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Everything posted by Huggybearman

  1. Well, that’s one lady whose whose clearly got ‘balls”!
  2. I guess the main issue is all the Phils based operators having to use the common undersea cables connecting to the rest of the world. Local high speed tests are all well and good, but when it comes to speeds further afield the local providers still suck! We have to have both PLDT and Globe to provide at least some kind of redundancy for my wife’s online teaching but often both are very slow to the point of being pretty useless! Hopefully Starlink and the UK’s One Web should avoid that issue. It might be expensive, but so is having to pay for the two incumbents pathetic offering!
  3. I would think most of us have PhilHealth. It is relatively inexpensive and both my wife and her family have used it on occasion. In practice it seems to cover about 20% of the total bill, which is paid to the hospital directly, you don’t need to wait to get it reimbursed. As far as I know PhilHealth don’t run any hospitals, the treatment they had was carried out in a good (by local standards) private hospital, with a private room. You don’t need to use a public hospital unless you so choose. As for Pacific Cross, when I looked into getting medical insurance, the total amount of cover was only 200,000php with a premium of over 40,000php. And that was on a reimbursement basis. For that kind of cover I would prefer to self insure. There are other providers available but for those of us aged 70+ the premium really becomes prohibitive!
  4. I have had both Sinovac jabs now. On both occasions my BP was normal prior to the jab, but immediately after it went up about 15 points. After about 15 minutes following the jab it returned to normal. My wife has had her first AZ jab and her BP also went up about 10 points immediately after the jab returning to normal again after about 15 minutes. I guess they are just being cautious.
  5. From 1st August 2021 foreign spouses, parent/s and/or children of Filipino citizens with valid 9a visas may be allowed entry into the Philippines without the need for an Entry Exemption Document. (EED) The sting in the tail is the comment that ‘For this purpose, the visas of the foregoing shall contain the following notation “EED not required per IATF resolution #128 (s.2021)” ‘ My reading of that means that 9a visa holders without that annotation are not valid for entry. So I would think they would have to either obtain another 9a visa or send the existing one back to have the annotation added. They don’t make it easy, do they! At least it’s a step in the right direction!
  6. Thanks Graham. That’s good to know. I am quite optimistic we meet all the requirements………..but these days you never quite know when a curved ball can come flying in our direction!
  7. I am a UK citizen. Pre pandemic my Filipina girlfriend and I travelled to the UK every summer for six months, commencing in 2013, returning to the Philippines each winter for six months. The first few visits my girlfriend was on a one year UK (six month total stay) Visit Visa. In 2017 she successfully obtained a 5 year UK Multi-entry Visit Visa but still limited to a maximum stay of six months in any 12 month period. We last returned to the Philippines in August 2019 and due to the pandemic have not been able to return to the UK since. Her current 5 year UK Visit visa expires in March 2022. We got married here in the Philippines in November 2019 and I have a 13A probationary visa. We are intending to return to the UK next April or May 2022 after I get my permanent 13A, and for various reasons, would like to stay in the UK for about 18 months or so. Rather than apply for another 5 year tourist visa for my wife, I am considering applying for a Spousal Visa which will give us much more flexibility in our travel arrangements. Have any fellow UK forumites applied for a Spousal Visa for their wife? Were there any particular official obstacles thrown in the way of the application? I am currently researching the UK Immigration requirements but as I found out in my various visa applications (both successful and initially, unsuccessful) for my wife (then girlfriend) that the official published requirements don’t really reflect the true application process! Any information or tips on your experience would be gratefully received.
  8. I had the Sinovac and am happy that at least I have been vaccinated. But I think it could well be a problem for travel back to the UK, which I hope to be able to do next May. If there will be a chance to pay to have another jab privately, which I think will be possible once the majority of the Phil’s population is vaccinated, then I would prefer one of the others like Astra Zeneca. Providing it would be acceptable for travel to the UK, which might be doubtful as the UK do not currently accept vaccinations given abroad. It also seems that an additional dose of a different vaccine might well boost the effectiveness of vaccines generally.
  9. Yes, they are readily available here in Mindanao. There are at least two types, the most common is the Bajaj RE from India, I think and the other is a Piaggio Ape which I guess is imported from Italy. The Piaggio comes in various body forms including an open back truck and an enclosed box van type as well as the regular passenger one as in the picture.
  10. Here in Cagayan de Oro the procedure followed the same routine as previous posters, about 5 steps in total. My first jab was at the local public hospital. I was very impressed with the efficiency of the operation. Took about an hour in total, including a 15 minute post jab observation period. It was very busy, probably in excess of a hundred people being vaccinated during the hour I was there. And the vaccinations were going on all day. Plenty of helpful, courteous and efficient staff ensuring things kept moving. I was truly impressed! It helped that the whole process was a continuous ‘conveyor belt’ type system where you started at one end and exited at the other. My second jab, exactly four weeks after the first, was a complete shambles. The vaccination center was the top floor (cinema level) of SM Downtown mall. Plenty of courteous staff on hand but few seemed to know what they were doing. Although we were each given a sequence number, it wasn’t followed at all so seemed to develop into a disorganized mob with people trying to jump the various queues! It wasn’t helped by the layout of the cinema level which formed a ‘T’ with people having to backtrack and cross over to different sections to complete the various stages which caused a lot of confusion. As a result it took well over three hours. And I was number 59 in the sequence. I was told to arrive at 7.30am and there were 58 already waiting when I arrived at 7.20am. By the time I left at nearly 11am there were probably 200 hundred people still waiting to start the process. Plus the couple of hundred that were already moving through the system.I believe they are trying to vaccinate a 1000 people a day there. Not impressed at all with the organization of the second vaccination process but very grateful just the same. At least they are trying.
  11. I had my first jab of the Sinovac a couple of weeks ago. Absolutely no side effects at all. Not even a sore arm where the jab was given. I was a little sceptical about its effectiveness before I did some research on it. I am quite reassured now having learned more about it. The main issue seems to be the vaccine lowers the immune system between the two doses but boosts it considerably after the second dose. Given the choice I think I would prefer the Astra Zeneca but either is better than none!
  12. I have been using Shipping Cart regularly for a couple of years or so from the UK. Nothing but the highest praise for them. Nothing damaged and always fast delivery. I guess you get what you pay for!
  13. Thank you all for the useful suggestions. I have passed all this on to my friend to help with his decision. He is certainly appreciative of all your advice. Nothing is straightforward these days! I just hope he manages to get there (and back) without too much hassle!
  14. Thank you Yeochief, that is very helpful. I have passed on the info to my friend. He might just have to take his wife along with him just to ensure his return entry to the Philippines. Always assuming that the rules don’t change prior to their return! And also that she can get a visa to the US!
  15. A question to our American friends who may be able to help with the answer. A friend of mine wishes to return to the US within the next week or so to visit his gravely ill mother who is in hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She is well into her nineties and the prognosis is not good! He is a US citizen, married to a Filipina and living here in Cagayan de Oro, Northern Mindanao. He is a permanent resident here on a 13A visa. He is 70 years old and plans traveling without his wife, to Boston for about four weeks or so and then returning to CDO. I have no idea what the travel requirements, including COVID tests, quarantine requirements etc. are, both here exiting the Philippines and for his arrival into the US. Can anyone here advise him what is needed, other than an ECC? He can be flexible as to routing, but would prefer to avoid Manila if possible due to the current COVID situation. Any advice you can give him would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, guys.
  16. I thought that as well. However I have seen that method trashed, literally, in a few seconds using a length of 2”x 2” wood to break the glass and a small piece of carpet to lay over the remains of the glass. It is really difficult to come up with an effective solution that doesn’t look like a prison. And the sound of the breaking glass wasn’t loud at all, which surprised me! I guess that is why dogs are the preferred solution.
  17. I agree. Just to clarify, I wasn’t suggesting that only US or UK expats should get the vaccination. This is a global pandemic and as such requires a global effort. My own view is that everyone should have the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
  18. Here in Cagayan de Oro many have had forms to fill in regarding vaccinations. In addition: From Philstar Global 6th March 2021 Overall, the Philippines is expected to receive over 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the US and the United Kingdom this year, Romualdez and British Ambassador Daniel Pruce said in separate interviews. “I think you’ll see a steady stream of consignment arriving throughout the rest of the year, and in total I think by the end of the year we’ll have something in the order of 22 to 23 million shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the Philippines,” Pruce said in an interview with GMA 7’s “Unang Hirit.” Apart from those coming from COVAX, Pruce said the additional vaccine shipments would include doses purchased by the private sector and local government units. A total of 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in the country Thursday night courtesy of the COVAX Facility, a scheme that helps ensure equitable distribution of vaccines to poor nations. The country was expected to initially receive around 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca jabs. Pruce explained the slightly lower consignment was purely due to practical and logistics reasons. He said the Philippines is expected to receive four to five million doses more of AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX. “Of course within the COVAX Facility there will be further deliveries planned, I think four to five million in total of the AstraZeneca vaccine and other vaccines as well,” he said. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said “up to 4.5 million doses” of AstraZeneca are set for delivery through COVAX Facility in two weeks’ time “and will be completed by the end of May.” “These vaccines, in addition to other vaccines, shall provide protection to 20 percent of our entire population,” Lorenzana, chairman of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said. Pruce said the UK government has no plan of inoculating British citizens living abroad. “We have no plans to roll out the UK’s NHS COVID-19 vaccination program to British nationals living overseas,” he said in a video message posted on the British embassy’s Twitter account. “Wherever possible, British nationals who are resident here in the Philippines should aim to be vaccinated here. We will share information on local vaccine rollouts on our travel advice pages and social media platforms as they are announced,” he said.’ End of quote. ....................... As a considerable number of the vaccines, some 40 million this year alone, are coming from the US and the UK, I would hope that expats would be included in the vaccination programme. Especially, as I understand it, a large number are being donated to the Philippines
  19. Car battery chargers are not ideal. Multi-stage ‘intelligent’ chargers are best. To fully charge a deep cycle battery can take many hours as the charge current tails off towards the end of the charge period. There is a supplier on Shopee based in Puerta Galera that deals in Victron chargers and inverters which are made in the Netherlands and are top quality. If you want your set-up to last it’s worth investing in the best. I have just assembled a second UPS using their equipment and I know it will last for years if cared for properly. The first one using the same equipment has been in daily use for the last five years and still going strong.
  20. Same here in CDO. S&R have almost no pork (just Abodo cuts and belly slices!) and just a few measly pieces of chicken. Half of their chilled display cabinets are turned off! I must say S&R have really gone downhill the last year or so. It seems to be more like a giant Sari-Sari store these days!
  21. It would be very expensive to have a centralized UPS to run all your household appliances including aircon units. Remember these will be run from the UPS battery which would need to be HUGE to cater for the power demand. And you would also need a HUGE pure sine wave inverter which would be very expensive, if such a beast exists! Your UPS should just cater for your essential equipment which you would want to use during a brownout. Computer, internet modem, perhaps a fan and a light or two. You certainly wouldn’t want to run any power hungry items from it. All the UPS’ I have seen for sale here are very small units just really intended to run your computer for a short while while you save your work and shut the computer down. They are not designed or intended to run anything remotely power hungry. I built my own UPS using quality components (intelligent multi-stage charger, pure sine-wave inverter and a good quality deep cycle battery). That will run a computer, fan, internet modem and a couple of lights for several hours until the power comes back on. I made it because my wife teaches online and it will keep her going for a long time until either power is restored or I start up the little Honda genny that we have as a back-up.
  22. I agree, you should have surge protectors and/or AVR’s to protect your expensive equipment. Every item of ours is protected by individual AVR’s of a suitable wattage and the the entertainment center, (TV, DVD, PlayStation, internet etc is protected by a 2000 watt Inmarflex one from S&R. Being a dunce when it comes to electrical stuff I would feel very uneasy having all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. ie centralised whole house protection rather than individual units.
  23. What happens if your ‘whole house’ unit stops working? I guess you have no electrics until you get it fixed? That could be quite a while here in the Philippines. Just a thought!
  24. I thought it would be worth enquiring of the British Embassy in Manila if any provision has been made regarding vaccinations for British citizens currently residing in the Philippines. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is no such provision. I wonder if other countries embassy’s have made any for their citizens? Here is their reply: Thank you for your enquiry of 09/02/2021 01:40 . The UK government are exploring vaccine options for people in the UK and their response to vaccine development is available to read on GOV.UK along with information about the UK roll out. If you live abroad, we suggest you approach the authorities in the country where you live for their decisions about vaccines and how they might be developed and administered. You can keep up to date about any aspect of living abroad in our country specific Living in Guides. Please use available links in the guides to register for updates. You will then be sent notifications of these updates as they happen. We will also update our Foreign Travel Advice pages and please do keep in touch through your Embassy social media sites. Please keep well and safe.
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