Well, there's certainly been some good input here, or at least as far as I'm concerned. To bring you all up to date, the Manila agency is dragging their feet, and have 100 different reasons that they can't move forward with placement. That's ok, don't everyone get on your high horse and tell me "I told you so." My bro in law knows all about agencies and the hazards associated therewith.
In the meantime, the Lord works in mysterious ways. A happenstance meeting between my sister in law in Tagaytay, and a resort owner in Batangas, resulted in the owner asking for the bro in law's resume. That was nearly a month ago. Suddenly, the phone starts ringing and the resort owner says his chef just quit and he needs good help, someone who can soon come in and take over. So, the bro in law is currently 2nd in charge at a nice resort in Batangas, Japanese owner/manager, is provided with free lodging, free meals, and is paid 18,000 php monthly regardless of occupancy rate. When they're full (20 guest rooms or so) the kitchen runs non-stop; when they're not occupied (last week was 4 guests) then the kitchen gets to catch their breath and relax.
Just wanted to say thanks to all the Aussies (and wannabe Aussies) who contributed, and let you know how it turned out. My bro in law is happy at the time being, seems to think this may well turn into a more permanent situation (raises were already discussed), and... drum roll, please... the bro in law gets to travel home to see the wife and 3 kids when he has a day off, as he simply has to travel from Batangas to Olongapo and about an hour horth (San Antonio). He sure as heck wasn't able to do that in Saudi!
We are all keeping fingers crossed and hope that this turns into something really good.