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Old 07-27-2008, 10:23 AM   #176
Veecee
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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Originally Posted by geo8o2 View Post
last time i was there i was within a 20 yards of 2! yes not even one time but 2 times.. shootings. nobody died, but this girl got shot in the foot. and i knew the girl too!
Yeah security is so weak

On a random note the 4 times I went to clubs/bars I, nor anyone else I saw got carded, so sometimes there are 16 year olds in the club...I have seen this.

Having a foreign accent in Makati is great.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:22 PM   #177
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Hi

We are 3 poker players that will spend whole October/November in Indonesia/Philippines.

As for now, we don't have any clue on where to stay or which part of the country we want to be at.

We just have a few demands and thats a nice place to live, _good_ internet connection, also close to beaches/nightclubs. We don't really care about casinos

We would gladly take advice from someone who has been there or is living there. That could recommend some apartments/hotels. Link to websites or can direct us to someone that is renting out places.

Thanks
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:37 PM   #178
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

for players from the US, are ALL sites going to work down there? I dont want to go down there and find out that only FT and PS work...
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:52 PM   #179
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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for players from the US, are ALL sites going to work down there? I dont want to go down there and find out that only FT and PS work...
yes, ALL the sites work...
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:14 PM   #180
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Quote:

A few quick questions. Is Pasig a good area to stay for a month? Mainly, is it a safe area? Is there much to do in that area? Shopping and restaurants? How is it compared to Makati. Thanks.

BTW, i'll be down there on August 3rd. I'll be staying for about 2.5 months. Just trying to figure out where to stay for a month in Metro Manila. Looking forward to meeting up with fellow 2+2ers for a few beers when i get there.
LuckyDevil, Pasig area is okay, just as long as you live in a good/safe area. Pasig has some malls (Podium, Megamall, Shangri-la) and restos (Metrowalk complex) its like 20mins away from makati by car (w traffic) . I'm down for beers hehe

Quote:

I was just in the Philippines for the last 3 weeks living near the Fort and it was awesome. I recommend going there for nightlife, just don't do anything stupid because there have been shootings (especially at the Embassy which is the nuts btw)
Fort area is awesome. I'm glad to say that there haven't been any shootings what so ever in embassy, they just recently installed those security metal detectors like the ones in the airport, it's really weird imo but i feel much safer.

LocustHorde: apartments in the fort area would cost around 90-150k pesos a month. it's expensive rent in terms of the cost of living here but it's worth it, I'd want to live there someday hehe.

Quote:
Hi

We are 3 poker players that will spend whole October/November in Indonesia/Philippines.

As for now, we don't have any clue on where to stay or which part of the country we want to be at.

We just have a few demands and thats a nice place to live, _good_ internet connection, also close to beaches/nightclubs. We don't really care about casinos

We would gladly take advice from someone who has been there or is living there. That could recommend some apartments/hotels. Link to websites or can direct us to someone that is renting out places.

Thanks
I'm a filipino and all i can say is you should try out the philippines, if you like it then great. some places you can check out (apartments) Astoria, Discovery Suites, Somerset Olympia, check out apartments at the Fort Bonifacio Global City. as for beaches, boracay, panglao in bohol and palawan. Np

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for players from the US, are ALL sites going to work down there? I dont want to go down there and find out that only FT and PS work...
yes all the sites work.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:57 PM   #181
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Its pretty hot here even when its so cloudy and i sweat like a pig. How safe is it for me to wear a bandanna here? Do any gangs distinguish themselves by wearing a certain color bandanna? Other then if i wore this bandanna, i wouldn't fit the profile gang member. More like a beach bum. Sandals, cargo shorts, t-shirt, clean cut hair, etc. I'd prefer not to get shot at or draw any extra attention to myself, aside from looking like i came from the 80's. Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:31 PM   #182
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

lol? what gangs? you can wear whatever you want...
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:57 AM   #183
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Is there any way to make a decent living there without playing poker? I can only grind about $400 a week on average playing full time. Are there any decent paying jobs for educated people there?
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:46 AM   #184
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

$400 a week is a fortune in the Philippines.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:56 AM   #185
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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lol? what gangs? you can wear whatever you want...
Boy, that's a load off my mind. Its good to know Manila is gang/crime free. They should really get rid of all these shotgun carrying security guards that are at all the entrances of banks, hotels, and apartments. I mean it just seems silly to employ them when there is no crime.

Last edited by LuckyDevil; 08-08-2008 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:45 AM   #186
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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Originally Posted by LuckyDevil View Post
Boy, that's a load off my mind. Its good to know Manila is gang/crime free. They should really get rid of all these shotgun carrying security guards that are at all the entrances of banks, hotels, and apartments. I mean it just seems silly to employ them when there is no crime.
errr... is this sarcasm? gangs here arent like the ones you have there in the states where they wave their "flags" and shoot each other... when you says gangs here it means kidnap for ransom gangs, armed robbery gangs or gangs to **** someone up for hire... gang members here want money, not being in a dick measuring contest... so wearing a "flag" for them is not necessary...
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:01 AM   #187
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Okay, cool. Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:29 AM   #188
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Can an American in the Philippines play on the non-U.S. poker sites? From what I've read it's possible, though a bit tricky, to open a local bank account, and it would be easy to get an address. I still only have U.S. ID though, and I've always had to submit ID with the first withdrawal. Are there any Americans doing this?
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:07 PM   #189
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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Originally Posted by mcphee42 View Post
Can an American in the Philippines play on the non-U.S. poker sites? From what I've read it's possible, though a bit tricky, to open a local bank account, and it would be easy to get an address. I still only have U.S. ID though, and I've always had to submit ID with the first withdrawal. Are there any Americans doing this?

I thik so with the exceptio of ipoker . dam I eed a ew keyoard
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:23 AM   #190
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

I'm gonna be going to Cebu in a few weeks. Is there a news paper i can buy or something of the like where i can look for apartments? I can't find to much online.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:22 AM   #191
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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Originally Posted by mcphee42 View Post
Can an American in the Philippines play on the non-U.S. poker sites? From what I've read it's possible, though a bit tricky, to open a local bank account, and it would be easy to get an address. I still only have U.S. ID though, and I've always had to submit ID with the first withdrawal. Are there any Americans doing this?
i'm in the process of opening one right now. just have to find the right people to help u. it's costed me about $100 so far for paperworks and id's and stuff. i'll let u know when i get one.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:28 AM   #192
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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Originally Posted by geo8o2 View Post
i'm in the process of opening one right now. just have to find the right people to help u. it's costed me about $100 so far for paperworks and id's and stuff. i'll let u know when i get one.
Please do report back. I'm curious of the process to.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:48 PM   #193
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

I've been living in Manila for about 18 months now. Happy to help with any specific questions anyone has about a lot of stuff mentioned in this thread which I partially skimmed. By the way, some of the advice is spot on - some of the advice in this thread is just terrible and the people posting it clearly have no clue about Manila.

I don't read 2+2 that much (post on other forums primarily) so if you have questions about living in Manila, playing online/live, banking, immigration rules, girls, or just about anything, I can help out with honest, frank advice - I'm yoyoAUS on Skype or grab me on email jonny.vincent@gmail.com.

Some quick things if you're interested in moving here:

- You should really only consider moving into the Makati / Rockwell / Fort area. I spent a year in central Makati and recently moved to Rockwell, which is heaps better. Outside these areas, the danger level rises exponentially.

- Live poker scene here is the biggest in Asia. The biggest cardroom is Metro in Ortigas, about 5 to 45 minutes from Rockwell depending on traffic. The equivalent of 12/24nl (usd) is on every Thursday night but you can buy in for 10k usd. They often have a live straddle so the game can really play like 50/100nl at times.

Standard game at Metro and most places would be roughly a 2/5nl (usd) game, but the general standard is VERY loose, so the games usually play a lot bigger than the blinds.

There are also a lot of private games with politicians and the upper class. You need invites to get in these games, which are fairly easy to get. Unlike many other countries in the world, US tourists are very much liked here, perhaps even idolized in some ways.

- The business district of Manila (Makati / Rockwell / Fort) is very safe. Rockwell in particular has dozens of armed guards patroling the small area for protection and the whole place gets locked down to non-residents at night. Overall, the Philippines is a LOT safer than most people realise. All the bad stories generally have a moron westerner involved. If you're not a moron, don't flash cash, don't create a target out of yourself and don't get yourself into silly conflict situations, you'll be as safe as in any major city. Security in luxury apartment buildings is extremely tight also. I feel safer at home here than in Australia or the US.

- Rental prices vary wildly. The prices listed online are often heavily inflated for westerners. For the Makati / Fort / Rockwell area, you're looking at between US$150-$3000 a month, depending on how you want to live. You can live here in pure luxury very cheaply, with maids, drivers, security guards, etc.

- The best hotel in Manila is Shangrila in Makati City. It's one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at and makes Rio in Vegas look like a run down hovel, which it pretty much is, now that I think about it. Another nice hotel in Makati is The Peninsula, which is where the Senator Trillianes launched his failed coup attempt from last year which got worldwide coverage but which had basically zero effect on day to day life. There was a curfew that night, but the next day, everything was completely back to normal. Coups attempts here are so common, whilst the coup attempt was on, people were just carrying out their daily chores and hardly anyone was even discussing it. A really nice hotel is Diamond Hotel not far from the airport, but it's in a dangerous part of greater Manila. When I moved here last year, I stayed there for a month at $90/night rate I got on wotif.com - one of the nicest hotel rooms I've ever stayed at.

- You can open a USD bank account very easily at HSBC, which has branches everywhere. Most of the other banks will require you to have an ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration), which is very hard to get and very expensive. I also have a Peso account at HSBC Premier, but I can only deposit Peso into my account with a letter from a cardroom/casino saying I won the money. Converting USD to Peso is extremely easy and cheap at the right money exchange places. The Sanjay exchange in Greenbelt 1 in Makati charges something like half a percent commission on USD > Peso. To the best of my knowledge, you cannot convert Peso to USD anywhere. You'll need to sell your Peso to someone when you leave if you have excess Peso.

- Visas are not required for US/Australians. When you arrive, you will need to provide an outgoing ticket (if you don't have one, just buy a Tiger Airways or CebuPacific $50 ticket to Singapore or Macau or something to show immigration). You have 21 days before you need to either leave the country or have immigration stamp your passport for a 2 month renewal. You don't need to do this yourself, every 2 months, I send my maid down to immigration with my passport and she gets the stamp (I think it costs something like $80-100 every 2 months).

- Flights to Bangkok, Macau, Hong Kong and other nearby destinations are quick and very cheap at www.cebupacificair.com if you book a month or two in advance. Still cheap if you book a few days before, but dirt cheap if you book well in advance. Last year I flew from Manila to Macau and back for APPT for about $110 I think return.

- Girls here are extremely cute and very 'friendly'. Keep in mind that many see you as a possible ticket out of the country, and to represent yourself as such is unethical and tacky imo. The guy that posted about a girl who claimed he impregnated her is a tool imo. Yes, it could be a scam - but find out and take responsibility if it's not a scam - otherwise you could be leaving her with no other option than prostitution to support herself. Don't be a douchebag.

- Food here is terrible. There is no other way to describe it. If you are from US or Australia, there is a 99% chance you will be absolutely stunned at how bad the food is, even in (relatively) expensive restaurants. Having said that, there are some awesome restaurants around, they are just few and far between.

- The 'trendy' clubs change often, but Embassy in the Fort is probably the best club in the country. Some smaller good clubs are scattered around Makati. The girls in all clubs are generally very cute.

- I have travelled all over the world, and never seen traffic even close to as bad as the traffic in Manila. A trip from my Rockwell apartment to Metro cardroom can be done in 5 min at 2am with no traffic, or it can take 45 min or even longer in traffic. The traffic here is pure tilt. It can easily take 2 hours to go from one end of greater Manila to the other in peak traffic.

- Taxis are incredibly cheap and very safe. The only problem is that some taxi drivers pretend to understand you but don't, so you can get taken on some roundabout trips (not scams, they just have no idea what's going on). Make them repeat the destination back to you, don't accept a "yes". Some will claim they know where they are going, but really they have no idea. I have had taxi drivers promise me they know how to get somewhere, then after 30 min driving, they ask where we're going (set fare agreed upon, so not a scam, just random ignorance and incompetence).

- Don't get yourself into conflict situations. Guns are very common here and very cheap, a lot of people carry weapons. A friend of mine got into a fight alone late one night over a $40 scam. He was beaten. Retarded. Give them the money. He was lucky he was only beaten, it could have been a lot worse as he was in a very secluded, dangerous area and he was alone and unarmed.

- High-end electronics products are more expensive here than in US / Australia. Things are also much harder to find than in the Western world, but that's where a good maid becomes a lifesaver.

- LA Cafe is a sh*thole and in one of the most dangerous parts of greater Manila. I recommend you never go there.

- Internet is expensive but surprisingly reliable. I'm on a $200usd/month plan and have no real complaints - it could / should be a bit faster but it gets the job done. It's very reliable, I probably get a disconnect maybe only once every couple months if that.

- Electricity is super expensive here. It's probably 3x as expensive as Australia. It's also incredibly unreliable, brownouts and power surges are routine. You HAVE to use surge protectors for all valuable electronics. In Rockwell, they have their own generators so there are no power outages, but still a lot of brownouts.

- All poker sites are available with the exception of iPoker which blocks Philippines IPs. You can play there with a VPN though, I can help you with advice on this if you need it (I play on iPoker with a VPN - 45% rakeback ftw).

- You can get a Moneybookers account here and access it freely. Moneybookers >>>> NETeller by a long way. NETeller is retarded and if you access your account here, it will be locked and you won't be able to unlock it until you leave.

- Filipinos are very friendly by and large. Keep in mind though that some Filipinos will see you as a target and you need to keep your wits about you at all times. A healthy dose of cynicism will protect you. NEVER lend money to anyone (this should go without saying, but even I got done a number of times when I first moved here by Filipinos who did a great job of representing massive wealth like driving Ferraris and flashing a lot of cash, and then hit me up for loans in big poker games, and later I found out it was all a scam from start to finish, with other guys playing along in the scam).

- In terms of culture, Filipinos are very apathetic in general. This can translate (for some, not a widespread generalisation) into laziness. Also keep in mind that the vast majority of Filipinos did not have access to the levels of education you did - you will experience mind-numbing tilt trying to get some basic things done - try and keep a cool head or you will go insane.

- Basic English is almost universally spoken in Manila. The upper classes speak perfect English. You will have almost no problems with language barriers. I almost never run into someone who only speaks Tagalog, but having said that, I don't go outside central Manila much. At Metro, if foreigners are at the table, the house rule is that only English can be spoken.

- Boracay is a very beautiful island but very quiet most of the year. During Holy Week, it explodes and is packed out with holidayers. The guys that own Metro cardroom told me they recently setup a wireless network for the whole of Boracay, but I haven't been there since so can't comment on speed/reliability. I haven't been to Cebu so can't provide any assistance on Cebu-related questions.


----

Any specific questions, feel free to email me or grab me on Skype. I made a ton of mistakes when I first moved here in April last year, and willing to provide as much help as I can for anyone who is considering moving here.

Last edited by yoyo; 08-18-2008 at 07:05 PM. Reason: added info...
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:30 PM   #194
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Great post Yo-yo. What nationality are you if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:24 PM   #195
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

I'm Australian. I had been planning to move overseas for awhile a couple yrs ago as I'd planned on doing a lot of tourney travel (prior to realising that tourneys, and travel for that matter, are mostly tilt-fests) - and Australia is just so far from US/Europe, long-distance flights are a killer and v expensive. I spent a few weeks scouting out Bangkok (liked it a lot, lack of English-speakers tilted me hugely), noticed a $2500 tourney was on in Manila when I was in Bangkok so I flew over - absolutely loved Manila, and moved over a few months later.

I've had a lot of ups and downs, and I've run bad here in Manila in many ways (other friends who've moved here have had it easier) but I've learned a hell of a lot of life lessons here that I wouldn't have learned staying at home in my comfort zone.

I'm actually reading the Buenos Aires threads now as I'm contemplating a move to Sth America next year - the lack of English in Sth America might be a deal-breaker. I fear I'm too lazy to learn another language....

(edit: In my other post, I made a mistake on rental prices - should be $500-$3000 per month for Rockwell / Fort / Makati area)

Last edited by yoyo; 08-18-2008 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:05 AM   #196
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

Great post yoyo! Thanks for the information.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:01 PM   #197
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

I received a few emails from people saying I made Manila sound bad in my post. This was not my intention whatsoever. In many ways, Manila is absolutely amazing and I don't know anyone who has visited who hasn't loved their time here overall (even my friend who got into a fight is coming back soon for another visit).

For a short holiday, I can't think of a better city (that I have visited) which would be more fun than Manila. It's when you live here long-term, it's possible to get a bit jaded with many things if you are silly (like I was when I first moved here) and expect day-to-day life and errands to be similar to a first-world country.

If you come here prepared, I expect there is 90% chance you will love your time here.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:09 PM   #198
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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I received a few emails from people saying I made Manila sound bad in my post. This was not my intention whatsoever. In many ways, Manila is absolutely amazing and I don't know anyone who has visited who hasn't loved their time here overall (even my friend who got into a fight is coming back soon for another visit).

For a short holiday, I can't think of a better city (that I have visited) which would be more fun than Manila. It's when you live here long-term, it's possible to get a bit jaded with many things if you are silly (like I was when I first moved here) and expect day-to-day life and errands to be similar to a first-world country.

If you come here prepared, I expect there is 90% chance you will love your time here.

I actively read your blog and you constantly put Filipinos down. You treat them like bumbling idiots. Maybe you should learn Tagalog and people will understand your broken English more!


I'm still trying to figure out if you're trying to be funny or you're the way you are!
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:32 PM   #199
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

thanks for the post yoyo good information. i've been researching going to the phils for some time just haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:27 AM   #200
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Re: Anyone to ask about living in the Philippines?

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I actively read your blog and you constantly put Filipinos down. You treat them like bumbling idiots. Maybe you should learn Tagalog and people will understand your broken English more!


I'm still trying to figure out if you're trying to be funny or you're the way you are!
I think that's just yoyo humour.
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