Manila And Angeles Update
Posted 22 July 2017 - 00:59
Posted 22 July 2017 - 13:39
Posted 02 September 2017 - 00:52
The peso has taken a beating. I was getting a bit over 4000 pesos per 100 dollars last year and now its over 5,000 pesos per 100 dollars.
Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:16
Posted 17 May 2018 - 16:04
Went all over the country except for AC, worked in Makati.
I have known NAIA when there was only the old terminal open but finally they have renovated a bit T1 and they opened the other terminals, all in all much better.
For travels between plenty of main cities you have Cebu pacific + PAL + air asia, no real hassle and often some pretty good deals.
Great as it is, especially compared to the Thai Baht strength.
Cost of living:
Excellent, not as cheap as Cambodia but still quite cheap, again compared to Thailand.
Condos for rent can be found in all the main cities with plenty of good deals especially since platforms such as airbnb became the trend.
Plenty of hotels with a good choice of 5 stars, be it in Manila, Alabang, Cebu, Puerto Princesa and so on.
Never got bad service to the contrary since most of the hotel staff I met really tried their best to help.
Train = almost non-existent (missed the Bicol express).
Manila/NCR/Makati = huge traffic jams (Manila skyway is very convenient though, depending where you have to go work).
Taxis = meter almost unknown, many taxis in bad mechanical shape (I count at least 5 times when the taxi broke down or was in the process of breaking down, which, once on the skyway, can be no fun at all)
Tricycle-habal habal: can be the only mean of transportation in some areas, never had any problem and surprisingly quite regulated and quite honest.
Long distance buses: Some more reliable than others from what I heard, some very comfortable (almost like first class beds) but never tried one.
As a sidenote, uber is really getting big there.
Ferry: Despite the poor reputation of Filipino ferries I gave a try to 2GO ferries and was a bit impressed (Manila to Cebu trip).
Banca: Never had a bad experience (of course I never went on a trip on a banca when a storm was supposed to happen) and actually had my best 'desert islands' experience hiring a banca and its crew for the day and going island hopping in Bohol, add to that some gems can be visited only by banca such as in Coron or El nido.
Plenty of foreign restaurants everywhere in the main cities, once you go out of the big cities you usually find less of those foreign restaurants, but given the Filipino love of eating I believe bonchon, mcdo, BK, chowking, max, jollibee are pretty much almost everywhere.
Spicy: Filipino food is usually not spicy, some Thai restaurants in the main cities, other than that if you go in the Bicol area you can find some spicier food.
Red horse, san miguel and plenty of local or imported alcohols everywhere.....may I add that drinking (between men) is a Filipino ritual, sisig + red horse deep into the night can be quite an experience.
One might think English is widely spoken but older people are not all fluent in English especially in the more remote areas.
Now, if you happen to spend your time in the northgate area in Alabang, near more than a few big BPO companies you will have no trouble with English with the thousands of predominantly young female college graduates, some who speak better English than myself since they went to de la salle university and UPI.
Red light stuff:
Big KTV in ermita/malate: catering mainly to wealthy Filipinos but these days more and more to Chinese, Japanse, koreans and more than a few westerners, expensive (if you know a floor manager can be only 6-7k php but usually damage easily )more than 10k php) but can find some real gems, failed entertainers and so on. VIP rooms can be full service.
Japanese (and a few Koreans) KTV/karaoke: del pilar/mabini streets in Malate for the biggest concentration: some classic Japanase karaoke where being slightly naughty can be done but they play hard to catch, some others where they are much more readily available, same kind of businesses as soi thaniya and other Japanese places), can find some real gems in some, expensive as it is catering to Japanese but on the other hand can be worth it if you have time and some money.
Padre burgos: The classic, most of the 'dancing' bars not worth it, some such as bottoms can be incredible, both with the talent and the high prices. Note, some of the girls offering massage in the street can be real gems.
About bottoms and jools: Yes they are expensive, yes the mamasans are pushy and yes they are a nightmare for non-smokers but, from all my travels I remember only 2 times I met real college girls (besides some G clubs in Bangkok), once was at Monet on sukhumvit soi 33, got her to come in her college uniform to my condo once, the other one was at bottoms and I went to pick her at her college another day.
Filipino KTV in QC: Quezon city, more than a few, some doubling as MP (Pegasus, kremlin), some really costly, example pegasus, 10k-15k php dmg minimum but then, in a way, you can really find some incredible women there. Other smaller (seedier?) Filipino ktv in the area have really great VIP rooms and are far from being as expensive. A special mention about AF1 (air force one) in parañaque, KTV doubling as MP was worth a visit.
EDSA: Was never impressed.
Casas: Can be a hit or miss and you better have a taxi driver you can trust, never went there without a close Filipino relation, some casas you find 40yo women, others are full of (real) college students trying to make money to pay their tuition.
Night clubs/dance clubs: Not my cup of tea + the table system is absurd and anyway I am not young enough anymore.
Freelancer joints: Went once to LA care and never again.
AC: Never went, not interested to be with thousands of other foreigners in 'Pattaya in the Phil'
Cebu: For another time, can be really great.
Davao: For another time but is incredible, sadly too dangerous from time to time.
Posted 17 May 2018 - 16:17
I've spent some time in Manila but otherwise AC and Subic mostly plus some up country traveling.
Having lived and worked in the Middle East the last few years Filipinas are literally everywhere. They rarely use public pick up places now and in some parts of ME its hard to find many such places anyway. The trend over the last few years has been to move online. From dating sites to Tinder and its like they are everywhere now and it gives an easy way to get some communication going before you meet up usually. Bars and the like seem a dying trend worldwide for that sort of action.
Shit Happens In Thailand. It's a recursive acronym.
Posted 17 May 2018 - 17:47
It's a shit hole as are the bars.
Posted 18 May 2018 - 01:18
Barrio Barretto still the same?
Like I said I feel much of the quality has moved online both in Thailand and PI.
Shit Happens In Thailand. It's a recursive acronym.
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