It cost about p11,000 and you pay p300 a year during an annual report. Very cheap, very easy (just like me). How much money? Completely up to you. $2,500 would be great for me. I lived my first 6 years here on under $1,000 a month. I was ok with that, many would not be. I now have about $1,500 a month and do not spend it all. Our budget is still under $1,000 (Iloilo is cheaper than Manila or Cebu). Some of the biggest expenses will be rent, food, and electricity. Rent is easy for you to decide your comfort level v your budget. We paid p6,500 for a 2 bedroom apartment in Iloilo city. Later we built a small house outside of town because I like not having rent. Food & electricity can also be big, and again up to you. If you want to run a window unit 24 hours a day, it is about p8,000 a month (again - Iloilo). Run it just at night, and fans during the day, about p4k-p5k. Fans only, p3k. Eating dried fish and rice is pretty cheap, daily beef is expensive. My wife & I spend p10,000 a month on food and most of that is my food (she loves canned fish & rice). We could easily spend less, but I know guys that spend much more. I know 2 guys that get $4,000 a month and spend every penny... I honestly don't know what they spend it on. This is a pretty easy country, if you have a little money. A terrible place to be broke!
  8. 2 points
    Well.... would you? Knowing what you know now, would you still make the move to the Philippines? In a previous thread I spoke about seriously considering moving to the Philippines.... But how did you do that? Do you guys have family back in your native country? Did you bring your family with you? Did you come by yourself? What were your circumstances? If you left family behind, how are you handling that? I have 3 young adult (20 something) kids and I know that they will not want to come to the Philippines with me . What do you do? It would be hard because I wouldn't want my kids to think that I'm abandoning them, yet at the same time I have to think about myself and my future in regards to a happy retirement. Have any of you regretted in any way moving? Has it been hard leaving family (not necessarily kids but parents and brothers/sisters) if you left family behind. So would you do it all again?
  9. 2 points
    Snow World is part of the newly opened Anjo World amusement park in Minglanilla, south of Cebu City. There is a separate entrance fee for SW. P350 at the gate or p300 on Klook. If you want AW+SW, it's 650 or 600 on Klook. We were not interested in the rides. SW is an indoor snow making amusement like those that are popping up in the tropics. They said the temp is -15 C. As far as I could see, their snow making equipment is a high pressure water hose with fine mist nozzles. Not as sophisticated as the equipment at ski resorts. The "snow" is course and icy. You can't make a decent snowball with it! You enter in groups every 30 minutes. It is "unli" but I doubt that many take advantage of that because it is too damn cold without proper snow gear. Entry includes a coat and they will sell you cheap gloves and caps. When you enter you first walk through a few rows of ice sculptures. They are ok. Then there is a play area with some spots for photos. Photography is not allowed except by their in house photographers. It actually makes sense even though their photos are expensive at p200 each. The lighting conditions are really strange and not many amateurs could get good shots. And of course many visitors would stay in there taking selfies until they froze to death! Lastly they have a big ice slide that the family thought was a lot of fun. I didn't do it due to my sore leg. If you don't have your own gear you can't stay in too long but you can go back in. I didn't touch anything until the end when I tried to make a snowball. My hands stung badly! All in all, the kids enjoyed it so it was worth it. Here are our pics.
  10. 2 points
    That was well said, Viking. I try to do the same thing as you - help the ones who are working and trying to get ahead and not the lazy ones with their hands out. And you are right too that we simply cannot help everyone. I pick and choose and try to make a difference when possible. I hope I choose wisely.
  11. 2 points
    Would it be any different if you retired somewhere else? Grumpy is grumpy no matter where you retire.
  12. 2 points
    As I often say to my wife, you get the government you deserve. The shrug of the shoulders and "What can you do?" attitude is one of the reasons this country seems not to be developing as well as it could. The rich and powerful here really have done a great job in creating such an environment of apathy to certain things.
  13. 2 points
    Typhoon2000.com is where I look for stormy weather. Fairly accurate.
  14. 2 points
    It is precisely because there were no smoke belching cars, and vast tracts of land be deforested, that the earth was able to heal itself and put itself back into balance. The problem is that we are screwing up the environment far faster than the earth can possibly bring it back into balance. Just my opinion of course.
  15. 2 points
    You actually do not need an onward ticket if traveling with Filipino spouse. I asked the BI about this twice over the years but the issue is the airlines.
  16. 2 points
    Welcome PT. I have read the above posts and would agree with everything written here. You ask about hidden costs. Medical care here is all pay as you go. So you would need have good insurance or funds rapidly available in case of medical emergency. Also many expats recommend that you rent, not buy, for a period of time when you make the move. This gives you time for both you and your wife to adjust to life here and determine what area best suits your needs. You did not mention in your post if you had visited the Philippines. If not, you really should try to find the time to visit and make each visit as long as possible. Is $2500 enough. Yes, you should be fine at that number. You may need to adjust your budget and expectations based on exchange rate and inflation rate here in the Philippines. Hidden costs. Medical as mentioned above. Expense for "start up costs" of living here. Things you will need to buy when you arrive permanently. For example all your basic food items, spices, condiments, etc. Additional hot weather clothing, possibly furniture if you rent/buy an unfurnished place. Entertainment equipment TV, radio, small appliances, etc. The only requirement for travel documents is your passports. In addition you will need an "ongoing ticket" that shows you have the ability and means to leave the Philippines. This can be a return ticket to the USA, or just a cheap on going flight that you can just throw away. When you arrive, have you marriage license available and ask for a Balikbayan stamp in your passports. This will allow you to stay for one year with no additional requirements. As mentioned by other posters it would be an excellent idea for your wife to attain USA citizenship, and reacquire here Philippine citizenship prior to the move. You can also apply for the 13A visa (married to a Philippine citizen) while in the USA. Your wife's reacquisition of citizenship and filing for 13A can both be done after your move, but they tend to be faster and easier if done in the USA. Final bit of advice. Not everyone who makes the move ends up liking life here. A rough estimate is that 50% of expats who move here leave within five years because they cannot adjust to the life and culture here. Have an exit plan, and try not to "burn bridges" when you leave the USA. If you have a house, consider renting it out instead of selling it for example. Keep reading the site my friend, much of the information you need is here somewhere in the archives! Wishing you lots of luck in your future.
  17. 2 points
    Welcome to the forum P2! I agree with what the others have already said but will add a couple of items. Housing and electricity will be your main costs in addition to food. Cebu has some of the highest electricity rates in the country so depending on how much you run your aircon your bill could be high. A buddy of mine here on Panay who owns (lol, his wife owns) a good sized 3 BR house with split-type inverter aircons has had recurring electricity bills of $240/mo. He is in the process of replacing his security lights with solar led types to hopefully reduce that figure. He does run his aircon pretty much 24/7 btw. By all means get your wife's US citizenship and then reacquire her Philippines citizenship before you come. Also before you relocate here apply for and get a Philippine 13A visa while in the US (after she gets her Filipino Citizen back, that is). That should take care of any visa issues you could encounter. Set up at least 3 methods of getting access to your money while in the Philippines. Pre-setup bank wiring procedures, credit and debit cards and money transfer accounts such as Western Union, Remitly, etc. DO NOT tell banks and credit card issuers that you are moving to the Philippines! Just tell them you will be traveling in SE Asia for an extended period of time. Set up mail forwarding procedures. Some people use family members others use mail forwarding companies and some use both. Again, Wecome!
  18. 2 points
    You will be a rich man here . Unless you visit the casino daily(and lose lol) or have an extravagant life style 2500 should be fine. IMO your largest monthly expense will be housing. Which brings us to tactics. Depending on your timeline for your move here, I would STRONGLY recommend that you do not move until your wife is a Filipino citizen. either wait until she becomes a US citizen and gets her dual citizenship or wait until you are here to get it (she has waited 18 years lol). Her being a Filipino citizen will make life a whole lot easier, like opening bank accounts, getting utilities or buying a house things like that. But your bottom line concern about income, you should be fine Welcome to the forum
  19. 2 points
    Welcome to the forum. Gary’s exactly covered the important issues. Have you visited Cebu yet? Living well north or south of Cebu city with a water view is very doable. The farther out of the city cleaner air and lower housing costs.
  20. 2 points
    $2500 sounds a good amount but in the end it's all down to expected lifestyle. Yes get your wife's US citizenship but then reaquire her Philippines citizenship to become a dual citizen. You also need to consider your own visa status, there are several options.
  21. 1 point
    Greetings Everyone... I've been lurking on this site for a little while now. So I thought I would pick your brains for more info... A little about me.... I live in Virginia with my wife whom I met while vacationing in Hawaii back in 2015. She is a Filipina and we hit it off right away. I convinced her to leave Hawaii, where she had lived for the past 18 years, and come with me to Virginia where we got married in November of 2016. Now I am considering retiring early and moving to Cebu, Philippines. Not in the city but, somewhere on the out skirts, maybe near the water. I would take what money I have saved and the money from my companies 401k and then in 10 years add my SS retirement to it. I am by no means a "rich" man but I have enough liquid cash to live comfortably on, say about $2500 a month. What sort of things do I need to be aware of when transitioning to the Philippines? Hidden costs? Travel documents/passports. My wife is a green card holder (18 yrs now) and we are working to get her a US citizenship before moving. Is this wise? Looking to make the move in less than 4 to 5 years but I am unsure of the process or what it takes. So I'm reaching out to you guys for some input. Also, is $2500 USD per month a livable amount? Need more or less? Talk me into this or talk me out of it. Thanks for all of your help!
  22. 1 point
    I think it may have something to do with the wealth pecking order.
  23. 1 point
    I have a similar experience. I made it clear from the beginning that I am NOT Santa Claus!! Some people still tried to take advantage of me but they realised rather quickly that it wasn´t working. I guess the roumor spread and actually I haven´t had any ploblems since then. I do help people sometimes, but its I who decide who will get it, when and how much. I never help the lazy ones, no matter what reason it is, but sometimes those who work hard for improving their lifes. I also let them know why they get help, while others dont, and they always shine up, after hearing that and they are also very greatful. It makes me happy when I can help, but as the situation is, its not possible to help as much as we want because the needs of people here are endless.
  24. 1 point
    Sounds like the pest control worked. And now you are here.
  25. 1 point
    Mine is silver birch over black with black leather, 1st owner was my grandad and second owner me. It’s officially not for sale, but if it was it would be north of £50K I would imagine.
  26. 1 point
    And reach-arounds are completely out of the question.
  27. 1 point
  28. 1 point
    Are they even taught to drive. Here in the UK you would average 20-30 hours with an instructor before siting the licence.
  29. 1 point
    And the powers to be that are doing this are probably not even using any lubricant.
  30. 1 point
    And everyone has one. Truth is we, humans, have to care for the planet whether we believe in human caused climate change or not. We had to cut back on emmisions to clean up smog in L.A. We had to stop rivers from dying like the Thames. We have to stop all the trash washing up on the beaches around the world. In short we have to clean up after ourselves so we have a nice environment to live in. When we control all the polution from coal plants and fossil fuel burning vehiles, (and eat all the farting cows etc), then the climate may get back to normal on its own.
  31. 1 point
    What you've described may well be part of the reason - my parents didn't drive so I didn't do any passive learning and I think that made it harder for me when I started to learn. However, I think it goes deeper than that - people here (some, not all) tend to do everything with a lack of discipline and sometimes even logic so it's not surprising they carry that into their vehicles. Also, quite simply many of them are driving vehicles that are not suitable for them i.e. teenage girls/guys driving oversize 4x4s etc etc with a lack of control and/or spacial awareness.
  32. 1 point
    The reason Filipinos are such bad drivers is because all of us are good drivers!
  33. 1 point
    I just had a thought (while cursing a guy who served into my lane without signaling, stomping on the gas and sprinting 100 meters to stop at a red light that clearly showed 120 seconds before it would turn green ) as to why it seem drivers here have no common sense or logic. I am wondering if it might be because they did not grow up in a car culture like a lot of us probably did. Sitting behind or next to our dads learning by osmosis the rules of the road, common courtesy (and those swear words if mom wasn't in the car ). When I come to think about it I knew all about merging, slowing down to let a guy in, alternate turning across traffic, all those little things that drive me nuts here, before I ever got behind a wheel. Naturally you cant fix stupid, but maybe, just maybe a lot of these folks might just not know better, just a thought.
  34. 1 point
    I moved here in 2002 at age 50 on my military pension. Got tired of the rat race at the pest control place I worked at and made the move. Started collecting my SSN benefits when I turned 62. You won't live like a king like some of the websites say but it's comfortable. Your lifestyle will adjust to the amount of money that you have available. I still live in the same place that I did before I got the extra SSN money and it just made life a little more fun. I'll be 67 this coming Dec. I'm really happy that I made the move. You will find ways to entertain yourself.
  35. 1 point
    My opinion on climate change is its mother natures way of forever changing things. Thousands of years ago the grand canyon was underwater! There were no smoke belching cars around then ! The earth is always changing because of earthquakes and volcanoes, but the snowflakes at universities do not like history !
  36. 1 point
    I hate the drivers who pull out without signaling just before going past them, causing you to stamp on the brakes or go to the left and end up in the middle of the road.
  37. 1 point
    It is interesting how mostly peaceful Filipinos become "weaponized" when behind the wheel or on their bikes...
  38. 1 point
    The "rule of thumb" seems to be: Whoever occupies that spot first has the right of way. If they can get in front and you hit them from the side or behind then they will yell at you for not noticing they were there first. It is the same rule for when they pass on the left, or right, or shoulder and push in front. They got there first, they win. Its a funny system but works much of the time. Reminds me of a situation I was in a few years back, in Cebu. I was approaching a flyover in heavy traffic and a jeepney came up on the right and squeezed over to cut me off. He was beside me and managed to get his left side mirror in front of my right side mirror. Thus when I pulled ahead with the traffic flow my mirror hit his and pushed it back. He yelled at me through the window about he was there first. I yelled back it is illegal to pass on the right and he should get to the back of the line. Nothing came of it. He backed off and pulled in behind me. No harm, no foul. I have no idea how a cop or judge would rule on that. I usually give way when they are so aggressive but I was in a mood that day.
  39. 1 point
    And then, if I honk at them to let them know I am there (not out of anger, just to advise them), they seem totally shocked that there is someone else, besides them, on the highway...
  40. 1 point
    For me, I was only vaguely aware of the possible issues with family, money etc etc before arriving, but I decided to start as I meant to go on so laid down (not verbally but by my actions) the rules from the outset. It may have made me unpopular and seem unfriendly and even mean to the family but it has resulted in me not being bothered by family visits and requests for loans etc. I'll take that!
  41. 1 point
    No need for a new topic at this time . . as I am not thinking of any specific place yet. Back to Canada to regroup, then look at options. Life is like dominos. Each move depends on how the previous domino falls.
  42. 1 point
    Marawi City, until rebuild, doesn't really exist anymore especially for visitors. I live in South Cotabato in the south east of Mindanao, have done so happily for more than 4 years. There are many displaced people from Marawi now resident here, have not noticed any change in the general attitude towards westerners, so far. Have got to know socially more of the Muslim population and find many of them like it here because of less strict religious observances. Time will tell of course whether any Islamists will gain a foothold, the area is still 90% Catholic. What I am stressing is, do not be put off somewhere extremely beautiful and very friendly by the doomsayers, the majority which have never even visited this area.
  43. 1 point
    Today we had a busy day. Cousin n hubby picked us up and took us to places we wanted to see. They have a Suzuki Ertiga so we all fit in. First up was the Taoist Temple. Beautiful and relaxing place! After lunch we headed up to the Temple of Leah. Amazing place with an incredible view of the Cebu City area. Next up, we headed South to Anjo World / Snow World. Anjo World is the amusement park ride part and we didn't pay to ride the 7 rides they have open because only 2 are really little kid friendly. Snow World was the primary goal. I didn't expect much and they didn't disappoint. Kids loved it though. It was -15 C inside and I was wearing shorts and a jacket that was too small. I think we stayed in there 45 minutes. Cost was p350. More on that place later. Lastly, we stopped at SM Seaside for a late dinner. Impressive place! Might go back tomorrow. They have a free bus from the circle here.
  44. 1 point
    I would agree with your rough estimate and add that another 50% of those who make it 5 years eventually move on for one reason or another. Its been 11 years for me and I am thinking Philippines has changed, I have changed and it is getting close to time to try somewhere else. I would not change anything about my 11 years here but, in my opinion, its not half the paradise it once was for a foreign retiree. Its still good though. If I was still 52 I would likely still come here. I just cannot see the practicality of the Philippines, (for me), for a man who is over 65 and wants to live a good life until, maybe, 95. You may ask why? Well I got my woman so the girls are not a draw. Wee Willy is getting to the point where it doesn't matter anyway, Health care in the Philippines is not that great. Most hospitals here think you are old at 70. Its hot. I used to love it but now it means sitting in my lazyboy with the A/C on. It ain't cheap any more. I can live on the same budget elsewhere. Good help is hard to find. Its cheap but you get what you pay for. Brownouts get old. Traffic gets me grumpy. Beer does not agree with my health as I age. So if the above does not apply to you then come to the Philippines and you will surely enjoy yourself.
  45. 1 point
    .... oh and also, is there anyplace or areas we should be aware of that are not friendly to westerners? I heard Marawi City is a "No Go" place and most of the southern islands because of the muslim terrorists in those areas. Thanks again!
  46. 1 point
    Thanks for all of the replies! My wife and I are planning a trip to the Philippines sometime in July of 2020 to visit her relatives and for me to meet them. I'm looking forward to it. We are hopefully planning to visit a couple of different places to see where we may want to settle down at. I'm leaning towards Cebu, from what I have read about the place it has a mixture of just about everything. Big city and rural environment all together. We will be working on getting her US citizenship ASAP. Should we wait a little while before trying to get her dual citizenship or will doing right after she gets her US citizenship cause any issue? I do own my house here and I understand the recommendation about not selling it and that I should rent it out... Have any of you guys had any issues of living abroad and trying to maintain a rental in a different country. I can only imagine the headache that would be.... especially if you encounter bad renters who don't pay the rent properly and become squatters. Getting rid of squatters, especially in the US, can be a nightmare and a very lengthy process. I can't imagine how much more of a problem it would be to deal with it from being on the other side of the planet. Again... your advice is greatly appreciated!
  47. 1 point
    Welcome to the forum. What you ask should be doable. Of course as always, I would suggest trying it out for an extended time, up to a year before getting in too deep. I agree with the others that your wife should get US citizenship before moving to the Philippines. I presume (18 years) she has already met the residency requirements for the US, what I don't know is if she would have to start over if she resides in the Philippines any great length of time. I think it would be a good thing to take care of in any case.
  48. 1 point
    I forgot one other simple thing to check. Make sure the electric fans behind the radiator are both running. A lot of cars here use two electric fans up front - one for engine cooling and one for air/con. If you turn the air/con on and off, the fan should also switch on and off with it. I have had the A/C fan fail several times.
  49. 1 point
    Last year, A friend had a failed Air con so he took it to my mechanic who tried finding the leak by adding colored gas then seeing where it came out of. After much effort he Never found the leak. then my friend just added something called Stop Leak to his aircon refilled again with the refrigerant and it worked alright for the rest of the summer, over 2 months.
  50. 0 points
    Arizona, but the locals just cop it sweet, nothing said, just go without and continue to pay the bill for no water.
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