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simplymikee

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About simplymikee

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    Philippines
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    computers, alternative health, phil business

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  1. I will answer all the posts here. The prices are HIGHER here compared to cheaper USA cities. I am not comparing to NYC or Washington DC or even Minneapolis. I am comparing to medium sized city in AZ, NM, NV,TX, FL, etc. It's not the brand name, it's that everything is imported and undergoes extortion type customs and shipping fees and it's not made here. Even local mfg and processed products are frequently higher because they are priced in relation to imported. I am spending and estimated 30-75% depending on the item more for most things that I can buy in the USA more cheaply, even more cheaper online (and I don't have to worry about shipping problems as much back home compared to here). And rents are a little cheaper but not that much. A fully furnished apartment I rent for $400 USD, for the EXACT same apartment and ameneties here cost me minimum $300 here and often higher, so you're talking maybe 25% lower in R.P. And in the US I do not have to pay multi-month deposits as many landlords ask for here. Also there are renter protection laws in the USA that are enforced, not so here. Really the only thing consistently cheaper here is the labor. In looking at wages vs COL here, it's hard to understand how the average Filipino doesn't just dry up and die. But when you see the standard of living they endure, easy to see how they can do it.
  2. I am posting this in part because this site allows members to post classifieds for free. This information is gathered from about 10 years of perusing dating sites and registration or attempted registration at about 20 different sites. I only register at free sites because no one has shown me any reason why pay sites will be better than free sites. However free sites, 99% of them are not really free. Many are borderline scam sites that suck you in with offering free only for you to waste your time registering, in some cases, a good deal of time, and then find you must pay to contact members. If you cannot email members for free, the site is NOT free. For those looking at free sites, fill in all bogus information to speed the process and get to email a member to find out if the site is actually free or another scam. You can just fill in garbage info under an id like testing2see or similar to see if the site is really free like they CLAIM it is. Or u can use an automatic form filler program for this, even faster. That way you waste minimal time filling in info for a site the lies to you and tells you it's free when it is not. Also they do not get any personal information on you, which can be misused. I have not actually belonged to a pay site, so you can listen to others opinons on those, but I personally would not pay to join an online dating site. Here are some observations on the free sites: DIA-Date in Asia-this used to be a good site but the owners got big britches and started requiring photos and they do other unprofessional things like delete you without warning or real cause (they THINK they have a cause) and they keep changing their policies. They won't answer emails so you have no communication with them. Also almost all of the members on this site are looking at foreigners for money/support, not for relationships. Because of this it only has a good reply rate WHILE you are not in the P.I. Once you get here the scammers realize they cannot get money from you long distance so their interest drops off. Good for making contacts for later fun times (at your expense). YMMV, my opinion for what it's worth (or not) Fildate.com Easy to register, does not require a photo, but response rate is low, probably because the women here are real filipinas trying to date men in their own age range often and alot more like western women in that and other respects. Filfriendfinders.com Another free site pretty much like Fildate but even more restrictive in getting responses, have several levels of membership so not entirely free in my view. Does not require photo Realize this if anything: the women you meet online from foreign country will treat you differently than when you're in the Philippines. Most guys here find it easy to meet women in real life here, at malls, other places. That way it is harder to be scammed since there are not phoney photos, stories (that cannot be verified) and it's just more real. It's too easy to form the wrong ideas about a woman online that you have not met in person. Dating sites, imo, should be used only to establish a few contacts and rendezvous that might be useful when u first get here, not to find a mate. Just my 2 cents as they say.
  3. Can anyone inform me as to what living in Iloilo is like for an ex-pat? How does it compare to places like Cebu? Dumaguete? Looking for info on the people, attitudes towards foreigners, costs, differences from other cities, the FIlipinas there, etc
  4. If he doesn't like Cambodia, probably India would be his next best bet!
  5. I believe this only applies to transfers initiated, for example, from a credit card account. Such transfers incur big fee penalties as they are classified as money advance on your credit card. It also can act negatively on your credit. Also this probably means you will get pesos for dollars and incur the other big expense-the conversion spread.
  6. Thanks for the good reply. I have concluded that the P.I. banks are not run professionally, nor according to reasonable banking standards, imo. In fact all banks, even U.S. banks are going down that route. It is surpising to me how many people are putting up with these bad practices. But many are transferring their accounts to credit unions (at least in the USA) that have a much better reputation for providing service consistent with customer expectations. This is of course disadvantageous to not just the consumers, but to the banks. To me it is bordering on fraud for a customer to need to get special permission to withdraw his funds at a different branch other than the one he opened the account.
  7. Not sure about withdrawing at only one particular branch but I've been told that you must do it in person and they will not issue a debit card for that account .... US SS rulings not theirs ..... even your wife can't withdraw funds on that account (or not supposed to .... but I'm sure someone has found ways around it) ..... so if you get laid up no one but you in person can obtain funds ..... or so I've been told .... this is US SS only ... not sure about other countries ..... they want to be sure that they don't continue to pay after you kick the bucket ..... now if you are in the US it is a different story and there are many cases of someone dying and their relatives .... caregivers etc. have managed to get the deceases SS if they have access to the bank account ..... but I guess that's OK as they will spend the money there and help the booming economy ...... :hystery: :hystery: yeah thanks already knew that but never was told u could not withdraw at other branches before, so I think maybe it's just an ignorant bank employee-there are so many here.
  8. I agree. This is part of overall totalitarian shift of USA; they will increase efforts to control US Citizens access to their own money. Maybe you can answer my other question here about SS Direct Deposits?
  9. Was told by one Phil bank that if I transfer my SS DD account to them I can only withdraw the money at that particular branch location (dollar account) Then told by another bank this is not true can withdraw at any bank location Which is true (problem with this page not saving longins)?
  10. The prices here in Dumaguete are high, 30-50% higher than USA EXCEPT on native non imported goods which are limited to such things as bananas,pinneapple, coconut, fish, etc for foods. Any manufactured or processed goods are higher than the cheaper USA cities. Do not compare NYC or D.C. to Phil prices. Examples of higher priced goods: baby powder, razors, towels, linens, Even bottled water is higher than USA. I figure my non durable goods costs will be 50% higher here. On durable goods many things are higher priced: electronics, appliances. I have yet to find a true discount store here. It's almost as if they all got together to fix the prices. Anything involving strictly labor is cheaper-massage for one example. Rent is cheaper but not substancially so from cheaper USA cities. This is one thing my Filipina friends did not tell me about, I wonder why??? ;-)
  11. Where can I find a good used frost free fridge, standard sized-not mini, in or near Dumaguete? Nothing on web lately.
  12. I now have an account at a major Phil bank. They told me it takes like 3 weeks to clear a check from my American bank. And I am not even sure I trust a Phil bank with this amount of money. I need to get $3500 from USA to me. I have relative in USA who can assist but I hate to burden her. What is the cheapest safest way to transfer this amount so it gets into my hands. Also last time I checked the limit on USA to foreign transfers was 5,000 USD. Some banks were limiting it to 2,000. I don't want to wait 3 weeks, so what are my options? The money transfer services are pretty outrageous in what they charge and they too may have limits, plus you have to give them your SSA number which I'd rather not do. Any useful advice from past experience most appreciated. Ditto electronic bank transfers. I checked with one recommended method IREMIT but they do not have USA office and they do not even answer their emails.
  13. Thanks for all the good replies. Just after the original post I made the stupid mistake of calling USA relative. 10 minute call exhausted my 300p Globe load, charging me 25-30 cents a minute. What a ripoff, will change my globe sim out for a smart one. My long time friend here suggested an IDD sun card which supposedly gives you 25 min of calls to usa and some other countries for P50. This cell phone thing is a big racket imo. I only had a landline in the U.S. but even with that quality of calls to Phil was really bad. The other irritating thing is all the spam these cell companies send u unsolicited. Add to that that governments and maybe others can trace your comings and goings. Maybe I am getting old but the whole thing stinks to me. The thought occurs to me that possibly VOIP is an answer to minimizing cell phone use. But many tell me internet is equally bad in the Philippines.
  14. new to cell phones, currently in dumaguete. have nokia with dual sim globe and sun. globe not working where I am, sun works but not always. which prepaid (anonymous) plan can i use that I don't have to visit cell centers every other week. I do not do much texting and my calls are maybe 1 to 2 a day. Most of the prepaid cards I have seen which are only available certain stores only are good for like 30 days. Is there one that is good longer where I don't have to mess with it. Really cell phones are a royal PITA to me. Just want a good working phone I do not have to mess with all the time. Also what are the prefix numbers generally used for cell to landline calls and when do you have to use area code prefixes. Here in Dumag. we do not need to use area code to cebu so I am guessing Duma is in the same area code? Also calls to USA are almost always poor quality and have to repeat voice communications frequently. Is there a way to get better quality calls? I also have a PLDT card I bought in Cebu for pay phone calls, can that be used for cell as well?
  15. What is the current status of ability to open bank account in Dumag. on tourist visa, can it be done and how if applicant is resident. Is ACR hard to get now? Any reliable current information greatly appreciated.
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