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wts0455
8/24/2016 17:39 EST

Hello. My name is Ted.

This is my first post at these forums. Thank you for providing this opportunity to learn from you.

I will be traveling back to The Philippines next month, this time to begin the process of finding a place to settle permanently.

I am in my late 60s, I am single, and have lived all of my life to this point in the southeast United States.

Two previous and quite brief visits to The Philippines have created more questions than answers and so I ask for some advice regarding where to live, among other things.

I am not that interested in living on the coast of any island.
I am wanting a medium size inland city (150,000 to 500,000 population) with meaningful infrastructure and good medical facilities. My budget will be about $1000.00 per month and I can qualify for the SRRV. There is only myself and I have no dominant medical needs- only medicinal maintenance to prevent a recurrence of blood clots. I believe I am ok with public transportation, so the expense of a car or even a scooter is not planned.

Mostly, I am placing safety and security as well as good medical care as the most important items.

I have visited (briefly) iloilo, Dumaguete, Baguio, and San Fernando (Pampanga) and have found something good about each. I have no interest in Cebu or anything on Mindinao nor anything near Manila or Boracay. I am not going to seek a girlfriend or possible future wife. Should that happen sometime in the future- great !!! but it's not anything even close to a priority at this time.

Any ideas regarding somewhere else on Leyte or The Visayas ?
-Also-
I'm thinking $1000.00 will be sufficient for a decent lifestyle.
Any opinions ?

Thank you in advance for your feedback.



.

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lblampman
8/24/2016 20:41 EST

Hi wts0455 and welcome...

Wow, nothing like coming in with the simple questions...LOL. What you asked in a few paragraphs could take pages to answer. Not only that, but as individuals, we each come to the table with a different perspective, so what works for one person doesn't work for another.

I'm very optimistic on the Philippines and I love it here. That said, after reading your post I found myself wondering "why?" I'm not getting anything out of your post that makes me understand why the Philippines would be a good choice for you and several things that raise red flags.

Of course, perspective and definition is a big factor. As optimistic as I am even I would have to say that "meaningful infrastructure" and "good medical facilities" are not generally the first thing one things of when thinking of the Philippines. In fact, they're rather difficult (and some will say impossible) to find.

You also wrote that your main concerns are: safety, security, and good medical care. I can't think of any medium-sized city that will grant you all that (or even most larger ones).

When you're looking at populations here something to keep in mind is what is called a city is more like a county in the US, they cover a great deal of area. For instance, I live in a city of 85,000 yet it's downtown area has fewer stores and services than the town of 20,000 I moved from in the US. If drove through my Philippine town in the US I'd guess it to be maybe 10,000 people. What that means is that the few stores and services in town serve 85,000 folks, so the traffic, especially on market days is horrendous. Thankfully, there's no distance to the downtown area so even with it as bad as it is, you can still get through it in 10 to 15 minutes (but I can walk it faster and the bicycles go whizzing by). And the air quality sucks, even though I'm in a farming community.

To be honest, I find the Philippines dirty-looking with all the litter, ramshackle buildings, and ragged people that abound; power lines are a rat's nest of confusion; roads are narrow and beat up; even smaller cities (like where I live) are clogged with traffic and people; pollution is rampant and everywhere; diesels cars, trucks, jeepneys, and buses spew thick black smoke; 2-stroke motorcycles spew oil smoke; people burn trash everywhere, including very toxic plastic; the waterways are often clutter with trash and debris; people are friendly but (by western standards) not polite (they'll cut you off in every line, they'll push you aside to get to something they want, they'll never move on the sidewalks, they're not orderly when climbing or descending stairs, they'll look right at you on the highway then pull out anyway, ad infinitum); you'll be targeted by beggars because you're a foreigner; some people will just outright try and scam you because you're a foreigner; in a lot of areas you'll experience rather common power outages and Internet outages; when it rains hard, lots of areas experience flooding; and on and on.

As a foreigner you have no real rights in the Philippines and no protection under the law in any meaningful way.

That said, I'm living here and I love it but it's not because of the Philippines per se. I'm married to a wonderful Filipina (they do exist!!!), I have two wonderful kids that live with us (7 and 5, a great niece and great nephew), my wife's family is a good one, and I like the weather and natural scenery. I also like the cost of living since I can do more with my income.

I've been here long enough now that the "bad" things I used to see have now become my norm. I've become used to what the Philippines is and see it less-and-less from a western perspective. It will never all go away, I spent too many years (62) in the west before coming to the Philippines, so some things will always bug me.

As they say, if I knew then what I know now, I might have chosen a different country to move to (I knew I wanted to move away from the US) from a physical living standpoint (I certainly wouldn't give up my wife or our foster kids).

I can't believe I just wrote all that because I'm usually on the cheerleader side of things about the3 Philippines but moving here, especially if you have trouble taking off your "western glasses", is very challenging. If I hadn't wanted this so much for my wife I'm not sure I'd have made it past 3 months. From month 3 to about month 6 I really just wanted to be somewhere else. After that I got more settled in and finally to the point where I'm actually comfortable.

I'm not trying to "talk you out of" coming to the Philippines; that's for you to decide. However, things are what they are and they're not going to change for those of us foreigners that wish somehow they would. All the "normal" things you're so used to in the US just vanish here. Much of what I was used to in the US I can't even buy in my area (frustrating at first but good for my budget). I make pizza here but I still can't get mozzarella cheese. Or decent jam for toast. And I've never, anywhere, found bandages (Band-Aids). I can't get beef locally (lots of pork and chicken though). Nothing insurmountable, and I have adapted, but it took awhile.

Anyway, just some thoughts that maybe will help...or not. I'm sure there will be a lot more information posted here for you.

Les

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Spruik
8/24/2016 20:48 EST

>>>
Mostly, I am placing safety and security as well as good medical care as the most important items.
<<<

Hi wts0455,

Not sure if Philippines rank high in that respect.

>>>
I am not going to seek a girlfriend or possible future wife.
<<<

IMO you will need local support from someone.

I will let others here comment further.

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gworsham
8/24/2016 21:15 EST

Good luck on not finding a girl friend or wife in the PH. You can fall in love several times a day. The girls are adorable and loyal. There is no problem concerning safety and security, the people here are great. However, if you want trouble you can find it. Medical needs are easier to come by in the metro areas. That includes medication. But medical needs and medications are available. Good luck to you.

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wts0455
8/24/2016 21:16 EST

Thanks for your comments Les.

What I really need is more time to explore The Philippines. My previous two visits were far too brief and one was cut short even further by a family emergency back home.

I plan two to three months at least to explore The Philippines and get a basic feel for living there long term. I have sold my home and everything I take will be in a laptop sleeve and one carry-on bag and whatever else I need will be purchased as I travel. Should I decide that The Philippines is not for me, I am fortunate to have the means to return to America and buy another house. I am not locked in to any particular life, lifestyle, or geographic area.

This is an ongoing process. I believe everyone has misconceptions about a place they have little or no personal experience with. The decision to move to another country is a big deal.
Yes, in retrospect, my original post sent a truly mixed message about my expectations. Only with more exposure to the country, the people, and the culture, will I discover how I do or don't fit in.

Again, thank you for your comments.

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wts0455
8/24/2016 21:38 EST

Hello Spruik.

The issue(s) concerning medical care may or may not be resolved.
I fully realize The Philippines is a third world nation and wherever you are- be it America, The Philippines, or anywhere else- you take the bad with the good. My hope is that medical care is at least adequate.

Really, I am not going with any intent of finding a wife or even a girlfriend. I plan to be moving from city to city, exploring and doing the checklist thing. I don't drink, don't smoke ANYTHING, don't frequent bars, and I'm really not into programmed social activity of any kind. I've never posted to or even had a membership to any social website so I don't see how I could end up in a relationship. Perhaps some day, but not in the immediate future. My focus is totally on determining if The Philippines is where I want to live long term and if so, what compromises will be necessary in order to make that happen.

We will see, and thanks for your reply to my post.

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allianz international health insurance

For expats in Philippines, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

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draks
8/24/2016 21:54 EST

Again so informative les. Everything you said was very true. I have been accused of being too negative, but for someone new coming here its better to be forewarned. Rose tinted glasses can be dangerous here.
All the places whtso445 has been to have their good and bad points. There is also tagaytay, cool but in town expensive just outside much cheaper. Subic and Clark also nice oh so many places. One thing tho I would not recommend the srrv visa until you Have been here at least a year you might hate it here, I know several guys that have gone home after being here a couple of years.do not burn your bridges at home,if you own a house rent it out through an agent fully managed. When you are house hunting you will be asked for a much higher rent, because you are a foreigner. I had a danish friend here who was dating a filipina, I told him to let his gf talk to any prospective landlord he ignored my advice and paid 15000 a month for a good sized 2 bed house. He later found out out from a neighbour she was asking 8000, so nearly double. Your $1000 a month is OK but you won't live like a king. Don't forget if you rent they are unfurnished, and you will have to buy everything even knife fork and spoons, this is not necessarily expensive but an added cost. You can rent furnished but rent will be much higher and the furnishings might be crap. I have seen on here that some people pay 30000 rent plus bills. So you have to be careful to say the least. Local food is cheap enough. But if you want imported american food you will pay a lot more. As led said beef is not easy to get and the beef u have had here was awful like eating leather. Potatoes are available tho we pay 60-65 php per kilo. Carrots cabbage, and most other veg easy to get. Things like soap soap powder are expensive to what I paid in UK. TV computers are more expensive here. TV programs are absolute crap here lots of crying or shooting always a wicked mother uncle aunt and an innocent young girl badly treated, and of course they are rich and drive around in big SUV's and often the token gay prancing around. If you have TV you have to have cable or satalite. Internet speeds are the worst in SE Asia. Power cuts are regular sometimes for days in some areas. Water can also be a problem also very low pressure. Filipino can be the nicest people you could ever meet but can also be your worst nightmare imaginable. DONT trust ANYONE never tell how much money you have or what you own at home. Girlfriends are a minefield every girl who chooses a foreigner wants a better lifestyle than a Filipino guy can provide. Some will want you to support them and their family, now life starts to get expensive. Having said all this in larger towns there are some good shopping malls to sit in drink coffee and people watch, some have multi screan movie theatres if you live somewhere near a good beach that can be pleasant. OK u think I have said enough. Ask questions here do research online. Before you come here look at olx for rental costs in your chosen area. And as said before forget USA standards. It like landing on a strange planet full of aliens. Haha oh and I'd yoiu are coming here for peace and quiet, forget it most Filipinos are lovely friendly people but they are bloody noisy, love loud music every motorcycle has straight through silencers so they sons good!!!!!! Noisy in other words. Cockerals crowing dogs barking. Quiet its not, and as les says generally dirty scruffy country. Good luck

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Spruik
8/24/2016 21:55 EST

It's probably difficult NOT to find a girlfriend... lol.


A little off-topic: I used to know someone (foreigner staying in hotel) who placed an advertisement in a local newspaper for a wife.

The result was not disappointing... a long queu appeared from his hotel room all the onto the street...

Hotel management had to come to the rescue... ROFL.

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wts0455
8/24/2016 22:08 EST

Hello gworsham and thank you for the reply to my post.

Primarily, my questions about medical care involve being able to get one drug for which I have a prescription.
My doctor is helping to clarify the availability and cost for me in The Philippines. Obviously, I will not have my current medical coverage (Medicare A, B, and D) so if I decide to live in The Philippines, I will need to budget for some form of insurance coverage.

As I have stated in other posts, perhaps a relationship with a lady will develop someday. The immediate need and goal however is to first determine if moving to The Philippines is a viable option and if so, where to live. I am by nature a very private person and absolutely refuse to join social clubs or online dating websites.
If a relationship develops it will probably begin as a casual encounter that develops over time.
Time will tell as they say.
If it comes my way, I certainly won't run from it but by the same token, I'm not going to chase it down.

Again, thanks.

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draks
8/24/2016 22:11 EST

Gworsham to say safety and security is no problems is not true, Philippines is not overly dangerous like some countries. But safe and secure its not. Every shopping mall has armed guards most larger stores have armed guards even McDonalds has atprmed guards every bank has armed guards inside and out. Many subdivisions have armed guards. Most houses have iron grills up in the windows. No company will pay for armed gaurds if it was unnecassary, that would not be good business sense. As a foreigner you have to keep your wits about you be aware of who is around you especially behind you. Generally its not overly dangerous but its not safe. If you live in a town or city the crime rate is higher. Places like Dumagette are experiencing a higher crime rate now mainly because so many foreigners coming in. More money and better property to steal

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draks
8/24/2016 22:30 EST

Spruick I have placed my advert now waiting for the queue. Of course I will road test each one before I choose

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wts0455
8/24/2016 22:41 EST

Hello draks.

Your comments are well received.

I am aware of the crappy internet service and I don't need TV. I don't have cable or satellite TV here in America- just off-air broadcasts using a leaf antenna. I probably watch TV 4 to 5 hours PER WEEK.

I have a laptop but really prefer a desktop. Bigger screen, more power, etc.
I do want good internet service but you take what you can get.

No big deal about lots of things many people deem necessary.
I had a smart phone once but I ditched it for a (gasp!) flip phone that didn't even have a camera.
If I need a camera, I have a DSLR.

The proximity of shopping is important, and I like the idea of sitting in a mall or on a restaurant patio drinking coffee or a soft drink and watching life as it happens.

Yes, I'm simple and somewhat proud of it. I value value and simplicity. I believe that trust and respect are essential and absolutely indispensable in any relationship. Without those two qualities, you have nothing.

So my hope is to find what makes me happy. I'm willing to invest money and time to see if living in The Philippines is what I want. At this point, I'm intrigued. Perhaps in a few months, I will be convinced- one way or the other.

Thanks.

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CAteacher
8/24/2016 22:54 EST

I have to agree with spruik, having a local connection is not optional. It's a necessity.

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Spruik
8/24/2016 22:54 EST

>>>
Spruick I have placed my advert now waiting for the queue. Of course I will road test each one before I choose
<<<

May I suggest a modest application fee for each applicant?

It will help your budget... lol

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wts0455
8/24/2016 23:23 EST

I believe I've replied to everyone who has posted in this thread so far. Thanks to all. Lots of good advice, ideas, and general discussion.

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draks
8/25/2016 01:04 EST

Now I know why I chose you as my financial advisor

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draks
8/25/2016 01:07 EST

Have to agree 100% you will need help when you come here. To do it all on your own and not know the ropes is likely to end up in tears.......... Very expensive tears

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Goodlooking
8/25/2016 01:08 EST

Dang it, Les !
You got ESP, or something ?
I could have honestly written your article except the last 4 lines. Your shortage list is easily found in many locations in the second biggest city in the nation. Pollution here is a tad different. I schedule my fans and air conditioner for cleaning twice month. Quite a dirty affair. And my mid city 50 year old, mid/low range little 11th floor condo stays closed up. This city will wipe out every memory one can have that lived in America. Really fancy, new hi rise condos all over the place. Toss a rock out the window and it will hit ghettos like America wishes it did not have. State of the art business and offices fit for picture taking. 50 yards away from slums that will make you vomit. Millions (MILLIONS) of tiny residential dwellings less than 600 square feet. Square miles of seemingly carpet of rusted tin roofs. 4 and 5 year old trained beggars at 4 AM. Millions of tiny businesses and shops touching the side walks. Or on the side walks. Sometimes touching the streets. People conduction business while standing on side walks. Raw sewage every where. Residential dwellings using common outer walls. Missing window glass or doors. Air conditioning, even fans never visible. Hot water is not even in the dictionary. Don't worry about all the stray dogs messing with the little bags of trash for the garbage men during late night. The impoverished humans will have already gone through the little bags and the garbage men will clean it all up.
Hiding out in a halfway pretty condo is one answer. There are some terribly expensive resorts way down the coasts. The malls are colorful and somewhat entertaining. But I only had to visit with one expat that stayed in the hospital with food poisoning from McDonalds. I eat exclusively at home. Like Les said. This is the land of family values. It's also the land of high morals and good manners. But those things are not found in the cities. A good Philippine family is enough for a fabulous life full of love.
Once upon a time there were three ways to do anything. Right way, wrong way, and the army way. Here we got 4. The Philippine way. Backwards from anything you expect and slower than Christmas. But what can you expect from 45 cents per hour labor ? All those comments about housing ? A large home on a bass lake in East Texas costs 10 dollars per month less than a cracker box 2 story new Philippine home touching 2 more homes. My house girl just now told me they only have running water in her town on Mondays and Thursdays.
I don't know that it possible to study enough to be mentally prepared for the Philippines. I'm staying. For family. And it costs me 5 times as much as some of the commenters say it costs them. My main concern is keeping my great wife from becoming Americanized. I know I passed up 80,000,000 American females on the way to get my wife in Philippines for good reason.

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lblampman
8/25/2016 02:09 EST

Hi,

The comments about needing someone here prompted me to write a bit more.

I'm used to living in a lot of different places. I attended 14 schools by the time I graduated high school (at 17). That's because my father was a US Navy pilot and back when I was growing up they moved us around a lot more than they do now. My father's average duty station was 6 to 18 months.

We also spent a year in Europe (mostly France) in the early 1960's, which gave me an appreciation for other people being in the world (not just US Americans).

The work I did for many years had me traveling all over the US and Canada about 200 days each year.

All that to say that I'm very used to being in new situations, with new people, and being okay with it.

With that in mind, I'm not sure what I would have done in the Philippines if it hadn't been for my wife. I know I could have made it, but wow, it sure would have been a lot more difficult. Even now, when I understand some Tagalog, a wee bit of Bicol, and can better understand the Filipino accent when they're speaking English, I still rely on my wife many times to help out in a conversation or to tell me what's acceptable or not, or expected, in certain situations.

I moved (because of my wife) to a small(ish) farming community, which I don't recommend for expats unless you've got a Filipina in your life. Mostly because you'd probably expire from boredom. If you're part of a family, everything changes.

Knowing what I know now, if I was coming here alone I'd most definitely start in a city that had a reasonable amount of expats, I really think for most expats arriving alone you need that support and access to what others have leaned in their time here.

For the vast majority of expats I don't think the Philippines is very solo-friendly. That doesn't mean you have to be married or even have a girlfriend, but I'd sure recommend having a Filipino in your life in some way or another. Otherwise, the simplest things can turn out to be a real hassle and I think (this is just my personal view) that to really relax and be happy here you need to integrate as much as possible into the community here. You're always going to be a foreigner but I've found (and this could be different in larger cities) that the more I did things in town and interacted with the folks there the friendlier they got and the more relaxed I became. Now when I drive my orange Racal electric 3-wheeler into town lots of people call out to me to say hello, and when I walk into the small mall (grocery store, small department store, Jolibee, and a few small shops) the guards all know me and say hi, several of the mall workers say hi, and the folks in Jolibee all say hello and ask about my wife if she's not with me (where's m'am?).

Without any exaggeration whatsoever, I can honestly say I know more people here than I knew after living in my last town in the US for 20 years (but I lived outside of town and didn't spend a lot of time in town). That's one of the reasons that I say I do love it here in spite of all the things that are so different and could be viewed as negatives. In lots of ways I feel more "at home" here than I did when living in the US.

But...I don't believe all that can happen as well if you're not hooked up with a Filipina in some way or another (or a Filipino if you're a woman).

And now that I've written all that, I realize that one of the red flags in the first post was regarding not looking for a wife or a girlfriend and that's because, unless you just want to stay tucked away in a subdivision or hang out at the one bar where they know you, etc, you just won't get to experience the better part (in my opinion) of living in the Philippines. Honestly, I can think of a dozen different countries I'd rather hang my hat in other than in the Philippines if one isn't fairly intent on having a relationship and becoming more a part of life here.

A couple of posts have alluded to this next subject but let me be more specific. If you end up in a medical facility where you're not able to help yourself, you're not going to get any help from the staff. Take all notions of how nurses and hospital staff work in the US and toss those thoughts away, it doesn't happen that way here. Not because they don't want to but because it's just not the way it works and it's not part of what they do.

About a month after I got here I laid down my motorcycle (out on the highway). I wasn't seriously injured but I hit the ground pretty hard on my right side (my wife landed on top of me, which probably didn't help in the injuries to me department). I ended up being taken, by ambulance, to a larger hospital 1.25 hours away. I was fully conscious, able to talk, and able to discuss things with the staff, nurses, and doctors. What I couldn't do is move around very well, I hurt a lot and was swelling badly at my right hip. Good thing my wife was with me because she was the one that had to take care of me; go get prescriptions, go buy a special soap (road rash in a bitch), go buy bandaging material, help me to the bathroom, bring me water, get me food, help me turn over in bed, etc, etc. The staff and nurses do none of this, you must have someone with you.

You might be in a hospital bed due to a fever, or malaria, or a bad flu, or whatever, but if you're there, you need to have someone with you to help you.

Les

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wts0455
8/25/2016 05:31 EST

A question.

I have replied to seven posts in the thread entitled "Hello and..." started by me yesterday.
To date, none of those replies show up anywhere.. Where are they ?
Where did they go ?

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wts0455
8/25/2016 07:22 EST

Disregard the above post please. My replies have finally been posted.

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TeeJay4103
8/25/2016 07:24 EST

Ted,

It appears as though the posts so far have pretty much covered the reality of moving to a developing country. The good, the bad and the ugly.

You mentioned proximity to good medical facilities and it would seem the consensus is that for minor medical, the private local facilities may suffice, as they have for us, depending on the locale and for a more serious issue, Manila. Comparison to stateside facilities is for another discussion.

You stated that you believe a $1000 U.S. should be sufficient for a decent lifestyle. Locale and your interpretation of decent will determine that for you. What is your definition of a decent lifestyle? Do you want a nightlife and good times or a quiet place with some decent scenery and a coffee shop or two?

You also stated that you are not planning on buying a vehicle and will most likely rely on public transport. Hopefully you have spent some time on previous trips riding in Tricycles and Jeepneys, they can be cramped and crowded especially if your a 6 footer and not as spry as in the younger days. Relying on public transport can also somewhat limit your choices and by that I mean to say that if you find a nice quiet inexpensive place outside of town, your ride to the grocery and the market or just to a coffee shop or pub (whatever you prefer) will most likely be via Jeepney or bus and could take a little time to get there and back along with hauling the groceries, etc. on the ride.

If you do a little searching using Baguio as an example you can find a wide variety of sites with links to more people and sites offering rentals such as the link below in Baguio for a semi furnished apartment for 15000 pesos per month or around $330 a month U.S., not including your utilities such as water, electric, cable or satellite TV.and internet.

TV: we use Cignal satellite and prices can be found on the net. Some areas offer cable TV.

Internet : We use Globe wireless and pricing can be found on the net. Other sources are PLDT and Smart

Baguio apt:
http://www.lamudi.com.ph/2-bedroom-apartment-for-rent-364713-29.html?location_region=13&location_city=190&attribute_option=offer_type%3Arent&q=baguio+%28benguet%29&dir=desc

House near Tagaytay:
https://www.olx.ph/item/for-rent-house-brgy-asisan-tagaytay-ID7uPT3.html?p=65&h=a36b698e47#a36b698e47

If you simply type ......... Baguio rent or Tagaytay rent ............. into your browser you will find a lot of listings. Once there if you decide it's the place for you then you will be able to meet a few people and maybe find something better.

Security? In a decent condo or apartment you will most often have a little more than you would in a house outside of town and not in a gated community. That is not to say they cannot be found, but as a single guy you'll have to depend on your country neighbors to watch our for you and your home and as you stated you will most likely depend on public transport. In the case of the Baguio apartment you would be very close to shopping, the park, etc., though security is not a guarantee on any part of this planet.

In lowland areas you will find things a little warmer and AC will no doubt be needed in the heat of day especially in the warmer months from mid march to say middle of July or so. In the highland areas like Baguio and the Tagaytay area you will need less or no AC depending on your tolerance for heat and a couple of fans may suffice for most of your day and as another poster stated, floods are also a concern. So you may want to check that out beforehand in the lowland areas.

Phil flood map: http://www.nababaha.com/

Our area:
We live near Tagaytay which includes surrounding towns like Amadeo, Mendez, Silang, Laurel, Indang and Alfonso. All of these areas offer a cooler climate than the lowland areas though some of them may offer some challenges with regard to getting to town for the necessities of life.
We are close to numerous restaurants, two older medical care facilities and two newer facilities. Manila is about an hour away depending on the time of day an traffic.
Public transport includes Tricycles, Jeepneys, buses and private transport that can be hired for short or long trips with driver for reasonable rates.
We are within about a 1/2 hour from three large malls with movie theaters and a couple smaller ones including a Costco style membership club called S&R.
We are close to numerous grocery outlets and three public markets. One of those being the Mahogany market which offers a wide variety of beef and other fresh cut meat products.
There are golf courses in the area and the Taal lake yacht club if you like getting out on the water. You can rent a kayak or a small sailboat for which they offer sailing lessons before setting you loose on the lake.
We are about 45 mins on a no traffic day (lol) from the beach, but most often that trip is 1 1/2 to two hours or so.

Another poster stated that before you commit to an SRRV and the associated costs that you consider staying here as a tourist with a few extensions of your tourist visa (another subject), as needed to decide if the Philippines is your cup of tea or until you weaken and fall for one of the many admirers you will no doubt encounter.

Have you checked into banking? With an SRRV opening an account would not be an issue. On a tourist visa, until you have an address and a utility bill or two to present as evidence of you living here, you may have a problem with opening an account. Though some expats seem to have had luck at banks like Metrobank and BPI (Bank of the Philippines).
Until then you need a way to access funds to live on. Some simply use a wire service to transfer funds as needed and another has also mentioned using a pre paid credit card which they load with funds as needed. Checks take a few weeks to clear here even with a bank account.

Wire services: http://www.remitrate.com/money-transfer-companies

If you rent, read the lease thoroughly and take pictures with your landlord (his or her picture too). of the place and find out what maintenance is covered, if any.

Mention was also made of dependable or undependable utilities. There are a plethora of utility providers throughout the Philippines with widely varying degrees of service. In our area near Tagaytay we have Meralco power and aside from a two week outage courtesy of typhoon Glenda we have had only lightning storm related outages lasting from 1 to about 3 hours.

We use Globe wireless internet with an external antenna and proximity to three cell towers giving us good signal strength and dependable service, though stories abound about lousy service and slow speeds, so you may want to inquire ahead of time

So if you would like to be within walking distance to the grocery, the beer or the barber then renting in the city proper would allow you to do so, otherwise you will be at the mercy of public transport which can be a little hard on the back..

Best wishes and good luck.

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wts0455
8/25/2016 09:19 EST

Hello TeeJay4103.

Thanks for all of the information and advice.
Although it wasn't mentioned in my original post, I am planning to visit Tagaytay and other locations in Cavite. Thanks also for the links and advice regarding internet and cell phone service plus those linking to property in Baguio,

My self imposed $1000.00 monthly budget is only a starting point- a theoretical. As you and others have stated, until I have put two or three months of actual daily living behind me, a monthly budget is more of a term than a reality. Travel expenses within and outside of The Philippines are not included in that amount, nor is the cost of visa extensions, medical insurance, and my prescription medicine. The sale of my house and other possessions has infused my bank account with enough money for pretty much any imaginable scenario. My anticipated monthly living expenses should be totally covered by Social Security retirement distributions.

As far as the simple (?) task of getting around, I hope to find a suitable apartment or condo close to things I will need. For short trips a trike will do. Yes, I am 6' tall and a bit pudgy, but a short trip in cramped quarters is no big deal- especially after 22 or so hours on a plane in economy class.

I know there will be the unexpected; complications are normal wherever you are moving to. At least there is little to no language barrier.

I look at this as a welcomed adventure. For fifty or so years I have worked and sacrificed. I have jumped through the hoops as directed by employers and occasionally family or friends. I am ready for the challenge of a new life, a different approach to living, and for discovery of myself that I have delayed for so long.
Should I decide that The Philippines is not for me after all, at least I will have the experience and satisfaction that I gave it a fair shot.
Toward that end, the advice and counsel from all who posted on my behalf is deeply appreciated.

Ted.

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Spruik
8/25/2016 18:01 EST

When you return to your home country, you may find yourself locked out of the housing market (prices up, part of the money spent, no access to a bank loan).

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gworsham
8/25/2016 18:59 EST

You can check with Aida M. Manasan about insurance. She is a big help with Pacific Cross (Blue Cross Blue Shield PH). I could get all the medications but there was some confusion about dosage on one of them. I went to a local doctor and did not get help and then to a specialist in Cagayan De Oro. I received outstanding help. My local pharmacy had to order the medication for me but I did receive it. I have to make a decision in the future about to keep or drop Medicare coverage. I have it for now but is costly. My wife is Filipino so I benefit as a spouse for Philhealth (state provided coverage). Medical cost here is inexpensive as compared to the US. A doctors visit cost me about 250 - 350 pesos. I had full lab work performed for about 6000 pesos. Hope this provides a little more insight.

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draks
8/25/2016 19:33 EST

Some of us who have given you information do actually live here. So you should take heed you are obviously a determined man, which is good but I feel you are a bit naive about this country. I guess you will just have to go it alone and take your chances. Hopefully everything works out well for you.
I do have a question tho, you say you sold your house in USA but you have enough money to buy again, you live a solitary life by the sounds of it, your life is sorted and settled in USA, you don't want a relationship you don't want to live near a nice beach. You want to live in a large town, all this is fine, BUT why do you want to come to the Philippines to live? Visit in your situation I understand but to live? I can't work out why you want to do it.
Most men actually live here for some reason, to be with the woman they love, which you don't want, live a cheaper life cos their income is small but still they are in a relationship. Running from the law in their home country, and other reasons. None of which seem to apply to you.
Sorry but to me it a lamb to the slaughter. I wish you luck but don't envy you. I feel you are in for some expensive and nasty shocks here.

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wts0455
8/25/2016 19:40 EST

Hello Spruik.

No danger of that.
Thanks for your concern.

Ted.

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lblampman
8/25/2016 20:16 EST

Hi Ted,

Hopefully you got a fair amount of good information from all the replies in response to your first post. When you ask for opinions here, you'll get them...lol, even if some of them appear to be negative on the surface (all are well-intended).

Thanks for your follow-up posts, they add a lot to the conversation. As many have pointed out, there's a big difference between visiting here and living here. When we read that someone is going to move here (and assume it's to live here long-term) the level of concern escalates considerably, especially without background information.

In reading your responses it appears that you are, indeed, taking a much more measured approach and intend to come and check out the Philippines before you go "all in". I agree with that approach, there's no way to know or to figure things out without first hand experience, and the only way to get that is to take a flight and dive in.

We (the forumites) tend to get hyper when we think that maybe someone is getting ready to sell everything and permanently move to the Philippines, without first having spent a fair amount of time here already, or perhaps without having a partner here. Your situation is different inasmuch as you've already sold your house and possessions in the US and you're ready to move onward and explore possibilities (just about anywhere, not just the Philippines). To me, that's what it's all about, so kudos for that. We also worry about expats having an exit plan; you do, so that's great too.

Sounds like you'll enjoy the process of being here and learning even more about the Philippines in order to decide whether or not to make a long term commitment to living here.

Wishing you all the best, and I hope you continue to participate on the forum here.

Les

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seernai
8/25/2016 20:22 EST

Yes your right about burning all your bridges I still have my house in the Uk in case the unexpected happens as you can never it will never happen to me well I have seen it happen to one or two expats an unexpected illness or accident happened and they had to go back home for treatment

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wts0455
8/25/2016 20:24 EST

Hello draks.

I have no problem with you expressing your feelings regarding my motives; please allow me the same privilege.

I am not a hermit. I have many friends, some of whom I have known for over half a century. Personal relationships are not difficult for me. I have stated in previous posts in this thread that I am not against a relationship with a lady; only not at this immediate time. The truth is that a lengthy relationship with a wonderful lady has recently ended and I do not feel ready at this time to enter into another.
I have stated that my focus will be housing, healthcare, and overall quality of life. My feeling is that this approach is the intelligent and most effective way to find if The Philippines is right for me. At this time, I simply do not want to be encumbered with a relationship.

I am not traveling to The Philippines with a particular "someone" in mind. I am not traveling to The Philippines to engage in a sex tour. I have considered this possible move for six or seven years. I have already traveled to The Philippines twice and In the process have met a fairly large number of Filipinas and asked questions. I have sought advice from many sources and will continue to do so. Should I decide to live in The Philippines long term, I plan to learn Tagalog.

Please understand that while I do appreciate your concern and the information you have kindly offered, I really feel no desire to further explain nor defend my plans to visit, travel the country, and perhaps pursue a life there, and to do it sans an ongoing personal relationship. I feel my plan and my methodology are solid, and if I stay, a relationship will at some point in time begin.

I believe you are overstating the danger as well as my ability to cope- by a lot.

So now that I have further addressed the issue should you post in this thread again, please refrain from second guessing my plan, my motive(s) or my ability to survive. You need not worry.

Ted.

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wts0455
8/25/2016 20:27 EST

Thanks lblampman.
Much appreciated.

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wts0455
8/25/2016 21:25 EST

Thanks gworsham.

I will cancel Medicare only if I am certain that I will live permanently in The Philippines.
For me, it's all or nothing. Either I live here full time or I return to America. I am interested in PhilHealth which is available to non-citizens of The Philippines. Do you know anyone who has PhilHealth and in your opinion, is it worth the money ?

Thanks again,
Ted.

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TeeJay4103
8/25/2016 21:45 EST

Ted,

Just a thought. I used to have a subscription to a publications called the caretaker gazette that advertised for working caretakers or simply house sitters around the world.

If you seen the publication, you may find it interesting. A couple of links.

http://www.caretaker.org/main.php

http://caretakergazette.tumblr.com/tagged/Caretaker+Gazette/page/2

https://internationalliving.com/2016/01/the-best-places-to-retire-2016/

In my previous post to you I mentioned that the negatives had been spoken to so I found no need to beat a dead horse. With that being said. Yes, there are many dangers for the kind hearted and naive foreigner particularly with the many shy and smiling faces. Many of which hide a dishonest intent quite well.

The Phil is awash with poverty which often translates into taking advantage of any and all opportunities to make money to feed yourself and your family. Taking advantage of foreigners is one way to make money.

As with most places, the first person I do not trust is the one smiling and saying "Trust me".

No one has mentioned Taxis, so upon arrival be cautious. Use only a taxi with windows that open and close from within the cab as snatchers will literally grab through an open window. Make sure the cab is marked with its taxi number inside and out and the drivers taxi license with pic on display and never use the taxi without the meter running.

Scams: http://www.manilalivewire.com/2015/11/7-other-naia-scams-you-really-need-to-know/

Others have been already been addressed like doubling the rent because of your kano face.

If you go to the public market alone you will be followed by beggars and vendors and possibly pick pockets and the price of the goods will often be higher for the kano.

Young lady's have a book filled with scams so be cautious of that gorgeous face that makes you feel young again. The good ones are many and need not be addressed, they'll just steal your heart. The bad ones may take your life. Never give money, show money or invite that little lady to your room. She may cry rape and you will wind up paying a wad of cash to get out of it. You may be drugged and everything you own stolen.

Purchasing a home can also fill volumes, so do not consider purchasing anything without a lot of investigation.

Often times land, homes, vehicles, etc. are offered for sale without clear title or ownership.

Used vehicles are most often not maintained and only sold when they are on their last leg and some with a shiny new paint job and a near junkyard status drive train.

When shopping in the grocery stores or malls prices are marked and you will pay what others pay. So in that you are relatively safe as is the case with most other retail services.

It's the one on one exchanges where there are no set prices in exchange for a known commodity be it food, clothing or furniture where you are open to scams. Once you are outside the price tag environment you are fair game.

If you can develop a relationship with say a favorite Trike driver who takes you to the market, ask if he can also do a little dickering on prices for you, at least until you can establish you favorite vendors or suki which translates into either favorite customer or vendor.

In the case of Tagaytay, you have the new Ayala mall and another in the making which will offer theaters (you now have to travel about 1/2 hour to a theater), coffee shops, clothing, groceries, appliances, dentist, haircut, banking at BPI, a LOT of restaurants, the Mercury drug pharmacy, bookstores, hardware stores and imported goods all of which are within a short Trike or jeepney ride from your in town dwelling. Armed guards in places like this are everywhere as they are in most condos and some gated communities.
As a people watcher in our area you also have an abundance of coffee houses and restaurants overlooking the Taal lake landscape, four of them being Starbucks and one of our favorite restaurants, Bag of Beans which also has four well placed restaurants in the area.

So this short message got long winded and I apologize for that but much of your safety will have something to do with your awareness of your surroundings, common sense and your willingness to protect yourself by simply not trusting until it is earned.
Simply ask on this or other forums before entering into any business or large purchase agreement and you will have access to a lot of experience and knowledge that may save you and your pocket book from a lot of misery.

Cell phones: I would advise not signing any long term contract as you will play hell trying to get out of it even if your service stinks. We simply purchase load (Phone time) cards of 100 or 500 pesos at a time to keep our phone working with a spare load card in our wallets for emergencies.

Best wishes and be safe.

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lblampman
8/25/2016 21:48 EST

Hi Ted,

It's difficult to argue against PhilHealth at 900 pesos per quarter (3,600 per year), which is for those in the "informal" sector with more than P25,000 per month income. Even if you don't end up using it it's very inexpensive from a western perspective.

Les

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LarryKar
8/25/2016 22:46 EST

Stories vary and while I have it have never used it. Most say for it covers 60 to 70 % of most hospital stays. Plus it will greatly speed up your admission to the hospital. You mentioned Medicare and I hope you are aware it will do you no good outside of the USA or her territories. Out here you would have to fly to the island of Guam. About a three or four hour flight from here.

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lblampman
8/25/2016 23:16 EST

Hi Ted,

In a prior post you mentioned "little to no language barrier" and I wanted to address that a bit. Not from a negative standpoint at all but based on my experience living in the Philippines so far.

Of all the things I thought about before I moved to the Philippines the one I didn't anticipate correctly was the language barrier. I had learned that English is the second official language and I pretty much left it at that with not much worry about getting along, in terms of talking to folks, once I got here.

Man, was I in for a surprise. To this day, communicating with people here remains the biggest challenge. Now, I suspect this will vary a lot depending on where one is located, insomuch as it's probably more likely in a larger city to find people that are fluent in English.

Where I live (in the Bicol region of southeast Luzon) that's not the case. First of all, if they do speak English, it's Filipino English, not American English, and they have a strong accent. That makes it no different, for an American, than traveling to, say, Britain or Australia, etc. English may be the common language but it's definitely a different variety and it takes work to communicate clearly...both ways (when I do find someone that's comfortable with English it doesn't mean they understand me well).

In a lot of cases folks in my area speak a very limited amount of English. I communicate with most of my wife's family in a combination of broken English, hand signals/signs, even more limited Tagalog, and even worse Bicol. We can get across that we want something done, or we're going to do something, but real conversations are not possible without my wife interpreting. I find that's true regarding many of the Filipinos I talk to in my daily life.

The daily challenges are typically finding out if they speak English (almost at all), then if they do, trying to make myself understood. I must have repeated the word "Advil" a half dozen times at the pharmacy the other day trying to get the young woman there to understand what I wanted (and I have a good speaking voice with clear diction). Finally she got it (she was trying hard) and said "Oh, aud-veal (phonetically)".

Even when I speak the little bit of Tagalog I've learned I'm not always understood due to my American accent.

The misunderstandings are frequent and constant but everyone seems to want to get it right, so it eventually works out. But, I've gotten a lot more of things (like copies) than I intended because of lack of clear communication.

If you go somewhere in the Philippines where Tagalog is not the language spoken every day, that creates another layer altogether. I'm in that situation. The language spoken in my area on an everyday basis is Bicol, which I can't follow anywhere near as well as I can Tagalog. I concentrated on Tagalog first thinking that would be best since it's the official language of the Philippines (it's actually Filipino but based almost entirely on Tagalog) but I found that Tagalog does me little good when everyone around me is speaking Bicol, so now I'm working on that more than Tagalog (eventually I hope to know both).

As I wrote when I started this post, it's not meant to point out anything negative at all. Rather, it's more of a "heads up" that English didn't turn out to be nearly as prevalent as I anticipated before I got moved to the Philippines. My experience now would indicate it's best to learn the language of the area you'll be living in since it will allow you so much more access to the local folks. Interestingly, the more I try Tagalog and/or Bicol, the more English people seem to know! :-)

The nice thing is, is that all official government forms (at least that I've dealt with) and most all signs in government offices are in English, which helps tremendously.

Les

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draks
8/25/2016 23:53 EST

I am not saying you should or shouldn't have a relationship. And to me it did sound like you were very much a loner. And any advice given youb had an answer how you will do it. That's fine all of it. But I still wonder why you should choose to live here . you have been here twice. I was visiting regularly from 1995 to 2011 and ibthought I knew everything to know but living here is just totally different. I and others were trying to warn you. That's all. I apologies if I sounded like I was attacking you. I really think you are in for a shock on your own here and unfortunately its likely to be expensive learning curve. But i guess you will have to find out for yourself. Again I apologies if I offended you.

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Goodlooking
8/26/2016 02:21 EST

Seeing you here on consecutive days makes me think you use Yahoo regularly. I believe you see Yahoo news which focuses on America's problems with every breath. Their recent out of control shootem up cops and their brewing racial wars. Mass killings that surpass the Vietnam war, Iraq war, and Afghanistan war stories. 117,000 killed by guns in the past 12 months. Election that is wiping out the constitution and basic rule of law. Highest priced medical in the history of the earth. Gutter encased morals. Great reasons to escape alive.
But to Philippines ? I'm staying. I want to be here for reasons opposite from all the above.
Things changed so drastically in both nations in the last 24 months. All of America's; for the worse, ever.
Philippines ?
Here too. And no one is placing comments.
Crimes related to drugs are almost as big as in America. And Expats have a night time target on their backs as a result. They are the best targets for more money found on the dead victim's body. We all get out of the public early in the night. 95% of residences are behind concrete fortress walls. Steel bars on windows just like prisons. (we're pretty much self incarcerated prisoners much of the time)
In the big cities there are armed guards at almost every store and more. Airport type searches at all stores of any importance. And that's the nice part.
The new president is just like Wyatt Earp in Tombstone and Dodge City. New sherrif in town is cleaning up the place with blazing guns. 1,800 dead in 50 days. 600,000 turned themselves in begging for mercy. Bad apple cops, dealers, protectors of dealers, druggies; killing each other to hide the evidence which means witnesses. Cops shooting first and asking questions later. Lawyers and courts can no longer delay druggies from Waytt Earp's vengeance.
I don't think about war zones. I don't guess what the word means. I was in Vietnam war, Nigeria Militant war and Afghanistan war. I recognize a war when I see it. And Expats are not allowed guns for self protection. Philippines is in big trouble. President threatening Marshall law and even Dictatorship.
You best be sober and think it through.
I don't fear anything but God that made me. But you should know enough facts to allow decision making. Philippines war on communists just broke out. The muslim situation in their biggest Island is not far from the front burner; either.
Be advised. Sign up online for U S State Department warnings for Expats. They email very often. As America closely monitors nations for Expats safety. The State Department will advise you on vaccinations and pills if necessary. But you have to ask them online. If you happen to be an honorably discharged U S Armed Forces Veteran; The VA will give you those things free of costs. Welcome to Philippines. There are enough new things to look at every day to keep you bright eyed and young. Being on a battle ground is not the worst place if you are well prepared to take good care of your self. Ask any body living in big American cities.

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LarryKar
8/26/2016 05:59 EST

Gee Goodlooking if I ever open a sea side resort I doubt I'll be hiring you to write the brochure or work in marketing. What a negative existence you must live. Yes if you act a fool in Phil you will find trouble. Same as the USA. But right now my front door is open, barangay kids are playing in our front yard. Couple of dogs but no walls to cower behind. I have friends all over the USA. Family in Chicago and St Louis metro. No one reports this vast wasteland that you inhabit. Lighten up for your own sake. WOW!

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seernai
8/26/2016 06:42 EST

Your correct it's nonsense and an insult to the Philippine people to portray the country like that My front door is also open during the day youngsters are playing basketball until 10 pm every night and they play at 5 am I am out with my dog at 5-30 am with no problems or people with guns hiding behind every tree sure there is crime in certain areas but it's safer here than in my town in the uk especially after dark nobody is cowering in fear of being attacked anytime soon , I belong to a group of ex pats who meet once a month with the local pnp to discuss any local security issues or anything on what to do if a natural disaster hits like Typhoon Earthquake , and volcano erupting

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wts0455
8/26/2016 06:57 EST

Thank you draks.

I truly hope you will continue to participate in this thread if you wish.
I understand the concern- I only feel that I am more aware of the potential pitfalls than you might realize.

Peace,
Ted..

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wts0455
8/26/2016 07:15 EST

Hi lblampman.

Excellent information. Very helpful insight as communication with the locals and your post was not negative as far as I am concerned.

Much of what has bee already posted in this thread has been extremely valuable information for someone like me.
I recall a Filipina who I met about seven years ago. She came to the United States with her Americam fiancee. She knew basic English but was pretty much clueless as to the deeper meaning of certain words and phrases. Eventually, she began to grasp that additional information and now- through hard work- can converse quite easily and with confidence. Hopefully, I can do half as well as her.
I've already experienced some of what you have related in the post.
Subtle nuance (tautology ?) in conversation is often missed when someone is not deeply familiar with the language.

Thanks,
Ted.

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ACEPoolPlayer
8/26/2016 08:07 EST

Ted,
You have heard probably a lot more than you may have wanted to hear. Your topic brought out of some of our best contributors. They only want to protect you from mistakes that all of us have made. I always try to tell people you don't have to believe everything that I say but at least listen, absorb an evaluate what you hear. You have been given tons of great information. You seem like a smart person who knows what he is doing. My only advice to you would be on your next trip to the Philippines mingle with as many expats as possible (whether it be in a restaurant, coffee shop or a bar), in whatever area you are visiting. Listen with an open mind to what they say. It's also very important that you have a close Filipino friend. It doesn't matter if it's a male/female, platonic or not. It's necessary to have someone whom you can trust (at least 80%), that is a local. For most people this ends up being a relationship partner. If you can find one. ideally a wealthier, honest Filipino (Church groups, Golf clubs, Tennis clubs, Bridge clubs, Rotary clubs, Philippines Canine Club, etc...) I was even a member of the Mustang (Ford) Club of the Philippines. Someone who has good contacts. They say the weaknesses of a Filipino are money and friends. If you find a good Filipino friend they will help you and protect you.

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wts0455
8/26/2016 08:20 EST

Hello Goodlooking.

I read your post of 08-26/0221 and agree with some of it, disagree with some of it.

If you were in the Vietnam War, then I suppose you and I are about the same age (I am 67). I was there also; USAF 405 Tactical. Three tours later I was honorably discharged but when I returned home in the early 70s, America was a much different place from what I had left in 1968 and has slowly evolved into something I no longer love or care to be a part of.

So many people believe all that is happening now is new, but you and I both know it is- in many, many ways- only history repeating itself.
In The Philippines too, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I was based at Clark for about a month on three occasions in 1969, 1970, and 1972 and even back then, corruption, poverty and drug use among the locals reigned.
We were seldom allowed off base due to the fear that we might spill classified information to someone working for the North (Vietnam). Communist spies were in The Philippines then and so was a very strong CIA/NSA /MI presence and both sides were doing back door business with the Marcos regime. From the outskirts of the base and those infrequent sojourns into Angeles City, the poverty and crime was evident. Even then and just over 20 years after the U.S. had liberated The Philippines from the Japanese, there was animosity against U.S. military personnel based at Clark and numerous violent confrontations took place between us and the locals. Two of those confrontations that I know of actually led to the death of several Filipinos.
From that alone, I know The Philippines is not the paradise some make it out to be.
Neither is the U.S.A.

Whatever the outcome of the U.S. election in November, I feel America is on a rapid decline. Even the young Filipina I referenced in another post found America to be far different from the place she had been taught that it was. She has decided to return to her home and I hope I can locate her and see her again in the near future.

America is rapidly approaching third world status due to enormous debt, totally corrupt politicians, and severe inflation in key areas such as healthcare and food. My most basic reason to travel to The Philippines is that I no longer see America- my home- as the place I want to live out the remainder of my life.
So there it is; my real reason to seek citizenship in The Philippines.
Yes, I know I will not be escaping crime, poverty, and corruption, but I will not escape any of that regardless of where I chose to live. I have made the statement on occasion that if I was going to live in third world conditions, I was going to pay third world prices to do so.
Having four significant health-related events within the past eleven months has re-shaped my concept of what is worth having. My choice is clear and I choose to live out my remaining time by LIVING. I refuse to be one who is found dead with his face in a bowl of oatmeal.

So yes, Goodlooking. We are influenced in unwanted ways by evil people and their deeds, but that could be said also about Adam and Eve.
You can't escape it, but you can take very positive steps to minimize the damage.

Good luck to you.
Ted.

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wts0455
8/26/2016 08:36 EST

Hello ACEPoolPlayer.

Many thanks for taking the time to post.
Your advice is solid. I will seek out expats because it is you who know best the experience of living in The Philippines, where best to travel and where best to avoid. Information, advice, and friendship
(not necessarily in that order) are indispensable wherever you are.

So many issues. I feel no need to hurry, only a strong desire to begin.

I will keep in touch when in-country and hopefully meet. May I ask where you live (province) ?

Thank you,
Ted.

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seernai
8/26/2016 08:36 EST

Nobody has said the Philippines is a perfect paradise but it's also not the hell hole that some people are making it out to be anymore than Thailand or any other Asian country , of course you have to be careful and watch your back but there are some ex pats more dangerous than some of the locals who will rip you off with a sob story this is why I don't mix too much with them around here also notice how many ex pats will say hello in a mall practically none they see you and ignore you so much for making friends on the off chance

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wts0455
8/26/2016 09:34 EST

Hello again seernai.

The Philippines offers what every other country offers- opportunity.
...But what kind of opportunity ?
Making The Philippines out to be a penal colony is only an attempt to justify living somewhere else. Yes, you can travel to The Philippines and lose everything- if you are careless or stupid. By the same token, try being careless or stupid in Detroit, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Caracas, or Pattaya. Try it in Lisbon or Kuala Lumpur.

There are places in America or in Thailand or pretty much anywhere else that rival the worst of The Philippines.
It seems that almost every country is experiencing a decline in quality of living, and I believe this is mostly by design.
Global terrorism has much to do with that (witness Europe, The U.S.A., North Africa, The Middle East, Parts of Mindanao, and Central America.) and it seems just getting something done is far more involved and complicated than it used to be or need be. There is profit in chaos.
https://spacegeek54.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/in-chaos-there-is-profit/

Anyone who slams The Philippines because of poverty, corruption, crime, or rising cost of living is most probably a globalist idiot.
Travel to the slums in America- any large city and you will see things equivalent to the squalor found in Manila, Dresden, Mexico City, Osaka, or Rangoon. Self-centered elitists and faceless corporations base the value of a country,or individual within that country as to how (they) can benefit the elitist. I doubt many of them even consider third world inhabitants as completely human.

This is the world we have created.
Donald Trumps' wall is more of a metaphor than a possible reality. I believe we all look for something to shield us from a troubling reality. Perhaps it's a wall, perhaps an idea or a concept. Perhaps it's a dream, or perhaps a lie.

Pick your poison.

Ted.

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wts0455
8/26/2016 09:35 EST

Hello again seernai.

The Philippines offers what every other country offers- opportunity.
...But what kind of opportunity ?
Making The Philippines out to be a penal colony is only an attempt to justify living somewhere else. Yes, you can travel to The Philippines and lose everything- if you are careless or stupid. By the same token, try being careless or stupid in Detroit, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Caracas, or Pattaya. Try it in Lisbon or Kuala Lumpur.

There are places in America or in Thailand or pretty much anywhere else that rival the worst of The Philippines.
It seems that almost every country is experiencing a decline in quality of living, and I believe this is mostly by design.
Global terrorism has much to do with that (witness Europe, The U.S.A., North Africa, The Middle East, Parts of Mindanao, and Central America.) and it seems just getting something done is far more involved and complicated than it used to be or need be. There is profit in chaos.
https://spacegeek54.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/in-chaos-there-is-profit/

Anyone who slams The Philippines because of poverty, corruption, crime, or rising cost of living is most probably a globalist idiot.
Travel to the slums in America- any large city and you will see things equivalent to the squalor found in Manila, Dresden, Mexico City, Osaka, or Rangoon. Self-centered elitists and faceless corporations base the value of a country,or individual within that country as to how (they) can benefit the elitist. I doubt many of them even consider third world inhabitants as completely human.

This is the world we have created.
Donald Trumps' wall is more of a metaphor than a possible reality. I believe we all look for something to shield us from a troubling reality. Perhaps it's a wall, perhaps an idea or a concept. Perhaps it's a dream, or perhaps a lie.

Pick your poison.

Ted.

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draks
8/26/2016 09:49 EST

I just read your post explaining why you want to live here and it answers a lot of unasked questions. As has been said before you are smart and have thought hard about this. I also think its a good idea to talk to other expats to get a feel of what its like to live here as a foreigner.

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wts0455
8/26/2016 10:01 EST

Thanks draks.

I hope we can meet someday.
As of now (fingers crossed) it looks like mid-September is when the journey will begin. I will stay in contact as I can with those at expatexchange, My laptop will probably be the last thing I pack.

Ted.

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Goodlooking
8/26/2016 15:16 EST

Ted,
Phil health is very cheap for us. mere dollars each month. And it pays like that too. But it has been a sure ticket for entering emergency rooms. I've experienced 3 different ones. Some require pre payment for individual services. Some not. Medical services have been great 5 out of 6 times. And terribly unsightly also 5 out of 6 times. The VA reimburses if you are qualified in certain situations. ChampVA is also used here. Best thing is it's normally easy to pay hospital costs with the money in your pocket. It's not $10,000.00 per 60 minutes like back in my little home town in Texas.
Good luck. Henry

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Goodlooking
8/26/2016 16:16 EST

Ted,
Enjoyed your response. And thank you for your service to our nation.
Me? Same mud, same blood. 3/503, Third Herd. 3 tours also; '67 '68 '69. Unarmed in the midst of the Nigeria Militant war and unarmed in the Afghanistan war. Not even US Military protection. Kinda pretended the real dangers did not exist. Luckily, IQ raised later and I'm viligent and more knowledgeable today.
2 years ago, I was bragging on the PNP so very often. I've visited with them and more. Today; It's all changed drastically in the past 4 months. But they were great for parting with so many important warnings and alerts.
I caught hell from some expats that were like me and pretend war is cool. But the truth is Southern Mindanao has been on the constant alerts and warnings by the U S State Department emailed warnings. Today, the entire Mindanao Island is on the list for Americans to be advised of the present dangers.
Heckfire, I vacationed at North Mindanao this year. Before the alerts and warnings came out. I'll not return. I was not fast enough to escape bodily harm in Vietnam and I'm much slower today.
Davao City is enjoying protection for today. Almost like Dalat, in the central mountains of Vietnam. A pretty and peaceful place. Almost like the war did not exist around them. Until TET offensive in 1068. Viet Cong and NVA came out of the mountains and the city was leveled in the ensuing fighting.
I've had about the same IQ as some here. Can't imagine the muslims doing that. But every one in the nation knows what happened to 44 Special Forces cops there in one day in January. My plan is to live out my life here. But I'm not going to lie to myself about this place. It's not a 1955 stroll in the park. I supported 3 medical interns that regularly dealt with stabbings and worse. I believe all three of them. (I still sponsor 2 today in license exam prep at Manila.)
Keep your head down.

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Rescuer
8/26/2016 18:06 EST

Well said Good looking. Fought with a bunch of crazy mercenaries behind enemy lines in Cambodia. Amazing how incredibly niaeve many foreigners are here who think the Philippines is a safe place.

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Rescuer
8/26/2016 18:17 EST

There is still a very strong CIA presence here today.

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LarryKar
8/26/2016 19:26 EST

Fought with Sherman during his March to the sea. Very few are saying it is safe. Most just choose to not live in constant paranoid episodes. Truly sorry your service made you that way. Friend who saw the worst Vietnam had to offer gets mad if anyone thanks him. So I stop here.

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lblampman
8/26/2016 19:50 EST

A new member shows up here on the forums wanting to gather additional information about his upcoming trip to the Philippines.

How in the world did this discussion thread end up being a doom-and-gloom rant session? Again. Why does it have to keep happening? Why not just start a doom-and-gloom thread and let the damn thing run forever?

I'm not for selling the Philippines as all puppies, rainbows, and perfect women (or perfect anything else) but I'm also rather disgusted when the conversation drifts to extremes, painting the Philippines as something it isn't, except for those that have convinced themselves it is and feel compelled for others to drink the Kool-Aid.

I do believe in telling the truth as honestly as one knows is, but there's a radicalized line that shouldn't be crossed in general discussion. Put that stuff in a separate thread if you must, but there's no positive reason for it in a discussion thread pertaining to general information.

If someone was considering moving to the US and I really wanted to be outspoken about it, the narrative wouldn't be any better than the worst of what's written here about the Philippines. It's the pot calling the kettle black.

I grew up with a father born in 1920 (so now 96 and still going to the gym 3 days a week), who joined the US Navy as an E-1 and retired 37 years later as a Captain. He was a torpedo bomber pilot in WWII and eventually commanded a carrier. I also served in the Navy during the Viet Nam era. My mother's father was a retired Navy Captain. I spent the first 20-odd years of my life around and in the military.

Why say all that? Basically setting the stage. I grew up with the (now) old-fashioned view of what the US was and should be as learned from men that were truly officers and gentlemen in the truest sense.

The country I grew up in and served no longer exists and, like Ted, I decided long before I moved to the Philippines that I was not going to stay in the US.

People here can keep spewing out all they want about how poor the Philippines is, how desperate the people are, how many scammers there are, how dangerous it is, how corrupt it is, and nauseam. It doesn't change a damn thing for those of us that live here and actually like it.

Would I rather live here or in Milwaukee or Detroit or East LA or in Baltimore, or Philadelphia, or any other large US city? Which is safer? That question can't be answered except with "it depends". Which is why most of what's written about the Philippines is bunk and personal perception with no basis in a reality that doesn't exist. It's like trying to tell someone whether the US is safe or not. To a young minority in an inner city the answer is a definite "no", to the average person living in a quiet town with a low crime rate the answer would be "of course". So, to paint the entire country of the Philippines with one broad brush is ludicrous. The most common thing I personally heard from foreigners visiting the US was that friends and family at home told them to be careful, that the US is a dangerous country. Living on Whidbey Island in Washington state in a

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seernai
8/26/2016 19:58 EST

Nobody has ever said the Philippines is a safe place again you have to strike a balance and don't go over the top either way it's like any country in the world if your in the wrong place at the wrong time your gonna get hurt all we ex pats can do is advise on things in general without scaring the crap out of any prospective newcomer

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LarryKar
8/26/2016 20:04 EST

Les: as always you say with elegance what I like to hope the majority of us are thinking. Thank You.

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lblampman
8/26/2016 20:06 EST

A new member shows up here on the forums wanting to gather additional information about his upcoming trip to the Philippines.

How in the world did this discussion thread end up being a doom-and-gloom rant session? Again, as other threads have become. Why does it have to keep happening? Why not just start a doom-and-gloom thread and let the damn thing run forever?

I'm not for selling the Philippines as all puppies, rainbows, and perfect women (or perfect anything else) but I'm also rather disgusted when the conversation drifts to extremes, painting the Philippines as something it isn't, except for those that have convinced themselves it is and feel compelled for others to drink the Kool-Aid.

I do believe in telling the truth as honestly as one knows is, but there's a radicalized line that shouldn't be crossed in general discussion. Put that stuff in a separate thread if you must, but there's no positive reason for it in a discussion thread pertaining to general information.

If someone was considering moving to the US and I really wanted to be truthful about it (as I know it), the narrative wouldn't be any better than the worst of what's written here about the Philippines. It's the pot calling the kettle black.

I grew up with a father born in 1920 (so now 96 and still going to the gym 3 days a week), who joined the US Navy as an E-1 and retired 37 years later as a Captain. He was a torpedo bomber pilot in WWII and eventually commanded a carrier. I also served in the Navy during the Viet Nam era. My mother's father was a retired Navy Captain. I spent the first 20-odd years of my life around and in the military.

Why say all that? Basically setting the stage. I grew up with the (now) old-fashioned view of what the US was and should be, as learned from men that were officers and gentlemen in the truest sense of the meaning.

The country I grew up in and served no longer exists and, like Ted, I decided long before I moved to the Philippines that I was not going to stay in the US.

People here can keep spewing out all they want about how poor the Philippines is, how desperate the people are, how many scammers there are, how dangerous it is, how corrupt it is, ad nauseam. It doesn't change a damn thing for those of us that live here and actually like it.

Would I rather live here, or in Milwaukee or Detroit or East LA or in Baltimore, or Philadelphia, or any other large US city? Which is safer? That question can't be answered except with "it depends". Which is why most of what's written about the Philippines is bunk and personal perception with no basis in a reality that doesn't exist. It's like trying to tell someone whether the US is safe or not. To a young minority in an inner city the answer is a definite "no", to the average person living in a quiet town with a low crime rate the answer would be "of course". So, to paint the entire country of the Philippines with one broad brush is ludicrous. The most common thing I personally heard from foreigners visiting the US was that friends and family at home told them to be careful, that the US is a dangerous country. Living on Whidbey Island in Washington state in quiet semi-rural area, would I have thought to tell someone asking about the US that it's a dangerous place? Not likely, but to give an honest answer I'd have to qualify it by stating that my answer is only valid for the area I'm familiar with. And so it should be with the Philippines; there is no one all encompassing "fact" about how safe it is, how the people act, how they treat foreigners, how many scammers are present, etc.

I apologize for the rant, it's uncharacteristic of me, my writing is typically much calmer and balanced. However, the constant harangues about the dangers of the Philippines, the comments about things like martial law (unless it was meant in regards to the US, which is strongly rumored as well), and comments about spooks in the bushes is just all too much for a community that's dedicated to expats living (or contemplating living) in the Philippines. There are places on the Internet for heated discussions on matters such as those and I would put forth, this isn't it.

I hope we can get back to helping people and positive discussions rather than denigrating the place many of us have chosen to live.

Les

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CAteacher
8/26/2016 20:20 EST

Thank you Les. Well said, as usual.

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wts0455
8/26/2016 20:21 EST

Hi everyone.

I'm not being scared off.
This discussion has, at times, veered off from the original topic but I'm as responsible for that as anyone here.

As far as worry about safety...
As of now, my biggest fear is that something will happen on the plane- over the Pacific Ocean.
Terrorism is real and very soon the fifteenth anniversary of the September, 2001 attack that brought down the world trade center in New York will inspire someone to attempt something big.
Look for it.
I am trying to leave early, perhaps as soon as next weekend.
I want my feet on dry land outside of the United States two weeks from now.

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jimmydee4u
8/26/2016 20:37 EST

I know what you mean I can see some of the posts on here I can figure out they have never been to the Philippines in a week and and half planning on staying there close to kalibo I have researched the info. I am involved with someone there for almost 2 years. Also never has asked me for money. But the only bad thing is I want to still be with the VA will probably have to go to Guam because I receive SSIDI

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seernai
8/26/2016 20:46 EST

I doubt if anything will happen to your plane as security is very tight in the US and other western countries like the UK

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Rescuer
8/26/2016 22:04 EST

Sorry, but how anybody could equate the Philippines to the US is beyond me.

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draks
8/26/2016 23:24 EST

But in all fairness seernai you do live in a gated subdivision with armed guards.I have never lived INA place like that. And although I have never felt threatened at all I am very aware of who is around and behind me especially at night.

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draks
8/27/2016 01:18 EST

Seernai I owe you an apology I really thought you had armed guards? Sorry my bad. I lived in two subdivisions neither had guards but both had barangay patrols at night never ever had a problem there took my dog for a walk 3 times a day including at night. Only problem I had was being invited to drink and a 30 minute walk might take an hour got invited to many parties etc.
Anyway seernai I do apologies

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seernai
8/27/2016 01:47 EST

It's ok Draks most people think that all sub divisions have Armed guards in fact it's potentially deadly because on the site there is those white Air con minibuses which are a potential target for any Terroist as they are never checked underneath by security with those search mirrors anyone could plant a bomb under any one if them and nobody would know as they are parked out in the oppn under a kind of car port his is why I never take the first few into the city as it is they overload them eg most hold 16 people but they pile as many as 20+ I dread to think what would happen if one was attacked I have suggested to the sub division office to putt cctv at the gatehouse and at the terminal and to have those useless guards to patrol every night , I was a security officer for 8 years and weigh bridge in a big copper cable plant called Draka wire , at night we had to patrol every hour after the shift change over and there was only one of us here there are up to 5 Guards who mostly sit around doing nothing

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 03:39 EST

Sitting around doing nothing is better than sitting around sleeping. I know one who got his gun stolen while sleeping on the job.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 03:42 EST

Attending a drinking session can get you killed. Just tell them you are allergic to alcohol.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 03:47 EST

Armed guards, like body guards, give you a false sense of security and make you a target. Just ask the guy in one of the "safest" subdivisions who got shot 19 times after the gate guards let the shooters in. Well.....kinda hard to ask him, he is very dead.

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seernai
8/27/2016 06:55 EST

Like I said we don't have armed guards but if we did and they did their job properly things things like that would not happen

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seernai
8/27/2016 06:59 EST

I neither drink nor smoke but there are a few expats here who do but not in bars or clubs but in each other's house and as they all not far from each other nobody gets killed god what's wrong with some of you people

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 07:09 EST

What's wrong with the two Filipinos who killed one of their wives because she wouldn't sleep with the husband's buddy for six beers? When she refused they hacked her to death and drank the beers together.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 07:09 EST

What's wrong with the two Filipinos who killed one of their wives because she wouldn't sleep with the husband's buddy for six beers? When she refused they hacked her to death and drank the beers together.

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seernai
8/27/2016 09:18 EST

What is this ? What has happened his got to do with helping people who want to come to the Philippines ?

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seernai
8/27/2016 09:20 EST

More like what is wrong with putting that up on the forum , this is supposed to be for future ex pats not murder mystery !!!!

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draks
8/27/2016 14:48 EST

Rescuer I am not a drinker and these people know me they are older guys not young aggressive men they know I don't drink a lot at all. Good friendly helpful people.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 17:13 EST

draks I wasn't referring to you, just making a general comment. In other words, very little value is placed on human life here, and getting involved in drinking sessions can get you killed here.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 17:13 EST

draks I wasn't referring to you, just making a general comment. In other words, very little value is placed on human life here, and getting involved in drinking sessions can get you killed here.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 18:01 EST

Future expats need to be made aware of the cultural differences so they can take necessary precautions to keep safe.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 18:01 EST

Future expats need to be made aware of the cultural differences so they can take necessary precautions to keep safe.

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seernai
8/27/2016 19:05 EST

Yes your right but there is a difference between giving advice and scaring the crap out of people so they don't come here anyway

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LarryKar
8/27/2016 19:10 EST

I once lived near East St. Louis. Driving down Missouri Ave. if I saw 6 guys sitting on the steps of a house drinking I never once had the urge to stop with a six pack in hand and join them. Also absolutely horrible things happen everyday all over the world. I think most normal adults already know both of these things.

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Rescuer
8/27/2016 19:58 EST

Yes, you are right serrnai. There is a difference between what happens here every day, and fairytale puppies and rainbows department of tourism postcard descriptions of life here, which do nothing but keep newcomers unaware, and unaware people do not take necessary precautions, which exposes them to dangerous situations.

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seernai
8/27/2016 20:53 EST

The other side of the coin is Making the place look like Syria or Palestine keep things in context and actually in the uk there is very little information on the Philippines in the Booking offices it's all cruises

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seernai
8/27/2016 20:53 EST

The other side of the coin is Making the place look like Syria or Palestine keep things in context and actually in the uk there is very little information on the Philippines in the Booking offices it's all cruises

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ACEPoolPlayer
8/28/2016 08:42 EST

Les,
My advice to you would be if and when you have a problem communicating without your wife there to interpret for you, try writing it down in English. This works well in taxi's anywhere in the country. Most Filipinos who have attended high school can at the very least read English but many times they are not fluent at speaking it due to lack of practice. Almost all the educational books throughout the country are in English. The reason why tagalog (Filipino) is the most widely used language today is primarily due to television. Every Filipino has a television (even in the barrios), most of those show are broadcast from Quezon City (GMA, ABS-CBN...). The spoken language of today is Taglish. I understand in many provinces they speak their own dialect. In Tacloban they speak Waray but I was still able to communicate quite well with Taglish even to laborers.

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MakeItEasy
8/28/2016 11:25 EST

lblampman ,,, actually well said Les

Hello, I am new to these expat forum post and being new I just wanted to introduce myself. Patrick here, :) Married a fantastic Lady from the Philippines 4 years ago but I met her in Japan. Went through the fiancé visa experience to get her to the US. We had loads of laughs watching a tv show that aired for a few episodes called 90 day bride. My Wife Marie and I had spent over a year living on web cam getting to know each other and I visited her in Japan 3 separate times. It took just over 9 months for the visa paperwork to go through but well worth the wait. We have a wonderful marriage and wish people everywhere to enjoy the same. While visiting her in Japan we hopped over to Manila and flew in some of her family so I could meet them. All I can say is they are wonderful people and I am so proud to be a part of their lives now. We just returned from a trip to Davao area as we had time for a 14 day trip together. I really got a chance to experience the lifestyle and cultural differences. It was really a fantastic vacation. We are planning on retiring in the Philippines in a few years. I am an outgoing person and walked the streets of her home town greeting everyone and felt very welcome there. Looking forward to reading more threads and posts on this site.

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lblampman
8/28/2016 19:32 EST

Hi ACE,

That's a great idea...thank you. It's the little everyday kinds of things that make for the most challenge.

I recently wanted the local internet shop to print three pictures I had on a flash drive for a school project. I told them I wanted one copy of each of the photo files, I wanted 3R size, I didn't need it to be printed on photo paper, and if they could fit all three photos onto one piece of paper that would be fine. About 30 minutes later they handed me 9 photos, cut to 3R size, on photo paper. Yep, they managed to fit all three photos onto one sheet, then printed three sheets on photo paper, then cut them to size. Man, am I happy things here are not expensive! I just smiled and told them thanks. I know darn well it wasn't something they did on purpose, they really thought that's what I wanted.

After many trips to our local hardware store the owner and I have finally worked out communications (most would get a laugh out of our antics) but the two ladies that work there get worried-looking when I show up. It's certainly a lot more difficult to describe that "thingy" you need here in the Philippines when you don't know what the darn thing is called in the first place. Heck, it was bad enough back in the US.

More than anything what I run up against is just being part of the conversation when in a group. I'm now the president of my girl's PTA class and on the Board of Directors for the GPTA (school wide officers). Yes, some of the parents and GPTA officers speak English well, but if a group of them are talking to each other the conversation is in Bicol. As I've become more integrated into the group I've noticed that they're using more English; either their shyness is wearing off, or they realize I won't make fun of their English, or using English is bringing it back to them and they get more comfortable. Probably a combination is at work.

Thanks again for the suggestion of writing things out, it so simple that I completely overlooked it.

Les

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wts0455
9/5/2016 11:20 EST

Hello everyone.

Been away for awhile.
I wanted to express my appreciation to all who posted to this thread. The response was far greater than I had anticipated.
Again,
Thanks.

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treemancliff
9/5/2016 19:23 EST

Hello ! You have lots of response here on this topic. I just wish to make you aware of one potential pitfall. If you are ever in need of medical services you must pay up front or NOTHING HAPPENS. So if your unconscious for example you need instructions to contact lets say a local lawyer with funds to be used in case of emergency. Best be prepared just in case. It is also true DO NOT WANDER AROUND AT NIGHT. Be happy enjoy !

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treemancliff
9/5/2016 19:23 EST

Hello ! You have lots of response here on this topic. I just wish to make you aware of one potential pitfall. If you are ever in need of medical services you must pay up front or NOTHING HAPPENS. So if your unconscious for example you need instructions to contact lets say a local lawyer with funds to be used in case of emergency. Best be prepared just in case. It is also true DO NOT WANDER AROUND AT NIGHT. Be happy enjoy !

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lblampman
9/6/2016 00:49 EST

treemancliff,

It is inaccurate blanket statements like yours that make getting information from forums difficult.

It may be that in a specific instance that you're familiar with it happened that way but that does not make it a universal truth.

My experience was exactly opposite of yours. I had a motorcycle accident and was transported by ambulance to a hospital 1.25 hours away...at no cost. The hospital took care of me without asking for one pesos up front; I paid when I was released.

Which of us is correct?

Absolute answers never are, there are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances.

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Rescuer
9/6/2016 01:56 EST

And would you have been released if you didn't pay?

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seernai
9/6/2016 02:07 EST

Regarding payment in Hospitals , I needed Hospital treatment on my back a couple of months also I went to Davao Doctors Hospital , I have to say they did not demand any payment before I had treatment neither were they aggressive or rude in anyway , after my treatment I was just directed to where I paid for my treatment they were kind and courteous all the time

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seernai
9/6/2016 02:07 EST

Regarding payment in Hospitals , I needed Hospital treatment on my back a couple of months also I went to Davao Doctors Hospital , I have to say they did not demand any payment before I had treatment neither were they aggressive or rude in anyway , after my treatment I was just directed to where I paid for my treatment they were kind and courteous all the time

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lblampman
9/6/2016 02:53 EST

Rescuer,

I was responding to the following statement:

If you are ever in need of medical services you must pay up front or NOTHING HAPPENS.

The operative words being "up front or NOTHING HAPPENS", which is not the same as receiving treatment and needing to pay for that treatment before being released.

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Rescuer
9/6/2016 03:23 EST

lblampman ~ I've seen both scenarios here. Somebody dying on the hospital steps due to the inability to pay for services, and somebody being held, and incurring additional charges, due to the inability to pay on the anticipated release date. Ask Filipinos what will happen if somebody has a life threatening condition and no money. The answer is usually the same as the guy who was bitten on his private part. His friend went to the doctor who told him that he had to suck the poison out. When he asked his friend what the doctor said, he said...........You're gonna die ;-)

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Rescuer
9/6/2016 03:27 EST

Bitten by a rattlesnake, that is.

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Rescuer
9/6/2016 03:34 EST

Yes, and my question was would you have been released without paying?

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lblampman
9/6/2016 03:37 EST

Rescuer,

Rather than arguing a pointless point, go back and read the post I responded to and my response in full. Nowhere in my response did I say that the situation in the original post couldn't happen (or even didn't), nowhere in my post did I say that my experience was the only valid scenario.

What I did say was that to portray the information in the post I first responded to as "the" universal truth (as indicated by the language and emphasized text) is inaccurate and not helpful.

Nothing I said in my initial post was untrue or unfair and did not warrant your first question which was asking about a different situation and a leading question. Understanding that, I still answered your question a polite and informative manner.

This subject is closed for me, I see no value in debating people that would rather argue.

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Rescuer
9/6/2016 06:33 EST

lblampman ~ I'm not "arguing" anything. I simply asked you if the hospital would allow you to leave without payment, and of course you did not answer, because you and most everybody else in the Philippines knows the answer. Yes, a pointless point for somebody who was fortunate enough to bail himself out. Not so pointless for somebody who cannot afford to do so. There is no value to asking a question that is not being answered, so I also rest my case.

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ACEPoolPlayer
9/6/2016 07:31 EST

Rescuer,
If you are indeed a rescuer, what do you tell anyone you may rescue. "I can rescue you but you may be better off in your better left in despair then to come back to my world?" You continually sound like the author of the glass half empty. I hope I'm wrong and you are not as negative as you always sound. Come on, we are still alive, we have to look toward the positive things in life regardless where we should choose to live.

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ACEPoolPlayer
9/6/2016 07:49 EST

Regarding hospital treatment, I think a lot has to do with where you are when you have a problem along with a lot of other factors. What do you look like? What kind of medical expenses will be necessary to care for you? Are you in a very poor area where the hospital has a low budget or are you in a nice area where the administrators will not but questions if your expenses run too high. Generally speaking, if they had an option available that would not cost the person in charge or responsible their livelihood, I doubt it very much if you'd be left to die on the steps anywhere, let alone in the Philippines where the Filipinos are so compassionate.

What would happen if you tried to walk out of a restaurant without paying the bill? Hospital bills are a lot more than restaurant bills. Someone would be held responsible. That's one of the reasons why restaurants and hospitals have security guards.

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Rescuer
9/6/2016 14:36 EST

ACEPoolPlayer ~ Your question makes no sense. Regardless, I am a glass is half full kinda guy, but I speak the truth, and I don't rely on PC BS rhetoric.

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ACEPoolPlayer
9/6/2016 15:50 EST

Rescuer,
So gives us some light. There is enough darkness in the world. No one is asking you to lie. Speak the truth about positive things. Life needs to be positive. Glass half full... The majority of us on this site are in the twilight of our lives. Let's try to stay more positive and look forward to good things while also addressing potential hazards in the road ahead. There is no need to chase everyone off the road. We are here to make that journey smoother for everyone!

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Rescuer
9/6/2016 17:15 EST

ACEPoolPlayer ~ Sounds good, but I don't pick and choose what to be honest about.

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Ivegotanachinghead
9/7/2016 11:34 EST

Hi Ted, I have not read this thread, so I apologize if I am repeating another posters observations. I have had similar thought processes, as I'm planning on moving to the Philippines in 10 months time to Lipa in the Batangas. I am 58 and healthy, but as you age, there are considerations...

Let's face it, the Philippines involves certain risks, and calling 000 AU or 911 US is not on the agenda. That is a risk you have to accept. Then there's medium to long term care. Do you want to spend an extended period in a substandard hospital with hit/miss care?

In my case, I can easily fly back to Australia as it is geographically close. The flight to America could be the nail in your coffin. Why not think laterally? Perhaps you could join an Australian Health Insurance Fund. Then you could get yearly check-ups as required, and enjoy the benefits of first world medicine. Australia is also within reach, should you need emergency care. Singapore might also be an alternative. I am no expert, but it could be worth exploring.

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freedom16
9/7/2016 14:37 EST

My question is how do you pay the hospital if you do have the money but not with you when you are entered and no real contacts. Will they take a credit card? let you go to an ATM? Have instructions in you pocket should you enter unconscious? Seems crazy if there is no system put in place with all the single expats and tourists there.

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CAspacecowboy
9/7/2016 15:08 EST

I keep up my premier AAA (Auto Club) membership that includes up to $35KUS for emergency medical evacuation back to the states. Cost me about $100US annually. For "911" type help, DU30 has been pushing for the telecoms to get together and form a nationwide net for just that. Saw here in the US that those meetings are now underway. Yet, even with 911, getting help though the clogged streets is another hurdle to get over.

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Rescuer
9/7/2016 15:42 EST

Ivegotanachinghead ~ I would add that a fully functioning 911 system is not of much use if you can't get through gridlocked traffic to a hospital that has an ER doctor who is less qualified than US nurse, but I would be accused of being negative.

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LarryKar
9/7/2016 20:39 EST

Last I saw anything about the 911 system the telecoms wanted to make it a chargeable call. So if you have " the big one" and have let your phone load get too low, sorry about that. Oh and Rescuer my Baby Sis was an RN of over 30 years experience. A lot of it flying with bush pilots on the North Slope of Alaska. Please don't compare her to a public hospital ER Doc. Smiling as I type.

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Rescuer
9/7/2016 21:17 EST

LarryKar ~ I was a hospital administrator in the US, and employed Philippine trained MD's as nursing assistants because the could not pass the RN boards. I recently took a 4 year old child to the ER with a possible subdural hematoma and the ER MD didn't know how to do a routine history and physical examination. Sorry for the comparison, your baby sister would have done a better job. BTW, this was not a public hospital, but a private one with a sterling reputation. Also smiling as I type. For those about to attack me, I imagine that there are excellent doctors here somewhere.

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LarryKar
9/8/2016 01:47 EST

Rescuer: Baby Sis would have. When your the entire medical team just flown in to some village on the tundra you learn your craft well. But there are some good Doctors here. My Cardiologist was USA trained and goes back to Chicago a couple weeks once a year for continuing education. Same with my Eye Doc only he goes to New York. So if you seek you find.

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LarryKar
9/8/2016 01:47 EST

Rescuer: Baby Sis would have. When your the entire medical team just flown in to some village on the tundra you learn your craft well. But there are some good Doctors here. My Cardiologist was USA trained and goes back to Chicago a couple weeks once a year for continuing education. Same with my Eye Doc only he goes to New York. So if you seek you find.

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Rescuer
9/8/2016 02:05 EST

LarryKar ~ Yes, I've known many RN's like her, and I've been on the Board of Directors with many very talented American trained nurses and doctors. Problem here is seeking in an emergency situation when time is of the essence.

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