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the_whipster

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Everything posted by the_whipster

  1. neither are all straightforward actually for Subic. But Clark is the easier of the two. On my initial arrival I would seriously consider getting a taxi directly there, as it is only 80km from Clark and 120km from Manila, which should mean a taxi fare of no more than about 1800 from Clark, or 2500, from Manila. However the Clark taxis is an overcharging mafia and the official yellow taxis from Manila airport, while not really bent, would probably still cost plenty more than 2500.
  2. I still live in the UK most of the year because that is the way I like it. I have been spending months of every year in south east Asia for the past 18 years, add that up and you will find that it comes to a lot more, than 10 minutes, in actual fact it is more than five, although less than 10 years. I doubt if she comes from an 'elite' background at all. I don't know her very well, but when your uncle is the owner of a furniture store in Quezon city then that means there is a bit of wealth in at least a bit of the family. More than what most Filipino families have. It is not just poorer people that go to Saudi to work. I haven't asked her how much she makes yet and you can never be absolutely sure if you will get the correct answer when you do. But I'd be surprised if it is any more than $400 a month if she is lucky.
  3. can't resist what? Again just an observation. Though I must stress iI only have her own account to go on and I didn't see it for myself, her uncle is affluent enough to own a furniture store, and not just any furniture store either, but one in the National Capital Region, the wealthiest part of the Philippines. That puts them in the top 10-20% of Filipinos at a stroke. Filipinos from more affluent families also go to the Middle East, to work. It is not something, that just the plebs do.
  4. the kid is already over 5 and is still in Zambo, while she had already been in Manila a while when I met her for those few days. So it is not like it is a knee jerk reaction to her getting pregnant and then finding herself suddenly unable to support the kid. And - or at least so she told me - she had a pretty good job in QC as well, she said she was working in her uncle's furniture store. Meaning that her family sounded like a bit of a cut above, the average bunch of peasants. Perhaps her family already have existing links in Saudi and that is why she seems to have landed what sounds like a pretty good job so quickly. I would be worried about a female friend working in Saudi as a domestic helper because of all the bad press. so would I, if all i had to rely on was the 'bad press', like the newspaper articles we have all read. However none of the Filipinas I have ever met, and it is quite a few and I have asked them all, that have come back from working as domestic helpers or similar in the Middle East have said that anything bad happened at all.
  5. update yes, despite my dounts, she really can speak Arabic. She has got a job in the check in area of a large hotel. She says she is the only pinay there. It sounds like they may be just gradually grooming her to be front desk. Nearly all the customers, obviously, are Arabic speakers. She is good enough already to take phone calls in Arabic and has even said how variable the Arabic accents are and that the Saudi accent is so much the easiest for her. Like I said on another thread, I would never underestimate, the linguistic ability of Filipinos.
  6. downright false. The first person to say anything about the 'linguistic capabilities of different countries', is jon1 in reply #4. not every Filipino can speak more than one language. For example i have a friend who works as a prosecutor in mostly Manila, and whose first language is Cebuano. While the language of the law in the Philippines is supposed to be English, in practice it isn't and Filipino languages are always used much more in court than English is, with Tagalog being the main one. Even in courts in Cebu and other provincial cities where she has done trials, and where Cebuano will be spoken in court, she has never attended any court session anywhere in the Philippines, where Tagalog has not been spoken at some point as well. sometimes, just sometimes, not all that often, they have a witness in a Manila trial whose Tagalog is not good enough for them to give evidence in court. They can basically only speak their local dialect fluently. So they have to get an interpreter in, for them. the Philippines is a proper multi-lingual country, but it is not unique even in the ASEAN region. Malaysia is just like it, even to the point where English has a very similar role in the linguistical set up. But with Malay, not English, being the main lingua franca, like Tagalog is, in the Philippines. This is the opening statement from post 13: I would never criticise Filipinos about their ability at languages, including English. And this is the opening statement above from the post 20: not every Filipino can speak more than one language. so what. How is that criticising anybody. Again you are making the mistake of thinking that an observation is a criticism when it is not a criticism at all. It is just an observation. Not all Filipinos can speak more than one language, FACT. However it is very few of them, certainly compared to most nationalities, also FACT. Care to explain exactly how that is a criticism, as if I was bidding to criticise Filipinos in general when I actually went out of my way to compliment them on their usually good linguistic abilities?
  7. not every Filipino can speak more than one language. For example i have a friend who works as a prosecutor in mostly Manila, and whose first language is Cebuano. While the language of the law in the Philippines is supposed to be English, in practice it isn't and Filipino languages are always used much more in court than English is, with Tagalog being the main one. Even in courts in Cebu and other provincial cities where she has done trials, and where Cebuano will be spoken in court, she has never attended any court session anywhere in the Philippines, where Tagalog has not been spoken at some point as well. sometimes, just sometimes, not all that often, they have a witness in a Manila trial whose Tagalog is not good enough for them to give evidence in court. They can basically only speak their local dialect fluently. So they have to get an interpreter in, for them. the Philippines is a proper multi-lingual country, but it is not unique even in the ASEAN region. Malaysia is just like it, even to the point where English has a very similar role in the linguistical set up. But with Malay, not English, being the main lingua franca, like Tagalog is, in the Philippines.
  8. I would never criticise Filipinos about their ability at languages, including English. It is one of the very strongest suits they have and what they know about learning languages, dwarfs that of 90% of kanos. For me the way they speak English in their dialect of the English language, in Filipino-type English, is just as legitimate as an American or Australian dialect is. Except you have to consider that English is probably at least their third, and maybe fourth or fifth tongue. So give them a break. Also, learn their dialect, just as you would adjust your dialect if you were an American that emigrated to Australia. Never lecture them in this culturally superior way, that your dialect of English is better than theirs. Because it isn't.
  9. yes I would expect there to be reasonable eateries wherever there is a profusion of call centers also quite a lot of delivery places operating at all hours too. Even very late at night. Call center workers can tend to eat at their desks. decent eateries being near workplaces is not some immutable law though. In Balamban the best eateries are not in Balamban town itself but by the shipyard 4km south of town, in Buanoy. However in Danao the eateries by the Mizumi factory are not particularly good. But they open and close so fast. So it is a bit silly to recommend one when it might not even be there next month.
  10. it is always an idea, if you want to eat good off the street in the Philippines, to do it close by to major workplaces. Like shipyards, factories, and hospitals but not colleges and universities so much. Those consumers, have got jobs and that means they are getting a wage. That makes them picky. They won't put up, with any old garbage to eat.
  11. once I was in Cebu city with this girl and her brother came to visit. It was during Sinulog. I'd met him before, when I'd been to her place in Leyte. He was maybe mid 20s and it wasn't the first time he'd been to Cebu city. But going up to the hotel room, and it was not an expensive hotel room, that we shared in Fuente, it turned out that it was the first time he had ever been in an elevator. But I don't think he was quite hick enough to ride it over and over again.
  12. the better caranderias are often situated close by to hospitals, you can see it in other cities too. You would have seen that in Iligan, when you were staying at Famous Pension right by the sanitarium. The standard goes up just a notch, either or both because the customers are pickier or when there is more competition, then that is supposed to usually improve standards.
  13. there is often a colonial redoubt that the colonials used, in the hot season to take a break in. In Malaysia the Brits used to leave KL and go to the Cameron Highlands, following the habit they developed in India to escape to the hills when it got too hot. The French, in Cambodia, in Kampot, similarly had the Bokor hill station. The American colonials also established their own hill station little more than a century ago, which has now turned into Baguio city.
  14. Manila is where you will find the best caranderias in the Philippines. The people there are pickier and won't put up with just any old garbage like in the province. Cebu is hit and miss, and frankly mostly miss. There are some good ones around the hospitals like Chong Hua in the Fuente area, one or two are even airconditioned but not expensive. I think it is because the hospital staff are again, picky compared to most.
  15. hardly a surprise. Quantas will want to know, as much as they can everything about Singapore Airlines, They are big serious competitors.
  16. That sounds extremely logical to me. SM should be paying the bill without getting any tax break. They built a Marks and Spencer supermarket just around the corner from me in the UK recently, they would not have got planning permission to build in the first place Marks and Spencer had not agreed to foot the bill for all the new road adjustments that were needed like painting and the cost of building a new pedestrian crossing. These road works benefit Marks and Spencer, perhaps at the expense of other retailers. Why should the other retailers pay for improvements in their tax bill that benefit a competitor.
  17. My experience, in Hong Kong, is that I always had an exit ticket. But it was usually on some discount airline not related to the one I came in on (like Cebu Pacific or a now defunct airline whose name I have forgotten.. This I ask for your experience as the 'may' have known that I had an exit ticket but they would have had to be more sophisticated than I give them credit for. I imagine that now-defunct airline would be Oasis Hong Kong, they had cheapie flights into HK from both the UK (Gatwick) and Canada (Vancouver) before they went bust. I never got the chance to use them. on travel forums people that are flying into Hong Kong with a 'proper' airline and then on again with Cebu Pacific almost always say they are asked at wherever they checked in to see on onward ticket. I have always been asked, each of the 3 times that I did not have a onward or return ticket with the same airline. at Heathrow last year I was even quizzed by a junior check in staff that my return ticket was not within the 30 day timeframe and they called a supervisor. I was spooked for about 20 seconds, before I talked my way out of it. They are just pretty strict, about the onward ticket requirement and they are not getting any less strict.
  18. I realize that many countries require it but 'every other country'? For example, have you ever been asked for an exit ticket when boarding a flight to Hong Kong? I have flown there many times and never been asked for an exit ticket, neither by the airlines nor by the immigration. but were you flying there on a one way ticket, or with a return ticket which they knew you had without them needing to ask you? for example I flew into the Philippines in 2006 from Bangkok with Kuwait Airlines, and out again to Malaysia with Air Asia. However, Kuwait did not know about my existing arrangement with Air Asia and wanted to see the onward ticket (which I had anticipated they would, and had already printed out, for them to see). They, Kuwait, only asked me because my onward ticket was with a different airline. Had I had a return ticket to Bangkok with Kuwait they would not have needed to ask me anything as they would have known already I had an onward ticket.
  19. it is much likelier that you will be not be allowed to board the plane without an onward ticket than get hassled at customs upon arrival, IF they allow you on the plane (which they very likely won't). the Philippines is not being spoilsports here, every other country in the world I know of, also insists on tourists having onward tickets, the United States included, although with some exceptions (I don't think Canadians need onward tickets for the USA, but I as a Brit definitely do). You had better look, right now, for a cheap Cebu Pacific onward ticket to an overseas destination, with Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur/Kota Kinabalu being the likeliest for a cheap flight. It doesn't have to within the period of your 30-day arrival stamp. It could be six months from now.
  20. I would have thought Masbate would be a pretty safe place for most foreigners, but perhaps not if you happen to be the Mayor, or share a bed with the Mayor. At least three of them have been shot dead in the past 20 years or so.
  21. I usually say that it is always better to get your first extension sooner, rather than later. If you don't, and especially if you have a tendency to improvise like I do, then you can find yourself three or four weeks later having to make a bit of an effort to attend a BoI office now finding yourself in the province somewhere. You can get one shortly after you arrive, like the day after even. And then, once you have got that first extension, you do not have to worry again about getting one, for two months. there is a Bureau of Immigration office right in Olongapo city, which I did not realise when i headed to Subic shortly after arrival in the Philippines a few years ago. Had I known that at the time, I would have probably got my first extension there.
  22. this is a pattern of the Korean murders. Quite a few of them seem to be Korean-on-Korean, although I cannot recall any kano-on-kano murders - although there may have been some, there are plenty of kano-on-kano barroom brawls after all. Also with the much higher number of Asian expats bringing their own families to live in the Philippines, the whole domestic murder scenario takes a different dimension. So when 'the wife done it', then that doesn't mean that the murderer is a Filipina, but a Korean. it seems the Korean underworld/mobsters have got themselves intricated in the Philippines too, like a lot of the European and other farang underworld has got itself involved in Pattaya, and Samui. Look at the way Angeles has gone Korean.
  23. I know somebody in Manila who is a member of one of Masbate's top families. As such she was able to go to Manila and get a good education from a young age and where she has been living for over 20 years, only very occasionally going back home. She did not talk the place up, at all when we discussed it. She said it is very poor with very limited employment, educational and health facilities, even for the Philippines. She also said it has a rather volatile political history, with a record of violence and assassination among its sometimes warring elite. despite that, I seriously entertained visiting la couple of years ago and did some planning for it. I realized that it is not so far, at all, from Cebu and the northern Visayas, like northern Leyte and Biliran - although it is classed as being in the Bicol region, the main dialect spoken there, and the mother tongue of my friend, Masbateno, is a Visayan language. There were places to stay that looked alright, and at that time you could also reach it easily by using it as a 'stepping stone', by flying there from Manila and then on to Cebu by plane or ferry. But in the end I thought I might have trouble getting hold of a rented motorbike, which can be enough for me to dissuade me from visiting somewhere. I am sure you would need a motor to be able to look around Masbate properly. in retrospect that time could have been the best time to visit as it looks as if the Cebu flight that existed then has been axed and there is now just a single solitary daily service to Manila.
  24. I have 2 Cherry Mobiles, both dual SIM, and they both work fine in the UK. Although neither of them are the phone I generally use.
  25. Cherry Mobiles are not bad as secondary phones. They have improved a lot since they first came out. They have got rid of a lot of their initial problems. However the way they are designed, they still break too easily. Treat Cherry Mobiles, with care - more care than you would excersise with a phone that cost you more money to buy.
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