Tuesday, April 28, 2009
My Daughter went to her friend's birthday party in Saturday at the Brian Pizza. They had a bowling party and a hula outfits.She had a blast, they took the hula outfit home and she wore it and show off and her dad took a picture. She look so cute I must say. Anyway .. just want to share the picture.
The Philippines is the fourth largest English speaking country in the world. It can accommodate budget travelers. If you are not on a budget, you can have the very best for a reasonable price. The Philippines is the only country in the world that welcomes foreigners from all other countries. It is one of the very few you can enter without a visa. You will need to get one after 21 days if you stay that long.
Get low airfare in the off season, May through October. You can even come over and back on a courier flight, any time and it's very cheap.Book your hotel in advance since the good hotels sometimes fill up quickly. You can always find a good "pension house", to accommodate you in the $35-$50 range. These will have private bath, cable TV, air conditioning and hot water most of the time.Travel by land since it is inexpensive. A ride across a large city like Cebu in an air conditioned taxi is about $2.40 US and the ride to most airports not much more than that. Most airports are close into town.
Jeepney fares, are Peso 6 - 7, about 10 cents us, the main mode of transportation for most people. They are colorful and fun except when it is raining, they do leak.If you want to tour around Manila in a much cheaper and faster long distances destinations, ride the LRT (Manila Light Rail Transit System) and the MRT (Manila Metro Rail Transit System) with fares ranging from 10-15 pesos (25-35 US cents) or a stored-value (multiple-use) ticket ranging from 100 to 200 pesos (2.50-2.80 US dollar). Eat out. American and other international foods are available. Fast food places from Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonald's to their own, Jollibee, abound and prices are cheaper than in almost every country in the world. Visit the nightlife. The Philippines is always voted as best in night life by the expats in Asia, and the prices are the best too.Go shopping. There are many local handicrafts to buy. Do not overlook the silver, handmade in Baguio City, in the north of the main island Luzon, famous for years. Baguio is one of the cooler places to go too, in the mountains, the City of Pines. Don't tip. Tipping is the exception, not the rule. If you want to be given preferred treatment, even without making a reservation, give a hefty tip immediately and discreetly. With that, you can almost expect to be treated like a king. Filipinos are avid practitioners of The Golden Rule. Get sporty. Golf and other entertainments abound. Japanese tourists fly from Japan stay two nights at a first class hotel, play two rounds of golf on the weekend, have a caddie and umbrella girl and a nice room and food for the price of one round of golf in Japan. See the movies. First run movies are about 3.00USD or less and sometimes are in the cinemas before they hit larger countries. Enjoy the friendliness of the people. The most valuable and least expensive thing of all is the Filipino smile. It is free and every where. Filipinos are happy people, they are fun and will make you happy, great entertainers and hosts. And do not be surprised if you call 1-800 and the operator is a Filipino. Almost all major US companies outsource their customer service and help desk in the Philippines.
Read the newspapers with a grain of salt. Problems with terrorism is worse in the United States and many other countries. The Philippines gets a bad rap from the newspapers who print the worst, never the best. To know for sure, find expats living in the Philippines. They will tell you that the Philippines is one of the safest places in the world. If you are planning to have a vacation in one of the beaches here, it is suggested that instead of going to the overrated and infamously known Boracay Island destination opt for a less crowded spots such as the island of Palawan that was rated by National Geographic Traveler magazine as the best island destination in East and South East Asia region in 2007, and the 13th best island in the world having incredibly beautiful natural seascapes and landscapes. For shoppers, you cannot miss visiting SM Mall of Asia which is the largest shopping mall in the Philippines and is the 3rd largest shopping mall in the world in terms of Gross Leasable Area according to Forbes Magazine. If you wish to enjoy some of Philippines's beaches, try the famous Boracay Island! Remember to bring sandals, suntan, umbrellas and sunglasses!!
It is better to have a Filipino friend or a travel guide with you. Don't leave personal belongings unattended. There is very little violent crime but plenty of petty thieves, or snatchers, in the cities. These are non-existent in the countryside. They are after cell phones, good ones, and gold jewelry. Consider a smaller city like Cebu City or Baguio City. Manila is very large, not ready for prime time yet. It is a great place to shop and do business, but a bit much for the first time traveler.Do not use drugs here. Prescription drugs are available. But one marijuana cigarette is punishable by 12 years imprisonment in a bad jail with horrible living conditions.Both alcohol and cigarettes are so inexpensive and sold 24/7 so no reason not to kill yourself with a legal drug, the worst. Filipinos do no usually have drinking problems of the proportion and frequency of those from most developed countries. Women have only recently started to drink and smoke and it is still not consider good taste or wise for a woman to indulge in vices. Men get away with just about anything. It is not like the US here. If you are looking for equality, the liberated woman, better go to a developed country. Filipinas, female Filipinos, unless they are professional "entertainers," will not get intoxicated with you. And even the "pros", have little interest in alcohol.
Things You'll Need:
Not much you cannot buy here cheaper. Do buy a cheap local cell phone, about $100 US. Best to get prepaid phones. Very convenient and easy to buy credits. Texts are US two cents, calls are about US 18 cents per minute. Most people text.
If you are willing to leave behind the USA, UK, Australia or other high cost expensive country and live in a foreign country, you can live or retire on $200 per month.
Decide if you can do it. Leaving your country and moving to another country can be a difficult experience for some people. In fact, even the stouthearted will have feelings of homesickness. Plus, you will have many new experiences and face many problems. Can you deal with that? If you are married and you want to retire to a foreign country, you need to consider the thoughts of your spouse and or children. If you are separated, divorced, or never married, then you can make the decision yourself.See if you have enough money to leave your country and move to another country. You need money for an airline ticket, and at least 6 months of living expenses to get settled. Consider teaching English in a non-English speaking country. This can pay very well, so you get savings plus life in a foreign country. Pick a country. A good choice right now is the Philippines (if you have no desire to learn another language, they all speak English) or China (if you are willing to learn at least some of the local language).Pick a city. Pick one that is safe. A mid-size city with many universities is best. In this environment, you can make many friends which is critical to your success. Do some research. Learn about the location you are going to. Buy some books such as Lonely Planet or similar guide books. Also make sure you check the level of air pollution of that city. Find a community or dating website that has people from that location. Try to make some friends in the city you will be living in. Do not bother with people outside or in the distant suburbs of your target city. You need friends who are close by to help you with getting settled. Get a passport. You need one to travel outside your country in most cases. Get a visa. You may need a visa to get into the target country.
Pack up your things. Remember, you can pay the airline for extra boxes if needed. Or you can have them shipped. If shipping, FedEx is always best. Don't rely on the new country's postal system. If possible visit your target city as a tourist first for a week (or two) to get the feel of the place and see if you really would like to live there. Does it feel safe to walk the streets at night? How do the locals treat foreigners? Remember that as a tourist you will probably get a romantic impression of the country. Living there may be a totally different ballgame. Make sure you meet some expats who have been living there for a few years and ask them about their experiences. When you get to your target city, check into a 2 or 3 star hotel. You should be able to find one for $25 a night in China, for example. Meet your friends you made on the internet. Meet them in a public place at first. They will ask if they can help you. Say yes. Try to improve your relationship by eating some food or by visiting some of the local tourist spots together. Be very careful with the local food and drinking water at first. Check whether it is safe to drink the tap water. Continue to make friends with people you are meeting. After some time, you will meet people with connections, and they can help you find a nice apartment or a job, if you need one. Slowly rebuild your life in the new country - enjoying freedom from the current rat race of American society.
A country that is fast developing with a healthy economy is the best choice. For example, China. True "third-world" countries are cheap, but perhaps not as comfortable as a developing country like China or India.Picking a city is important. Make sure it has a number of large, respected, universities. This is critical as the universities affect the local culture.Investigate whether you're better to sign up for a job with a company before you leave. In some industries it's best to wait until you are physically there so you can negotiate your wage. In other industries, such as education, it's far better to secure an 'international contract' before you leave. Such a contract will often include return airfares, accommodation, visas and work permits. Do your research - chat on line to professionals in your field for advice. You need to worry about your visa. Try to get one that is as long a term as possible. You will have to renew this often over time. Get information from the embassy of the country you want to move to about the costs and frequency of visa renewals, whether the visa will allow you to work there or not, whether you will have to leave the country every time you need to renew your visa or not. Visas can be the most frustrating aspect of living in another country. Bring old photos of your self and other things that define you as a person like your hockey shirt or something. Remember, you will be making new friends. These things will help you do that. Open a bank account in your new city. Put your money in the bank.
When meeting people for the first or few times until you have determined if they are at all trustworthy, useful, or desirable as a friend, meet them in a public place. Don't give your new friends money, PERIOD! Never loan them money. If there is some transaction that needs to take place for your own needs, like renting an apartment or buying a mobile phone, go with them and always handle the money. Be aware that in some countries the locals will expect you to pick up the tab whenever you go for a drink or a meal together.If you smoke, buy your own cigs and smoke them. Don't accept cigs from strangers. When drinking something, watch your drink so it is not possible for something to be added to it.Don't keep money in your hotel, apartment, or carry it around on you.