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  1. #676
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    topper, I’m surprised you have to pay rent via cash. No bank transfer available?
    Landlords here don't like bank transfers for some reason.

    Both places I've rented here insisted on cheques.
    My last lease was for 5 years, so I signed 60 cheques, and they cash one every month.

    Before I came here, I thought my 84 year old father was the only person on earth that still used cheques.

  2. #677
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    Quote Originally Posted by TizMe View Post
    My last lease was for 5 years, so I signed 60 cheques, and they cash one every month.
    good lord i don't even posess a cheque book and haven't in over 10 years

  3. #678
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    @tizme - it depends on the landlords whether they'll accept cash, cheque or bank transfer. I pay my landlady usually via bank transfer - either via online banking, ATM transfer or over the counter (bank). Very rarely have I paid in cash - that was when my online banking wasn't working and my landlady visited our building to collect rent from tenants (some of my neighbours usually pay by cash). After I've done the bank transfer, I text her to say that I've done the deed.

    @bonecollector - good onya for locating the roosters! Btw, you missed one chook.

    For your prize, you get a free meetup with Katie if ever you're in Manila or surrounds. Please be polite & gentlemanly. I met Bettyboo for lunch when he was in Manila and I gave him a quick tour of Intramuros. I've no complaints about Bettyboo's manners.

    Re: hiking in PH, yes there are many hiking trails - depends on your stamina and which level of difficulty you want. I was avid hiker in 2018 & 2019. I haven't hiked again since covid started. I usually join group hikes (as a "joiner") - it's cheaper and less stress for me. There's a hike coordinator and he/ she arranges the guide, itinerary, transport, etc. I just pay the joiner's fee, bring my food & gear, etc. However, most hikes here in PH are guided - you must have a guide. You (or your group) must also register at the barangay (village) hall before & after the hike - for safety reasons. There are some "no go" areas due to insurgency (rebel groups) or natural disasters (landslide, typhoon, etc). I have a hiking thread somewhere here in the PH section.

    I've overheard (from members of another hike group - we were all resting at the summit). One of them went on a DIY hike with his friends. They camped overnight (tents). In the morning, there were rebels who held them up & asked for their food, money and shoes. (They all had nice hiking shoes, which I'm sure the rebels appreciated.)

    If you're going to go hiking, coordinate always with the local authorities (police or barangay/ village). Some months ago, I thought of going hiking in Mt Maculot in Batangas. I called the barangay / village to ask if the trail was open. The officials said that it's closed due to the pandemic and they're also monitoring the area due to its proximity to Taal Volcano, which was on alert level 2 at that time.

    @topper - most employees have their payday on the 15th/ 30th or 14th/28th. Expect that a few days after those dates, the lines at the ATMs are long and ATMs run out of money, especially during a weekend. PH is still mostly a cash economy.
    Last edited by katie23; 03-05-2022 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Roosters

  4. #679
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    @tizme - it depends on the landlords whether they'll accept cash, cheque or bank transfer. I pay my landlady usually via bank transfer - either via online banking, ATM transfer or over the counter (bank).
    That's good to see. Hopefully they'll agree to transfers when I next renew.

  5. #680
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    @bonecollector - good onya for locating the roosters! Btw, you missed one chook.

    For your prize, you get a free meetup with Katie if ever you're in Manila or surrounds. Please be polite & gentlemanly. I met Bettyboo for lunch when he was in Manila and I gave him a quick tour of Intramuros. I've no complaints about Bettyboo's manners.

    Re: hiking in PH, yes there are many hiking trails - depends on your stamina and which level of difficulty you want. I was avid hiker in 2018 & 2019. I haven't hiked again since covid started. I usually join group hikes (as a "joiner") - it's cheaper and less stress for me. There's a hike coordinator and he/ she arranges the guide, itinerary, transport, etc. I just pay the joiner's fee, bring my food & gear, etc. However, most hikes here in PH are guided - you must have a guide. You (or your group) must also register at the barangay (village) hall before & after the hike - for safety reasons. There are some "no go" areas due to insurgency (rebel groups) or natural disasters (landslide, typhoon, etc). I have a hiking thread somewhere here in the PH section.

    I've overheard (from members of another hike group - we were all resting at the summit). One of them went on a DIY hike with his friends. They camped overnight (tents). In the morning, there were rebels who held them up & asked for their food, money and shoes. (They all had nice hiking shoes, which I'm sure the rebels appreciated.)

    If you're going to go hiking, coordinate always with the local authorities (police or barangay/ village). Some months ago, I thought of going hiking in Mt Maculot in Batangas. I called the barangay / village to ask if the trail was open. The officials said that it's closed due to the pandemic and they're also monitoring the area due to its proximity to Taal Volcano, which was on alert level 2 at that time.
    5555 you're right, there are 6! back left corner.

    Thanks for the info on hiking and I/ we will definitely take you up on your offer if we are in Manila, maybe you can come and do some hiking as well!

    Thanks for the info, we do a lot of hiking in Thailand and luckily it is mostly DIY if not within national parks. I am definitely more of a DIY person as I do not like the restrictions of meet here, start then and finish then. There definitely seems like there is a lot to explore in PH and I think it is somewhere we would like to go for a 2 month stint. Sad about the southern islands having all the problems with insurgency. When you talk of 'rebels', do you mean the insurgency or are there other groups loitering with intent?

  6. #681
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    ^yup. The chook that you missed was near the upper left corner.

    Re: joining organized hike tours, it's just more convenient for me. I'm a member of a group on FB wherein the hike orgsnizers post their schedules. I just choose the mountain/ location/ difficulty level, reserve a slot & pay the fee. I have a 9 to 5 job, so it's less stress for me since I don't have to think of the logistics.

    Re: joining a hike with y'all, sure - but it will depend on the schedule, location, difficulty, etc. My fitness level now is not optimum. If I was preparing for a difficult hike, I would be jogging for 1 hour everyday (and strengthening arms & legs).

    Re: the "no go" zones, it depends on the area. The story that I told before, I think that happened in Rizal or Quezon Province. The "friendly people" there belong to the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Phils - New Peoples Army). They are also present in some Visayan islands and in Mindanao (south island). However, in the South there are other Muslim separatist groups such the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), MILF (not to be messed with - they're the Moro Islamic Liberation Front). There's also the Abu Sayyaf, which has links to ISIS. There have been some foreigners who were kidnapped - so beware of some "spicy" areas.

    I once watched a TV crew (Jessica Soho Reports, GMA 7 network). The TV crew explored a quite remote/ unexplored mountain. They had to be escorted by guides from a local tribe and some soldiers from the Phil. Army. The soldiers were there for a reason.

    There are also some areas (or is it the whole of Mindanao? ) for which there is a travel advisory/ warning. If you go to that area despite the travel warning, your travel insurance won't cover you in case of a SHTF event.

    As of now, travel medical insurance (with covid-19 coverage) is required for foreign tourists entering PH.

  7. #682
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    ^ Very interesting stuff, I am already checking this all out on google maps. PH has a ridiculously crazy amount of islands which has always intrigued me. We will be back later in life to sail around them but an extended visit first is definitely on the cards.

    I remember watching a documentary about a Norwegian couple who were taken hostage by one of the more serious Islamic groups.

  8. #683
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    Yea, we have NPA in the hills here on Negros. About twice a month there's a gun battle between them and the PA.

  9. #684
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    ^yes, there are NPA in Panay island (Iloilo and Antique provinces), according to friends who live there.

    @bonecollector - there was a couple (UK expat + Filipina wife) who got kidnapped in 2019. There's also Martin & Gracia Burnham. They're missionaries from the USA. They were held for several months. Martin died during the rescue operation (conducted by the military). Gracia survived and wrote a book about their ordeal. There's also the case of the Dos Palmas and the Samal island kidnappings.

    British Man and Filipino Woman Abducted in Philippines - The New York Times

    Many areas in PH are safe (for tourism or hiking), but there are "no go" zones and it's best to heed the advice of locals.

    For DIY hikes (I've done some of those with friends), you have to go to the jump off point and register at the barangay/ village hall. You can hire guides from there (they're usually on standby). In 2019, fees for a guide were 500 pesos (10 usd) for a ~5 hour hike (up+down the mountain). It can also cost 1,000 to 2,000 pesos (20 to 40 usd) for the guide, depending on the distance/ time/ difficulty. These are 2019 prices, so they might have changed.

    If you go to Baguio city (a former hilltop station) and base yourself there for a few days, there are several mountains that you can go for day hikes. One is Mt. Ulap - it's relatively easy and OK for beginners. You can hire a taxi or ride a jeepney to Itogon town in Benguet province, register and get a guide. (I've done Mt Ulap and wouldn't mind to repeat it since the views are scenic.)

    There are many mountains in PH and many known trails are safe.

    My go-to site for researching mountains is the Pinoy mountaineer site. Here's the post for Mt Ulap. Just browse his site if interested.

    Cheers and happy googling.

    Mt. Ulap (1846m) in Itogon, Benguet – Pinoy Mountaineer

  10. #685
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    In 97 I was working for an Australian gold/ copper exploration company in an area about an hour from butuane city and was the only gringo onsite. We once got a visit by some fully armed chaps who asked a lot of questions to the Datus who were assigned to guard the camp. I asked the datus what they wanted and he said mostly they asked about me. And what was my attitude he wasn't sure if they were really NPA or fake ones but there weapons were real enough to me and I was fucking nervous. The year before that on another project in northern Luzon we had a Canadian Geologist shot and killed when someone opened up on the helicopter. That was blamed on the NPA but we had been paying them " progressive tax" not to do that shit. Turns out it was a 15 year old ifugao kid with a gun he stole of the cafgu. Nothing to do with the NPA

  11. #686
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    Shit can go south real quick.

  12. #687
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    ^yes, there are NPA in Panay island (Iloilo and Antique provinces), according to friends who live there.

    @bonecollector - there was a couple (UK expat + Filipina wife) who got kidnapped in 2019. There's also Martin & Gracia Burnham. They're missionaries from the USA. They were held for several months. Martin died during the rescue operation (conducted by the military). Gracia survived and wrote a book about their ordeal. There's also the case of the Dos Palmas and the Samal island kidnappings.

    British Man and Filipino Woman Abducted in Philippines - The New York Times

    Many areas in PH are safe (for tourism or hiking), but there are "no go" zones and it's best to heed the advice of locals.

    For DIY hikes (I've done some of those with friends), you have to go to the jump off point and register at the barangay/ village hall. You can hire guides from there (they're usually on standby). In 2019, fees for a guide were 500 pesos (10 usd) for a ~5 hour hike (up+down the mountain). It can also cost 1,000 to 2,000 pesos (20 to 40 usd) for the guide, depending on the distance/ time/ difficulty. These are 2019 prices, so they might have changed.

    If you go to Baguio city (a former hilltop station) and base yourself there for a few days, there are several mountains that you can go for day hikes. One is Mt. Ulap - it's relatively easy and OK for beginners. You can hire a taxi or ride a jeepney to Itogon town in Benguet province, register and get a guide. (I've done Mt Ulap and wouldn't mind to repeat it since the views are scenic.)

    There are many mountains in PH and many known trails are safe.

    My go-to site for researching mountains is the Pinoy mountaineer site. Here's the post for Mt Ulap. Just browse his site if interested.

    Cheers and happy googling.

    Mt. Ulap (1846m) in Itogon, Benguet Pinoy Mountaineer
    Some excellent information there Katie, Thank you so much! I do not mind taking a local from a village actually. They can make some money to feed their families and they are usually the ones who know the mountain/ jungle best. I have taken local villages in Thailand before and have met forages along the way. Between them, they have taught me about 70% of what i know about the jungle. So you gain a lot interacting with the locals.
    Last edited by Bonecollector; 04-05-2022 at 07:14 PM.

  13. #688
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLD View Post
    Shit can go south real quick.
    It is very strange hearing all of is. For me, from the outside, it just doesn't seem like a place that has so much craziness. From what I just googled it looks like there are 5 main causes and there are sub groups within each of the causes, that's pretty crazy for an area this size. The NPA sounds like a problem because I am sure China would be licking their lips at the possibility of PH falling to a group such as the NPA. Then allowing China to build military bases or even to become a puppet state. I am reading a book about how the Khmer Rouge were able to grow and take over Cambodia. They grew from just a few small sporadic groups in the north east. The Philippines has definitely caught my attention, a very interesting and dynamic country which holds quite an important strategic position.

    I will read further myself as I think I have sidetracked the thread enough, sorry Tops, beer(s) owed!
    Last edited by Bonecollector; 04-05-2022 at 08:11 PM.

  14. #689
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    ^the "friendly peeps" are a real problem in PH. It's not all sunshine and rainbows.

    When I visited my dad's rural hometown/ province in 2009, the road was being built (road widening + concrete, as it was a dirt road before). There were soldiers (with guns) guarding the heavy equipment (bulldozers, etc) because previously, the NPA had sabotaged the equipment. There were also signs/ placards saying to the effect of "The NPA are harmful. Do not cooperate with them."

    Communist insurgents have been present since post WW2. Then add to that the Muslim insurgents down south. As a newbie foreigner/ tourist, I suggest that you stick to the well known paths. If ever you will hike a mountain, register at the village hall and hire a guide. (Yes, your tourist dollars will feed the guide's family.)

  15. #690
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLD View Post
    The year before that on another project in northern Luzon we had a Canadian Geologist shot and killed when someone opened up on the helicopter. That was blamed on the NPA but we had been paying them " progressive tax" not to do that shit. Turns out it was a 15 year old ifugao kid with a gun he stole of the cafgu. Nothing to do with the NPA
    I'm pretty sure I knew that guy. Did you know him?

  16. #691
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    Didn't meat him .I was working for Climax arimco and that guy was employed by exon they were interested in doing a JV with us on the Didipio deposit. We shut down that project for over a year.

  17. #692
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    The guy I knew died in the same circumstances, right down to it being a teenager with the gun, but I'm now thinking it was probably closer to '93 or '94. So maybe not the same guy, as you say it would have been '96. Still, a tragedy.

  18. #693
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    Only thing I can recall was he was about 70 and they had pulled him out of retirement to go assess the project

  19. #694
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    I do know that he died from loss of blood from having his balls shot off to. The helicopter had to land to check the gearbox to see if it could make it to Santiago city the closest hospital. Didipios pretty remote. His name might of been Dennis?

  20. #695
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLD View Post
    Only thing I can recall was he was about 70 and they had pulled him out of retirement to go assess the project
    Not him then. The guy I knew would have been in his late 20's.

  21. #696
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    RIP. Both of them . They both in the wrong place at wrong time. Just goes to show it's the fickle finger of fate sometimes . Shit happens.no disrespect to that that I got his boots and same size my hoofs size 12. The Filipinos that I was working with rightly thought . Well fook we don't know anyone with such big feet

  22. #697
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    It was hard to buy size 12 steel caps in 97

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