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manofthecoldland last won the day on December 3 2021

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  1. !9 hours ago, while the Boracay/Kalibo BI office for my 9a tourist visa ECC ( 2 year, 6 month stay duration), I had my fingerprints taken via electronic finger scanner device, and also was photographed for the computer entry system. First time, since I have always used a distant MNL travel agent for these last 19 years and never had to go into a BI office. I also had brought with me the required 3 photos (2x2, white background, etc.), which were attached to the two identical ECC documents. Then with a ink stamp pad, I applied my two thumb prints to the 2 forms where req.'d. Since the form requires these things, they still do it.... at least in my case. These is in addition to the aforementioned computer record she recorded several minutes before. I rec'd one form and she kept the other, along with photocopies of my passport bio, entry stamp page, my 3 ACR-I cards (both sides),..... all in color..... and after looking over all my original 2 month visa extension receipts..... she kept the photocopies I had made of each or her. I also provided a photocopy of my international air ticket. Regulations and forms are what they know and do, even when redundant or perhaps unnecessary and outdated by the advancing technology. They office personnel did provide excellent and swift service, which I admit I wasn't expecting. They answered my initial e-mail within a day, asking for my contact number and called me the next day. They answered all my listed questions, and then e-mailed me a list of what I needed to bring with me when I came in for my ECC, along with a link to the form so I could download it and pre-fill most of it out before hand. I apologized during my initial slow signature and name printing above, explaining that a month after arrival I was hit with a pinched nerve that affected my right hand flexibility (60% recovery since w/o visiting a doctor, yet.... will when I get back to the USA where my medicare & secondary will cover the costs....I had hoped for a natural recovery). So BI agent, Shiela, was kind enough to aid in finishing the form fill out with me providing the answers and her doing the printing in. Note that some of the information requested would be deemed unnecessarily intrusive and perhaps prohibited by the privacy laws of OECD countries, like the USA. But this is a sovereign country with its own laws and regs that have to be complied with if you want to live here. She then told me and the asawa to go eat lunch and then come back, and she would process the application so we would not have to make a second trip back. Which she did, bless her soul. All in all, it was a 2 hour L3 transport van ride each way (P 170@/1-way), lunch cost at the near-by Chow King, and the ECC permit cost was P500. I was very happy to get this done quickly and efficiently, all things and location considered. I also brought along print-outs of our e-mail exchange the days before, and she used the one to tick off the requirements that were listed, so I had made it relatively easier for her to do the processing. Which I recommend doing. I might also mention that in order to do the e-mail print-outs, the new SM mall had NO public cybercafe or even a photocopy service in their vast cyber section. I had to seek out one of the tiny, dingy remaining cyber cafes near one of the hospitals and colleges. I also had to go to a secondary market area where there was a pretty sophisticated photocopy service located in a tiny stall. Only in the Philippines !
  2. I have a tourist visa, which calls for an ECC-A, or 'regular ECC', according to the BI web site. https://immigration.gov.ph/faqs/emigration-clearance-certificate-ecc If I was only here for 6-12 months, I could use the airport office, but more than a year, I have to show up at a BI office for processing.
  3. FYI Hello Ray, I just sent you a private message, using the 'message' envelope icon at the top of the page on this web site. It contains the information, my good experiences, useful tips etc. I just received my passport, 3 ACR-I cards, and all of the BI transaction receipts my agent obtained for me over the last 32 months. She sent it out last Friday with LBC, and it arrived today. I have found out that the Kalibo/Boracay BI field office can do my ECC, after being here since Nov '19. I e-mailed them my situation and questions the other day, and they e-mailed back the next day asking for my contact phone. They called me back this morning, went through my questions with me, and then sent me another e-mail with the requirement list, application form link, etc. So now I do not have to make the longer and more costly trips to the Iloilo BI office, and can use this much closer and less busy office for my ECC. It will take two trips since there is a 3 day processing time for my particular situation. I am quite pleased at this point with the BI field office service received, as well as that of my travel agent's visa service. I just hope that my good luck continues and I can get home without any major travel snags.
  4. I would think that anyone with any critical thinking skills, takes promotional travel and retirement articles like this with more than a few grains of salt. Most professional writers can knock off a puff piece with a bit of easy research, and a few cherry picked or fabricated personal stories to make it appear that they and the article have some insightful assessments. Who hasn't dreamed of escaping from modern life to a place that seems to tick all the boxes ? Its just leisure reading for most and perhaps a starting point for the few. Retirement dream marketing is a big business nowadays. Perhaps you might take a few minutes to point out a few of the inaccuracies you found of note or interest, since you are a very good writer who is willing to often post and share thoughts on PI living. I wouldn't put much stock in the value of what the interviewees said. Its almost a list of the more common expat traps.....start a business for the wife's family, buy or build a house for a girlfriend or newly acquired wife, pay $1000/mo. and think its a great deal without checking out other locations to see what the norms are elsewhere, bounce from country to country looking for the Utopian retirement destination. I hope the writer got at least some of the facts straight. I have no idea since I am only familiar with Panay, Mindoro and Negros.... and only spent small time in La Union, Baguio, Batangas and Palawan. Anyway,
  5. Thank you so very much, Skippscage. Your advice will be most helpful. I will need the tourist ECC-A, having been trapped here since March 2020, I have had my travel agent in MNL keep up with my visa extensions/ACR-I all this time and this morn she will LBC it to me. Have my international air ticket, 5 regulation photos.... so all I need to do is get on a morning bus, arriving around noon, and get it done. One more chore checked off I hope. You are a kind man.
  6. I sure as hell hope not. Haven't seen anything, when I poked around a bit. I think it only for arrivals.... and I'm leaving here in 3 weeks. All I could discover for my return to the USA is : a negative covid test ( I believe no more than 1 day before departure... not 24 hours), proof of your vaccinations, and there is a form to fill out that they are supposed to give you on your USA arrival flight, but you can fill it out on your smart phone as well ..... some BS that I read and saw the form displayed when I purchased my air ticket several hours ago. Oh yeah.... your passport. The ticket has lots of reading for you..... with plenty of drop down sections. These are complex travel times.
  7. I pulled the trigger today and bought an air ticket out of country. Now the easy life is over for awhile, I guess, until I return come winter in the Alaskan Interior. Since I failed to find the thread and posting I saw a short time ago, re getting an ECC at the Iloilo Bureau of Immigration, I am asking for help. I think that one of the guys here mentioned getting an ECC at the Iloilo office and would like to know if it can be done relatively quickly, or if I need to make two trips from Roxas City on the north side of the island. My asawa wants to overnight in a hotel since we haven't left home in two and half years now. At first frugal me wanted to make it a day trip, but I guess I should indulge her and try to find a place (any suggestions ?) since we haven't stayed in a pensionne or hotel there since maybe 15+ years ago.... and it was,,,a fan room/monastery cell. I'm having my passport and ACR-I card sent through LBC from my travel agent/visa renewal service in MNL where it has been since Nov.2019 and I hope she has been faithful, like she had been over the last 10-12 years we have done business together. Then I will take them and my ticket to BI. I already have had the pictures taken at the mall according to listed regs on their site/form, and if I need thumbprints, OK. But I think one of the guys said they stopped doing it when he was last there 3 years ago, but my travel agent said, that she never knows what they want sometimes, since things have been changing quite a bit. In twenty years, I always timed my trips here to be a week less than 6 months at a time, until the plague hit. So this is a first for me. I also think that now I will not have to go to my regular hotels/pensions in Mabini/Malate where my travel agent's office was....when I fly out of MNL this time. So I'm looking for suggestions re an economy hotel near the airport ( e.g. less than P 2.2K/night) so I can avoid the traffic. Not sure if I can get my covid PCR test right at the airport or not. Someone wrote that there were places close by.... walking distance... one mentioned over an airport footbridge.... but I can't find the post. I'll have to start an info search on the web tomorrow. I have 3 weeks. It used to be so EASY coming and going here, but times have changed.... for God only knows how long. Guess I'll have to dump my simple cell phone and get a smart phone before I return and since I am leaving here without one, or without a laptop or notebook or smart pad this time....... I hope I don't end up in dire straits. Tough growing old these days. The ECC has to be done no less than 47 hours before departure according to the BI web site, but i think SNowy recommended at least a week early. My travel agent said it was better for me to do it here, since sometimes it takes a week or more there in MNL, and I have no desire to sit around in a hotel there for that long. So it goes.
  8. That's good. Her channel has been part of my video entertainment for a year or two. Glad you enjoyed it as well.
  9. If interested in Namibia, I watched several of these solo motorcycling episodes throughout that country last year that had a lot of spectacular drone footage embedded.
  10. Future Headline Item: Fearing a replay of the 1848 Irish potato famine, 20,000,000 Pinoy are now applying for asylum and relocation to the American spud growing belt.
  11. This popped up on my listings and I discovered my ignorance, but my wife informed me after I started researching it a bit. Apparently it is as common as kang kong, etc. It is a common food and medicinal tree here in the PI that I was ignorant of..... however when I did a forum 'search' I see that 6-8 years ago there were several interesting posting re it as a foodstuff. When I texted a fellow local expat friend, he told me he eats it all the time. Just wondering if any other forum members use and enjoy it in any of its many forms and uses.
  12. I am so sorry. Your father's advice on an issue here that was critical for me, made a huge stress relieving difference at one point, and his name will remain in my memory for his generous advice and willingness to help others. I can only hope the best for you and your future.
  13. I just watched this new posting on Youtube and I find it rather... well, its another hurtle for those coming here it seems.
  14. Things are a bit slow these days, so I thought I'd share this for those who enjoy watching quite old TV and films that entertained the earlier generations. Bit a nostalgia. I have to embed one of the vids I just watched, since the channel itself won't embed here. They do seem to be digging up and resurrecting quite a few things from the earlier part of the 20th century now on various YT channels. I enjoy seeing the older cultural ways portrayed.
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