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About KC813

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  1. Just like anything we read in the news, we have to consider the source of the 'facts' and then personally decide how much credibility we want to attach to the facts. The fun of living in an internet/social media world! Crime stats are reported from the lowest government levels, often by the people who have the strongest incentive to underreport crime to keep their jobs or to accommodate the bragging rights of local politicians. I'm not saying the numbers are wrong, but sometimes you have to wonder if some localities are more accurate then others . . .
  2. All correct answers here, but as GG says, " Your discussion will be with your airline at the time of ticket purchase as they are liable". If denied entry, the airline is fined and are responsible to remove the passenger from the country, so airlines often are very strict when looking at your documents before allowing you to travel. So... look at what the gate/counter agent might be looking at when you arrive for your flight. Most airlines I know of use the Timatic database to determine document requirements. (The quotes below come from the interface on the Skyteam website. Also available thru OneWorld.) For a one-way flight to Ph, this: Visa is not required for Philippines. Maximum stay of 30 days. Passengers not holding onward/return tickets or other acceptable evidence of onward/return travel may be refused entry. This does not apply to passengers with Balikbayan status, who are classed as former citizens of the Philippines, or passengers holding either a “Special non-immigrant Visa” or an ACR I-Card (alien certificate of registration) with permanent status issued by the Philippines, or passengers holding an APEC Business Travel Card endorsed "Valid for travel to the Philippines". Note that this does not explain how Balikbayan status can be used by a spouse. BUT- for a round-trip flight (with over 30-day stay), there is a better explanation: Visa is not required for passengers holding proof that they are former nationals of the Philippines (also referred to as "Balikbayan" status). Evidence of this can include a birth certificate issued by the Philippines, foreign naturalization papers showing former Filipino nationality, or a previous passport issued by the Philippines. Foreign passports showing place of birth as in the Philippines will not necessarily be accepted as proof. Maximum stay of 1 year. Passengers with "Balikbayan" status are required to hold a passport valid upon arrival. The visa exemption also applies to the children and spouse of the former national, provided they are travelling together with them. So, everybody is right. As long as you have an agent (or a supervisor) that can dig into this info, and you have all the required documents, you do not need a throwaway. And since you say you are flying PAL, I'd say you have no worries at all!
  3. Not too surprising. There was not much talk about it since the storm was never projected to hit the Philippines. Just enhance the southwest winds. It was only a tropical depression over Guam, then rapidly gained strength as it moved to the northwest.
  4. Royal Caribbean's website lists the excursions they offer at Subic. The top two are a visit to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (US$199) and a trip to Mt. Pinatubo/Puning hot springs (US$229). As JJ implies, cruise excursions are overpriced!
  5. KC813

    HIV diagnosis of a friend.

    It is always a wake up call when someone you know is diagnosed HIV+, but while the number of reported HIV cases is relatively low, PI has the fasted growth rate in the region. There were reports in the international news earlier this year of a new more dangerous strain' of the virus developing in Philippines, but WHO research says those reports were not accurate. A Phil Star article broke down the numbers by region, but the totals strike me as pretty low. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/02/14/1787616/hivaids-cases-philippines-continue-rise (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — The number of HIV/AIDS in the country continues to increase as the Department of Health (DOH) has documented a total of 11,103 cases in 2017, a report showed yesterday. This brings the total number of cases to 50,725 since the DOH started documenting infections in 1984. The figure included 5,080 AIDS cases and 2,466 deaths. Based on the DOH’s HIV/AIDS registry, 992 new cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded in the sentinel sites of the DOH nationwide in December 2017 alone. This means that there were 31 new cases every day last year, up from one case in 2008, four cases in 2010, nine in 2012, 17 in 2014 and 26 in 2016. Based on records, the 11,103 new infections seen in 2017 is higher than the 9,264 cases reported in 2016, 7,831 in 2015, 6,011 in 2014, 4,814 in 2013 and 3,338 in 2012. “Eighty four percent (42,360) of all the 50,725 diagnosed cases in the Philippines were reported from January 2012 to December 2017,” the DOH said. Data also showed that in terms of age, those infected were getting younger. Between 2001 and 2005, majority of cases came from the 35 to 49 age bracket but starting from 2006, the age proportion shifted to 25 to 34. The proportion of HIV cases in the 15 to 24 age group increased from 25 percent in 2006 to 2010 to 29 percent in 2011 to 2017. Most of the cases came from the National Capital Region at 351, followed by Calabarzon with 147 cases, Central Luzon with 106 cases, Central Visayas with 74 cases; Western Visayas with 66 cases and Davao Region with 41 cases
  6. KC813

    Ferry to MOA / Sea Residences

    The ferry to Bataan, and the tour on the island, is very well executed. The ticketing method seems to change every year but hopefully that has become more consistent. I've taken groups there several times and am always amazed how well-organized the whole operation is compared to, well, ... almost everything else you deal with daily!
  7. That link still has good tour information, but the map is out of date. Korean (and Delta, AF & KLM) relocated to the new Terminal 2 in February. The transit desks in T2 are on either side before you enter immigration, and just outside customs by exterior door #3. Remember you have to exit immigration for the tours, so a visa is necessary for filipinos. I have never taken one of these tours, but they look like a great deal!
  8. KC813

    Long Flights

    Unfortunately, I am still doing too many of these Asia (ICN, MNL or HKG) trips to the US each year. Longest flights legs between 13 to 15 1/2 hours. Good if you like watching movies, but getting tougher to tolerate as I rapidly age! A lot of the discomfort depends on your aircraft seat product and the environmental settings, but it is always good to be prepared for the unexpected. Here are a few tips I have discovered and learned from others along the way: Compression socks. A small protection against DVT and lower leg swelling. Also, don’t fall asleep with your legs crossed unless you want a very swollen knee! I learned that the hard way..... Bring backup entertainment. Book, videos, puzzles, etc. Most planes have AVOD (audio video on demand) and a good selection of movies and shows, but sometimes technology fails. And if you decide to fly PAL from the west coast, they sometimes sub in without any notice their old aircraft without any AVOD in coach. Bring your own ear buds or headphones that block out noise. Some prefer the over-the-ear headphones so their ear isn’t compressed when leaning or sleeping. Sit on your pillow? This tip has literally saved my a@@ on these flights! Some of us get a very sore tailbones sitting in an aircraft seat for hours. Very painful and makes the trip a nightmare until you finally just go completely numb. Place the pillow on the seat, but just forward a few inches so that a portion of your body weight is now being supported by your upper legs and not the back of your tush. Do it when you first board- don’t wait until you are hurting! Humidity. After 6-8 hours on some aircraft, especially when sleeping, the low humidity can dry out your mouth and nasal passages. Can be very uncomfortable and even lead to a nosebleed. Pouring a little water on a corner of the blanket and breathing through it will provide immediate relief. Longer relief by putting the damp cloth near your face when going back to sleep. Cheap Inflatable neck pillow. Sold at Walmart. Good for ‘head flop’, and takes up almost no room in your bag. Pack some emergency snacks in your carryon. Again, most airlines will have a snack basket set out in the galley for most of the flight, but you never know when you’ll be stuck in your seat or on a tarmac somewhere for hours. And sometimes the food is, well, airline food. Premium economy or exit row seats. Something to consider if not too pricey. Everyone I have talked to were amazed at how an extra 3-4 inches of legroom adds to their overall comfort. After you’ve ‘paid your dues’ in coach for a few years, and you just can’t bear the thought of another 12 hours without raising your feet, there is always business class! I see you are in Buffalo. If you search a bit, on some days China Eastern sells JFK-Shanghai-MNL in business for under $2300. Limited English, but great lie-flat seats! Good luck. The trip is definitely part of the adventure!
  9. The same happened to us last fall. We all expect minor schedule changes when booking in advance, but PAL also did the day switch for no reason we could see. Like you, switched back to the correct day, with same seats, and took the flight (CBU-MNL) a month later with no problems. Yes, dealing with PAL, especially on the phone, can sometimes be an adventure!
  10. KC813

    Citizenship or Not

    This is true. The actual phrase in that section of the US naturalization oath is: "... hereby declare on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;..." If a Filipino becomes a naturalized US Citizen, then wants to retain or reacquire their Ph citizenship, they then have to take this oath: "I _____________________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines; and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I imposed this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion." I've watched this process of reacquiring Ph citizenship many times, and I will admit the ethical implications of taking the second loyalty oath make me uneasy. But, it's not me saying it, and different people have different personal standards. I may not be fully understanding your statement, but it is really hard to lose US citizenship just by taking up citizenship in another country. Renouncing US citz is almost never required. The basic rule is that you are a citz of any country that says you are their citizen. About 1/2 of the world's countries say you lose citizenship if you take up citizenship in a different country. The US is in the other half-- you do not lose your US citizenship. Just like how you are required to renounce all other allegiances when you become a US citizen, it is that 'other' country's law that decides if you are still their citizen! So, any US Citizens, by birth or by naturalization, who take a citizenship oath in a different country that requires them to declare allegiance to that foreign country, rarely is this considered an "expatriating act" causing them to lose US citizenship. The difficulty on renouncing US citizenship has let to some historically interesting stories. The Warren Report detailed all of Lee Harvey Oswald's unsuccessful attempts to end his US citizenship. Others who could never get it legally right included chess champion Bobby Fischer, Grace Poe and Perfecto Yasay Jr.!
  11. KC813

    Citizenship or Not

    Both the US and Philippines recognize dual (even multiple) citizenships. Since 2003, if a Filipino becomes a naturalized US Citizen, they can retain their filipino citizenship by applying with the Ph consul with jurisdiction over where they live. Since your profile says Washington, here is the link to the DC embassy’s page on retaining Ph citizenship. http://www.philippinesusa.info/philippines-dc/consular-services-dc/faq-dc/#dual Retaining her Ph citizenship has absolutely no effect on her US citizenship.
  12. Brings to mind a wise line from The King and I: "In foreign country is best you like everyone until you leave."
  13. The later report that raised the death toll to 9 said two of the three taken to the hospital later died. But then even more recent stories just say seven, so how knows! I have mutual friends in Chicago with two of the victims. Several came from the same hospital so they are in a bit of turmoil now. A little more detail is in this report: http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/2018/01/22/1780236/two-more-die-alegria-crash Updated January 22, 2018 - 12:00am CEBU, Philippines — Two of the three balikbayans who were victims of the accident in Alegria, Cebu last Saturday died in the hospital bringing the total fatalities to nine. PO2 Eric Bongbong of Alegria police, however, said they have yet to identify who among three victims — Leonora Tsai, Alfred Tsai, and Elinita Rubio, passed away yesterday. The three were among the 10 passengers of a Grandia van that hit a mahogany tree in Barangay Legaspi, Alegria, Cebu Saturday noon. The seven other passengers were declared dead on arrival by the attending physician in the hospital. They are identified by the police as Aurora Gagni, Joseph Huang, Juvella Huang, Nunilo Rubio, Rey Pascual, Diana Pascual, and Bernes Roxas. Bongbong said that the family of Roxas already contacted them and expressed their intention to file a case against the driver, Gilbert Dela Cruz, 44, Argao, Cebu. The victims are US-Filipino medical practitioners who were having a brief vacation in Cebu. They were supposed to fly to Camiguin to hold a medical mission today. Dela Cruz, who also owns the van, admitted to the police that he fell asleep while driving and was just awakened when he hit the mahogany tree. "Niangkon man ni siya nga four days straight ni siya walay tulog. Na black-out gyod daw ni siya ato nga higayona," said Bongbong. (He admitted he did not have enough sleep for the straight four days. He had a mental blackout seconds before the accident.) The victims hired the van with Dela Cruz as the driver so they can have a tour in southern Cebu South. They were from Oslob town and on their way to Kawasan Falls in Badian when the met the accident
  14. Happened early Sunday morning, but I did not see this until now. Motive unknown. BACLAYON, Bohol — Unknown assailants shot dead a retired American soldier while he was jogging in Baclayon town, Bohol early Sunday morning Lonnie Simon Weig, 63, had two gunshot wounds in the head and another in the abdomen, according to Senior Insp. Raymond Halasan, chief of Baclayon Municipal Police Station. Weig was a retired United States Army soldier from South Dakota who opted to live in Purok 3 in Barangay Laya in Baclayon town. He had been living there for four years. He was married to a Filipino wife, Rose, with whom he had three children. Halasan said Weig went out for his morning jog past 5 a.m. on Sunday at Purok 7 in Barangay (Upper) Laya when shot. Halasan said it was not clear if the perpetrators rode a motorcycle. The crime scene, a rough road surrounded with trees, was at least 500 meters from the Weig’s house. He was probably shot at close range since neighbors didn’t hear the gunshot, according to Halasan. A neighbor, who asked not to be named, said that she heard motorcycles traversing in the place at dawn which was unusual on that time of the day. The motive of the weekend killing was still unknown. Police dispatch a tracker team to find the perpetrators. Halasan said Weig was described by his neighbor as a good man. The victim also had a good relationship with his family, he added. /atm http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/962349/retired-us-army-soldier-shot-dead-while-jogging-in-bohol
  15. KC813

    No Terrorism Connection?

    Well, they're probably right if they think the public is generally stupid, so maybe they are also right about the driver's motive ()! But you, too, are right. It is wise to be a little skeptical of anyone's quick conclusions with limited disclosed facts, and this was a fast determination. I imagine we will soon here more of the story.