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Discussion Starter #21
unggoy, my idea is to live in a gated subdivisionm they are 8000-12000 pesos per sqmt for the lot, and another 6-8M for the house.

Something like this: http://lapu-lapu.locanto.ph/ID_262428195/WEST-BEND-house-and-lot-near-beach-mactan-cebu-phil.html

I don't know the difference between immigrating and moving in a rolling visa... I will check.

Crime and terrorism looks scary... I may need to reconsider it, it might not be worth it to be stressed because of that, could be a better option to retire in Spain by the beach and have a holidays home in the Philippines.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
But internet is a big issue. Just like foreigners being victims of crime. Something everyone needs to consider. I hear a lot of people wanting to move to the Philippines to sit on some remote beach and make loads of cash online. Many people are shocked when they find out that their beach does not have 200MBPS fiber optic connectivity.
I don't need a great connection, just to be able to connect fairly often, and I don't need to stream video or similar, also I'm not planing in having a big online business, just a hobby to make some extra cash.

The remote beachs can be left for the weekends, I can live in a subdivision by the beach and near the city, anyway I need to be close to schools.

But if security is a major concern... It might look for something else, people say that Thailand is safer and has better internet and it is also cheaper, I might have a look at that.
 

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BTW- Looking at some Philippine Embassy in the USA websites, it looks way more expensive and difficult to apply for a visa than in-country. Four photos, medical examination report, lab work, chest x-ray negatives, certificate of no police record, proof of financial ability-none of which you need in Manila.

Forms are downloaded from the Philippine Consulate that controls your state, off their website or if your having troubles call them email them they do answer stateside.

You also need to make a personal appearance at the Embassy. That could cost A LOT of money for flights, hotel and taxi, if you don't live somewhere that that has a consulate. When we were in the States for a bit, we ended up spending $2,500 to my daughter her passport! In Manila it would have been maybe $3.00.

Can you imagine if you lived in Alaska and had to get 3,000 miles to San Francisco to go to the Embassy!
You don't need to make a personal appearance at any of the US Philippine Consulates, I'm from ND and I did all my Immigration paper work through the mail system and through the Chicago Philippine Consulate, I called them a couple times on items they needed. You'll need a full physical so if you have a health care provider in the states a Physical will be covered if not I guess that's something you could do here but if you can manage everything in the states I feel it's a better deal.

Forms are downloaded from the internet and from the Philippine consulate that controls your state.

I've run into expats that do it from here and they have to go through an NBI clearance and the first year is considered probationary so another NBI clearance after the first year, that doesn't happen if you get completed stateside. If done stateside the cost would have been $10 for a police records print out for Immigration purposes. So traveling to Manila to get the NBI clearance more than once how much does that cost you?

I'm wondering if you got some bad information or ? you can get all your Philippine Visa requirements done through the mail system because when you show up here you have less than 10 days to report to Manila PBI and that's when they check your Immigrant package and get your Immigrant card completed.
 

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That is what I would recommend if one is married to a Filipino and looking to come permanently, or at least for a period of years.

I applied in country and it was cheap and easy. About $250. That includes the Immigrant Card for $50. Which you still have to get when you arrive, even if you apply from abroad.

I hear a lot that it is hard and expensive to apply in country, and to do it abroad. To be honest, we went back to the USA for a bit, and dealing with the Philippine Consulate? No thank you! Uneducated, rude, scammers! I have no problems with the BI on Magallanes.

PS- You are a vigilante? Or is that a joke?
Stateside Philippine Consulates were a little rude and they'll only take phone calls from an area code that they are in charge of, yea your right there but with a little patience just like here they do get your packaged completed, they're not scammers but the similarities are the same as far as customer service and lack luster work ethics (tips) but hey isn't that the Philippines? How could it possibly be better to get it done here, when you have the time to get it done stateside or what ever country your in, you have all your documents certified and your package completed before you arrive in country if not... guess what you'll have to use the mail system and get some help from the states to get things certified and possibly ran through your Philippine Consulate.

Reason I know all this is I showed here without all my documents or actually I was missing one document and I lived so far out from Manila I decided to return to the states and get my act together, get all my ducks in row and get it completed stateside, it's no fun messing with requirements here, the mails system is dreadful and expensive. ;)

I'm no vigillante but I do like the Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood movies, it's no joke when I've talked with several expats that didn't have their documents either and were bumbed that they had to leave because some countries require you to show up in person to get your records print outs, I think the UK is one of them, these guys weren't laughing after they took some bad advice from other's. But I think that portion has changed so if you show up without a police records print out then you'll have to wait till you have 6 months in country and go through an NBI check so things are improving in that area.
 

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You don't really need much here though. Unless a lot has changed. I remember a letter to the Commissioner, that you don't write. You buy and put your name on it. The 2 page application. NSO MC. And....the money. That was it. Pretty simple and straight-forward. The biggest question I was asked like 15 times during the interview was "do you own a business?" Which I thought was funny. I think they wanted to make sure I was not using my wife for a visa. She is a simple provincial girl, but loyal. Not an artista. Also, immigrants can own 100% of their business. None of that 60-40 stuff that applies to foreigners.

As for the bribes and whatnot? I never had a problem with the government here. Always nice and honest to me. They are usually proud when they see someone from another country and race and surprised he's not a foreigner. The embassy wanted all kinds of bribes and whatnot. I should have applied for a passport in Manila. Way easier. What a nightmare that "vacation" was. At least we got to eat a lot of pizza and Ben & Jerry's!

You sound like an interesting person and it sounds you like you have your challenges so I'm in awe at your dedication and resilience for someone who wants to stay and enjoy life in the Philippines, good luck to you (family) and those that are in the same situation. :second:
 

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unggoy : "Make the most of life and enjoy each day".

For some, with meager resources like myself, this is, by and large, all we could do.

In spite of the hardships of daily life in the Philippines (wherein I am not alone), I still prefer to live here.

Why? I am more at peace; because my life is that much simpler.
My family doesn't have grandiose taste / needs (because we can't afford it).
Complexity brings it's own burdens.

The fact that I have electricity (albeit erratic), clean water that I fetch from a well (therein getting great healthy exercise), I have my trusted (so far anyhow) and hard working partner, the mother of my young hyper-active child, food on the table (just the right healthy portion), a few good friends that I have trained to not be moochers (they know my wallet's contents are similar to theirs)... hey, I'm saying, my needs are pretty basic. That's the essence of my success here.

In the course of living in the P.R., one needs to learn : danger / calamity / tragedy / irritants - avoidance;
or in other words, we need to learn survival techniques.
Instead of just whining and complaining, we need to learn how we could be happi-er here (or anywhere else for that matter).
Oopps, I better stop preaching.. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Agree, I'm trying to gather as much information as possible before my visit in May, I've been in the Philippines 4 times, visited Illocos, Manila, Cebu (A little only), Davao/Mindanao (A lot), Coron etc... Around 4-5 months in total, Coron and probably El nido are great but there are too isolated, good for holidays only, I'm not 100% convinced with Davao and Manila is not appealing.

My priority is location if I can get decent studies for my daughter, I know that the Spanish embassy offers exams (and material) in the embassy that validate with Spanish studies for the extra classes required, I can try a local private school and the extra curriculum at home, and see if that works, I can always try for a couple of years and if that doesn't work move back to Spain, initially my daughter will study in London for 3-4 years (while I work for last few years) and will have a good English level, we also speak English at home and my wife is very well educated, in terms of computing and maths I'm the one that can help.

I'll check around in Liloan and Mactan about the Internet and safety, I'd like to live in a good gated subdivision with all the amenities, even if I need to work one or two extra years in London to pay for that, then money is not an issue but I don't want to waste it.

I know that growing your kids in the Philippines is risky for a number of reason, but London, Paris or Madrid they also have plenty of problems and bad influences, I live in UAE right now, so far so good for my wife and daughter, they have other expat and Filipino friends and they don't mix much with other people, that works well, but for retirement it is too expensive, I won't be able to live on 4K USD as the schools and rents are too expensive, looks like in the Philippines a family of for with a paid house can live well with 2-3K USD, the other option is to do the same in Spain by the beach that won't be much more expensive than that given that public schools are ok, or a mix of both, a few years each.

@unggoy, my wife is my age in fact she is 6 months older than me, her family is great they have several business and they can help us with legal paper-work, contacts, know-who, basically I'll be able to start a business here without getting ripped-off (or at least being a bit more secure) as they already have business including a firm of lawyers and a constructions company, my wife is well educated and she is happy to move to the Phillipines, she hates London and she is happy with UAE (where we live) or Spain, then we are thinking in saving some more money here in UAE or in London where I get most of the good job offers and move to the Philllipines for a few years and see if it is that paradise or not, if not we can always pay a bit more tax and live in Spain by the beach with free schools and health-care (They are decent but not great and security/crime is okish).

I've seen many people that they marry poor good looking young girls as you mention and they have lots of problems after, that's not my case we are like-minded we can discuss economy, we can do computer programming together etc... It is just a normal marriage, between two persons in the same social range, with similar education and age.

In terms of internet connection, not very concern, I'm a programmer I don't need more than a massive internet connection, I need to be connected, read forums/blogs/emails and a bit more but my work is 80% off-line.

Crime is everywhere, you cannot avoid it, probably the safest place is where we live now in UAE and it is not 100% safe, in Spain people don't want to live in villas anymore because of the thieves, London is even worse you get a stabbing or killing near your place every week or so... Obviously I don't want to live scared of going out, I've been several times in the Phillipines and I didn't have the feeeling of being insecure like in Brazil or most of the south american countries, I think that most of the bad things happens if you drink and chase girls if you live and mix with a community of expats and good locals should be fine, when my kids reach some age it could be a good idea to move back to Europe to prepare them for colleage and after that if we want come back to the Phils and let them do their live, by that time the center of business will be Singapur or Hong Kong most probably...

I've talked to other people with Internet business and they are living happily in places like Thailand (also with come visa issues/hassle), my objective is to have a good relaxed live without much problems, I don't need luxury but I can afford one of the nice subdivions with the pool by the beach, wake up at any time, do some sport, and do some programming on the computer, go to some nive places (Bohol, Dumaguete, Bantayan, Malapacua) for the weekend send the kids to a decent school, I don't need more than that, not sure if I'm asking for too much or it's achievable.

I'll have a look in May when I travel around, let me know if you want to meet for a coffee when I get to Cebu.
 

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I've just seen here that decent schools could cost 200-280K Pesos for two kids that is not cheap but doable.



I will check when I get there, thanks a lot for the information you are providing, it is very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I've been for the last couple of weeks in Cebu and surroundings, I didn't like Mactan too much, I'm in for Liloan, I signed the lot purchase agreement today.

Internet is not too bad, so far good in the cheap hotels and I'm very impressed that the long distance buses have free wifi that works pretty well.

I'm in for the Cebu living adventure! Now the challenge is to find a good developer to build the house!
 

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Dalamar, you probably know the following but just in case you didn't the following seems to apply if you are the spouse of a Filipina and want to work in the Philippines:
START QUOTE-
NOTE: In support of the UN Spouse Employment Policy, the Philippine government has also exempted the spouses of members of international organizations from securing an AEP. Spouses however, are required to file an application for a Certificate of Exemption from the DOLE's Bureau of Local Employment (BLE).
-END QUOTE

I did not find where the BLE instructs how a person should file for their exemption.
The following is a BLE website. Perhaps you will have to call them and ask how to file for an Exemption Certificate for AEP.
Contact us
 
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