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william_c

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    Butuan City

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  1. As the OP suggests, stand your ground and effect change. I laugh at the idea that there now will be preinspection tables set up, just ahead of the scanners, to ensure that you are clean before your bag is scanned by the "guard" who appears to be the complicit party in this scam. I will write my Senator tomorrow suggesting that a travel advisory, at the minimum, be issued for all US passengers heading to the Philippines. I hope more is done by both sides of the coin to stop this scam that serves to only isolate this country from other nations and their business partners. However, with many familar last names popping up in the forthcoming elections here I have my doubts this kind of nefarious activity will ever end. Chiangmai Thailand looking better every day.
  2. I would contact your Senator and see if that person can expedite the citizenship documents. Tell their office your situation and time frame. Get busy, the form was about 12 pages when I filled it out many years ago plus supporting documents. Agree, Balikbayon stamp upon arrival, requested by the wife in front of you and the kids, is free and good for a year with plenty of time to settle in. Guam will likely be the least expensive trip, next year, to renew the Balik stamps unless you go 13A. LBC does a great job of shipping boxes. They hold them in a local PI warehouse until delivery is requested. About $85/box, box is free, and weight is not a factor. They operate out of Norfolk Va and West Coast and a local box supplier, agent, delivers your boxes to the coast for "free". Expect to loose some of the fragile stuff even when well bubble wrapped. Boxes can be tracked online. Door to door is about 2-3 months. Lots of expats in Dumagete near tip of south Cebu. Best wishes on your move.
  3. Uh, well, US Foreign Assistance to the Philippines last year was 144.7 million dollars. Hayans massive US aid likely overshadows that ammount. I would think your local Embassy representatives, for any of us, would want to hear about your scams. A loss of foreign aid would really be painful and an incentive to curb that sort of behavior? Dats all.
  4. This is an issue that must be significantly addressed one of these days. Yeah I know, get real. Don't know about this where you reside, here, and what your tolerance is for the burning of refuse but it stopped where I grew up, more than 50 years ago, due to the intolerance of the smell and the health concerns of local citzens. To that end, since this country is heavily dependent on tourists and expats infusion of commerce one would figure that keeping the environment cleaner would be a high priority mission. It took me awhile to ask the asawa about this and she simply replied that the locals don't care about garbage and that is why all the neighbors burn theirs weekly. However, I do believe there is some level of collection, depending on the influence of any given neighborhood, and there are landfills. As for me, the smoke is starting to heavily influence my desire to live here, spend here, invest here and contribute here. Only time will tell if we seek a fresher place to call home, if one can be found, or simply not come back any more?
  5. Are there no direct international flights to LAX from CEB airport? If no, the airlines should be able to wheelchair him from the CEB flight to his terminal check-in to waiting area? And yes, a doctors note may be required depending on his condition, e.g. able to walk or stand. Need to have an honest discussion with Philippine Airlines prior to purchasing tickets. Just my $0.02
  6. Only item I see that may be suspect is the placement of what appears to be 12 mm vertical rebar placed on 1 meter centers for the interior walls. Is that the minimum standard?
  7. Each situation is unique but for me, as pointed out early on, once the wife is exposed to living a middle class life or higher in the US, there's often no interest in permanently moving back to the PI. This is the case with me. The reasons are too numerous to discuss. We came here six months ago mostly to visit long term and find a second home. That is almost completed. We have a close trusting couple (brother/wife) that will take good care of the home until we return for another limited vacation period then depart. What the wife likes is the 4 seasons we have back home not to mention the 50 states and things there you can not buy nor participate in here in the PI. Here in Mindano things are not as up to date as the bigger cities. Consequently, the lacking amenities and basic life style don't suit the wife. But, its great for her to see her siblings. So I think you will find that many of the married expats can acknowledge that they too have a wife that lends herself to that scenario. Finally, you may, however, find your wife is different and is happy to live your lifestyle here in the PI? If you are happy and wife is happy here, then this is the place for you too and an occasional trip back to your home will round things out. Just my $0.02
  8. Congrats on retirement....welcome to sleeping late each day! Asawa says to buy your gsm ( sim card) phone there in US and save yourself a lot of money. Ever so true for the more popular phones. You sure you want to sell your house? Have you given thought to renting it and use the income? We came here 6 months ago, purchased a home for the infrequent return vacations, and all of us are now anxious to return. Asawa says there's no place like home ..... in the US. Seriously, you'll know within 6 months if PI is the best choice for retirement as your "adjustment factor" will be your guide. Health care is not what it is back home. Get used to being sick more often. The food, well you can best decide but we miss many of the items there you will not find here. But, if you like the food, its really good but different than back home. Just my 2 cents. Congratulations on your retirement. PS We flew out of LAX on one of the newer, 2 engine, PHIL Air airplanes. Very nice with personal entertainment, moving map, good food, lot less passengers than 747 and comfortable seats.
  9. "Trip back home" sounds appealing. With a country of about 8000 islands, some claim, you would think I could secure a residence with at least a fresh ocean breeze and some view of water... but not a canal. Better half insits living in the city where the air and noise is city-like, the soil is not beach like, and there appears to be no garbage collection thus every home burns their stinking garbage. Yes, I'm not a good poker player either. I have lost count the number of times I have entered and left the PI since Viet Nam. Yap, I'm old and not able to be as flexible as I once was. I loathe returning home and enjoying the 4 seasons and all other amenties I grew up around. If you come here, don't plan on effecting change. Rant over, William
  10. As a long time reader of this forum I vividly remember horror stories from others that have been driving and suddenly become involved in an accident. Their experiences include being charged, irrespective of obvious guilt by the other person, and off to jail they go. Furthermore, if someone dies as a result of the accident your buns are in hot boiling water and jail will be the least of your problems. That said, you should never be the driver of the car you purchase. DWW is a problem here from what I have learned. As noted, flooded vehicles are commonplace, new or used. My suggestion, aside from an independent inspection, is to run your hands under the seats and dash area and taste what you feel. If its salty, say bye. Cash is best as financing is outrageous due to the high loan interest rates. As for maintenance, the forum members are correct, suscribe to their rip-off post sales oil change schemes or loose your warranty. Get prepared for a $500 service fee that is little more than the oil change itself. And, repeat until the warranty expires. All the banks have repo cars but they should be approached with extreme caution. However, an independent inspecion MAY find you a flower in a field of onions. My $0.02. Welcome to the PI.
  11. As noted in several replies, the water coming in probably started out as "pretty good" but the pipes between you and the supply are likely suspects. Want great water with no concerns, get a whole-house replacable carbon filter kit and an ultraviolet water purifier arrangement. Will cost around $1500 but say by by to water boy. They are quite common in Guam and also commonly found where you find hot tubs for sale. Replacement filters run about $5. Filter first then purify. Suspend a catch basin for rain and you water expenses drop to near zero.
  12. Philippines is what you make it....Rant on... Been here for 6 months and ready to go home....US... However, if you can adapt and quit fighting the change then you will overcome the changes and probably be happy or at least OK. OK until you get really sick, have teeth problems, have issues with BI, tired of the different food, tired of the same old beer, tired of no-driving MF's, tired of being a target, tired of paying for everything, tired of hearing the native languate, tired of not being able to speak the local language and tired of being tired. The fortunate ones can simply adapt, improvise and overcome. Lastly, don't expect to walk down to the local store and find what it is you want. For me, there is no place like home. The people in PI are very pleasant and generally trustworthy but foreigners have to remember that they are the outsider and PI is not going to change for them. Your immediate friends and or family here will determine how happy you are as a guest. I am a veteran so I have been to other wordly places, some better, some pure Hell. PI is near the better. Like others have stated, you will know within 6 months if this is the place for you long term. For me I am chomping at the bit to go home and not come back. Done except, maybe, for an infrequent two week visit, I suppose, as the wife and kid are natives. Rant off.
  13. Has anyone taken this route from MNL? Great, Good, Bad Idea?
  14. We are ultimately headed that way and while wife and relatives know the area well, I still wonder where the expats are choosing to live in the area? Were you there during the last major flood and were you affected meaning don't look here or there. Recommendations and/or avoids are welcomed and appreciated. PS: Has anyone looked at living on the westerly side of Cebu along those coastal towns? If so, about how long a drive is it to the heart of Cebu? Are the amenities there such as cable TV/broadband internet service, etc.. William
  15. LBC can do international and local box moving. Let asawa go negotiate a price. We've used them for both and do a good job.
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