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Mguy's Manila Price List

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby mguy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:49 am

Philippines is a death by a thousand cuts kind of place. I've been buying pearl drinks at the mall for around P70 $2.

They price it so low but then you get addicted to the sugar. Then there's always something new to try. At first it doesn't seem much, but added up over time -- it wreaks havoc.

I call it "Filipino Swarm Intelligence" -- the need of Filipinos to keep trying new places and offerings. Once something pops (ie. coco juice + butter extract fruit shake served in a cute cup) then the swarm will keep swarming and everyone will have the need to try it. This positive reinforcement booms businesses quickly.

I said the above, cuz most flips buy shit they don't need. Fck japanese pancakes, fck belgian waffles, fck fruit juice with 10 million different variation, fck shawarma, and fck that new fast food down the street that "tony" said is good.
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

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Postby Mr S » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:46 pm

Rock wrote:Mguy, Lad and other Philippines insiders. I have an important question for you - HOW DO YOU GET FAST RELIABLE INTERNET IN THIS COUNTRY???

So far, I've tried prepaid Globe packet Wifi, prepaid Smart packet Wifi, and postpaid SIM Globe packet Wifi. They all suck!!! Work halfway well like 30-40% of the time and even then you usually cannot watch vids.

Everywhere I go in this country, hotels, offices, etc. the Internet is down frequently and when it functions, it does so at dial-up speeds so often. I've never been anywhere save some countries in Africa where the damn Internet was so slow, unreliable, and frustrating. Even in Haiti it was better!

Is there a solution? Pay 10K Pesos a month for some sort of connected person inside account? PDLT fixed line (prefer free to roam wireless such as mobile wifi or packet wifi)? Some cable or satellite package?

I mean, how do people manage in Phils without fast Internet? There must be a way? What is it???


All the USB stick internet WIFI's are basically gimmicks, they don't provide the speeds that they advertise for the most part. Generally you will get speeds between 100-300kbps on average. You might get more if you're in a better location or right next to a tower, but generally they are only for basic internet usage, not to watch videos or download higher sized sites/files. It's best to get different ones to use in different areas as they will have better signal depending on ones location.

Post paid DSL is probably one's best bet in regards to obtaining a semi-reliable internet connection, but the speed will not be advertised and usually will only be half whatever one signed up for. The 2mbps is probably the most reasonable right now price wise, one can go higher but your basically paying more for a service you probably won't get. Location will also determine how fast your speeds are and how decent the telephone cables are in your area. My area is mediocre to good, usually slows down on the weekends. Nighttime the speeds are decent as most people are sleeping. I live near or around major gated communities so the residents demand decent services and infrastructure. Condos and business buildings in the major cities should have access to decent internet quality usually, it's the outlining areas of cities or smaller towns that may not have good quality.

There is a current push to get people on Broadband or limited internet with a cutoff point at a certain usage amount, then one has to pay outrageous overage fees. I wouldn't transfer unless one doesn't use the internet much for watching video or downloading bittorrent files. I'll keep using DSL unlimited until I'm forced to go off it. I don't see that happening anytime soon but it may happen in years to come.

Usually public WIFI is lousy since everyone else is using it so speeds are generally slow. I've never run into any place anywhere that would be faster than using one of the USB internet sticks. I've had the best luck with SUN internet stick traveling, SMART and GLOBE internet seem to have spotty coverage in many places.

The lousy Internet infrastructure in Philippines in comparison to neighboring Asian countries is one of the main gripes that international businesses claim prevents them from investing in PI so they end up considering other neighboring countries. The Philippines needs to get it's act together by upgrading it's cable data infrastructure instead of building Condos and new malls everywhere while basic infrastructure languishes. Hopefully ASIAN integration will force the issue later this decade.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Postby mguy » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:17 pm

The USB sticks sucks much I'm learning. Fcking fck fkc. Good thing I only got the pre-paid. There is big push for LTE technology which is a 4G standard. If you must get internet go for land based technology like PLDTs myDSL that runs on copper or the fiber PLDT fibr.

Here is the Fibr Prices

Php - 3,500 approx $90
gets you 8mpbs running on fiber, a landline, and cable (with HD)

The higher you pay the better speeds you get up to 100mbps.

I really don't have a need for all that so I'm more into the MyDSL. According to people the only thing that sucks with DSL is that when the system is down, the system is DOWN. So when there is a hurricane and infrastructure is messed up, then your service is affected and it takes awhile to get it back.
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

Like to read?Third World Hero
Like to see?3WorldHero -- Did he really just do that?

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Postby mguy » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:19 pm

Yoga matt = $20

Wtf son. I would have paid $10 in the US for the same quality.

Exercise equipment is expensive, so bring as much as you can. A twenty pound free weight is also $30 which is more expensive than the USA.

Come to think of it, almost all dry goods are likely to be more expensive here.

--------------
oh yeah... a Mcdonalds meal is $3 even.
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

Like to read?Third World Hero
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Postby Mr S » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:37 am

mguy wrote:Yoga matt = $20

Wtf son. I would have paid $10 in the US for the same quality.

Exercise equipment is expensive, so bring as much as you can. A twenty pound free weight is also $30 which is more expensive than the USA.

Come to think of it, almost all dry goods are likely to be more expensive here.

--------------
oh yeah... a Mcdonalds meal is $3 even.


Gym etiquette is severely lacking in PI, I think this has to do with the more well off used to having others of the lower social strata clean up their messes all the time in various establishments. You'll find most dudes in the gym don't put the weights back and just leave them on the ground or bar, or if they do put them back they put them in the wrong place, especially the dumbbells, it's really annoying. Also one will notice a lot of the guys in the gym are gay or ego-inflated supposed muscle heads. If you are someone who prefers to workout close to closing time you'll find that once the gym empties the muscle heads will start goofing around and start undressing in the gym and posing in the mirrors and showing off, having pose-off's in the gym around until closing time. Another issue one might have is the whole fan vs. AC. The smaller gyms don't always want to run the AC or they may not even have AC and only fans so it can get hot as hell. It's good I guess if you really want to sweat your ass off but it can disturb ones concentration if your trying to go through a certain weight lifting routine. There are even A-hole guys that turn the fans off without asking permission making it like a total sauna, then when you turn them back on they turn them off again. There really aren't many women that join the smaller local gyms. If they do it's usually the out-of-shape ones that don't look too good or maybe they already have BF's or married. There are more quality women that join the higher end gyms but I think it's more of a social thing for them and to show off rather than actually do any quality exercising. There are exceptions to all this but these have been my experiences joining various gyms both low and high end in the Manila area. In regards to the gay thing, some aren't obvious and they will attempt to befriend you to size you up and see which side you play ball on. This can be a bit annoying to deal with all the time. I suggest acting really manish and not paying attention so much to how you look in the gym and how expensive or fashionable in regards to what kinda workout clothes you have. Smelling like bad sweat and rough looking face, body, hair helps to have them leave you alone. The downside of course is you look like shit to women too if your trying to scope out potential pootang.

The higher end gyms will be expensive such as Golds, Slimmers world and that other one that's typically in the malls (I forget it's name). I don't think they are worth the price since you can find smaller neighborhood gyms to be a lot cheaper. They may not have all of the fancy machines and cardio but they have enough for what one needs to build muscle and lose weight. The downfall are some of the negatives I mentioned in the first paragraph. If those kinds of things don't bother you then try a smaller gym that has decent equipment and see how you like it. Usually the smaller gyms allow one to join for only one monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually. This way you can try it out for a month and if you don't like it go to another one. The other pay options will save money over the long run, rather than the higher prices monthly plan.

I decided to stop going to gyms and I just bought home equipment to use. There are some Life Fitness exercise equipment stores in some of the more popular or higher end malls in Manila area. (they sell higher end international exercise equipment) I went ahead and bought various Lifeline cable resistance products which use resistance cables of body weight to build muscle. They work just as well as dumbbells and free weights if you have enough variety and different resistance cables to use for various exercises one might do. I also bought a chin-up bar that attaches to door frames, this way I can get proper back workouts as well. All this may set you back initially but you'll save money over the long run instead of wasting it on gym memberships. If you need the social interaction of gyms then stick with gyms, if you don't need the social interaction of outside motivation of going to the gym on a routine schedule an can do it at home then buy the following equipment and you'll get excellent results.

Jungle Gym XT (use it in conjunction with a door frame pull-up bar)
Door frame pull-up bar - can be bought at most exercise stores in PI malls.
TNT Fitness cables - buy different sets of cable resistance as well. I usually buy 2 of one number than one of another to mix things up. I have 3-30's (comes with TNT) 1-40, 2-50's, 1-60, 2 70's, 1-80. I may buy 1 90, 100 down the road but they are really hard to stretch so once you get to the 70/80 mark better to maybe buy 3 of those depending on how strong one is. You can do various Dumbbell or straight bar exercises using this.
Pullup Revolution - this will do wonders with helping one do pull-ups and at different angles to burn out.
Power Pushup - Really good to increase you pushup strength and sculpt your pecs, kinda like doing benchpress with weights but your using cables. It's hard, trust me.
I bought an easyshaper bar at one of the exercise stores/ True Value which is normally sold to women and then I use that to do resistance cable squats with the TNT Fitness cables. You can do really heavy resistance without worrying about killing your lower back or whatever.

So if you live in PI long term or like to stay in shape while traveling the Lifeline products are perfect to use for staying in shape. The only thing one might not be able to do good are pull-ups unless you can get access to a straight bar somewhere like a park or something. You may drop around 10k pesos all together for the above equipment but it will save you money in the long run plus you won't get as many injuries if you are prone to that working with traditional weights.

I bought an average cost/quality elliptical trainer from one of the exercise stores for around 10k, which i use to for cardio time to time. That was a few years ago so I think the price is probably higher now. You don't really need to get one if you like running outside or walking a lot. I don't always have time to go out and walk unless I'm commuting so I prefer to just do this at home.

All in all I now prefer working out at home since I can pretty much do everything plus I don't have to worry about dealing with opening/closing times, idiot patrons and travel time going there/coming back. I'm not really someone that gets off on social attention and chit-chat in the gym, having to maneuver around those who do. Thus, exercising at home works for me.

BTW, for those who can't travel enough to buy cheaper supplements overseas there are some better priced stores in Makati Cinema Square. They are a little cheaper than buying supplements in the exercise or health stores in the malls. One is at a Kiosk on the lower level and another is on the 2nd floor from ground level. One tends to have cheaper energy and vitamins and the other has cheaper Whey protein and more variety. You gotta look at both rather than buying all you need at either one. Mix, match and compare $$'s. (they are still way overprices in comparison to Western prices but it's the best you'll do in PI)
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Postby Mr S » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:00 am

The ultimate nourishing cheapskate food in PI that provides all nutrients and tastes good is to buy Tuna Paella in a can. It will cost between 30-35 pesos depending where you buy it at. I hate eating at the overpriced low-quality fast food places in PI as well as the excessively priced higher quality restaurants. There are not many middle quality/price places to eat so I don't even bother eating out anymore and wasting my time and money. If you are not a foodie just go to the supermarket or store when you're hungry and buy a couple of cans of Tuna Paella. It's sticky rice, tuna, veggies and sauce. I carry around a travel fork/spoon. Usually 2 cans fills me up. Actually I could eat just one with maybe some side chips, nuts or fruit and be filled up as well.

Overall it will save one money, you won't get food poisoning and you don't have to waste money eating low quality food. I also hate waiting around for my food too so I'd rather just eat something fast and head out than have to worry about wasting time going someplace to eat, sitting around while it's cooking, then eating. (sometimes also you have to wait around a while for the bill and change)

Eating decent quality canned food is a better option for me when in PI or traveling

I also like eating canned sardines. You can buy smaller ones with flip-open lid or in glass jars. They are just protein though so you may have to buy some carbs on the side if you need that with your meals.

So this is the best option for cheap charlies on the go who don't care about how food looks and being in a restaurant atmosphere.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Postby mguy » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:59 am

Mr. S,

Thanks for the information packed post. I am looking for a pull-up bar and the stores I have been in seem to be out of stock. I will be searching in the Makati district and I might luck out.

I also do not like lower priced foods found in malls or street food. I don't really like Filipino food to be honest (dont let Filipinos know that please!lol)

I saw the sardines you mentioned but I havent checked the price. So far I have found good granolas which are sold by the Koreans and which I buy in bulk. My proteins are mostly fish which I automated (lol) to be bought at the public market (easily cost twice as much in a grocery).

Lastly, the comment about Filipinos lacking gym etiquette. Are Filipinos lacking etiquette or are foreigners too concerned about it? Lol. I'm just playing please dont flame. :wink:
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

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Postby mguy » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:47 am

I blew 2k on a night.

Time to slam on the brakes. The reward? A 21 yr old who thinks shes in sex and the city. lolololol.
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

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Postby CerealKiller » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:46 pm

Rock wrote:2. With the cellphones, get at least a Globe and Smart SIM, then join unlimited talk and text promos on each for just like 20-20 Pesos a day or even much better deals for full week or month. Then u can have unlimited texting to all networks and unlimited talk within each network. I think something like 85% of people use either Globe or Smart or at least it a percentage like that of the locals I know.


I should probably know this, but are there any apps that will tell you what city/network an incoming call is from? I remember seeing stuff like that in China years ago, but that was before iOS and Android. Would probably be useful to get the most out of promos. Globe-Smart won't be cheaper than Globe-Globe...

Rock, I'm actually a bit surprised that a smart fellow like yourself would be experiencing substantial internet problems in the Philippines. While I admit that fixed cable internet reliability leaves something to be desired, I found 3G cellular data to be quite consistent - when not in the mountains! Moreover, ping times seem to be noticeably better on cell data. As for maximum speeds, I'm not sure... don't watch many videos. I do recall friends of mine streaming videos in the park, so I suppose it's sufficiently fast.

Gotta say... in the Philippines, I fear electricity brownouts way more than sluggish internet :lol:
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Postby mguy » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:02 am

Gasul is gas. It is not piped in. You have to buy it and delivered to your house.

Image

costs php800 or $20

tip: get the right gas cap
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

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Postby Rich » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:17 am

Good stuff Mr S and Mguy. Your comments are so interesting. I use to buy cans of Tuna for around 30 pesos or so when I was in the Philippines. However, I never found low salt canned products no matter where I looked. Do low salt products exist?

Do you guys use protein powder? I can buy 4kgs of good quality protein powder for about $120 AUS (5000 pesos). Is this stuff readily available in the Philippines?

Edit: just reread your post, Mr S., Looks like whey protein is available but expensive.
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Postby mguy » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:02 am

check out

sulit.com.ph

Its the ebay of the Philippines.
"So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

Like to read?Third World Hero
Like to see?3WorldHero -- Did he really just do that?

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Postby Mr S » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:08 pm

mguy wrote:Mr. S,

Thanks for the information packed post. I am looking for a pull-up bar and the stores I have been in seem to be out of stock. I will be searching in the Makati district and I might luck out.

I also do not like lower priced foods found in malls or street food. I don't really like Filipino food to be honest (dont let Filipinos know that please!lol)

I saw the sardines you mentioned but I havent checked the price. So far I have found good granolas which are sold by the Koreans and which I buy in bulk. My proteins are mostly fish which I automated (lol) to be bought at the public market (easily cost twice as much in a grocery).

Lastly, the comment about Filipinos lacking gym etiquette. Are Filipinos lacking etiquette or are foreigners too concerned about it? Lol. I'm just playing please dont flame. :wink:


I saw a pull up bar at the Toby's Sports in Trinoma the other day if you feel inclined to go all the way up there. If not you can check out True Value store at Glorietta or Power plant, they usually carry American only on TV fitness gadgets for the wealthier Filipinos to buy. That's where I originally got mine. The Power plant one usually has a larger selection of unique American products, probably due to all the foreigners hanging around the area.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Postby Mr S » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:12 pm

Rich wrote:Good stuff Mr S and Mguy. Your comments are so interesting. I use to buy cans of Tuna for around 30 pesos or so when I was in the Philippines. However, I never found low salt canned products no matter where I looked. Do low salt products exist?

Do you guys use protein powder? I can buy 4kgs of good quality protein powder for about $120 AUS (5000 pesos). Is this stuff readily available in the Philippines?

Edit: just reread your post, Mr S., Looks like whey protein is available but expensive.


There are low salt/sodium products available but they are usually in the larger supermarkets in the malls that cater to more affluent Filipinos. If your outside of one of the major cities your options may be limited. Some of the larger Supermarkets have imported products but they will be a bit expensive in comparison to the local brands. Landmark in Makati and Trinoma usually has good selection. Rustan's has a lot of variety too but tends to be overpriced as they consider themselves a higher end supermarket, they try to out price the lower socioeconomic end riff-raff from shopping there.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Postby xiongmao » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:17 am

I've been buying all kinds of health supplements to try and fix my sore feet. Cod liver oil seems to be the stuff that works best.

No supplements are cheap in Asia, they're something to bring from home!

I thought tuna fish would be cheap in Thailand, after all it's canned here. But it seems to be around the same price as back home.

Cheese is expensive in Asia, and the cheapest is Australian, which is not good.

What's beer cost in the Phillies? The Thai government has increased the tax on beer, and it's now more expensive than it is in the UK! And it's almost twice the price it was in China. On the upside, where in the UK can you pay £2 for a bottle of beer and get a cute girl to give you a neck and back massage?
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