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  1. 8 points
    I don’t think I’m eligible for any of those because I don’t live in Manila but one of my more interesting experiences was riding (driving) one of the family ‘motocabs’ (Motorbike with passenger sidecar) in peak hour traffic with the owner (cousin of SWMBO) and 2 of the family children in the sidecar. The expressions on the faces of the locals when they realised a foreigner was driving a moto cab had all of us laughing.
  2. 6 points
    ..and we should be grateful for that as it helps keep us and ,more importantly, our family members safe here.
  3. 6 points
    I have done a few of those mentioned but my proudest achievement recently was shooting a big male monkey right in the gonads with a non-lethal weapon! He was sitting on my fence facing away from me, at about 20 feet. He hasn't been bring the family around so much since then!
  4. 5 points
    On my current 7 week visit back to the Philippines it occurred to me that expats here are exposed to many new experiences. Some of those may justify rewarding of a merit badge or be a right of passage. What things do you consider to justify a merit badge or is a right of passage. Here is the one that sparked this post. 1. Driving on EDSA, or any of the really congested streets in Manila during rush hour traffic. This is you actually driving the car. Bonus points if this is a rental car you are not familiar with driving. Additional bonus points if it is a manual transmission. I did this for the first time this visit. Nothing like getting squeezed by a jeepney on each side within inches of the sides of your rented car. Or have the GPS on your phone go wacky while Waze is routing you around traffic jams on side streets. And a another to get the list started. 2. Eating Balut I have never ate balut and have no plans to start. I would likely have to be black out drunk to try it and then of course I wouldn't remember. What experiences have you had which you consider merit badge worthy?
  5. 5 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!
  6. 5 points
    Having the patience to wait for an actual drivers license and conduction plate from the LTO
  7. 5 points
    Going to the Dumaguete monthly meeting
  8. 5 points
    Take it slow. You said you would keep a low profile. Don't create a parade of toy and candy giving so that everyone knows the rich American has arrived. Same with the supplies. You may think you are sewing the seeds of love but the bad guys just see a target. A better way might be to work with some local charities and clubs to contribute toys and supplies. Be part of group giving. I would do most of this after you arrived to stay.
  9. 5 points
    It's basically sand from the waters edge right up to the treeline.... with a very gently sloping shelf running out towards the sea... so safe for little ones when the breakers aren't too big. Further North, it is possible to do a bit of surfing.
  10. 5 points
    Here are a few pics of our simple lifestyle... though we don't really want for anything. I am kept busy constantly adding to and improving upon our home.... and playing on my Xboxes. lol .
  11. 5 points
    8 November 2018 is now in the history books... Not pictured is @Dave Hounddriver who couldn't wait for the picture... Something about not letting the camera steal his soul!?!?! I couldn't quite make it out LOL Starting clockwise from the front left - Eddie, Mike, Steve, Jack, Jim, Kevin, and Dave is invisible.
  12. 4 points
    Words were exchanged, most likely the cause of the mans murder. If he had walked away.... Avoiding drunk Filipino’s is always a good idea. Not unlike here in the States drunk people can make poor decisions.
  13. 4 points
    Using the market example - I would recommend to smile and say "My asawa said I should only spend xx peso for that so I guess I should find another vendor?" Make sure you smile, act friendly, and phrase it as a question. The price should drop to the expected level, if not just keep smiling, say thank you and walk away. There will always be people who consider you wealthy and will try to take financial advantage of you. For them it may be just considered good business! As you become known in the community you will almost certainly find yourself paying the same price as the locals in most cases. The second question is more complicated. It is important to avoid conflict and confrontation whenever you can but you need to do it in a manner that does not portray yourself as fearful or weak. As a suggestion you may want to google " Philippines smooth interpersonal relationships" and it can help with an understanding of how most Pinoys relate to each other in social settings. In terms of winning/losing an argument I would suggest you google "Philippine hiya concept". This will give you an idea of the potential for violence should an argument escalate. These are my opinion only of course and I do not want to give you the impression that this is a dangerous place to live. I have lived here five years now and absolutely love the Philippine people. I have found them to be a gracious, kind, warm, friendly, and outgoing people. That being said there are "bad apples" in every barrel so it is important to avoid conflict to the maximum extent possible. Perhaps your wife means you should avoid being "associated" with anyone in authority. By that I mean it is important that you not be perceived as "favoring" one politician over another. If that is her concern then I would tend to agree with her but that is different than a first introductory meeting. By introducing yourself to the captain would show that you respect his authority and are somewhat aware of how the Philippine system handles local problems. Also you would be meeting him, or her, prior to any potential issues that may arise in the future.
  14. 4 points
    No Balut here either. I've ridden a motorcycle on EDSA many times so I guess that deserves a Merit badge with an oak leaf cluster! 3. Riding on the LRT or MRT and surviving. I've done this many times too. 4. Living in a hut in the province with no toilet, refrigerator, AC or running water for 2 weeks. Been there, done that! 5. rode out a typhoon. Keep em coming!
  15. 4 points
    You should be fine. Also be sure to not become involved in politics in any way. It is even best to not give an opinion if asked. It is also a good idea to introduce yourself to the barangay captain where you intend to live.
  16. 4 points
    I'm in also. Breaks my heart to see this little guy not get the life he deserves. Please do the ground work and we will go from there.
  17. 4 points
    Hey Guys, I think some are looking at this the wrong way, we are not talking about a guy getting kicked out are we? We really are talking about a guy that never made it in and to me, these are 2 (two) very different things
  18. 4 points
    Well, I’ve spending some time already in my condo in Paranaque, it’s old but inexpensive for what it is: quite roomy and it has a really good airflow thanks to its little balcony, and the trees in front keep it cool the whole day. But also, I wanted something close to the airport, because this is just temporary, there’s no way I’ll be living in a Megacity permanently, especially not Manila, it’s so time consuming to get anywhere. The next item on my agenda is to “check out” Dumaguete. From what I’ve heard, it is quite good for expats like me who like a quiet environment.
  19. 4 points
    I have lived in Manila in the past, and it is the pollution (and traffic!) that I would not want to have to live with, which I'm sure must affect the lungs of all of its inhabitants, whether they are luxuriating in their posh gated community, or poverty-stricken residents in Caloocan. Having decided to ignore popular expat advice and live close to my wife's family, I find myself living in a very pleasant part of Pangasinan, about 5 miles from the beach, and just North of the good-sized city of Dagupan... which incidentally, does have its own Bureau of Immigration office. A useful facility for an expat. We (ok...the Mrs) bought a 500 Square metre lot, which faces on to a fairly quiet rural road,, on the edge of a village. So far we've built a small, simple block and concrete house, with mains water supply and electricity, and we are able to access the internet perfectly adequately for our needs by having a wifi modem with an external antenna mounted atop a very tall bamboo pole. None of this has cost a lot of money. All Filipino families are different, but ours are lovely people, dotted around the locality, who are there if we need them, but have never 'intruded' upon us. I feel very safe in our house, next to friendly and helpful neighbours. No rent to pay of course, so we don't need to rely on a big steady income.
  20. 4 points
    I wonder how the husband and wife were getting along.
  21. 4 points
    Dave, maybe it was because they Arrived a week apart, Perhaps in their view he had come to grab his child and abscond, We all know that BI can be difficult and one never knows why they do things But..... just my thoughts on this. A lot of it may depend on what he said at the Point of Entry or did the wife say anything when she arrives that sparked a Flag? For me the Wife should seek out information from Immigration. Peter Bueno in the Dumaguete Office may be able help if he can Jack
  22. 3 points
    You are not permitted to work or take part in any business activity unless you have an appropriate visa (such as a 13A... marriage). Falling out with a local may well get you killed, never mind blacklisted. That is something to be avoided at all costs. Suck it up . Their country. Their rules.
  23. 3 points
    Sounds like a great opportunity for all of you to have a vacation together in Hong Kong, or Thailand, or Malaysia. Seems like he would have no trouble meeting up with you all at any of those places and why spend your tourist money in a country that is going to give this kind of headache?
  24. 3 points
    Another pic I took a couple of years ago...same beach. .
  25. 3 points
    Can't help but wonder if the represents you getting ready for the massage.
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