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Everything posted by JJReyes

  1. Sorry. I meant "Total Language Immersion."
  2. Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate being told that a good relationship and trying to achieve happiness is the path to having a successful life rather than possessing material goods. There have been ups and downs, but overall life has been good. I will be withdrawing from the forum for a few months. My first language is Spanish growing up in Madrid as a small child. The second is Tagalog after our family's return to Manila when my grandfather passed away. English is third upon entering first grade. The situation today is primarily English, passable Tagalog and very limited Spanish. While visiting Central America, my wife and I have agreed on a concept called, "Total Language Emersion," which means only Spanish. Hopefully, it will help me recover the language. This will include our watching Telemundo and CNN en Espanol television programs. Supposedly neural waves in my brain have retained the language. This is the reason I understand Spanish, but can no longer speak it. Looking forward to visiting the Philippines towards Christmas and spending up to six months revisiting many places.
  3. There are pros and cons both ways. My proposal for the Philippines is a tiered system whereby a two years nursing graduate receives certification as a caregiver, assuming they run out of money or encounter academic difficulties. Caregivers will be badly needed for the domestic and international aging population who want to relocate to the Philippines for inexpensive assistance (me!). Nurses who prefer to be employed in the Philippines don't need the one year practice required by foreign governments before employment. The requirements for registered nurses and those planning to work overseas remains the same. On paper, the compensation seems acceptable. Nurses will tell you that after "contributions" it is much less. The current policy is the government won't allow nurses to leave because they are needed for the pandemic. Fear of contracting the virus and insufficient salary means hospital are undermanned.
  4. The Philippine policy is difficult to understand. The nursing schools currently graduate about 90,000 a year. The nursing board makes the national examination so difficult that only one third receive their registered nurse credentials after the first attempt. An additional requirement, knowns as "practicum" is working for a clinic or hospital for one year without pay. The prestige, private hospitals at one time charged new nurses a fee to work for them for free! This practice has been stopped. The only way to recover the cost of education, the training expense by providing free labor, etc. is to work overseas. To keep them at home, current government policy tells them they can't leave because they are needed. Local pay scale is so low nurses cannot hope to repay the debt during their lifetime. The nurses are indentured servants. The policy increases frustration and results in threats of work stoppage. The solution is double their salary; pay the stipends they were promised; improve the working conditions. This is what's happening in the United States. The per hour wage was increased. The hospitals and local communities provide incentives like free food and lodging at a nearby hotel. (It's also a way to prevent infecting family members.)
  5. I am in no way justifying the practice, but the treatment of nurses in the Philippines is similar to going through a US Marine Corp boot camp. The goal of every nursing student and the families that support them is overseas deployment to the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, etc. They can earn salaries to support families at home until, hopefully in the West, they can petition to get family members to join them. Long hours typically means 12 hour shifts and during this pandemic, seven days a week in the Philippines. Low salaries means not paying them what was promised. What can you do? Sue a government health clinic or hospital. It is better to keep quiet, get the signatures on the paperwork and letters of commendation before applying for overseas work. Anyway, these nurses want to go overseas to earn lots of money so the Philippine attitude is we can take advantage in the meantime. When I try explaining government condoned corruption, this is one example I use.
  6. The latest report shows 4,081,959 doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered during a 24 hours period in the United States. The average for the past week is 3 million per day. One reason for the rapid increase is the involvement of neighborhood drugstores with the vaccination effort. The biggest group is CVS Health with 9,941 stores in 2019. CVS Health alone has the capacity to administer 20-25 million shots a month. I wanted to find out if this is done out of patriotism or profit motivated. While my two shots were free for me under government programs, someone had to be paid to administer it. For Covid-19 vaccine administration services furnished before March 15, the Medicare payment rate for a single dose was $28.39. It is now $40.00. If you do the math, for 20 million shots a month, CVS Health alone could receive $800 million in compensation. Medical professional recruiters in the Philippines are demanding the lifting of the deployment embargo imposed by the government. Doctors and nurses are threatening work stoppage because they are overworked and underpaid. Rumors are circulating that some Philippine hospitals can no longer accept new patients because they don't have staff. The holy grail for most Filipinos is working in the United States. So how much are nurses being paid during the pandemic? According to the New York Post, recently retired nurses are being enticed to temporary positions to administer vaccinations. The rate is $70 an hour for a 40-hour week ($2,800) plus a stipend of $2,200 or a total of $5,000. That's $20,000 a month to administer the vaccine! The prime staffing nurses working the Covid-19 hospital wards are typically paid $110 to $120 per hour, plus stipend, plus housing which is usually in a nearby hotel. But they can't find enough nurses! The US government might therefore issue temporary, medical emergency visas. So help us! We need Philippine nurses.
  7. I don't care about the award. But $1 million sounds pretty good to me. Best to quit and enjoy life at his age. Instead, because of all the criticism, Fauci, his wife and daughters now require security. My advise is to retire, write a book and make a few more millions.
  8. I checked their Go Fund Me page. So far, $30 has been raised with a goal of $15,000. The story is a little suspicious. You are helping a man get off drugs, he steals your passport, then pays someone to report you to the authorities, which results is being placed in a government blacklist. Somehow this gentlemen gets off the blacklist, but the drug addict or another Pilipino is able to get it reinstated. Corrupt government officials are involved. This problem started three years ago whereas the preacher has been in the Philippines for five years. The reason given why he has to leave is medical problems. My curiosity is up. Someone please follow up on this story. It is starting to get interesting.
  9. Clearly, this preacher broke the law. Pay the fine. All this could have been avoided if the preacher stayed home and helped the homeless in his community. You don't have to go to a foreign country if there is an equivalent need back home.
  10. BTW - Dr. Anthony Fauci has won a top international prize given by a private Israeli foundation. The award is the $1 million Dan David Prize for his defense of science and advocacy of COVID-19 vaccinations now being used worldwide. I wonder how many of his critics have received a similar honor.
  11. Bravo. Most unusual in the Philippines. Are you sure about the full disclosure? When rumors spread I was now a rich Americano, relatives whom I didn't know I had, wanted to see me to ask for money or propose a new business scheme.
  12. Canada, like the Philippines, is on hold in our bucket list. In the meantime, the US government has agreed to "loan" the Canadians 1.5 million doses of Astra-Zenica from its stockpile while waiting for this vaccine to be approved by the FDA. If the borders reopen sometime in the summer, we are considering taking our motorhome to the Canadian Rockies. My wife and I will reconsider the Philippines as a possible destination for Christmas and beyond assuming it reopens. There are already 90 countries welcoming Americans and the US dollars that will be spent in their local economy.
  13. Does anyone know if cultural traditions like penitents whipping themselves in public during Holy Week is still permitted or has the government clamped down on the practice?
  14. The CDC announced that fully vaccinated persons can travel. Yes! No need to feel guilty about it. The downside is airline ticket prices are going up. The tickets we purchased a few weeks ago were American Airlines, Los Angeles to Miami on first class, Miami to Quito on business class for $856.00 per person round trip. No rebooking fees if we want to change dates. Probably the last bargain prices of 2021. In the meantime, the Philippines is now red flagged by UK, meaning if you are from or have passed through the Philippines during the past 10 days, you cannot enter. UK citizens and those with residency rights are exempt, but they have to quarantine and be tested for Covid-19.
  15. I am also reading articles claiming that a vax passport value will be limited as more and more people get vaccinated. During the next few years, governments need to demonstrate that they are doing something about a perceived problem. One of them is limited entry to those foreigners who have been vaccinated. The same for public venues like stadiums, arenas, shopping centers, etc. Only locals and foreigners who have been vaccinated may enter. (Again, maybe not applicable for the United States and the United Kingdom.)
  16. Merchandise sources for UKAY-UKAY: Americans donate old clothes to charitable organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army. The best pieces are sold in their stores. The remainder are purchased in bulk by dealers for eventual resale in Central and South America or places like Sri Lanka and the Philippines. We are talking containerloads. Laws banning such items are easy to bypass. Let's just say the cargo label is different. We know Filipinos who regularly visit Goodwill and Salvation stores located near ritzy neighborhoods looking for branded merchandise discarded by the affluent. Of particular interest are heavy coats and winter clothes which are shipped in balikbayan boxes and sold in the Philippines at a premium price. Purchasers are medical personnel being deployed overseas to cold climate regions and OFWs. Rejected newly manufactured clothes because of minor defects or quality control issues. At one time, my wife and I were passive investors in a Cubao store called, "Broken Label." The jeans sold were supplied by local manufacturers. To protect the brand names, the inner label was cut in half. There was a French term for this from their garment industry which I have forgotten. Merchandise from bankruptcies either manufacturers, distributors or stores. There is also lots of unlicensed brand name merchandise manufactured in Asia. Garment manufacturing use to be places like Taiwan, Philippines and China. Now, for cheaper labor issues, the manufacturing is in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. Name of the game is buy them cheap, sell them fast, often below manufacturer's cost.
  17. Nurses are overworked and underpaid in the Philippines. Reason why the nursing colleges are graduating students at the rate of nearly 100,000 a year is because there is the opportunity to work overseas for better pay and better working conditions. Every major hospital in the United States has at least one Pilipino nurse on staff. Probably it is the same in the United Kingdom. When the Covid-19 pandemic started, the Philippine government stopped the overseas deployment of nurses based on the theory they are needed at home. Still overworked and underpaid in the Philippines with a greater risk of contracting the virus and passing it to family members.
  18. Shows my age. I still remember my childhood when all Philippine coinage was silver.
  19. I don't like using government propaganda labels like calling the proposed additional $2.2 trillion as "investments." It's debt. FDR made it illegal for Americans to own gold except for coins. Because the US possessed the most sequestered gold, this allowed the federal government to dictate global monetary policy. President Charles de Gaulle and the French pricked the myth by returning accumulated dollars and getting back gold at a bargain price. Since then there has been mountain size borrowings which is the reason for all the worldwide prosperity (and poverty). The problem is one day it is going to get pricked and the bubble will burst. The bigger problem is we don't know when. Ahh! Maybe someday the Philippines can return their peso to the original pegged value of 2 to 1 United States dollar.
  20. I haven't had Philippine grown squash in a long time. What we eat is the Japanese version cut in medium slices and fried with tempura batter. Delicious and tasty. Readily available in Southern California supermarkets because of the large Japanese population. By the way, the Filipino population in San Diego and Los Angeles has grown, resulting in a proliferation of restaurants and supermarkets. Most popular dish is the Pilipino lumpia, also known as, Shanghai lumpia. The bite size version is served by the Hollywood crowd during their parties.
  21. I remember watching our farm tractor plowing the fields and a flock of native chickens followed behind to eat the earthworms and other insects. My solution was to keep the chickens caged to give the worms time to re-burrow into the earth. My father's theory was the exercise (for the chickens to toughen them up) worms and eating green leaves contributed to creating an intense, unique flavor. So the chickens were set free to follow the tractor operator. Every Sunday lunch consisted of using these native chickens to prepare soup based on a Jewish recipe. I can still recall the flavor. The chickens they raise today using feed does not come close.
  22. Printing money causes inflation, but the problem facing the world is everyone is doing the same thing at the same time. As the bubble continues to grow, it will get pricked and cause a global depression. The speed of computers means that you might wake up one morning and find the value of currencies worldwide has been wipeout. Some are betting bitcoin will be the replacement. I seriously doubt it because bitcoins are just binary codes created by computers. They are very easy to manipulate. After the collapse, governments will meet to create a universal currency as a standard value. This was attempted after World War II by the Bretton Woods Agreement using the United States Dollar as the fiat currency. It worked for a time until President Richard Nixon decided to do away with the gold standard so his government can print money. Personally, I have taken defensive positions to assure we have sufficient resources in the event of a financial disaster.
  23. I am not sure what the future economic impact will be from the stimulus money. Just glad it went to me, and others like me, to spend. Better than having politicians explain through their press releases how they are using it for wonderful projects in their home states like statues for town plazas honoring local citizens you absolutely don't know.
  24. GeoffH provides us with a very good explanation. The following is supplemental information. You can still catch Covid 19 after vaccination, but here is the latest: "In total, four out of 8,121 workers at the University of Texas and seven out of 14,990 in UC San Diego tested positive after receiving two doses, according to The New York Times." Can someone vaccinated transmit the virus to others? The answer is, "Maybe yes. Maybe no." The experts don't know and they are waiting for the data from studies. So the experts want everyone to wear masks in the meantime. Specific to the Philippines, will the government accept the V passport? I don't know. Look at the composition of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). This is a war against a pandemic, so military generals are in-charge. Their solution is lockdowns and police checkpoints to prevent spread. Has it work? Both logic and science are absent. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit the world during a US presidential election year. Somewhat similar to the Philippine military, rather than health experts, the politicians took over. A majority of the deaths could have been prevented. And preventable deaths still continues. The statistics are in a decline are more are vaccinated. Among those who are 70 years and older, 72% have received at least one jab. It's time to re-open the economy and celebrate, according to some state governors. So who are out on the street celebrating? The 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's age group. Their vaccination won't begin until April 15th at the earliest.
  25. Interesting commentaries. I have been happily married for 49 years to the same person. She is my first love and that love has blossomed over the years. We celebrate our 50th anniversary this coming September. On the subject of marriage and relationships, let me plead the 5th (US Constitution right against self-incrimination).
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