Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What channel can I watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama in the Philippines?

Cable channels CNN and HBO will have live telecasts. Local channel GMA TV 7 also have their own coverage.

It is a historic event not to miss and the world awaits and obviously loves Obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Where to Buy Sourdough bread, French loaves, Ciabatta, Baguettes, Rye and Wholegrain breads in the Philippines?

The French Baker at the Cash and Carry Supermarket in Buendia always has a steady supply of Ciabatta loaves at P78-P90 (which is the best one- crunchy and crusty!) It lasts 28 days in the freezer. They also have mini-Ciabatta breads. I also love their Wholegrain walnut breads and multigrains.

The French Baker at the Landmark in Ayala, Makati. Doesn't have Ciabattas (hey, I did a stakeout), but they constantly have Rye breads and wholegrain loaves.

Le Coeuer De France in Waltermart Mall in Pasong Tamo has Oatmeal bread, Baguettes, French breads, Pain de Mie, Sultana Loaf, Raisin Bread, Multi-grain loaves. They have a Buy 1-Take 1 promo on their breads on weekdays, but you have to buy it 2 hours before closing time because they usually run out of bread by then.

Le Coeuer De France however offers a special service where you can order your bread in advance at their branch and they will prepare it for you to pick up.

Overall, you can get such breads from these two stores, The French Baker and Le Coeuer De France which are scattered in malls all over the city.

Some specialty bakeshops and bakeries also have these kinds of bread like Amici De Don Bosco Cafeteria in Pasong Tamo and Breadtalk in Glorietta and Cubao Gateway. Other sources of breads are also Delis.

In supermarkets such as Shopwise, SM and Robinsons, you can find a bread brand called Village Gourmet founded by the Fandino Brothers, pinoy siblings who grew up in Arizona. The breads come in Black packaging with an elegant script olive typeface. Yummy and Bromate free, you have to consume the bread within 3 days or they start to mold. Village Gourmet offers sourdough breads, baguettes, pizza crusts, mini loaves, foccacia, bagels, multigrains and pita bread. I love their pizza crusts, I would highly recommend you try making your own pizza at home. They come in thin and thick crust varieties. Their breads cost around P60-P120.

There are also independent bread sellers and bakers at the Salcedo Market in Makati on weekends.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Where can I buy a Mannequin in Manila? Dress Form for Sale

Though there are specialized mannequin and wig shops in Abad Santos and Divisoria. The popular supplier in Manila is Mannequin Incorporated.

They specialized in Visual display products for boutiques such as dress form fitting form mannequins, hangers, paper bags and wigs. Amazingly, the company also accepts orders to customize labels and tags- I think this is essential for any entrepreneur starting her own brand or clothing line.

They sell Mannequins of all kinds & body parts: dress/fitting forms, clothes hangers (wood, plastic, metal), display racks (metal, acrylic), accessory holders (for jewelry pieces), shopping bags (paper , plastic & fabric), labels & tags, boxes & wrapping materials (wedding & other gowns, cakes, gift boxes), personalized costume line, prosthetic & synthetic wigs.

Address: LS 02 Tutuban Primeblock Center, CM Recto, Manila Philippines
Telephone: 252-2122 / 255-5679
Email: mannequin_inc@yahoo.com
Website: www.mannequin.com.ph
Sales: mannequin.sale@gmail.com
For a sketch on how to get there http://www.mannequin.com.ph/map.htm

Where to get Beads and Craft supplies in Manila?

The BeadSnob has a very detailed post on Manila Beads and Craft suppliers in Quiapo, Manila.

A guide for hobbyists, cross-stitchers, jewelry designers. Those who are into crafts and designs in need of appliques, embellishments, beads, yarns, threads and even fabrics.

International Schools in the Provinces of the Philippines

Here's a list of International Schools located outside the capital city of Manila.

Cebu International School
Cebu International School in 1973. It is a co-educational day school, non-profit, non-sectarian institution, governed by a ten-member Board of Trustees. The school provides a broad-based educational experience, which focuses on creating well-rounded individuals.

PO Box 735, Pit-os, Cebu City, 6000, Philippines
Tel: (+63) 32 417 6390
Fax: (+63) 32 417 6394

Brent International School, Baguio
PO Box 35, Baguio City, 2600, Philippines
Tel: (+63) 74 442 2260
Fax: (+63) 74 442 3638

Brent International School Boracay
Sitio Manggayad, Bgy. Manoc-manoc, Boracay,
Malay, Aklan Philippines

Brent International Subic
Admissions Office
Brent International School Subic
Bldg. 6601 Binictican Drive,
Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales
2222 Philippines
+63 (47) 252 6871 to 72
+63 (47) 252 3240

Indang British School
Indang British School was established on 8th June 1999 as part of the Indang British Village Project to offer parents living in or travelling to the Philippines the opportunity to give their children all the benefits of a British-based education within a professional and cost-effective structure.

The Indang British School is firmly based on the British National Curriculum of England and Wales and offers education for pupils aged between 4 and 11 years.

The Registrar
Indang British School

Calumpang Lejos
Indang, Cavite

Tel: 046 471-4397 or 046 515-5593 (Tel/Fax)
Cellphone: 0919 643-8127
Email: indangbritishschool@hotmail.com

International Schools in the Philippines - Part 2

A follow-up post on International Schools in the Philippines. Please check out the original post International Schools in the Philippines- Part I

The British School Manila
provides outstanding education for English speaking children of all nationalities aged 3-18, based on an adapted form of the National Curriculum of England, and the I.B. Diploma.

This is achieved in a friendly family atmosphere that nurtures a community feeling where the emotional, physical, creative, and intellectual needs of all children will be met within an international environment.

As of 2008, Nursery annual fee is at 1,641.16 (PHP 76,260)
while the older set, Year 12-13 annual fee is
$4,328.88 (PHP 201,150). There is also a one time entrance or slot fee per child $2,303.14 (PHP 107,000)

36th Street, University Park,
Fort Bonifacio Global City
Taguig, Metro Manila,
Telephone No: +63 2 860-4800
Fax No: +63 2 860-4900
E-mail: admissions@britishschoolmanila.org

Brent International School Manila
Brent School Manila was established in 1984 at the University of Life Complex in Pasig. The new School assumed the traditions, the style, and the educational system of its mother school and graduated its first twelve students in 1986.

Mamplasan, Biñan, Laguna Campus

For admissions, you would need to pay $110 for the application and test fee. Following notification of acceptance, a slot is offered and confirms thru payment of non–refundable Slot Reservation Deposit of $600 and completed Admissions Agreements within three (3) working days from notice of acceptance. Tuition fees are around U$5,000 to $12,000, Nursery to Upper school.

Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan, Biñan, Laguna
4024 Philippines
Office Hours:
Monday to Friday
7:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
+63 (49) 511 4330 to 39
+63 (02) 600 10300 to 09
+63 (49) 511 4345
Mobile Number:
+63 (918) 9407778
+63 (49) 511 4343
+63 (49) 511 4356

Reedley International School
The first and the only institution here in the Philippines that approaches LEARNING uniquely by combining SINGAPORE's excellence in Math and Science and AMERICA's high standards in English and the Humanities

Josol Building E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Libis Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax: (+63) 2 631 2262 - 69

Manila Japanese School

Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
Contact Information
Mailing Address University Park, Fort Bonifacio Global City
Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Nos. (632) 840-1424 to 27
Fax No. (632) 840-1601
Contact Persons Ken Tsuboi, Secretary-General
Tetsuyo Arboleda, Finance Officer

How do I get to Makati Cinema Square?

How do I get to Makati Cinema Square?
I need to reach Amorsolo corner Gamboa Street in Legaspi Village, Makati. I will be coming from Monumento, Caloocan.

Fastest route would be taking the LRT in Monumento then go down the LRT-EDSA station. From there, take the connecting MRT train going to either Magallanes or Ayala Station (your choice).

You can go down MRT Magallanes take PRC jeep and get down at Makati Cinema Square then go through the KFC-Chowking Exit of the mall then cross to Amorsolo St. cor Gamboa St (near Assorti and Phil Steel Bldg)

Or get down MRT Ayala Station walk to Park Square in front of Dusit Thani or along Pasay Road take the Libertad or Mantrade jeep. The Jeep passes through Amorsolo St along MCS. Get down at Gamboa st.

Jeepney fare costs P7.50 as of January 2009.

Makati Cinema Square Mall hours are between 9:30am to 8pm.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Where to find a list of Philippine Manufacturers or Exporters?

Visit the government supported trade website, CITEM Philippines, for an extensive contact list and database of active manufacturers and exporters in the Philippines.

They have a roster of companies who are experts in wearables, handicrafts, textiles, garments, ceramics, organics, weaving, beading, looming, wrought-iron, housewares, clay, pottery and jewelry.

Also check out the handy CITEM CATALOG ONLINE

For more on handmade crafts and the Philippine jewelry scene visit http://beadsnob.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Where to get Costumes, Fancy Dress or Period Pieces in the Philippines?

Camp Suki (formerly in E. Rodriguez)
now located at #88 4th Street, New Manila, Quezon City
Call them at # +63 2 7250819
The costume shop has been around for years and it has been in the arsenal of local production designers. They have a wide range of costumes and various themes. You need to make a deposit of 1000 pesos and the rental piece costs 700 pesos per day.

If you're creative enough, make one, design your wardrobe its much more fun! Design it then have a tailor in your neignborhood make it for you, I think that's a good alternative. Or hit the ukay-ukay stands (thrift stores)in Bambang for the vintage groove or the discarded wedding gowns.

There's also a costume and Filipiniana store in Villalobos street in Quiapo, but the selection is very limited and the generic kind.

If you have student connections, the university theater departments have Shakespearean period pieces, you can sneak out overnight.

21 Days Later: Visa Waiver for Foreigners, Tourists and Tropical Zombies

Upon your arrival in the Philippines, all tourists are stamped with a visa good for 21 days.

You can visit your nearest Philippines Embassy or consulate in your country of origin about the immigration and visa rules of the Philippines.

In Manila, you must go to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) before your 21 days expire (holidays included or be wary of holidays eating up your visa processing time). To secure an extension of stay, you must register with the Bureau of Immigration, and pay the necessary Immigration fees. The visa waiver will entitle you to another 59 days.

As posted at the Bureau of Immigration, Philippines:

# Effective February 15,2008 all applicants for extension (tourist visa) under the VIMS (VISA ISSUANCE MADE SIMPLE) are required to pay in addition to immigration fees, Certification fee of P500, Express fee of P500 plus Legal Research Fee of P10 for every transaction.

# All APPLICANTS are required to dress properly. Applicants wearing shorts, sandos, and slippers will not be allowed entry to Immigration Office.

Please refer to the folowing websites for specific visa concerns:
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippines

Bureau of Immigration, Philippines

Please DO NOT OVERSTAY, you are merely subjecting yourself to more queues, paperwork and/or fees.

According to one expat friend, if you are unable to file your visa extension on time just exit the country on your 21st day, go to Hong Kong, Thailand or Taiwan and just make a re-entry. You get another 21 days to finish your business here or to file a proper extension.

How can I find Someone in the Philippines?

Hmm... tricky.

If its a "missing" or a "long lost relative"?

You need to go through formal channels, but asking them to answer you back will take some time and perhaps to even personally go to their offices a couple of times with a formal request letter.

To trace anyone in the Philippines, a relative or a lost loved one provided you know their real and complete name. You may ask the NBI (National Bureau of Investgation) which keep records of any Filipino who has sought a job. Local Employers require an NBI clearance, a certificate that attests that the applicant has no criminal record. So therefore, if your relative has gotten a job or was once employed, her name will show up in their database, unfortunately which includes all her namesakes.

Second route would be the COMELEC, provided your relative has ever voted in any national election.

NSO (National Statistics Office) registers every birth recorded at any municipality in the Philippines. This includes late registrants, those who were never officially filed or registered by their mothers during the birth year.

Problem is, if a person doesn't want to be found, you'll never really find her.

For adoptees, I suggest to talk to your adoptive parents to release any further info they might have withheld like the last known address.

If your desperate, you may try to go on air and do a classic "panawagan", a plea for the missing love one to show up.

As for Missing Kids, you may try calling the DSWD or RAC or the TV stations for help.

If you are merely looking for that Pinay who stood you up on a date or for that visa money, chances are you may find her on Friendster.com

Ideas for Filipino Baby Names

What are the popular Filipino Baby Names?

Names are a big deal in the Philippines. It often reflects the kind of parents you have.

A unique, obscure or differently spelled name can mean a curse for the kid growing up. Imagine, the horror of being picked on by the teacher every roll call on the first day of school, throughout the span of grade school to college. So choose wisely. Give your baby a name he/she would be proud of.

If you want to get in touch with your Filipino roots and give the baby a very folk sounding name, you may try patriotic Filipino Baby Names names like:
• Amihan (northeast monsoon)
• Araw (Sun)
• Alaala (A Memory)
• Diwa (Consciousness)
• Diwata (Fairy)
• Datu (tribal leader)
• Diosa (Goddess)
• Filipinas
• Habagat (Monsoon)
• Hiyas (Jewel)
• Kisapmata (Blink of an Eye)
• Lantaw (Visaya term means to View)
• Likha (To create)
• Luntian (Green/Lush)
• Luningning (Shimmer/Luster)
• Maningning (sparkly)
• Matimtiman (devoted/devotion)
• Makisig (Strong)
• Masigasig (Persistent/Hardworking/Diligent)
• Marikit (Lovely)
• Perla (Pearl)
• Sinagtala (Shining Star)
• Sikat (Sun Rays)

These beloved pinoy names which are all lovely and culturally significant are rarely used because most parents prefer western names or whatever is popular on Philippine TV. Filipinos in the homeland are fond of mixing Western names. It also serves as an alternative name, so when the kid grows up, he may have an option to choose which name to use.

The modern trend now is to put two Western names together. Some common examples would be:

Paul Ryan, John Kyle, Keith Michael, Alisha Madison, Sabina Marie, Janis Ian.

But some of these western hybrid names end up with funny pinoy nicknames: Julia Dianne (Juday), Nicholas (Niknok), Josephine (Jopay), Kevin Jefferson (Jekjek), Paul Taylor (Putoytoy)

For a time, because of the telenovelas, the Spanish names came back in fashion:
Marimar, Esperanza Cristina, Rosalinda, Maria Katrina Angela, Bettina Cassandra, Lucretia, Madrigal, Julio, Genoveva, Crisostomo, Jacobo

The classic, masa or mainstream way of mixing the parents names which often results in a strange, loving hybrid are still popular:
Maricar (parents are Mario and Caridad), Edcel (parents are Eduardo and Celeste), Jejomar (Jesus, Joseph & Mary)

Or the traditional "Junior" name so the kid ends up as Junjun or Boy (yes, Boy is a popular name too, so is Girlie and Baby).

There's also the misspelled on purpose names with an affinity for the letter Hs and Es placed everywhere.
- Vhong, Mharvin, Mae, Kandace, Jennipher, Eevy, Marnee, Jhonas, Kharen, Eileene, Jehzhelei, Jerweh, Enghel, Nhitz

On a side note, the Chinese in the Philippines (Tsinoys) have an odd affinity for thinkers or historic icons or Chinese symbols of wealth. Its common to encounter names like: Einstein So, Columbus Chan, Edgar Allan Pe, Armstrong Chan, Kennedy Que, Goldrich Co, Imperial Jade Sy.

The strangest Filipino names I've encountered: JoRiz (a shorthand for Jose Rizal), Homobono, Lovelita, Silverboy, Reagan Kennedy, Trovador, Joker, Bon Jovi and Jollibee.

But a medal should be given to Manny Pacquiao for naming his daughter - Queen Elizabeth :)

Is tea very popular in the Philippines?

i was thinking about giving it as gifts to my relatives

Well, yes and no. Yes because people here drink it more for its medicinal or herbal value. Old folks believe tea can ease certain pains or illnesses. No, cause we don't enjoy it as much as coffee, we don't really have a sort of "tea time" here.

But if you are to please the relatives especially old folk or Moms, they love their "imported" tea. Get a tea selection with a variety of flavors, they enjoy trying different tastes.

The local herbal teas are Charantia and Diabet made from bitter gourd while popular diet teas Kankunis and Biguerlai are the rage among weight loss fanatics.

I need to find a Pension House or Inn along Pasay road?

El Cielito Inn is along Pasay rd, a few steps away from Makati Cinema Square and right beside Don Bosco Church. The rates are P1,500-P2,500 per night average. Their number 815-8951 to 54 so you can ask for specific room rates.

What Future Do Prostitutes Have in the Philippines?

I have seen girls in the Philippines in their teens and early twenties prostituting themselves. Most did not finish H.S. and some have told me that ( at 20-21) they have already had 60-100+ customers that they have slept with. Many look terrible, jaded- their faces are ashen, dark circles under their eyes, it is tragic, really.
So, my question is - what happens to them as they get older? What future do they have? Where will they be when they are 30, 40, 50? Will they be able to get married?

That dilemma is a vicious cycle.

what happens to them as they get older?

They get trafficked and get further sucked into the system into sex dens in other Asian cities like Macau or Kuala Lumpur or Geylang in singapore.

Some end up dead at the hands of the syndicates and pimps
Some are unable to overcome their drug use and still remain in prostitution just to support their drug habit.

Some have children from their customers, some have their kids adopted, some sell their kids for money, some are loving moms who keep their kids, but remain as prostitutes to sustain their family

Some prostitutes are able to get out by marrying foreigners, saving up money if they are able to get to Japan as entertainers
Some older prostitutes become pimps themselves

Some become fighters and work with non-profit organizations (NGOs) to get younger girls off the streets and back into schools

If they had a choice you know, they wouldn't opt for this kind of life.
The future is generally bleak for them.

But there are support groups and NGOs working in the Philippines that raise awareness of modern day slavery, working to combat the issue and support trafficking survivors. One of those groups is The Human Trafficking Project

Why do many Filipinas over the age of 30 look to marry a foreigner?

The average Filipina thirty-something seeking to marry a foreigner are either single moms who have had unsuccessful relationships with Filipino men. Or single women who simply feel the pressure to marry. In the provinces, this would already border on the spinster age, since most girls would often marry young and be housewives. In the city, however 30 is not much of an issue, as the women are indeed more confident and focused on their work.

The "stereotype" reasons why Filipinas are into marrying foreigners would be- a change in their financial status, a chance to secure a foreign visa and live abroad (a common barometer of success in the culture). There's also the likelihood that their biracial children can enter local showbiz or become highly paid ahletes, their offsprings would be instantly branded beautiful if they are half caucasian or taller than most pinoys. Or the Filipina in question might not be considered a beauty among Filipinos, but a foreigner might find her exotic features simply beautiful, this can give her a good chance of finding a spouse who would love her for what she is.

There's always the love factor you can mix in the equation. The love factor would easily come in the heart of a pinay once the idea of a better life and future can be met. I am stating this as a stereotype, not every 30 something pinay may have these reasons for marrying a foreigner.

A question about marriage and separation in the Philippines?

I know people stick together mainly for religious/traditional reasons but if you think about it......why then there are so many "separated" couples? They aren't divorced, but "separated." If this is the case why not be more practical, honest and realistic about it and just allow divorce in the country, split up fairly? I find it quite amusing, that's all.

I know what you mean too =) The Church likes to poke its nose into everything and the last thing it wants to hold onto in this century, are the marriage laws. Besides making off tons of money off nuptials and the required religious seminar prior to marriage, the Catholic church remains single-minded and insensitive to other religious groups in the country by forcing "separation" and "annulment" into the laws.

Why am I so angry? These people in the Church are not even married to even know what they're talking about. If they were practical and realistic, divorce would be a better option and would even the playing field a little for both sexes.

Annulment is a circus that takes years of dragging your kids to court, even long after both parties have settle amicably with new partners and offsprings. A speedy annulment would depend on how deep your pockets are, sometimes its a game of which spouse would call it first or who would agree to publicly admitting psycho incapacity just to get it over and done with. if you're a celebrity to boot then you can play things in your favor.

Do native born filipinos still prefer light skin?

I'm just wondering. I'm an American born pinay and growing up I noticed in our culture that filipinos (native born ones anyway) always avoided getting in the sun, getting tanned, etc. But within the past 10-20 yrs with the internet and global media outlets, has that changed Philippine society's views on skin color? Meaning-now that we're a more global society and since Filipinos (in my opinion) want SO much to be like American society (as evidenced by watching TFC, ABS-CBN, and tagalog movies in general), has that changed their own views on their skin color as well?

Echoes of colonization, whites being masters over us indios, the brown skin ones. That pro-white sensibility and high regard for the mestiza lingers on as we can see with the choice of celebrities, reyna elenas, etc. If you are light skin, it shows you belong to the lineage of the illustrados, or simply it says you are rich enough or famous enough to overdose on gluta pills. Notice the artificiality of skin tone and uneven neckline tones with some pinays just to achieve this light skin.

Its also the media campaigns that promote this, if you check the local supermarket there is a lack of tanning lotions and a ton of whitening creams. Plus the mushrooming cosmetic industry that promises peels and demelanization.

It takes a certain amount of confidence to love your skin tone nowadays, but I like it that most ilocanas can pull it off. Their natural tans are simply gorgeous!

Not all pinays care about skin tone, some focus more on hygiene and clear skin or zero acne. But if you want a general answer- its yes, the average pinay has a whitening cream on the go in her purse and night stand. Not to mentioned stocks of papaya soaps. Plus gluta pills along with her vitamin A.

Why in the Philippines that people always stare?

You're probably that interesting and you stand out in a crowd.

It could be your fashion sense, your hair style, hair color, your demeanor, your accent. Its easy to shock or get people's attention here. Generally pinoys are not fashion risk takers, they don't like to be poked fun at by their fellow pinoys. Pinoys like to give the head-to-toe stare in general and try to assess you. But all of this happens like a reflex for some people, it can simply mean they are just curious or fascinated or appalled by you =)

FYI, this question was from an expat or balikbayan who is still unnerved by the local case of the "stares" :D

How is the Quality of Education in the Philippines?

Education is good if you can afford it. Ideally, a good, well-equipped learning facility or a private school costs a lot and isn't within reach of an average Filipino family.

Only a number of select schools thrive in the public district - the SPED and the science schools which has scholarship programs for the poor.

Public schools are definitely lacking support. Poor teacher-student ratio like 1 teacher to 100 kids. Not enough classrooms, no proper sanitation like toilets. Kids are often malnourished, teachers underpaid. Books are scarce. Kids have to walk kilometers to the town's school. That's the basic picture.

I'm sure there are a lot of smart public school students surviving in their school districts. But these kids deserve a good chance to reach college like their private school counterparts.

In the universities, its generally all theory and no hands-on or practice. Its not really as progressive as one might wish it should be.

There are good schools, but like I said, you have to afford it to get in. Some Filipino parents opt to work abroad to be able to afford such good schools for their kids. The catch is, the kids grow up with no parents around them.

On the University level, the Philippines does have competitive learning institutions with good professors. Philippine Med schools and Nursing schools are notable for their turn out of quality professionals. Its a matter of choosing the right University for you.

For Arts degrees, UST-CAFA, UP College of Fine Arts  and LaSalle College of St. Benilde have both traditional art degrees and multi-media art programmes.

Top Four Philippine Universities:

University of the Philippines
The Philippines' premier institution of higher learning.

Ateneo de Manila University
Lux in Domino

University of Santo Tomas
The Pontifical and Royal Catholic University of the Philippines.

De La Salle University-Manila

Who Do I Approach about my Preservatives Business in the Philippines?

-I have one product that I want to preserve it in order to prolong the expiry date, this product
suppose for public consumption.

-I need also an advised or recommendation regarding the packaging of this product.

-If ever I have to opened this kind of small business, Is it required to hire licensed chemist for the preparation of that certain processed food or not necessary to hired?

Consult the BFAD ( www.bfad.gov.ph.) or DTI, such products are subject under their regulations before you can release it to the public.

DTI usually has ties in with DOST regarding prolonging certain product expiry dates especially if you plan to go into export.

Initially you will be required to hire professionals to provide technical documentation and quality assurance about your product that it is safe and the manafucturing conditions are par with regulations standards (like if its clean, doesn't contain harmful chemicals, ingriedients, if your labels are stamped accordingly with nutritional guidelines etc)

Anyone know a $20 per night room in Manila?

A good backpacker's inn would cost around 1,500-2,000 pesos a night. Its a good deal since it would be safe for a foreigner, has an AC and amenities. Try this one http://www.internationalinnsinc.com/

If you go the $20 rate or less, you're talking seedy motel territory.

There are cheap motels in the student areas of Manila along Espana or Morayta. Cubao or Malate. But if you're a foreigner, they'll have hookers knocking on your doors all night. Safety would be an issue too.

Housekeeper Rates in Manila? How much should one expect to pay someone to cook, clean and wash?

How Much does a Housekeeper cost in Manila? How much should one expect to pay someone to cook,clean and wash? What is the average salary? The person would come a few hours a day to Do the Cooking,some cleaning and laundry.

Average is P2,500-3k a month in Manila, in the province its P1,800-P2,000 per month. These are stay-in rates. The problem with these rates is the high turn around, they can easily leave you if someone offers them a better rate.

If you want your housekeeper to stay with you, pay her a good rate and provide for her jeepney fares. Give her incentives or bonuses if you can't afford giving her a constant pay raise when gas prices go up.

A good rate is P5-8k a month, she will stay with you for years. 6k would be- let's say a government clerk or an administrative office worker's salary. So this would be a good deal for her. This also depends on how experienced she is, like if she has been a housekeeper or nanny for 10-15 years.

If you decide to go with the P2,500-3k a month, please make sure you pay for her monthly social security and philhealth (health insurance). This is a good thing you can do as an employer and it is also required by the law.

As a tip, lay out all the ground rules before you hire her. Let your housekeeper know your house rules and what tasks you want done everyday or weekly. Like if you want your bathroom scrubbed weekly, the bedsheets change every two days, the ironing only to be done on Tuesdays, etc. Its better for you to let her know early what is expected of her. If you're an expat, you have to understand there's a huge cultural difference when it comes to cleaning houses. Filipinos like to do things hands-on, scrubbing and dusting manually with a dust-cloth as oppose to using a noisy vacuum cleaner that doesn't reach into really filthy corners. To avoid having issues keep the lines of communication open.

Can a couple live comfortably on PHP 50,000 a month in Metro Manila?

We are planning on retiring there with our meager retirement savings (approx. $,1200 a mo.) We're not planning on buying a property, just rent maybe a small 2-bdrm condo or apt. near transportation lines. Close to malls, hospitals, etc. Is it possible to live there on this monthly amount?

Not enough if you are living in Makati central or Ortigas Business District. In Makati, 50k would just be enough to tide you through the next month. With that amount, you can live in a studio or 1 bedroom type condo with association dues an average of P2-3.5k for that type of unit, in a working/middle class condo in Makati. Plus electricity, internet, water, and grocery bills. If you have a car, that's an added expense, parking slot would cost P3k in a condo. You have no room for extra luxuries like shopping or dining out.

YES you can live comfortably with 50,000 PHP if you consider other areas with malls and hospitals like Quezon City, Sampaloc Manila, Paranaque.

You will fare better with that amount if you try the provincial cities like Cebu and Davao City.

If you live in the Philippines where is the nearest place i can buy urban outfitters clothes?

There is a store in SM Makati and SM Megamall called Surplus Shop. The store carries american labels like urban outfitters, The Gap, abercrombie, ralph lauren etc. But these are excess from the export bins in the philippine factories. The clothes are in good condition, properly labelled and would cost you an average of P300-P600 pesos for jackets and shirts.

You may also try Rustans department store.

How much to send documents from Philippines via dhl express or FEDEX?

For half a kilo around P1,500-P2,000. It depends on the dollar rate for the day, where you're sending it to and the contents of the parcel.

International Schools in the Philippines - Part 1

International School Manila
Known as the first international school to be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. IS Manila opened in 1920, during the American occupation of the Philippines, after American and British expatriates sought the establishment of a school that would provide for the long-term educational needs of their children.

For the 2007-2008 school calendar, the tuition rates at IS Manila range from US$6,180 for their Pre-School set to around US$17,000 (for Grades 11-12) annually. The School also charges a one-time matriculation fee of US$2,800, and a special project deposit of $5,000 is required upon enrollment. The latter amount is fully refundable when the student withdraws from the school. Other fees also apply. More Wiki Info

Once known as a Makati landmark with its lovely brick buildings, the old International School Manila campus used to be beside San Miguel Village in Kalayaan avenue. The old campus was eventually torn down to give way to a condominium. The new campus is now located at a very posh and secured location known as The Fort.

Contact Details:

International School Manila
University Parkway, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634, Philippines
Tel: (632) 840.8400 E-mail: superintendent@ismanila.org
Admissions Office: Tel: (632) 840.8488 Fax: (632) 840.8489 E-mail:
Communications & Marketing Office E-mail: comms@ismanila.org

The Beacon School
The Beacon School is an independent, non-profit, co-educational school modeled upon the best international educational practice. It is committed to providing a global education of the highest quality, rooted in an understanding of Filipino culture and traditions, to children of all nationalities. They also offer scholarship programs for local residents.

PCPD Building,
2332 Chino Roces Extension,
Taguig City, Philippines 1630

(632) 810-5046
(632) 840-5040


The Euro Campus
Also known as the European Education Foundation, Inc.

The Euro Campus in Paranaque is home to two international schools: The Ecole Francaise de Manille and Deutsche Schule Manila. The Eurocampus was created to sustain and foster an international learning environment, so that European schools may follow their respective national educational programs while sharing the infrastructure, personnel, extracurricular activities, and also quite often their scholastic activities.

The Ecole Francaise de Manille or French School Manilahttp://www.eis-manila.org/international-school/Ecole Française de Manille, a school registered with the French government and recognized by the Department of Education in the Philippines offers from Preschool to Grade 12.
The German European School Manila (GESM)http://www.gesm.org/welcome.phpA European international school with two parallel sections offering all grades from Kindergarten through Grade 12. The students study towards an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, which is at par with the German 'Abitur'. While the German Section is primarily for German-speaking students, the European Section mainly accepts English speakers.

Eurocampus Address:
75 Swaziland Street
Better Living Subdivision
1711 Parañaque City

Tel. : 0063 2 776 1000
Fax : 0063 2 824 69 27
Email: efm@eis-manila.org

Singapore International School
As primary affiliate of Anglo Singapore International School Thailand, SSM is an international school that adapts the Singaporean curriculum, known for its strength in Maths and Science.

In addition to the school’s academic program, children are offered closely supervised “special time” allotted to finish school work, areas of study that need more attention, play and socialization. Christian doctrine is an elective that is not graded and optional for Catholics and Christians. The school is well-known for its NO HOMEWORK POLICY to encourage family time outside the school.

Lots 4 and 5, Block 5, Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City, Philippines
+632.851.0022 / 851.1221

Home security in the Philippines?

I was wondering shouldn't the Philippines have a home security company for burglar alarms that alert the company or police when a break in occurs? I should hope they have a few. If so anyone wanna list a few?

Banks in the Philippines have that kind of security system which alerts the nearest police station.

That kind of home security can only be afforded by the rich. Or is only available in the business districts or gated villages. Some rich people just hire security guards to watch over their properties. But that doesn't mean you are still safe from theft syndicates.

So if you are living in the middle class or lower income areas, you are on your own in establishing your sense of home security. You may rely on barangay watchmen or getting your own guard dog. Or buying pricey burglar alarms.

List of Burgler Alarms or Security Systems in Manila

Why do Filipinos eat Rice on every meal?

It is ingrained in our culture and in our psyche as Filipinos.

For as long as one can remember, Filipinos have been eating rice alongside favorite dishes and everyday meals. A pinoy can relate to feelings of fullness and satisfaction with eating rice. But it doesn't mean Pinoys can't live without all the carbs. We can adapt to other cuisines such as the case of Pinoys living abroad who have adapted to bread, cheese, couscous or other food staples.

Rice is our staple food. For a Filipino, its hard not to go without it.

Why did the Filipinos throw away much of the Spanish elements of their culture?

Wouldn't the Philippines be a much better country if there was still a huge Spanish influence there? It would be nice if the Filipinos were still speaking Spanish instead of English.

There is still many elements of Spanish culture in the Philippines, but not much as before, why is that? And why did the Filipinos discard it?

The Spanish influence is still there, but only the language is dead. Only some of our grandparents are the ones left speakng Spanish.

The Spaniards during their centuries of rule were quite selective and didn't freely offer classes for Filipinos. They were elitist and kept the fluency of the language only for those who they deemed worthy or holy or influential.

The language died once the Americans came and established schools here after the war. They made the language available for study to any Filipino. Plus decades of American pop culture and the idealism for the American dream still reign supreme; Making English the lingua franca.

You'll be surprise some Filipinos are much better in English or in their provincial dialects than in Tagalog which is the national language.

Where is the exact location of Matrinco building Pasong Tamo Makati?

From EDSA take MRT to magallanes station, go down at the right side of Pasong Tamo towards the jeepney terminals heading to WalterMart Pasong Tamo or PRC route. The jeepney will pass by Makati Cinema Square one of the land marks that you are near. In the next small intersection, you will see Goldilocks bakeshop in the corner of Pasong Tamo and Rufino st, right beside it is Blue Racket Badminton followed by Matrinco building. They are in the same lane.

Make Blue Racket Badminton your main landmark, you cannot miss it, its a large warehouse building in blue. Next to it is Matrinco building with a brick-layer facade.

Where can I buy sex toys in Manila, Philippines?

There is a shop in the rainbow district in Malate called Pride Exchange.

Pride Exchange
1807 M. Orosa cor. J. Nakpil St.
Tel. 522-9429
Products/services include fetish fashion, gay and lesbian books, videos, adult toys, club wear and magazines

Also a femme-friendly store called the The Pleasure Place. They have Japanese sex toys, small clit stimulators and bondage toys. They also have an online shop where you can see the latest products and their prices.

The Pleasure Place has 2 branches located at:

GF Metrowalk Commercial Complex
Meralco Ave., Ortigas. Pasig City
Metro Manila Philippines.
(63 2) 631-9788

Unit 24 D'Mall Plaza, New Annex
Station 2, Boracay Island
Malay, Aklan, Philippines
(63 36) 288-4019

In Makati City, there are two specialized sex and adult paraphernalia shops you can visit:

Bare Essential: Woman be Free
They sell kinky lingerie, sex toys, aromatherapy soaps, vagisil and erotic perfumes.

Swedish Manila
Sells pumps and adult toys

Both are located at the Basement Stalls
Makati Cinema Square Mall, Don Chino Roces
Makati 1200 Philippines

Where can I buy "Black Veil" in Manila Philippines

An odd question on yahoo answers. Still, I got the best answer! =)

Its not a very common item you can find in a mall. But you can have one customized by a designer or fashion house that specializes in bridal wear and gowns. I remember a cousin of mine had a parasol made of lace and a veil made for a stage play along with a black hat with a veil-like fringe for a funeral scene.

Provide a sketch or photo of the item so they can create the effect you want.

Tipping in Manila: SC is King!

Any establishment whose bill includes a Service Charge (they mark it as SC), which is 10%, you do not need to tip anymore.

But if there isn't any SC, leave the tip inside the folder or with the receipt. P20 is okay, P100 is being generous enough already. You do not need to tip more than you should, but if you have a big heart- go ahead.

Most pinoys will often help you without expecting anything in return (this is mostly true in the provinces).

For sales people, hairdressers, stylists - they will initially decline your offer if the the shop has a strict no-tip policy. But tips are certainly welcome by the individuals themselves, money is hard to come by, so just do it discreetly and hand over the tip when no one's paying attention to the two of you.

Some shops have tip jars, you may tip between the P20-P50 range. I think P10 bucks is way too low nowadays.

Where to get the Morning after Pill in the Philippines?

Some basics girls, the Morning after pill is simply the contraceptive pills taken the morning after unprotected sex the night before and the woman is in her fertile period.

For a list of available Emergency Contraception in the Philippines found in local drugstores, please see this separate post

Since contraceptives are banned by the Catholic Church and the government has ceased free distribution of contraceptives in health centers (despite the population boom) most of the public remain clueless in family planning or from at least having kids years apart.

For most women, the Morning after Pill is still unheard of. You can consult any gynecologist or family doctor regarding contraception concerns. I highly recommend that for any pinay or woman, you have the right to good health care and proper information. A good women's health care clinic is FriendlyCare Clinic located in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong and Baclaran in Pasay City. An average doctor's visit will cost you P220, very affordable than hospital rates.

As for the Morning after Pill, Nordette is available at mercury drug. But I suggest you go see a gynecologist first, pills have side effects and nordette may not suit you and make you feel nauseous.

(levongestrel) is intended to prevent pregnancy when you have experienced known or suspected contraceptive failure (eg, broken condom, stupid boyfriend)

So How Many Pills Should One Take?

Please refer to this link. They have a chart on Nordette (1st Dose - Take within 72 hours of intercourse)


For more info on Nordette

A site on Morning After Pill

Okay to answer the barrage of posts by Anonymous users -

Is Nordette available in Manila? How much?
Yes in Mercury Drug, it is OTC (Over the Counter), anyone can buy it po. It costs around P150.

I'm afraid to buy it. I feel ashamed. I might get stared at. (Natatakot ako bumili)
Have your bestfriend accompany you at the store when you purchase it. Or have your boyfriend buy it for you. Or if you're very close to an aunt, sister, a legal guardian or even your mother than have her buy it for you over the counter. If you have no one to count on, be brave, this is about your health. Keep in mind, its not a crime to buy an ECP/nordette.

How to Use Nordette:

Take as soon as possible and within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected intercourse. It may be taken after 120 hours, but its effectiveness is much lower. But gosh 2 weeks is stretching it. The sooner you take it after intercourse the better for it to be effective.

DO NOT TAKE NORDETTE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT ALREADY. Its too late to take ECP now so talk to your parents or boyfriend on what you plan to do now that you are pregnant. Nordette is not safe for pregnant women. 

In 2006, this pack cost around P80 consider the inflation now it might cost P120-P150 pesos now.

How many pills should I take?

Based on this site, they have a table for each brand and for Nordette:

1st Dose - Take within 120 hours of intercourse - 4 round pills
2nd Dose - Take 12 hours after 1st dose - 4 round pills

Please note you are not to consume all those pills in the pack (banig). Unless you plan to be on the "pill". For now, you are simply using Nordette for emergency contraceptive reasons (ECP). If you want to take it regularly as a contraceptive, read the instruction label that goes with the packaging or see your gynecologist.

I want to ask my Gynecologist about Emergency contraceptives? How do I go about this?
Just ask your gyne, "Doc, what effective ECP can you recommend to a woman my age?" Be straightforward. If she looks a bit shocked, tell her "Yeah I had sex and you're in the business of poking vaginas for life." Big Deal. I'm human like the rest of the world. Well, unless you're 12 years old then your Gyne has every right to be in shock. If the doctor refuses to answer you for religious, ethical or personal biases then seek another doctor for consult.

What are the side effects in taking Nordette?

Nausea. Extreme Nausea (pagsusuka, duwal), bloating (laki tyan parang kabagin), PIMPLEs (OMG Tigidig Galore!)

How do I know if the Emergency contraceptive worked? Or if it failed?
You will get your period sooner than expected. If it failed, then most likely you are pregnant. I suggest doing a home kit pregnancy test or an OB visit for a urine sample pregnancy test.

I can't sleep, I'm so stressed - What do I do?
Emergency contraceptives can't guarantee you the peace of mind you need, what it can buy you is time- time to think about how to be more careful next time, time to learn about your body and how to be more attuned to it, time to be more aware about sex and all the things that come with it.

For now, you must wait and let the ECP do its job.

You can relax a bit, get on with your life, meditate, watch Gossip girl, Glee or True Blood. If your period does come the next day, I would suggest torturing your boyfriend a bit more, scare the shit out of him so he'd be responsible enough to be more careful next time - tell the douchebag your pregnant :P