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Can you handle the noise?

By Bob Martin | December 22, 2006 | 12

The Philippines is a noisy place, I don’t think anybody can argue against me on that.  As I am sitting here at my desk writing this post, over the last five minutes I have heard all of these sounds outside my window: A rooster next door has been letting out his “cock-a-doodle-do” about three times per minute There is a house being constructed behind mine and they have been working since around 6am with lots…

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Being an ex-pat gets a little harder

By Bob Martin | December 21, 2006 | 2

Over the past 1 year or slightly longer, the US Dollar has been falling like a rock!  It seems that whatever the bad news for the Philippine economy, the Peso still gains strength against the Dollar.  Keep in mind, if you are an American and you get your money from some US source, this means that your spending power is decreasing almost every day! Let’s take a look at the value of the Dollar over…

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Do you know what Noche Buena is?

By Bob Martin | December 20, 2006 | 0

I guess that no matter where in the world you go, if it is a different place from where you came from the customs will be different.  Variety is the spice of life, isn’t that what you’ve heard? Here in the Philippines, it is no exception.  Celebrations are different here than where I came from.  Let’s take a look at Christmas, since we are in the season. The real centerpiece of the Christmas Celebration here…

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Getting into the Christmas Spirit

By Bob Martin | December 18, 2006 | 7

For most people who read this blog, they are probably used to having cold weather, even snow for the Christmas Season.  Of course, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, anywhere south of the Equator) you are the opposite and it is Summer at this time of year.  Still, I believe that the vast majority of our readers are in the Northern Hemisphere and in Cold Weather parts of that Hemisphere. For…

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How about all those typhoons?

By Bob Martin | December 9, 2006 | 0

Over recent months, almost anybody who has seen any TV weather reports has seen that a number of typhoons have hit the Philippines recently.  In the past three months, four different typhoons have struck the country.  Just under two weeks ago, Super-Typhoon Durian killed over 1,000 people here in the Philippines.  Another storm is headed this way right now. Did you know that around 20 to 25 typhoons hit the Philippines on an average year? …

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Attention – new procedure for tourist visa renewal

By Bob Martin | December 8, 2006 | 8

Just a quick note for anybody who is coming to the Philippines on a tourist visa.  As I have said before, on your initial tourist visa, which is automatically issued upon entry, you get to stay in the country for 30 days.  Near the end of your 30 day stay, if you wish to stay in the Philippines longer, you will need to go and extend your visa. In order to renew your visa, you need to…

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Don’t like hot weather? We have cold weather too!

By Bob Martin | November 28, 2006 | 4

My Mom recently arrived here in the Philippines.  She spent Thanksgiving here, and will spend Christmas with us too.  She has actually visited us in the Philippines three times now, and she enjoys it here, I think.  Funny, because she always swore that she would never come here.  She said it was too hot here for her to handle.  I had to get seriously ill before she decided to make a visit! Anyway, as I…

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Thanksgiving – Philippine Style

By Bob Martin | November 24, 2006 | 0

It’s Thanksgiving day still in the United States, but already Friday here in the Philippines.  Of course, there is no Thanksgiving here in the Philippines, it is a uniquely American Holiday (yes, I know there is also a Thanksgiving in Canada celebrated in October).  However, for American ex-pats like me who live in the Philippines, most of us do celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving, Fourth of July and such. For Thanksgiving, there are many restaurants that…

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By Bob Martin | November 10, 2006 | 4

In the past 2 to 3 days, I have had discussions with two different people about homesickness.  In the first instance, a Filipina who is living in the USA left a comment on one of my blogs saying how she was very homesick for her previous life in the Philippines.  I told her that I certainly understood her feelings, because when my Filipina wife first came to live in the States, she often experienced homesickness. …

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Davao Butterfly House – A great family getaway

By Bob Martin | October 26, 2006 | 0

Tuesday was a holiday here in the Philippines (last day or Ramadan), and the kids were out of school that day, so I decided to take them for a family outing.  We went to the Davao Butterfly House, which is in Maa, Davao City, along the Davao River.  This area is really starting to fill up with various family type venues where you can take the kids for a great day! The butterfly house had…

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I live in Davao City, and here is what I think about the place

By Bob Martin | October 17, 2006 | 140

I got an e-mail from a friend overnight. He told me that he was planning to retire in the Philippines next year, and he is thinking of living in Baguio City when he comes. Somebody told him about Davao, and he decided that maybe he should consider it before deciding too quickly. He knew that I live in Davao, so he decided to ask my opinion. I thought I’d share my response to him, since…

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Watching for scammers

By Bob Martin | October 12, 2006 | 6

This morning I got an e-mail from somebody who reads one of my other blogs.  He is in an “over the internet” relationship with a girl who lives in another city here in Mindanao.  The girl had e-mailed him saying that one of her relatives is sick and in the hospital.  But… they have no money for treatment and the person who is sick will die if they don’t get treatment.  She is asking him…

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