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seekingthetruth

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About seekingthetruth

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  • Location Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines

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  1. In 2008 I was planning a big 3 week trip with a Korean girl I knew while I lived in Germany. It was a driving trip to many cities, so it took a lot of planning. Her brother flew in from Korea and met us along the way. I had heard a lot about the petty crime in Barcelona and did a lot of research on what not to do. I read that there were a lot of vehicle scams like someone letting some air out of your tire, following you, acting like a good Samaritan, then robbing you. That one worried me but never materialized. However, we had 3 incidents in two days! My Korean friends probably made us stand out more as tourists. In some of the popular parks, there are bands of girls who look ok and are trying to sell something. I can't remember what. I was not close by and did not see this, but my Korean girl friend was talking to them, probably telling them No, when one of them just slapped her hard across face! Not sure why, but it may have been an attempt to distract her so the others could grab her stuff. Nothing was taken. Then something else went missing when we out and about. I can't remember what right now. Here is the kicker. We were in this nice park in a hillside area with not many people. There were these big concrete 'steps" going up the hill. We were sitting down resting when these two teenage guys approached. They made some small talk, and then all of a sudden, they jumped on the brother, trying to get his camera! He fought them off for a second, but they got the camera and took off running. The best I could do was unsuccessfully try to trip one of them when he ran by. So the Korean brother, and his sister, take off after them, down this steep hill, to the main road, which is another downhill. I gather up the stuff they left, and try to follow, yelling for them to stop. The brother was only 21 I think, and that camera was very valuable to him. I would never follow a thief like that, especially in an area I don't know. So they ran down a hill and the street dead ended at an apartment building, and the thieves went inside. When I was at the top of the hill, quite a distance away, I could see my friends standing in the street talking to someone. They told me later, they stood outside, yelling at the thieves from the street, saying what they stole, and raising quite a scene. Then they heard a lot of screaming inside the building, and it appeared the thieves were catching hell from their family(s)! And a short time later, they returned to me, with the camera! Someone in the family brought it out, was very nice, and apologized for the boy's behavior!
  2. I actually haven't finished it yet. A lot to digest here.
  3. For tourist scams and petty theft of tourists, the worst city I have been to is Barcelona. If you go there for the tourist attractions, make sure you read up on the latest scams before you go.
  4. I don't think anything I said was incorrect but but I was focused on avoiding testing. For most people, testing and/or quarantine is a big hassle. For those who are fully vaccinated and boosted, neither is required to enter PH.
  5. Sounds like they should do ok. They will be interviewed and should just answer everything honestly, and bring documents for everything you mentioned, in case they ask for them.
  6. I would say those are decent ties. It might depend on the country. You will get better advice if you state the county. House has a title in their name? Money in the bank? How would they prove the care for the parents? Do they provide all support for the parents? How do they pay for it? Would you consider them poor?
  7. I think you need to do some research. Check with your airline.
  8. All of those vaccines are just recommended vaccines. For entering PH, you need to follow their Covid requirments. Philippine Airlines website is a good source for that. I think the current is fully vaccinated has quarantine, fully vaccinated + booster has no quarantine. And you have to sign up for an online medical pass of some sort.
  9. My first thought was, screw them, I will never buy a BMW, and others will not too, sales will go down, and bye bye subscriptions. It may work out like that. However, after reading the whole article, it might be a valid strategy. One no one is mentioning is that apparently you can pay a one time fee (just like options now) and have it forever. For short term owners (and leases) you the option to weigh the cost/benefit. If the one time fee is $1000 and the subscription is $18 a month, you would need to keep the car for 55 months for the one time fee to be worth it. Also, is the monthly fee something that can be turned on and off when needed? Subscription usually means you have to keep paying. Who wants heated seats in the summer? This will be controlled in the computer. People will find a way to hack it.
  10. Contact once a month is a bit much. @iskramar I have a post here on how to delay the case at NVC. In the first post, scroll down to where it says "Update Below".
  11. There is no expiration for a Philippine birth certificate. Some employers, gov agencies, and schools were insisting that the BC be less than 6 months old, but this is illegal now. Clarified last year. https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/03/15/psa-told-clarify-no-expiry-validity-of-birth-certificates/ You do need one that is in good condition. If it is worn out or frayed, it might be questioned. If you are getting a new one, get some extras as you might need them later in the U.S. You can order them online. Just follow the instructions for documents. How will you deal with the requirement for domicile in the U.S.? If you don't actually have domicile, you can declare your intent to re-establish domicile.
  12. 1. SRRV would not be a good fit for you in most cases. Are you retired military? There is a cheap one for retired military. You can come in on a tourist visa then look into it. Not sure if even the cheap one would be cost effective. Depends on how long you will stay. 2. Here is a picture of my visa costs for 3 years. Even though this is old, the fees are still about the same. Yours will be very similar in pesos but cheaper in dollars because the dollar exchange rate is so high now. For 3 years, I paid about $1373 then made a quick visa run to Hong Kong that cost a bit over $300. Asian countries are much cheaper than Guam for a visa run. After the visa run, you start over with the tourist extensions. After you are married, you can go out and return with her, and get Balikbayan status. It is good for one year and no fees to pay. 3. It is best if you can live reasonably close to an immigration office so that extensions are easy. However, almost all cities have travel agents who can do tourist visa extensions on your behalf for a reasonable cost. In fact, it is very similar to the cost you pay walking in because the agent does not pay the "express lane" fees you see above, normally. Many people like using the agents because no hassle of visiting immigration, waiting in line, etc. 4. For banking in Philippines, it is now hard to open accounts when you are on a tourist visa. You might get lucky. Might not. However, you can use your wife's account for any banking needs. She might be able to add you as a joint account holder, which looks good during the immigration process. 5. For moving money over from U.S. to PH: A. Cheapest way is to have a dollar account in PH and then write a U.S. check in dollars for deposit to the PH dollar account. Takes 3-4 weeks for the check to clear. Only fee is a $5 service charge at most PH banks. You can then exchange the dollars when you need pesos, either at the bank or outside money changer. B. Use a money transfer service. Wise is a good one but there are others. You can transfer directly from your U.S. bank account to a PH bank account. You can experiment with them to find out the costs without making an actual transaction. C. Use ATMs. This can be very expensive if you are not careful. Some U.S. banks will refund all fees but you may still get hit with a bad exchange rate. 6. If you own a house in the U.S., it might be a good option to rent it out. When you are ready to come back with your wife, this helps with the domicile requirements. Keep your U.S. driver's license updated, file your taxes, etc., etc.
  13. No. Balikbayan boxes are strictly for non-commercial goods. A box or two for relatives is different.
  14. This is not for me. An acquaintance on a Philippine Expat forum is very worried about this so I thought I would help him out. His wife flew back to the Philippines today, for a funeral, and he is paranoid that she will be stuck there due to CFO. The situation is: Him: Denmark citizen Her: Philippine citizen Denmark permanent resident Age 33 Moved to Norway 5 years ago as Aupair Had CFO at that time before moving for the Aupair job Moved to Denmark for another Aupair job, about 3 years ago. Met her husband in Denmark and they married about 2 years ago. I don't think they have to worry about CFO before her return flight to Denmark?? Am I wrong?
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