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The differences that 17 years can make

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I was just thinking today about the things that have changed since I made my first trip to the Philippines some 17 years ago.  It is like night and day, especially when it comes to communications.

In 1990 when I first visited General Santos City to meet my wife, it was like a different world.  There was no internet (yes, I know there was for Universities and Military and such, but not for the regular guy like you and I).  Even making a telephone call from Mindanao to the USA was difficult.  It could only be done on Saturdays and Sundays, believe it or not!  You could not use a credit card here in most cases.  The only way that Feyma and I could regularly communicate was through writing letters and mailing them.  That meant that it would take 2 to 3 weeks for my letter to reach here, then another 3 weeks or so for her response to reach me.  It was a slow process!  Especially when comparing with today.

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Oh me how things can change in what would normally be considered a short amount of time.  Now, I have three different VOIP telephone lines and can communicate on the telephone worldwide for only pennies.  I can get on the Internet and do a voice chat with people in virtually any country of the world free of charge.  I can go use a credit card at almost any decent sized shop here.  I can use my computer to listen to radio stations back in the USA and keep up with what is going on “back home”.  It is simply amazing!

I can’t imagine what life would be like here with the technology that was available on my first visit to the Philippines.  I doubt that I would even live here if that was the case!

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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Tom
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I remember being there for the first time as a 20-year-old kid in 1982. Fairly primitive in some ways. The Philippines has come a long way and most of that has been a good thing for them.

Angel
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Angel

Can you provide me an info regarding the VOIP Phone.

rmada
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rmada

Bob,

Night and day indeed. Looking back 17 years ago here in LA the cell phones then were huge, GPS on cars was years away, and so with I-Pods and computers were way upthere price -wise. Now, you can get a PC or laptop less than $300. Like the Virgina Slims ad said "you've coma long way, baby".

Rmada

Pete
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Bob what was it like in UK 17 years ago, in 1990 cell phones as we now call them had been around for about 3 years, there were only 2 networks then, Vodaphone and Cellnet, calls cost 50p a minute, I remember the first phones that came out, the Motorola 9500 was like a brick phone, with a large antenna, it look liked something from a marvel comics strip, then came the Panasonic D10 in a carry case as big as a womans vanity case, batterys were huge. Back then word processors were just coming into being, the Amstrad PCW… Read more »

Bob
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Bob

Hi Tom – I can't even imagine how it was here in 1982. That's 8 years before my first trip here, and I'm sure that a lot of improvements had come in those 8 years! Hi Angel – for VOIP service, I use Vonage, which you can find at http://www.vonage.com. I have been using the service for 4 years now, and have always been quite happy with them. It costs about $25 per month, and I can make unlimited calls anywhere in North America and to a number of European countries as well. Hi rmada – yes indeed! Ha ha….… Read more »

Phil
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Phil

Hi,
I don't know much about voip and such but we do have a skype phone here and in phils which works really well, we just need to pay for the monthly broadband service and my wife can talk till the battery in the phone goes flat! (which it occaisionally does). Is this the best way or are there better or cheaper ways of calling overseas?
phil

Bob
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Bob

Hi Phil! No worries – Skype IS Voip! But, there are other companies offering different varieties of VOIP service, and I actually use 3 different providers. My most used is Vonage, which I can use without even needing to turn on my computer – it just rings through on my regular phone.

brian
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brian

As handy as cell phones are….there are times I curse the inventor and pray hell has a special place for these inventions !!! LOL

Laurence
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Laurence

And coming soon…..wireless electricity (or WiTricity). http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200706/s1945

Steven Wright's concept of a cordless extension cord may well become a reality.

Bob
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Bob

Hi Brian – Yep, it's true. Sometimes I just turn off the cellphone for some "quiet time".

Hi Laurence – Wow! Wireless extension cords!

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