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peterfe last won the day on September 8 2018

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  1. What about sending an email to the BI and asking what the situation is for the many foreigners who live outside Luzon and whose nearest BI office is open (unlike Luzon) but are under lockdown? Some people will need to renew their ACR card too, and under normal circumstances having an expired ACR card might be more serious than being late in renewing your visa.
  2. Yes, it's a good idea if it works in these lockdown days. I suppose if you're over 65 you can ask your partner or someone reliable to take your passport to a local courier who will send it to the agent. If you're over 65 and live by yourself it might be more difficult... But I and many others would prefer to keep their passport at all times, so it would be interesting to know if anybody has tried to get through the checkpoints (in my case from Carmen to Lapu Lapu or Mandaue) explaining that their visa business is very important. I'm sure if you wanted to go to Mactan airport and showed them a ticket, they'd let you through.
  3. It will be interesting to see how this develops and what people's experiences are. Many people (over and under 65) will have to leave their barangay to renew their visa. For me, that won't be until August, so I'm not worried about that yet. I believe you're allowed to leave if you're going to a doctor or hospital. Money is the main thing - the only ATM in my town (Carmen, Cebu Province) doesn't work with my cards. So at some stage I'll have to consider driving very early (before they set up the checkpoints?) to Danao to take out money from an ATM. If I wear a mask I don't look over 65, but I am, and of course you have to carry an ID. Fortunately there is an alternative - MLHuillier - which seems to be everywhere, even in quite small towns, and you can open an account online with WorldRemit or similar and pick up money there.
  4. Do you have any reliable source for that info? I thought it was still unknown how it reacts/is passed on at high temperatures.
  5. I see there has been some talk how well the virus survives at high temperatures under "Knock on effect of the virus", but sorry, I haven't got time to read through everything here, so excuse me if what I'm saying has been said before. I'm surprised how little mention there has been in the media about the fact that practically all the countries with loads of cases are relatively cold in the winter. Here in the Philippines, it's either hot or "cool", depending how you live. The people with little money live permanently in temperatures of around 25-35 degrees. Those with money spend most of their time in temperatures around 20 (AC at home and in offices and shopping malls). So what would be interesting would be to find out more about the background of the people who have caught the virus here - even though many patients, if interviewed, couldn't say for certainty where they picked it up, they could be asked about their habits (AC at home or not, go to malls or not, etc.). If it was discovered that most of the patients were poor people who lived permanently in temperatures of 25-35 degrees, that would make the hypothesis that the virus doesn't transmit so well in high temperatures less plausible. But if the vast majority of the patients had been spending almost all their time in temperatures of around 20, that would be a different story! Let's hope that the hypothesis is true, then we can all turn off our ACs and sweat it out like the poor people. And the poor people, for once, would be "privileged"!
  6. Well, I hadn't noticed there was a thread under Life as an Expat.
  7. There seem to be a number of posts here and there about the virus, but surely it would be good to have a thread here, where it belongs. I had to look quite hard on the Internet to find the information I wanted, namely statistics showing the number of cases in different countries per head of population. All four news sites I regularly look at only give the actual numbers, often in a sensationalist kind of way. The Philippines comes out pretty well per capita, especially down here in Cebu City and Cebu Province, where there is one confirmed case in a population comparable to that of Denmark (1326 cases) or Norway (2164 cases). China has fewer cases per capita than most Western European countries (and very few new ones recently), but I wouldn't be surprised if there are more countries advising their citizens not to travel to China than to Western Europe. A useful website I've found is: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/philippines where you can substitute other countries for philippines to see the trends there. It's important to look at the number of "closed cases'' (people who have recovered or died). For China, you can see that the vast majority of the cases are closed now. The most important graph, I feel, is "daily new cases". Here you can see a huge difference between China and most other countries, including the Philippines. Of course there are many factors behind the numbers of reported cases, such as the number of people tested, but until we see a clear trend like the one in China here in the Philippines or in your home country, we won't have turned the corner.
  8. Obviously visa runs are out of the question now for most people. There must be thousands of foreigners here whose three years is almost up and who are living with a partner, but not officially married, who must be wondering when they can return. It doesn't depend on the virus situation here, but in other countries, which may still be lumped together when things are getting better. Imagine that come August, say, Denmark has had no new cases for two months, while France is still getting new cases, would they let Danes in but not Frenchmen? Hmm... In the worst case scenario, people won't be able to come back until all Western countries have got rid of the virus.
  9. That sounds bad. So if you're in Luzon on a tourist visa that's about to expire, you can't renew it, and I doubt very much if the Enhanced Community Quarantine will be lifted on April 13, the cases are just increasing every day. So we have the prospect of lots of foreigners staying here for months with expired visas. Even worse for those who have to do a visa run now, because they won't be able to get back for months. Still, rather have that inconvenience than die from the virus...
  10. With Sinulog and various fiestas coming up, it's not too late to get yourself some good earplugs, but hurry! You won't find them on sale here, I'm pretty sure, but if you can get a friend in Europe to send you some by courier they should arrive just in time! Wax earplugs (always pink, it seems) are the only ones that work for me - the orange foam things you sometimes get on planes I find quite useless. In Boots (UK) they're called Muffles, in Germany and other European countries they're called Ohropax, and in Norway, Soviro. If you try to order them online, you may find they won't send them to the Philippines, by the way. Use a friend or relative instead. This is not written by a grumpy old man who hates Sinulog, I really enjoy it, but I think most of us Westerners would ideally prefer somewhat fewer decibels. You form these wax earplugs so they fit comfortably into your ears, and you can use them when sleeping, resting or even outdoors during Sinulog, if your partner insists on sitting in the noisiest area to get the best view!
  11. It's VERY important to have a ticket out of the country. I've travelled all over the world and sometimes (perhaps foolishly) didn't bother to get one for a country where it was in theory required but internet posts suggested that they "never" asked for it. There may be contributors to these forums who've arrived in the Philippines many times without being asked for a ticket out of the country. But you can also be asked to show it at the airport in the country you're leaving. At the Cebu Pacific check-in in Hong Kong on the way back here, I was asked to show my ticket out of the Philippines, and I don't think I would have been allowed to board without it. The price of a single ticket to e.g. HK bought many months in advance is pretty modest, and well worth it for peace of mind when travelling!
  12. Yes of course you're right, I wasn't thinking quite logically (must be the holiday season). It doesn't make much difference whether you get a number of consecutive one- or two-month visas, or six month ones. But it did make a difference to the Englishman I was talking to, as he had a five-hour journey to the Bureau of Immigration, so he preferred to do that every six, rather than every two, months. A minor point is that two extra six-month visas fill up your passport less quickly than six two-month ones.
  13. Maybe there's information on this already, sorry I haven't got time to read through all the previous posts on immigration now in the holiday season - but anyway, this may be of interest to long-term "tourists" in Cebu province or nearby. At the Immigration Office in Gaisano Mactan Mall in Lapu-Lapu, I met an Englishman who told me he'd recently got four consecutive six-month extensions there. So if you don't feel like having a visa run to Hong Kong or wherever quite so often, you could try extending there. I've always found the extension process there very straightforward and quick, by the way.
  14. It shouldn't be a problem for the average foreigner with a Filipina wife or girl friend; I imagine they'd generally be happy to add vegetables to the meals to please him, or even serve up Irish stew, ratatouille or whatever, if he taught her how to make it. After some thought, I've realised why these non-veggie eating children and adults aren't all smitten with scurvy. It's probably because they mostly seem to consume these "milk drinks". I have Bear Brand in front of me now, and I can see it contains all the vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium, etc. (plus a whole load of chemicals). I sometimes wondered in my younger days whether a person could eat nothing but say, potato crisps all his life as long as he took all the necessary vitamins and minerals in the form of pills. Never really found the answer to that one... Maybe I'll find it here in the Philippines: you can just eat junk food all day as long as you also have a glass of Bear Brand!
  15. I'm a bit surprised there's no forum for Filipino food. I could say a few things about the excessive sugar in the diet here, but this post is about vegetables. When I was a little boy in the UK, my parents told me to eat up my vegetables, so I would grow up big and strong. And I imagine most UK parents still say that today. Well, I did grow up big and strong... From what I have observed here, it's a quite different story. Firstly, many meals don't include vegetables. Secondly, if they do, the children don't eat them and are not told to. Thirdly, children will sometimes be allowed to eat some snack instead of eating the meal at all. I asked about this non-veg diet and was told that children often never ate vegetables, but that they started to eat them when they became teenagers or adults. And yet the children here (apart from some of the poor ones) look perfectly normal and healthy, so maybe you can go through the first, say, fifteen years of your life without ever eating a vegetable. Any thoughts on this?
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