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21 days in the Philiippines

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21 days in the Philiippines

Postby starscream » Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:50 am

I'm approaching the end of my 21-day stay in the Philippines. The bar girls here are certainly plentiful and easy to get, but as for finding long term relationships, I think you have to live and work here and let relationships develop naturally over time. I stayed in Makati hotels most of the time and there were many bars around the City Gardens and the Oxford Suites hotels. Makati is safe to walk around at night but I heard that outside of Makati, even locals don't dare walk alone.

There are two large shopping areas that are close to the above mentioned hotels: "PowerPlant" and "Ayala/Glorietta/SM". The food in those malls are tasty and affordable. There are high end shops that I personally find too expensive and can't understand how they stay open since regular Philippinos should find them too expensive also. There must be 10 large malls in metro Manila. Does anyone know how the population can support so many malls? I thought the people here are supposed to be poor.

There are also many condos being built in Makati that I think are a good investment. I've seen studios for 60K USD, 2 bedroom condos for $250K USD... and so on. Does anyone have any advice on investing in property in the Philippines? I heard that there's a law that limits foreign ownership of a complex to 40% foreign and 60% Philippino. Some condo sales agents deny such a law exists. I'm concerned about bombings in the area. A few days before I arrived, there was an bomb or a gas leak that occurred in Glorietta Mall. And just two days ago, there was a bombing that killed some politicians.

I brought about 4K USD in cash and paid for hotels using credit card. I'll be leaving for China in a few days for the next leg of my trip and I may be running low on cash. Does anyone know what is the best way to get cash from a Bank Of America account in Manila or Beijing without having to pay for crazy bank fees?
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Postby Winston » Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:07 pm

I have B of A too and can't avoid the $5 fee for withdrawing cash. Maybe try your American Express card?

If you ever want to come to Angeles, let me know and I'll show you around and meet you.

The bars in Manila are super expensive. My friend lives near the bars in Makati on burgos st. and the only affordable one is a bar called Rogues. However, the girls in those bars are 9's and 10's. Even my super picky friends were impressed by the girls in the Burgos St. bars.

Good luck in China. Lots of beauties there too, I hear. Ask Tom on this board for advice since he's been there.
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Postby momopi » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:55 am

I'm not an expert on PH and have only visited Manila once. So take it as amateur's comments.

From observation, Makati is the financial hub of the country, where the $ is. Thus, you'll see more high end shops, and yes they're profitable, otherwise they'd have went under already.

Due to the rising peso vs. dollar, buying real estate in PH is now more expensive for us. I had looked into it couple years ago but hesitated, now kicking myself in the rear for not jumping in early. But don't worry, the dollar will rebound after election, I think?

The safest company to buy real estate from in Makati (that I know of) is Ayala, they also do property management at cost of 1/12th rent. So you could buy a condo for them and have them manage it for you.

As non-citizen, you can own condos but not land. Investing in developing countries carry risk, but as they say, no risk no gain.
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condos

Postby starscream » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:55 am

Lets say that I do want to buy a condo in Manila or Beijing, what is the best way of moving a large sum of money from an US bank account to the foreign country?
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Re: condos

Postby momopi » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:16 pm

starscream wrote:Lets say that I do want to buy a condo in Manila or Beijing, what is the best way of moving a large sum of money from an US bank account to the foreign country?


Try talking to a bank that has branches in both US and the destination country. Check with HSBC -- even if they don't have an US branch near you, you can still open an account online and transfer funds electronically.
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