How Do I Ship Items from the USA to another country?
One of the most common questions I get asked is how do I get things from the USA sent to my home in the Philippines. More importantly, 'How do I get discounted shipping from the USA to another country?'
I think this was the third question that I asked myself when I was considering moving here - 'How will I ship my stuff from the USA to where I will be living overseas?'
Initially I wanted to bring everything, then I discovered that some things I didn't need, or wouldn't last in a tropical climate, such as:
But there were other items that I really needed, so I had to find a way to get them shipped overseas without costing me a fortune.
A good friend of mine living near me suggested a company based out of Sarasota, Florida called MyUS. Jeff was using a company to ship items he was regularly buying from eBay and Amazon, he was saving on average about 80% off the regular shipping charges, it was easy to use, and he suggested I take a look.
I checked them out. Jeff was right. The international shipping rates are deeply discounted to about 80% off the regular shipping rates, they are easy to use and responsive customer service (phone, email, LIVE chat).
How is MyUS able to ship things overseas to me at a much lower price? Because they got a discount by pre-purchasing the shipping rights with UPS, FedEx, DHL to ship my stuff from the USA to other countries.
So now I'm getting what I want, saving money, time, hasels by using MyUS for all my eBay and Amazon purchases.
To learn more about shipping from the USA to more than 220 countries Worldwide, click on the MyUs links to see their 90second video.
Please SHARE below. Your friends will greatly appreciate this.
Christmas is Coming Soon! So are Birthdays!
How to get discounted shipping from the USA to other countries. How anyone can get eBay and Amazon products shipped overseas at a discount.
Discounted shipping from the USA to other countries. How do I ship items from the USA?
My parents had Full-Service Gasoline stations where they would ask how much fuel you wanted and they'd clean they might even clean the windshield. Well today I want to share with you how get fuel at neighborhood gas station. I'm sure it's not what most of you are expecting to see... but we find it endearing, and we Love it.
Please share :-)
full service gas station, philippines, island life, tablas island, philippines sailing tours,
I Found this Interesting...
Some people are rediscovering a way to implement real change in their lives, community and the world? ... but it's something that many of us do everyday.
For example, if you want a healthier lifestyle, diet and better tasting food, then create your own garden. Stick to organic whenever possible and do your research to ensure you are not buying products that genetically modified (GMO).
We don’t choose this life that we are born into, but we still always have a choice about what we want to eat. By simply growing your own food you:
How Can You Start?
Unfortunately, not everyone lives in a home with a large yard, or enough space for a garden, which means space is a big issue for many people, particularly city dwellers. There are many things you can do to get around this. For example, you could reach out to a friend that has land they aren’t using and offer them free food in exchange for some of their yard space. I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
If this doesn’t work, or you don’t know anyone with space for a garden, consider looking into community gardens in your city. These are patches of land divided into lots that you can essentially rent out for a season. If your city does not currently have something like this, it is something that is definitely worth taking to your city council and getting it started. Chances are your city will jump right on board with funding for a project such as this.
There are also a number of DIY projects you can check out for an awesome balcony or patio garden, like these pallet gardens, or at the very least you can even just grow your own herbs in your kitchen! http://amzn.to/2hxuBXD
If none of these options are available to you, don’t sweat it — there is still a lot you can do. If you still want to be a gardener, but absolutely can’t grow any of your own food, then support your local farmers and markets by buying local. Let your dollar be your political voice and spend it wisely.
If all else fails, then gather up your courage and come visit us in the Philippines. We have lots of fresh, organic food growing all over our shared island paradise. Even better, take an island cruise with Philippines Sailing Tours where they take guests to meet & interact with local fishermen and farmers to get the freshest and tastiest fish, fruit and vegetables - Yum!
gardening, fresh vegetables, organic farming, organic gardening, sailing in the Philippines, Philippines sailing, philippines vacation philippines tour,
Just the idea of spending rainy weather in the Philippines is loathsome to most vacationers as one of the promises of the paradise island besides the sand and sea is the sun.
Nevertheless, there are many travellers who actually love to go the Philippine island during the rainy season because of the cool breeze, fewer tourists, and lower rates in hotels and resorts.
Certainly, there is always something fun to do in the Philippines, even when the weather seems unforgiving.
I suggests the following simple yet enjoyable ideas in making the most of the Philippines amid the drizzles.
Travel to Tablas Island on Cebu Pacific and explore Romblon - peaceful, tranquil, adventure and eco friendly. Enjoy a stroll along many of the beautiful secluded white beaches. Many tourists love visiting the island during this season because it is a lot more peaceful with a perfect view of the sprawling horizon and the glorious sunset without getting blocked by hundreds of tourists on other crowded islands.
Taste delicious fare. Many restaurants on Tablas offer a wide array of food choices that caters to everyone’s distinct taste.
Go island hopping. A Philippines vacation is not complete without experiencing island hopping on a yacht or sailboat with Philippines Sailing Tours. Take a day tour or take a multi-day tour to Enjoy the music, the culture, the food and meeting the locals.
Experience fun water activities. The rainy season elicits a different kind of thrill especially for windsurfers and kite surfers with the big waves caused by habagat and kites soaring higher. Philippines Sailing tours offers an introduction to Kitesurfing.all the way to Hero!
Pamper with a relaxing spa. Beat the cold rainy weather with a rejuvenating massage as many hotels and resorts on Tablas & Romblon offer spa services. One of the best relaxing massages and spa treatments one can experience is right at the beachfront.
Rest in the comforts of hotel or resort accommodation. Enjoy a hassle-free and enjoyable vacation in endless choices of that cater to different accommodation needs and budgets.
Tags: Vacation in the Philippines
Sailing in the Philippines,
Kiteurfing in the Philippines,
Philippines Sailing Tours
Finding the 'X' on The Treasure Map - Where is Happiness?
There has always been a debate on whether Thailand or the Philippines is a better choice for expats. People will hunker down with their opinions and list all the many ways one country is better than the other. You would think it was the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, or the World Cup. No one has flipped any dumpsters yet, but these discussions get pretty heated.
“Bananas are cheaper in Thailand,” someone yells.
“Yeah, but look at our beach towns and lifestyle. Filipinos really know how to enjoy themselves!” another responds.
I just sit back, eat to my slightly more expensive banana, and stare into space. I have no dog in this fight. Unlike what many people think, it’s not my mission to convince anyone to move anyplace. Like Winning the Lottery is about finding a happier life, and mine just so happened to take place in the Philippines. If it occurred next to an corn field in Columbus, Ohio, I would have written that version of my story.
The truth is that becoming an expat has many variables. Success & Happiness has more to do with your attitude than what particular country you are moving to. In some countries, learning a new language will be difficult (fortunately for me, many Filipinos speak english), reinventing a new life is challenging, but the biggest obstacle is always going to be your own attitude. To assimilate into a new culture often means you have to experience things as they happen. And that means letting go of who you had previously defined yourself to be.
We are all looking for that happy spot in life - the X on the Treasure Map. Since moving to the Philippines, nearly 2 dozen people have followed me. Of the 24, only 1 has decided that it wasn't for them. This line of sight to find one's treasure is never straight, and often means you have to bend in the wind in order to hit the bulls-eye.
People often ask me how I got the courage to leave my old life behind for a new one in the Philippines. A foreign place, a foreign language, and with no guarantee it would work out. But there was this moment when I realized it was riskier not to do it than to take a chance - and go on my treasure hunt. I knew if I didn’t break out of that stifling lifestyle, I would look back at the moment and have profound regret. I saw a beacon of light through a foggy time in my life, and its beam of light gave me hope... so I took the chance and I followed the map.
Because I had the courage, and took a chance to look for my treasure, there is little fog left in my life today. The skies are bright over the island we share in the Philippines, and the sunshine lightens up even the darkest corners. But at night I still see my treasure map. The map calls out for me, reminding me to keep dreaming, to keep being happy, and to keep remembering that life is in constant flux. Ebbing and flowing is always the best way to ride a wave, but you have to paddle out to sea before you can go with the flow.
So if someone chooses to debate me on whether Calatrava has better snorkeling than Pataya, which it does, or if they have more volcanoes to hike, which they don’t, I’ll just rock in my hammock and continue staring up at the powder blue sky. I’m not here to argue, or convince anyone that their ideas are wrong. There is room enough for everyone on this journey to find their treasure, and feel like I’m on treasure island.
If you haven't read about my book on Moving to the Philippines, then look for it in the right margin - 'Like Winning The Lottery - How Moving to the Philippines Made me Happier than a Millionaire'.
Get ready to go Sailing in the Philippines with Philippines Sailing Tours. chose to use Catamarans and Trimarans for their safely, stability and speed. Read what yachting expert Skip Novak has to say about the type of yachts Philippines Sailing Tours uses.
(Philippines Sailing Tours offers one of a kind day sailing and multiple day sailing trips around Boracay, Tablas, Carabao, Romblon and Sibuyan islands).
Captain Novak maintains that a catamaran is faster, safer and more comfortable than anything with a single hull
Even if you don’t believe your own eyes, there is no doubt – if the statistics are to be trusted – that catamarans are taking the sailing world by storm in both racing and cruising offshore, and certainly inshore in stadium events.
Having raced and made long passages on high-performance maxi cats, I can certainly attest to their allure. They are faster, safer and more comfortable than anything with a single hull.
Faster is easily understood, but it is justifiable to question the safety aspect. An offshore catamaran or trimaran can turn upside-down with a moment’s lack of concentration. Up until that point, consider that, compared with a monohull, you are much higher above the water and by and large waves pass under the net and the cross beams.
Sail handling is a dream, compared with grappling with sails tangled up in the lifelines on the foredeck of a monohull heeled at 20°. Drop the foresail halyard and the sail falls onto the net. Reefing the main is also easy by comparison, as you stroll around on a flat platform tweaking this and that.
Testing the theory We were there to enjoy the islands, to do so by sail, but the sailing was secondary.
Is it the sailing or the destination that is of prime interest? If it is the destination, the catamaran formula wins hands down.
Hence the rise of the performance cruising catamaran; ultra-light, all souped up with a powerful rig and minimum scantlings, but still sporting a living room with a picture window and en-suite bedrooms. These are different animals requiring skilled hands to keep them on the right side of heaven.
Skip Novak is a columnist and regular contributor to Yachting World, and author of Storm Sailing Series. He was born in Chicago in 1952 and started sailing at an early age. He has raced in four Whitbread Round the World races and in 2001 co-skippered the 108ft catamaran Innovation in The Race round the world in 65 days, an event in which his future wife, Elena, also raced. In 1987 he built the steel cutter Pelagic and has since spent 26 seasons in Tierra del Fuego, South Georgia and Antarctica, sailing and mountaineering.
Contact Philippines Sailing Tours www.PhilippinesSailingTours.com
A catamaran is faster, safer and more comfortable for sailing in the Philippines. Philippines Sailing Tours offers exclusive one of a kind Sailing to Boracay, Tablas, Romblon, Sibuyan and Carabao islands. Contact Philippines Sailing Tours for your next vacation www.PhilippinesSailingTours.com
The best travelers aren't those with the fattest wallets, but those who take planning seriously. Imagine if Mike might jet off to Asia as a free spirit, with no real itinerary — and return home full of complaints about how expensive and stressful it all was. Whereas Mary, who travels with good information and a detailed day-to-day plan, returns home with rich stories of spontaneous Asian adventures. It's the classic paradox of good travel: "Winging it" can become a problem of too many decisions, too little information, and little time to relax. Adding some structure in your travel plans rewards the traveler with more freedom.
I like to plot my travel details in a chart organized by date. I collect all my reservations, travel times and other notes and reminders in one document. As I travel, I can see at a glance where I'll be sleeping a week from now, or what time the boat, bus, plane leaves on Saturday. Here's how to create your own vacation plan.
1. Decide where you want to go in the Philippines and create a budget. Do your research to create a wish list, using the most up-to-date guidebooks, travel apps and websites. Outline anticipated expenses, allowing for airfare, transportation within your destination, room and board, sightseeing and entertainment, and miscellaneous costs.
2. Establish a route and timeline. Figure out a logical geographical order and trip length. Consider how weather, crowds, geography, time of day and your personal travel style will affect your plan. Balance big, intense cities with cozy small-town stops.
3. Decide on the cities you'll fly in and out of. Flying into one city and out of another is usually more efficient and economical (when you consider the time spent returning needlessly to your starting point) than booking a round-trip flight. Think carefully about which cities make the most sense as a first stop or a finale.
4. Figure out other transportation. Base this not solely on cost, but by what's best for your ideal trip. Study the many ways of getting from point A to point B — whether flying, riding the bus, driving, biking or hiking. For example, bus travel is often more economical for solo travelers, while hiring a personal driver saves money if you're with a small group.
5. Make a rough itinerary. On your chart, write in the number of days you'd like to stay in each place — knowing you'll probably have to trim it later. I recommend minimizing hotel changes to save time and money — and to better get to know the town. One-night stops are less efficient than stays of two or more nights. Take advantage of weekends to stretch your time and minimize lost work days.
6. Adjust by cutting, streamlining or adding to fit your timeline or budget. If two destinations are equally important to you but you don't have time or money for both, cut the place that takes the most time, hassle or expense to reach. Don't try to do everything on one trip. Assume you will return to visit the Philippines again.
7. Fine-tune your itinerary. Study your guidebook and get advice from friends, blogs or fellow travelers. Be sure crucial sights are open the day you'll be in town. Remember that many restaurants and sights close one day of the week (often a holiday). And many of the most important sights now require or highly advise reservations in advance (easy to get online). Note that if you're flying from the United States to Asia you'll generally arrive the day after you fly out.
8. Organize and share your itinerary. Whether you want to meet up with friends along the way, let family members know where you'll be, or just corral all your travel details in one place, make an itinerary chart (for example, as a Word document) so that you can easily share your plans. Tools such as TripIt can also help; using your confirmation emails, the app creates an itinerary — with maps, directions and recommendations — that you can access and share from your smartphone.
9. Consider an All-Inclusive Trip to Make Traveling Easier. If all this planning seems to complicated or troublesome, then consider booking an all-inclusive trip to the Philippines. For example Philippines Sailing Tours will be offering airport shuttle service, island tours, food & beverages, and lodging. (www.PhilippinesSailingTours.com).
Planning is always worth the effort: Anticipating obstacles, knowing your options, and living within your budget are fundamental to a good trip. Now you're ready to enjoy the freedom that rewards good planners and turn your travel dreams into smooth and affordable reality.
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Islanders believe it is just the harbinger of summer. Others see it as sign of worsening pollution. (story by The Inquirer - a Philippines national news agency)
If the water is GREEN then it's NOT Clean - Keep you & you Children Healthy.
Boracay is as close to the tropical ideal you’ll find in the Philippines, especially the island’s gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets. Add in a thriving nightlife scene and you have one of the top tourist spots in the region, according to Condé Nast Traveler.
Today, however, that “tropical ideal” is besieged by green algae growth—a cause for concern on the shore of Boracay’s central tourist hotspot.
The algae, which can be seen in Stations 1, 2 and 3 of White Beach, is most visible in Station 2, where most of the commercial establishments are located.
It’s easy to blame it on Boracay’s rapid development which affects sanitation and environment controls.
But, is the algae growth a sign of worsening pollution?
According to its findings, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) said the island’s sewage system can no longer accommodate the burgeoning population.
While Jica agrees that tourism helps the Philippine economy, the agency likewise implores Boracay stakeholders to be more keen in protecting the island resort’s marine resources.
Dr. Miguel Fortes, University of the Philippines scientist and member of the Coastal Ecosystem Conservation Management (Cecam) project, noted that untreated sewage on the eastern side of Boracay has reached alarming levels.
And while the Environment Management Bureau says the water condition in Stations 1, 2, and 3 at White Beach on the west side is still OK, longtime residents of the municipality of Malay, Aklan, where Boracay is situated, claim that the algae are harmful.
‘Number One Beach’
Boracay is the country’s pride, consistently topping the the list of summer travel destinations for local and foreign tourists.
In 2008, the Department of Tourism (DOT) named Boracay as the “Number One Beach” in the Philippines, after it generated P11.6 billion in revenues that year, according to the DOT-commissioned Boracay Island Comprehensive Land Use Planning: Vol 1.
It was the top pick of Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2016.
Included in the same edition are two more Philippine destinations on Condé Nast’s Top 20 Best Islands in The World list: Palawan, No. 2, and Cebu, No. 5.
What can people do to save Boracay?
For starters, and as a form of activism, tourists should ask Boracay business establishments and government officials what they are doing for the island. People should ask hotels and restaurants if they have programs to help in the sustainability of Boracay’s environmental condition.
It would also be beneficial if Filipinos could pressure lawmakers and the local government of Boracay to enact stricter policies to protect the island and to better regulate the opening of businesses.
Everyone who has ever been there can contribute in ways big or small, so that Boracay does not end up as paradise lost. —CONTRIBUTED
Read more: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/258878/boracays-green-algae-growth-exactly/#ixzz4gD493XF7
The previous story is from a Philippines' news national news paper called The Inquirer. I thought it was worthy of sharing with our readers so that they are informed, safe and healthy.
Suggested alternate destinations:
Over the past few weeks while I was visiting family and friends in the USA, I noticed that many of the people I encountered were not living a Positive Lifestyle. What do I mean by Not Living a Positive Lifestyle? In our fast-paced, competitive culture, we tend to notice and worry about what’s lacking in our lives. Because of our drive to succeed, we focus on what stands in our way. We tune in to the things we don’t have — material items, body type, status, money, perfect relationships. But when we view our world from this perspective, we set ourselves up to measure our worth by our deficits rather than our successes.
I don't know about you, but I would rather choose to live a Positive Lifestyle. With that being said, let me share with you what I do to Live a Positive Lifestyle, and the benefits I derive from living a positive lifestyle.
1. Living a Positive Lifestyle is a Choice
Several years ago I had a setback. If you have read my book, then you'll know what I am talking about. I was at an all time low - I was 7 figures in the whole and homeless - even though I was working 2 jobs. But one day while I was out for a walk and I met a happy guy living behind a sign in an upscale community. He said that where he lives doesn't make a person happy or unhappy, but it's how you choose to feel about about your life. You can choose to let life get you down, or you can choose to count you blessings and be happy. As we parted, he told me to have a good day, and he shared a smile.
Try doing this exercise. It's easy and it's FREE. It's called smiling. Try smiling. Smile i contagious, and It will make you feel better (see my article on the benefits of smiling). If smiling doesn't make you feel better then it might make the people around you feel better. If it doesn't make the feel better, then at least they will either think you are a happy person... or crazy. My suggestion, give them reasons to think you are happy.
3. Put your Goals in Front of you
What I mean by this is write out what you want to achieve. I do this in several places - sometimes I even write it on the bathroom mirror with a bar of soap. But I will usually write out my daily goals and my longer term goals. I keep them in places where I can see them often so I can review how I'm doing. Sometimes I even rewrite my goals so I can prioritize them. I also add a check box or I cross them out after they are accomplished - this makes me feel better for accomplishing one of my tasks. But if you aren't sure what your goals should be, then let me give you a few that I think are a must & they are FREE:
4. The 3 R's
I'm not talking about reading, writing and arithmetic or what a pirate says. The 3 R's are:
Respect for Others is when you are being a role model for others. Consider yourself a promoter of a positive lifestyle. Promote who you want to be. Keep doing this until it becomes a habit. Then it will become a lifestyle. Remember, this is a choice you want to make.
Responsibility for Your Actions. As you know, you have the freedoms to choose. This doesn't mean that things are FREE. It means you are free to choose the path to success or the path to failure. It also means that you own the results from your choices. Therefore, choose wisely. But if you should happen to make a bad or poor choices, then take immediate steps to correct your poor choices.
5. Count What Counts
At the end of each day, I write down my daily successes. I also write down what I could have done better. Notice that I am not writing down my failures. Instead I am taking note of the positive things. Plus I am working on how I could improve. This way I focus on the positives, and it keeps me in the improving and constructive mode. Personally I feel better helping people, and I think people appreciate being helped too.
If you think my tips for a Positive Lifestyle are helpful, then please share them with others that you care about.
Learn more about why Island Life is Awesome from the American Expat Living in the Philippines. www.IslandLifeIsAwesome.com
About 2 weeks ago, my family and I traveled nearly 8,000 miles to the USA to see my relatives. As many of you already know, I am an American expat, who moved to the Philippines 11 years ago. Since living in the Philippines I have created a wonderful family & lifestyle with the woman I married. But what I want to share with you today are the Things I Noticed when I Returned to America.
As we were getting our luggage, I kissed my wife - ZAP! We got a static shock. We never experience static shock in the Philippines. So before every kiss, we made sure we touched hands before engaging in any lip locks.
In the airport, the malls, the homes - everywhere we go, we are walking on wall-to-wall carpeting. In the Philippines, we have tiled floors. Either clay, marble or some other exotic stone. But in the USA, we noticed lots of carpeting. What I like about the carpeting is that it dampens sound and prevents echoes. Carpet also feels nice underfoot, but this is only if you are not wearing socks (I never wear socks with my sandals in the Philippines).
3. Ring-Ring! Ring-Ring!
As soon as we picked up our bags from the luggage carousel, my cell phone began ringing. I answered and we greeted by a telemarketer telling me that I have been pre-approved for an equity line of credit. Really? In the Philippines, I don't ever recall getting an unsolicited call from a telemarketer.
4. Car Rental Service
Before leaving the airport, we stopped by a car rental agency and picked up our rental car. In the Philippines I have never seen or experienced a personal rental car. Yes, you can hire a car with a driver, but you cannot rent your own car. But in the Philippines, you can rent a moped or motorcycle. On our island people use Tablas Scooters.
5. How do I Start this Car?
Keyless cars. After we loaded into the car, I picked up the key fob on the car's dashboard. 'Where's the key?' I asked the rental agent. As he's walking away he shouts over his shoulder, 'It's keyless. Just get in and push the button and it will start. Easy-peasy.' Easy-peasy my behind. I'm pushing the button and nothing is happening. I put on my seat belt. I push the button - Nothing. I say, 'Start' while I push the button - Nothing. I step on the brake, push the button, 'eureka!' it starts. I put the car in gear and begin to drive. 'Play some music Daddy!' Oh know. How do I turn on the radio?
6. Driving in the City is Not Stressful - Organized Roadways & Hi-Ways
People aren’t cutting me off all the time or running red lights. The roads are big. Signage is often clear and well in advance of where you need to turn. I was so glad to experience a city with organized roads, hi-ways and people who understood the rules for driving. In the Philippines it is extremely evident that the roads are congested, the hi-ways are undersized, and that most people have no idea what the rules are for driving. (Yes, people have driver's license, but this is another story).
7. Monster Trucks
Wow, pickup trucks in the USA are HUGE! I didn't know that personal trucks were made this big. Some of these are so high and wide, I'm sure they could haul a tank.
8. Cheese & Sauce (or is it Cheesy Sauce?) on Everything
Before visiting my family, we stopped to get something to eat. Looking through the menu we noticed that everything is covered with cheese, lots of sauce, or both. Maybe this is why my wife and daughter were telling me that everyone in the USA looks 'BIG' (I guess they were inferring girth not height). Fortunately, the waitress was able to put the cheese and the salty sauce on the side of our massive meals.
9. FREE REFILLS
Free Refills on all of our drinks: coffee, water, iced tea, soft drinks (and I'm sure they would provide free refills on cheese and sauce too). I guess people need to drink a lot to compensate for all the salt in the sauces.
10. Decaf Coffee
I think this is a good idea for the USA. Everyone we encountered in the USA looks stressed and in a rush. I guess the decaf coffee is one way to counter the stress. At home we use massive doses of Vitamin Sea to counter the effects of stress. You know, I don't think we have many cases of hypertension (high blood pressure caused by stress) in the Philippines.
11. Grocery Stores?
Before stopping at my sister's place, we decided to grab a few groceries, so we stopped at Walmart. When we started looking for fresh produce and meat, we noticed that everything was the color of fresh, but it wasn't really fresh - it was pre-ripe (which means it won't be as flavorful). Also the meats are different. Yes, it is farm raised, but our livestock is free range or fresh from the ocean. Here it is definitely something different (because when we ate the food, we became constipated and gained weight**). My daughter asked us why there were so many aisles of boxed, canned, frozen and bottled food. At home, our groceries are sold fresh so it can be made the 'old fashioned way' - not by adding water and tossed in the microwave.
12. Plastic Bags, Bottles and Limited Recycling
When we checked out from the grocery store, we didn't have a cashier. Instead we scanned our own groceries, bagged our own groceries and paid with a credit card. Needless to say, we looked like foreigners in a foreign land (especially when it came to paying). We paid with 'plastic' a credit card. In the Philippines, we almost always use cash to pay for our groceries. We also don't bag in plastic bags - we bring our own cloth bags or recycled boxes. Sometimes we will bring used bottles and top them off with a new supply of vinegar, oil or other spices.
With fatigue taking from travel taking its affect on us, we decide it is time to make it to my sister's place where we are greeted with warm a welcome, lots of hugs, and the frequent question, 'Aren't you glad to be back in the Real World?'. We all hugged back, smiled, and are genuinely happy to see everyone, but we all silently agree that we prefer living in what we know to be the 'real world'.
** I contacted my doctor and we discussed the unusual gain in weight, constipation and gain in weight. He explained that due to the amount of antibiotics injected into the US meats, that the probiotics (that are used to naturally digest the food in the gut of our bodies) were being killed. He suggested that we get a quality probiotic to restore our bodies to a healthy level. We bought a quality probiotic and we are feeling better and our clothes are fitting better.
When people think of you, they'll smile.
My father told me those words because he was instilling in me the seeds of a positive life.
Living a positive life is a choice that I chose to live by, and I want to share one of the simplest steps with you. It's the Smile.
Smiling is simple, it's FREE, and it's a universal language. I have traveled to more than 30 different countries, and the smile seems to be the best way to initiate positive communication.
Believe it or not, a physician, Dr Ward Crampton, would prescribe a 'miracle exercise' that didn't require special medicine, equipment or special clothing. You didn't have to do exercises that left you breathless and exhausted. You could do it standing up or sitting down. But he did suggest doing it in front of a mirror was good, but doing it with another person was best.
Here is Dr. Crampton's miracle exercise:
Have you ever heard of a man by the name of Dale Carnegie? He is the master of making friends. He wrote the following about the power of the smile:
"It costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None are so rich they can get along without it and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends. It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anyone 'til it is given away. And if in the hurly-burly bustle of today's business world, some of the people you meet should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give."
Smiles are FREE. Be generous. Give them away often and see the results.
Island Life is Awesome - please share
The most frequently questions that I get are:
I answer, ‘Are you kidding me? I'm staying here!’ Immediately they give me a baffled look and ask ‘Why wouldn’t you want to move back to the USA?’
Common questions like these inspired me to write... My Top 10 Reasons to stay in the Philippines (instead of returning to the USA).’
#1 The Philippines is genuinely the most welcoming country that I have ever traveled. In a matter of minutes, you will be making friends, having fun and enjoying conversations about activities, the world, and your families. What do you have planned for today? Where are you from? Are you married? Do you have kids? Are you hungry? These might seem like personal questions, but the Filipino people want to welcome you and share their hospitality. Where we live on Tablas, it’s very refreshing to take a daily walk through the market or your neighborhood and engage in a conversation. Not only will you learn more about this beautiful country, but you will also gain the wealth of friendship.
#2 The weather in the Philippines is pleasant all year. The temperature in the Philippines is almost always above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius). Not only does this mean that I can wear shorts and a T-shirt all year, it also means that we can get out to hike, bike, swim, boat, and travel to neighboring islands anytime I choose. Just last month (in February) we went boating, swimming and diving in the warm ocean. When I was living in the USA the temperatures were so cold that for nearly 7 months of the year I had to wear long pants, a jacket, gloves and a hat. Growing up in the USA, my mantra was ‘I hate the cold, I hate the cold, I hate the cold’. So being in the year round warm weather of the Philippines is Awesome!
#3 The cost of living in most of the Philippines is much less. (There is an exception - Manila, Cebu and Angeles City are about the same price as the USA). As I am writing this, I asked Rose what we normally spend on food, utilities, fuel for the trucks, cell phones and TV. You know - your normal household expenses. I think her answer will surprise you. Rose says that we normally spend about $450 or less each month. This does not mean we are starving or living like hermits. Quite the contrary. We actually eat a great selection of tasty, healthy, home cooked meals, as well as dining out a few nights each week. It’s just that we get more for the dollar in the Philippines. I could write a book on how far the dollar goes over here.
#4 The ocean is always just minutes away. We are close (very close) to the beautiful crystal clear ocean and talcum white beaches. Did you know that the Philippines is comprised of nearly 7,100 islands. This means that you can travel in any direction and quickly be at the beach. Being by the ocean every day, versus looking at a screensaver of the ocean, is very relaxing. STOP! For the next few moments, I want you to imagine yourself holding your favorite fresh tropical drink while wiggling your toes in talcum white sand and listening to the sound of the waves. Do you feel more relaxed? Does your stress melt away? Do you feel happier? Think about it. Which would you prefer: wiggling your toes on a tiled floor, or wiggling you toes inside your shoes on a carpeted floor? I’m sure we all know the answer.
#5 Miles of Smiles. The people in the Philippines are some of the happiest people I have ever met. Their great sense of humor, friendliness, and the ability to appreciate life. Let me share a story with you… Rose took me to her village in the jungles of Leyte where she grew up. Her parents, cousins and extended family are still living in their native homes made of bamboo, leaves and TLC. The shower is the river. Their TV is the fire burning outside their home (where everyone gathers and talks during and after dinner). Their night lights are the stars in the sky. Their music are the songs in the their hearts. And their happiness… it’s difficult to describe… but it’s contagious. I have to say that their happiness and smiles are more genuine than in anyplace I have ever traveled. Pure happiness & friendship is something you must experience in your life. If you need a recommendation on where to visit, let me know. You can experience this on a sailboat tour from Tablas Island.
#6 Asian Medicine. Rose comes from a family of doctors. Ok, she comes from a family of ‘Witch Doctors’. At least that’s what she calls them. But in the USA we would call them Homeopathic Doctors, or using herbal medicine, or massage therapists, or aroma therapy. I think you understand what I am trying to say. Here on the island, it is not uncommon for someone to receive herbal treatments for a cough, cold, or flu. I know when I start getting a cold, I get fed a soup made with tree leaves, a hot tea made with several different juices and herbs, and I might even get a 2 hour herbal massage. These treatments not only work, but they feel so good, that I sometimes want to fake being sick just so I can get the massage.
#7 Tropical fruit and organic vegetables. The Filipino farmers’ produce is so much better than the farmer’s markets in the USA. Why? Because this is not just a weekend hobby. It’s how we get our produce everyday. Also our produce is non-GMO, organic, and the seeds can be replanted (unlike the sterile produce grown in the USA). What this means is that not only can I eat these delicious fruits or vegetables, but I can also save the seeds and replant them. It also means that I need to be careful where I spit my seeds. Plants grow fast here in this fertile Filipino soil.
#8 The Dining Experience - The Recipes and Food are delicious. No matter what you desire, the variety and flavors of the Filipino food are awesome. The traditional food can be savory to sweet, mild to spicy, or smoked to barbecued. I like dining the Pica-pica method. This means that the food is served on a long table covered with banana leaves. Then the food is neatly presented on top of the banana leaves. Then after everyone takes pictures and selfies, it’s time to eat! But NO forks and NO spoons allowed. You can only use your hands. Needless to say, it’s a fun and enjoyable experience.
Before we go on, let me say that the Filipinos are not only known for the traditional food that I enjoy. Let me share this expample. Our neighbor’s personal chef prepares an array of International recipes from Asian to European to American. One evening, Harold the Chef, prepared a dream like setting on the beach with candle lanterns in the trees and a bonfire on the beach. Harold prepared hand made pasta, sushi rolls, pizza and roasted hotdogs (fire roasted marshmallows for desert). Not to be outdone, our domestic helper Mayca makes delicious meals too! From a chicken cordon bleu to a coconut butternut squash soup to a savory shish kabab to a Tuna Dynamite. Needless to say, we need to stay active around here or else we are going to grow a larger waist line.
#9 Family Fun for Everyone - Everyone in the Filipino family is Included and Valued. I love that everyone in the family is included in going out to either a family social event, a fiesta, and a night at the disco. One evening, Rose and I went to see an RnB cover band. Before the show began, a large family (more than 20) came to enjoying the show too. What struck me as endearing is that the family included their small children, the parents, the grandparents and the great-grandparents. And when the music started, even the great-grandparents got up to dance. Everyone in the disco was encouraging and supportive. Rose told me ‘Age is just a number. Even though the our bodies gets old, the mind, spirit and soul are still young. This is the only chance we get at enjoying life. So the Filipino people help everyone to fun & enjoy life to the fullest’.
#10 Home is Where the Heart Is.
I hope you have a better understanding of our great way to Enjoy Living and Life. Knowing this is how my life will be in the Philippines, I feel in my heart that this is Home, and the place for our family. Not only for today, but for the future… and beyond.
Island Life Is Awesome
Of course we have more reasons of why we choose to stay in the Philippines. So subscribe using the RSS Feed in the top right corner so you can see more reasons why we choose to make the Philippines our home.
Are you looking for some Fun? Then why not come and enjoy the Fun in the Philippines?
Here are a X Reasons it's More Fun in the Philippines
#1 Flying in The Philippines
I feel safer, happier and more relaxed already as I enter the Philippines & travel to Tablas Island. Cebu Pacfic Air is the airline of choice when flying to Tablas.
#2 The Jeepney - Public Transportation in a Public Utility Vehicle (PUV)
Jeepneys follow specific routes. I will gladly ride a Jeepney on Tablas Island, but I will not ride a jeepney in Manila - this video will explain why. I prefer taking a Jeepney in the rural areas (the provinces) where it's safe - like Tablas Island. In the province it's a great way to see the sights for only a few coins. Plus the Jeepney drivers will deliver large loads of goods & supplies to your home for a reasonable fee.
#3 The Filipino Trike - a motorcycle with a side car.
Because I am kind of tall, this isn't a comfortable mode of transportation for me. But they are great for going from 1 specific point to another. Don't be surprised if you see 10 or more kids riding in and on the trike on the way to school.
#4 The Banca Boat - The Filipino Outrigger
I enjoy riding shorter distances - less than 15 miles - in the banca boats. Sometimes the crew will let you get out and ride on the outriggers
#5 Tablas Sailboats, Ecotours, Adventures & Island Hopping.
Ride close to the water and enjoy the sound of the wind rushing through your hair. Ride in a Filipino Banca boat, or the larger catamarans & trimarans. Either sail for a few hours or for a few days. This is the best. more info -> https://goo.gl/PkiuuL
#6 Scooters & Motorcycles - A great way to get around with your friends or by yourself. A helmet is highly recommended. You don't want a coconut or a mango dropping on your head. I highly recommend talking with Sherlyn & Jeff at Tablas Scooters. You can find their information at www.TablasScooters.com
#7 My Favorite mode of Transportation - My Wife & her Truck
Rose enjoys driving her 4x4 through town (with her booster seat - Rose is only 4 feet 7 and 7/8 inches tall). Both are mighty and My favorite way to get around and tour Tablas Island.
COMING SOON... Who Likes Sailing & Adventure!
Very soon we will have Catamarans & Trimarans for sailing around Tablas Island. Day tours and Adventure Exersions. 1 to 5 day tours.
For more details, www.PhilippinesSailingTours.com
It amazes me that many people think I am living a deprived life because I live on a remote, tropical island. I'm not sure, but I think they believe that a mall or a cinema is necessary to survive. Then it shocks me when they ask me what could I possibly find to entertain myself. Pulling out my cell phone, I begin to tell them a story about how we spend an typical afternoon. By the way, here are a few pictures of how us unfortunate people survive without a mall...
Yes, we could have gone to the mall too, but an experience with family & close friends is far more entertaining and valuable. Come to think of it, I think our entire day was cheaper than a date in the city. C'est la vie!... I mean, 'Tulad ay buhay!'
Island Life is Awesome...
To see how I became an American expat living in the Philippines, then get a copy of my book 'Like Winning the Lottery'. The link is in the upper right margin -->>
It’s true, that when most people think of taking trips to South East Asia, they usually jump at Thailand, Malaysia, or Bali, before considering the Philippines. This is probably because The Philippines hasn’t become commercialized or mainstream. It’s often overlooked.
Now that I am living here permanently, I'm glad it is overlooked because I don't want the Philippines to lose it's exotic and intoxicating charm.
So let me share with you the Reasons Why Life is Better in the Philippines.
1. Over 7,100 Islands to explore and savor. Each island has it's own unique personality, flare and flavor. Take your time, don't try to do it all in 1 day.
2. Tropical Weather, Sea Breeze, Talcum White Beaches, Exotic Sunsets.
3. The Filipino People are the friendliest you will ever meet. I have more friends in the Philippines than I do anywhere else in the world, and I have visited more than 40 countries. Visit and make several new friends. Their friendship will last a lifetime.
4. Coconut Juice - locally known as buko (boo-ko) juice. Nearly every morning, we'll ask the gardener to climb a tree and pick us some fresh buko so we can enjoy the juice all day long. It's refreshing and very healthy for you too.
5. The Philippines is Affordable. Compared to North America, Europe, & Australia, the cost of living in the Philippines is 1/8 to 1/10 of what people are accustomed to spending (this excludes Manila and Cebu). Can you imagine running out of fun before you run out of money? Island Life is Awesome!
6. SCUBA diving and Snorkeling. The water here is crystal clear, and warm, so you can dive or snorkel year round and enjoy some of the world's best diving. Enjoy the corals, the fish or the ship wrecks. On Tablas island, we have some great diving. Have you ever been to a Blue Hole?
7. Tropical Fruit Smoothies are Fresh with the Ripest Fruit. A must have when you are in the Philippines. Consider adding a shot of the local rum as a fun flavoring.
8. English is Spoken Here. Yes, the english language is spoken here. The Philippines is the 4th largest english speaking country in the world. This doesn't mean that the spelling will be correct, but communication is not a problem here if you are uni-lingual.
9. Spas & Massage. Who doesn't like an hour long massage for the price of a Big Mac meal. Yes, you can get a 1 hour massage for about the same price you would pay for a Big Mac, fry & Coke. While you're at it, get a manicure and pedicure. It's worth the extra $2.
10. Foreigners, Tourists & Locals treat each other with respect. The people here are Awesome!
11. Experience secluded beaches that are untouched by mass tourism. We love having a beautiful beach all to ourselves. (If you visit one of the beautiful beaches, please be respectful and keep it beautiful and clean).
12. Enjoy 1 of the country's favorite food items - Lechon Baboy. This is a pig roasted over hot coals. Crispy on the outside, while juicy on the inside.
13. Outrigger Island Hopping or Transportation. Locally they are called a 'banca' (bon-ka) and they are hand made from local materials. 95% of them are powered by little motors, and these local boats can be used for fishing to transportation. Some of the bancas will transport up to 50 people from 1 island to the next. Exciting and a unique experience.
14. Buy a bottle of flavored rum for less than what you'd buy a bottle of water in the USA, Europe or Australia. On my first week in the Philippines, I ordered 1 coconut rum drink at a restaurant. When the waiter brought me out a full bottle of coconut rum, I pointed at the menu and said, 'I want only 1 coconut rum drink. Not the bottle,' and I pointed at the price. The waiter said, 'Yes Sir. This is the 1 drink for that price.' Lucky me!
15. Mangos in the Philippines are the Best. Philippine mangos are unique because they are sweet in flavor and like jello in texture. Make sure you try a ripe mango. You'll become addicted immediately.
16. Ripe, Fresh Produce picked that day. Enjoy delicious organic produce that has the most outstanding flavors. We buy it fresh every morning, or we pick it from our own gardens. Yummy!
17. Happy, Smiles from locals. I highly recommend that you try smiling back, waving and enthusiastically saying, 'Hello!' You'll love the response.
18. Live Music! I really think the Filipinos are the best at live music. The arrangements and sound is awesome. Spend an evening with friends and enjoy the music.
19. Fire Dancing. I love this native dance. Not only is it spectacular, but audience participation is a must. Be entertained as locals spin balls of fire at the ends of chains while they dance to rhythmic music. Have your camera ready!
20. Laughter. The Filipino people love to laugh, smile and have a good time. Their happiness is contagious. Their happiness is the contagious disease that I want to catch, and never be cured.
21. Come back later and I'll share more reasons Why Life is Better in the Philippines.
A friend of mine told me this story, and it changed my outlook on life to the point where SOLD everything, moved to a friendly little island to start a family farm with my wife and daughter.
So What is this Life Changing Story that motivated me to move 8,000 miles? Let me share it with you...
One day a rich dad to his son on a trip to a village. He wanted to show him how poor somebody could be.
After they spent time on the farm of a poor family, the father says, 'Did you see how they are? What did you learn?'
The son replied, 'We have 1 dog. They have 4. We have a swimming pool. They have a river.'
'We have a lantern at night, but they have the stars. We buy our food, but they get to grow their food.'
'We have walls to protect us. They have Friends. We have encyclopedias. They have the Bible.'
As they headed back, the son said: 'Thanks, dad, for showing me how poor we really are.'
I thought I'd share a few photos with you so you can appreciate our Happy Farm Life.
There are many people like me that have a permanent residence visa, and there are others who have a 'Long Stay' temporary visa (59 day visa). Each type of visa holder gets issued what is called an ACR I-card (Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card). An I-card is a microchip based, credit card-sized identification card issued to all foreigners who wish to stay in the Philippine for more than 59 days.
The process is relatively straightforward, but tedious, and it is done at the same times as the application for a visa.
For the temporary visa, the application has to be processed before your 59 days of allowed stay. For the Permanent visa the application has to be processed within the first 60 days of the calendar year if you’re renewing your ACR I-Card; otherwise, you’ll face jail time, a fine, or deportation.
Normally the application filing is done at the same time you apply for a visa extension, but for those who would like to voluntarily apply for an ACR I-Card or renew theirs, here are the steps you need to take:
Make sure you bring your ACR I-Card & passport with you at all times. Losing your ACR I-Card will mean going through the application process and paying a new I-Card fee plus a P1,000 express fee.
Where can you file?
See the Bureau of Immigration website.
Overstaying is a serious matter for anyone who’s looking to visit the Philippines. Much like how Filipinos get deported when they overstay with a tourist visa overseas, any foreign national caught overstaying will get deported.
What is overstaying?
You’re an overstaying national if you’ve exceeded the maximum number of days your visa allows. This poses a problem, though, as 163 countries are allowed visa-free entry into the Philippines for anywhere between seven to 59 days.
Out of these 163 countries, only Brazilians and Israelis are allowed to stay for 59 days without a visa. Anyone who wants to stay beyond 59 days will have to be brought up with the Bureau of Immigration (BI); otherwise, you’ll be sent home packing, no questions asked.
You won’t be able to get away with overstaying in the Philippines since you’ll be deported and blacklisted, i.e. you’ll never be able to go back in the country again. If you want your Black List Order (BLO) lifted, you’ll have to file a letter of request addressed to the Commissioner of the BI. It’s best to get assistance from an immigration lawyer to have this arranged for you.
What to do if you’re about to overstay your visa or visa expires?
If you’re about to be tagged as overstaying, there’s really only one thing you can do: go to nearest immigration office or the BI main office seven days before your visa expires and settle everything that needs to be settled (fees and documents).
The process will depend on the length of your stay, but the most you can extend is 6 months. You can still stay in the Philippines without actually extending your stay for 6 months as long as your passport remains valid, but you’ll already be tagged as overstaying the moment it goes beyond what your visa or visa-free entry allows.
As most foreign nationals visiting the country are from countries that do not require a visa for a visit of at most 30 days, we’ll put a focus on getting a Visa waiver, issued to tourists who want to request for an initial extension of 29 days.
If you want to go beyond 59 days, you should get a Long-Stay Visitor Visa Extension, or LSVVE. The process is similar to getting a visa extension, but it will involve a much higher fee of P11,500, broken down as follows:
Fine for overstaying is at P500 per month. You’ll also be charged an additional P500 if you go beyond the maximum allowable stay or if you’ve overstayed for more than 6 months to get a Motion for Reconsideration on Updating and Extension of Authorized Stay.
For more information on visa fees, fines, and processes, please visit the Bureau of Immigration website.
IMPORTANT NOTE: My experience has been that it's wise to dress conservatively when visiting the immigration office. I have seen people being told that they could not enter if they were not wearing slacks and a nice shirt.
I hope you found this useful. Keep coming back to learn why Island Life is Awesome.
How do You Feel when you are near the ocean? When you see the blue sky? When you hear the wind blowing through the palm trees? When you feel the powdery sand between your toes?
How do you feel when you are away from the beach and the ocean?
Do you ever feel:
The reason I'm asking these questions, is because I am away from the island this week, and and I'm having several symptoms of Beach Withdrawal.
Did You Know...
Since ancient times, people have assigned healing and transformational properties to water? In early Rome, baths were an important part of cultural life, a place where citizens went to find relaxation and to connect with others in a calming setting. In ancient medicine and modern medicine, we still use water for healing.
Today, people still turn to water for calmness and clarity. Many of us spend vacations (or our lives) on the beach; get exercise and enjoyment from water sports like surfing, scuba diving, sailing, and swimming; refresh ourselves with long showers and soothing baths, and often build our lives and homes around being near the water.
... and when when people are away from the ocean, it feels painful. Like your Teddy Bear has been taken away...
So what should I ask my doctor?
I think I'm going to ask him for a prescription of Vitamin Sea with instructions to confine me to the beach.
Island Life is Awesome!
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Can you imagine traveling on a beautiful vacation and...
For some reason, China believes that people should not freely be allowed to browse the internet, or publish blogs, or look at their favorite website.
This got me to thinking...
After I landed in Seoul, South Korea, I did some research and I discovered that certain VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) can provide a secure internet experience. I also learned that some are more secure than others (FREE VPNs will help, but they are not secure). One of website's fans (Paulina Lif...) is helping us find the best VPN to help us do secure internet browsing.
9 reasons why you should use a VPN everywhere:
When I find a VPN that works really well, I will share it with all of you so you can be safe online too.
Standby for this important update... I don't want any of you to lose your life savings.
UPDATE: HACKER PROBLEM SOLVED
Island Life is Awesome!
The Binucot Beach Resort OktoberFest on Tablas Island was a Great Success! Two of the resort hosts are from East Germany, and they wanted to spread the Fun of their homeland here on Tablas Island. Their was LIVE music that made us dance, Great food that made us eat, and adult libations that made us be silly.
Games & Laughs
Speaking of being Silly, there were traditional German drinking games, and then there were the Fantastically Funny Filipino games. If we can get some pictures of these crazy games, then I will share them in our Newsletter.
One of the aspects of living here in that I really Love, is that everyone is always welcome. Ages ranged from 8 months of age to 80 years in age. Cultures ranged from The Philippines, USA, France, England, Australia, Austria, Italy, Canada, and Germany (of course).
Since the Oktoberfest was such a great Success, I asked Peter & Uwe what could we expect next. 'Christmas is Big in Germany. Maybe we can have a Merry Christmas celebration... with Filipino Bier & German food of course!'
So this begs the question... Will you be joining us for the next party? We hope you'll join us.
Enjoy the Hilarious Adventures of my Move to the Philippines
See More ->> HERE