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Old Apr 22nd 2015, 10:57 pm   #31
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Default re: Me and My Family

Hi

Read all your comments and could not stop laughing! What you have described is just unbelievably typical. I have been travelling back and forth to the Phills for the last 20years, and in my early visits 'suffered' the same sponging as you. What really annoyed me was the fact that the words 'Thank You' seemed to be omitted from their dictionary.
I to had to suffer the mystery guests tagging along whenever there was a chance of a free meal, or financial gain. Fortunately I wised up very quickly to these situations and make sure that only persons who I invite are allowed to go with us. We had a house built in a sub division which gives us the security and privacy I think you will need. Our house is 100kms from the wife's family which is ideal.
Most of my wifes family (and extended siblings) are now grown up, or living abroad so this is a further positive. You stated that the local children, or GF's familys children just enter your house and watch your telly, also your beer supplies seem to vanish. This WOULD NEVER happen in our Philippine house. When any family visit they stay well away from me and would ask if they wanted anything. They have also been taught to say Thank You. You must let them know who sets the rules and who is in charge, to the extent that they know your word is final.
I have witnessed many times 'Johnny Foreigner' being chaperoned by several family members in the shopping malls. Needless to say poor old 'Johnny' is footing all the bills. Please take note, otherwise I think some time in the future you will be blogging on this site that you have gone 'skint' and need to make a swift exit. One further piece of advice............................should you decide to buy a car, make sure it will not seat more than 4/5 (Unfortunately, 2 seater not very practical) persons otherwise you might end up an unsuspecting taxi driver !!

Last edited by BEVS; Oct 9th 2017 at 9:58 pm. Reason: trim and adjust
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 5:32 am   #32
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Default re: Me and My Family

Interesting replies! Fortunately my gf is understanding and both are reaching a compromise over our different cultures. She recognises my disapproval of the house full of kids watching our tv and this is now kept to a minimum.

I was thinking of buying a car, this is no longer on my list because I just know it will be borrowed by all and sundry. No doubt without a please or thankyou...or without the fuel tank suitably replenished!

The house we have rented is having some refurbishment by her father and two relatives. I was alarmed at being given bills for work done that did not have my prior approval. Ok....it was work that needed to be done but could be done in due course. True, I was given receipts but could not decipher the items listed. Final straw came when gf and father were discussing extending the height of the wall without my prior approval. Again, it can to be done but in due course. Also, they figured the windows wanted replacing. Maybe. But in due course. Now I have got a grip of that situation.

I previously noted that my gf sister moved into the empty small building next to the house. Was told it was only for about 3 months whilst her place is being refurbished. I have noticed over the past few weeks that it looks as though it is being made more permanent with painting...tiling etc. We shall see. She seems to be enjoying using our water, electricity and wifi etc. Oh....and tv of course!

Maybe I am being cynical but I have noticed gf father has acquired a new motor-cycle at 2500 peso pm I believe. Asked why gf was signing all these forms was told she was a witness. Hmmmm....maybe. Not a guarantor I hope! Oh...her family are moving to a more expensive place this month. Problems with landlord and landowner I am led to believe.

Anyway, once we have settled and everything has been completed refurbishment-wise I shall draw up a monthly budget.

As I have been told repeatedly, it is fun in Phils. Maybe. Most eye-opening and interesting....most certainly!

Regards

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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 8:34 am   #33
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Default re: Me and My Family

Surely if you are renting the house, repairs are down to the landlord? Glad you say you've got a grip on it.
Make sure the documents your GF is signing are signed in HER name , not YOURS, otherwise you may find you're on the hook for the payments when he stops paying them. Then it's johnny Foreigner against a filipino - and that's odds on in their favour!
A budget is a good idea - maybe give her an allowance and tell her that's it. No more money.
Maybe you'll find one of her relatives becomes very ill and has no money to pay doctor or medicines. Can you "loan" her X thousand please. In Tagalog , "loan" means "give'.
if you think it may be true then ask for the medical bills and pay them direct. No itemised bills , no money.
Boy, the learning curve is getting steeper!
Keep your eyes open and your wits around you Pete.

Enjoy having fun.
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 12:02 pm   #34
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Default re: Me and My Family

all this somewhere before, that's right - in my house. Again like Mike I have upstairs where I have my office, living room & bedroom is off limits to all - although wife gets a nightly pass. Beer is now kept upstairs as I also had a phantom fridge raider.

I also had a uninvited shower taker until I told the wife that I thought I might go and join her one day, never saw her again.

Regards Father-in-laws transport upgrade, your name may not be on the documentation but that has nothing to do with who will be paying.

WiFi is not the quickest in the world here and at times I was unable to do my banking or work transfers due to the amount of users sitting in the garden, so I have changed the password, I do allow any one who wants to use it to use my spare lap top, this gives them access but on my terms and times.

As for car it was lent out by the wife a few times, but when it came back with no fuel in it, the next time she wanted to go somewhere I just said No as there is no fuel in it and it will not be moved until it has been replaced. She no longer allows anyone to use it. Keys kept upstairs.

Upgrade in family living accommodation will be due to a rich man joining the family.

As I have just said in another topic here. Sorry to be negative, I am not a pessimist just an optimist with experience.

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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 6:03 pm   #35
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Hi

You have only just arrived in the Phills and are really in need of some good 'local' advice before your new found benevolence causes problems. As I mentioned before my wifes relatives are afraid of me and would never get away with what you have put with ,so far............it will only get worse if you do not 'put your foot down'.Stokkevn is 100% right, only loan what you won't miss. Do not ask for money back, because in most cases they will not pay it back, but will be too embarrassed to ask for further money.
I cannot understand WHY you are getting you new relatives to renovate a rented property. Also if the work needs doing why not get other quotes, labour is very cheap in the phills. Be careful not to let prospective 'tradesman' know the work is being carried out for a foreigner . The price will automatically rocket up ! Whoever you get to do the work do not expect it to be to European standards. Most Philippine 'tradesmen' have very little knowledge of modern building materials and are 'bodgers'.
The best advice I could give you is to seek out other ex-pats who live locally. They could advice you on many aspects and cultures of living in the Philippines. Apart from saving yourself from the usual pitfalls it will be very beneficial for you to speak to someone who you have a common language and culture. If you meet up with a group of fellow foreigners it will give you a chance TO ESCAPE THE FAMILY. It can be very trying if all the family speak Tagalog ...............you will just be ignored.
When I am in the Philippines we use our house as a base only. The wife will go and stay with her reduced family in the provinces (Ilocos Sur). I will only venture there for no more than 1 night (just to drop off the wife) as there is no Wi-Fi and the locals think I am from the planet 'Zok'. They are not used to White Skinned folk. To be blunt its like going back to a distant time era, there is nothing to do and its boring. The good bit is I then book into a beach resort (Sunset Bay, Canoaway, La Union) which is owned by 3 English Honk Kong based brits. The place is a mecca for foreigners and you would never be bored there. Another good aspect of the place it is managed by an Aussie who has built up the restaurant to one of the best in La Union. It is always full.
Do yourself a favour and start looking for ex-pat friends. There are some foreign undesirables but you will soon sort 'the wheat from the chaff' .I know some foreign (USA & Canadian) ex-pats that have built serious business's in the Pilippines . It may pay you to start networking you never know when you need good contacts.

Best of Luck.


Mike

Last edited by BEVS; Oct 9th 2017 at 9:58 pm.
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Old Apr 24th 2015, 12:17 am   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikek1 View Post

You have only just arrived in the Phills and are really in need of some good 'local' advice before your new found benevolence causes problems. As I mentioned before my wifes relatives are afraid of me and would never get away with what you have put with ,so far............it will only get worse if you do not 'put your foot down'.Stokkevn is 100% right, only loan what you won't miss. Do not ask for money back, because in most cases they will not pay it back, but will be too embarrassed to ask for further money.
I cannot understand WHY you are getting you new relatives to renovate a rented property. Also if the work needs doing why not get other quotes, labour is very cheap in the phills. Be careful not to let prospective 'tradesman' know the work is being carried out for a foreigner . The price will automatically rocket up ! Whoever you get to do the work do not expect it to be to European standards. Most Philippine 'tradesmen' have very little knowledge of modern building materials and are 'bodgers'.
The best advice I could give you is to seek out other ex-pats who live locally. They could advice you on many aspects and cultures of living in the Philippines. Apart from saving yourself from the usual pitfalls it will be very beneficial for you to speak to someone who you have a common language and culture. If you meet up with a group of fellow foreigners it will give you a chance TO ESCAPE THE FAMILY. It can be very trying if all the family speak Tagalog ...............you will just be ignored.
When I am in the Philippines we use our house as a base only. The wife will go and stay with her reduced family in the provinces (Ilocos Sur). I will only venture there for no more than 1 night (just to drop off the wife) as there is no Wi-Fi and the locals think I am from the planet 'Zok'. They are not used to White Skinned folk. To be blunt its like going back to a distant time era, there is nothing to do and its boring. The good bit is I then book into a beach resort (Sunset Bay, Canoaway, La Union) which is owned by 3 English Honk Kong based brits. The place is a mecca for foreigners and you would never be bored there. Another good aspect of the place it is managed by an Aussie who has built up the restaurant to one of the best in La Union. It is always full.
Do yourself a favour and start looking for ex-pat friends. There are some foreign undesirables but you will soon sort 'the wheat from the chaff' .I know some foreign (USA & Canadian) ex-pats that have built serious business's in the Pilippines . It may pay you to start networking you never know when you need good contacts.

Best of Luck.


Mike
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Old Apr 25th 2015, 11:37 am   #37
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Default re: Me and My Family

Again, thanks all for your words of wisdom. Certainly a steep learning curve!

This morning gf sister who has taken over the outbuilding next door and is enjoying rent free accommodation, using our water, electricity, TV and wifi decided to share her music full blast at some ungodly hour. Subtle hint was given to her.

This afternoon brother of gf who is visiting for a few days waltzed into the house without a bye your leave and tried to help himself to a beer in the fridge. Marching orders were given.

The renovations consist of installing aircon, installing a hot shower, cooker and a place for the washing machine to go. Also repainting house exterior. We are using her Uncle at 200 peso a day and a friend who is a skilled labourer at 350 peso per day. Sounds reasonable to me. Had 2 other friends yesterday who spent 3 hours re-wiring for the cooker. Cost was 1500 peso which again seems reasonable

I take on board the necessity to hunt out foreigner friends....only seen two white men so far around here.

Been asked for 2 small loans. One was for 1000 peso which was offered back 2 weeks later and told him to keep it. The other was for 5000 peso as described earlier in the thread by my gf for education fees at college for her sister. At the time I told her this was the first and last time I would make a loan like this. Do not expect any repayment....or further requests.

Next month I will introduce the topic of house hold budget into the conversation. Should be interesting!

Again...thanks all.

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Old Apr 25th 2015, 1:02 pm   #38
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loving the saga! Keep them coming as it may prove helpful to others who are thinking of embarking on the new life of peace.calm & tranquility here in the Philippines.
you have the right attitude - screw me once , shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.
Bet there's many a member of this forum going "that's what happened to me as well."
Have another beer from your fridge with the combination time lock on it.!
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Old Apr 25th 2015, 1:04 pm   #39
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Oh, forgot to ask. The cooker you had wiring done for. It was electric I presume and not gas? (Vain attempt at humour!)
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Old Apr 25th 2015, 2:37 pm   #40
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What is a skilled labourer? Skilled knowledgeable tradesman are virtually impossible to find in the Philippines. We have just had some work carried out on our house in the Philippines which is similar to what your g/f is asking you to do. We paid;

Supply and fit Daikin (Japanese) 2.5HP slit level non inverter aircon unit PHP42,000
Supply and fit stainless steel 82gallon water tank and pump PHP 28,000. You will need one of these if you want your shower to have any pressure!
Supply and fit Panasonic 6.0Kw shower (minus shower head) PHP12,000

The above jobs were all carried out by companies that specialise in the field the job incurs................................not jack of all trades ,master of none ,or 'skilled labourer'. For EACH job I was given a proper quotation which was broken down to individual part costs and labour cost.

I think you should abort the work you are undertaking IMMEADITELY as you do not OWN the house and if the landlord decided he wanted to move into this nice new fitted out house (or put the rent up) you would not have a leg to stand on and loose all your money................IT HAPPENS!!! Better you look for a place that has many of the mod cons you are seeking, and more important, a reasonable distance from your new family.
If you find this you could close the ATM down !!

Pete, you do not state your age or where you met your G/F. I would make a good guess and say it was on the internet ? My personal take on internet dating Philippine women is a massive NO,NO. Many expat sites always advice single men seeking Pinnays to travel alone to the Philippines and learn all about the people, culture , climate, infrastructure, economy etc, etc, You have to appreciate any 'Johnny Foreigner' is seen as a good catch and I would guarantee that a single such person would be inundated with young females offering their company. In your case I suspect you have not set foot in the Philippines let alone meet her parents before.



Please don't think I am trying 'to rain on your parade' but I really think you are heading for major problems.


All The Best,


Mike

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Old Apr 25th 2015, 2:58 pm   #41
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Sorry.....................previous thread I stated I did not know your age or where you met your G/F. Just looked up your old threads and yes you are retired and DID meet via internet dating site. You state you have pensions of 10K per annum (PHP55K/month). Your income would be adequate, however, keep a good amount back in case of any medical emergencies, and funds to fly home. If you continue to be the family's main benefactor then your lifestyle will need to make sacrifices.

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Old Apr 25th 2015, 10:11 pm   #42
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Next month I will introduce the topic of house hold budget into the conversation. Should be interesting!


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Old Apr 26th 2015, 1:37 am   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikek1 View Post


What is a skilled labourer? Skilled knowledgeable tradesman are virtually impossible to find in the Philippines. We have just had some work carried out on our house in the Philippines which is similar to what your g/f is asking you to do. We paid;

Supply and fit Daikin (Japanese) 2.5HP slit level non inverter aircon unit PHP42,000
Supply and fit stainless steel 82gallon water tank and pump PHP 28,000. You will need one of these if you want your shower to have any pressure!
Supply and fit Panasonic 6.0Kw shower (minus shower head) PHP12,000

The above jobs were all carried out by companies that specialise in the field the job incurs................................not jack of all trades ,master of none ,or 'skilled labourer'. For EACH job I was given a proper quotation which was broken down to individual part costs and labour cost.

I think you should abort the work you are undertaking IMMEADITELY as you do not OWN the house and if the landlord decided he wanted to move into this nice new fitted out house (or put the rent up) you would not have a leg to stand on and loose all your money................IT HAPPENS!!! Better you look for a place that has many of the mod cons you are seeking, and more important, a reasonable distance from your new family.
If you find this you could close the ATM down !!

dating Philippine women is a massive NO,NO. Many expat sites always advice single men seeking Pinnays to travel alone to the Philippines and learn all about the people, culture , climate, infrastructure, economy etc, etc, You have to appreciate any 'Johnny Foreigner' is seen as a good catch and I would guarantee that a single such person would be inundated with young females offering their company. In your case I suspect you have not set foot in the Philippines let alone meet her parents before.


Please don't think I am trying 'to rain on your parade' but I really think you are heading for major problems.


All The Best,


Mike
you may wish to to additional research through livingincebuforums this covers way more than Cebu and has a treasure trove of archives to wade through. Ignore the banal chatter on there and focus on the information and you will have a great resource to fall back on.

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Old Apr 27th 2015, 3:33 am   #44
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Remember if anyone wants to borrow something, always ask why they want to borrow it. I was once asked if a friend's husband could use my barong. A few weeks later I saw her in the market and requested that she should bring back my barong. She did at least have the decency to look a bit sheepish as she said it would be a bit difficult as they buried him in it.
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Old Apr 28th 2015, 9:18 am   #45
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Hi All....thanks again for your replies. Most interesting and informative!

To answer a few points.... Not found out yet if my dvds work on this multi-system tv I have bought. Will find out soon when boxes arrive very soon. I suspect not!

Oven is gas/electric. Hobs work by gas....main oven electric.

Shower is fine. It was just a cold shower before and it is now fitted with a heater

My age as has been suggested is 66 and my pensions total £1300pm. Hope to live off £800 pm if possible. I have been planning to retire in the Philippines for over one year and the initial plan was to come out alone and have a look around to see where to retire in Phils. Met someone on a dating site last year but I was not too sure about her and let her down gently. My present gf I met on fb over one year ago and she worked in Kuwait as a nanny. She is 33. Relationship developed over the year and for the last few months in the UK was confined to daily "Skype" meetings. She was due to return to Phils in March and we decided to meet at Manila airport together on the same day. Lived with her and met her parents. I will say that she is everything I thought she was....and more. Importantly....I trust her implicitly. Get on very well with her family as previously said and we have come to a compromise over our cultures. We understand each other. I casted aspersions about her family before but although I reckon they are skimming my expenses on the house refurb I have put that down to their culture. We moved into rented accommodation about 2 weeks ago and her father slept on the balcony outside for 2 nights to ensure our safety. Bless him. The house we are renting is 10k pm and the 3rd we looked at. We chose it because the landlady is a good friend of the family and she also owns the land rights. She has given us an option to buy at 1.5million if required and will give us 50k off the price in view of the refurbs.

So....all is well so far. OK, it was a bit of a culture shock and I enjoy the presence of her family.... but not 24/7. Oh...nearly forgot. The motorbike her father bought was for a relative who will be collecting soon. He had to "run it in" before a side car is fitted. We shall see.

Thanks again for your inputs....I will most probably update later.... :-)

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