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(Reluctant) notes on my Davao and Medellin stays

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(Reluctant) notes on my Davao and Medellin stays

Postby publicduende » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:38 pm

pete98146 wrote:Publicduende......would love to see a lengthy post about Medellin! How do you like it?


Hi Pete, I am quite reluctant to do it because by now it's crystal clear to me, and perhaps many others, that any trip report that goes beyond the tritest and most boring stats, such as the price of a restaurant or a taxi home and the kind of fashion preferred by young women in downtown bars, is bound to express nothing else than a particular member's view of a particular number of locations at a particular point in time. Nothing wrong with a trip report of this kind: it can be interesting, evocative, entertaining, but far from being "informative" (in the purest information theory sense - a specific event giving a highly uncertain outcome carries very little information).

TwoBrains and I were in Davao at the same time this last December. TwoBrains didn't like Davao much, I absolutely loved it. On any one of those days, Davao had exactly the same amenities functioning, the same bars open, the same girls strolling the streets or logging into a dating site. Yet, I guess there are more people here ready to shrug their shoulders and debate on Davao being such an impenetrable mystery of a city, than acknowledge the simple truth that I am not TwoBrains and TwoBrains is not me. Every one of us has completely different backgrounds, personalities, qualities, expectations and prejudices, which makes it all too obvious that Davao is literally a different thing for each and every one of us, especially in the delicate field of human (and emotional/sexual) relationships with another bunch of real people, the Pinays.

I remember a seldom-posting member, Will N Dowd, making quite a splash a few months ago, with his uber-juicy account of his two weeks in the Philippines, in Davao if I don't go wrong. I do remember he went on making an impressive list of the girls he approached, or was approached by, complete with grades. There was no doubt he had the time of Riley there, and his account was charged enough to re-ignite the idea of Davao as a dating paradise, where every foreigner is welcomed by three young women ready to mingle and every trotting jeepney is ripe with exotic beauties ready to flirt with the only white Caucasian on board. It probably lasted until the next trip report came out and put the same city, the same people, places and nightlife into a wildly different perspective. Standing by Pavlov's law, it would appear that the latest trip report being published is the truth. Even if we wanted to average out and take a summary result, we will still have a poor outcome as we cannot choose the statistical sample of people visiting and reporting back. For that one to work, we should be sending to Davao as many 38-years old studs like Will N Dowd as happy-go-lucky married Italians like me, as divorcees with beer belly and post-mid-life crisis...you get me.

So...to each his own.

Medellin for me is a great Lat Am metropolis that is getting better by the year. Every year it seems to develop its own identity and, as a corollary, need less and less to borrow from the stereotypes of other southern US and latin american cities. My wife Monica hadn't been here for 3.5 years and she could feel the stark difference in urban development: more shiny new shopping malls, more spotless and classy bars, more exotic restaurants (especially Chinese and Japanese), a new bus-based transport system (still a bit work in progress, if you ask me). Even though I had no ground to make comparison, Monica reckons the girls are better dressed, younger (on average) and even better looking. She put the latter down to a bunch of new surgical and semi-surgical procedure to round bums, smoothen skin and taper limbs that have apparently hit the clinics in the last few years, and became affordable to a larger number of young professional women.

I have given this site http://www.pegateya.com/ciudad/medellin/index.php a huge number of times already. Just browse through the hundreds of photos of Medellin venues and their audience: those are the real people crowding Luxury, Karma, Spazio44, the fincas and the fondas. Nobody is fooling you there. How those girls behave with foreigners like me or you guys, it's a different ball game. I am having a great time, as I have talked, chit-chatted, with some raunchy or sensual overtones in some cases, with more than 30 young women in a few days of partying. Yet I wouldn't put that down to anything else than being thrusted not only into Monica's old social circle - her ex colleagues, high school and uni classmates - but also that of her cousins, with ages ranging from 18 to 35. The key thing I can conclude is: ensure you have a trusted friend or friends who can quickly introduce you to their female friends of acquaintances - it can only be downhill from there.

Another thing I couldn't help noticing is that, as I said before, the specimen of young gringo waving the dollar just won't cut anymore with the Medellin girls, and not even with the boys for that matter. Talking their talk and dancing their dances, coming across as seriously interested in blending into the local cultural colours is far more important than nationality, mother tongue, age (up to a certain limit, obviously) and ethnicity. I did observe the few foreigners I could see enjoying some success in approaching and flirting with multiple girls in a venue. They were generally young (no older than, say, 35), very decent looking and, despite the noise, I could hear them speaking fluent Spanish (perhaps they were all Argentinian or Spanish who knows!). I believe they were the kind of young men who wouldn't have problems dating anywhere else in the world. If it can be of relief, in this particular sample I didn't notice any sign of those overcomplicated PUA methods. Just normal to decent men buzzing around decent to hot young ladies.

How would I have fared if Monica and her platoon of cousins hadn't put me in the heart of their social situations, each and every night, and what would I have done if I hadn't always been in the sweet company of Monica (herself quite the hottie)? I have no clue, and I am in no position to give advice on a situation I simply wasn't in. The only thing I can imagine is that, being with my wife hence patently unable to flirt or by flirted on, took away all of the sexual tension and probably allowed me to enjoy the different conversations more naturally, without fear of being misunderstood or penalised. It also helped that, probably thanks to an extra aguardiente or two, some of the girls seemed happy to entertain topics strongly going into the raunchy or sensually/sexually charged. One of Monica's cousins told me her favourite position when she has anal sex with her hubby, I had a round of answers to the "what's the colour of your underwear right now" (with ensuing raunchiness about who wasn't wearing any underwear at all), and so on. Just plain light-hearted fun, the Colombian way.

As you can see, I have tried conveying some impressions on my experience of Medellin, very positive indeed, and yet completely tuned on my personal situation: married but perky, dragged around by my wife and her young family members, and overwhelmed by people, either gender and all ages, keen to know me, embrace me, chat with me, whether out of genuine interest, curiosity or even simple politeness.

I have written quite a lot, and yet I feel I have added absolutely nothing to HA's "collective consciousness". Oh well, at least I can hope to have been entertaining :)
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Postby Twobrains » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:32 pm

You certainly have been entertaining, and insightful - great trip report! Not because it adds much to the wealth of knowledge and impressions about Medellin that one might read on RooshVforum, for example (where contradictory opinions about the place abound), but because of the caveats, particularity, honesty and fine writing. So many people would have gone there and said "Hey dudes, the bitches were so hot - I could've smashed a ton of them if it hadn't been for my cow of a wife getting in the way". You gave us something infinitely more nuanced and educational: your truth - thanks!
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Postby E_Irizarry » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:53 pm

Well that "could have-should have-would have" is too inert for me. Any object can have no momentum with zero kinetic energy. Potential energy is the possibility of socializing and building contacts of both genders; kinetic is putting that in momentum - in motion of course.

PublicDuende's synopsis was spot-on. It wasn't inundated with numeric specifics, but nevertheless, it would have benefit most members whom want the non-pejorative version of such a place they may find interest in.

I, for one, wouldn't have been able to give such an meticulous explanation. I think with my lower head a lot as a neanderthal. I'm a satanist in that regard; I make no apologies for it.

When I was in Davao City/Samal, I had a film uploaded to XTube of doing a MILF cougar from Samal and of a young fresh BBW from the other side of Davao City. I made Winnie envious of me for awhile. LMAO #dead j/k

In any event, cold approaching works in androphile countries. (not ANGLOPHILE but ANDROPHILE).
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Postby pete98146 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:03 pm

Thanks Publicduende. Yes I've heard the same thing about Medellin. Girls may be difficult to meet until you can find a way to break into their little groups. Still sounds like a cool place tho.
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Re: (Reluctant) notes on my Davao and Medellin stays

Postby Teal Lantern » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:57 pm

publicduende wrote:
pete98146 wrote:Publicduende......would love to see a lengthy post about Medellin! How do you like it?


I have written quite a lot, and yet I feel I have added absolutely nothing to HA's "collective consciousness". Oh well, at least I can hope to have been entertaining :)


Did I miss the part about the properties market and general business climate?
не поглеждай назад. 8)

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Re: (Reluctant) notes on my Davao and Medellin stays

Postby publicduende » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:03 pm

Teal Lantern wrote:
publicduende wrote:
pete98146 wrote:Publicduende......would love to see a lengthy post about Medellin! How do you like it?


I have written quite a lot, and yet I feel I have added absolutely nothing to HA's "collective consciousness". Oh well, at least I can hope to have been entertaining :)


Did I miss the part about the properties market and general business climate?


Sorry I didn't extend my improvised report to include those aspects. Medellin has a healthy property market, and as many know foreigners can freely buy land and properties. This is a useful source of information: http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Latin-America/colombia/Buying-Guide The best property website (my opinion) is: http://www.vivareal.com.co/

Would I buy a property in Colombia? If I hadn't had very little savings left for a deposit (I just finished to pay off my house in Cambridge) I would definitely think about it. Property is actually cheaper in the Philippines (Davao) though, and the Philippines have been growing even faster than Colombia for the past couple of years. So, food for thought...

As for the business climate/culture, Medellin is definitely the business capital of Colombia. Most large companies excluding oil and gas, including the famous Sindicato Antioqueno (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupo_Empresarial_Antioque%C3%B1o), are based in Medellin. I did some homework last yearabout the idea of setting up a business in Colombia. This site is the main gateway http://www.investincolombia.com.co/. What I found out is that, although Colombia is a business friendly country, most of the benefits for foreign investments are available on large investments (> $10 mio). This tends to work well for large industrial groups who want to manufacture in Colombia or set up a service centre employing hundreds of people. I haven't found particular benefits for small companies or sole proprietorships. This doesn't mean it's not possible to set up a successful business in Colombia...
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Postby eurobrat » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:28 am

...
Last edited by eurobrat on Sat May 25, 2013 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (Reluctant) notes on my Davao and Medellin stays

Postby Teal Lantern » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:01 am

publicduende wrote:
Teal Lantern wrote:
publicduende wrote:
pete98146 wrote:Publicduende......would love to see a lengthy post about Medellin! How do you like it?


I have written quite a lot, and yet I feel I have added absolutely nothing to HA's "collective consciousness". Oh well, at least I can hope to have been entertaining :)


Did I miss the part about the properties market and general business climate?


Sorry I didn't extend my improvised report to include those aspects. Medellin has a healthy property market, and as many know foreigners can freely buy land and properties. This is a useful source of information: http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Latin-America/colombia/Buying-Guide The best property website (my opinion) is: http://www.vivareal.com.co/

Would I buy a property in Colombia? If I hadn't had very little savings left for a deposit (I just finished to pay off my house in Cambridge) I would definitely think about it. Property is actually cheaper in the Philippines (Davao) though, and the Philippines have been growing even faster than Colombia for the past couple of years. So, food for thought...

As for the business climate/culture, Medellin is definitely the business capital of Colombia. Most large companies excluding oil and gas, including the famous Sindicato Antioqueno (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupo_Empresarial_Antioque%C3%B1o), are based in Medellin. I did some homework last yearabout the idea of setting up a business in Colombia. This site is the main gateway http://www.investincolombia.com.co/. What I found out is that, although Colombia is a business friendly country, most of the benefits for foreign investments are available on large investments (> $10 mio). This tends to work well for large industrial groups who want to manufacture in Colombia or set up a service centre employing hundreds of people. I haven't found particular benefits for small companies or sole proprietorships. This doesn't mean it's not possible to set up a successful business in Colombia...


Thanks, PD.
Yeah, there are a few of us wanting to know something besides where the perkiest tetas can be found. 8)
(not that there's anything wrong with that)
не поглеждай назад. 8)

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Re: (Reluctant) notes on my Davao and Medellin stays

Postby publicduende » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:56 am

Teal Lantern wrote:Thanks, PD.
Yeah, there are a few of us wanting to know something besides where the perkiest tetas can be found. 8)
(not that there's anything wrong with that)


No problem, TL :) Sorry I couldn't be more detailed about business opportunities there. I studied the opportunity to move and work there only from my very specialised perspective. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am used to large and complex projects in the investment banking and fund management spaces (risk, analytics, trading, e-commerce, reporting, market data etc.), so my expectations are quite high.

This is not to say Medellin doesn't sport a few software development industry gem. Take PSL for example (http://www.psl.com.co/), which (rightly) boasts to have been the first company in the Latin America and the first in the Spanish speaking world to have achieved the CMM 5 level for its software engineering processes. That means they have enough reputation to have the majority of their clientele in the US, and sometimes Brazil and Mexico. I guess this company is an excellent starting point for a young US software developer who might want to leverage his most precious skills, rather than earning mediocre wages teaching English to kids.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzThVsD8ukU[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULfmkgkyEp8[/youtube]

Another big star is Intergrupo (http://www.intergrupo.com/). They're even bigger than PSL, although not only focussed on software development but also IT and business process outsourcing. This is a company for a more junior IT guy, I guess.
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Postby Jacaré » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:41 am

Very honest and down to earth post public duende. You just nailed it in a very eloquent manner as to the same location being experienced differenty by 2 different people based on a host of factors: the person's age, looks, style, budget, linguistic skills of the visited place and last but definitely not least, having an already established social network of local friends to be plugged into right away.

I've been eying to go to Colombia for a while and I may do that this year. I'm also very intrigued by Davao since everyone people are only lauding it. It's widely believed to be the cleanest, safest city in the Phils but also the city with the best quality of living in the Phils with the least amount of beggers. Plus it's believed to be cheaper than both Manila and Cebu and the people are quiete friendly and curious about westerners (about the decent westerner, not the sleezy backpacker or the sex tourist).

Btw, would love to read more about your experiences in Davao if you don't mind. Thanks again for a very honest and refreshingly down to earth post public duende.

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Postby Twobrains » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:02 pm

Jacare, you asked for more information about Davao. I'm sure PD will be along with more about his experiences a bit later, but I'm sure he won't mind if I chip in. One small advantage I have over PD is that he just went to Davao (and Samal), whereas I visited Cebu, Angeles and Manila in addition, albeit briefly, so I have some points of comparison.

Certainly Davao felt the safest place I went to. And the cleanest, though everything is relative - there is still plenty of rubbish on the streets, unfinished infrastructure and buildings and a general feeling of uncompletedness. If you've been to the less salubrious parts of Mexico, it's like that, only much more so. There's no getting away from it - it's generally a poor country and many people are desperately trying to scrape a living. Even Davao has beggars, who had no hesitation in approaching me, but there are less homeless than I saw in Cebu and Manila. There are evidently plenty of well-off people too, with late-model cars vying for road space with dozens of jeepnies and quite a few small motorcycles. Some of the malls such as Abreeza are right up there with anything you could find in the first world and the bars and eateries on Torres Street, for example, look modern and clean.

Davao has very few high-rise buildings and is very spread-out. The airport is a good 25 minute taxi ride from downtown. My lack of easy transport contributed to my seeing a lot less of the city than I imagine PD did. I was mostly on foot, in the downtown area (rather dirty and with a noticeable concentration of pawn shops - I mean dozens - which must speak of the financial predicament of many of the locals), in Rivera Village (a quiet, almost gated-community feel) and in the malls such as Abreeza and Gaisano (crowded with students and schoolies due to the large number of colleges in the vicinity). I also went to Chinatown - not many Chinese around, but plenty of their cheap goods for sale - and spent time in a couple of parks. One, People's Park, was very restful but the other, Magsaysay, was much less so. But I never felt threatened; there are areas in almost every major city in England where I would feel in far more danger. I was self-conscious about using my good camera - more due to not wanting to flaunt my relative wealth than any fear that it might be snatched - and I used my smartphone camera more. Incidentally, I priced my camera in a mall in Manila and it costs twice as much there as from Amazon in the UK.

I didn't see many western tourists walking around Davao, and I was evidently an object of curiosity for many locals. The attention from not a few young ladies was flattering and had I been bolder I may have got a few numbers and, possibly, dates. As it was, I stuck with finding girls via internet dating. That was easy enough but the girls were often unreliable, though nowhere near as bad as in Cebu and Manila.

To give you a (rough and incomplete) indication of incomes and living costs, one girl I met was 25 and had been training to be a nurse until she ran out of money for tuition fees. She now works long hours in a mall for 300Php a day. Another girl worked for even less than that, but her rent in a crappy boarding house is only 1000Php per month. Although that sounds cheap, many other goods and services are not - in fact they are often on a par with cheaper western countries. I think petrol was about 42Php a litre (half what it is in England, so cheap for us but expensive if you only earn 300Php a day!). The malls are just as expensive as those in the west. A hot chocolate at Bo's Coffee will set you back 110Php. Shoes and clothing there are equivalent to what we would pay, though of course you can go to much cheaper street stalls and pay a fraction of that for clothes. The Philippines is the only country where I have seen many shops selling only second-hand, very used shoes. A bottle of Tanduay Ice (an alco-pop) in a supermarket is 21Php, and in a bar anything from 50 to 100Php. A bottle of beer at a bar goes for 50 to 120Php.

The mayor of Davao has apparently taken many initiatives to clean the place up. There is a smoking ban in every public building and it is observed - I think it may even be illegal to smoke on the streets. There is no in-your-face p4p scene like you will find in Cebu or Angeles. I didn't go out much late at night but I got the impression that the city is not exactly hoppin'.

Overall, Davao is ok, and Samal island has some fantastic beach resorts, but I was happy to move on after 8 days. For me, there's not enough to do unless you hit lucky and strike up a relationship with some locals who have the time and resources to entertain you.

Just my 2 pesos.
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Postby eurobrat » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:28 pm

....
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Postby Twobrains » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:19 pm

eurobrat wrote:Just curious two brains which country are you from so that I know what you are comparing it to.


I'm from the UK. £1 is about 65Php and $1 is about 40Php.

Here are a couple of photos of Davao:

Image

Image
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Postby xiongmao » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:53 pm

Nice photos. The photo of the street looks a bit like a Japanese coastal town, what with the traffic, power cables everywhere and little stores.

The second looks like a tropical paradise in need of a luxury hotel or two!

As far as wages go, yeah Asian ladies often have sucky wages. On the other hand many companies give bed and/or meals so if a lady is living at home then she might not need to spend much.

My first Chinese gf earnt about $8 a day for office work in the middle of China. Round the coast office ladies tend to earn around $500 a month. Our chambermaid in the Shanghai hotel we stayed earnt absolute peanuts, I don't know how anyone could live in Shanghai on what she was earning.
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Postby eurobrat » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:59 pm

...
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