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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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238 Really bored when not online.

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  1. Interesting. I respect this. But, how does it tie in to an "express lane fee"??
  2. I had friends on Bantayan who told me the same thing over cold pilsens. They laughed at me for my trips to J-Center. IDK. Guess it was a control thing...OCD...I think you are absolutely right, but we are all wired differently. For a newbie here, SkyMan has good advice on this.
  3. Hit the nail on the head with that statement. After Duterte stopped the "express lane corruption" suddenly, BOI made a statement that the fee was to pay for overtime. I never saw it. Been to many BOI offices here. No one worked overtime. Been there at 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The fee was a sludge fund for the cronies. And at p1,000 a pop, it was a nice fund. So, now they keep our pp out of spite to prove that damn fee was justified. Btw...at Mandaue, last May, I ran into a friend at J-Mall who paid a fixer to get his pp done in 2 hours. It was an under the table "express lane fee." Same guy who was a fixer at the old BOI office in Mandaue, if you remember that place. Crazy shit.
  4. Lol...just saw this. The Tacloban BOI office...like the Twilight Zone. Half up a hill, a bit outside of town, in an old house. I've been there. Never forget that one. Old desk. Few old chairs. I ask the lady, "where is the express lane? Cuz you charge me an express lane fee. I'm the only person here." And she said "I don't know, the home office says to charge it."
  5. Yeah, that sounds about right. I flew out of Manila, from Mactan. It wasn't bad, and the "fee counter" was only 30-40 meters away from check-in counters. Just another cash machine here, like the old "express lane" fees at immigration. LOL. Btw...for domestic flights, I have flown many times here the past few years. Terminal fees can be hit and miss. Kalibo to Mactan 2 years ago was there. Last month, Clark to Mactan had a p150 fee, right before the 2nd security station. Just people collecting money, all day long.
  6. Last February, I was in a similar situation. Just got to the check-in counter 90-minutes early, and they directed me to counter to pay my terminal exit fees. I had my clearance exit already, and it went smoothly. I forgot the cost though. In Mandaue, it took me 90-minutes, start to finish. p500 cost.
  7. Did 6 Month Extension

    59-days already in Country is the rule before elegible for 6-month visa. That is clear on the BI website. I did my near 36 months here, left the Country for a week, came back and got my 29-day visa. 28 days later (the 29th day fell on a Saturday), I got a 30-day visa. This was all at Mandaue by the way. Next month (April of this year), I took a gamble and went back 2-days late. Paid my p1,000 penalty and was denied my 6-month extension. I was nice, smiling and said "but I've been in Country for 60 days now." No, they said "only 58-days legally." And, I was living on a remote island. Also, in the past there, the rule is no more than 7 days early to apply for any extension.
  8. How often do you tip taxi drivers?

    Different place and expectations than Cebu or Manila. In Baguio, 99% of their rides are Koreans or other Asians that do not tip. They do not expect you to tip there. I rounded up 6-10%, and they were very happy.
  9. Prime Rib

    i did the Marriott Saturday night buffet twice in the past year, and at p1400, it is expensice. $28 for a meal. I spoke with the head chef, and he assured me it was U.S. beef. Damn good. The trick is they serve it rare, so if you want medium rare, you got to tell them. I stayed at St. Mark's hotel last July, and they were doing prime rib buffets 3 nights a week. Around p340. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. It looks good, but it is still pinoy beef.
  10. Where to Move

    Awesome photos Dog. I need to go visit that area. Thanks
  11. Where to Move

    Puerto Galera is very nice. Been there. Pushiest beach vendors in the Phils, and kind of small beaches, though I was only on Sabang. But, it is in my top-10 places I'm currently looking at. Palawan is just off my radar for now.
  12. Where to Move

    Spent a day once getting the tour of Siquijor. Beautiful island, and yes, very short boat trip to Duma. Even weent to a so-called house of witches on a mountain. At one time, was looking at another place near Duma in the hills, called Valencia. Camiguin has seriously intrigued me. Great beaches and tall mountains. But, to let the cat out of the bag, and I imagine the response from Shadow, I want to see how the next 1-2 years go, to see if ISIS makes southern Phils their new base. A lot of indications they will.
  13. Where to Move

    I didn't get off Bantayan till July. Turned out, a lot of loose ends to tie up (and no, not women tied to a bedposts). Got an offer on land I had there, and "Filipino time" took over. In the end, I just gave my multicab and atv to a friend and left. Spent some time researching it all, and decided to try Baguio for 4-6 months and get a feel. Being from Oregon, I must say, seeing and smelling those pine trees nearly brought tears. The pro's: Awesome views/scenery, produce, and the best and cheapest taxi's in the Phils. But, the rest sucked. One driver told me the population there had swelled to 400,000 people, and I did not argue. Densly populated. Only 1 major supermarket...SM. I tried different days and times there and from entering the checkout line to getting into a taxi is 40 minutes at a good time. 1-hour on a Friday afternoon. Long lines everywhere. I also like to walk, and walking there is different. Uphill and downhill, all the time. I saw very few expats, and a few I saw looked miserable. SCARCE cute girls. After a few weeks, I said "feck this" and went to Makati to regroup. And I was shocked at that place. When I first came to the Phils, I spent a week in Manila and hated it. Dirty, beggars everywhere. But, Makati is different. Very, very few beggars. Hi end malls and a sense of a well-educated people. Spent 40 days there, struggling to see if I could adapt to such a large city. In the end, decided I could not. Mostly cuz of my PTSD and all the commotion there, but I will say, Makati is an oasis of Manila. So, I decided to try Subic. Spent 2 weeks in the "Freeport Zone." First, duty free stores there are a scam. p44 for a 375ml bottle of Tanduay...exact same price as a sari-sari on Bantayan Island. Baffling. And that's just an example. But, a very clean place, good roads, law enforcement out visibly, and clean air. Only eyesore there was the pathetic beach. Last 2 weeks, been on Baloy Beach, about 10 km's from Olongapo. Supposed to be the best beach here in Subic, but it sucks. Not much sand. A lot of expats with their girls, but even that is shocking to see after my years on Bantayan. No wonder they drink so much...maybe she get beautiful? The vibe here is the same as my time years ago in Angeles: Seedy, and lots of expats waiting to die. 2 weeks left in my month rental. Stay here and find a reasonable rental, get a cheap used car and explore western Luzon? I hear San Antonio and La Union are nice. Sounds great, right? Here's my problem...it is a different Country here. People leave me alone, but I am like a fly on the wall. In the Visayas (except Leyte and Samar...and a little less in Bacolod), people treat me like an honored guest, like they are happy I'm in their Country, and let's face it, the girls are just better looking. And, I really liked that. Guess I'm just rambling, and tyring to figure out what next.
  14. Where to Move

    I guess I am Googling it all wrong. Gawd. I'm old and stupid. What time does that ship leave from Cebu? What Port?