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JJReyes last won the day on July 1

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About JJReyes

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    Traveling Somewhere in America
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    Photography. My wife and I love to travel and we intend to do so during our retirement years as independent seniors.

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  1. As a side note, the most popular chain in California is In-N-Out Burger. Hard to make one on one sales comparisons with McDonalds because the company is privately owned by a family. They don't publish financial statements. Their burgers are excellent and lower priced than McDonalds. Another potential, future rival is Jollibee. They are still not sure if the popularity is the seasoning that appeals to Asians, so most outlets are in California, New York and Canada in cities with Asian population. Waiting to see if Jollibee opens an outlet in the Midwest.
  2. The political patronage system in the Philippines is you can't fire employees from a previous administration, but you need to provide jobs for the people who helped get you elected. You end up with a bloated workforce that is double or triple in size. Rather than in-fighting between political rivals, employees from the previous administration stay home and show up only to collect their salary. The US and Great Britain solution is a professional civil service, supposedly apolitical, who run the bureaucracy. They can stay as career professionals. The political appointees are required to tender their resignation allowing the next administration to determine who to keep and who to let go (most of them). You do end up with funny situations such as becoming Ambassador for appointees who have never heard of the country or have never been outside of the country. The appointment was in exchange for a substantial donation. The non-career Ambassadors are now required to undergo training to avoid potential embarrassments.
  3. Thanks for the information. One concern for me is time/distance. I need frequent toilet breaks, preferably a clean one. Either a bus with a CR or a van driver who knows restaurants on our route with a clean CR.
  4. My online research indicates there are flights from Manila to Coron. After the visit to Coron, is it possible to take a boat or some other form of transportation to El Nido?
  5. You have to ask yourself, "What is the nuclear cost?" meaning, "What does it actually cost the manufacturer to produce the product?" The suggested retail price could be astronomically huge allowing multiple times to discount and still allow everyone to make a profit. At $25.00, someone is probably making money.
  6. There are different buying sources for brands like Nike'. The wealthy may go to a sports retail store at a fashion mall and pay premium prices. Others may go to places like Divisoria to purchase the same at a lower price or Seconds. Seconds are products found by the manufacturer's quality control with minor imperfections. Another possibility is "colorum" or unlicensed manufacturing. Something similar in the United States. A logo store at a shopping mall wanted $250.00 plus tax for a pair of New Balance. Checking online, identical shoes sold for between $120 to $150. I eventually purchased them at a wholesale outlet for about $70.00. Same shoes, but different price points.
  7. Maybe the younger population are late risers so they skip breakfast. I recall McGeorge Corp., the McDonalds Philippines holding company owned by George Yang and his family, wanted the first outlet to be located either in Makati or Greenhills. The franchisor said, "No." They wanted the first location at the university belt because students are their target market. Everyone is welcomed and the advertising is directed to appeal to families in all age groups. But a significant portion of their revenues are derived from a specific demographic. An interesting footnote is the expected crowds for the grand opening required flying in from Hong Kong an experienced, well trained crew. After a two weeks period, they were replaced by Filipinos. Opening day was a mad house. There were chartered buses arriving from Clarke and Subic Bay. The passengers were buying burgers and fries not just for themselves, but also for family and friends left behind at the (then) US military bases. In addition to visiting McDonalds in the Philippines, we also try outlets in other locations. The franchise industry prides itself on uniformity, but there are slight variations. For example, France offers wine. It was discovered that the oil used for French fries contains pork lard. There were protests and threats of boycott in the Islamic countries. The franchisor promised a change in their oil formula.
  8. For overseas travel, I use cards to reserve and pay hotels. Restaurants, taxis and other expenses, I use cash. The money, enough for one day plus an extra amount, is divided between wallet, pants pockets and a specially designed backpack. (Difficult to unzip, protected by a steel mesh to prevent razor blade slashing.) A security expert explained that robbers now avoid stealing from hotel rooms because there are cameras at all entrances and corridors. The room safe is relatively secure because you choose the password. The only exception is a special password allowing the hotel to open the safe in case you forget yours or leave the property with the safe still locked.
  9. McDonalds caters to a very specific demographic profile. It's relative a young crowd below the age of 25 years. Because the price is high compared to salaries and allowances (students), it is considered as a special treat. In the Philippines, a visit to McDonalds is a status statement rather than going to a restaurant offering cheap meals. Those in the lower income brackets won't go to a Western franchise establishment. To answer Lieutenant Dan, many locals can afford to eat as a special treat like a birthday, but not as a regular occurrence.
  10. Being a security guard is boring work. You need to give them something to do even if it is meaningless. I recall my son being shocked that there was a security guard with a shotgun in front of McDonalds. He smiled and opened the door for us. My explanation was this a way to provide more jobs. By the way, in Metro Manila, security guards outnumber police 4 to 1. This is the reason why they were deputized as a supplementary force.
  11. Any suggestions regarding places to visit? So far, our list includes: Metro Manila Cebu City Baguio City Boracay We normally stay 2 to 4 weeks at each location. Our Philippine trip is five months starting this November.
  12. I say.... splendid idea.
  13. No problem. The Philippines has a sufficient number of fake Louis Vuitton manufacturers to produce new wallets.
  14. In the Philippines that would mean you are now responsible for everyones dinner, education, and a monthly stipend Love the Greeks. They still want your tourism dollars, but it is done with finesse. Compare that to the Turks. We spent 3 weeks last May in Istanbul and they were vicious. Cheating visitors is an art. Chestnut vendors gave you less for the same price. Menus at restaurants had two different prices - one for locals and another for visitors. Then they added non-existent taxes to the scrap piece of paper. It should be more fun in the Philippines. I will speak in standard American English before switching to Tagalog before haggling over prices.
  15. I have spent time doing research on this subject. Requirements constantly keep changing and, supposedly, the recent ones are more visitor friendly. In addition, the government agencies involved have promised they won't be issuing new rules or change them. (Fat Chance!) Anyway, many countries are part of a reciprocal agreement and the Philippines will honor the vaccination card issued to their citizens. You still need a QR code downloaded to your phone for contact tracing purposes.
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