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  1. #276
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear it. Mark was a good friend.

  2. #277
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    Hey topper, how's Kanlaon volcano? Did you get earthquakes there? Hope everyone is safe (it's minor, but it may be a prelude to a bigger eruption? I dunno).

    Just so you know, Taal Volcano (near Davis' and my area) erupted last Jan 12. These volcanoes are like beads on a string... eruption of Mt Merapi too near Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

    Kanlaon Volcano emits steam; 136 earthquakes recorded | Inquirer News

  3. #278
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    Hi Katie

    We didn't feel the quakes last night but when the wife read the news it made us wonder if they are signs the volcano is going to blow.

    Its more fun in the PI!

  4. #279
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    ^you're getting the hang of PI living, topper!

    You just need a major typhoon, strong earthquake & volcanic eruption, and you'll be all set!

    Btw, when I hiked Taal Volcano last year (July - pics in my hike thread) , I didn't know that it was on alert level 1. Then it erupted in January this year, so 6 months of rumbling. Kanlaon is now on level 1 - be prepared.

  5. #280
    I'm in Jail

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    ^ sage advice from Katie, get your self a herd of those beef tomahawks and you won't even have to worry if the fridge stops working, what they lack in tenderness they make up for in longevity.

  6. #281
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    ^good advice, toots! Beef tomahawks matter.

    I searched for vids about Mt Kanlaon - this what what I found (it's in Taglish). Two volcanoes are now being closely monitored - Mt Kanlaon in Negros island and Mt Mayon in Legazpi province, Luzon island (region 5, Bicol region)

    Nagbuga ng puting usok = released white smoke; 104 volcanic earthquakes detected in the last 24 hours. Beads on a string... Magnitude 7.4 earthquake in southern Mexico



    Mexico earthquake, mag 7.4
    Death toll rises after powerful earthquake hits southern Mexico - CBS News

    Topper, get to know the different regions of PI:

    Regions of the Philippines – PhilAtlas

  7. #282
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    Thanks Katie!

  8. #283
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    I think my friend at asia@night has stolen my burger vlog idea! I think the last 4 or his last 5 videos have been burger reviews.

    The bastard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :finger


  9. #284
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  10. #285
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    Well, some news...

    The city council has banned alcohol again and is requiring a barrier between the driver and rider on a motorcycle.


  11. #286
    Thailand Expat Jofrey's Avatar
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    ^that is quite hilarious...

  12. #287
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    ..........................
    Last edited by Topper; 02-08-2020 at 09:08 PM.

  13. #288
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    ^ it's head shaking stuff for sure. The city council is doing everything they can to avoid locking us down again. Needless to say its a popular topic on social media here.

  14. #289
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    ^Yup, that rule re: motorbikes is just ridiculous. It's a safety hazard too!

    Re: alcohol - sorry to hear about the alcohol ban again. I did tell you to stock up on alcohol before. Either that, or make your own wine. I've made Pineapple, Pineapple Orange and Four Seasons wine (either from Del Monte or Dole - I use the 1.36 L cans - more bang for the buck). Plus coconut wine from fresh coconut water (sold by pushcart sellers). My rating in terms of taste: 1st - Four seasons, 2nd: Pineapple, 3rd: Pineapple Orange, 4th: Coconut. (coconut wine was bleh - it's better to buy Lambanog from stores). Minimum 4 weeks fermentation time. Btw, heads up re: yeast. I couldn't find Baker's yeast in Robinson's or SM stores here. I found some, wrapped in small packaging (10 pesos, 10 grams per pack) in a small grocery store in the wet market. I use it both for my wines & homemade pizza dough.

    Have you tried the following: tuba, basi, bignay wine & lambanog? If not yet, you should! For tuba, ask your wife for the correct pronunciation. It's not pronounced like tuba the musical instrument.

    I've read that Metro Manila medical ppl want another full lockdown because of the rising number of cases. 103k + cases & counting. Sigh...

    It's more fun in PI!

    P. S. If beer is not available, use Ginebra gin, Tanduay rhum or Emperador brandy. Mix with juice or Coke/ Sprite. Gets the job done!

  15. #290
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    Hi Katie!

    The sari-sari (mom and pop) store next door is fully stocked and has access to more if needed. There's also "Task Force Disiplina" that is visiting businesses and stores to ensure everyone is properly masked up and socially distanced. 500P fine for the first offense. The other branch of the coworking space I use got visited and instead of fining all of the customers, they fined the shop 1500P.

    I think the city council has been informed that if they try and lock down the city again, there will be trouble...or so my taxi driver told me. Having said that, on the way through the baranguy tonight it was very, very quiet. Usually there are shops still open and men sitting around solving the world's problems over a few beers, but tonight, everything was closed.
    "I was a good student. I comprehend very well, OK, better than I think almost anybody," - President Trump comparing his legal knowledge to a Federal judge.

  16. #291
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    ^ ^ props to my sister winemaker.

    Agree about the coconut wine. Made it once and not all that impressive.

    Here's an idea...take the excess water from the rice you were soaking, maybe a litre or so, add a little over a cup of sugar and an eighth of teaspoon of cinnamon. Shake it up well. Then add your yeast. I made some a week ago and today I had sneak sniff and it smells wonderful. I'm gonna give it another three weeks or so to clear up.
    Pues, aquí estamos.

  17. #292
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    @happynz - I'll try making that rice wine sometime this week. I've recently bought apple & cranberry juices, and will make wines from those too. So far, my fave among my wines is the Four Seasons one.

    @topper - Metro Manila plus provinces around it like Cavite, Laguna, Rizal & Bulacan are under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) again. Sigh... just as things were opening up again, it's back to stricter restrictions. Oh well, we just have to grin & bear it. The healthcare system here is bad & the country can't handle a full blown epidemic.

    My regular chicken vendor was absent from her stall last week. She finally came back - she got ill (fever, cough) and needed to be tested for Covid (swab test). Fortunately, she was negative. Test cost P 3,500 (~70 usd) and plus doctor consultation & meds, total was ~ P 5,000 (~100 usd). That's expensive for her (and other Filipinos), since minimum wage in Manila is ~500 pesos per day (10 usd). It's lower in the provinces (~400P or 8 usd).

    @topper - do you & your wife have some kind of health insurance? Remember that in PI, no money = no treatment. Even if you go to a public hospital - doc consults are free, but you have to buy your own meds & syringes.

    Example: Around 10 years ago, I got bitten (small bite) by a neighbor's dog and I went for anti-rabies injections. I went to a public hospital in the neighboring town for that. I had to buy my own anti-rabies vaccine & syringes (there was a pharmacy across the hospital). It was 5 injections/ 5 weeks, I think. Every week, I'd buy the meds & syringe, give them to the nurse in charge, and she'd inject it. No charge for the injection, since it was a public hospital. If it was private, I'd be billed.

    In another occasion, I needed a tetanus shot. My only free time to go to hospital was after work & nearest hospital was a private one. I went to the ER, got checked by a nurse then a doctor. The doc looked at my wound & prescribed a tetanus shot. The nurse then told me to go to the cashier & pay for the tetanus shot & doctor's fee, then go to pharmacy to get the meds, then come back to her with the receipt. After presenting the receipt to the nurse, she injected me with the tetanus shot. Bill cost ~2,500 (50 usd), ~2,000 for the meds & 500 for the doc consult. If I didn't have money with me, I wouldn't have been treated.

    No money = no treatment. It sucks, but that's the way it is. It wasn't in my Philhealth plan or employer-sponsored insurance (Philhealth is only for inpatient), so I paid out-of-pocket.

    Btw, here's a link re: the change in lockdown status in Metro Manila (for 2 weeks, Aug 4-18).

    Duterte heeds frontliners’ plea, reimposes MECQ in Metro Manila, other areas Aug. 4 -18 | Inquirer News

    A famous TV personality/ comedian here, Michael V, tested positive for covid. In his interview, he said that his covid test cost P 6,000 (120 usd). I think he had the test at St Luke's Hospital, one of the top hospitals in Metro Manila - so it's more expensive there. The test costs P3,500 (70 usd) in my province.

    Sorry for the rambling post. Just talking about the reality of the healthcare situation here.

    @topper - better stock up on your beers & liquor!

  18. #293
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    Keep it up topper one of the few threads worth looking at. Green owed.

  19. #294
    The Fool on the Hill bowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Test cost P 3,500 (~70 usd) and plus doctor consultation & meds, total was ~ P 5,000 (~100 usd).
    That speaks volumes and places the validity of Covid (confirmed) numbers reported in question.

  20. #295
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    ^yes. The real numbers must be higher than the reported ones, since we're not doing mass testing.

    I think for the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who have been repatriated bcos they lost their jobs, the govt pays for their covid tests & quarantine facilities + meals. For other Filipinos & foreigners returning to the country, they must pay for their own covid test + quarantine hotel. As of Aug 1, the country will now allow foreigners with exiating long term visas (e.g. retirement) to enter. Tourist visas are not yet issued & only essential travel is allowed (Metro Manila & nearby provinces). I live in a province near Manila, so for the past 4 months, I've only done essential travel.

    Re: covid tests - they're only done in private hospitals here, so one has no choice but to pay (like my chicken vendor). I'm positive that the real number of covid cases are higher, since people are afraid to go to the hospital if they're ill, due to the cost. They'd rather wait it out in their homes and possibly infect their family members, since there's no room to quarantine / isolate bcos they live in small dwellings.


    There are reports of folks in rhe provinces getting ill with covid. They're family members of those who came home from Manila after lockdown was eased - so those stranded individuals must have been asymptomatic carriers.

    Re: the chicken vendor - I buy from her & other small shop owners for meat & veg, to support them. Times are harder these days, due to the pandemic. She was absent from her stall for a week. I'd guess that her daily income is 500 - 1,000 pesos (10 to 20 usd). Since she wasn't able to sell, she had no income, plus she had to pay 5,000 (100 usd) for the covid test & other medical stuff.

    Edit: here's a link of what to expect when entering PI during this pandemic (if anyone is interested).

    Flying to Manila during COVID-19? What to prepare, expect
    Last edited by katie23; 03-08-2020 at 09:57 AM.

  21. #296
    Custom Title Changer
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    do you & your wife have some kind of health insurance?
    Not yet, to be honest. We were aware of the medical situation before we moved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    Keep it up topper one of the few threads worth looking at. Green owed.
    Thanks!

    Today's update....

    My wife went out and about today looking at places for us to rent as our current landlord is under the impression that the structural faults in her house that the recent rainfall has revealed is due to normal wear and tear on the house and we should be responsible for the repairs. During her numerous jeepney rides, she says she saw tons of motorcycles with two people on them without covid barriers. She said after watching the video Asia@Night posted, it gave her a chuckle.

    On my way back home this evening, well after curfew, there were police and soliders at a checkpoint in my 'hood inspecting vehicles to check that everyone was obeying the mask and motorcycle shield laws, according to my taxi dude. I asked why they didn't ask about being out after curfew and he told me the cities focus was on masks and barriers, not the curfew.

    He then told me there would be a complete lockdown on Sunday. I told him that was fake news like the 8 o'clock curfew and we both agreed that little actual info comes from the local government that's distributed to the masses as here, most of the info is announced via facebook.

    It would be great if there was clear, even daily guidance about what the citizens here should be focused on in terms of covid.

    My rant is over...

  22. #297
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    ^That's just the way it is, topper. Things constantly change. My barangay imposed its own lockdown last July 9 to 23 (2 weeks). Then now, it's the national govt declaring MECQ for Metro Manila & surrounding provinces - where I live. We just have to grin & bear it.

    Re: your apartment, I hope your wife is able to find a new one. House hunting, as well as transferring, is always stressful. I hope you're able to get one in a subdivision - it's relatively safer.

    Re: health insurance, if your wife worked before, then she has a Philhealth number & can go to an office to reactivate her account. She (and you) can be voluntary paying members. As for your case, I think it's ~1,500/ month for foreigners.

    Re: the health system here, there's a reason why this certain multivitamin brand has a tagline: Bawal magkasakit! (Don't get ill!)

    Re: alcohol ban & quarantine passes, Secretary Roque (spokesperson of Du30) said that it's up to the local government units (LGUs).



    It's more fun in the PI!

  23. #298
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    Well, today's next turd bowl of covid insanity....

    It was announced eariler in the week that one of the city's councilors proposed a 4 day "time out" complete lockdown in order to do mass testing of those symtomatic of covid and to help reduce the rising local transmission. Last night the mayor approved it.

    Bacolod is a city that was estimated to have a population of 560,000 back in 2017. Guess how many people are going to be "mass tested"? If you guessed 2500 in the city, you'd have been correct..

    Testing is free if you're a city employee, frontliner or over the age of 60 if you are having symtoms of covid. The testing will be done here in Bacolod for two days with the other two days of testing being done in not the city.

    Due to the licensing of where I do my online teaching, the workspace place has to close as it's a non-essential business which means I'm fucked for this weekend's work and next weekends work as my employer is closing shop for Song Kran.

    In Bacolod there's been roughly 730 confirmed cases. Right now there's 400+ active cases. Since March 17 people have died from Covid.

    I drive by a hospital every night on my way home and when I pass, 99% of the lights in the windows are off. Yet all of the hospital beds are full.

    The mayor had to appeal to Duraute for doctors and nurses because so many here have been struck with covid. We're talking about 400+ active cases of which I'm guessing 80% are home quarantined, yet we're out of hospital beds and frontliners to help those who need it.

    I'm guessing lechon and fried chicken has caused a higher mortality rate than covid in the last few months here.

    My rant. I'll be teaching using my phone as a hotspot this weekend and praying that it works and there's no power outages.

    Oh, an the alcohol ban is still in effect, which means I'll be stuck at home all day with the wife sober for 4 days.

  24. #299
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    Oh, an the alcohol ban is still in effect, which means I'll be stuck at home all day with the wife sober for 4 days.
    That's the worst part.

    Why didn't you stock up?

  25. #300
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    a population of 560,000 back in 2017. Guess how many people are going to be "mass tested"? If you guessed 2500 in the city, you'd have been correct..
    I'd have bet fewer than that. The theory may be 2500 . . . in reality it will be 1000 or so

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