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Gandang Smile

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Everything posted by Gandang Smile

  1. I have seen the trick pulled at Deca Homes, too. Their standard turnover is with no kitchen pipework (the plots are tiny, so they expect the kitchen to be outside), very limited or no electricals and basic plastic doors. Most buyers end up spending a few tens of thousands more to fit out a kitchenette and a couple extra switches. I am sure prices went up since I last checked, but some of these Deca Homes houses sell for less than a million.
  2. Actually, developers sometimes purposely sell homes that are little more than cold shells (unfinished walls and ceilings, no door frames and door) to keep the net estate value as low as possible and result in lower estate taxes for the buyer. It's a practice that was popular especially before 2018, when BIR switched estate taxes to flat 6%, and usually for cheaper builds, like the Deca Homes or "starter" condos.
  3. The way I see it, the market is in distress all over the Philippines and whoever hikes the price is fully delusional.
  4. Unfortunately, this is a problem with all backbone infrastucture in the world. If you're in Manila, Singapore or Hong-kong, you will have to pass through Guam, Hawaii and the US before you reach London. This is why major cloud providers, where most commercial services reside, provide dedicated data centers in different regions. If you are accessing Netflix, you will be most probably connecting to a server in Singapore or Hong-kong, if not Manila. Some of the smaller contents or service providers may be more region-centric (e.g. US-based and US-centric), so someone willing to use the service will have no other option to connect to a US server. The cost of cloud services is going lower everyday, so it's just a matter of time before even the smallest service providers start hosting their services in multiple regions.
  5. Dito Telecommunity, the third player Duterte promised the Filipino as soon as he got elected. A joint venture of China Telecom and an aptly revived local (from Mindanao) telecoms operator, called Mislatel.
  6. Always possible, but make sure they don't have any family member under 50, else they'll be downloading games, movies and music non-stop I think that will depend on Starlink, or perhaps the provider who will franchise Starlink in the Philippines (if any). From their initial offering ($499 one-off installation fee and $99/month) I would imply that they might not be too keen on spot contracts...just like PLDT and Globe over here. We will see... Starlink is definitely a great alternative to the 3 carriers in big cities, and possibly the only option in rural areas or small remote islands.
  7. Few companies may bother registering with the SEC, but on trade categories other than trading and sales of securities. Most "companies" involved in the scams here in Mindanao never got SEC-registered. I remember seeing the booth of a certain Rigen Marketing at Gaisano Mall of Davao, promising stellar returns on aggressive "FX trading". There was a line of at least 100 people waiting to put their hard- (sometimes not-so-hard) earned cash, from placid-looking Lolas to youngsters with e-gamers caps. This was at least 4 years ago. I read their "top executive" has just been arrested this year (February 2021), with a loot of P8 billion. I can only imagine how many more they got away with, in the past 4 years or so. Rigen Marketing exec arrested over alleged pyramiding scam in Davao By Margret Fermin -February 4, 2021 A top executive of Rigen Marketing, a company allegedly involved in pyramiding and stealing P8 billion from its victims in Davao, was arrested. In a report by John Consulta on GMA News TV “Balitanghali” on Thursday, the suspect was identified as Kharl Dexter Auditor, who was arrested by NBI-Laguna District Office personnel at his house in Laguna under a warrant of arrest. Auditor’s company is said to have victimized thousands of investors in Davao and other neighboring provinces. “We have deployed our teams to arrest personalities like Kharl Dexter Auditor, persons behind the Rigen marketing financial scam, allegedly who have amassed almost P8 billion,” said Eric Distor, director of NBI. The NBI said that Rigen marketing promises up to 400% profit to their investors so the number of investors in Tagum, General Santos, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental has increased rapidly. “Ang verification na ginawa namin, na-locate namin na nasa San Pablo siya at meron siyang tindahan doon… Marami ang mga naging biktima nito sa Davao,” said Atty. Danilo Daganzo, chief, NBI Laguna District Office. “Ang sabi pa nga niya sa akin mga P500 million ang involved na nakuha ng grupo. Hindi raw niya alam kung nasaan ang pera,” the official added. Rigen Marketing exec arrested over alleged pyramiding scam in Davao It was March 2020 when the NBI Special Task Force in Parañaque arrested the founder of Rigen Marketing Rico John Garcia, who was brought to Tagum City in Davao to face the syndicated estafa case. Garcia allegedly stole up to P2 billion from the P8 billion that the group got from the victims. Auditor refused to give a statement regarding the alleged pyramid scam. In an advisory released by the Securities and Exchange Commision on June 2019, Rigen Marketing is not registered either as a corporation or partnership. The advisory defines the activities behind the scheme and advises the public not to invest or stop investing in any investment scheme offered by the said company. Furthermore, SEC ordered the company and its officers or representatives to cease and desist from further engaging in activities of selling or offering sales of securities and investment contracts until the required registration is duly filled and approved by the Commission.
  8. Most of these simpletons are brainwashed with the idea that the financial system is "corrupt" and "unfair" towards people outside their elite circles. That's how they played hundred of thousands of them touting "the cryptocurrency revolution", as a tool of financial liberation that would unleash returns and prosperity never seen before. The irony of these companies who promised 50% returns in a year by investing in the crypto markets is that, had they really invested in specific crypto markets (e.g. Ethereum) in the past 2 or 3 years, they would have been able to make enough money to fulfil those promises, and still keep plenty of profits for themselves!
  9. I think we should be happy that most young Filipinos/as speak decent to fluent English, with a distinct American accent. Every time I had to deal with people from Singapore or Hong Kong, most of whom are allegedly better educated in the tongue of Shakespeare's, I would struggle more, and I mean a lot more! At least the tail end of the Pinoy question tag is a "yes" or "no". In those cases it's all those undecipherable "wah", "ha", "lah", usually delivered at the end of a machine-gun fire of words, in the thickest Mandarin or Malaysian Chinese accent! One thing I noticed relatively late in my stay here. When speaking Tagalog (and probably Bisaya and other dialects, too) Filipinos basically mention the object first, then the subject. For us, this is equivalent to speaking in the passive voice. The active form where the subject goes first exists, but they only use it to emphasize the subject. This explains why they are so often heard using the "I'll be the one to..." fixed expression. It's their direct English translation of that active form. They say language shapes the mind. I sometimes wonder if their notoriously modest and demure ways come from their habit of always referring to themselves as agents ("the rice was eaten by me"), rather than subjects ("I ate the rice").
  10. Even if this thread is on-topic in a subsection about Covid-19, I think most people are getting tired of the endless debate Especially if it's clear that everybody but me agrees that vaccines save lives, booster jabs every 6 months will save more lives and endless, strict lockdowns are the only way of handling things. For one last time: my POV is not no-vaxx per se. I believe that, for healthy people, vaccines are next to useless but I respect those who make the choice of getting the jab(s), now and in the future. What I am absolutely against is the repeated economic and social devastation brought about by the various lockdowns, travel bans, distance learning. Just read about the Melbourne protests turning violent. The ones in France are vigorous and rarely violent. What's interesting to see is that, judging from the signage shown and slogans chanted, the vast majority of these protesters are not against the vaccination per se, but the authoritarian agendas that have been enforced by the various government. Green Pass is one, compulsory vaccination for children and professional, another. And so on...
  11. The proof of the pudding is not to count the number of people who died, with or without the vaccine. That will always give you an abysmally small sample of individual, mostly in their late 70s with underlying illnesses. In fact, truth be told, quite a few of those who died soon after getting the jab tended to be young and perfectly healthy, and that is in itself an issue "science" and "government" are ill-at-ease with. The proof of the pudding is to count those who got the Covid and survived, perhaps after a prognosis similar to that of a bad flu, without or without vaccination. Most of the people who tested positive with Covid, with or without vaccination, have had either no symptoms or mild symptoms. This is a huge number compared to the dead. Yet, conveniently, it's not shown prominently because, put simply, it would show no proof that vaccinated people have an edge over unvaccinated people. About Filipinos being refused jobs that involve contact with people, that's more or less what I mean about people's need to comply: whether you believe or not in the efficacy of the vaccine, you need a job to survive.
  12. I know what "allegedly" means. I guess you had to look "pangolin" up to understand how it really went By the way, by now even the mainstream press of almost all governments (but China) say that in unison: that the virus was lab-created.
  13. "Without vaccines many more would have died"...there are countries where vaccinations are lagging, including Taiwan and Japan here in Asia, and some of the Eastern European countries like Poland, Romania, and Hungary. Poland and Romania are donating million of doses to other countries, including Taiwan, because the demand for vaccination is plummeting. None of these countries have seen unvaccinated people dying by the millions. I read that, in Romania, the number of cases and deaths have stabilised at a relatively low number, similar to that of a seasonal flu. I am not suggesting that the pandemic is fake. Covid-19, at least the original virus, was a lab-design biological weapon that was "somehow" allowed to leak into the public. If they wanted to use it as a way to quickly remove a good percentage of no-longer-productive elderly (as some tin-foil hatters stated), they have failed miserably. Where the virus itself failed, government, science and mainstream news outlets have made up for, by creating a situation of complete panic. I agree with those virologists and medical scientists who said, 2 years ago now, that the best way forward would be to 1) leave the vaccine run its course, so its lethality would be statistically lost as it passes from human to human, 2) let people build natural immunity. 3) once the virus is gone, or almost gone, then create vaccines and promote vaccination as a preventative measure. These are no revolutionary, or controversial statements: it's literally the way humanity has dealt with every single epidemic or pandemic since its dawn.
  14. There is also a reason why the majority is happy to blindly comply, backed by "science" and "democracy". We have seen how that usually goes... And by the way, all I have been saying so far is that I respect everybody's choice to get the jab or not get it. If you think you can use cheap sarcasm like the above, to imply that I am a stupid just because I have a different opinion, it reflects poorly on your way of thinking and debating, not mine.
  15. Fair enough. That's why I try to post relevant articles whenever I find them.
  16. Ask the millions people who lost their jobs, who went into depression or even committed suicide because of prolonged lock-ins or inability to see their loved ones. Their answers might surprise you.
  17. Violent protesters waiting for any excuse to put up a fight and smash a few windows are not the issue here. The issue, as you wisely highlight in the above paragraph, is that there can only be so much lockdown and enforcement of punitive measures against citizens, professionals, business owners, etc. before even these moderate people (who moderately support the measures) start to have enough and become vocal. Not wanting to add polemic fire but...usual dilemma...is the cure worse than the disease?
  18. Throwing in a discordant opinion is actually part of what a debate is all about. Not my fault if, as it seems, I am the only member here who thinks the Covid vaccines are useless. Not my fault if, as it seems, only a couple of members are happy to engage in the debate, the others just dismissing me as an idiotic "no-vaxx" with no right to discuss.
  19. @Gator This is primarily a story about losing a family member, so let me say I am deeply sorry about your loss. I also heard stories of relatively young people who caught Covid (Delta, Beta?) and ended up in hospital, or worse, in a cemetery. There are also plenty of stories, and unfortunately it's the majority, of people who tested positive to Covid but were asymptomatic or had very mild common cold-like symptoms. This whole diatribe we are having is not about me being a no-vaxxer, it's about me being genuinely worried about the political use most world governments are making, of the Covid pandemic, of the consequent vaccination campaign and the (likely at this point) turn to obligatory Green Passes , restrictions or penalties for unvaccinated and - worst of all - periodical shots for potentially a lifetime. If any or all of the above doesn't seem at least a little unjustified to you, maybe you lived your youth in a Soviet country, where you came to think that this is acceptable, the new normal is acceptable. I chatted with some of my high school friends yesterday, we have a nice WhatsApp group to keep in touch, and most of them were against this state of things, but also resigned. French people are fighting against restrictions for unvaccinated on the streets, as they usually do. Where are the Italians? Are the Americans doing their part? I am not mentioning the Filipinos, as they usually have more pressing issues at hand, like losing their lifeline if they don't get vaccinated by their companies, or dealing with actual malnutrition, cancer or other tropical diseases. Yes, your story is sobering and I am happy you vaccinated family members got the good end of the stick. If your poor cousin J had recovered just as well as you, what would your judgement on the vaccine have been? My wife's first cousin (who we know very well) is an Israeli citizen living near Tel Aviv and, on a recent account, he told us of the absolutely insanity that is going on there, where everybody who gets Covid and ends up in a hospital is fully vaccinated and die just as if the vaccine didn't exist at all. He is a proud Israeli and doesn't hate anyone in "the system". Yet, he couldn't help concluding that this Covid battle we are trying to fight by locking kids into a poorly-ventilated room with online schooling, crippling SMEs to the point of no return, destroying the tourism and airline industry, imposing identity verification policies that would have made Stalin blush, and prospecting new jabs of experimental concoctions every 6 months...is a lost battle.
  20. Israel's 'Coronavirus Czar' Tells Citizens To Prepare For Eventual 4th Shot As we've been detailing of late, the goalposts in ultra-vaxxed Israel keep perpetually moving after health authorities' recent initiative to demand all citizens get a third COVID jab. This even as this past week witnessed the small Mediterranean country reach yet more daily case records. Despite the WHO coming out against countries giving their populations booster shots at this point, Israel has as of Friday issued a third dose to 2.5 million Israelis. Given the likelihood that this too will fail to blunt the growing numbers of infections, naturally the question is: so what next? You can't make this up, health authorities are providing this "answer": "Israel’s national coronavirus czar on Saturday called for the country to begin making preparations to eventually administer fourth doses of the coronavirus vaccine," The Times of Israel reports. The 'coronavirus czar', Professor Salman Zarka made the statements to Kan national broadcaster: "Given that that the virus is here and will continue to be here, we also need to prepare for a fourth injection." As if bluntly admitting that the country will continue with the very simplistic strategy of 'throwing more shots' at the problem, Zarka added, "This is our life from now on, in waves." This also all but ensures that the controversial "Green Pass" system will also likely continue expanding and being "updated" indefinitely. Already authorities have said that this form of a 'vaccine passport' which gives the holder entry to specified public venues like restaurants, gyms, and publish worship spaces, is subject to expiration depending on if the holder received their second or third dose of the vaccine. Now Israelis can look forward to a "pass" that will be dependent on getting a fourth vaccine. Presumably if a forth jab is in the works, the Green Pass will at the same time eventually be voided for people only on their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated after two doses? Israel was also the first to start talking openly about the "pandemic of the vaxxed"... Given the pass is good for six months since the last jab, this means Israelis might be ordered to get a fourth shot in a mere half-year... and on and on it will go, apparently. We give it a mere months if not weeks before officials start floating a 5th future shot, or even a 6th. There will be no end.
  21. I was recently given a refund of about P7,000 from Air Asia, almost 12 months after the flight was cancelled. Testing times for all airlines across the world... Even Alitalia, the Italian flagship carrier, has just completed restructuring a few months ago and will start to fly under another name (ITA instead of Alitalia) around October. Welcome to the new normal... Some seem to like it more than others...
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