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    • Paul

      New Members: Click Here   03/09/2017

      Hello. If you are a new member, and feel a bit apprehensive about posting in the "open" forums, or, just wish to get your "sea legs" prior to posting in the open forums, feel free to post anything you wish to talk about, in the Newbies Forum. No one will bother you, or give you any sort of grief. Everyone there is happy to help you get answers to your questions.

CommanderData

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80 Fantastic!

About CommanderData

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    USA / Cebu
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Philippines Experience

  • Philippines
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  1. I rented a place for a while next to the garbage chute, actually a "garbage room" in this case. Everyone put their trash in the room and staff would collect it once every day or two. Smell was a partial issue, plus roaches liked to live in the vicinity of the garbage room and would also sneak into my place. Worst of all is idiots who put their trash in the room and then slam the door as hard as they possibly can, because they can. The place I rent now has a chute but it's hidden behind a full door that could be slammed too. Thankfully this new rental (another building elsewhere in Cebu) is nowhere near the chute this time. Elevators are bad too. Everyone standing around them talking loudly while waiting (NOBODY has an indoor voice in the Philippines), and all the dings as it goes to nearby floors day and night. So yeah, never in a million years would I consider buying or renting a condo near the garbage area or elevator
  2. This is great news Was a big fan of the Abaca Baking Company in Crossroads near the IT Park. I love their waffles with banana, pecans, and whipped cream! Not to mention many of their lunch dishes... But never felt especially motivated to walk over there for breakfast. Now that they have a branch directly within the IT Park I'll pop in at least once a week. Now I just have to get my client's project done so I can hurry back to Cebu
  3. I have Sky Broadband 16mb download, 1mb upload. Cebu IT Park. Using it to post this reply. Speedtests done within the Philippines show the speed you pay for. Testing to another country provides widely varied results depending on the country, time of day, phase of the moon, etc. It has no data cap, or at least not one I've been notified of or hit. Haven't torrented anything here for the last couple months but I did grab a bunch of stuff in 2016 without trouble. I do download movies from iTunes and stream Netflix (with a VPN for the USA catalog). Also use a VPN to get work done with clients in the USA. Mostly reliable, but I've had a couple occasions where they have busted routing out of the country for 4-8 hours before fixing it... But honestly I've seen the same crap with Comcast in the USA before too. Make sure to keep a pocket wifi handy or tether to your cell phone during these incidents if you need internet for work like me. Short version: Keep your expectations in line with any other service in the Philippines and you won't be disappointed
  4. The Super Bowl starts at 7:30AM local time on Monday in Cebu. FoxSportsGo.com will be live streaming it on the internet for free, but you'll need a VPN to the USA to view it. If you don't have a good VPN other less official options can be found with some searching
  5. I agree with that completely! However, instead of hiring a private chef I personally cook a Valentines meal for my girlfriend. She really enjoys the extra attention and care I put into the evening for her, and the recipes are not ones she would feel comfortable doing herself (a variety of things American, Mexican, Italian). Just wanted to throw this in as an option for guys who have a decent kitchen available and some ability at cooking. I'm no top chef, but the efforts I make are always appreciated and returned many times over
  6. Cathay Pacific does Vancouver to Hong Kong to Cebu. Mikal is right: EVA would have gone to Taipei for sure. Asiana would be Seoul ICN. I fly in/out and through Hong Kong at least 4x a year, was just there a couple weeks ago. Depending on the time you arrive, how far apart the gates are set, and your walking speed, an hour could be tight... but I have done that several times before successfully with Cathay. Arriving around 5AM-6AM before the mid-gate area transfer points are open (like the one around Gate 27) means a long walk back to the E1/E2 transfer areas which are totally swamped with people at that time of the morning, then potentially another long walk after you get through the transfer security check to get back to a gate that is probably around Gate 27 or further back the other way (there is also a mini train that runs back and forth along the main hall of gates if you are unlucky enough to have to go completely to the other end of the terminal after the E1/E2 transfer). If your incoming flight to Hong Kong is late they "should" hold up the Cebu departure for a bit as long as its all one ticket. If not they may bump you from the morning to the evening Cebu flight (or vice versa), which would mean 8-12 hours hanging out in HK airport depending on your arrival time.
  7. Yep its changed! That area across from Calyx is all fenced in now for construction... No more grass to hang out on. The Park Social area in the IT Park garden block has been fenced off for months, but they've only recently started doing anything in there. Unlikely it'll be done before sometime in Q3 (June - September). The Hawaiian restaurant "Shaka" in this same area was walled off and under construction for at least 10 months! Will be fun to see when all these new things under construction in the garden block finish up... in addition to the Park Social there's a big Pyramid being built, and a couple other interesting little food / drink places.
  8. Without seeing the floor plan it's hard to say. Some possibilities: 1) Those unsold units could be smaller than other 2-bedroom units while still the same price 2) They might be near the elevator, stairs, or garbage chutes. People generally don't buy near any of these due to the noises and/or smells. 3) Layout of the other 2-bedrooms might be better- more windows, more usable space. Maybe the sold units have balconies and the others do not. 4) "No diference in view" is pretty subjective. The unsold units may be on the same wall as other 2-bedrooms, but perhaps another building is facing these unsold windows directly, and further down the building wall is wide open view of mountains or water. Non floor-plan related reasons for middle floors to be open/unsold: 1) Some people like to live on low floors to make it easier to take the stairs in case of earthquake or elevator failure. 2) Some people like to live on high floors for the better views, less traffic/rooster noise, and especially on the topmost floor because there are no idiots above you stomping around and dropping stuff all the time.
  9. Yeah it will still be going on, this has been a weekly thing for at least a year now. The new Hawaiian place (Shaka) is pretty cool too, with surfboard tables and a second floor open air "treehouse". They were advertising big happy hours when they opened in October, cheap beer from 2-6PM and Midnight to 2AM every day if I recall correctly! Service and food was hit or miss during the opening month when I ate there (more so than the usual Philippines variations), but I imagine they're getting the kinks worked out with time. I should be back there in January and February too, my apartment looks out on the IT Park garden block which includes Sugbo Mercado, Shaka, and some work-in-progress stuff like an offshoot branch of "The Social" (which started in Ayala, and has another in SM Seaside now). Maybe see you around
  10. Nice to see somebody else checking this out! It's definitely an ongoing event, they've been holding it in front of the Avida Towers in IT Park at least since December 2015 (thats when I first went to it, might have been going on much longer).... They have expanded to hold a second one in the Cebu Business Park near Ayala. Haven't been over to that one but I think it started around June/July of this year? The Tako Truck and the Flame It Truck in your photos are technically not part of Sugbo Mercado, those trucks remain there and are open all week long (except Sunday nights). I really like the burritos that Tako Truck makes For others looking to go- Sugbo Mercado in the IT Park is open Thursday through Saturday, roughly 5PM until 1AM (not all the booths are ready at 5PM, but lots of them are). I think the one at Cebu Business Park is Friday through Sunday, with an earlier opening and closing time.
  11. Never had them ask for an onward ticket at Immigration, but I have had them ask me how long I was planning on staying on several occasions. Not really sure if that is common or if it's because I am using the APEC lane? I usually just smile and tell them 6 to 8 weeks so I can get the APEC free 59 day visa arrival stamp (I've discussed this in a different thread here in the past). Gotten that on every arrival so far this year. Prior to having the card I used to do exactly as Skywalker describes (going to the office on arrival and paying 2700P to extend 30 days to 59). Getting the first 59 days while you're at the airport is so much more convenient than going to JCenter mall several weeks later Hopefully there won't be any negative visa changes targeting the USA in coming years that affect my ability to just "show up" whenever I want!
  12. They've been doing this intermittently throughout 2016. I assume they're looking to catch incoming drugs (for example the shaving foam can could have hidden some, like the recent case where they seized drugs in tins of chocolate at NAIA)... but they could also be looking for people that are trying to sneak through without declaring expensive items in their suitcase. I fly in and out of Cebu regularly with only a backpack and they usually just wave me through. Cathay Pacific ground staff have helped me bypass the line and get on my way once or twice as well! So far I have only got stuck waiting for the x-ray once this year. I expect anyone with larger checked luggage will probably be forced to wait in line, and its possible they are more strict about the x-ray requirement depending on where the flight came from.
  13. Sounds like the Globe Prepaid offerings that were available until recently: 3GB data/30 days for 499P 5GB data/30 days for 999P (Wonder how many people fell for that!) Even now you still have options to do: 3GB data for 499 6GB data for 999 I think that Globe and your soup example proves there are a lot of people bad at math, whether the consumers or the promo-makers. That is assuming the promo / sales makers are not intentionally trying to take advantage of consumers who are bad at math One bad-math purchase tip that works in our favor right now: Buy your SM Cinema IMAX tickets online. Normal price at the theater is 450P per person, but you can buy online for 400P plus 20P "convenience fee" per ticket. Saves enough money to pay for the cab ride over to watch a movie.... did that last week with the girlfriend to see Doctor Strange! On the subject of value cards, my girlfriend has the cards for SM and Rustans, which she presents whenever either of us are doing the shopping. So far all that money spent has only resulted in a couple of cheap trinkets or things like a free package of cookies! Mabuhay Miles is probably the only points system with any value to me in the Philippines, but I've mostly abandoned them for Cathay Pacific these days.
  14. About 4 years ago when I lived in Dumaguete I decided to pay for the maxed out broadband plan from Sky... 5999P monthly for 12Mb down / 1Mb up with no cap. Unfortunately as you can imagine that was nowhere near worth the cost, as infrastructure connecting PH to the rest of the world was even worse back then. Would speedtest 11.5Mb/sec to Cebu or Manila, but once you started trying to hit anything in the USA or Europe... ugh! Now I have a 16Mb down / 1Mb up plan with Sky in Cebu for 1999P. The most major improvement has been in the price, but its a start