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Everything posted by OnMyWay

  1. The cruise ship traffic is booming here. MV World Dream was here Monday and then Costa Atlantic today.
  2. OnMyWay

    20,000$ US for soon to be expat

    Nueva Ecija. They have always been there but apparently there are more now. Generally speaking, NPA don't usually kill you, they just "tax" you to death! https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1073603/mindanao-rebels-beef-up-npa-in-luzon-army-exec
  3. OnMyWay

    Costa Atlantica In Port, 15th visit!

    On a related note.... I wrote before about a You Tube star, Ryan Toys Review. They have now moved to the top spot in You Tubers for 2018, and according to Forbes, made around 22 million last year! I try not to let my kids watch it anymore as they don't understand that all kids can't have all the toys this kid has. So yesterday on You Tube, I saw they had a new video of them taking a cruise. I couldn't resist and watched it. They were in the the Ultimate Family Suite on Royal Caribbean's Splendor of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world. It was quite obscene so I had to look up how much it cost! Top price paid so far at Christmas: $85,000 for a week! Now, you can get it normally for 75-80 k but it is booked for a full year in advance! And just think, this family probably gets to write if off as a business expense! The mother is so annoying!
  4. OnMyWay

    Scrub it... or it won't be clean.

    Side note... I noticed recently in Olongapo there are some coin operated laundries that have popped up. There is one near my daughter's friends house that is odd because it is basically outside. The washers and dryers are stacked on the outside wall and when they are closed, they pulled down the metal roll door. They look like expensive LG or Samsung machines, stainless steel, and there are probably twenty. I have seen customers there using them but it does not seem like a good business model, seeing how you can just drop off your laundry and have it done for a very low price. Most likely, this place offers that as well.
  5. OnMyWay

    20,000$ US for soon to be expat

    I have no doubt that the average person down there is nice, but the doesn't make it safe. I did say Southern Mindanao but in the North, they recently had the huge war in Marawi City. My wife has been wanting to visit Cagayan de Oro but I said "it is less than 100 km from Marawi". Our new maid is from Zamboanga and she convinced my wife it is not safe in most places. The reason is not the Muslim insurgents that get most of the news, it is the NPA. They are active all over, especially in the "nicest mountains and countrysides". She said it is very common for buses to be pulled over by them so they can collect "taxes". If I was a single guy, I might venture into more of Mindanao. However, I have to go by the test of "Would I drive my family through XX area and feel comfortable doing it?" No, I won't. There are also a few areas in Luzon where I won't take the family due to NPA activity.
  6. OnMyWay

    Costa Atlantica In Port, 15th visit!

    There are several good drone pilots in Subic who have taken some good video of the cruise ships. In one, there was a nice shot of a ship departing. I don't think they use any tugs when departing. The thrusters gently push them away from the dock and when they are far enough out, they can spin the ship rather quickly. One video has a good shot of the spin but I couldn't find it. I found this nice video of the cruise ships in Miami....
  7. Not exactly a scam but something most of us know better than to do! From our local gossip! We have neighbors who live a few blocks away and their kids go to school with ours. The expat is from Scotland, I think, and still works full time at a good paying job, so they don't have any money issues. He travels a lot so I have only met him a few times. Nice guy. His Filipina wife is active on FB and sometimes selling expensive items she has tired of. She has bragged to my wife what her monthly household budget is, and it is high enough to have plenty of extra money for expensive jewelry, etc. So, for some reason, she needed to hire a full-time driver for their household, even though she drives. They have 3 cars. I don't think he was live-in and his salary was p10,000 a month. So, after a month or so, he asks the wife for, and receives, a 5 months advance salary! Bye, bye! Within weeks he has disappeared back to the province. Oddly, they are still in touch with him. He wants them to buy a taxi so that he can drive it and have income. What do you think? Moral of the story, never advance an employee a big sum of salary! On a side note, the wife seems to me to have average looks, but her younger sister is an absolute knock-out, IMHO. My wife doesn't seem to agree with me. In any case, little sis moved out of big sis' house and in with her foreigner boyfriend. From the way little sis dressed, I would say that she is going to be a very expensive girlfriend / wife, and she is probably used to following big sis' expensive tastes. Even though she is beautiful, I kind of pity the boyfriend. She probably shopped for someone with deep pockets.
  8. OnMyWay

    20,000$ US for soon to be expat

    Why? Mindanao is not the safest of places to live, although I know nothing of that place. Generally speaking, Davao is the only safe place in Southern Mindanao.
  9. Follow up on this post from Ed's Netflix topic. See below.... I finally installed this MXQ Pro Android TV Box on our older TV, a 6 year old LG which is not so smart anymore. It was easy to install. You need an HDMI port free and a power outlet nearby. I connected to the internet via wireless but it has a wired port too. The one I bought comes with a regular remote control and as an add-on, a little keyboard remote control. The little keyboard can be used with any TV that has a USB. Switch your TV to the correct source and turn the box on; it takes about 10-15 seconds to boot up. We have only tried the one movie app that was pre-installed and so far we like it a lot. It is called My Family Cinema and it has hundreds of streaming movies. My BIL insists his came with a 2 year free trial! Ours appears to be 2 months. It even has Netflix content. So far, the quality of the movies has been excellent, even though this 6 year old LG does not have the resolution that the new TVs have. If you want to pay for the My Family Cinema, it seems relatively cheap. I don't understand how they legally have all this content. Another good thing is that almost everything has good sub-titles if you want them. https://www.myfamilycinema.com/en/plan/ The only problem is that the LG has very weak sound, so I might get a sound bar for it. You can download other Android movie apps and all types of apps. If I get some good ones, I will post a review. So far, I think this box is great and a bargain. I paid p1578 with the little keyboard but you can get it for less by itself. Make sure you get Android 7.1. They had the box only with old Android at a gadget store in the mall, for p2295, so Lazada has better deals. Here are some pictures. Box Little Keyboard Box Main Screen My Family Cinema App My Family Cinema - Movies - In Theater My Family Cinema - Movies - Frequent Use My Family Cinema - Movies Menu By Genre
  10. Any of you guys serve on the Bremerton? After 40 years of service the sub will be retired and is making the rounds in the pacific area. I saw on FB the commander was in Olongapo meeting with the mayor, etc. http://www.manilatimes.net/us-attack-submarine-visits-subic-bay/383510/ A picture I took this afternoon from across the bay:
  11. OnMyWay

    Very sick wife

    I don't really have anything to add to this interesting topic, but I did want to be the 400th reply! Bigmac, thanks for sharing and I hope sharing helps you deal with the situation. Sometimes it helps to talk about stressful stuff, even if it is with semi-strangers on this forum.
  12. OnMyWay


    A side story with a nice ending.... This same lady lost a p40,000 gold bracelet at our school, I think in the outdoor playground. It was missing for a day and she knew it was probably lost there. The grand dad of one of the kids found it and turned it into the office. This granddad only picks up his grandson once in a while, so she was lucky that he was around to find it. Nice to have an honest guy find it. His grandson Liam cracks me up. Big heavyset kid, maybe five, very outgoing, not afraid of anything. The first time he met me a year or two ago, he said "What is your name?". I said "Don". To this day, every time he sees me, even at a distance, he shouts out "Hi Don!".
  13. You can message me here on the forum if allowed to. I don't know details on public transport because I don't use it. There are no jeepneys and trikes allowed in Subic Bay Freeport so most people use taxis. In Olongapo they have jeepneys and trikes.
  14. They are right there at the dock area, which is Alava Pier. They are only there when a cruise ship is in. They line up on Waterfront road. Plenty of taxis too and we finally have GRAB here, so you can book on GRAB. The Costa Atlantica is docked today. They say it is the 15th visit. That green blob is a ship! The area marked in blue is where the transport is.
  15. Doubtful if you will find better than that. Jump on it if you can.
  16. $8 is extremely good and lowest I have heard of. My cheapest was about $15 several years ago, but remember, jet fuel prices were much lower 3 years ago so there were more bargains. You will have to put in origin, destination and date to get the fare. Try destination Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia from various airports and airlines.
  17. I've been going to Baguio for around 7 years now, usually once or twice per year to visit my wife's relative's and friends. I enjoy the family there and the weather, as do the wife and kids. As noted in other discussions, the traffic has gotten really bad there most of the time. The first few times I was there, if you avoided the downtown area, you would not encounter much traffic. Now, with the opening of the TPLEX expressway, cars are rushing into Baguio, causing lots of congestion all over. Based on what I see in my BIL's neighborhood, there are many more car owners in Baguio as well. However, that is not what my post is about. Every time I go to Baguio, I see massive high rise construction going up on what appear to be fragile hillsides and ridges. I'm not talking about professionally engineered hotels, offices, etc. I'm referring to really tall residential buildings built on relatively tiny lots, and I would guess that most do not have any permitting. For instance, where our family lives, access is by driving down a narrow road perched on the crest of a ridge, until you get down to their area, where it is still super hilly, but more spread out. Along this ridge, on both sides, residents or others have been building helter skelter. Tall concrete structures using at best, a cement mixer, as there is no large truck access. 4, 5, 6, and more levels, starting on a steep slope and rising high about the road. As most know, Baguio and Luzon had a devastating earthquake in 1990. Over 1600 people died in the 7.7 quake that was centered far southeast of Baguio City, but Baguio had severe damage. I see all of this construction and I am really alarmed. There is no way all of these amateur high rises are going to hold up in a big earthquake. And there are thousands of small structures that will collapse as well. Senator Dick Gordon has recognized the issue and they are trying to do something about unchecked development, but I am really afraid that mother nature will wipe the slate clean, once again. Scary! I grew up in S. California, living with earthquakes. Each one was a learning experience for the people and building engineers. In Baguio, it appears nothing was learned and the big earthquake is long forgotten.
  18. It takes a very big dock to practice that much!
  19. Reviving this old topic! Apparently the commander of the USS Bremerton submarine had a bit too much fun while in port here last March! US Navy submarine captain relieved of duty and DEMOTED after paying 10 prostitutes to come to his hotel while his vessel was docked in the Philippines Captain Travis Zettel lost the confidence to command the attack submarine USS Bremerton and was disciplined following an investigation A sailor tipped off naval chiefs after he was told by Zettel that he 'ordered ten girls to arrive' at their hotel while stationed at Subic Bay in the Philippines Zettel admitted that he was guilty of paying 'for female accompaniment' He was reprimanded and reassigned to the staff of another naval submarine What this article does not tell you is that the only reason he got 10 was because he was out to break the record of 9, set by our own Jake! I wonder what his wife thinks about all of this? https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6585925/US-Navy-submarine-commander-demoted-hiring-TEN-prostitutes.html?fbclid=IwAR24sEU8_z_CAGgX-xBd3NO1I9OEk0L_WiDZ6COqASezOp0cnsn4pyjZj74
  20. OnMyWay

    Filipina giving driving instructions

    I had never heard the term "long cut" until I drove here. Apparently I always choose the long cut and she is always in a hurry! What she doesn't realize is that up in my brain I have a bunch of little logical guys working overtime to take into account the time of day, weather, flooding, traffic patterns, school times, road work, traffic cops, stupid tourist drivers, Manila drivers, my love of driving, and even the best scenery. If I not in a hurry, the best scenery carries more weight.
  21. Yesterday we applied for SS benefits for my kids and I. I will have my SS direct deposited to my U.S. bank account and continue to use check writing to transfer money. For the kids, my wife is the custodian and we will direct deposit the dollars to a PH bank dollar account. SS gave us a list of banks and the fees they charge. See picture. I know several of you have your SS direct deposited to your PH bank account. Am I correctly understanding that each month, the bank will charge the "service charge" for the direct deposit? I hope I am mis-understanding this. In the U.S., direct deposit is encouraged as it saves the bank money and makes them money when they get your money every month.
  22. OnMyWay

    Very sick wife

    Exactly what I was thinking. IF, and that is still a big IF, there was a scam going on, I would guess that family or others were putting pressure on her to get money from him. Just an inkling.
  23. OnMyWay


    What is your number?
  24. OnMyWay

    Where to find good head.

    Here in Olongapo I think there are two routes for lettuce. 1. Every head goes from Baguio to a Manila distribution center and then back to the major markets in Subic Bay Freeport like Royal, where they put such a high price on it, it sits and rots. The transit time to the market is several days. 2. Direct from Baguio to the Sat/Sun morning big wet market. They seemed to be fresh picked. My wife has been buying these and although they are not giant, they are crispy and fresh, and the price is good.
  25. OnMyWay

    Where to find good head.

    BK even better!