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KC813

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  1. I'm not sure I really want to know what all is floating and incubating in the local rivers. Just more to worry about! Philippines declared polio-free in 2000, but they've been watching closer since field tests were coming back positive since July. Polio outbreak – The Philippines: Disease outbreak news, 24 September 2019 Report from World Health Organization Published on 24 Sep 2019 — View Original On 19 September 2019, the Philippines declared an outbreak of polio. Two cases have been reported to date, both caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2). Environmental samples taken from sewage in Manila on 13 August and a waterway in Davao on 22 August have also tested positive for VDPV2. The first case was confirmed on 14 September following testing by the National Polio Laboratory at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The case-patient is a 3-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur in the southern Philippines. The virus isolated is genetically linked to VDPV2 previously isolated from environmental samples in Manila and Davao. This indicates that the virus is circulating. The second case was confirmed on 19 September and is a 5-year-old boy from Laguna Province, approximately 100 km south-east of Metro Manila. Investigations and further characterization of the virus are ongoing. In addition, VDPV1 has also been isolated from environmental samples collected on 1 July, 22 July, 13 August, and 27 August from Manila. Vaccine-derived polioviruses are rarely occurring forms of the poliovirus that have genetically changed from the attenuated (weakened) virus contained in oral polio vaccine. They only occur when the vaccine virus is allowed to pass from person to person for a long time, which can only happen in places with limited immunization coverage and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. Over time, as it is passed between unimmunized people, it can regain the ability to cause disease. When the population is fully immunized with both oral polio vaccine and inactivated polio vaccine, this kind of transmission cannot take place. The gut immunity in people immunized with oral polio vaccine stops the virus from being passed on. Full immunization therefore protects against both vaccine-derived and wild polio viruses. https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/polio-outbreak-philippines-disease-outbreak-news-24-september-2019
  2. You are right. My statement was too broad. The way I understand it, people buying in First class, Business class, and the higher economy fare classes can choose seats. But if you buy economy in the lowest-priced fare classes (N & T), no seat assignments. Since I could never get a seat assignment until check in, easy to figure out my purchasing habits!
  3. ICE-- Delta and Korean are Skyteam alliance partners, joint-venture partners and have a ton of flights with both KE and DL flight numbers. As OMW noted, your first domestic flight is probably on Delta, the flight US-ICN can be either DL or Korean and then ICN-MNL will be on KE. Your reservation will show the ‘operating carrier’ for each flight. Whether your flight to ICN is on DL or KE metal, both use Incheon’s new Terminal 2 and make for a very easy connection. Don’t forget Tim’s ‘free shower room’ tip! KE’s service and legroom in coach is considered slightly above average. But on any airline you can have good experiences and bad. Different crews, different circumstances ... . All KE’s long haul and regional craft have seatback video systems, but always a good idea to bring some backup entertainment should the AVOD system crash. Also, Westerners often complain the KE cabin is kept too warm, so may want to dress lightly or with removable layers! The biggest downside for many on KE is no advance seat assignments. If you prefer an aisle seat to get up frequently, the usual trick is to get to the check in counter right as it opens for your flight to have the best seat selection options. That works if your first flight in on KE, but I’m not sure how seats on KE are assigned if you are starting the trip on a DL domestic flight. (If your reservation already shows a seat assigned for you on the US-ICN flight, the you’re on a DL aircraft and can change your seats on delta.com). And finally, many consider it a ‘right of passage’ on a first KE transpacific flight to select the Bibimbap for your dinner meal!
  4. Agree with OMW, you need to talk to an immigration lawyer. But until then, I’ll take a shot at what you will be doing. If I read this right ( you a US Citzen and your children born prior to your marriage to their mother), you have two separate but interrelated cases: the twins and the wife. Whether you married before or after their births, US citizenship and passports for the kids is not difficult. In your case, once you legally “legitimate” the children under US immigration law, they will become U.S. Citizens. The CRBA (and passport) will be evidence of their citizenship. This is not complicated and can be done by sworn affidavit. You do the affidavit with your application for a Consular Birth Abroad (CRBA) before they are 18 years old. This will all be done at the embassy in Manila. Although it is possible to waive the presence of one of the parents when applying for a CRBA, in your situation, you definitely need to be there! All the information you need is on the embassy website at https://ph.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/citizenship-services/. The birth certificates may not as big a problem as it seem as long as you are honest at the embassy and divulge the correct marriage date, since the date of marriage is irrelevant to the purpose of the Birth Certificates – proving parentage. However, it does put a shadow on the document, so there is a very high chance DNA testing will be suggested (do not do DNA in advance). But even then, you need to check in to having the BC's corrected. Since you are only correcting an unimportant piece of data on the certificate, not the name or date of birth, it may not be a terribly big fight. For the wife, you file the I-130. The marriage certificate will support the date of marriage shown on the petition. The twins’ birth certificates will be part of the evidence of your valid relationship. If you do not correct the marriage date on the twins’ birth certificates, it may raise eyebrows, but since by then you should have the CRBA confirming parentage. The date of marriage on that document is then immaterial. So, the sooner you start on the CRBA, the quicker they all will be in the U.S.
  5. The U.S. does track departures, although the U.S. Social Security Administration did not make use of the data -- until now! According to an SSA announcement two weeks ago in the Federal Register, travel outside of the U.S. has some effect on Title II, XVI and XVIII benefits. Maybe someone here knows what benefits they are talking about! In an effort to combat a cause of improper payments, we are establishing the Travel and Border Crossing system to collect information about applicants, beneficiaries, and recipients under Titles II, XVI, and XVIII who have had absences from the United States (U.S.). Currently, we rely on individuals to self-report their foreign travel. Oftentimes, we do not receive these reports or we receive them untimely, which results in improper payments. In general, we suspend Title II benefits to aliens who remain outside of the U.S. for more than six consecutive calendar months. We generally suspend Title II benefits to both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens who travel to a country where payment is restricted by the U.S. Additionally, we suspend Title XVI payments to both citizen and non-citizen recipients who are outside of the U.S. for a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days or longer.
  6. With Global Entry you also automatically get Pre-ck on flights within the US. If you are still in the rat race and traveling frequently into and around the US, GE is well worth the $100. Register online, schedule an interview and appointment to capture your biometrics. If you are out of the US when you register, now they let you do the appt during your next entry. I saw the signs for this when I came thru LAX last week. BUT, if you only going to the US 1-2 times a year, probably not worth the hassle. Many airports used for entering the US has passport kiosks for citizens, sort of like the e-gates you are seeing in Ph & other countries. They are almost as fast as the Global Entry kiosks. Also, there is a US passport app that you can use that will speed you thru entry. I’ve never seen it in use, but I have heard good talk about the app.
  7. ABSOLUTELY a scam (unless she holds a passport from some country other then Ph). As OMW points out, the "90 day" part is completely bogus. The only thing an 'agency' can do is help her complete the on-line application and on-line appointment scheduler. ALL PH first-time visa applicants MUST be interviewed, so none of what we see in other countries of a "drop box" service, or visas by mail or through an agency.
  8. I am thinking that was probably the Clark Veterans Cemetery. It deteriorated after the pullout, but was reintegrated into the US Monument Commission about five years ago, the group doing the rehabilitation OMW is seeing. I remember reading that it was the local VFW that for many years did essential maintenance or the place would have been badly damaged and overgrown.
  9. Definitely buy the U$65-70 package from Sun Cruises for ferry & tour, a surprisingly efficient and quality operation. It's been two years since my last visit to Corregidor. Then you were are assigned a trolley based on your preferred language and I always had excellent tour guides. Continual narration as you go from stop to stop, with time to get out and explore at the stops. The only other money you need is for snacks/drinks (sold at some stops) and a separate fee($2-3?) to tour the Malinta Tunnel. A highlight of the island and absolutely worth it! One stop is at the hotel for a buffet lunch. A tip I was given for lunch on my first trip: If you want a good table on the patio with a beautiful view, sit on the right side of the trolley and when it stops at the hotel, charge in and go past the food line to the patio to stake out your table. Then return for the food. Also, if you have a 'western' appetite, grab some extra food on your first time through the buffet. They're pretty fast at clearing the line!
  10. I’m sure you have read enough on here about transport woes in Manila to know all you need to know – it’s lousy! You mention Corregidor and the US cemetery -- my two top places when I give the 'friends & family manila tour’. In fact, I’m hoping to hit corregedor again with my son when I pass through in two weeks. I’d suggest touring the rock first before the cemetery visit. The cemetery feels much more meaningful with the tour of Corregidor fresh in your head. For getting a rough orientation of Manila in relation to these two sites, picture the airport at the center. Mall of Asia (ferry to Corregidor) is ~3 miles to the WNW of the airport, and the cemetery ~4 miles to the ENE. Although there are many variables to consider when choosing accommodations -- length of stay, itinerary, wallet weight -- you might well consider the Mall of Asia area. 10-15 minutes from the airport and all ranges of accommodations since area is overgrown with condo/apartment/hotels. Most rooms are walkable (or 3 minute ride) to the ferry port for the 7am Corregidor departure. The USCem closes at 5pm. Unless you are participating in a special service, a couple of hours is enough time there for most people. Add an hour if you are a naval history buff and want to spend quality time with the dozen murals charting the pacific sea battles. The trip from MofA to USCem shouldn't be too bad (20 minutes?) between 10a and 2p, even without taking the tollway. Also, staying in the MofA area gives you a direct shot north on Roxas if you decide to tour Intramuros / Lunita. Touring the Bataan pennisula is a whole different ballgame. Hiring a tour guide w/driver is possible, but pricey. With just a little research, a self-guided tour with a driver can be just as good. If you leave at 5am, figure about a 14 hour day trip to see the main Bataan memorials and return to Manila. I'd say only hitting about 2-3 sites there is sufficient. Still, makes for a very long day. Not everyone considers a Bataan trip worth the hassle (I do), but maybe it would be more enjoyable if combined with an overnight visit to the Angeles or Subic area.
  11. I used to take notice of the shoe collection trait, but after 20 years it has become the norm. Now, I rarely call her "Imelda" anymore, and have resigned myself to just stay away from the dedicated shoe closet for fear of avalanche.
  12. Fast healer, chap. Before you remount too quickly, you might start looking into the multi-year filipino cultural experience called annulment proceedings. I wonder if an action for damages can be combined with an annulment?
  13. Some pre-war structures still sit on the U.S. Embassy grounds in Manila, including the “ballroom” that was used later for war crime trials. Around the walls in the ballroom are framed pictures, including many of mostly little-unknown people who quietly contributed to the war effort during the Japanese occupation. A small commemorative to civilian "unsung heroes".
  14. Historical decisions have to be viewed within the context of time they were made. What you say may be true, yet I personally find it hard to put myself into the minds of the ones making the tough decisions back then after they had lived through years of personal sacrifice and bloody fighting. I recently saw a documentary on the horrible battles and unexpected level of resistance when taking Iwo Jima, and then especially Okinawa, in immediate preparation of the Allies main invasion. Certainly a hint for what those in power were feeling when they decided to drop the big ones 3 months later rather than invade the main islands. Not saying the decision was right or wrong, not for me to judge, just saying it is hard to reach firm conclusion of events in a different lifetime then ours!
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