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Old 10-09-2006, 10:59   #31
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That would be nice!

We'll be flying out of Manila Friday, North to Tuguegarao and then return back to Manila, possibly on the 22nd (the next Friday). We'll see how it goes........................._/)

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Old 10-09-2006, 11:03   #32
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I travel to the philippines once or twice a year. All the advice here sounds good. I say be mindful of where you are and enjoy. I go to the provinces and travel by myself a lot, the wife can go only once a year. I bounce around and enjoy meeting the people and local customs and foods. I do have and advantage as I speak the language. I eat almost anywhere I go and only have gotten a bug from the water, sso I drink bottled, tuba or rum w/ coke.
Just enjoy your time there and most all filipinos speak english but you may need to speak a little slower than you would here so that the whole sentence you say can be heard and understood. but not so slow as if they are children.

Delmarry,
I to am sorry about your loss.
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Old 10-09-2006, 16:05   #33
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Lori, on exchange rates check your credit card company. Some of them offer better rates than local currency exchanges. Some of them accumulate your charges and "convert" them once at the end of the month for your statement, while others give you the actually daily exchange rate on the day of your purchase. AmEx has a good reputation that way, I found I could often charge things to Amex and get a better rate (and a known guaranteed rate, "the" bank rate or close to it) than by converting currency and paying cash.

And of course, that way there's no leftover currency to REconvert on the way out.
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Old 10-09-2006, 18:03   #34
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The best mango I ever ate was from the Philippines, and the best mango ever was at the old Manila Hotel. For some reason, Phillipine mangoes taste like they have been dusted with powdered sugar, which makes them even more delicious.

It's been a while, but I understand the Manila Hotel is still elegant, reasonable, and of course very historic.

Wishing you a safe trip and a wonderful cultural experience.

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Old 10-09-2006, 19:55   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Entlie
The best mango I ever ate was from the Philippines, and the best mango ever was at the old Manila Hotel. For some reason, Phillipine mangoes taste like they have been dusted with powdered sugar, which makes them even more delicious.

It's been a while, but I understand the Manila Hotel is still elegant, reasonable, and of course very historic.

Wishing you a safe trip and a wonderful cultural experience.

Entlie
A mango dacauri is as close as you will come to true ambrosia.
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:16   #36
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If you are changing a small amount of money...

If you are only changing a small amount of money then the money changers at the airport and in the malls seem to offer a rather better rate than the banks.
I always found American dollars to be very welcome in the Philippines. Try bringing some small notes.
Flashing your money is not a good idea in the Philippines.
We usually carry four stashes.
The first is is small coins in my pocket. These are for beggars. If they really hassle I may accidentally drop them.
The second is a roll of small denomination notes (up to P2000 total) for small transactions. I usually keep this in a small credit card wallet.
The third is a traveller's wallet that goes inside my pants. It can also carry credit cards, passports, tickets etc. Anyone wishing to steal this would neet to be very friendly.
The fourth is carried by my wife. I have given up worrying about what she does.
Don't forget to carry a photocopy of your passport, tickets etc in a separate place.
If anyone is persistantly friendly become very suspicious and disentangle yourself quickly. Philippinos are friendly but family is all.
There have been recent reports of bag slashers on jeepneys in Cebu. I have found taxis to be safe, but always try to negotiate a fair price first. Ask around to find out how much to pay.
A pesos can make a big differnce in the Philippines.
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Old 18-09-2006, 17:35   #37
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Originally Posted by knottybuoyz

So, I'm a batchelor again for a month. Who wants to play hookie tomorrow and go for a boat ride? Wohoo!!!
So long as boating is the only 'cruising' you're doing while I'm gone you'll be safe.....

I have arrived! We got to Toronto at around 8:00 am Sunday to find that the flight to Hong Kong was delayed 4 hrs - until 1:00 pm. Apparently there was a mechanical problem with the plane. Right away we had missed our connection in Hong Kong. The airline assured us that we would get the first available flight out of Hong Kong once we got there. Cool! The 16 hour flight to Hong Kong was....difficult. Being confined to so little space for that long was a definite trial. I can honestly say I am not looking forward to that part of my return flight. The first available flight out of Hong Kong turned out to be the last available flight, so we had another 5 hour layover there and finally arrived around midnight Monday.

I have to say Hong Kong looked amazing from the air, both day and night! Manila looked interesting coming in at night. I am excited to start exploring it! I have only had about 3 hours sleep in the past 48 hrs, but I can;t wait to look around. I'm due in the office later today, so I will probably be toasted by tonight!

Anyhow, the adventure has begun!
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Old 18-09-2006, 20:09   #38
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I was provided with an information package at work yesterday and it said the major hotels usually offer 110 volt outlets, so I should be fine.
Sounds like the best idea yet. Avoiding poor hotels is always a good start. Being a class act never hurts. Staying in better hotels solves most all your potential problems. Best if someone else is paying.

Sounds like a fun time.
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Old 18-09-2006, 20:27   #39
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Lori, Good to hear you got there, and the adventure has begun. Have a great time. Delmarrey, also sorry to hear about your loss. Rick, I am not going to say a thing I could, but....Naaaah
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Old 20-09-2006, 07:49   #40
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Sounds like the best idea yet. Avoiding poor hotels is always a good start. Being a class act never hurts. Staying in better hotels solves most all your potential problems. Best if someone else is paying.

Sounds like a fun time.
I am fortunate that when my company sends me anywhere they always have me stay in a good hotel. This one is nice because it is only a 2 block walk to the office. Traffic is crazy here!

I did discover that Canadian money is easily accepted for exchange, but it must be in the form of cash. No one here, even the banks, deal in traveller's cheques. Finally today, after several phone calls to both the Philippines and Canada, I found an American Express office that would cash the traveller's cheques. That office would not convert from CDN to Philippines currency though. It had to be exchanged to US and then to the local currency. So much for carrying Canadian to avoid the double exchange. That 'little' frustration aside, the people here are wonderful!

Getting settled in the office here has been frantic and I will be working a 12:00 am-9:00 am shift for most of my stay here, so I should have lots of opportunities to see some of the area - very soon, I hope!

Lori
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Old 22-09-2006, 00:42   #41
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Now that things have settled down I thought I'd put in a few words.

Lori, I guess I should have added that one has to go to an Am. Express Bank to exchange large amounts from the travellers ck's. The BPI Bank's will change up to US$200. with a small fee. Didn't know about the Am. Can. transfer. My wife's sister (from Vancouver,BC) never mentioned any swap of funds. But, I do find it harder to exchg now, then from 6 years ago. I guess from the 9/11 situation. Sorry!!

We have our own personal guides (Family) so getting info and around the steets is fairly EZ. Although, I hate the small size of space that one has to get into to get around. The taxi's are more favorable but still cramped if more then 4 people.

I do like the new set up with the taxi's at the domestic airport. One goes into an office and they quote the price of your destination and hands you a reciept for the taxi driver. Then you add the tip if you so desire.

Tomorrow we plan to go down to the marina's and I'm going to do some research and do a little sight seeing. Then up to meet with Lori.

Gawd, I hope I never have to do another funeral here. It was a bit crazy with all the triditions and superstitions.

Up in Tuguegarao the weather was fairly dry but here in Manila it's rained every evening this week, so far. The Humidity is always high. And, the hair on my arms and legs has turned curly. But loving it

Till later......................................._/)
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:21   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Entlie
The best mango I ever ate was from the Philippines, and the best mango ever was at the old Manila Hotel. For some reason, Phillipine mangoes taste like they have been dusted with powdered sugar, which makes them even more delicious.
Entlie
I have to agree with that! Every morning I have a plate of fresh fruit and the mangos are by far my favourite! Dragon fruit, Kiwi, fresh pineapple and watermellon usually rounds out the plate. I can see I am really going to miss the fresh fruit when I get home!

Lori
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:40   #43
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I went today

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Originally Posted by markpj23

If you are at all interested in WWII sites or history, Corregidor is the place to go! This is where MacArthur got run out of the PI and vowed "I Shall Return." Then left his deputy commanders there to suffer in the Malinta Tunnel for a month while the Japanese shelled the island to pieces....
Three of our group went there today and it was an amazing trip! we went on a tour arranged by the hotel and they drove us to the ferry terminal. An hour ferry trip got us to the island and then we had a tour bus/guide, take us around the island. We had lunch and then completed the trip with a trip through the tunnel. The devestion on the island was amazing to me and I realized how lucky we are to live in Canada where our citizens have never experienced war. Of course Canadians served and were lost, but it's not the same....The many memorial gardens were beautiful and paid tribute to American, Philippino and Japanese soldiers.

If I am fortunate enough to ever come back to this country I will hav to bring Rick along to see this island.

Lori
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:24   #44
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Speaking of which, Lori, please hurry - he is running rampent about the place and just generally misbehaving - we can't do a thing with him!
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:06   #45
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Lori ... SEE!!!!! I rest my case - in the freezer section of course.
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