Along with Al, we returned to the Panacan boys school, and we both amazed to see that the place is looking more run down.
Yet another increase in the cost of staying here.
Now if you extend your visa for a further 59 days at the Davao immigration office , you will hit with a bill for 5,970 pesos.
As of now there is a compulsory charge for an ACR I Card even for the tourist visa. There was also a compulsory "fast lane" charge for getting this in addition to the fast lane charge for the normal visa extension. This brought the fast lane charges to 1,500 pesos. Despite this "fast lane charge" you need to return in a few days to collect the ACR I Card.
This from AN AMERICAN IN DAVAO BY Bruce Linder
As you all know and read here and on other sites, living in the Philippines is cheaper than in the U.S. and other countries but there are things to consider.
First is inflation. I have not tracked the price increases in the two years I have lived here but one item I remember is gasoline. When I first moved here, gas was about 30 pesos per liter. Today it is 43.80 pesos per liter, which is one peso less than it was in the past few weeks. From what I could find, the inflation rate in the Philippines is about 4.6% whereas the U.S. is around 2.6%.
Our next meeting for FOM is
Venue is still at the Garden Fresca at Matina Crossing.
We have some important issues to on the agenda so please make sure, if possible, you can be present.
Again I ask if you could bring any old clothes for the boys at Panacan.
Bruce and Ken will be the joint chairman's for the day, so best behavior please.
1) We need to finalize a trip to Samal and I will be asking for a date to be fixed and shared vehicles, so be prepared. Vehicles need to be SUV or Van type due to uncertain road conditions.
2) We will be discussing a day out in BUDKIDNON at Father Francos. Father Franco is a retired Priest with a great personality and all would enjoy his farm and hospitality.
3) We have a guest speaker Mr Macahlig, who will be giving us a brief history of himself and his talents in Tagalog and Bisaya teaching. If enough interest Caesar is offering to teach us some conversational Bisaya or Tagalog, depending on which we prefer.
4) We will be talking about setting up an FOM Book Club, so bring some books with you on the day, and Ken will discuss some ideas with us.
5) Ken will be putting up an idea of POT LUCK meals between us, lets see if we can make this work too.
6) Also a group participation, we need everyone to come with a funny, BUT clean story of there life in the Philippines.
We have now been without Ian for five months, and at this meeting we will be getting serious on what has to happen next.
We are looking for people to start to take on some duties, and we need to move FOM from what's becoming a passive organisation to more pro active fun group.
We need all ideas now, so no sitting on the fence.. its time FOM became a butterfly!!
This from AMERICAN IN DAVAO by Bruce Linder
In the past, I have written many times about the crazy drivers and motorcycles in the Philippines. It is a very aggressive driving habit. I have had friends comment that if they had a car, they would be too afraid to dive here, but that is not what I want to talk about today.
In the two years I have lived in Davao, I have seen an increase in construction in both commercial and residential building. There is a big project coming in that will consist of a business park a shopping mall, condominiums, and hotel. There are other hotels under construction and the plan for two more malls.
I went along to the Davao jail today and spoke to them about the hand craft the inmates produce. It took a while to get them to understand why I wanted to see their products but with a spot of British fortitude and Kiwi ingenuity I was shown firstly to the women's prison. There I was surprised to meet the woman who told me about the handcrafts while travelling in a jeepney a week or two previously.
I told her about our FoM group and she was quite interested. The range of hand crafts was quite different what I expected. They were mainly repackaged shampoos, soaps, liquid detergents, car washing liquids and things of that nature. The actual handcrafts consisted of small wallets, shopping type handbags, cell phone covers and some rather brightly coloured sun hats woven from a raffia type material. Product prices were not excessive then again they were not cheap.
I began to wonder about the whole point of these craft shop/display as there was nothing there that could not be purchased in any mall in Davao, and probably more cheaply. I let my gaze drift around, observing the ladies and listening to a pastor leading a singing/prayer meeting.
I suddenly saw that the purpose of showing these women how to produce small repackaged products was a way to give them some type of chance to survive on the outside. Being taught to sew and make the hats was also offering them an opportunity to develop skills they were previously lacking. The commercial aspect had little to do with it apart from disposing of some of the production.
The women's section was totally different from the men's block. It is referred to (I think) as Hope Village and the 138 women live in cottages. The grounds are very tidy and the buildings appear to be in good condition. The supervisors (screws we used to call them) are a friendly bunch and are keen for us to visit as a group. If a suitable time can be arranged they will put on a display/concert for us. These women obviously want to get out as soon as possible so they are trying to cooperate and hopefully turn away from the traps that put them in there. Over, 80% are on drugs related charges and the rest have committed offences related to property theft etc etc.
The men's section is like a squatters quarters although they appeared to be adequately contained behind rusty wire. It is a bit intimidating to enter the area however the real naughty boys are kept in the back room out of sight of the general public. There is no display area to show their work. Those with goods for sale (trees and flowers made from Sprite bottles) are allowed to bring them out and set them up on a table under the watchful gaze of a fellow with a mean looking automatic machine pistol.
The trees produced from Sprite bottle are nice so I purchased 4 pieces at 100 pesos each. They have no other products for sale.
I think it might be an interesting place to visit and if there are sufficient numbers I will organise a visit by writing to the chief officer requesting permission. However, I do think those attending should be prepared to make some sort of a purchase just to show that we appreciate their work.
A while back I wrote an article “New Problems watching American TV in the Philippines”
about how I downloaded TV show torrents and then watch them at my leisure. I also wrote that the main site I downloaded from Mininova was shut down from having all the torrents available. After that I found www.EZTV.it. They have most of the shows I enjoy.
The problem with torrents is first finding the show you want, and then download the torrent file. From there you need to use a bittorrent program to download the actual video file. Depending on the about of “seeds” which are computers on the internet with the file you want available and the speed of your connection, the time it takes to download can at times be days. These files can take up a large portion of your hard drive.
Our next meeting will be 9am on Wednesday 17th February at
Garden Pond and Grill
#114 Morales Compound, Morales Village, Matina, Davao City
Tel. 297-4628, 301-6842
Our guest speaker, arranged by Leon is from Malayan Insurance.
He specialises in insurance related to travel, and this may be an ideal opportunity to see what we can and cannot be covered for here in the Philippines.
We also need to discuss some future visits around Mindanao, and organise the social evenings too.
If you have any spare clothes, than bring them to as I will take them to the boys school in Panacan.
Paul Salavage will have a ANOTHER draft flyer to show you, WE WILL RUN THIS FOR 200 COPIES, AND EVERY MONTH RENEW IT IN CASE WE NEED TO ADD TO IT, a big thanks to Paul as he is doing all this at his own cost.
Reg and Liz will be back with the raffle too.
BI Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said foreigners who are based in the provinces can now be assured of swift and prompt attention from the bureau as they will soon start to put into operation the VIMS in all subports and district offices throughout the country.
Norman Tansingco, BI chief of staff, said it has always been the objective of Libanan to replicate the operations of VIMS in other areas, particularly in the urban cities where the project has not yet been implemented. "We intend to implement the VIMS in other major ports so that foreigners there can also enjoy the benefits and advantages of this project," Tansingco said.
The VIMS -- which was launched in January 2008 and considered as the milestone project of Libanan in his three years as BI chief -- aims to address perennial complaints by foreigners over the delays in the processing of their visa applications and other immigration documents.
"With VIMS, processing time for visa applications was reduced by an average of 82 percent and documentary requirements by 40 percent," Tansingco added.
Aside from the bureau's main office, the VIMS is now being implemented in 29 out of the 42 subports nationwide, including all satellite offices in Metro Manila, and at the immigration offices in Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao, Laoag, Angeles, Baguio, and Boracay.
Since its implementation, the VIMS has drawn praises from many sectors, including the various foreign chambers and embassies for its success in cutting red tape in the BI.
For successfully defeating the problem of red tape, the BI was adjudged by the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) as third placer among some 100 government agencies that have taken part in the commission's Integrity Development Action Plan (IDAP) program.
With the elections just a few months away, we need to make sure we already know our candidates so we can make informed choices. Here is the list of individuals who filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for local elective positions in :
For Congressional Seats in the
District 1: Maria Belen Sunga-Acosta, Bernard Sabino Custodio, Jocelyn Roa Duterte, Anacleto Belleza Millendez, Karlo Alexei Bendigo Nograles, Robert Elnar Olanolan, and Juan Resemilla Zamora
District 2: Dexter Antonio Alcebar, Joji Ilagan Bian, Danilo Castillo Dayanghirang, Mylene de Joya Garcia, and Diosdado Angelo Abello Mahipus
District 3: Victorio Sabulana Advincula, Wilberto Echavez Al-ag, Gerardo Caalaman Braganza, Gregorio Chavez Canada, Ruy Elias Concepcion Lopez, and Isidro Tom Ungab
Rodrigo Jr. Punzalan Buenzon, Sara Zimmerman Duterte, Magdaleno Sumampong Marcellones, Prospero Castillo Nograles, and Rodrigo Jomoc Suliman
For Vice Mayor
Benjamin Cacatian de Guzman, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and Roberto Viloria Macaraeg
District 1: Nilo Jr. Malig Abellera, Domingo Antipuesto Andolina, Rodolfo Farma Antolin, Lester Lawrence Trinidad Avila, Wendel Eliot Avisado, Jo Anne Bonguyan, Inocentes Jr.. Bornea, Pilar Cañeda Braga, Carlos Jimena Cirilio, Hector Emmanuel de los Reyes, Shane Lim Dolor, Eddie Codilan Fuentes, Emmanuel Dellergan Galicia, Arlex Luayon Galido, Edwin Abecia Gonzaga, Jeff Ong Ho, Ibuyan, Evelyn Gonzales Laviña, Raneolo Carillo Leonar, Leah Alonsabe Librado, Christian Jay Lim, Ferdinand Carabuena Lu, Ernesto Jr. Neuman Macasaet, Magompara Muto Magadia, Amil Bangsa Manding, Napoleon Tac-an Militar, Prospero Pardiñas Mojica, Rogelio Cañete Paconia, Pablito Pilapil Parilla, Randy Reyes Ponteras, J Melchor Vega Quitain, William Icalina Ramirez, Stella Marissa Viacrucis Reyes, Benjamin Jr. Guatlo Rivera, Joel Arroyo Santes, Micheal Manila Tabelo, Antonio Harada Vergara, Rene Alexis Villrente, Jose Joel Goloso Virador, Alberto Chiong Yap, and Jocelyn Palad Yap
District 2: Richard Antonio Alcebar, Alryan Sumicad Alejandre, Ernie Ilagan Alterado, Senforiano Jr. Ilagan Alterado, Jose Enoc Amban, Angelo Abelardo Aportadera, Micheal Protacio Aportadera, Dante Laude Apostol, Leonardo Miguel Aquino, Gerald Anthony Bangoy, Louie John Bonguyan, Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, Leopoldo Lagat Cagatin, Ariel Baring Casilao, April Marie Dayap, Jimmy Gestuveo Dureza, Dino Ferdinancd Galido, Lito Bucton Lapitan, Joji Jude Lumanog, Tomas IV, Joyce Monteverde, Rhoda Franco Noriega, Beethoven Lavisores Orcullo, Nenita Roldan Orcullo, Anthony Fabroa Pichon, Lius Jr. Quindoy Rodriguez, Marissa Palcado Salvador-Abella, Joseph Pinili Saucejo, Elvira Juezan Sederiosa, and Richard Cuizon Unla
District 3: Magno Jr. Gallinero Adalin, Lyndon Gamil Aballe, Victorio Jr. Uy Advincula, Bernard Echavez Al-ag, Conrado Calimbayan, Rogelio Balogbog Bantiles, Karlo Santos Bello, Salvador Virtucio Caingles, Genaro Maunto Casumpa, Domingo Gerolin Dalodo, Myrna Gerolin Dalodo-Ortiz, Allan Lim Dolor, Ernesto Villar Gerodias,Daniel Garandang Guillen, Lucio Jr. Graciosa Gutierrez, Samuel Edillo Lasay, Aldion Narciso Layao, Rene Elias Concepcion Lopez, Cecilio Jr. Espelita Manaois, Teresita Cayanong Mata-Marañon, Rogelio Alabata Montajes, Gregorio Rerora Pantig, Reynaldo Parcon Reyes, Romeo Sr. Caminero Saberon, Angelico Jr. Tondo Santander, Lolito Obeso Sucayre, Allan Joy Apat Sumandang, Eduard Bingcay Trinidad, Jose Louie Papas Villafuerte, and Rachel Paradela Zozobrado
Source: Philippine News Agency
Thanks very much to the staff at Gardena Fresca in Matina for supplying coffee and breakfast for only p80.