Cell Phone Phobia Solved in The Philippines

As I have mentioned in previous articles, electronics and communications amoungst other things have been a lifelong hobby for me and at times my source of income. You would think that when Cell Phones started to become universally popular I would have had one immediately. Instead it has always had the opposite affect. I have always tried to keep monthly bills and paid accounts to a minimum where possible and having a traditional landline phone is enough for me. When I am away from my landline phone I just don’t want to be bothered with phone calls. I don’t have a business so I don’t need one for that. Put simply, I just never wanted to be bothered with or have the additional expense of a Cell Phone.

Coffee and conversation with the store manager.  This really made my day !
Coffee and conversation with the store manager. This really made my day !

Prior to my first visit to The Philippines I had learned how Cell Phones are the primary means of communication with the general population and text messages outnumber voice communication. What really surprised me was when I got there and found so many people texting just about anywhere and everywhere ! The first time I went to a popular local resto-bar I took a good look around and it seemed like people were paying more attention to texting than to socializing and enjoying the company of those they were with. Having dinner with friends the first few times although we did have some enjoyable conversation If I had not known better, I might have become rather annoyed that those present continued texting right through dinner. I had never experienced anything like this before. When one of them just about held a cell phone across the table at me I inquired ” Are you texting someone ? ” the reply was, ” No I am doing my Facebook ” . If something like this happened to me here in the USA I might have become rather annoyed over this. In knowing scenes like this could be considered somewhat modern day normalcy in The Philippines I just accepted it as part of the culture which is one of the things I went there to experience in the first place.

For my first four visits, one or more of my friends there handled most of the texting for me involving plans with others, changes in plans, etc. In those first four visits I learned a little at a time how the Cell Phone system works there concerning buying load ( cell phone minutes ), sim cards, different carriers etc. I still had no desire to become involved with having a cell phone myself although I got the impression that all of the texting on my behalf by my friends at times was becomming a bit of a burden.

Learning from  " The Pros ", MSU-IIT engineering students  " Teach Me To Text "
Learning from ” The Pros “, MSU-IIT engineering students ” Teach Me To Text “

As I am always monitoring the internet for things happening in Iligan City and with the addition of an all English Speaking webstream from radio station DXMA I learned of a new store opening called ” Bodega Site ” featuring Cell Phones, Cameras and Computers. From what I had learned about it via Internet it was a place I wanted to see on my next visit. I already have a camera, I didn’t need a PC or laptop so what else was left ? On the long plane ride from New York to The Philippines I gave it some thought about ” maybe ” buying a cell phone and try to learn how to use it to relieve some of the texting my friends had been doing for me on my prior visits. I had previously discovered I could buy a name brand, decent quality ” Basic ” cell phone for less that the equivalent of $20 ( USD ), I consider the system of payment for cell phones in The Philippines as a true ” pay as you go ” situation to be most favorable. As The Philippines is known as the ” texting capitol of the world ” I knew I would be surrounded by experts to ” Teach Me To TXT ” ! If I had found my intro to cell phone and texting to be more burdensome than worthwhile I would not be out of a lot of money. In the early days of Cell Phones here in the USA they were in the hundreds of dollars for the phone and the subscription account.

Meeting store manager Jhonalyn Cabili and informing her how I learned of their store from the other side of the world
Meeting store manager Jhonalyn Cabili and informing her how I learned of their store from the other side of the world

Early on in my last visit, one of my Iliganon friends and I went to visit the Bodega Site store which I had heard and seen so much of thanks to the Internet. I found the place to be most attractive, clean and orderly with quite a variety of brands, models of equipment and accessories. There is also an in-house service counter. My friend helped me to select a ” Basic ” cell phone by Samsung and I think I paid something like 800 Peso for it. Prior to paying for the phone, I asked to speak to the Manager. I always like to inform store managers, owners etc. how i found out about them from the other side of the world, which so many times is such a welcomed surprise to them.

Leaving Bodega Site, Iligan City with my very first Cell Phone
Leaving Bodega Site, Iligan City with my very first Cell Phone

Moments later I am introduced to store manager Johnalyn Cabili who greeted me with one of those traditional big Filipino ( in this case Filipina ) smiles and a warm welcome to their Bodega Site store. As she became so interested in how I learned of the store I was invited to have a seat at a table in the showroom and offred a cup of coffee which I naturally accepted. I enjoyed our conversation very much and this made the purchase of my first cell phone ” More Fun ” than I ever could have anticipated!

Back to the hotel, the friend that went with me to buy the phone, an engineering student at MSU-IIT, begins going over some of the basics of how to use my first cell phone. I made a few test text messages to other friends so they could have the phone number and I later explained to all of them that if they text me I might not always give them an immediate reply or I could possibly misplace their message. It worked out well for me and relieved some of the percieved burden to my friends of handling so many text messages on my behalf during my stay. I used my cell phone right up to the last minutes in the boarding area for my flight back to New York to say good bye and thanks to my friends in Iligan City.

Obviously, as it is this cell phone will not work here so it is back in its box, taken out once in a while to charge the battery and have a look at the last messages I recieved on it to bring back the entire experience of my cell phone adventure.

Sometimes it is best to wait for the right time and the right place for certain things to take place. For me, buying my first Cell Phone and learning how to use it was without a duubt, ” More Fun In The Philippines “.

Store Info
Store Info
Post Author: BobNY (12 Posts)

Bob in New York is a regular reader and participant on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob has traveled to the Philippines many times already and primarily visits the Iligan and Cagayan de Oro areas. Bob is a big fan of Jollibee Corporation, and even owns stock in the company!

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  1. Cy says

    I’ve never been a huge cell phone person myself. I do have one but it’s a cheap pre-paid phone that I keep for emergencies. I take it with me but always leave it in the car. I never take it in stores, restaurants, etc. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I really like the idea of being able to have some freedom from being “reachable” all the time.

    • Bob New York says

      Hi Cy
      I seldom used my Philippines Cell Phone outside of my hotel room. When I am out and about, visiting, shopping and sightseeing on a vacation the last thing I want to be is distracted by a Cell Phone. At times like these I usually had one or more of my Iligan friends with me so once again they were able to handle messages at those time for me.

      AN additional thing that put me off from having a cellphone at home here in the USA is when I worked for a 24 hour service company in the ” Beeper Era ” just prior to cost effective cell phones. That beeper would go off at the least opportune moments. When I changed jobs I was happy to get away from those beepers !

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. RandyL says

    Hi BobNY,

    It took me a couple years to cave to the pressures of buying a cell phone here years ago, and now in my line of work I can’t live without it. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t effectively work without a smart phone. I’m sure looking forward to dumping the phone when I get to the RP. After being tethered to it for so long, it has become like a crack addiction and I can’t live without it here. During my last visit to the RP in April, I turned my phone off for nearly three weeks and never felt so liberated. When we move there, I will most likely pull a Fred Sanford and claim “arthritic thumbs” and turn over the texting duties to the asawa. As strange as it may seem that the RP could be the texting (sms) capital of the world, USA is quickly becoming taking the lead in the passing of “stupid laws” (texting and walking) and cities here are quickly jumping on that revenue wagon.

    • Bob New York says

      Hi Randy
      Thanks for your comment. In some ways I can understand the justification for, in certain situations, about trying to deter cell phone texting in busy city areas. Recently I have seen signs on certain Interstate Highways here about ” No Texting While Driving ” . One of the reasons I didn’t take my cell phone with me outside of my hotel was just because of that, I didn’t want to be distracted by it. Also as a new cell phone and texting user, I wanted to give it my full attention when I did use it.

      I can easily understand why Cell Phones can be included as a necessity in The Philippines as I think the way the system works there it may be more cost effective than the traditional landline service. Additionally I think there may be a lot more areas where landline service is not available as compared to here in the USA.

      I agree, I think to many people Cell Phones have become an addiction. The internet has become like that for me in many ways and if I dont have my daily fix of internet it can be a bit annoying. Thats why I keep spare PC’s and have two ISP’s. If one goes down I have plenty of back-up. LOL

      • RandyL says

        Do you think those regulatory signs could be a waste of money? I’m sure many people with adhere to those regulations as much as they do any other road sign, specifically speed limit signs. I seen a video a couple weeks ago with this guy, while texting/walking, crashed into a glass wall. He was lucky to come away with a bump on his forehead. Another video recently surfaced where a guy actually fell off a subway platform as a train approached. He was rescued just before the train arrived. I’m with you…it definately safer to leave your phone in your room when you don’t absolutely need it.

        • Bob New York says

          The signs I have seen so far are of the portable, programmable illuminated signs. I think laws like this may vary from state to state unless some kind of federal law is created. In New York State a law has been in effect for several years now about use of cell phones while driving unless they are of the hands free variety.

          For me, I don’t think I would want to voice or text while driving. For those that do I think it most likely becomes second nature to them. I have also read and seen videos of accidents and injury blamed on cell phone use. It is the innocent bystanders that get injured or even worse killed because of this.

      • RandyL says

        Do you think those regulatory signs could be a waste of money? I’m sure many people with adhere to those regulations as much as they do any other road sign, specifically speed limit signs. I seen a video a couple weeks ago with this guy, while texting/walking, crashed into a glass wall. He was lucky to come away with a bump on his forehead. Another video recently surfaced where a guy actually fell off a subway platform as a train approached. He was rescued just before the train arrived. I’m with you…it definitely safer to leave your phone in your room when you don’t absolutely need it.

      • RandyL says

        Do you think those regulatory signs could be a waste of money? I’m sure many people with adhere to those regulations as much as they do any other road sign, specifically speed limit signs. I seen a video a couple weeks ago where this guy, while texting/walking, crashed into a glass wall. He was lucky to come away with a bump on his forehead. Another video recently surfaced where a guy actually fell off a subway platform as a train approached. He was rescued just before the train arrived. I’m with you…it definitely safer to leave your phone in your room when you don’t absolutely need it.

  3. ScottF says

    This is an item of interest for me and my asawa, as we plan on moving to the Philippines next year. My wife previously had only a stand call.txt phone, as did I. However, after some talks with the sales reps here in the U.S. and the enlightening I had on the capabilities of the smart phones, I quickly ordered two. One for each of us. My wife doesn’t go a second without it, and I am almost equally as quilty. FB updates, and such are fun, and I would LOVE to be able to continue that when we move. (Mostly to make my friends and family jealous of being retired and enjoying life). LOL!. I laugh, but I am not joking. :) Some of them think that the Philippines is a horrible place to retire, but they make judgements without EVER stepping foot on the ground there. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here.

    My curiousity is about pricing for smart phone service that will allow FB/Internet access. Also, I know the Filipinos are quite crafty and able to convert phones for use there. Anybody know if the Droid X2 can be converted for use there, or should I sell them here and buy new when we get there?

    Any information would be GREATLY appreciated!


    • John Miele says

      Scott: I have postpaid with globe…many plans to choose from, most with free phone. Every mall has shops to unlock your phone

      • ScottF says

        John, thanks for the information. I’m looking forward to getting there and finding a good plan for my asawa and me.

    • RandyL says

      Scott, I have a Blackberry Storm and my asawa has the Droid 3. The salespeople at Verizon all tell us we will not be able to use our phones over there. John is right. Most all phones can be (the correct term is jailbreak) unlocked. I would think the Droid 2 is no exception as long as you have a SIM card. Although I really don’t want to be tethered to a phone once I get there, I will probably take mine anyhoo!

      • ScottF says

        Randy, Thanks for the information. Many of the U.S. phones used to have and still do have SIM cards located under the battery. My concern is that the SIM card for these X2’s are not visible. So, I think it would be best to sell these here in the U.S. and get new ones there that would allow an easy switch from one carrier to another with the simple switch out of a SIM card. I’m sure we will find one that we like as much as the X2, in the Philippines.


    • Bob New York says

      Thanks for your comment Scott. I am sure the experienced cell phone users on this site will be able to fill you in. From what I have seen, experienced etc. on my visits to The Philippines I am more than certain that just about anything ” Cell Phone ” you will find it there and more than likely at a much more attractive overall cost and convienience. Reliable cell phone coverage may have to do with where you will be.

      Most of my friends where I was use Globe, and some have dual sim card phones to use both Globe and Smart. I think there are additional carriers as well.

      When I was in Limeketkai Shopping Mall in Cagayan De Oro I walked by 5 ( thats right count ’em Five ) cell phone stores all next to each other ! My thought on that at the time was ” If this isn’t Cell Phone mania ” I don’t know what is ! LOL

      • ScottF says

        BOBNY, thanks for sharing your post with me for my questions. I got the information I was looking for, as is usual for the LiP site. I’ll be sellign my phones here before we leave for the Philippines and find some phones that suite our purpose there.

    • LeRoy Miller says

      I am not an expert in the Philippines, – – -but – – – I am currently as one of my 3 jobs, a store and repair center manager for a major US cell phone company, Sp – – – t. (Since I have to be careful about name dropping.) Having said that, any of our phones that are called “World Phones” can be used in many countries by choosing the proper SIM card.

      According to family members that take new phones back with them when they return, one of the most versatile is the Motorola Photon because of the ease of changing to local service and it has one of the better antenna systems for rural areas. iPhones are also world phones.

      Hope that gives ideas.

      • Bob New York says

        Thanks for this info, LeRoy. If I ever do get a cell phone for use here in the USA I will look into the possibility of being able to use it to text / chat with my friends in The Philippines. Depends on total cost and I am afraid that I might get more texts than I care to deal with at one time LOL. I am still considering the possibilities though.

  4. peterjoy says

    hi bob a good post mate

    i think i did buy my first cell phone a long time a go and now like most off u cannot do with out it but for me spending a lot off my time away from my wife as i do i call the philippines every day and some times up to 3 times a day so it would be very hard for me to be with out one now as it is a big part off my life so god bless mate it is nice to hear from u here and keep up the good work ok……peter martin ..tassie

    • Bob New York says

      I can easily understand the need for many people to have and use Cell Phones, I’m just one of the few that never did but when the situation presented itself as I have written about here it was a logical and especially cost effective way for me to go. What really made this such a special event for me was having coffee with the store manager at a table in the middle of the showroom. I think we were there chatting for at least half an hour, maybe more. These unplanned, unexpected enjoyable events such as this enhance my experience of visiting far beyond anything I could have planned on. This took place after the sale so it was not even a sales pitch to buy a more expensive phone with all the bells and whistles on it, just a friendly conversation almost as if we had been friends for many years.
      Thanks for your comments Peter.

  5. PapaDuck says

    Good to see you back writing an article. I only have the basic cellphone like you, don’t need the internet and all those apps. Will have a dual sim phone when living there, for traveling out of the country. Take care and have a nice day.

    • Bob New York says

      Hi PapaDuck. This will just about conclude my series of LIP articles of my visit last year to Iligan City, unless I can think of anything additional that is appropriate for ” LIP ” and it’s readers. I try to space them out over a period of time as they all have something to do with my visits to Iligan CIty, about the only place I know in The Philippines. I look forward to visiting again some time this year so fear not, more articles on my continuing adventures there will eventually follow as for me, there is so much ” More To Explore ” in Iligan.
      Good to hear from you again and thanks for your comment.

  6. Pat D Noel says

    Hi Bob.

    It’s so nice to read such a well written article about my hometown. I’m really glad that you have chosen Iligan to add experience, color and excitement as well as putting “Fun” in the “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” (in this case, “It’s more fun in Iligan!”) its true sense of meaning.

    Thanks also to your readers who gives some equally good words for our small country.

    God bless you and all your readers always!


    • Bob New York says

      Hi Pat,
      Thanks for your comment. Situations as I have described in this article may never show up on any tourist maps or travel guides. I regard things like this as some of the ” True Treasures ” I have found on my visits to Iligan City. I doubt there would often be experiences here, in the USA where a foreigner who may be perceived as a ” One Time ” customer, buying a lower priced, lower profit item to be invited to have coffee and the hospitality extended to me not only in this store, but many of the other stores, restaurants etc. that I have been to in Iligan. Obviously, it cost money for me to get there, stay there, shop and eat etc. The hospitality of so many of the people I have met there however, is ” Priceless ” which is another reason my continued visits are so worthwhile to me. You just can’t buy things like that at any price.

  7. corjo says

    Ha ha I cant live without my smartphone,tablet,netbook and laptop all are 3g connected and al are on 24- 7.
    Its true im one of those people who ring and beep in resteraunts.I update constantly because the latest version of Adroid or I.O.S. offers so much more.
    I skype from my mobile conferencing to Europe and U.S.A. Modern mobile communications save me thousands of dollars on flights and my time away from home has been cut in half.Recently while commissioning a new machine I came across a problem i could not understand.I just took a video with my smartphone sent it by M.M.S. to the manafaturer in France.Within 10 mins I had the answer to my problem.
    Cellphones Tablets and 3g communications are very important and understanding their use is vital.Wimax and 4g will bring massive benefits to the Philippines.Jobs, better access to healthcare easier commnications.For instance our barangay now has a Typhoon tracking system and recieves messages from P.A.G.A.S.A. about weather threats.We can now video call our provincial hospital for help and advice in an emergency.
    The uses are almost endless and best of all the technology is cheap to buy and run

    • Bob New York says

      Some very good points Corjo. Things like this make me wonder when I read or hear things refering to The Philippines as a ” 3rd World ” or ” Developing Nation “. There are a lot of highly educated and brilliant people there. Excellence in technical and most other forms of education are available. It would not surprise me in the least that if it has anything to do with Cell Phones and related equipment and its many uses it most likely can be found in use in The Philippines, and maybe before other places in the world.

      Thank you for your comments.

      • corjo says

        Oh after 25 years of developpment work in Philppines I know its not the lack of skills or talent that makes the Philippines third world.It is the lack of opportunty.Fingures crossed we just need three good presidents in a row.

        • Bob New York says

          That is a good point and I guess with so many OFW’s that helps to illustrate the lack of opportunity for so many of the people there. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Mark G. says

    Hi Bob,
    I’m a cell phone junkie as are all my Filipino relatives. Fortunately for me I have a brother who works for a large company in the USA that starts with an A and ends with a T; taking a que from Leroy Miller above ;-). They live and die by the text. While you and I in the USA may pick up the phone to call someone for them it is easier and cheaper to text. All my relatives have ‘unlocked’ smart phones from that “A_T” company now! Cheap phones are readily available in the Philippines and I leave my US phone at home. It will work in the Philippines but it is not unlocked and that “A_T” company charges exhorbitant rates while International Roaming. I picked up a Nokia for 300 pesos and used it for a bit before giving it to my wife’s best friend, whose phone had died (her “A_T” smartphone that is, I wonder where she got that…). Long story short I think that cell phones and texting are a way of life in the Philippines and it’s not a bad thing. You just have to get used to it.
    Mark G.

    • Bob New York says

      Since my first exposure to all of the texting in The Philippines about 5 years ago, I consider it as part of todays Philippines Culture. Early on I learned that 6 text messages could be made for the cost of one voice call so that for sure is a big plus fot the cost conscious user. I can send one way text messages to my friends in The Philippines from New York using SKYPE and I think the charge is 6.6 cents per text. There might be a 2 way text plan available on SKYPE but I have not looked into it. Hey, you never know, a few more visits to The Philippines and I could possibly turn into a cell phone junkie too LOL !

      At least with texting it is almost silent compared to those using their voice on a cell phone. Here in the USA I get a bit irritated at times sitting in a restaurant or other public place as people feel they have to talk loudly or shout into a cell phone. I have recieved calls from people on cell phones and their voice goes into distortion because they talk so loud. ” Real ” landline phones as once issued only by telephone companies, have a ” feedback ” circuit ( also known as ” sidetone ” ) where the person speaking hears themself in the reciever ( earpiece ) to help the person talking unconsciounsciously control the level of their voice. I don’t think cell phones have that feature.

      Thanks for your comment Mark.

      • Mark G. says

        Bob if you and your Filipino friends have Yahoo Messenger you may be able to send them SMS messages for free. That’s how the wife and I communicate when I’m traveling or working. To be honest I don’t know too many Filipinos who aren’t on Yahoo Messenger, lol.
        Mark G.

        • Bob New York says

          Hi Mark,
          I have been aware of this for a while but I am not sure if the receiver of the text message is charged or must consume ” load ” in reading the texts. In fact, most of those that I used to contact on Yahoo Messenger, now leave it in a mode that forwards messages to them on their cell phones. I have been using Skype for sending texts of anything important to my friends in Philippines although it only works one way ( they can not reply by text ) with the kind of account I use on Skype.
          Thanks for the info and comment.

  9. Paul Thompson says

    Hi Bob;
    I was dragged in to cell phone use kicking and screaming. When we built our house in 1999 there was no land line and never would be one. I got a cell phone, for me my wife and our two daughters. I still refused to text, at the end of a year I had a thousand free texts on my account. When my old buddy started to text me I got angry, thinking if that old curmudgeon can figure it out I can. My phone bill dropped quickly. Now I’m texting 90% of the time, and call only when text would be confusing. We all succumb to them, welcome to the Philippines, it really is more fun.

    • Bob New York says

      When I arrive at Manila, I like to try and let my friends in Iligan know that I have arrived in the country so they will know that so far everything is on schedule and I expect to be in Cagayan De Oro at Lumbia Airport at the designated time on the pre arranged flight. The first couple of visits I used the pay phone and fumbled my way through figuring out the coins, etc. On visit number 3 the quantity of payphones had decreased to the point where there were only 2 of them left in the departures area I was in. I had forgotten from previous visits that when the called party answers you have to press a button on the pay phone to talk. After 3 calls I finally figured it out. What a headache !

      On visit 4, I came up with an idea that worked perfectly. I’d see someone on their cell phone, wait for them to finish their call or text, then I would ask them if they could send a 3 word text for me and I’d be happy to give them 20 peso for the call. I did this 2 times with 2 different people just to make sure the text got to my friends in Iligan City. ( I still don’t trust Cell Phones 100% LOL ). I did the same routine on the next visit. None of those that made those text calls for me accepted the 20 peso. I didn’t want to be overly insistant with them so I thanked them very much. I think that was very good of them to do that for me.

      About a week after my first Cell Phone lesson, I found myself

      Texting from a Bar
      Texting in a Car
      and even texting from my Hotel Room CR !

      Reminded me of a song Dobie Grey had a hit with ” a few ” years ago,

      ” The In Crowd ” ( I’m in with the in crowd ) .

      My intro to haveing a Cell Phone and Texting couldn’t have happened at a better time or place, for me. Thanks for your comment Paul.

      • says

        hi bob. i hope we could see each other on my way back to iligan. i go home more or else frequently since i’ve just retired from an airline and much cheaper fare for other airline.
        you are right that everyone in the iligan are doing texting. i could have been annoyed by this bad habits but i thought to myself that filipinos are just so excited with the new technology that they are hooked on it. one time we went to restaurant and one of the guests could not even utter a single conversation so much so that my late wife was so disappointed. so if you could not beat them, join them. (i guess that’s the way they make conversation nowadays that we are just out of touch in the new tech.)
        i bought a cheaper one worth 600 pesos nokia. they kept on laughing at me and they thought it had been out of model for sometimes. even the burglar would return the phone back to me and would say that it would be a piece of junk.
        here in U.S., my children have the new gadgets except me. i don’t have the smart phone because i don’t have so many friends to talk to since i’ve retired from work and you are right because it is an extra expense.
        i am surprised how you are so adapted to the way of life in small city of iligan city. i guess all of them have known you. it is nice to know that the whole city would recognize you and receive you with open arm. it is so huge contrast compared to your place like new york city. although iligan has so many problem but new york city has also. you would not dare to go outside unfamiliar neighborhood just like we were lost in harlem, new york long time ago. good that we were able to find our way home. i had heard they would not like anybody that were different like us.
        although iligan city is not 100 percent safe but you could walk anywhere in the city with no fear.
        i thank you for your contribution and again i hope to see you in the future and personally thank you for having an impact to our and your city.

        • Bob New York says

          HI Willand and thank you for your comment. I brought my Cell Phone with me on my visit of 2012 and one of the first things I did, after visiting my favorite Jollibee LOL, was to get a new sim card for my Iligan Cell Phone as the one from the year before had expired. I had remembered how to use it without having to re-learn everything over again and once again it became quite useful to me. I seldom used it when out and about in Iligan as my attention was occupied just by being in Iligan again. At MSU-IIT this year I was welcomed and entertained by the School of Computer Studies and included in one of their very entertaining videos. Riding in one of the lead vehicles of the BJMP Motorcade, enjoying more restaurants and re-visiting favorites from past visits. I always wished I could have spent one more week in Iligan and this time it happened due to Hurricane Sandy cancelling my original return date plus another unexpected turn of events which you will eventually read about here on ” LIP ” . Spending time with my friends in Iligan and meeting new people are always a highlite of my visits there, including spending a part of one day with the Jollibee Mascot !

          As I have done on my past few visits, when I wanted to get a message to my Iligan friends that were to meet me at Lumbia Airport in CDO that I had arrived in Manila I asked someone in the boarding area if they could send a txt for me and I offered to pay them 20 peso for the call. They sent the message for me, got the confirmation reply from my friends in Iligan and they did not accept my 20 peso offer of payment to them for making handling the txt for me. Things like this mean a lot to me.

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