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  1. Due to my previous occupation I have spent considerable time in Asia. I will agree that Thailand has many advantages, especially the medical care which is world class. I also enjoyed my time in Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore. Were I wealthy I would have retired in Singapore. However, for me Philippines is a nice mix of advantages and disadvantages that balance each other out. English is taught here which is an advantage. Is it understood here? Somewhat but it's a start for someone who is weary of learning other languages . Cost of living is low. I find the food available to be to my liking though at times I miss the variety available outside the major population areas. Driving and roads are a horror in the provinces. Most people are not aware of the traffic laws and law enforcement is nonexistent.The government is run by family dynasties employed by a relatively few very rich people. So the country is an oligarchy. Being from the US I am used to that so not a big issue. I find that if you keep a low profile, don't get into disputes with minor officialdom and treat folks with respect one can have a happy life here. In my experience the average person in the provinces is much more compassionate than the average person in so called developed countries. But that's just my personal experience...thus far.
  2. Maybe the get a deal like NPA and others get. Hope not but it is the Philippines https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1166307
  3. I will never live in any country that makes me feel as if I need to have a gun to be safe. There are too many countries to choose from to live. Having lived in and visited the Philippines for over 30 years I feel pretty safe. I feel safer here than in the USA. Thankfully not many mass murders here at schools, grocery stores, concerts, churches etc as in the USA. Here it is honor, political or just drunks being drunk settled with bolos, victims get stitches and get on with life.
  4. And that surprises you? As always, go ask them in person. In person is best. As far as the phone not being answered? I can understand that a little after a talk with a BI person in the local office. This person was honest and explained the language problem. Although they have to be able to speak English that doesn't mean they understand spoken English well, also some people that call speak other languages. They can get into trouble for not answering questions over the phone so it's best to not answer. With all the accents and forms of English spoken I can certainly understand that. I've spoken English all my life but have problems understanding it over the phone from various parts of the US, England, Australia and forget about excited Scotsmen, they might as well be speaking Japanese
  5. It certainly will. I talked to friends of mine employed by air carriers as well as embassy staff and they all said nothing has changed in the last few years. Any visitor must show that they will leave the country within Philippine immigration guidelines for visitors. If the visitor wishes to extend, fine. But the air carrier will NOT allow any visitor to board a plane bound for the Philippines [or most any country] without proof they will not leave when the visa expires. Makes sense. I cannot visit Australia if I don't have a ticket to leave.
  6. I think some folks don't understand why there has to be an exit ticket from the Philippines within 30 days of arrival. The reason is the Philippine government only issues an initial 30 day stay for visitors. Sure you can extend and many do for a long time but the Philippine government instructs the airlines that they must insure the visitor will leave in 30 days to comply with the basic initial immigration law. That is ALL the air carrier and the folks that check you in in your country know. They do not know you may extend your visitor visa. All the air carrier knows is that if they allow a passenger to board a flight without proving the passenger has proof of leaving the Philippines within the maximum 30 day limit the airline will be held responsible and it could cost them money. The airline will have to pay the Philippine government for housing the violator as well as paying for the flight out of the country. This is a normal requirement for most countries accepting visitors. Therefore the airlines require one to prove you intend to leave. They do not require a round trip ticket just a ticket out of the country. Any country will do. Every country I have visited has the similar requirement and they require the airlines to insure the passengers meet the requirements or else the airline can be fined, denied further entry and be responsible for repatriating the traveler to their home country.
  7. If you ever decide to use grid tied solar install more KW than you need. Meralco charges 10php/kwhr but only credits what you feed back to them at 5php/kwhr. Also, due to various factors you PV system will likely not produce the same as the total KW of panels. Example; I have 5500w of panels installed which get full sun but realistically only get about 4-4.5 KW out of them. It's just the nature of the beast as PV ppanels are rated at optimum conditions. That being said my electric bill averages around 2000php/month so I am quite happy. I have 4 split AC units and 2 of them run pretty much 24/7, numerous other electrical appliances.
  8. It is the airlines that require a ticket proving you intend to depart the Philippines within 30 days. For my daughter I purchased a one way throwaway ticket to Singapore for 70USD on Scoot to satisfy that requirement. It satisfied them last week. She has a departure ticket for more than 30 days after her arrival so the cheap Scoot ticket satisfied the airlines requirement to obey Philippine immigration rules.
  9. Having converted a license in the last year, here is how it went for me. Was required to have a residence visa of some sort, I had a SRRV so that was covered. Went online to make an appointment. Filled out the questionnaire but the form didn't recognize the SRRV. So..off to the LTO office. Security guy saw my problem with the form and sent me to one of the LTO officers who got the form submitted. He approved my license with the same endorsements shown on my USA license. Then upstairs to get photographed and eyes examined. Licensed was issued about 30 minutes later. Total time less than 2 hours.
  10. My daughter arrived at NAIA yesterday with One Health Pass but was told it had the wrong barcode. Apparently everyone had the wrong barcode as it appeared from the photo she sent of the crowded waiting area most people had the "wrong barcode." It only took 1.5 hours for her to get out of the airport so perhaps everything is back to normal. https://www.philstar.com/business/2022/05/27/2184085/naia-tagged-worst-business-class-airport-world-intl-study
  11. I have accounts at Metrobank, PNB and BDO. I prefer Metrobank simply because they are nicer at my local branch. USD savings account at all 3 and peso account in Metrobank. It was time consuming to set up as everything has to be typed out, printed and signed. I signed my name more times in one day opening the Metro account than I normally do in a year. Even then the account was delayed because the signatures didn't match the one on my passport exactly. They are big on signatures here. Converting from USD to peso is fairly easy but I get a better rate in person than online. My wire transfers from USA to Metrobank are for all practical purposes instant. If I transfer at night the money is there in the morning. The banking system inside the bank reminds me of the US banking system 40+ years ago so I use online as much as possible. Be aware of the low limits on the money insured in the bank. They total all accounts together in one bank, not separately.
  12. Ruth's Chris in Manila has the same quality steak as they have in their other restaurants in the world. Same price too...
  13. The guy had a business license at one time from the city even though he had no contractors license. The local officialdom either did not know or did not care that non-licensed individuals are not to be issued a license for a construction business.
  14. That the teachers nor the children have been required to wear masks before makes this doctor's response ridiculous. The Dr is apparently out of touch with reality. My daughter was not allowed to attend in class instruction for kindergarten until recently due to Covid restrictions. This was a public school. She did on line course work and in the last month began attending class twice a week to review her on line progress. She as well as the teacher are required to wear masks in class. I will add that the only reason she enrolled in public school kindergarten is because it is a prerequisite for admittance to first grade whether public or private school. During the pandemic she took online Singapore math and science lessons and they served her well. All in all I think the Covid issue has been handled well here, with the exception of the now defunct face shield requirement. The doctor who issued the instructions probably erred on the side of caution. My question to that doctor would be where was he while the children and teachers were unmasked if masking is so important. Why make it an issue now?
  15. I use Keeper. Family plan is about 75USD/yr. I also use .txt with Cloud backup as Brett does. I like the convenience of auto-fill with Keeper .
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