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Corruption in the Philippines

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Corruption in the Philippines

If you ask about corruption in the Philippines and get opinions from around the world they might say that its one of the worst. Comparable to China. Well I have never been to China but my guess is that China may be the worst with manipulation of business, currency etc.

However the Philippines is bad in its own respect. In my opinion it will take a long time and some sweeping reforms to change that here. For example, there is a type of corruption is taught to children at a very young age.

I have a step daughter that goes to a public school here. Every year they have a celebration of the founding day the school was started as with all schools here. This is comparable to a high school prom where I come from in the states although the celebration is for different reasons. They have a king and queen of foundation day along with all their court. Including representatives from other countries. Represented by the children. All in all there are about 30 kids that make up the entourage of the court.

So where is the corruption? It comes from how they establish who will be King, Queen and the court. The way this is done is money. Who’s parents give the most money to the foundation day parade is the winner of king or queen. To me, what this is telling the children is that who ever has the most money will be the winner of the contest. (Kinda sounds like the American political system huh.) The fact there is no vote or anything that resembles a fair election was disturbing to me. When they asked us to participate I said no. I really have no desire to teach my daughter that. Although she will learn it anyway during this celebration.

The truly sad issue is the fact that this is the way the schools raise money for books, up keep on the school or any other extra curricular activities. I do know that there is tax money that goes to these schools but it is minimal to what a school might need. So one could say its necessary.

This is really just the beginning step of why this country has the corruption it does. The children are the future. Right?

When I first moved here to the Philippines the corruption was one of my main concerns. After spending one day here I learned a great deal about how it works. When I first arrived in Manila I spent an extra day there to get my I-card. An identification card that establishes me as a permanent visa holder.( Now I don’t have to pay monthly to get my visa renewed because I am married to a Filipina.) I was truly amazed with how it worked. We paid 2 men that work for one part of the permanent visa processing 1000 pesos to help us get my I card in one day. (Something that we have friends that have been waiting 5 years to get I got in one day.) These two men ran me around to all the places I needed to go for every thing I needed to get this I-card. We went to a place where they take your picture for the card and they got me to the front of the line in seconds. Then there was the finger printing which was in a building across the street and right to the front of the line I went. Im sure there were people waiting most of the day for what I did in mere seconds. Of course I was elated to know I could get this done in the 1 day I expected. At the time I had no idea how long this process was taking other friends of ours.

If I remember correctly the grand total for getting through the process and having the two men send my I card to us when it came to them 6 months later was 3000 pesos including the fees for the finger prints and picture and all. The friend I mentioned earlier that has spent 5 years trying to get his I-card has spent more than 45000 pesos and still has no I-card.

These are just examples of the low level corruption that every one is aware of and in reality nobody cares. When you talk to some of the people over 40 it seems like they wear the stigma of corruption like a badge of honor. The younger generations are the ones who care the most but it seems the older the get the more of an acceptance attitude is built and they use it to their advantage the best they can. It is part of life here and will take monumental amounts of effort to change it.

My scammer story comes to the end and the truth

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Today I find the truth and that I did fall victim to an Asian dating site scammer

 In my research into starting my own site I signed onto about a half dozen Asian dating sites. Just to check out the competition. As I have stated in many of the pages and posts the main reason I wanted to start a site was due to the fact that there are so many scammers out there. The scammers surely out number the true and honest people by an easy ten to one. This is pathetic and the worst thing about it is that none of the main stream sites out there can do anything about it, except when reported, delete these women from the site. The only problem is they have multiples of profiles on the same site and they just continue on with the profiles that haven’t been deleted. These scammers are difficult to stop to put it lightly.
Even I realize that even though we meet and interview all women associated with our site. I cant guarantee that there will be no scammers. I can guarantee they will not have more than one profile and if reported they could face criminal charges so the allure of the scam will be much less on our site.
The reason I am writing this today is because as anyone who has read through the scammer pages of this site or seen my articles on the web will know that I felt like I fell victim to one of these scammers. I could never actually prove she was scamming me and luckily I chose someone else before I lost too much money on this girl and like I said there really was no proof. Well today I found it.
After signing on to another site this morning I started looking through the profiles of the women and guess who I saw. It was her using the same pictures she used on the other site I was on over 3 years ago and her profile said she was two years younger than she said she was on the other site 3 years earlier. Then what I did was keep looking through the profiles on this site and sure enough I found her again with another profile saying she was from a different city and a different age. Now I have found the proof I needed to show that I was taken by a scammer LOL
It really wasn’t that funny because this girl was so good that I actually thought I hurt her when I chose the woman that would eventually be my wife over her and I felt bad for it for awhile. I did know in the back of my mind at the time that the possibility was good she was a scammer so my bad feelings did not last too long but still I did feel bad for what to me seemed like I might have led her on and then hurt her in the end. Troubling huh.
I could easily name the two sites I found this girls profile on but what would be NO use to you. I could even report her and get her kicked off the site I found her on today but that wouldn’t do any good either. She is most likely is on almost every site with multiples of profiles and using many different pictures of different people. These main stream Asian dating sites really have no way of controlling the scammers on their sites. My question is. Do they really want to? If it is a fact that 90% of the profiles are scammers and I do believe it is. Finding a way to eliminate them would only destroy their large data base that draws in the large customer base. This seems like bad business to me.
Later I will have an e-book that will be free to registered users of this site or for sale to anybody who chooses not to use our service. This book explains all the scams I have been able to find on the net and how to avoid them.

Getting Married in the Philippines

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Getting Married in the Philippines

After find your Filipino bride through what ever means you have.  The next step will be your wedding of course. You obviously have 2 choices when it comes to where you will get married. Your home country or here in the Philippines. In my opinion the place to have your wedding is here in the Philippines. This is for several reasons. The first being you will spend much less and have a much bigger wedding than you might be able to afford in your home country. You can always have another wedding reception when you arrive back home. You will also have a chance to get to know your new extended family and see just how big it is. Most families from the Philippines are quite large. For example my wife has well over 100 first cousins. Her immediate family was the only sibling of her 10 aunts and uncles on both sides of her family(mothers and fathers side) to have less than 10 children each. She has only one sister and thats it. Of course they all did not attend our reception as alot of them still live far away in a province but there was aproximately 60 people there.

Next you will pick your church or you can do the simple thing many choose and just go to the city hall and have the justice of the peace marry you. If you choose a church it will of course depend on her religion. Even though the population is majority Catholic there is just about every other kind of church you can imagine.

You will also find the atire somewaht optional. Although the bride will wear the traditional wedding gown the groom usually but not a;lways wears the Filipino barong. Which is a wedding style dress shirt with slacks. You can see a barong when I get some of our wedding pictures posted to the site.

Lastly you should know that there is NO divorce in the philippines. The only form of a brak of a marriage is an annulment of which is very expensive to the Filipinos. Not so much in western terms because it amounts to about $4000 USD. Actually alot less than any divorce I know of in the US. I highly doubt anybody associated with our service will need that but I am here to inform you the best I can. Another stastic you should be aware of is that 95% of all separations or annulments are found that the woman was not at fault. Of course there are some cases but not many.

As always if you have questions you can visit the FAQ, our service or contact us pages of the site.

Philippines Election Year

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Election Year is a dangerous time in the Philippines

When it comes to an election year here in the Philippines. Historically there is usually a lot of political killings and this year it has proven historically correct. The world was appaled at the massacre in the southern province of Magindinau but no body was surprised here. Some say its just the beginning.

The facts that revolve around the massacre are that the person arrested is the sitting mayor of the province. He has plead NOT guilty. Just as every one expexted. He is a member of a very powerful clan and has ties to the now President Arroyo. There are even rumors that she was there during the massacre. Most of the people killed were political opposition or press people opposed to this mayor. He will probably get away with this due to the fact that the political system here is so corrupt that politicians get away with this every election season and manage to hold their positions in the government even though people know they were associated with such acts. Its the way of the political system here.

This really does not have any effect on foreign visitors because we cant vote and pose no threat to the politicans. However it is an interesting spectical to see. Sad really because to anybody who knows anything about government its obvious that the rich are making every effort to keep the people down while they take advantage of their position to get richer. A lot like it is in the US with the exception of the killings and the corruption in the states is much less obvious.

This will probably be the way it is here for quite a long time. Changing it would probably take something to the effect of a revolt of the people and that is highly unlikely. Still leaving the chance of getting someone worse in the government seats. It is a real mess to put it lightly.     

My wife is actually a 2nd or 3rd cousin of one of the canidates for president this year and he is almost the most popular. However I do not think my wife will vote for him. She likes somebody else better I think. For me I think its best to just keep my distance and watch and hope they can get through this with the least amount of blood shed.

Driving in the Philippines

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My thoughts on driving in the Philippines

For myself when I started to drive here it was not a very big deal. We drive on the right side of the road just like in the US and I have always been somewhat of an agressive driver so I actually fit in rather well.

Some words of caution though. Its more like a free for compared to the traffic I was used to in the US. Fortunate for me is the fact that my business in the US took me all over the country. I drove in most all major cities and was exposed to all the different types of drivers. This is what made it easy for me to fit in. Actually most of the western foreigners do not drive here. Most are somewhat scared with good reason.

Though there are traffic lights in the city. They do not work because the city dont want to pay for the electricity. So intersections are somewhat dangerous. One needs to be cautious at all intersections.

One of the biggest dangers are the jeepneys and taxi drivers. These drivers are paid more with the more passengers they pick up so on a regular basis you will see them just stop in the middle of the road to pick up a passenger bringing all traffic to a halt. The same applies to taxis but these drivers will cut across 3 lanes of traffic without looking behind them so they can pick up a fare. These are just a couple of the risks you need to consider when driving here.

What truly amazes me is the fact that there are really not to many accidents here. The drivers here are used to the way things work and this Im sure is what keeps the accident rate low. Keep in mind though our city is very small compared to Manila. The main difference being there are probably 10 or more times the vehicles on the road and the roads are much bigger too. To be honest Im not sure I would be comfortable driving in Manila. 

One thing I found to be a little funny is the motorcycle drivers. They do have a helmet law here even though its very loosly enforced. Plus alot of the helmets you do see on the road are actually what we call a construction “hard hat” in the states which dont provide hardly any protection in a crash. The other odd thing I found was that you will also see a family of 4 riding down the road on a 125cc motorcycle. The dad driving with the older child riding in front of him sometimes on the gas tank. Then the mother will be riding on the back with the younger child in between her and the dad. Quite dangerous but I see it all the time. Actually the motorcycle is the only form of transportation alot of familys own and is their only means of getting around. I have some pics I will post at a later date.

Take care all

Building My first House in Philippines

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Chad Builds His first House in

Hi all. We just moved into our first house two months ago. We bought property in a subdivision called Savannah and it is very nice here. I thought I might give a few words of advice when planning to live here in the Philippines and constructing a home.

Most importantly one needs to know that it is illegal for a foreigner to own property here in the Philippines. There are a few ways to get around this like being married to a Filipina. However if you are single you still have options such as a 50 year lease with the option to renew if needed or wanted. I do have a few single friends that are doing just that.

There is one main type of construction here in the Philippines. Concrete. You can find homes that are bamboo or wood but the termites here are ruthless and any home made from wood will have to repaired on a regular basis. The same applies to the bamboo houses but this is because of the weathering of the bamboo and other natural building materials. The solid concrete home is the way to go if you don’t want to be doing repairs a few times a year. On top of that most subdivisions will not allow using wood or bamboo to maintain a certain look for the subdivision.

We chose Savannah because of the great security here and we are just far enough from the city that we don’t have the pollution from the cars and jeepneys. Its also nice and quiet here. No noise pollution so to speak. A big plus also I later found out that there are alot of other western foreigners that own houses here in Savannah. Sometimes its nice to talk to people you know understand you.

It is also a good idea when having your home constructed to have somebody you trust to oversee the construction process. I was a contractor in the states for 20 years before I moved here and I was glad I was here to oversee most of the construction of the house. The problem is that here in the Philippines some of the contractors will cut corners if nobody is watching. Coupled with the fact that the workers are only paid 150-200 pesos a day. About $5-$5 USD per DAY. This in turn makes them really not take to much pride in their work and you get what you get if someone is not here to supervise the construction. The good thing is the fact that the labor is so inexpensive that you can hire any number of workers and supervise yourself to get the quality of work you desire at a fairly low price. The old saying of you get what you pay for is very evident here.

We are very happy with our choice here and plan to build an addition in the near future. I will be doing other posts documenting that when we get construction started. Take care all.