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  • lv on September 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Retiring in the Philippines 

    Many visitors and followers of this blog are either retired or soon to be retiring so I thought this article from U.S. News & World Report might serve useful in planning your retirements for some of you who are planning to retire in the Philippines. A lot of Filipino retirees living in the U.S. go back to the Philippines for a lot of reasons (cheaper living, closer affinity to the culture, etc.) but a lot also prefer to stay overseas because of better security, medical care and among others . I guess, it all depends on the retiree’s priorities.

    The Perks of Retirement in Thailand and the Philippines

    These countries are offering special programs of benefits to attract foreign retirees.

    Thailand and the Philippines now provide affordable retirement residency programs for foreigners.
    By Kathleen Peddicord Sept. 30, 2014 | 10:22 a.m. EDT

    Southeast Asia is a remarkably beautiful and diverse region that is becoming much more welcoming to Western retirees. Southeast Asia’s big appeal for foreign retirees is the cost of living. Several countries here are among the world’s cheapest places to retire. Your money goes much further in this part of the world than in the United States or any other Western country, but that does not mean that the standard of living is necessarily lower.

    It is possible to stretch your retirement nest egg to enjoy a better lifestyle in Southeast Asia than you could afford anywhere else in the world. For example, in the United States you’re probably paying at least $50 per month for reasonably fast Internet. In the Philippines Internet costs $12 per month, likely for faster speeds than you have now. In Thailand and Malaysia fast Internet is $18 per month.

    Similar savings can be seen in the prices of everything from rent and phone service to cooking gas, electricity and groceries. A visit to the doctor costs less than $20 throughout most of the region, and the care you receive is likely to exceed your expectations. English-speaking doctors educated in Europe, Australia and North America are the norm. They work in hygienic offices with modern equipment and can be affiliated with modern internationally accredited hospitals. Thailand and Malaysia are among the top five countries in the world for medical tourism.

    English is widely understood throughout the region, and it is an official language of the Philippines and parts of Malaysia. The majority of people you come into contact with in these two countries are fluent in English. Additionally, English is a required subject at schools in every country in Southeast Asia. Urban areas and many small towns have enough English speakers that communication rarely presents a significant barrier.

    Living in Southeast Asia full time is increasingly becoming an option for Western retirees. Several countries now offer user-friendly, affordable retirement residency programs, this region’s answer to the pensionado programs that have attracted so many foreign retirees to key Latin American destinations. New programs offered by some countries in this part of the world directly appeal to foreigners looking for legal, long-term residency in retirement. Several countries waive any minimum monthly income requirements for long-term or permanent residency if you invest in a fixed-deposit account at a local bank. In countries where a monthly pension is required, the qualifying amount is often surprisingly low.

    Thailand and the Philippines, in particular, are recruiting foreign retirees with benefit rich and low cost of entry visa programs.

    Thailand. Thailand has some of the best beaches in the world, lush mountains and jungles, a laid-back, welcoming culture and a foreigner-friendly infrastructure. Thailand also has one of the world’s lowest costs of living. For these reasons, thousands of foreigners have settled in this country in world-renowned resorts such as Koh Samui, Koh Lanta and Phuket, in cities including Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, and in the smaller towns of Hua Hin, Cha-am and Pai. It’s rare to find a town in Thailand that doesn’t have at least a few foreign residents.

    It used to be possible to stay indefinitely in the country with a tourist visa, making visa runs to a neighboring country every month or so. However, the relevant laws were changed a few years ago. Now a foreigner who wants to live in Thailand long term needs a visa. Thailand offers several residency visa options. Retirees typically want the non-immigrant “O-A” (long-stay) visa. To qualify, you must be age 50 or older at the time of application, have completed a satisfactory police records check, obtain a medical examination, present a certificate of health and deposit 800,000 baht (about $24,800) in a Thai bank for at least two months prior to making your application or be able to prove that you receive a pension of at least 65,000 baht (about $2,000) per month.

    The term of the “O-A” visa is one year. You can apply to extend it by showing three months of bank statements or pay stubs to the Immigration Department, proving that you continue to meet the financial requirements.

    The Philippines. The cost of living in Thailand is low, but it’s lower still in the Philippines. A retiree could enjoy a quality lifestyle on a budget of $1,000 per month or less in this country, including dining out and in-country travel. An elegant dinner for two, including drinks, can cost less than $15. Plus, English is spoken by practically everyone, the scenery is stunning and the people are exceptionally friendly.

    In addition, the Philippines offers the easiest path to permanent residency of any country in the region, and its retiree residency program comes with more benefits than any other country in this part of the world. Unlike Thailand’s retirement program, the Philippines program allows foreign residents to work or start a business. Once you have been granted permanent residency, you can stay in the country for as long as you want, and your visa never expires.

    In addition to the ability to take a job or own a business, the retirement program also allows for the duty-free importation of up to $7,000 worth of household belongings, an exemption from airport travel taxes and other similar tax discounts and incentives. Further, you can leave the country and return any time you like without having to re-apply for residency.

    Four types of special resident retiree visas are offered, starting with the SRRV smile program that allows you to remain in the Philippines for as long as you want provided you deposit $20,000 in a Philippine bank and keep it there for the duration of your stay. This visa is available to anyone who is 35 or older. There is no minimum income requirement.

    You qualify for the SRRV classic visa program by depositing $50,000 in a Philippine bank or purchasing a condominium costing $50,000 or more if you are between ages 35 and 49. If you are age 50 or older, you need invest only $10,000, provided you have an individual pension of at least $800 per month. A couple must be able to show pension income of at least $1,000 per month.

    Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group.

    • lv on September 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thailand has a little better infrastructure than the Philippines but the advantages of living in the Philippines are: almost all Filipinos speak or at least understand English and the Philippines is now cheaper than Thailand in a lot things. Regardless, both countries are beautiful. Thailand is one of my favorite places but it is too bad that it is becoming more and more expensive. Soon it will be in the ranks of one of the most expensive countries in Asia such as Singapore, Hongkong, and others.

  • lv on September 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Drug traffickers arrested in Tagudin 

    P6.5-M shabu seized in Ilocos raid
    By Vic Alhambra (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 28, 2014 – 12:00am

    Drug suspects Genaro Talino and Antonio Ugay wait at the PDEA headquarters in San Fernando City, La Union following their arrest Friday. VIC ALHAMBRA JR.

    SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Philippines – At least 650 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of P6.5 million were seized in a sting that also resulted in the arrest of two suspected drug traffickers in Tagudin town, Ilocos Sur Friday.

    Genaro Talino, 70, and his nephew, Antonio Ugay, 37, were arrested at their house in Barangay Bekkes by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

    The arresting team momentarily brought Talino to a hospital on their way to Camp Diego Silang here due to hypertension.

    PDEA regional director Adrian Alvarino said the P6.5 million worth of shabu was their biggest catch so far in the area.

    Seized from the suspects were seven plastic bags and 21 plastic sachets reportedly containing shabu, drug paraphernalia, an M-16 rifle, bullets and bank deposit slips.

    “The suspects supply shabu in La Union, Ilocos Norte and Sur and Baguio City. They get their supply, hand-carried from the National Capital Region,” Alvarino said.

    Talino denied owning the drugs. He said it belonged to his brother in-law, whom he identified as Carlo. – Raymund Catindig, Artemio Dumlao

    • concerned citizen on September 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! P6.5 million worth of illegal drugs. Isu met la nga adu iti addik ditoy ili tayo. Pangaasi yo koma apo ta iyadayo yo dagita nga druga ditoy ili tayo ta adu iti madadael nga kailian tayo ken madadael met ti image ti ili tayo.

    • Johnny Cross on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Are these people real Tagudinians? They surnames seems to indicate no. It could be that they are just temporary residence taking advantage of the sleepy and squeaky clean image of Tagudin. They should be put to jail for life to send a message that Tagudin is no haven for Drug dealers and users.

  • lv on September 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Vigan for The New Seven Wonder Cities Of The World 

    Vote for Vigan

    Image Source: Wikipedia.org

    Vigan is the only city to represent the Philippines in this competition for the New Seven Wonder Cities Of The World.

    Please vote for our provincial capital city for the New Seven Wonder Cities Of The World. Its inclusion could increase the much needed tourism to our province and to the region and also to our country.

    The deadline is October 7, 2014.

    http://www.new7wonders.com.en/cities and vote for Vigan on or before 7 October 2014.

    text Vigan and send to 29290777 on all OFW SIM / Philippines SIM cards
    text Vigan10 and send to 29290777 on all OFW SIM / Philippines SIM cards

    Call votes
    Dial any of the following international numbers for overseas telephone voting, and then press 21 to vote for Vigan:
    +881821611990 +881921611990 +8821622774600
    +8821622776600 +88216101688 +34902735471
    +447589975201 +447559121023 +447559583500

    • lv on September 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I wish the City of Vigan would expand the cobblestone street beyond Calle Crisologo. The adjoining streets could be good candidates for the cobblestone since there are just as much old Spanish houses in the adjoining areas. This also would make the tourist belt bigger. To make more impact in regards to tourism, I think all old Spanish houses in the entire city of Vigan should be preserved. Perhaps they could also make a city policy that all new buildings must adhere to Vigan’s Spanish architecture especially commercial buildings.

  • lv on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Jose "Paquito" Buenavista of Northern California, RIP 

    Our deepest sympathy to the Buenavista Family of Northern California and Farola, Tagudin.
    Manong Jose was the brother of Deacon Tom Buenavista, The Vice President of SASAi.

    Eternal rest grant unto the soul of Jose “Paquito” Buenavista, O Lord, and let perpetual line shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

    Sept. 12, 2014 – Friday
    4 PM to 9 PM
    6 PM to 9 PM – Vigil
    Cypress Lawn Funeral Home
    !370 El Camino Real
    Colma, California, 94014

    Sept. 13, 2014 – Saturday
    Cypress Lawn Memorial Park
    1370 El Camino Real
    Colma, California, 94014

    From the Community Blog/Message Board

    • Seaside Park of Dardarat on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Our sincere condolences to the Buenavista Family.

    • From the family of the late Nelly and Selmo Valdez on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Our deepest condolences to the Buenavista Family.

      • Apolonio L. Villanueva III on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Heatfelt condolences to the Buenavista Family. Let perpetual light shine upon the soul of Paquito, O Lord. May he rest in peace.

    • Atty. Romeo J.Somera, Esq.CPA on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Our condolence to the Buernavista Family in the untimely demise of Paquito. He is now resting in peace.

  • lv on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    To All Visitors and Followers Of This Community Blog/Message Board 

    If you have anthing to post or share to the community, please feel free to post it here in this Community Blog/Message Board. You can post by clicking Post at the top of the page. Folks from Suyo, Sudipen, Santa Cruz, Bangar and all the neigboring towns of Tagudin are all welcome. This blog/mb is more than happy to host announcements, things for sale, articles,videos, pictures, etc. from anyone, organizations, groups, or schools out there. If you are not sure on how to post, you could email your message/media to the administrator. The Administraotr will be more than happy to post it for you.

    Thank you.

  • lv on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Tagudinian Assoc. of So. California Annual Picnic 2014, Mission Bay, San Diego 

    • lv on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for sharing the photos from the picnic TASC.

  • lv on September 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Manila Zoo 

    The Famous And The Most Popular Resident At Manila Zoo

    To see the rest of the photos, please click the Play button:

    One day sometime early this year when I didn’t have anything to do while I was in Manila, I thought it would be good to go check out one of the city of Manila’s tourist attractions. There are other places to see in Manila but I thought the zoo would be a good place for me to visit because I’ve always wondered how it looks now since the last time I’ve visited the place was when I was a little boy. I had passed by it many times but I never got a chance to go inside. There are actually a lot of interesting places to see in Manila. Someday, I want to explore every nook and cranny in this crowded city of several million people. Though it is chaotic, I still think the city is a lot more interesting than any of the other cities in Metro Manila. To me, it is still the soul and center of culture in the Philippines and I also feel at home in Manila. Manila is the capital of the Philippines but unfortunately it is no longer the beautiful city that it once was in the earlier part of this century. For many decades now, Manilenos (both government officials and the citizenry) just allowed the city to rot . As a result a lot of big businesses that used to be the bread and butter of the city moved to the neighboring cities of Makati and Quezon City. However, there is hope that things might get better. Urban Renewal was one of Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s promises when he was campaigning for the mayorship of Manila. Who knows Erap might fulfill his promise. If that happens, the people of Manila including myself would be forever grateful.

    For many decades, people have been going to Manila Zoo for picnics, field trips, or just to spend a day there since its opening in 1959. Filipino couples even go there to spend their dates. The Manila Zoo is the oldest zoo in Asia. Like anything else in the Philippines, the zoo also has its share of controversies however. Some people and groups particularly the group called PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) wants to shut down the place because they claim that the animals are not being taking care of properly. They said that the animals belong to the wild and therefore should be in the wild. One of their rallying cries is the popular resident of the zoo named Mali. Mali is the only elephant in the zoo and no doubt in the entire country of the Philippines. They have used this animal to gather support for their cause and I am sure for their other agendas as well. They even have successfully recruited celebrities (both international and local) as spokespersons for their cause so to pressure the local officials and zoo administration to transfer Mali to a retirement home for animals like her somewhere in another country such as Thailand and the United States. The group claims that the animal is lonely and her condition at the zoo is poor so they said that the elephant has to be transferred somewhere else but Mayor Erap firmly responded “over my dead body” to them. Erap said Mali belongs to the people and the country and most especially to the city of Manila.

    These animal rights groups have good intention for the animal but I think it could also be disastrous for Mali if she is moved to another country for she could die while on transient due to her age and other factors. For this kind of animal her age, she is an aging senior citizen. She has reached the peak of her life. Also, adjusting to another environment might do her bad than good since she is so used to being alone. Her life at the Manila Zoo is the only world she has ever known, and she seems to be happy with her company at the zoo which is basically her care takers and the zoo visitors who are also her admirers and friends.

    The first and last time I went to Manila Zoo was when I was a little boy when my aunt took me and my younger brother there during one of our summer vacations in Manila. We spent a day there and I remember having a great time. What I remember the most was the artificial lake with an island in the middle of the zoo. I am glad that the zoo administration kept the lake intact for it does help make the setting of the place look more natural rather than man made. I also remember that there were more animals then. I think they used to have giraffes but I did not see any giraffe this time.

    My impression of the zoo from my visit is that the animals are generally healthy and the premises are clean and well-kept. I also saw local and foreign tourists which could be a good thing for the zoo and the city of Manila. This year (2014), the zoo raised the entrance fee which I think is still minimal compared to the entrance fees in other similar places or establishments in the Metro. For non-Manila residents, entrance fee went up to P100 from P40, while for city residents, it went to P60 from P20. I actually don’t mind the raise so they can maintain the place better in order that the animals can live comfortably and healthy and the facilities could be improved for both the animals and the visiting public and perhaps so they can add more animal attractions.

    The current Manila administration has a plan to renovate the zoo to make it world class and at par with the Zoo in Singapore. I’ve read awhile back that the city of Manila is negotiating with an investor from Singapore for the zoo’s renovation and improvement but there is no news yet regarding the project.

    Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is located at Quirino Ave., Adriatico St., Malate, Manila (corner of Mabini St. and Harrison St.) and is very close to Harrison Plaza Mall. It opens from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. daily.

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