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  1. He will be majoring in marine engineering in University of Cebu. It should be one of the very top schools for that major. So the school should be good enough. I am a bit more concerned about what kind of science and math background he got from a rural Leyte high school. I hope he can find a good tutor if he needs one to pass the engineering math classes etc. I would be happy to pay for reasonable cost associated with that. Good point about the laptop. Did not even think about that yet and I would be surprised if it is not a requirement for an engineering student. We better find out pretty quickly as it the balikbayan box will take weeks. I do trust the family (parents) though. I have known them for six years now and they have never asked for anything that was not truly needed and easy to justify. The 18 year old brother, of course, will be on his own in Cebu trying to figure out the weekly finances and budgeting.
  2. That would probably be a good option if it was a bit easier to open an account in one of those banks. Last when I checked they only had offices in New York and LA areas and required a personal visit to open an account. We live pretty much in the center of the continent, so making a trip just to open an account is not in the cards just now. Thanks for the idea though, as it might eventually be a possibility if we have other needs to go to NY or LA in the future.
  3. I pretty much expected it will always be more than the firm itemized budget. How much do you suggest we should expect for the miscellaneous expenses? The tuition will be 45,000 per year. The boarding house is 2100 per month (on room mate, all basic utilities included, very conveniently located to the campus). We have guessed that 1500 pesos per week should easily cover dining and miscellaneous living and school expenses, but it's just a guess. He will have a rice cooker in the room but otherwise no kitchen access, but there are some very inexpensive food vendors in the area. Based on your experience, does 1500 per week sound high or low? On the original topic, I chatted with a person at Remitly and asked if I should expect any issues with a plan of sending 1500 weekly. They told me that it should be fine. Just need to remember to manually remember to do it as they don't have a way of automatic weekly transfers. I will also look into Worldremit that JGF recommended. Better have a secondary backup ready as well just in case.
  4. My wife's young brother is starting college in Cebu in couple of weeks and we have committed to funding all the expenses related to getting the degree. The brother is just 18 years old and has never had much cash in his hands so probably has not developed very good handle on financial management yet. His parents live in a different province so the brother will be on his own in Cebu, living in a boarding house managed by a family friend. We will be paying his monthly rent directly to the landlady. I'm guessing the only way to pay the tuition is to send the money to the brother and let him handle it. My main question is about sending money for his other expenses like food, clothes, school supplies, etc. We are estimating 1500 pesos per week and would like to "help" him with budgeting by actually sending that amount every week. For the past random family help, larger amounts, we have used Remitly and Xoom. Overall been very happy with Remitly's free transfers that are available in Philippines a few days later. I have heard that some of these transfer companies can use a bit mysterious logic some times, so I wanted to ask for some experienced advice here. Would Remitly allow small amount like that sent on weekly basis? Are there other comparable or better options for handling this?
  5. Most companies would pay a division head or country manager based on the P&L responsibility of the specific job. Also, many countries consider most or all of company paid housing and household expenses taxable as income. When you add the typical Scandinavian tax rates (my info may be outdated here though) I believe your total gross with that offer may be closer to $200k. I work in a big traditional low tech US corporation, and I would estimate that your compensation level would be pretty comparable to a manager with about $100M of annual sales. I'm sure this would not apply to some sexy high tech companies with 100% operating profit margin and 200% annual sales growth potential. If I was in your career stage (and single) especially if able to eliminate all big expenses in your home country, I would accept the offer in a heartbeat.
  6. I also do it with my fiancée's parents and grandparents when I first meet them after a long while. They just call it mano po. Perhaps a difference between Bisayan and Tagalog languages.
  7. Just an update how things went: my arriving PAL flight was only 8 minutes late at 8 PM, just one hour past the airport closure. The terminal seemed less crowded than usually. The streets between the airport and northern Cavite had relatively light traffic so our drive only took 45 minutes vs the typical hour or more that time of the day. So far so good and no "papal trouble" whatsoever.
  8. Just found also PAL listing of cancelled flights. They are canceling a total of 71 flights between 15th and 19th including several international ones, but my flight from LAX is not in the cancelled list. :dance:
  9. Couple of weeks ago my Cebu Pacific flight from Tacloban to NAIA was delayed by 3 hours due to equipment delay. Cebu Pacific treated us a dinner of Jollibee chicken and a box drink.
  10. I heard that domestic flights are cancelled for the duration of the Papal's visit. If your flight in is changed to Cebu, then what???? That is only partially true based on the various news releases I have seen. NAIA will be closed for all air traffic for 5 hours on the 15th when Pope arrives and 5 hours again on the 19th when he departs, and Tacloban airport will be closed for the day when Pope will be visiting there. The airlines have already published some lists of flights they are canceling based on these interruptions. Cebu Pacific had the most I have seen, about 200 flights including couple of international flights to Hong Kong. Other than that I have not seen any cancellations of international flights yet, though I would expect some more due to those 5 hour NAIA closures. If the airline diverts me to Cebu, it is their responsibility to eventually get me to my ticketed destination which is Manila (at least in the rest of the world that is).
  11. Just want to be with my fiancee and son when they enter the USA for first time, so no need for a longer stay in the Philippines this time. I'm little less worried about having a delay flying in as long as everything with our trip to the USA on goes okay on Sunday. Is it normal that they close NAIA for all the flights for five hours for both arrival and departure? To me it seems that Pope is getting treated above and beyond any head of state.
  12. Thanks for the input Robert. I realize I should have mentioned that I have done these trips many times during "non-papal times". The trip from NAIA to our apartment typically takes about 90 minutes late evening, and the reverse direction about 45 minutes when I leave our place at 5 am.
  13. I am scheduled to arrive at NAIA2 with Philippine Airlines on January 15th at 8 pm, just after the first papal airport closure, and depart back to the USA with Delta from NAIA3 on January 18th at 9:30 am (no scheduled airport closures on 17th or 18th). My fiance and 8 month old son will fly with me on the 18th. Had I known about the airport closures when I booked the tickets I would have scheduled different week, but rescheduling at this point would cost me over $1000 in losses and fees, and a delay of several weeks would cause lots of consequential cost and trouble for various reasons. So, since both flights are still showing as scheduled my current plan is to try and stick with the plan. Presuming that our flights wont get cancelled at the last minute, my key concern is the traffic to and from NAIA those days. We are renting a van with a driver both days to travel between our apartment in Cavite and NAIA, but I am wondering how bad will the traffic be even during the night hours those days. Especially on the 18th when we have our baby with us I don't want to get stuck in the traffic for hours or miss our flight and be stuck at the airport for days waiting for the next available flight with seats available. I guess what I'm looking for here is some ideas what to do to avoid major trouble, as rescheduling at this point us nearly impossible.
  14. Thanks for good suggestions so far. I'm not sure this village, which has the same name as my fiancée's last name, is into latest hypes. Last time the road even wasn't drivable for our van, so we just hiked the last couple of miles by foot. Most people there seemed to smoke Marlboro or some local brand, so when the request specified "something different" I was certainly thinking more along the likes of Benson & Hedges in golden boxes or such. Well B&H is a UK brand but it's kano too, right? Is Camel widely available in Philippines? This is the first time when the greater family (= the entire village) will be meeting our son, so at least I won't be passing around cigars. Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
  15. Okay here is the question of the day. I have been directed by the higher authority to take some "American" cigarettes to Leyte with me for our Christmas trip to her home village. Everyone there is a smoker and last time I promised to bring some real American smokes with me. The advice has been that it should be something that they don't see there every day, so I guess really big global brands are out. I have never been a smoker so I'm clueless. Any advice about a good brand to fill these requirements would help. And since the import limit in Philippines is probably the typical one carton, so price really does not matter too much. Appreciate good suggestions. Pete
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