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Gandang Smile

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Gandang Smile last won the day on January 5

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About Gandang Smile

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    Gold Club Member
  • Birthday 06/08/1974

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    Male
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    Pasig City, Manila
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    Software and IT, reading, hiking, good cuisine

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  1. All sorts of excuses: skilled labour was hard to find due to construction boom, Davao City Hall slow in giving permits. I think the reality is, they ran out of money because, as it usually happens, only 10% of the prospective owners had put down a decent amount of deposit and/or secured a mortgage. The final result is not bad at all and pretty good, at least considering what's currently available in Davao. Was it worth the wait and the investment? Probably not.
  2. My condo building (Aeon Towers) has been built with all the latest foundation, slab and reinforced cement technologies. I acknowledge that because I was living in Davao while the structure was being built. The price we all had to pay: 3.5 years of delay, equivalent to 100% of project duration, a 10M cash investment that hasn't yet paid a centavo (it would have made at least 50% in the same period, had I invested it elsewhere), and even a developer who, by their own admission, didn't know what they were doing and ended up barely breaking even on the project.
  3. Great story, @RBM, thanks for sharing. At least one particular Davaoeno went the extra mile to help you. Not wanting to rain on your parade, but with lockdown and the massive damage to businesses of all sizes, I am not surprised shop owners would do anything to procure themselves business. Kudos to the vulcanizing shop owner, who at least showed some genuine care in order to get you as a customer. My "positive" experience in Davao is mostly about people who just want to get paid without much at all to show for. And, to a lesser extent, people who are happy to show you friendliness so long
  4. Of course @Tommy T., like I said in the previous reply I appreciate your honesty. The romantic veneer or being back to my former home, after almost 3 years, is gone. No offense to L and your loved ones, but spending these first few weeks here and dealing with Davaoenos again is just reminding me why I left Davao in the first place. It's almost shocking that so many people praise Filipinos abroad for their hard work, dedication and discipline when their folks back home tend to be the polar opposite of all that. Then again, it's precisely the same in Italy. The Italian diaspora in London, o
  5. Exactly my experience so far, @Tommy T., which is why your concise and, well, bleak-sounding reply was appreciated. Many Filipinos would be happy to recommend the sloppiest tradesman possible who is though their friend and out of work, so he can fill his days with a few extra thousands. That's why I thought about asking you fellow foreigners in Davao: no matter how many years you might have spent in Durianland, you are unlikely to have forgotten the meaning of professional ethics, quality, efficiency, attention to detail...that kind of stuff.
  6. Hi All, Apologies for the hiatus in posting. Have been busy with a new start-up venture with a friend in London. One of those things where you have to put months of work for revenue streams that may (or may not) materialise a full year later. As of first week of February, C and I have finally taken the plunged and moved back to Davao for a few weeks (maybe 3 months?) to take care of the condo unit we bought here. Project is the notorious Aeon Towers. Notorious because of the massive 3.5 years delay in turning over the unit, notorious for the many owners who sued the developer (FTC) f
  7. Are you from the UK? I can't speak for all banks as I have been banking with Barclays since 1998 and never changed. When I separated from my ex-wife in 2012, I let her keep our joint account (as it had a sizeable overdraft) and opened a new individual account, still with Barclays. I then changed the address of this new account at least 4 times, as I moved around London and the commuter belt. When I moved to the Philippines in 2015 they said they couldn't accept a non-UK address, so I gave them my trusted friend's address. The few times some important documents (like a new card) arrived, I
  8. Strangely enough, Barclays didn't ask me for any proof of address to move the account address to my friend's. Eventually I moved the address here to the Philippines, as soon as Customer Service told me it was possible. What bank were you referring to?
  9. That's true. My trick was to use my friend's address (in London) as the address of the account. The card arrived in a couple of days and then I had to ask him to send it to the Philippines, via DHL. I think it's the safest option.
  10. I see. My only other experience with the "express lane" is when I needed my tourist visa extension. Without "express lane" fee I would need to pick up the passport a day or two after. With "express lane" fee it's almost immediate, I sometimes wait a little while or go out for lunch and the visa is ready by the time I am back. So I assume P2,500 was for 5 transactions (didn't count them ). Well, another optional fee that's actually non-optional. Should have guessed Thanks a lot for the info, @hk blues!
  11. C and I have been to BI to file for my 13a visa last week. We had an appointment for 28 Jan but I had to collect a clearance, so had an excuse to enter the building and had all the paperwork ready (or so we thought!). I can't relate on the implementation as still waiting for approval. What I can tell is that, because of Covid, BI has ditched face-to-face interviews and is, instead, asking both partners to fill up a short questionnaire. Usual questions about the relationship - where we met, what good or bad we see in each other, "summarise my marriage in one word", etc. - and the space is
  12. Well, that's the thing going here in the Philippines. Being able to sing and dance (fight, maybe) is revolving door with being elected as a President. Nothing polarises the folk vote more than an instantly recognisable "TV face", regardless of their political acumen, in fact regardless of their intellect. Having said that, this country did have at least one very competent female President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Much of the economic boost her successor Noynoy Aquino enjoyed was because of her policies. Cory Aquino deserves some pity. She only rose to power because she was "national
  13. Sara Duterte is the least woman I can think of. She's actually quite pretty when she remembers to dress like a woman, but her personality is very strong, formidable. She's more idealistic and even more of a populist than her Dad. She would be a better President. Surely better than Manny Pacquiao
  14. These kinds of smart, proactive moves, are what they told me to expect from the Iloilo local government. I am impressed, but then not. For all the noise the Davaoenos made during Duterte's campaign, about how safe and progressive Davao City has been under Rody, when I visited Iloilo I noticed that everything about it is smarter, classier, cleaner, more efficient...and they don't even make such a fuss about it. I'd love to move there one day... My wife inherited a land in Mandurriao. Let's see if I can convince her...
  15. Don't be Ilongo* please LOL * (ask your wife what it means, if you don't know already)
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