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Can I bring my stuff with me?

By Bob Martin | January 2, 2007 | 11

Somebody e-mailed me last night asking a question about bringing their belongings with them when they come, and how much duty they will have to pay to the Philippine Customs for that.  I am sorry, but right now I have lost your e-mail!  I am in the middle of migrating to a new computer, and my e-mail files got corrupted in the process.  I am still hoping to recover all of that, but it isn’t…

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Happy New Year 2007 from the Philippines

By Bob Martin | January 1, 2007 | 4

I am sitting here on the whitest powder beach that you could ever imagine, using my laptop over the wireless internet connection here at the resort.  I have to wear my sunglasses because the bright, hot sun is right in my field of vision.  Oh, it’s OK now, after typing that last sentence a beautiful girl came over and held up a shield to block the sun in my eyes.  Hmm… very nice!  Hold on…

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Finding your niche and filling it yourself

By Bob Martin | December 28, 2006 | 21

I have lived in the Philippines for almost 7 years now.  When I came here, I had a wad of money that I had saved up in order to be able to make the move and have a comfortable life.  I didn’t have enough for a lifetime, but I had enough that my plan was that I could start up a business here with my money, and also live comfortably for about 3 to 4…

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Philippine disasters are disastrous

By Bob Martin | December 27, 2006 | 0

In reading the news, have you noticed that there are always disasters striking the Philippines?  It is true.  Every year there are always a number of typhoons that ravage the country.  They wipe through areas and leave nothing but devastation.  Also, the Philippines sits right on top of the infamous “ring of fire,” so there are, almost every year, volcanoes going off, many earthquakes and such.  This past year we have had another type of…

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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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