Cost of living

Carbon Paper {0}

Carbon Paper

This post is about carbon paper. But it’s not really about carbon paper, it’s about the perception I have of how fast the Philippines is progressing.

Let me just say that I hope the Philippines continues to advance, sooner than later. I’m (mostly) all for that. I’m just having a difficult time believing that things, the economy in particular, are as as great as they keep saying. Maybe I’m missing the point, and maybe the point is that they are just trying to build up public image and esteem.

The Best Part Of Living In The Philippines {14}

The Best Part Of Living In The Philippines

Last month I passed the one year mark of living in Davao City, Philippines. I thought about writing an article specific to that milestone, but realized that all my articles are about that change. Plus, for some reason, I’ve been busy. Doing what? Well, that’s hard to say.

I had many reasons for moving to the Philippines, just as we all do that make this move. Many of my reasons are the same as others, a few may be different. But thinking about it, there is one reason that outweighs all the others.

The Balikbayan Box {16}

The Balikbayan Box

This one was different. Sure I’d sent many balikbayan boxes before, in fact that is how I sent all my stuff when I moved, but this one I awaited with much more anticipation. Watching the tracking on LBC’s site, though it seemed not to change.

My first experience with balikbayan boxes came after my previous filipina wife finally got her fiancee visa and arrived in the United States. One of the first tasks we undertook, after the marriage and government requirements, was to start shopping for the contents of BOX that we would send every few months. That was really pretty simple, as anything was needed back in the Philippines, and there were always plenty of used clothing to forward. It was easy to fill that box.

How To Live Cheaply In The Philippines {6}

How To Live Cheaply In The Philippines

Normally I’d like to give you a little teaser and get you to read the whole article, or at least skim most of it. This time I’m going to spill the beans right off. The secret to living cheaply in the Philippines is the same as anywhere, buy cheap (inexpensive) things – especially those that are local.

Sounds obvious, right? Well it may be a little harder to do so for those of us that have lived our whole lives elsewhere, but with a little effort you can learn to get by with what’s here and not try to buy so many imported items. Some things, like services, you don’t need to consider. You are going to get those here anyways. At least most of the time.

Cost of Subdivision Housing In Davao {14}

Cost of Subdivision Housing In Davao

I get inundated with flyers for the latest subdivision houses every time I visit the malls. I’m sure everyone does, but they seem particularly interested in me because being white, that obviously makes me an American, and that of course means I’m rich. The logic (OK that’s not fair, logic doesn’t really exist here) that if I were rich and living here, I’d likely already have a nice place, doesn’t enter into the equation. I think they get paid by the number of flyers handed out, as opposed to houses sold, so they don’t really care.

I’ve gotten to the point, when I have time, that I often sit down with them and explain that I can not own land here. They immediately ask if I have a spouse and recommend that I put it in her name. Hmmm, never thought of that! Well, of course I have, to which I explain to them that there is a distinct possibility that I could outlive my wife, and then where does that leave me? I realize that my attempt at explanation is futile, but it pleases me some to some extent.

Botika – Philippine Pharmacies {4}

Botika – Philippine Pharmacies

Where I lived in the US we had pharmacies every few blocks in the retail areas. Additionally, most supermarkets had one in the back of the store.

Here in the Philippines you’ll also see a abundance of pharmacies, even more so then back in the US. There are some similarities between the two countries’ pharmacies, but some big differences, too.

Lost Wallet In Cebu {8}

Lost Wallet In Cebu

What are the odds of getting your wallet back if it’s lost or stolen in the Philippines? That’s one of the first thoughts that went through my head as I realized, while on a business trip in Cebu, that I had left my wallet in the taxi. Of course it would depend on the circumstances, but I figured my odds somewhere between 0-5%.

I didn’t have any information on the taxi or the driver. In my hurry to leave the hotel, I didn’t wait for them to help me either. With their help I know they notate the vehicle number and taxi company. No, I had no information other than I knew where I was picked up, dropped off and the approximate time. The term needle in a haystack comes to mind.

Should the Philippines Abolish The P1000 Bill {13}

Should the Philippines Abolish The P1000 Bill

I’m not saying this is one of my better ideas ever, but I’ve been giving this some thought lately. There are a few problems with it, such as the bulk of your wallet, and how to actually go about the process, but even with those obstacles I think it’s time to look at abolishing the 1000 peso bill. The reason is very simple, and if you’ve spent any time here at all you’ll know what I mean without much guidance.

Those that haven’t been here may not quite see the problem.