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Everything posted by fototek1

  1. I eat Durian and Balut but I can't drink Red Horse. I swear hazardous waste is an ingredient in that beer
  2. I think we have the political situation all set. My Father in-law owns a motels and many other businesses in the area and is good friends with the Mayor. Not the best picture but this is the motel. We will be finishing the area above the office next year for our own use. Right now we are staying in one of the rooms.
  3. Warning, THIS IS A RANT ABOUT MY FRUSTRATION. I am getting so annoyed at the poor quality of work done here and the TF (Talent Fee or Wage). I designed and built our home in the US and spent the extra time and money to do things the right way to help with future maintenance. Its been 20 years since I finished building and all is good. My wife and I are currently here in the Philippines for 3 weeks and she decided it would be good for me to spend a week doing maintenance at her/our Motel so I get a taste of retirement. It was probably a bad idea on her part as now I want nothing to do with this place. The motel is new construction and a nice place but some things need fixing. I do not have my own tools and trying to work with what I have here is making things worse. I am sometimes labeled as a perfectionist. The materials I have access to at the hardware stores are limited, quality is poor and prices are expensive. It has taken me a week to do what would have taken me a day in the US and I am not happy with the quality of the work I have done due to the limited supplies and tools. So now on to the TF rant. Our staff called in an electrician because the light on our sign was out. The lazy bastard showed up spent some time out there and cut off the connector on the light and said "this is your problem you need one of these" P600. He didn't fix the problem he just said this is your problem. So this is a task on my wife's list. Long story short, the connector wasn't bad, it was the connection feeding the connector but now I needed to buy a new connector because he cut the old one. It's fixed but WTF. I am an Electrical engineer and the way they do electrical work here makes me cringe. Half of our hotel is done well and half not so much. The fire Marshall came yesterday and said we need to install a fire alarm system with pull handles and bells. Long story shortened, we had to get the wired in version because we need heat/smoke detectors. Now I am trying to figure out how to get the wires run so it looks ok. The building is finished and looks really good. I am worried someone is going to do hack work when I am not here and I have decided I am not doing the work because it is to frustrating for me......first TF price is P30,000 estimate for 14 rooms and "maybe" more.....Its only a 2 story building and made of brick, its not going to burn! waste of money. Thanks for listening I will stop complaining for a few minutes and go drink a beer.
  4. My wife is from a wealthy family in Philippines and never had to do household tasks and enjoys life In the Philippines. Her family has been running her/our business in Philippines but had said she needs to come back and run next year. On the US side, I enjoy convenience of life here. I designed and built our home and have close family ties. Long story short is the life split between two countries is a compromise for financial, family and many other reasons. I really want her to take US citizenship but it's best to be fully informed
  5. AZ Kid, I would like to have the contact information for your tax person. Thanks,
  6. There are nice 70 sq meter 2 bedroom units, fully furnished and available in Club Ultima for 5 million. 10 years ago I looked at buying the penthouse that had a 270 degree view for 4 million, unfinished. It was 3 or 4 bedrooms and huge. Wish I bought it then.
  7. My wife is a Filipino citizen with a US Green Card currently living with me in the US for the past 9 years. She is content to live in the US but does not like that we can not afford house help here. We do both have good jobs and money saved. She (We) also owns a business in the Philippines that is doing well. For a few years we have been talking about retiring (I am almost 50 she is almost 40) and spending time split between the 2 countries. She would spend 6-7 months in the Philippines and I would spend 5 months in the Philippines. She does not want to have to pay taxes in the US (as we currently do)on the business in the Philippines when we retire so she is considering giving up her Green card and applying for a US tourist visa. Things get very complicated from here as she would be giving up her right to Social Security in the US which would provide a nice chunk of money when I die before her. We did see that she could apply for citizenship after I die and be eligible to receive this. She does not want US citizenship because during the process she would have to give up the business in the Philippines. We are looking for a way around this as well which may be as simple as forming a corporation in the Philippines and/or the US and transferring the business to the corporation. What are your thoughts on this madness? I do not think I can live in the Philippines year round or else we would be all set to retire. It's expensive to keep a residence in the US and I am not sure if we will have enough business income from the Philippines to maintain residence in both countries.
  8. I think Tommy is inviting us all for dinner. BYOB is good with me
  9. Thank you sir. Your information is perfect. I would be shipping from Boston to Manila and have delivered to Bulacan or Bataan. 20' would work but it will be heavy since the big pieces all have cast iron tops. I am still in the planning process but suspect a year and a half away from retirement. My company ships product worldwide from Boston. Maybe when i retire i can convince them to ship a container as a retirement gift To bad my wife doesn't still have OFW status. There are great perks for OFW returning to Philippines.
  10. Have any of you shipped a container from the US in the past 3-4 years. Where did you ship it from and to? How big was it? What was in it? How much did it cost? I am thinking about shipping all of my woodworking tools and mechanic type tools in the next year or 2.
  11. We did think about the Balikbayan box and it would still be an option as I have not paid the extra bag fees yet. We have never heard of the carrier from the place near us and the large box is $120. I think we need 2 boxes.
  12. All flights are booked. We are traveling separately, and if all goes well, will arrive in Manila around the same time albeit in 2 different terminals. This actually works out better for my work trip as I get an extra half day. We usually have family members pick us up and will have to figure out the logistics. We have both traveled to the Philippines alone many times so its not that big a deal (to me). Its a serious inconvenience since I have to drag a huge suitcase filled with gifts for people in the Philippines along to Italy. Then I have to try to fit the luggage in the rental and pay a shit ton of extra bag fees. I thought the US airlines were bad with Bag fees.....Tap Air Portugal, Altilia, and Qatar air are going to charge me about $400 to drag that bag to Italy and then on to Philippines.
  13. Yes, you are correct Dave. There is so much more info than i posted. I did talk to Korean air and they will charge a $400 fee to cancel my outgoing flight but I will bill that to my company. My real question is. Do I tell my wife she has to meet me in Manila and I will go from Italy? She seems ok with it today......We have been married 8 years I hate long trips in a plane!
  14. In 2009 kids in Calbayog were 4-5 per book. They took turns with the books which were missing pages and up to 20 years old. Me and 4 friends (Americans on a trip with Rotary) were shocked at this and decided to see what we could do to help. As luck would have it, there is an American company that has school text books made in Asia. After some research it was discovered all of the reject books (Mostly cosmetic) were stored in a warehouse and the American company wanted to dispose of them. The 5 of us raised money back in the US to purchase the books for a few thousand dollars and partnered with Philippine Rotary clubs to distribute the books. I believe we sent enough books to cover the majority of students in the city for every subject. I just checked my facts because they seemed to good. We provided every child with a text book for every subject in 4 schools.
  15. My wife and I have a trip planed to head back to the Philippines. Here is my crazy dilemma. We live near Boston (in the US) and I have to make a 3 day trip (for work) to Erice Italy for work just before leaving to the Philippines with our currently paid for round trip tickets from Boston. If I traveled back to Boston after Italy it would be 26 hours of travel. Then I could try to sleep for 6 hours before needing to head back to Boston to depart for the Philippines. Boston to Manila door to door is 27 hours. My other option is to buy a one way ticket to Manila from Italy and meet my wife there. Convenience has it we would arrive 1 hour apart. My company would pay for the flight from Italy to Manila and reimburse fees associated with flight changes. They even asked if my wife wanted to go with me (she never got US citizenship) I got sidetracked, back to my question! Would you fly direct to Manila from Italy and meet your wife there? I have never traveled that many hours in this short period of time. Flights are all coach! We are only in Philippines 3 weeks this trip :( More to the story! We have not been back for 2 years and my wife has so many pasalubong that will require me to take a bag with me which ever path I take.
  16. I would be curious to know the price difference between the quoted price of the White Taxi and actual price of Yellow. P200?
  17. Tommy, in the Northeast US we now use 2 ground rods minimum spaced 6 feet apart. In the old days it was one ground rod and also connect to the incoming copper water pipe. More ground is better. Big power consumers need to have ground plane studies and actually have ground grids installed. Sometimes adding an irrigation system is required to keep the ground moist which provides a better path to ground.
  18. I am planning a hike with friends from the US at Mt Makiling in January and just read that there are so many of these Leeches. Having had bad luck with pneumonia, asian flu, cockroach bite and exposure to TB in my past trips, Do I have to worry about these leeches? Now that I write this and think in the past 10 years I have had all of those issues I wonder why do I keep going back???? According to this article http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2008/01/limatik-blood-leeches-overview.html there is nothing to worry about.
  19. I agree that this new movie was very well done. Lets hope we don't have to go through another war!
  20. I am with you Tommy T. I've been reading your posts and I think we have much in common besides the coffee.
  21. Imagine my surprise to find out the price to wire the transformer and connect our panel is P 950,000. That is in addition to the price of the transformer. So now we are investigating other options.
  22. Its a Motel so lots of air con, water heaters, and laundry. The Meralco engineer came back today and his figures were the same as mine. 50KVA for current building and 75KVA if we do an expansion. He wanted to double check the loads. If we switched the water heaters over to a gas system with a storage tank......When we were building everyone told me not to do it that way so I didn't. The cost to install would have been a little more than all of the individual units and cost to run so much less......I think. Anyway its done for now.
  23. I did the calculations and we need a 50KVA. The local power company (Meralco) engineer came out and counted all the light bulbs (hahahaha), looked at the aircon loads, water heater loads and all other electrical appliances and fixtures and said they will have the calculations complete on Monday and will get back to us with the price. The engineer said that we would have to pay up front for the transformer and they would discount our electric bill 70% for 1-3 years depending on the size of the transformer. They also said that the transformer installed would be bigger than what we need because others building next to us would be connected but they will guarantee that we will have the supply we need and if we have voltage drops they will fix it. Basically he told me everything I would like to hear but I don't believe it.
  24. Excellent information! We need a big transformer :) and now I am seeing that the price is actually not that bad.
  25. Thank you for the responses. I will send someone down to Meralco to see about a better more accurate price. I need to do the calculations but we will need a larger unit. In the US we have 200AMP service and I believe that will equal a 50kva transformer. For the Philippines the equation goes like this ; for a 50 KVA transformer we will multiply 50 x 1000 and then divide it by 240v. That gives us 208 amps.
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