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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.


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About LechonBuddha

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Philippines Experience

  • Philippines
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  1. I've had the opportunity to socialize with as well as be a house guest of elite Filipino families. They are a curious crowd living in a world of their own. In polite conversation, they refer to the less fortunate Filipinos as "the little people." Unfortunately, the Philippines is theirs and keeping the less fortunate down is part of their DNA.
  2. We prefer KAL flights via ICN. We book a room in the airport hotel (around $110) which is so hassle free to simply walk off the flight, down the corridor, up the escalator to the room. Makes the trip much easier and we arrive in P.I. refreshed and at a decent hour. I've considered chasing down one of the free rooms but, for the convenience, would rather pay to skip the bus rides and security/immigration both ways. You really do need to reserve a room in advance though.
  3. Thinking the three pump boats would have at least one squad each. That alone would be at least 24-36 men. Fifty plus wouldn't be much of a stretch.
  4. I'd get the R/T ticket. It's a pretty cheap trip home for only $300. Purchase a fare that let's you adjust your return date up to a year out. Alternatively, I'd get a follow on R/T ticket to Kuala Lumpur. Would be a good break from Cebu plus, good connections from there to other places you might want to visit. You mentioned you've visited Cebu before but for how long? Short visits versus living there is a whole different story. Personally, I could never spend more than a few months in the Philippines at a time without a break. If you can't afford trips out of the country at least once year you should reconsider your plans before making a permanent move. It will cost more to live comfortably than you think.
  5. Do many developments give you the choice to finish out the condo on your own? I haven't stayed in any condo's I've been impressed with and I certainly don't have the patience of Saint Mikala. I've been thinking my best bet might be to buy a resale and renovate it.
  6. The problem with TB is you can contract and carry it without getting sick or contagious. This would be latent TB. Sounds okay but problem is it's possible for it the emerge and become active at a later date. Much better to get tested so, if you are latent, you can monitor your condition and/or complete therapy. In my case I was told I'd actually contracted TB but my immune system had beat it. Still, I was given the choice to do the antibiotic therapy just in case as I was at the age limitation. Since the antibiotics are hard on your liver they don't advise the therapy after 40 unless it's active. I'm no expert but I do suggest everyone get tested during their annual just to be safe.
  7. I'm a PPD reactor, which means I was exposed to TB but, luckily, never came down with it. Still, I took the antibiotics for either six or nine months just in case and had annual X-rays afterwards for some years. In all likelihood, My exposure to TB was in the Philippines so, be aware it can easily be contracted there. Get tested for TB (PPD). For those of you who travel back and forth, let your doc in your home country know where you travel and spend extended periods and suggest you be tested.
  8. For those of you with USAA, you might want to shop around for insurance. I did last month and easily found much better coverage for less money on my home and three vehicles. Plus, I now have an agent I know personally instead of someone in a call center. Sadly, USAA doesn't seem to be the great deal they once were insurance wise, but it's awesome if they'll finance a new car for you in P.I.
  9. While visiting friends near Calamba I was impressed with their neighborhood. It had killer views and some nice community amenities also. They told me there was a new, empty home for sale down the street, so we went to look at it. I liked the design of the home, very modern with a tile exterior, but it was about $200k U.S. a little rich for me for a second home in P.I. Still, I took a look. The first thing I noticed besides the odd rooms and chopped up floor plan were the termite riddled kitchen cabinets. Total Swiss cheese. Then, while upstairs enjoying the million dollar view from the rooftop patio, I leaned over to look down and displaced an exterior tile which, on it's way down, knocked off several other tiles before crashing onto the front entryway. Thankfully, nobody was standing there. The guy showing me the house got a little excited but I explained to him that merely touching the top of the wall had dislodge the tile, then showed him where the 12" tiles were only attached with a couple quarter sized globs of adhesive, which was obviously unsafe and that he shouldn't be letting anyone stand anywhere near the house. He just looked at me like I was crazy and, no doubt, replaced the tiles as before and eventually sold the place to some unsuspecting buyer. Anyway, what I'm getting at is that on one hand, if you buy a place off plan you don't know what you'll be getting. On the other hand, if you buy a place ready built, you might still not know what you're getting since, even with an inspection, there's so much you can't tell about a place. Makes me believe buying a condo or other property pre built is just as good a choice as any other home buying option, especially if you get the better pre built price and buy from one of the more highly considered builders.
  10. Unfortunately, it looks like a brand new fifty year old building. That said, I've bought several homes (4 were new) and have always had to correct/upgrade things to my standards. What really stands out to me are the exterior issues. Looking at pics #7 -9, you see the improperly installed/sized AC cages. Also, looking across the way, you see a neighboring Lanai with its concrete deck flaking away. Then another, which looks like it has had several rebars torched off. Even cleaned up and painted, eventually they'll lead to running rust and subsequent failure of the concrete as they rust, expand and cause spalling of the concrete deck. This would be my priority for repair. Hopefully you'll also have a homeowners association to seek correction to these issues common to all owners. To be fair, I've seen worse. A relative bought a studio in Manila, which ended up having a massive beam running through the middle of it. Every time you cross the room you have to duck. Best of luck sorting it out, which I'm sure you will.
  11. As they say in Fort Worth: "Life's too short to live in Oak (Dallas) Cliff."
  12. As in ROll on ROll off. Edit: duh, I see they define it in the article...
  13. When you say "I see it as being cheated" and "they are on my no fly list" you imply KAL is a horrible airline. It's not rocket science to shop around for the best price and terms. Yes, it takes a little effort but not all that much if you have online access. Also, I may be lucky but I never have issues buying my tickets directly from airlines. My most recent purchase from EVA was actually cheaper than some travel sites. I'm not saying Airline policies in general couldn't use some improvement but it also helps to learn to play the game.
  14. This^ Looking at fares for next month, you can return home on current ticket, then return for less than $550. ATL to ORD is $44, then ORD to CEB for as low as $388-$500 dependent on dates. Nice time of year for a visit back home. Edit: add on other $50 to fly direct BHM > ORD.