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PeterC last won the day on May 20

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About PeterC

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  • Birthday 03/26/1947

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    San Pablo Laguna
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    Sailing, fishing, landscaping, travel

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  1. PeterC

    10 years down the line.

    There are good and bad amongst all expats but without any contact what so ever you find yourself with a strange feeling....homesickness or depression don't what it is really, you just feel "Fed Up ". Perhaps expat friends are more acquaintances than friends and hoping to single out a special one one day is what you are hoping for.
  2. PeterC

    10 years down the line.

    The S and R store is like home from home with lots of imported stuff to enjoy but take care with your budget because the prices reflect the expense of shipping. We sometimes make a purchase as a treat haha. Santa Rosa is an expanding housing area with shopping malls as meeting places and is rapidly expanding. One hour from there to Manila can be an attraction. I'd be inclined to have a few weeks there and test the waters. Tagaytay is a similar place that can be chilly in winter and a/c in you car to clear the condensation can be downright uncomfortable. We had a friend from the UK who had a business with taxi repair in London and was quite wealthy. The built a beautiful hotel close to Lemery by the sea and did business for parties etc. Once a week he'd have his driver take him to the expat group meeting in Tagaytay where he'd have a few beers at a bar, other wise he said "I'd go mad!" Sadly he passed away due to non stop smoking ..... left a lovely wife and gorgeous daughter.
  3. PeterC

    10 years down the line.

    We retire to the Philippines for the warm weather, economical living and to be with our Filipino partner. Following the new home build and purchase of new car we start to look round for something to do. Luckily for some of us that’s not a problem, however what is a problem is not having our own species to mix with for more meaningful conversations. Whatever our backgrounds, it means so much to chat with our own nationality whatever the subject. I’m from the UK and although enjoy meeting up with other nationalities, find the conversation dries up after a while. Following 10 years here I began to have strange feelings about general life that were no bother in the early years, the stares and isolation in the market place even when meeting the wife’s friends. Day to day life conjured up arguments and issues that the next day seemed unimportant. I am a fisherman and found a Freshwater resort near Angeles in Pampanga where many Westerners abound. I paid a visit and after only a couple of days returned home a new man! The problem was that the Angeles area is home to a thriving Red Light area and my visit primarily to mix with my own races was seen as a chance to be a customer of the many Girlie bars and has caused domestic strife not understood by my Filipino spouse.. I would sincerely recommend that new retirees here choose a place where they have their own races close by and establish from the very start a night out with men friends.
  4. A UK pal married his Philippine girl friend and then made a lease agreement on a family patch of land. He then built a big house on it. He accepts that when he pops off, the g/f will have the home for herself. He did say that the SRRV people scrutinized the agreement before accepting it and made some changes.
  5. But you can lease a plot of land and build a house on it.
  6. wow some good points and hope newbis are reading. We started off with 3 Brits 4 years ago then an Aussie chap, then the US guys came along. I intended it to be just us Brits but the first American guy I learnt would dress up in Santa Claus outfit at Christmas and walk into the town giving away sweets from a sack........good enough for our group I thought. We slowly drifted apart to become 2 groups, the bar types and the non bar types. Everyone enjoys a beer or two but when it becomes over 5 then nothing sensible gets said not everyone wants the company. Mila and I bought a small Kareoke to practice with because I was fed up with declining the invite to sing. Now I know what my old throat can do reasonably well...Are you lonely tonight, good old Franky songs etc. In moderation Kareoke times are enjoyable but a drunken expat with the mike brings the place down and its time to leave. The ladies enjoy the Kareoke always and the duets are entertaining. My experience of expats abroad is that we have all lead interesting lives or maybe made a break from tedium and made a new life for ourselves but being occupied 24/7 is paramount to being happy.
  7. I think most readers are from abroad and these forums offers some real good advice or even info that may effect new comers to these shores. Back at home when a pretty lady comes your way, she gets all the looks and glances, in the Philippines its us foreigners who attract the looks or should I say stares. Now I know what it feels like to be on the other side of the coin! whether we are with wives or not all the ladies will stare at you hoping for an admiring return glance or whatever. My local Mcdos where I go almost every day for egg mcmuffin and large coffee is full of pretty girl server and in the past I've had welcoming comments written on the top of the free newspapers .....until my wife put paid to that haha. This is a situation that has to be realised and be comfortable with because we all know that we are the family saver for any young lady looking for financial support irrespective of age or position. Its a weird feeling and doesn't happen until a few years down the line. All the local shop people ask after us by name and my senior citizen discount comes automatically from some places without me producing the card. I liken it being treated as a VIP and it makes you realise how living as a real one would give trouble trying to live an ordinary life. As said almost all Filipinos understand English but there are very few willing to make conversation, preferring to make a smile and walk on. Thank goodness for English newspapers... free with Mcdos!
  8. We have just met a new couple from Grimsby that we get on well with and listening to their problems with the wives 2 teenage daughters who have been looked after by grandma whilst she has worked abroad. Splitting families up cannot be helped of financial support is desperately needed and its hard work making contact again. Dave is a strong willed chap who enjoys the motorcycle world but driving in the Philippines takes some adjustment to being easily riled is not the thing to help. I admit to driving like a Filipino but as they say "when in Rome". Just had an accident repair on 2 panels of year old Avanza where I miscalculated the overtaking distance by a Jeepney and it cost 29,000 pesos but for me 8,000 on the insurance. One scrape in 11 years not bad I suppose, mustn't get too cocky.
  9. My wife is an ex-maid and we met in Hongkong, she was a single lady and with no experience of other relationships and so when thrown together with what I would call "Street wise" ladies, she didn't altogether enjoy the conversations and where they were leading too. After 10 years here I was becoming grumpy and slightly depressive, not sure why but guessed it was because of being surrounded by Filipinos and not my own species. A fellow Brit from Tagaytay visited with his g/f and we chatted non stop for an afternoon. He said that all was well with his g/f but he missed a "meaningful conversation" and I realised later what he meant. I enjoy fishing and found a place in the North in Pampanga called Freshwater Fishing resort that looked interesting, it was also close to a bar area where there would be many expats to rub shoulders with. I found another Brit here who also enjoyed fishing and we set off to explore. Angeles is like Piccadilly circus at night and we found many places of interest including a Bar/rest-house that did Sausages and Mash potatoes !!! The fishing resort was 3 large ponds packed full of Red Tilapia, Catfish and Cream Dory and they were easy to catch with a staff chap removing the fish and baiting the hooks. We could have the fish cooked there if we wished and we did the Red Tilapia...very nice too. The complete episode was 3 days and on return I felt much better with life as a whole but the ladies of our group put some awful ideas into my wife's head which she couldn't cope with and we had some domestics over it. As I say this strange feeling is occurring after 10 years living here and just wanted to share my experiences.
  10. BPI offer a Star Account with their BPI Europe and its located in London. Supposedly for UK residents in Sterling and you need proof of residency to open it. Gas account, electric bill etc. When you move here you can open a sterling account where u can drop in UK cheques that clear in about a month and another peso account with permanent visa to be shown. BPI have their own Forex department and have always given me a good exchange rate. I can see all my accounts on line and do Forex movements that are almost instant. BPI also have what they call "Preferred clients" that get priority treatment in branches ....can be nice!
  11. Having lived here for over 10 years please allow me to offer my experiences to new expats considering forming a regular meeting. The benefits of chatting to your own alien species one in a while is just wonderful, subjects such as daily comparisons with foreign life, memories shared about original country living give so much pleasure. We all have our standards and its not uncommon for us to choose similar Filipinos as partners from the same standard of our lives (almost). Meeting a new expat is great to offer the meeting place and discuss timings etc. I accosted several expats in SM or round about San Pablo and they in turn met others and welcomed them to the group. I began with us 4 UK guys and we got on very well. Then some other nationalities arrived and meetings expanded to peoples homes for events such as the Manny Paqiou fights. Problems arose with the wives who joined together and gossiped about weird stuff that should not have been talked about such as who got the most pensions and who spent the most money and who had the most expensive house etc. Despite this we had some memorable events with Kareoke and jokes etc. I WOULD SERIOUSLY RECOMMEND THAT EXPAT GROUPS ARE FOR JUST THE EXPATS AND WITHOUT WIVES. Our group in San Pablo split up 3 ways and if something was said that a wife didn't like, she would not let her husband attend the meetings. We lost 3 nice guys because of gossip by the wives and it was the guys who were disadvantaged. Blokes can usually get on with other blokes what ever their background and its very enjoyable, even if you wouldn't necessarily be friend back in your home country, a regular monthly meet is welcomed.
  12. The benefit of going the SRRV way is that a foreigner can do it alone and not be dependent on a Filipino wife. The other advantages of the SRRV are documented on their website such as no exit requirement, no reporting like the 13A (although I've heard that this has stopped). With the SRRV there is a free amount of personal effects allowed into the country tax free. As years go by the benefits change usually for the better and all the differences can be seen on line. With an SRRV you will not need an "Alien Certificate of Registration" commonly known as an "ACR" that is required with the other types of visa.
  13. We have an SRRV and have done so since 2016, it is for 5 years renewable and we are happy with it. A UK friend we know used his deposit to lease a piece of land owned by his wife's family and then built a house on it. The PRA people scrutinize the lease agreement and i would think it best to seek their advice on the wording before obtaining it. If your Filipino wife has an foreign passport she can be the principal visa holder as a "Returning Filipino" making you the dependent, which is the way we did it, then the cost is 1500$, much cheaper. The citizenship of your wife remains Filipino and always will be, at least its that way with us. We came up a wall when trying to buy land because the local land office would not transfer land to foreigners although the SRRV states that a foreigner can own a limited amount for residential purposes. We simply bought as normal with wife under her Filipino state and me as the foreigner (married to).
  14. Dear all, A close friend of ours had some problems with his heart whilst working in China a few years ago and is concerned about how everything is at the moment. He is seeking a checkup and would want to go to a specialist in one of the Manila hospitals. Does anyone have knowledge to share, good or bad about their experience with heart specialists? Very grateful for anything along these lines. Thankyou
  15. I have a sterling account with BPI in Makati main branch and have drawn pounds out in the past. The exchange rate is less than bringing it over from BPI Europe star account but I use it as a back up for emergencies and have issued UK cheques that take about a month to clear. The are other BPI branches scattered around the country that offer these services but i find the Makati one easier to get to.