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Everything posted by Nickleback99

  1. Don, you can still get decent houses here in 300's as long as don't want to live In Bellingham. In summer here, it's much like northern CA..crystal blue skies, semi hot and dry as a bone. Other towns/areas to consider in county are Birch Bay,. Blaine (at the border) and Lynden. Public schools also are excellent so far. Had bud whose daughter attended the International School in Singapore when working there, and when they came here, were very pleased with high school. She speaks Mandarin as well and heading to dental school now.
  2. I would add WA State to the list (if not already; haven't looked at all replies), But not the Seattle metro area. No state income tax so far and I've mostly lived here since '92, and besides the 5 blue counties that tell rest of us what to do, rest of it is fairly conservative to very conservative in some. We love Bellingham/Whatcom County as good mix and still 80 mi or so from Seattle and even closer to Vancouver, BC. LOTS of Filipinos here all over Western WA especially, with a lot of Navy bases, plus Army/USAF down south of Tacoma. Also Pierce county isn't bad. Real estate still going up and will continue to do so as more flee Seattle and are coming up here, as well as other cheaper and more sane towns/cities...I think we all know Seattle is not way behind Portland in craziness. The scenery of the PacNW is Incredible and "free" to enjoy most of it. Outdoor recreation here is Big year round (all water sports, skiing, hiking, camping, hunting, on and on) and in Western WA, rarely ever gets real hot and if does, not for long. Most homes do not have A/C, as would only need it 1 month per yr...low power bills for most part. Go east of Cascades and more alpine dry with colder winters and hot summers, but dry heat. I grew up in NC and lived there as an adult, but would choose WA over NC/South/East Coast any day. There's quite a few on this site from WA area. If ya ever wanna come check it out, you and family are welcome to our place anytime...live up on mountain overlooking a 10 mi Lake Whatcom and surrounded by true Old Growth forest. If we weren't looking to try the PI for a few yrs, then return, I'd never leave.
  3. Dunno, but when I did spousal visa for my asawa to get to US after we married and after I finished an A'stan deployment, we paid next to nothing in Philippines to get anything she needed, which may have been needed nothing, since we'd made it through the red tape for our wedding in PI, and even that did not cost us much. As for fiance visa, maybe that's a whole different ball game on greasing palms? I've no idea.
  4. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/05/immigration-cost-applying-u-s-citizenship-dramatically-increasing/3304675001/ Starting Oct. 2, legal immigrants eligible to apply for citizenship will pay $1,160 if they submit their application online, or $1,170 if submitting a paper application. Under the new fee, immigrants will pay at least $520 more to apply for citizenship. That is more than 80% higher than the current application fee of $640. Other fees are also significantly increasing; so, anyone planning for spousal or fiance' visas, as well as green card for those here, should apply sooner than later if possible to avoid the inflated price increases.
  5. Priest says, "You may unmask the bride." Then the screaming starts
  6. I hear ya and second all of that. Was at San Miguel and Subic 89-92, and went back few times in past 10 yrs, even by the old house up in Kalayaan...Nothing is same Nor nearly as nice and well kept as was back then. They just discard the junk or construction debris on a vacant lot on the main base until someone ready to build on That space and so on. All the remaining orig buildings are poorly kept for most part. Other than having maybe a little more peace and quiet of lease living on the "base", doesn't seem worth it over all. Still loving my beers and wines here in WA (Bellingham), But we will be moving when the Covid thing eases, likely to Antipolo area...family is in Caloocan.
  7. All great and savy advice above and so much info you have not provided about the girl, her family, how long known, met?, actually "seen" her, etc. I'll add from my own experience, after now wife and I lived together for a while in Okinawa, that when I went to visit and stay with her family in Bagong Silang (large slum outside of Manila) where they had a decent house among shacks, houses, huts, etc...the whole gamut.....No biggie culturally as my Ex is a Filipino American and I'd lived/worked in PI back in 90's, plus host of other 3rd world locations, but Still it was very different when in a relationship with one of the "hosts" and the household was in line with what previously described above with sleeping arrangements, a single bathroom/shower shared by 10 people, cockroaches from Jurasic Park!, etc. Be prepared that none of her family may speak English and you'll have no idea what is being said about you, etc, and don't expect your gal to translate it all....all the more reason to meet in a more modern area and save the family visit for later, keeping in mind you will likely pay for Everything!...your SSDI makes you "RICH!" there in the PI. As suggested, stay north such as Luzon or Cebu, and above all else, Research, Research and Research some more here, other forums and YouTube so that you have an idea of what getting into, regardless of whether ever stationed or port calls there back in the Navy days. Good luck!
  8. For sure in US, you could have any one or more of a host of terminal diseases, including stage 4 cancer of any kind, and even on one's death bed, but if you also have Covid-19 when you die, they are counting that as a Covid death period, as I understand it. No telling how many that entails. Likewise, the very large number of deaths in NY and NJ were in nursing homes where sick patients were sent Back into the nursing homes, where disease spread quickly among a very vulnerable population. I'm guessing in the end, we'll never know the true numbers, same as the true numbers of those who have/had Covid, which some estimates are 10x (?) the actual known #'s. (preaching to the choir I'm sure!).
  9. THANKS DaveB! Yeah, we are looking daily to see about any updates to the process while "hunkered down" in B'ham. If Inslee does not open schools, we may do a exploratory trip this winter for a few months and scout out areas we think we want to live, etc, covid restrictions allowing of course. I just hope won't still have to quarantine any length of time upon arrival. Thnx again.
  10. DaveB,, Will be following your adventure/posts with great interest, as we are up here in Bellingham and have a similar plan as your timeline, just big difference of having a then 6 yr old in tow who will be finishing kindergarten when we finally do leave. Had planned moving late Nov this yr, but the pandemic and slower processes have changed all that to a probable 6 month delay if lucky. Since schools will be important and some speech therapy services for kiddo, our freedom of location selection is a bit more restricted. OnMyWay was also a great host to us back in '16 touring us around the Freeport and looking at some houses there....brought back memories as I'd been assigned there a lived in a house just down street from his back in 89-92 timeframe. One area we thought worth consideration where we have friends and visited/stayed, is Sorsogon area in southern Luzon. Nice expat group and beautiful beaches/scenery, etc. One Aussie in the group built a nice relaxing type resort on a hillside on the water in one area there we visited/spent the day with the group. There are typhoon considerations and a volcano as negatives unfortunately. Airport not too far away in Legazpi City and would imagine better medical than in Sorsogon itself. Anyway, please keep posting your progress as I prefer to learn from others than repeat/relearn a process.
  11. Paul, So sorry to hear of your family's loss. Peace to you all.
  12. My Asawa, since moving to US, likes grated fresh parmesan on many dishes, and shredded "mexican blend" cheese on salad (a blend of three real cheeses). She' also loves one of the Cauliflower crust pizzas we buy in grocery which is thin and crispy when cooked right and wouldn't even know it's cauliflower and parmesan bound together. Good stuff!
  13. And some great live music bars we experienced in Greenbelt, as well as some very good restaurants we found. You're right about the interior park like setting....a great escape from the city noise, etc.
  14. OnMyWay, I see nothing in your link that would contradict what I posted, but only quoted certain parts from the study (fictional of course, but a study and pandemic model nonetheless). Your link did, however, include this, which simply makes it interesting.... 'That's particularly true when it comes to vaccine development. The CAPS virus—which Toner describes as a cousin of SARS, "but slightly more transmissible, like the flu, and slightly more lethal"—was presented as resistant to any existing vaccine, as scientists scrambled to come up with one. Citizens, meanwhile, were rioting over scarce access to the next best thing: a fictional antiviral known to treat some CAPS symptoms. That scenario, Toner says, is utterly realistic. "We don't have a vaccine for SARS, or MERS, or various avian flu viruses that have come up in the past decade," he notes. "That's because vaccine development is slow and difficult if there isn't an immediate market for it." In no way am I suggesting it's going to be just like this with current virus, but simply that the model does at least raise concerns. It it weren't so serious, governments would not be suspending flights, quarantining citizens, etc, All with good reason of course, and certainly with hope that it can be contained early on. Guess we'll see. Have a good one.
  15. Food for thought.....consider the numbers in the recent Johns Hopkins study,computer model on a very similar virus. https://www.businessinsider.com/scientist-simulated-coronavirus-pandemic-deaths-2020-1
  16. Steve, from you OP, I'm reminded of the advice of Perry Gamsby, Aussie author of "Philippine Dreams back circa 2005+, and whom has since moved back to Oz for kids' best chances, schools, etc......something along the lines of "Rule # 1: Warning... Live a minimum of 3 hours away from your wife's family. Rule #2: You've been warned." Seems your experience drives that home. Now I say that knowing that when we move over next Fall, it'll only be an hour away in Antipolo most likely. Like you, hoping for the best, but my asawa Seems be on board and has forewarned all not to come unannounced or uninvited. We'll see how that holds, since she also wants to eventually come back here to Washington State in US, or not! Best of luck in your search as I continue to learn from your many posts and enjoy the reading.
  17. I drove and taught some with mine, but was too stressful, although it reminded me that most of Us grew up riding in cars, often front seat and no belts, etc back when, and our brains continually computed all that was going on, then on to riding GoKarts at age 10 and driving the family wagon down street at 14 before licensing and driving family car all over the place, etc. My wife had had not grown up riding in cars; so, had none of the spatial concepts when arrived USA in 2012, but we worked on it and got her permit. Then moved to Japan 2015 and paid for her lessons there and she learned to drive left side road and right side drivers seat enough to get around on short shopping trips once licensed. We returned to US late 2017 and once we got a Nissan Leaf elec car she could drive for size while I had my SUV, she started driving with me and increased weekly until got her license a yr later.....YEA! Freedom!!....I freed us both up to be able to get around without always joined at hip and well worth the $10K we paid for the Leaf with only 15K miles on it. She drives our kiddo to school and doc appointments and meets up with the gal pas some, etc while I work a post retirement gig. She still won't drive on freeway yet though. My point is all in all, worth every penny to get her to learn to drive and the independence that created for her and freedom for us both when needed. Now just need get her learn to drive the SUV and go back to 1 car some point. Funny side story is her mom in PI just wants to know if she can Park!
  18. I'll second that recommendation for The Avenue Hotel/Suites. We've stayed there multiple times on visits and always enjoy the stay and location. A couple others, depending on budget, closer to Greenbelt and Glorietta are Fraser Place and Somerset, which are more like serviced apartments. Embassy team put us up at Fraser on one working visit and I put family up there after a long stay in Iraq.....Was well worth it at the time. Have no idea now.
  19. Cool thing about Game Pass, despite the cost, is you can watch Any game Any time you want on demand. When I last had it in Japan, I could go back to prior couple of years and watch some old games if I'd wanted to.....No, I didn't want to, but an option either way. Good part for me is just being able to watch Seahawks anytime,. anywhere, along with a couple of other teams I enjoy watching in good match ups when I want to, since all the TV network contracts sort of isolate you where you live as to what games you get to see on regular cable. Finally, as I recall, I had to use a VPN in Japan to go to through to get the full package access to Game Pass. One Vikings fan, who just left PI recently after an earnest several years giving it a try, said he used Globe and it was plenty enough to get a good stream for Game Pass. Good luck. GO HAWKS!
  20. I figure This sums up Most (not all) Filipinas from my own experience now for 30 years and on my 2nd “Asawa”. Not sure it’s the temper or the fact they never forget something you said or did that gets us in “trouble” most.
  21. To include a serious butt whooping in my household I grew up in!
  22. Missed this thread earlier for some reason, but glad things seem to have worked out for you Don. Hope all mends well long term. This pics are not to appetizing, but real good reminder to us all. All good info from all the comments too. Take care!
  23. I thought you said it pretty well, but we all come in from different angles and life experiences that surely influence us wherever we go. I’d be first to say it “feels” different there in RP because it Is different, as are most all cultures different, both the good and the bad ....in the end, hopefully we’re all human. Deadly Events Here over the weekend were soul numbing. Posted on social media “I Fear our country has lost its soul.” ....But that’s a whole different topic.
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