Caña + Sincero family 2017

This is the first grand reunion of Yuri and Purpleshadow’s family.  #Purpleshadow hosted the event.  Yuri and Purpleshadow are a part of a large family with more than one who has found great success!

Cost of living in the Philippines is mindanao safe

Viewer Stated the following:
“I sat through about 10 minutes of this video and didn’t learn a thing. In fact I’ve been in Philippines for 12 + years and except for the infrastructure being terrible and the internet also being terrible, she isn’t very accurate in much of what she says.

She said, “Mindanao is where all the terrorism happens.” That simply isn’t true. I was on a bus on Feb 14, 2005 that left from the same Manila terminal as a bus that left later in the day and was bombed. Add to the fact that this woman totally ignores the fact that 90% of the “Mindanao terrorism” occurs actually in minor islands groups called Sulu and Jolo, not the mainland of the main island of Mindanao, and she is hard to believe about anything she says. The Philippines is NOT “paradise” unless you are a tourist and only go to remote places where the tourist industry has not yet ruined them.

This place might be a “paradise” if you are an older white guy looking for short time girlfriends (ready to take ALL your money as quickly as they can). If you want to go hunting or fishing, forget it because the water is too polluted to support aquatic life and even if you could carry a gun, the only things to hunt would be cobras, pythons and the occasional monkey because they have killed every living thing here. Oh, almost forgot, you might be able to kill a water monitor lizard if you get in the right place.”

He said a LOT here, but we wanted for focus on his statement about Mindanao. He said, “Add to the fact that this woman totally ignores the fact that 90% of the ‘Mindanao terrorism’ occurs actually in minor islands groups called Sulu and Jolo, not the mainland of the main island of Mindanao, and she is hard to believe about anything she says.”

So we put together a few facts about Mindanao so that the view can make there own decision. While we do use Wikipedia as a reference , note that we also use government travel warnings from multiple countries. We also explain our own experiences.

Reference:

Kidapawan City  – http://www.philstar.com/nation/2016/04/01/1568321/farmer-dead-dozens-hurt-kidapawan-bloody-picket-dispersal

Recent kidnappings – how dangerous is Mindanao?

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/517315/indian-businessman-in-mindanao-kidnapped-on-third-attempt

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/741586/maguindanao-massacre-victims-kin-losing-hope

Travel Warning for Mindanao:

Backpacks banned in Kidapawan City

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/philippines-travel-warning.html

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/philippines

Other people telling to avoid the place:

https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-safety/southeast-asia/philippines/areas-to-avoid-in-the-philippines

8 things you should know about the Philippines

After living in a developed “first world” country (USA) and a developing “third world” country (Philippines),  I have realized a few things.  I have noticed that no matter where you go there will be things you love and things you hate.  No place on Earth is perfect.  But there are many things that are undeniably better in the the high-tech developed world than in the poor developing world.  There is much less crime in the developed world.  Honestly, most of the crimes in the Philippines are not even reported.  The mortality rate is much higher in the developing world.  More people die of basic ailments and accidents.  In the US, a person with a debilitating disease or disability can not only live a long life but even be extremely successful.  Poverty is in EVERY country but there is a difference between relative poverty (relative to others in your country) and absolute poverty (severe deprivation of food, sanitation, health, education and shelter).  The first world is 100x better.

The bottom line is you won’t realize how great your life is until you decide to live in a poor country.  Visiting for a vacation is a totally different thing than living there permanently.  Whenever tourists go to the Philippines they think it is amazing.  It is beautiful. It is an unforgettable experience.  It is so awesome that may decide to settle in our country.  If you live there, you see the good, the bad and the ugly.  You will notice the living conditions of the average citizen through the news, radio shows, your neighbors and your extended family.

I lived in the Philippines for 25 years before moving to the US and I can tell you what you need to know before you move the Philippines.

1 .  Food poisoning.  It actually happens a lot in the Philippines but it is just not considered a big deal.  Even when you eat in a decent restaurant you will experience it often.  After a while your body starts to adapt but you will still experience it at least once a year.  Foreigners new to the country experiences it way more often.

2.  Crowds everywhere. Philippines is very crowded.  Even in the provincial/rural areas it is still crowded.  The draw back of over crowding is more than just long lines.  More people means more crimes.  Make sure you watch your wallet in the cities.

3.  People always mind your business. This is one of the thing that I hate the most.  Even as a kid I noticed that all the neighbors would watch everything we did and would end up finding out personal things about us.  As an adult its no different.  When I was living with my sister the neighbors would analyze everything we did.  Asking questions that are none of their business and assuming things that may or may not be true. Even if we were outside working on the garden, people pass by staring.. and staring.  It is extremely uncomfortable.  This happens all the time.  They are very nosy. Whenever a filipina has any foreigner with her, people want to check them out.

4.  Discomfort. In the Philippines, having stable electricity and Internet connectivity are comforts that many do not have.  Something so basic in the first world don’t work nearly as well in the Philippines.  Whenever a typhoon comes, it may cut the electricity for 5 hours or a whole night.  It is unavoidable.  Internet connectivity practically disappear every time there is a heavy rain.  During a typhoon, Internet and cellphone signals are also affected.

5.  Calamities. Typhoons happen every year in the Philippines.  A typhoon can hit any part of the Philippines.  Those most affected by it are people who live on smaller islands and those in big the cities where there is no good drainage system.  There are also earthquake, floods and 18 active volcanoes.

6.  Crime. I have direct experience crimes happening in my own country.  Every country has crime, but you are more likely to experience it in densely populated areas where there is a high level of poverty.

7.  Utilities.  The cost of utilities (electric and gas) are higher in the Philippines than what we pay here in US.  When I was living with my sister, we had a small refrigerator, a manual washing machine, a small oven that we occasionally use for baking and a 1 small air conditioner for a room.   The cost was $150 month.  Our stove was powered by a gas tank.  In the US, our single-family, 3 bedroom house with basement has a central air conditioning unit, with 2 tvs, 5 laptops, a full sized electric stove that I use every night for cooking many lights on in the home due to 4+ people living in it, a washer and dryer. We are paying $150 during the winter and $190 in the summer.

8.  Poverty. In the Philippines you will see homeless children sleeping in the streets.  The street kids live off the scraps of random strangers.  But the homeless are not the only ones affected by the slow economy.  The average Filipino wage is barely enough to live on with the relatively high cost of living.

All of these things you should be considered before living in the Philippines.  If you don’t mind any of the items mentioned then you will have a great life in paradise.  Overall if you decide to live in another country, study the statistics of how many people leave their own country before you make your final move.

thai girls

Thai girls are amazing!  They look good, they smell good and they are probably the main reason that people even travel to thailand.  As discussed in a previous article about dating thai girls, many of my friends and coworkers traveled to Pattaya, Bangkok and Chang mai.  If you go to Thailand it is MANDATORY that you hook up with hot babes.

There is probably no better place to find a date in South East Asia than Thailand.  One of my co-workers traveled to Bangkok after a nasty divorce and found an amazing wife on the outskirts of the city.  They bought a house and had a healthy baby boy.  The only problem was that Thailand has so many other amazing “potential” wives that he could not stop finding “options”.  The last time I talked to him, he was still traveling there and hooking up with 2 or 3 women at once then going home to his Thai wife and kid when he was done.  According to him, it was ok because many Thai men have “options”.  I am not sure if that was true.  Needless to say he is not the most ethical guy I have ever met.  Many of the Thai women I have met have been the “jealous type”, so I don’t think his wife knew about his travels.   I am not condoning this type of behavior, I am just telling you what happened.

We met a beautiful French/Thai couple in Pattaya.  Physically very attractive by any standard.  They showed us the many clubs for possible hookups (and/or prostitutes) in Pattaya.  They were very nice to us and it was really a pleasure to have met them.

our friends from thailand

friends from thailand

Another group of guys I know are huge fans of Pattaya.  It is a little touristy and crowded for my tastes, but it’s really not bad for a vacation.  These guys would date several women in Pattaya.  Their routine was to find two or three per day!  And for a little money you could have more.  Is it dating if you have to pay?

If you are looking for something in the middle (not one night stands and only long term if things workout) then Thailand is still one of the best.  A friend of ours has dated a lawyer and a doctor in Bangkok!  There are many very successful women and men there to choose from.  The economy is one of the best in South East Asia.  Those with higher education tend to know English, French, Spanish or some other languages other than Thai.

Pattaya

Pattaya

Most of the thai people we met were amazingly nice people.  It’s very easy to find a date in Thailand no matter what you are looking for.  The biggest barrier seems to be language since most people don’t know any English.  This makes a long distance relationship almost impossible, so Thai ladies looking for a foreigner usually look for those that are already in Thailand.  Another thing is race.  Just like Filipino women, Thai people favor the nordic/European look.  Although many in South East Asia are obsessed with the European look, there are definitely exceptions, but not many.

Overall, I would say Thailand is a great place for anyone to find a mate.  The Thai people as a whole are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Cruise identification

*k1 visa Closed Loop Cruise*

During our 3 day cruise from Long Beach, California to Mexico, I was worried that they would not let me on the ship since I am not a US Citizen.  I am a citizen of the Philippines and my status in the US was that of a “nonimmigrant” in the process of getting a permanent residency card.  At the time I had been issued an I512 parole card.

We called Carnival Cruise customer service and they said they did not have an answer on whether or not I could go.  The next day another Carnival cruise representative called me and asked about the cruise.  His name was Emmanuel.  I was so thankful that he called me back saying that I can go on the cruise.  Our cruise was only 3 days and was a “closed loop”.  A closed loop means it is going back on the same port where it started.  I also presented my passport and my I512 parole card and I was able to go.

When I returned, border patrol needed to see the same documents to determine my status in the US.

I had been researching the identification needed before we left for the trip. I have read in the cbp https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1139/~/documents-needed-to-take-a-cruise of what kind of identification has to be taken.

We were surprised that my mother inlaw couldn’t go with us on the cruise. For us citizens, a government issued ID is good enough but in the carnival cruise case, they require a birth certificate as a form of travel document or a US passport. She was confident enough to bring only her State card. She did not bring her birth certificate and did not get a US passport. This is a huge lesson for us. To always be prepared especially if you are planning on travelling outside the US. Because even when it is just a neighboring country. Their rules can get pretty strict.

3 hotels connected

We went to Las Vegas Nevada to try our luck on the slots.  What we got to experience was overwhelming heat night and day.  Luckily, the hotels provide an Oasis in the middle of the desert.

Mandalay Bay, Luxor Hotel and Excalibur are all connected to each other so you can just walk inside the building for what feels like miles.  And it takes you to another hotel and casino.  It is such an amazing architecture.

DSC_0023During our stay in Las Vegas, we stayed at the Luxor Hotel.  It was beautiful.  Some of the rooms look kinda old (they have done some renovations 2015) but it is still nice.  They offered buffet on the ground floor, a casino on the main floor and entertainment on the upper floor.  They had shows like the Jabbawokeez performing almost every night, the Bodies exhibition, Show Girls, Lax club, some fancy restaurants and lots of shopping!  It was a great experience. What I really enjoyed the most is the hotel’s theme. Every hotel in Las Vegas has its own theme to attract people.

DSC_0036

We walked Luxor hotel to Mandalay Bay.  They also had buffets there and casino. Mandalay bay look modernized.  It looks newer than Luxor.  They have their own shows and attractions too.

Before you get to Mandalay Bay from Luxor you to get to the Excalibur Hotel.  It looks like a Disney palace.  It is great for kids. It looks more like the palace from the Cinderella movie.  We walked inside and they had a huge casino too.  There are activities there that kids can do during a family vacation.  These 3 hotels has a tramp that will take you to each.  It has a small station where you can ride from Mandalay to Excalibur. These hotels has resort fees of average $60.00 per night but you can find deals from $30 if you really look.

Las Vegas is a beautiful place. It is full of bright lights, entertainment and fun.

living in colorado springs

 

If you are thinking of living in Colorado Springs, Colorado then here are a few fun facts you should know:


Tons of hiking places.
People here are active and exercise often. The local government of Colorado Springs has also created tons of recreational parks for families and athletes to do their training or hiking. Bar trail is one of our favorites.  The manitou incline and the red rock canyon are also great.  Before you make a huge decision of relocating to Colorado Spring or or in any place around the United States, you should weigh the advantage and disadvantages of what you are about to do. Colorado is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my life. It is so rich in natural attractions. Living in Colorado Springs is so pleasant. People are kinda conservative but mostly mind their own business.living-in-colorado-springs

courtesy of haolam.info/

courtesy of haolam.info/

Expect  a higher crime rate on some areas. Colorado Springs is one of the largest city in Colorado so you can expect all the same conveniences and inconveniences of a medium sized city. There are a few places with higher crime rate because of its bigger and growing population. However, compared to some other parts of the US, the crime is pretty low.

courtesy of saddletreehomes.com

courtesy of saddletreehomes.com

The housing is another thing you have to check for.  I noticed the house prices are fluctuating a lot. It was continuously dropping on months of february-april 2015. Military workers were moving to other places and selling their properties. This place is a hot area of buying a house.  Any time of the year is ideal. You can also check it’s neighboring towns with a smaller population like Fountain. The interest rates are dropping drastically as people are moving in and out of the city.

courtesy of forbes.com

courtesy of forbes.com

There are jobs available in the area. There are 5 bases around town. Most of the jobs that will be available here are associated with the military.  There are also some companies operating in Colorado Springs but the overall population of people’s jobs here are working in the military.living-in-colorado-springs

Lower Tax is also attractive. Colorado Springs tax charge only 7.63 %. It is way lower comparing to other places like LA which is 16 %. I found out the price difference are HUGE between Coloradod and California as we were booking a hotel in in places like Hollywood and tickets for LA.

Colorado Springs has a variety of food and restaurants.  The variety is definitely not as good as some larger cities in other states.  For example, there is an Asian market really only one and it is a 20 minute drive from the place we live. I always look for the filipino store.  There is one in Colorado Springs, but it is pretty small.  For filipino stores are even fewer.  Generally, when it comes to food and restaurants, there are not much availability here.

Colorado Springs is a great place to raise a family.  There are many areas that are very peaceful and it is great if you love nature.

 

 

What are the best places to go in la

We recently visited Los Angeles, California.  L.A. is one of the hottest tourist destination in the world.  One of the first things we noticed was how many OTHER tourist were there when we tried to go to Griffith Observatory to get a picture of the Hollywood sign.  EVERYONE had the same idea.  There were people from China, India, Mexico, Europe and from many other states.  Since L.A. is so diverse you can really only speculate where they are from base on their language, car or just asking them.  It is not uncommon to mean a South Korean or Armenian for example who does not speak great English but is actually in the US as a permanent resident or even a US Citizen.

We had a checklist of things we wanted to see.  We ate at Korea town, we walked on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we checked out a few fancy restaurants, we took pictures of the Hollywood sign.

There were a couple of cool extras that were not on our list of things to do in L.A. that were really great!  Santee Alley and Roscoe Chicken and Waffle.

What to expect in LA?

Tourist traps – Expect an enormous crowd everyday in every la tourist spot.  If you don’t want to avoid the tourist spots, then go during off peak hours (before 8am).

Crazy Traffic – Be prepared for the heavy traffic and aggressive drivers.  If you are an inexperienced driver, you should just avoid driving if possible.  We drove around L.A., fought through the traffic, maneuvered through the ridiculous intersections and let me tell you.. it is exhausting if you are not used to it.

What are the most interesting places to see in los angeles?

Hollywood – The Hollywood sign was very cool to see.  It is such an iconic symbol that you almost have to check it out if you are in L.A.  Hollywood boulevard is also nice to see.  Wax museum is located there as well as other famous tourist spot. Another one that is worth seeing is the La Brea Tar pits.

It might also be worth your time to check out the lots where they actually make movies like Paramount Studios (http://www.paramountstudiotour.com/) or Warner Brothers (http://www.wbstudiotour.com/)

There is also Universal Studios to check out.

What is the best part of LA?

The best part of L.A. is actually in L.A.  It is a city about 30 minutes away in a city called Long Beach.  It has the classic feel that everyone thinks about when they think L.A. only if they are NOT FROM the real L.A.  It looks like Tampa.  It is very clean, rich looking area. It is very classy with lots of restaurants around.  It is also not as crowded as LA. The apartments there look beautiful.

What did I like the most?

Santee Alley – Oh my gosh, Santee Alley!  It has all the new styles.  I loved it. They have really nice lingeries there too.  They sell cheap, high quality knock off clothing, purses, and shoes. You can also bargain if you are not tired. L.A. is an international fashion hub.  Many new styles of clothing start there.  The place resonates cool and starts world wide trends by accident.  Beautiful people flock to L.A. trying to make it as actors, musicians and models…

What is the most disappointing attraction I had been?

Walk of Fame was really not what we expected for sure.  I felt terrible going there. We were expecting a gleaming sidewalks with facy shops lining the sides of the streets.  What you get is a huge crowd, with solicitors every 10 feet, and poor homeless living off random change from tourists.  The stars with the names of famous actors, directors and writers of hollywood are there, but I imagined much more.  I was sadly mistaken.

 

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