Thursday, October 31, 2013

Philippine Citizenship Through the Legislative Process

If you are in the Philippines as a foreigner and you have some contribution to the country, or done something that has brought honour or other good things for the Philippines, it is possible that the Legislature of the Philippines may honour you by bestowing upon you Philippine Citizenship.

The good news too is that if you were to gain your Philippine Citizenship through the legislative process, renunciation of your previous citizenship is not necessary.

However, only few people are able to be recognized as a citizen through legislation.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Just Love The Philippines

Friday, October 25, 2013

Citizen of the Philippines

Being married to a Philippine Citizen does not entitle anyone to be a Citizen of the Philippines. 
Normally, if somebody wants to apply for Naturalization in the Philippines, they must live in the Philippines for 10 years before applying.  However, if you to apply for citizenship here, the wait is only five years.

Under Philippine law, if you want to become naturalized in the Philippines, and be a citizen of the country, you may have to renounce your own citizenship. This is the situation for the Americans.    The good thing for a wife is that under the Philippine Dual Citizenship law, she can re-acquire her Philippine Citizen and be a citizen of both countries.  The US does not offer such a procedure.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pizza Surprise

From my friend John in Manila

Davao Don Beppe Pizza
On a visit to one Don Beppe Pizza and Pasta at the rooftop of Gmall I was sadly disappointed in so many ways it isn’t funny. I arrived in the early evening and ordered a thick crust pizza. I arrived in the early evening and ordered a thick crust pizza. I spent 3 minutes emphasizing the fact that I “wanted a thick crust pizza” and as usual I got the “Yes Sir” approach by the waitress. After 20 minutes or more I was haunted with the fact that they gave me a thick crust pizza. I said right away “this is a thick crust pizza” which I got the answer “yes sir” this is our thick crust pizza. I started to eat it but I now realized that I paid a heavy price for something that is not even close to what thick crust is. I returned to the counter to once again inquire to the thick crust pizza and the extra cost in which I endured. This time I was confirmed to my first thought that this was indeed not a thick crust pizza.

Pizza Downfall
I was then told that they did not have the ingredients to make this said pizza but that they had sent someone out to buy them.

I was then told that they did not have the ingredients to make this said pizza but that they had sent someone out to buy them.

I was then told that they did not have the ingredients to make this said pizza but that they had sent someone out to buy them. I agreed to allow them to make the pizza but that took another 45 minutes and the people that I was dining with had already received their meals. I told them after waiting far too long to prepare it to take out. Now I’m a bit upset as it is but this is where it went even more horribly wrong. The girl’s puts the pizza face to face in thick slices puts it in a paper bag and staples it to go. I was so behind my other group I ran out of the restaurant to catch up. By the time I reached my car the paper bag was completely soaked in oil. When I reached home the bag was almost coming apart “and” upon opening it the pizza was a mess and stuck to the bag itself. Totally unprofessional and totally off limits to the reality of paying a strong price for a pizza here.

To make another matter worse it appears that the establishment has been abandoned by one Don Beppe himself as the stronghold of Filipino investors basically sent him running after they bought him out or voted him out, don’t know which. Now it’s being run under all the ideas that are wrong with the service of Filipino’s and probably without proper supervision and acceptance of what a foreigner like me expects when they order from a good establishment. This pretty much cures me for this place though. If I’m paying 700 to 800 peso for a pizza I’ll go somewhere who knows and understands what I want and actually has a box to put it in.

Sponsored by Jeff Harvie,Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) with Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Falling in Love With a Filipina

Try to think of yourself as a forty something guy from Australia and that at the age of twenty you decided to marry a Filipina sweetheart after a great vacation in the Philippines. Your friends and perhaps even family members tell you that you are too young to marry and it will not last.

Ten years later the kids are taking over the home and your duties switch from lover to dad, and you work every day and every hour possible to keep the children safe and the house safe. Marriage is now a full time job, on top of your full time job. The job takes all, and the love of your partner is sliding down the scale. You have affection for her, but the love  and passion is going.

When the kids are grown up enough and they do not need you as much you are faced at shairng a home with a wife, who is not the person you married. And she has to do the very same thing. She watches TV and you potter around in the garden, the conversations are short and you realise that you may have fallen out of love with this woman and she may feel the same about you. The bliss of the early years are over.

You can get a divorce and after the messy finance settlements you go find another lucky woman and are free to start all over again.  Divorce is an option.

There no divorce in the Philippines. Imagine no divorce and being stuck in an unloving marriage, and maybe a very unpleasant marriage? What would you do then? If you are living with your new wife out of the Philippines ten a divorce is much easier to come by, of course paying for it is another story.

There is  divorce in the Philippine. Check further into the regional and national laws and there is divorce. There has been since 1967. Like anything hidden away there will be hurdles to jump through, but is that not better than staying for life in a prison with an unfulfilled marriage. 

So the moral of the story is to fall in love with the person and NOT what you think they can do for you to make life easier. Love is the only reason to marry- honest.

Article sponsered by Jeff Harvie of Down Under Visa

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Trusting a Friend

It’s not that often that I have to have a moan about things in this country but recently I have been bombarded by so many examples of the lack of “trust” in people agreeing to pay what they owe, even if it’s totally clear.
One of my friends recently as given a job for two months on a weekly pay as a waiter. Remember he has NO money and this job allowed him to eat!!

After four weeks of working he was not paid and despite asking he was given many false promises of payments and many excuses. After asking for the eighth time he was asked to leave and he would be paid later that week.  He never was!!  Have you seen a man cry out of frustration and hurt, no money, no food?
This was a large national organisation here in the Philippines, and after SEVEN weeks still no payment at all, but many more promises. He was so desperate, and yet so polite to these people I asked if I could help?
He very reluctantly agreed and I made one very polite but VERY FIRM call and within five hours they made a payment , as I told them I would sit in the restaurant tonight and have a strong conversation with them until they paid, even if it was all night and even if customers overheard. They paid for sure but are still holding a deposit of p500!!!

I have from time to time been begged by friends here to assist with financial hardships and most times I say no, but I will assist with things that can make a long term difference like schooling or job help and advice, but sometimes when you see tears running down the face you give in and pay with their solemn promise of getting your money back. Needless to say you very rarely do and these people disappear.
Over the last few weeks I have been assisting a company with small consultation work and several times the money does not get paid or the person in charge does not turn up for an appointment. Yesterday after waiting two weeks for the overdue payment I returned to the office at an agreed time to discuss the plans and get the outstanding payments.

You guessed yet again NO SHOW; no answer to e mails no answer to text and no answer to missed calls.

The thing that is becoming very apparent is that this is not just a problem for the ex-pat, its ingrained into life here and thus employees are treated bad and they then have contempt for the employer. The circle continues, and continues to the point it is sometimes expected that you will not get a payment based on a promise, so the payment is taken in other means from an employer…THEFT.

Sponsored by Jeff Harvie,Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) with Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Davao City and Overview

Davao City Philippines: A City on The Verge

Davao City is a noted as the largest city is all of southern Asia. Not only is it set in a progressive path forward, it is without a doubt a city on the verge of becoming a modern metropolis. In saying this I also know the path to progression is often a road less traveled here. This island is steeped in history breaking those traditions is often against instilled values of many here.

The Island of Mindanao is a piece of the massive archipelago which the Philippines are part of. In all over 7,200 islands make up this country with Mindanao being the 2nd largest of them.  The large island here is surrounded by four seas including Sulu Sea to the West, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea to the south and the Mindanao Sea to the north. The island has many geographical areas including plateaus, swampy plains, mountains and volcanic peaks. Of the tallest mountain Davao City is home to the tallest in all of the Philippines named “Mt. Apo”. This region is a hiker’s dream and with the lakes and high altitude one can at a nice 11,194 feet (3,412 meters). The translation of the word “Apo” means “ancestor” and is a flat topped mountain with 3 peaks and a massive 1650 foot crater which is home to a beautiful mirrored lake. A typical climb to the top and back takes 2 days and is well worth the trip. In December 2009 Mount Apo was submitted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This and the National Park in and around Apo are a site to see and enjoy including just over 156,000 acres to roam.

If mountain climbing is not your thing then the beauty of the Garden City Island of Samal is just a short ride away. Taking a ferry to the island is quick and trouble free. Once there many places are close by to eat, venture and just hang out at the beachside resorts that line the rims and highlands of this vacation hot spot. For those wanting a peaceful falls setting try Hagimit on for size. Resorts such as the world famous Pearl Farm and Paradise Resort are just a few of the samples of how good the life is on this isle. Even a day with a scooter rental from Davao can yield a venture all its own. With a little bit of exploring one can find their way around the island and the city to enjoy the day and nightlife as well.

Transportation here is by taxi or jeepney. Though the jeepneys are an adventure on their own, without the knowledge of the city one could be caught in a turnstile of riding for hours on end. With the low cost of taxi rides it is the best and safest bet to get to your destination quickly. Even long trips to surrounding areas like Digos, Panabo and even Kidapawan can be accessed through taxis. If taking trips multiple times one should look into renting a van and driver for the day. These often are self sufficient and big, roomy and very comfortable. If visiting multiple sites like the Philippine Eagle Park, Crocodile Park and other adventure places one will want to rent a van as a cost saving venture.

Nightlife here and restaurants are great. Try the Rizal Street Habanna Compound for both and seek the many restaurants which dot the city everywhere. Not only is the local dishes great but those not willing to adventure into a different cultural food will gladly find European, American  and other traditional restaurants here. Try the great city overview restaurant and night entertainment place called Jack’s Ridge. This all time favorite is a must go to and the view over the city is nothing short of stunning.  Other must see places include Seagull Resorts both in the mountain and by the sea.

For the shopper in all of us Davao is now home to 7 malls with great shopping also in Chinatown a shopper’s paradise for bargains galore. If entertainment is what you want then places like MTS (Matina Town Square), Victoriana’s and Metro are good choices for live bands and great music. Coffee shops and quite places line the city on every turn. If wanting to take a night stroll head on down to People’s Park where the unique statues make great photo ops for those looking to take home a memory or two. Many nightlife clubs are bars are abound in the city and its surrounding area, one will have to choose their way as the choices are endless.

The “melting pot” of Mindanao is Davao City for sure. With this city supporting the lives of many it has created a bustling region which compares to no other here. Come see the new and improved but also lose yourself in the time honored traditions of the multiple tribes and people who live here. The borders of Davao Del Sur and its many natural wonders will keep even the pickiest of vacationers alive with adventure.

Sponsored by Jeff Harvie,Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) with Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas.