Well, as most readers are well aware, Feyma and I are in the middle of moving right now. Because there is a lot of work to do, I will keep this article a bit short, but I think I have a few interesting tidbits of information to share. I want to tell you a bit about what it is like to move in the Philippines. I am not talking about moving to the Philippines, I am talking about moving from one place in the Philippines to another place in the Philippines. Believe it or not, it’s probably a little different in some respects to what you might be expecting.
Feyma and I signed the lease, put down our deposit and such on Friday, October 29, 2010. The lease actually goes into effect on November 15. We do, however, have access to the house now, and have permission from the owner of the house to move our things into the house during the period before the lease starts. This is because of a few things, mostly because the home owner was in Davao for a short vacation at the end of October, but they live in Manila. So, it was convenient for them if we took care of everything a bit early, and we were happy about that as well, so that is what we did.
Feyma and my original plan was to start moving our “rarely used” stuff immediately, and have our move completed on November 15. Our plan was to move as much as we could ourselves, using our SUV and our Pickup Truck. We figured we would need to hire a moving van to haul the big stuff, as we had done in the past when we have moved. We were surprised though. As our “a little at a time” moved progressed, we realized that we had already moved the bulk of our stuff over quite early. We also realized that we would be able to move everything (including the big stuff) in our own vehicles and save on hiring a truck to move our big items.
So, with this in mind, we have already finished moving everything! We finished a week early, and it took only one week to complete the entire move! We are still organizing our things, but I must say that I am very happy with the way it worked out. Well, let me change that a bit. We do still have a few items over at the other house, but mostly just “outside stuff” like plants and such. Probably 2 more loads in the truck will be needed.
With any move, grunt work is the hard part. You need young, strong people to carry the stuff. You need capable people to unpack the boxes, and arrange things in an orderly way. Since labor is inexpensive in the Philippines, it’s not expensive to hire people to help out with this. However, you don’t want to hire just anybody off the street, because these people are handling things that are important and sometimes valuable. To address this problem, we talked to our maid, who has been with us for some time already. She recommended people who were family members and neighbors of hers. We hired 3 or 4 ladies to help with the unpacking, cleaning and such. We also hired 3 or 4 men who could carry heavy stuff and do the more “manly” chores that needed to be done. Yes, I realize that might sound sexist, but hey, the Philippines is a a society where men still do certain types of jobs and women do other types of work. It’s not a place where you see female construction workers and such like it is in many parts of the world now. Anyway, we paid these people P300 per day for their help, and they really did a good job for us.
Since my business is Internet based, we basically needed to have Internet Access from the minute we moved our computers over to the new place. This is not easy, because getting Philippine Internet Providers to do things on a schedule is quite difficult. For example, we have applied to have a Globe DSL line installed in the house (with 3Mbps speed, nice!). They promised us a week ago that it would be installed in 4 to 7 days, but first they had to do a “site survey” to make sure the speed we applied for is available at our house. Well, it’s been 7 days, but so far they didn’t even come out to do a site survey. So, when it will be hooked up is anybody’s guess. Secondly, we will keep our SmartBro Canopy system that we have at our old house, since we are still on contract for that for another 14 months. They were supposed to come to our old house yesterday to move the antenna and equipment to our new house. They did not show up, despite their promise to do so. So, when will that be done? Who knows.
So, how can we keep our business going? I purchased a “Globe Tattoo” 3G wireless USB dongle, which allows my computer to access the Internet from the Cellular towers. Works great. Access is expensive, P5 for 15 minutes. That sounds cheap, but if you are online 24/7 like I mostly need to be for my business, that is P15,000 per month to access the net. We are cutting back our access somewhat to keep the cost down, and hopefully we will have more permanent access in place in a few days. But, even if we don’t, at least we can still access the net and keep business going.
After I purchased the Globe Tattoo dongle, I found out that there are WiFi routers that you can buy where you can plug the Tattoo into it and share the connection on a WiFi network! So, I bought one of those, and now all of our computers can share the Internet Access from the Globe Tattoo, which makes it even easier to do business on the net even while moving.
When you are going to move, you need boxes, right? In the US, whenever I moved there, I would do one of two things:
- Go to stores and they would generally give you their used boxes for free.
- Go buy boxes from a place like “U-Haul”.
Well, here in the Philippines, did you know that if you go to the store and ask for boxes, they charge you for them? That’s right, used boxes that merchandise was in when it was shipped to them… boxes that you would think they are going to throw away anyway, they charge P30 for those! Need newspaper to wrap fragile items in? That’s P20 per kilo! Nothing is free in the Philippines!
Feyma is the hero
I must say, during this move, Feyma has really been the hero! Me, for the most part… I have just been in her way. She has really made this move so easy and painless. I have to give it to Feyma, she has really become an expert at moving, and my hat is off to her in every sense! So, thanks to Feyma for making the move the smoothest and most painless move that I have made in my life.
So, that is an update on our move. Another week or so, and I think we will be totally settled in, and everything will be back to normal for us. I have to say, so far I am really liking the new neighborhood! It is so quiet here! We rarely even hear a car pass by!
I thought this would be short, I even said at the beginning of this article that I would keep it short. It didn’t turn out that way, though… I hope this didn’t bore you!
Update – 12 Noon Philippine time, Monday November 8, 2010
SmartBro showed up at our old house today and moved our Canopy system to the new house! I guess they came about 9am or so to the old house, and everything was all installed at the new place by 12 Noon. Great Service! The only downside was that they did not show up on Saturday as promised, but I am used to that kind of thing, I suppose. So, anyway, now we have the SmartBro Internet Connection all installed and working. At least we are not having to use the Globe Tattoo full time now. Just waiting now for the Globe DSL line to be installed. We will be following up with them today to see what the status of the application is.