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peterfe last won the day on July 29

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  1. Just had a look at Worldometer for Sweden, Norway and Denmark (I don't look at it very often in case I become terminally depressed ). Even though Sweden has made a big improvement, they still have more recent cases and recent deaths than Norway and Denmark, in relation to population size. Then people will raise the old argument about more suicides, mental health problems, domestic violence in the stricter countries. But unless 5% of the Norwegian population had tied a rock to their legs and jumped in the nearest fjord, which they haven't, it's impossible to prove or disprove that argument. So don't bother trying, folks, let's just wait for the vaccine . I see the Russians seem to be ahead on that one, but I shall refrain from starting a thread called "Hats off to Russia"...
  2. There was no wind at all, but they are harvesting them at this time, which presumably means they're more likely to fall down by themselves. I think I'll take it as an omen - not sure if I believe in omens, but there's no point in tempting fate, when there are other places to walk without coconut trees. Anyway, this is not a good time to get even a minor injury, if it means you have to go to hospital where both patients and clinicians may have Covid-19. I suppose it's a bit like other slight risks we take in life. Like if I'd been happily riding a motorbike (sensibly) along a short stretch of road with little traffic for a year, and nothing had happened. Then suddenly because of some maniac on the road, I'm only one second away from serious injury or death. So then you start thinking a lot...
  3. Not I, I thought, having spent an average of about 40-50 minutes a day for a year walking in the coconut groves behind our house, and only having ever heard one coconut fall, about 20 metres away. There are about 150-200 trees, by the way. But then this morning - plop! One fell down just one metre in front of me! Even though the chances of being hit were no doubt equally minute before and after that event, being human, I completed my walk in an area without coconut trees. Safely back home, I searched for "killed by falling coconuts", and it seems that most people who are hit get (often serious) injuries, but don't normally die. But the chances of getting hit are very small, which fits in with my experience of only ever having heard one (now two!) coconuts fall in about 300 or so hours of walking. But having one of those heavy things plop down from a great height only one metre in front of you makes you think... Anybody known anyone who's been hit by a falling coconut? Do you happily walk under coconut trees, or avoid them if possible?
  4. Hmm.... Interesting. But I think the jury's still out on this one, just as it is on almost everything else to do with Covid-19.
  5. Thanks, JGF, for once again trying to explain and make sense of a confusing situation! I would recommend anyone who thinks they may be over the 30 days to go to their BI as soon as possible. If you can get to Mactan, so much the better (but check if you need a pass to go to Lapu-Lapu). I imagine they will fix it at that helpful BI - I can't somehow see overstayers being led away in handcuffs!
  6. peterfe

    A sacrifice

    With a university degree, she won't need to work as a maid. In the Gulf, there's a huge difference in safety for girls between being a maid and most other jobs. If you're a maid, you have no rights in practice, and many get beaten and raped. If you work in a coffee shop, for example, as one member of my extended family did, you live in a strictly guarded compound with other girls, are bussed to and from work, and are perfectly safe. You'll probably have one day off a week, and can go shopping with other girls, and as long as you dress correctly, people won't bother you. That's my general experience after seven years in Saudi Arabia and a few trips to Dubai.
  7. peterfe

    A sacrifice

    I have sometimes had conversations with Filipinas along these lines: Filipina: I am/my sister is planning to work as a maid in Dubai/Qatar/Malaysia… Me: But maybe they’ll make you work from 5 am to 10 pm, no days off, beat you and even worse… Filipina: There are good families too. Anyway, it’s a sacrifice. And there are apparently plenty of Filipinas willing to marry a Japanese who they’ve only met for a short interview and have no idea what he’s really like. But they’ll be able to send money back home (is that part of the agreement with the marriage agency?), so again it’s a sacrifice if they end up with a lousy husband, as long as their family back home has enough to eat, etc. And the sacrifice may last a lifetime, not two years like in Dubai. Sacrifice is a central concept in Christianity of course, and perhaps central to the Filipino mindset (cf. men nailing themselves to a cross). It’s easier to have your sins forgiven and get to heaven if you sacrifice yourself for your family. In a way, it’s an admirable quality. But would we advise our daughters or grand-daughters to work as maids in the Gulf or marry Japanese strangers? I don’t think so!
  8. Not overdue, it expired in early August. Because of Covid-19, you won't actually go inside the BI, a man at the door will give you a form, you fill it out outside, give it back to him with your passport. Just put 6 months on it, and I would guess they won't notice or care about your age. A bit later the man will come and tell you how much you have to pay, you give it to him, wait a bit more, and back comes your passport with the receipt attached. I paid 9900 pesos but that included a renewal of my ACR card. Good luck!
  9. Geoff my friend, have you never been up in the hills or out on the small islands? There are loads of girls who live in places with no Internet and often no phone connection either. Most of them would probably make very good wives/girl friends, apart from their limited English. But how does the foreigner meet them? He could take a trip up into the hills and try to chat up a girl selling tomatoes, but maybe it would be better to ask a Filipino or Filipina friend if they know/could recommend anyone. S has members of her large extended family who live in places like that and would be happy to oblige. So, anyone who wants a nice simple girl for a serious relationship, just come over for coffee and we'll fix you up!
  10. I am 71 and I'd already had two six-month extensions (also in Mactan). I know that some BIs will only give you two-month extensions after you've had two six-month ones. I think (but I'm not entirely sure) that Mactan would give more than two six-month extensions whatever your age. They give you the receipt and attach it to the back cover of your passport. On the receipt they clearly mark the expiry date, in my case February 2021. There is a notice in the BI saying more or less "Don't lose it or you won't get another extension"!
  11. We drove from near Carmen (Cebu Province) (MGCQ) to Lapu-Lapu (GCQ) yesterday to extend my visa. Not much to say about the BI in Mactan, it's already been mentioned that it's quick and easy to get a six-month extension. I did see a notice that seemed to say they had stopped issuing stickers for good, which could be good news if you don't want to fill up your passport pages too soon. Anyway, we both have general passes issued by the barangay saying we can go out for essential goods and services. But to travel to a GCQ area, we needed a specific one-day pass from Carmen Municipality which states the car number and reason for travel. So we got one, and expected to have to show it at one or two checkpoints. There were a number of these on the way, but none of them stopped us or any other cars or motorbikes, as far as I could see. (NB: just because it was plain sailing for us, that doesn't mean you don't need a pass! Who knows what might happen another time). But what was interesting (though perhaps hardly surprising!) was that the GCQ area (Lapu-Lapu) was more laid-back than our MGCQ area. All the shops were open, all the restaurants I saw were dine-in as well as take-out, and we didn't find any restrictions for seniors in the two malls and one supermarket we went to. Whereas here, under the supposedly more liberal MGCQ, S can only go to the one supermarket in Carmen once a week and I can never go, being a senior. In Danao, the nearest big town, we can shop three days a week, but seniors aren't allowed in to one of the two large malls and a number of shops and restaurants are still closed.
  12. I second that. Otherwise, it's really difficult to give advice without knowing anything about this girl (or about you). As you won't be allowed into the Philippines for many months yet, you could spend some time reading the relevant parts of this forum (about Internet dating, the Filipina, etc.). Book a flat/house with at least two rooms (not a hotel room) for a couple of weeks or more in a safe part of the country. Invite her to come with a relative or good friend and take it from there... Has she asked you to send her money for anything?
  13. Thanks for your essay (and video) on "The Filipina" I basically agree with what you say, except that a woman doesn't need to be over 30 to have experienced life's hardships. But maybe you meant that at that age she's probably had a relationship or marriage which didn't work out because the man was not the "stable, non-skirt-chasing, non-alcoholic" type. And she's probably a single mother. Apart from S, there can be up to four nieces in our house, aged 12-16, who also make sure I have enough to eat, etc. Two of them were poor, and two were very poor, before I came along, and judging by the way they behave at the moment, they would all make good traditional wives when the time comes. This is a barangay where everyone knows everyone, more or less, so they're hardly going to start sleeping around, drinking and experimenting with drugs, like some Western girls would!
  14. Wow, 4+ decades, you must be one of the minority who married someone more or less the same age as yourself! S knows an 80-year-old Australian who married an 18-year-old Filipina, but I don't know them, so I judge not, lest I be judged If I live as long as my parents lived, we will have had about 22 years together, but I'm hoping to live longer than that... But I tell her that if she eats too much sugar and doesn't exercise enough, then when she's middle-aged and I'm very old, I'll have to look after her instead of the other way round!
  15. I wonder if other people's wives or girl friends ask them quaint questions from a bygone age such as "Are you hungry?" or if she's going out for a couple of hours, "Will you be ok?". Or maybe you mainly get not-so-quaint questions like: "Why do you drink so much beer?" S asks me, "Are you hungry?" about once a day on average, and of course I could reply, "Look, darling, I'm perfectly capable of opening the fridge door and making myself a cheese and tomato sandwich" but of course I don't, because that wouldn't fit in with her worldview that men don't know how to prepare food, wash clothes, etc. Yesterday evening at about 6 she went to see grandpa, and of course she said, "Will you be ok?", in spite of the fact that I'm healthy and there were others in the house, including her tomboy sister. But in her worldview, her sister is not the one to look after me, and anyway has no experience of husbands... Wonder if it was like this in Victorian England? Strange how these traditional roles endure in many (most?) parts of the world in spite of internationalisation, social media, etc.
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