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FlyAway last won the day on February 14 2013

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  1. Surprisingly I am impressed with the Wigo. For a little 3 banger it gets around decently. Borrowed my friends for a road trip. Took it to Vigan and then Baguio. Actually climbed the hills pretty good considering it is an automatic and had the AC on. The small size comes in handy for zipping in and out of traffic. When I drove it to Manila, it got into some pretty tight spaces.
  2. It is definitely insane these days. I have been here for 3 weeks and wonder why there is no road rage like back in USA! Wife and I have a condo that is 5km away from NAIA 3. Took an hour and a half. Was here 4 years ago and it was a quick 15 minute ride. All the construction around here it is just inevitable traffic will increase. Building call centers malls and condo's like crazy in BGC\McKinley West. NLEX is nice to drive on until you hit the toll plaza coming into Manila.
  3. A quick update. We arrived at Terminal 1 a few days ago. Line to immigration was long but moved quickly. Wife and I had to go to separate windows but we were side by side. She showed both her PI and USA passports. (Had our marriage certificate handy just in case) We were both given the 1 year Balikbayan no questions asked. Its been several years since my last stay. First time for me getting my fingerprint scanned.
  4. JGF, Good info with the letter. I was just being a smart a$$ with my previous post.
  5. Well now I am in trouble. We are flying Philippine Airlines!
  6. Looks like I will be testing the system soon. Wife wants to go visit for 6 weeks. We have received BB VISA's in the past but never stayed more than 3 weeks at a time. We will have return tickets but it will obviously be out of the normal 30 day tourist VISA. If I read the BI link correctly, Spouse is considered immediate family. Wife is dual with both valid USA and Philippine Passports http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/travel-req 11. Who are exempt from the return ticket requirement? Philippine passport holders; Former Filipinos and their dependents (immediate family members) 12. Who can enter the Philippines without entry visa? 149. United States of America On a side note, over the past 15 years going back and forth to Philippines, not once have I ever been asked to show a return ticket.
  7. Having a few family members in the Police or Military could prove helpful there. But like everything in Philippines, things change from day to day, person to person. Further you get into the provinces, the more interesting stuff you can come across. My wife is from Northern Cotabato, Mindanao.
  8. Here is my current experience with building an apartment setup. My wife's sister has a small lot in Pasay near the airport. She bought rights to it 20 years ago. My mother in law retired a few years ago and spent some of her money on rights to the small lot behind the sisters. When I first saw what was there and the area, lets just say it was not an easy feeling. The taxi driver had the look of fear and uneasiness. This was about 8 years ago. Two years ago we decided to invest a little in the development of the properties. At first I was apprehensive due to the questionable ownership. Long story short, we now have a 10 room apartment building. Each room rents for 6k with the exception of one going at 4k. He collects the rent from the tenants. He is a relative and has been renting / caretaking the original property for the 20 years. Most of the tenants work at the airport. Sister in law interviews all the new tenants and has a lease agreement they sign. Now here is the kicker. No one really needs the rental income being generated. So we are depositing the money into a savings account. Once wife and I's initial investment is paid back, we get to split the rental proceeds. Not going to get rich off it but every little bit helps. About the title and ownership of the lots? Mother in law transferred the rights to my wife, my name is even listed there as well (Of course I know that is just symbolic and has no value there). Last year actual registered titles were awarded by the government for the land. I must be an anomaly. But who knows, it all may go south some day.
  9. Oasis Hotel is sort of off the beaten path. My first stay there was 1985. Was there a few years ago and it is still an excellent place for the price. https://www.oasishotel.com.ph/ Lewis Grand and Savannah are pretty good.
  10. Wife landed in Davao a few hours ago. Her aunt picked her up and they are on there way to Northern Cotabato. Wish I could have gone but had to stay stateside for work. Family asks where I am and miss me. They have no issues with me coming to visit. I would not be worried at all. As usual, know your surroundings.
  11. May be a possibility to tear it apart. Doing an engine swap in it soon. No big deal for me to tear it apart and reassemble.
  12. Guess I have lucked out on this subject. My wife drives all the time both in USA and in Philippines. When she first got here in California my mother paid for a few driving lessons. Before her arrival here, I had sent her a copy of the CA drivers handbook. She passed the written test on the first DMV visit. First time out with the instructor she gets rear ended by a Cadillac Escalade. Thought at first it would traumatize her for life! Thankfully not. After a few months with the permit, she then went on for the DMV driving test. Many of her friends had failed the first, second and even third time at it! Number one thing they said was hope you do not get the Mexican lady. Sure enough, she got the Mexican lady. Still she passed with no major or minor problems. She has been driving now for 10+ years and I am still alive to sit here and type this out. Now how to get the first car I bought her to the Philippines????
  13. A friend bought a new Toyota Wigo a few years ago. He let me borrow it for a week earlier this year. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Drove it from Angeles to Subic and back. Went to Baguio with it, no problems climbing the hills. Then to Manila. AC worked great along with the build in GPS/Navigation system. This Wigo was automatic to. Your right leg will thank you after driving in Manila traffic for hours at a time! Prices look to be reasonable as well. http://ph.priceprice.com/Toyota-Wigo-9665/ All depends on what you want a vehicle for of course.
  14. Wife and I used Boris Travel for the underground river and Honda bay last year. Booked the flights through Cebu Pacific Air from Manila to Palawaan. Then few days later Palawaan to Cebu. Booked the hotel through Agoda. Boris Travel is an intermediary with groups in Palawaan from what I understand from the tour guides. You could do the Honda bay tour and then the same guide could do the underground river the next day. They will come and pick you up at your hotel. Expect the van to be packed tight. A simple buffet type lunch is included. Basic Filipino food of course. Unless Boris has changed its payment methods, you have to do it via remittance. I paid using LBC here in USA. Was a little concerned about it, but all in all no problems. I would use Boris again.
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