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  1. Hey hey all. Yeah long time no see or chat. Sorry been a bit busy. I have started to do a series on the ol Youtube about the cost of living here and all the other questions people ask. A fare few of you lads know me and I am posting this here to see what you guys think. Here is the link and Merry Christmas. I should be able to make it to cebu by about Feb so hope to catch up with a few of you lads by then.
  2. What dating site is the best for Philippines? Only know .......... and ........ One of these is over-moderated and infamous for block male accounts, just for the heck of it. Another site clearly lack moderation, have strict limitations on # of messages one can send, and now force members (block their acc without reason) within short time free membership, to become a paid member, and it ain't cheap either. So to the few single men out there, what dating site do you prefer? Excluded the old and worn out, you dont need a dating site. Feet on the ground and all that. This is for the rainy days, and people abroad.
  3. If you are looking for a beautiful and convenient getaway close to Cebu check out Nalusuan Island. Good food, nice stilt rooms with the sounds of water and sea breeze to lull you to sleep. Mid day has a steady stream of island hoppers but mornings and afternoons you can have the place to yourself. Water is packed with a variety of fish if you like to snorkel. Check it out
  4. Had a good rest staying on the beach for 2000php a night. Places for as cheap as 400 are available. My brother in law did most of the cooking so we saved quite a bit that way. Weather changed sooner than expected with last storm that went through so we cut the trip short.
  5. Just came across this article, thought your guys might find it of interest. Every self-respecting driver in the Philippines must know the basic traffic rules by heart. This includes common infractions like overspeeding, violating the number coding scheme, driving without a license, and beating the red light. However, the country isn’t short of odd and obscure laws either. Here are a few traffic violations, as stated on the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) site, that we bet you didn’t even know existed—and how much the fines are. 1. Dirty or uncared for plates Plate numbers serve as your vehicle’s ID. Whether you’re speeding at 70 kph or stuck for hours in traffic, your plates must be readable to both the naked eye and the eyes in the sky. Also, license plates are technically properties of the government so better take good care of them. Penalties: P150 on first offense, P150 on second offense, P150 on third offense 2. Dirty, unsightly, or unsanitary motor vehicle Why is this a violation? Let’s put it this way: Some dirty vehicles, especially PUVs, may have wastes than can be a health and sanitation issue and may affect the public negatively. Also, a soiled vehicle may suffer from visibility issues and can put its driver and passengers at a higher risk of getting involved in car accidents. Penalties: P300 and confiscation of plates on first offense, P300 and confiscation of plates on second offense, P300 and confiscation of plates on third offense 3. Hitching The Land Transportation Office (LTO) defines this as “permitting a person or a bicycle, motorcycle, tricycle or skate roller to hitch to a motor vehicle.” So the next time you see a skater or a biker holding on to your vehicle to get a free boost, blast him with your horn and tell him to bugger off. Penalties: P100 on first offense, P100 on second offense, P100 on third offense 4. Motor vehicle with metallic tires If you’re planning to go all Mad Max on your vehicle and make your tires metallic, don’t even bother since it will be too heavy for your car. Fortunately, this rule only applies to heavy equipment. If heavy machinery operators decide to use them on the road as a means of transport…not only that it’s stupid because it’s slow, but traffic enforcers will slap them with a huge fine. Penalties: P5,000 on first offense, P5,000 on second offense, P5,000 on third offense Car insurance search, simplifiedCompare and contrast offers from the country's top insurance providers and save up to 30% on your policy. Get a free quote in minutes.Vehicle Brand - Choose brand of vehicle AUDIBENTLYBMWCHANACHERYCHEVROLETCHRYSLERDODGEFERRARIFORDFOTONGREAT WALLHAIMAHONDAHYUNDAIISUZUJAGUARJEEPKIALAMBORGHINILANDROVERLEXUSLOTUSMAZDAMERCEDES BENZMINIMITSUBISHINEXUSNISSANPEUGEOTPORSCHESSANGYONGSUBARUSUZUKITOYOTAVOLKSWAGENVOLVO Show me how much I'll save 5. Failure to provide clean seat covers Apparently, dirty linen over taxi seats can be grounds for some disgruntled passengers to report them to the authorities. Aside from visually unappealing seats, passengers may also report foul-smelling seats since it is the responsibility of the drivers and operators to provide a smooth and comfortable experience to commuters. Penalties: P150 on first offense, P150 on second offense, P150 on third offense 6. Sporting dazzling headlights/neon headlights/broken lens A number of western countries have banned the use of dazzling headlights on motor vehicles, citing a connection between bright lights and impeded visibility that may lead to car accidents. Since HID headlamps are at least 50-percent brighter than their halogen counterparts, they can blind oncoming motorists and thus, reduce their visual cognizance on the road. Unfortunately, this MMDA ticket violation isn’t widely implemented and a lot of cars still get away with HIDs. Penalties: P500 on first offense, P500 on second offense, P500 on third offense 7. Failure to dim lights The law states that when there are vehicles at least 300 meters in front of you, it is required that you switch to low-beam headlights. Not only do high-beam lights obstruct the vision of vehicles in the opposite direction, they also impede the visibility on rearview mirrors of vehicles ahead of you. Be a kind stranger and turn your lights down low. Penalties: P150 on first offense, P150 on second offense, P150 on third offense 8. Allowing a child six years old and below on passenger seat Passenger seats aren’t designed for children; there’s a reason car manufacturers designed backseats with extra seatbelts as well as ISOFIX attachments for child safety seats. Make it clear right from the start: riding shotgun is a for-adults-only affair. Penalties: P250 on first offense, P250 on second offense, P250 on third offense 9. Failure to install Early Warning Device four meters from the front and rear of the stalled motor vehicle Early warning devices (EWDs) are a must for all drivers, since no one knows when your car will just die on you. A lot of us are probably aware of the fact that an EWD should be placed a few steps away from the back of your stalled car. But not everyone knows that at least a pair of EWDs should be placed four meters from the front and back of the car that’s stopped for more than 30 minutes on any street or highway. Penalties: P500 on first offense, P500 on second offense, P500 on third offense 10. No spare tires The moment one of your tires loses air and you’re in the middle of the road, you’ll become an obstruction and cause massive traffic unless your car gets towed. Bring an extra tire at all times and be spared the MMDA’s prying eyes. Penalties: P300 on first offense, P300 of plates on second offense, P300 of plates on third offense Source: https://www.ecomparemo.com/info/10-traffic-violations-you-probably-didnt-know-existed/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Blog20161109
  6. Any other member promote the beauty and wonder of the Philippines? Been a Hobby of mine which I enjoy. Hope that my efforts have helped with tourism over the years, Just one of my many sites....please enjoy http://philippinesthebeautiful.wordpress.com/
  7. A collection of tips for living in The Philippines from Reddit. If you're a Globe postpaid subscriber and have been paying upwards of 2500 on your monthly bill for the past year or more, you've probably been upgraded to Globe Blue. You can call customer service to confirm. Once verified, you can start using 199 (instead of their usual CSR number) for any customer service concerns. This is a streamlined version of their IVR. Just two steps and you're routed straight to a Platinum CSR. Buy your rice in a neighbouring canderia before going to your fast food place of choice. Beer before whisky, very Risky. Whisky before Beer, never Fear. When you call the PLDT hotline 171, don't waste time navigating the IVR menu in the hopes of talking to a customer service agent. Go directly to "Billing Concerns" by pressing 2 at the first prompt, then ask to be transferred to an agent (landline or DSL). Once you get an agent, ask to be escalated to a supervisor since the agent can't do jack shit anyway. Ask the locals how to go to places and how much is the fare, don't ask the tricycle drivers as most likely they would give you tourist price. When you pay minimum fare in jeepney rides, always pay 7.00 (or is it 7.50) exact. Fare will most likely be charged as 8.00 if you hand 20 pesos or 10 pesos. Saves you 14%+ on your travel costs. ... and my favourite: If you drop your phone in water, put it in a bag of uncooked rice for a few hours. The rice will attract Asians who will fix your phone for you.
  8. I thought this was an interesting review of traveling to Camiguin Island by the Philippine Star columnist Bobit Avila. Some of you may have been there and could add to this yourself or would like to go there . http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/03/12/1432668/visiting-mystical-island-camiguin
  9. Hi, My GF and I are planning on a 2 week trip in Philippines. Mactan-Oslob-tumalog falls-apo islands-Siquijor-Bohol-Mactan (a small loop)..is the current idea. Our interests are mainly snorkeling, trekking/nature. Any route suggestion will be great. Thanks !
  10. 2015 starts with some good news — particularly, the Philippines’ inclusion in the European Union’s GSP+ (Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus) because of its direct impact on income and livelihood of many Filipinos. The GSP+ is the EU’s scheme of providing duty free treatment to the exports of developing countries that have ratified and implemented international conventions on human and labor rights, the environment and good governance. Many South American and several Asian countries had already obtained inclusion in the pioneering batch last January 2014. Now that the Philippines is part of the scheme, some 6,200 products — including our most prized exports like fruits, coconut oil, fish, and textiles — can be exported to EU countries at zero tariffs. Some estimate that within the first year of GSP+ implementation, Philippine exports to the EU could increase by up to P32.5 billion, translating to as much as 267,000 jobs — a clear boost to the national drive for inclusive growth. While the European Commission — the EU’s executive arm — gave its approval as early as August, the Philippine application still needed to pass the Parliamentary Committee on International Trade (INTA) and obtain a majority vote from the 700-member European Parliament. Ambassador Victoria Bataclan, Permanent Philippine Representative to the EU, alerted me of the parliamentary matter, knowing that I sit on the Executive Board of Centrist Democratic International (CDI) as Vice President for Asia and the Pacific. The first leader who responded to our appeal was Spanish Prime Minister Jose Aznar, who had considerable influence over the European Popular Party (EPP) — the European Parliament’s dominant coalition. Ambassador Carlos Salinas in Madrid lost no time following up PM Aznar’s assurance of help. Later on, I conferred with Alberto Ruiz Thierry, CDI’s Deputy Secretary General. He personally followed up with CDI’s Secretary General Antonio Lopez Ituralde, considered the main whip of CDI’s delegation in the European Parliament. As a result of the political support of the CDI coalition, the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament voted in favor of the Philippine application, and on December 18, 2014, the European Parliament voted favorably for the Philippine inclusion. Many EU member countries supported the Philippines, but several as well voted to support a motion to reject. The Spanish MEPs clinched the Philippines’ bid by providing the winning margin. This trade opening is one of the best stimulus to the Philippine economy in 2015 and onwards. Source : https://ph.news.yahoo.com/eu-gift-philippines-171422353.html
  11. Survey Results: Western Expats in the Phillippines This article is copyright 2014 by Robert Howard but may be used freely on any website. Thanks to everyone who did the survey. Results below are from 134 respondents. Most migration between the West and the developing world flows in one direction. People in developing nations seek better economic and educational opportunities, safer and less polluted environments, and less corruption. But in the last few decades, Westerners increasingly have been moving to developing nations, perhaps to one often visited as a tourist. Often the main motive is lower living costs. The global financial crisis and the neoliberal onslaught have made living in the West insecure and impoverished for many, and many are unable to retire comfortably at home. There now is a minor publishing industry advising on how to make an international move. These books often have a very optimistic tone, implying that anyone would be crazy not to leave a politically correct, expensive, regimented Western country for a developing nation like Cambodia or the Philippines, with its low costs, friendly people, and vibrant culture. Researchers have been studying how well such moves actually do work out, particularly after a few years residence. Researchers have examined expats in Indonesia, Malaysia, and various Latin American nations. In 2005, I did a study of Western residents in Thailand. The move worked out well for some but not for others. Many left after a few years in-country, as the honeymoon glow wore off, assimilation proved illusory, and the reasons why many locals wish to leave a developing nation for the West became apparent. One major concern was increasing health problems in later years. Thailand and Cambodia have many elderly Westerners whose money has run low and who cannot afford health care. Embassies often may help them little. Little is known about Western expats in the Philippines. The country is a bit off the well-trod tourist routes and has a dangerous reputation. However, the East/West cultural gap is not quite as great as elsewhere and most Filipinos speak an English dialect. The nation reputedly is foreigner-friendly and many locals see marrying a Westerner as like winning the lottery. Is moving there a good option and for whom? The 2010 Philippines census lists 54,246 Western residents but many actually may be of Filipino descent and some Western residents are not counted. They live in-country only part of the year or are on successive tourist visas. From various embassy estimates, I calculate very roughly around 218,350 Western residents of non-Filipino descent. Most of the 134 survey respondents are male retirees, with a median age of 56 years old. Nearly half are from the United States. Most are married to a Filipina or have a live-in Filipina partner. Of the three female respondents, one was married to a Filipino, one to a non-Filipino, and one was single. Most hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Their median length of stay in-country was four years and median annual income was U.S. $45,000, with over half living on pensions and/ or investments. The most common cited reasons to move to the Philippines by far were the low living costs (cited by six as the only motive) and the climate. Table 1. Reason/s moved to Philippines. Percentage citing each alternative. Any number of alternatives could be cited. Low living costs 65.67 Climate 54.48 Filipino lifestyle 31.34 Dislike home country 26.12 Filipino partner returned 7.91 Availability of sex partners 5.67 To take up job 9.0 Other 36.57 Some comments were ‘... pension adequate to live here, not in U. S.’, ‘To survive on a low income’ and ‘ ... everything here is super-cheap’. Some had come to an expat job arranged overseas and 17.91% had a Filipino partner who had wanted to return. A few met a Filipina online and moved to the Philippines to be with her. Some disliked their home country. Some comments were; ‘Too much red tape, taxation. Government watches your every move’ and ‘We were very dissatisfied with the U.S. in general’. An open-ended question asked for what they missed least about life in the West and some comments were; ‘High cost of living and too much work and not enough holiday time’, ‘A life that revolves around work’, ‘Surveillance state, taxation, extreme political correctness’, and ‘Cold weather, cops on every corner ready to write a ticket, unfriendly and rude people’. Additional stated motives were ‘Low stress and low taxes’ and ‘English widely used and understood’. For the advantages of living in the Philippines, 50% cited the low cost of living, 28.36% the possibility of having a Filipina wife and a family, and 20.15% the climate. Some comments were; ‘Easy way of life’ and ‘Less stress and great family life’. What did they miss most about life in the West? Some just said ‘Nothing’ but 19.4% cited the food and 15.67% cited family and friends. Comments were; ‘People obeying laws and rules’, ‘... parks, playgrounds, cleanliness’, ‘Intellectual conversations’, ‘Non-Mafia police, sane driving, unblocked sidewalks, people who speak English’ and ‘Mental kinship’. On the main problems they had experienced living in the Philippines, 10.45% cited health care (high cost, low quality) as concerns. Some comments were; ‘Most medical facilities are unclean and have low-skilled practitioners’ and ‘You have to pay for all medical care upfront. No money. No care’. Others cited legal problems; ‘Westerners have no rights in legal disputes with a Filipino. You will lose’. On what they liked least about living in the Philippines, corruption was most often cited, followed by trash and general lack of cleanliness. Some comments were; ‘The food sucks and you are viewed as a cow to be milked’, ‘Pollution and heat drive me nuts, along with the traffic’, ‘Insane traffic’, ‘Lack of pride in workmanship’ and ‘Nobody seems to want to do anything well or better’. A recurring theme on expat websites is problems with a Filipina partner, particularly sending money to her family. One Internet poster summarised a common Western attitude with; ‘The best advice ...regarding marrying a Filipina is live at least two islands or six hours away from her family’. Another recommended marrying only an orphan. But few respondents cited this problem. One comment was; ‘My wife’s family think we are ATM machines’. Two cited their main dislikes as ‘The common attitude that all foreigners are rich and should therefore hand out money to everybody around them’ and ‘People always asking for money’. About one third of survey respondents reported that local crime was a concern but nearly half were unconcerned, sometimes because they lived in a peaceful rural setting. Some comments were; ‘Many thieves and low-level crimes’, ‘There is never an opportunity to let your guard down’, ‘Need to be very security aware all the time. If there are two or more Filipinos present, they start talking in the local dialect, even if they speak English very well’ and ‘Limitation of personal freedom due to danger of crimes’. Nearly 40% had been a crime victim. Some comments were; ‘Have been held up at knife point’, ‘Burgled twice’, ‘Gold chain snatched from around my neck’, ‘Pick pocket gang once in Manila’, ‘ATM card skimmed’, and ‘In three years I have been robbed seven times’. Most described their own well-being and the overall quality of life for foreigners in the Philippines as excellent or good. Table 2. Well-being and quality of life. Own well-being Excellent 27.61 Good 52.24 Neutral 17.16 Poor 2.99 Very poor 0 Overall quality of life for foreigners in general Excellent 16.42 Good 50 Neutral 25.37 Poor 5.22 Very poor 2.24 No response 0.7 Many respondents personally felt accepted by Filipinos but nearly half did not or were in between. Some comments were; ‘Many Filipinos are very suspicious of foreigners’, ‘... too much discrimination against foreigners here’, and ‘I sit in my front porch smiling and waving. People look at me like an ape in the zoo’. Indeed, many reported socialising mostly with other foreigners or in the bar scene and a few said they did not socialise at all. Some comments were; [i socialise mostly] ‘With foreigners with Filipino wives’ and ‘Wife’s friends and family’, ‘Mix of other foreigners, Filipino friends and family’, and ‘Foreigners with Filipina wives’. Most still were happy with their decision to migrate but some were not. Barriers to leaving may include cost and a Filipina partner who wants to stay on. Some comments were; ‘Life for expats in the Philippines was better before 2000. Wouldn't plan to stay if my wife wasn't a Filipina’ and ‘The Philippines is very hot, very polluted, very corrupt, has ... dangerous roads and ferries, customer service is not good (i.e. can't return things, long queues, etc). The positive is really a lower ... cost of living ... I've lived in Ecuador and I think it's a much better place for a retiree however my wife has family here ...’. The polarisation of views on living in the Philippines is particularly striking. ‘People who come to live in the Philippines either leave after a short time or stay for life in my experience.’ ‘I would advise all not to move here. ... They want your money but they don’t want you here’, ‘ ‘Some love it here and some cannot adjust.” ‘Those who fight the Philippine ways are unhappy here.’ “Many other countries that have lower living costs, less hassles, seem attractive now.’ “I hate the place. Hate the food, hate most of the people, hate the culture.” ‘The food sucks and you are viewed as a cow to be milked.’ ‘Retirees tend to be happy. Foreigners working here tend not to be due to the incompetence of staff and laziness.’ ‘You can turn a blind eye to most of the drawbacks but in the end it wears you down.’ ‘I think my experience is better than most...It's a wonderful place, but individual experiences, obviously, will vary’, ‘Most Westerners seem happy enough. Local girls take care of older guys with health problems’. ‘Expats on modest incomes and with some serious medical conditions should be very careful before opting to retire here’. “If you are a self- sufficient individual who loves and respects people, believes that family centred cultures work well and have enough income to live comfortably ($25,000 per year), The Philippines is a pretty nice life. If you are a wuss, "redneck", or think Filipinas are submissive little wives, don't even bother!” In conclusion, the move works out for some but not for others. Many may have left soon after arrival so the successes may actually be a small percentage of migrants. But this is true of migration to Western nations as well. Many migrants eventually leave. So any stay needs a long trial and the possibility of exiting if necessary. The author Robert Howard until recently taught at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He first visited the Philippines in 1981. He has research interests in tourism and the lives of Western expats in Southeast Asia. He is the author of five books. The latest (2012) is Islands in the Orient Sea: Travels in the Edgy 21st Century Philippines.
  12. For those who end up with GFs who have not finished college or have not even started college, it may sometimes be a good idea not to send them to a 4 year college, period. The reason is, they won't necessarily make more money once they have that BA/BS degree. Plus, it can drag for so long that you will be supporting her for 5-6 years. And you may even lose interest in the process. There are vocational courses,( google TESDA for one) but which one do you choose? Caregiver? Cellphone repair? Housekeeping? I've sent some GFs and some female friends/god sisters to study those and they still couldn't find work. So much money wasted. So much time. But recently I found something that seems to virtually guarantee work. Four months ago, I sent my God sister to study to be a ladyguard. The course was Php 10,000 all included. And they help you find a job. There are many agencies in Manila who always look for lady guards, too. Women who can shoot and have a gun license are in high demand. This was in Manila. Took a bit over two weeks. There was theory and practice. They also trained her to shoot from a gun and a carbine. My God sister excelled. Once she graduated, the agency that had trained her found her a job. Salary? Not big, but also not bad for a 2 week course's worth of study- the take home pay is about Php 8000 but it goes up as she gains experience. Before taxes, it's about Php-10,000. It was so endearing seeing her at a big store with her white pressed uniform, a bronze badge and a gun. She looked really happy. The good thing is that there are always jobs. Especially in Manila. Lots and lots. She quit one and immediately found another. And she can work well into her 50ies. All the other courses I sent GFs/female friends/relatives to, provided lame results.This ladyguard thing seems to be pretty hot. They find work just like that. So my advice- if you have found a GF and she is asking you to help her with school pay, do not fall for the 4 year trap. You may be impotent by the time she graduates. Broke, too. Or worse, fall out of love but still be paying. The worst is probably nursing. You will lose all your teeth and all your hair by the time she graduates. She will be nursing you. Lady-guard is a great way to help her get on her feet.
  13. http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/things-youll-only-find-in-the-philippines http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/things-youll-only-find-in-the-philippines
  14. NPPA/NPPA - 07 May 2011: A Cebu Pacific aircraft is seen from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City, south of Manila. (Voltaire Domingo/NPPA Images) Budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) and Tiger Airways Philippines have cancelled 149 chartered flights to and from mainland China starting this month after the Chinese government issued an advisory warning against travel to the Philippines. Jorenz Tañada, vice president for corporate affairs of Cebu Pacific, said the cancellation of flights as requested by China-based companies from September to December would affect 24,138 passengers and forgo P284 million in potential tourism revenues. “We estimate impact on tourism revenue would be P284 million, assuming tourists were to stay four days in the Philippines and spend an average of $66 per day,” he said. However, Tañada clarified that the Gokongwei-led airline would continue to operate scheduled commercial flights from Manila to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen. “We regret that there is an existing travel advisory issued by the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines and hope that it will be lifted at the soonest possible time,” he added. The Chinese government issued an advisory last Sept. 12 warning its citizens not to travel to the Philippines after a Chinese teenager who worked in a family-run store was kidnapped. The advisory was also issued amid plots that criminal groups are planning to attack the Chinese embassy and companies, as well as airports and shopping malls. “Given that the safety situation in the Philippines is deteriorating, the consular service of the foreign ministry is asking Chinese nationals not to travel to the Philippines for the time being,” the advisory stated. Tension between Manila and Beijing has been mounting the past few years due to territory disputes in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. On Tuesday, low-cost carrier AirAsia Zest announced the indefinite suspension of Kalibo- Beijing and Kalibo-Shanghai routes starting Sept. 18 due to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government. “We have temporarily suspended our services for Kalibo (Boracay) to Shanghai and Beijing at the request of the company that charters our flights and in relation to the travel warning issued by the Chinese government,” the airline said. The airline jointly owned by Philippines AirAsia and Zest Airways of Alfredo Yao, however, clarified that flights between Manila and China would not be affected. Philippines AirAsia is a unit of low-cost carrier giant AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia that was named by the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) as the most profitable airline in Southeast Asia. In its latest aviation analysis titled “Southeast Asian airlines: 80% were unprofitable in H1 but conditions are starting to improve,” CAPA said Malaysia AirAsia booked a net profit of $122 million in the first half of the year, followed by Cebu Pacific with $69 million and Philippine Airlines with $13 million. On the other hand, Malaysia Airlines, which was hit by a series of accidents including the mysterious disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of Flight MH17 in Ukrainian airspace, booked a net loss of $41 million. The report said only five of the 17 publicly listed airlines in the region booked a net profit amounting to $372 million in the first half of the year. Source: https://ph.news.yahoo.com/budget-carriers-cancel-149-flights-000000153.html
  15. The inflation rate reached 4.5 percent in May this year, which was considered the highest in the last two years. For someone who earns a fixed income, this means a plunge in buying power. If you think that your budgeting concern ends with the inflation rate, you have to think again. The next time you receive utility bills, try to look at your electricity bill. We won’t be surprised if you cringe at your electricity bill every month. Though we have LPG, fuel and even charcoal as other sources of domestic energy, electricity remains the most viable. In the Philippines, electricity is the most common source of energy consumed according to the Household Energy Consumption Survey. In 2011, 21 million households made use of electricity consuming 8,134 gigawatt hours of electricity. Despite being a third world country, the Philippines has one of the most expensive rates in electricity. In fact, if you will look at other countries, a 2,000 square foot apartment would get you around $60-70 bill every month. As for the Philippines, it is roughly around $450 or give or take around P18,000. If you live in Manila, an 85 sq. meter apartment will consume an average of P4,840 monthly charge in electricity alone. To understand why electricity in the Philippines costs that much, here is the rate of our electricity bill as of December 2013. The generation cost runs around P9.10/kWh, while VAT, and other expenses would run around P4.15/kwh. Why did it reach this rate? According to reports, there were a number of factors to blame. First would have to be the shutdown of the Malampaya system during its maintenance period, and the second event would have to be the shutdown of a number of power plants. This shifted Meralco to make use of alternative and more expensive source of energy to produce electricity. The question now is, how do we keep the power rates to a minimum? Improve on your home’s airflow and insulation One of the reasons why people spend so much money on air conditioning is because of the non-efficient design of their home. If you are going to decrease the electricity consumption of your air conditioning unit, you want to have proper insulation within your home. For instance, what is the material of your ceiling? If you are using plywood, keep in mind that the heat from your roof is easily transferred to the plywood’s thin material. For some households, they provide added insulation to allow the room to heat slower. For those who want to make things right from the beginning of the construction phase, what about trying on some gypsum board? From the ceiling walls, the thick material of gypsum has the ability to prevent heat reaching the main floor. Also, this can also be a fire preventive addition to your home. The height of your ceiling should also be a factor. Remember that a lower ceiling height would mean heat to reach the floor easier. Always check the energy rating of appliances before buying Modern homes enjoy a great number of appliances. For manufacturers of appliances, they are now prioritizing the energy efficiency. Given the issue of climate change, coupled with the desire of homeowners to save money on their appliance usage, though energy efficient appliances are more expensive, this is still a more practical option in the long run. For instance, do you know that 11% of your monthly electrical bill came from your fridge? What if you could decrease its energy consumption? Habits in ironing the clothes Do you know that ironing your clothes all at once every week can help you save some cash? It is because of the fact that the iron consumes more energy when you are starting it. Another method that you could use to save energy is to use fabric softeners. Fabric softeners allow you to just wash and dry your clothes. This way, you decrease the piles of clothes that you have to iron, not only decreasing the workload, but also decreasing the bill. Timer to shut down air conditioning unit When is the best time to use the air conditioning unit in your room? Most people only use the air conditioning unit at night to fall asleep comfortably. Why not turn off the air condition unit an hour before you wake up? Most air conditioning units today have timers which you could set to how many hours should the appliance run. An hour without the air conditioning unit still allows you to enjoy a cool room. In fact, if you use the air conditioning unit every night, and go for this option, you could save as much as 30 hours worth of electricity every month. Motion sensorsOne of the most common things that happen inside the house is that we walk in a room and turn on the light, only forgetting to shut it off on our way out. If you have a walk in closet, just imagine the lights being turned on the whole time? For some offices, they install motion sensors in rooms that people rarely go to. Lighting optionsOne of the things that you can have to save money on electric bills is to use LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are not energy efficient, not to mention they don’t last that long. LED lights last up to 10 times longer than the incandescent bulbs, not to mention it doesn’t produce heat that much. Use curtains and tinted windows If you want to keep the heat to a minimum inside the house, which would eventually decrease your air condition and electric fan use, then perhaps, you would want to have your windows tinted. If you don’t want a permanent fix on your window, then a curtain will also be a good alternative. Thick and dark colored windows prevent the heat from penetrating inside the room. Cooking with an Induction CookerImagine cooking more efficient with electricity, heat is transferred directly to kitchenware without any waste. You save money for gas bills and it will be safer to use since there are no open fires involved when cooking. Taller fridge means less efficiencyCold air goes down, while the hot air goes up. This concept explains why the box type fridge is more efficient than the taller ones. If you have a box type fridge, this provides better air flow in your fridge. If you can’t help but settle for tall refrigerators, it is a good idea that you turn to organizing the food properly in order to have the proper air flow. Also, don’t place meals that are still hot inside the fridge. Save money on your computer’s electrical consumptionHow many hours do we spend on PC’s and laptops? It has been a habit of many computer users to not turn off the other hardware when it is not in use. From the printers to the scanner, these are just some of the things that we don’t turn off when not in use. This contributes to the wear and tear of our gadgets, not to mention also consume electricity. For the laptops and PCs, it is also a good idea to keep the computer on hibernate mode if you just want a five minute breather from the work that you are doing. Charge efficiently Whether it is your tablet or your phone, you want to make sure that you only charge the gadgets when the battery is already critically low. This allows you to not consume electricity every now and then. This avoids you from plugging the charger even if there is still sufficient energy on your device. Also, remember to always unplug the charger once you are done. A charger that is plugged in is still consuming electricity, regardless if it is charging a device or not. Aside from using the chargers in a more efficient manner, you can also check the chargers operated by solar cells. As long as you have light, you can already charge your phone through these accessories. Regular monitoring of your electric meter It is crucial to have an idea if you are already consuming more than your average electrical consumption. Also, keep in mind that even if you have the same consumption as last month, the current rate still plays a great role to how much you are paying at the end of the month. The first thing that you need to know is to learn how to read an electric meter. If you have 2-3 meters in your home, try to have a separate sheet for each of them and monitor them separately. The cost of electricity has a different rate as your consumption spikes up. The second tip that can be useful in this scenario is to record your monthly bill. And third, you have to be updated of the current rate. Is it possible to keep the electrical bill down? With smart planning and practical implementation of these tips, it is possible to have a breather with the rising cost of utilities, particularly that of electrical bills. You don’t need to purchase products sold in the market that claim to decrease your electrical consumption. These easy to follow steps are already enough to give you the savings that you’ve been looking for. Source : http://www.imoney.ph/articles/12-practical-tips-decrease-electrical-bill/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=ad-promopost&utm_campaign=Decrease+Electricity+Bill
  16. I wonder if there is anyone else who has an original song they would like to share? This song is one I wrote about my Filipina wife and many expats who have been or are in the same situation. "BIG BROWN EYES" https://soundcloud.com/roy-ross-music/big-brown-eyes-original-roy-ross
  17. By Diana G. Mendoza, VERA Files Delegates to the 20th International AIDS Conference walk past a giant condom replica at …Melbourne – “I feel and sense that the Philippines may be the next Africa.” Dr. Jose Narciso Melchor Sescon, president of the AIDS Society of the Philippines (ASP), made this conclusion at the International AIDS Conference being held in this city after the Philippines figured prominently in the global forum where scientific experts singled out the countries exhibiting high numbers of new HIV (human immunodeficiuency virus) infections in 2013. The Philippines was identified as one of only three countries alongside Indonesia and Pakistan as having “worryingly-high” numbers of new HIV infections in 2013 while the rest of the world is experiencing a lessened pattern of HIV transmission and deaths from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). “While new infections continue to decrease globally, we are unfortunately seeing a very different pattern in Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines with increasing numbers of new infections in 2013,” Prof. Sharon Lewin, an infectious disease and biomedical research expert of Australia who co-chairs the global conference, said. She made the same report in the official press conference prior to the opening of the event and in a scientific presentation with other experts. Lewin cited men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers, people who inject drugs and transgender persons as the populations contracting HIV--- the virus that causes AIDS--- in the three countries. The Philippines has a cumulative total of almost 19,000 HIV infections based on HIV test results received and confirmed by government laboratories of the Department of Health (DOH) from 1984 to May 2014. Of this total, 16,800 are males. Sexual contact is the predominant mode of transmission at 94%. Homosexual and bisexual transmission accounted for 75%. Women activists demanding for equal opportunities and services hold a workshop.The DOH noted the sudden spike in new infections starting in 2007 with a tenfold rise in infections, and with the bulk of new infections occurring in young MSM aged 15 to 24. A sizeable number of infections among people who inject drugs is rapidly increasing in General Santos City, Zamboanga, and Cebu. Hospitals managing HIV patients have also noted a huge increase of transmission from infected mothers to their babies in 2013. Sescon said the dismal situation of HIV and AIDS prevention and control in the Philippines was due to many factors. “If funds are not placed where they should be, if we do the usual things we know and are not open to evidence-based practices, if the extent of coverage and reach of key affected populations are not done in due time, if stigma continues to prevail, if access to quality HIV services are denied, and if response is not comprehensive, then we could be the next Africa,” he said. Programs that have worked in countries that successfully decreased the rate of HIV transmission have not been implemented in the Philippines. Sescon cited as example needle and syringe exchange, also known as harm reduction program, that entails providing clean needles and syringes to people who inject drugs. “Globally, it works, as it reduces both HIV prevalence and the use of drugs, but we are not doing it in the Philippines,” he said. The Philippines also does not have a comprehensive sexuality education program in secondary schools. “The newly infected Filipinos are getting younger! What are we doing?” he asked. Academe-based studies have noted early sexual activity and drug use among young people aged 14 to 19. Sescon added that services such as health insurance for persons living with HIV are also wanting. “Philhealth coverage is limited and it employs the usual bureaucratic process that causes the actual disclosure of name, age, status, and address of a person with HIV seeking insurance coverage, which impedes on human rights principle of anonymity and confidentiality.” At least four government AIDS medium term plans that spell out the government’s response to HIV infections have been implemented, with the fifth and current one ending in 2016. The Philippines is known for passing a landmark law on HIV and AIDS (Republic Act 8504). Non-government and civil society organizations that include organizations of Filipinos living with HIV have complemented the government work, but HIV transmission continued unabated. HIV/AIDS was first reported as an illness and a threat to public health in the Philippines in 1984. The first infections occurred among female sex workers around the former US military bases, and then mostly male overseas contract workers. At the start of the new millennium, the profile shifted to young people, especially young MSM. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 24.7 million adults and children infected with HIV in 2013. Asia Pacific had the next largest population of people living with HIV with 4.8 million, with new infections estimated at 350,000 in the same year. UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe said that while much had been accomplished in HIV prevention, awareness and control in the last three years than in the previous 25, more had to be done both in prevention and in the treatment of people who already have the virus through antiretroviral drugs that slow down the progression of HIV infection to AIDS--- its terminal phase. Around 12,000 researchers, policymakers, workers and activists, including 800 journalists, are attending the AIDS conference, which is held every two years. (VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”) SOURCE : https://ph.news.yahoo.com/blogs/the-inbox/philippines-global-radar-due-high-hiv-infections-133514410.html
  18. I know, I know, I have put up several in the short time I have been a member here and I will put up more unless I get an overwhelming number of complaints....Do you know why? 'Cause I gotta write my own kind of music and sing my own special songs.....Here's to you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQErELzrrLU
  19. Just want to share this song to relax and think a bit. This was recorded in 2003 Before I left The U.S. To move to The Philippines. https://soundcloud.com/roy-ross-music/listen-to-the-rain-original-roy-ross
  20. I wrote this song by accident in Feb. 2014 (this year). I was just sitting at the computer with my recorder on messing around. My wife was outside as were neighbors and they were shouting across the street, children running and shouting, roosters crowing and even my dog "Lucky" (short for 'Lucky Me') was barking for me to come outside....I just started playing and putting the words together from what I was hearing around me....and this song is what I came up with. NO REWRITES...you hear it just as I was singing it for the first time. https://soundcloud.com/roy-ross-music/in-the-philippine-isles-2-23-14-original-roy-a-ross IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLES Lyrics and Music Roy A. Ross (REFRAIN 1) HEAR THE NEIGHBORS TALK AND THE CHILDREN PLAY AND THE ROOSTERS CROW ALL DAY. IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLES IT’S A DIFFERENT WORLD YOU GOTTA CHANGE OR YOU’LL NEVER STAY. (1) PEOPLE SHOUTING ‘CROSS THE STREETS TRYIN’ TO BE HEARD, MUSIC BLAIRS AS JEEPNEYS PASS BY, THAT’S THE SOUND YOU’LL HEAR EACH AND EVERY DAY – IT’S IN EVERY NEIGHBOR-HOOD. (REFRAIN 1) (2) PANDESAL AND COFFEE MOST EVERY MORN MUSIC BLAIRS BEFORE THE SUN RISE. THAT’S THE SOUND YOU’LL HEAR EACH AND EVERY MORN – IT’S IN EVERY NEIGHBOR-HOOD. (REFRAIN 1) (BREAK 3) (REFRAIN 2) HEAR THE NEIGHBORS TALK AND THE CHILDREN PLAY AND THE ROOSTERS CROW ALL DAY. HERE THE DOGS AS THEY BARK, AND THEY BARK ALL NIGHT AND THEY KEEP ALL THE EXPATS A-WAKE. Copyright © 2014 Roy A. Ross Feb. 23 2014
  21. Ok, another question about Health/Medical Insurance here in Philippines It appears Phil Health is the cheapest basic but here is what I am hearing and reading from other expats and the Philippine News sources on Internet. I am hearing the Phil health is starting to blame all illnesses on the patients pre existing (no matter what) unless of course it is something obviously different. For example I have had 2 strokes since 2002, so if I go in not feeling well or sick they are going to say "well we have to investigate as your illness may be due to one of your strokes. Now I have always had Normal Blood pressure all my life even though I am FAT............(large and more physical when I was younger) but if I went in with my heart hurting or fast and high blood pressure (even though my first stroke was caused by a blood clot that the VA did not find that broke loose in a damaged leg 'not service connected')...Phil Health will put off paying and delay saying that my heart problem might be due to my pre existing stroke). So if this is the case then is it really worth then money I would put out on the insurance if they are just going to find a reason NOT to pay?
  22. http://www.thedailyheckler.com/dswd-and-the-mystery-of-the-relief-goods/ Copy posted Philippines Politics http://www.livingincebuforums.com/topic/66096-dswd-and-the-mystery-of-the-relief-goods/ This may have been a different Disaster and under GMA as President, but do you really think the Government Politics and the Philippines 'System' involving DSWD for Relief Aid Donated Goods, has improved and become more efficient since then? October 24, 2009 by Lynn Filed under: Grr | 13 comments - These people posting to that Blog Report of October 24, 2009, as recently as yesterday in November 2013, perhaps don't think so:-
  23. Nice to ride a real MX bike again. Thanks to http://www.philippinesadventuretrailriding.com/
  24. Understandable people don't know what hail is here.... "ice-like particles, slightly bigger than marbles, hit Barangays Lamac and Punod, Pinamungajan town, midwest of Cebu Province yesterday noon." Hail storm wreaks havoc in the Philippines. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2012/05/18/pinamungajan-rained-ice-222100
  25. Just an PSA, do not trust surge protectors. We got hit during a big storm on Mactan a few nights ago and the renters brand new LED TV got fried even with a surge protector power bar. It was early am and sound asleep when it started cracking around us when bang...things went pop in our house. We where lucky on top apartment and only lost a light. I was too scared to go and unplug the PC lol but to my relief it was fine. Its funny i don't see any lighting rods on houses in my hood, thinking of putting one in when i have to replace my dam rusting roof.
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