Advice for a Brit in the Philippines please

Size15's

Size15's

Flashaholic
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Kettering, England
Hi Everybody!

My boss has said that I am to go to the Philippines - Laguna (Los Baños).

As Technical Expert from FIRA, I am being sent to the FPRDI to their small R&D lab to show them how to test furniture, write the reports and consult on issues they have for about two - three weeks. I'm leaving on or the weekend before the 22nd September so I need my medical shots (jabs) this weekend.

To quote the FPRDI site:
"Local furniture testing laboratories must be accredited by recognized international testing organizations such as the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) of the United Kingdom and Landesgewerbeanstalt (LGA) of Germany."

At this point, any info/hints/tips/warnings/advice etc etc about the Philippines etc would be very useful.

All the usual travel things like copies of passport/insurance/useful numbers
Pills to reduce the shits
Antibac handwash gel
No rings or expensive "things" on show.
Keep with my guides
Don't have sexual relations.
Money belt.
Phrasebook

I've been reading up on how best avoid insulting the locals. More hints and tips would be useful.

I'm going to be working there but if I get the option, is there any place of beauty I can visit from my location?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me

Al

P.S.
I've got my "flashlight needs sorted" - if you'd like to discuss these, please email me and I'll start another thread. Thanks
 
B

BlindedByTheLite

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try not to stand out. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif
 
D

dano

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I grew up in an area with a very high population from P.I., I can tell you they're great people...

As a tall white guy, you'll stick out like crazy. They love Americans, and the American $$$. Probably the same for the U.K. folks, also.

Try and stay clear of the more remote areas, and stick to the big cities. Also, there is some political turmoil over there, so keep an eye out for well armed defense forces, as armed rebels aren't too far away if the Army guys are around.

--dan
 
Zephyr

Zephyr

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I heard from my girlfriend since the last time she went to the Philippines is that, it can get pretty hot down there (actually, her family is from Laguna too). So, be prepared for some really hot and humid weather. Also, be prepared to see some really unfortunate living conditions or environment all around the area. My girlfriend said that she was expecting some below par living conditions, but she wasn't prepared to see that much of it. I guess, if you haven't been to a third world country before, it will be a humbling experience. Anyway, Los Banos has a lots of beach resorts so I think you'll enjoy it over there. Other than that, make sure to stay safe and take care.
 
T

Tomas

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The others have pretty much covered the big items, so I hope you enjoy your time there. I suspect one of the big things you will notice right off is how much smaller they are than you.

I'm a small to medium guy (5'8"/170CM), but I found myself quite tall. The ladies are tiny and some of them are absolutely smashing. Uh, here's a pic of Mia standing next to me, which might give you an idea of just how tiny. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

tomas-mia.jpg


T_sig6.gif
 
A

Alan Hsu

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Isn't kidnapping a problem for ex-pats in some parts of the country?
 
Size15's

Size15's

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Both the USA and UK (website) advice for the area I'm going to doesn't give me any cause for alarm. I mean, I ain't worth nothing to nobody anyway.

Being tall is not often an advantage. Having ginger hair and being 6ft5" will mean I standard out this is true.

Al
 
A

Alan Hsu

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Size15s,

I will ask my domestic helper who's from the Philippines what she knows about the area in question tomorrow since she's asleep now.
 
A

Alan Hsu

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Size15s,

According to my domestic helper, Laguna is not bad. However she cautioned you aginst thieves and pickpockets.
 
FC.

FC.

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/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smoker5.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sick.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/help.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/popcorn.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smoker5.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif
 
L

LoneRebel

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My advice is to definitely stay away from the seafood. My brother in law went over there one time and decided he would partake in the local dishes. He wound up in the hospital deathly ill. I believe you should be drinking only bottled stuff..Pop etc, I dont know if bottled water is ok there or not. Tourist places are probably a safe bet. Dont dress up like you have alot of money, as I have heard enough horror stories to make me quite wary. Kidnappings, dismemberments to get a watch etc. Being white & 6 feet 5 inches, you are going to be the center of attention. As mentioned before there is alot of poverty.
If you stay to the touristy areas, you should have a blast. From all the pictures I've seen it is a real tropical paradise.
 
I

IlluminatingBikr

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As long as you have a nice big and long flashlight on you, you should be just groovy. I think a Photon Baton should do. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 
K

kakster

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Ill second what Lonerebel said about bottled water. You can catch some nasty bugs from the local water, only drink bottled stuff bought from a reputable shop. Ive seen street vendors fill empty bottles from the tap /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif
Cant do anything about your height, but you could always dye your hair for the trip...
 
K

kev1-1

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If you don't mind the 'taste', I suggest carbonated water. That way you can be almost sure that the bottle hasn't just been refilled with tap water...there would be no fizz! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif
 
Size15's

Size15's

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I lived off carbonated water while I was sent to Germany when I was younger so I don't mind it.
Alway check the bottle top seal and reject if broken (that goes for everywhere in the world)

I won't be dressing smart and I will be working there at the R&D dept in the University. I'm not sure how much work I'll be doing as I've not been told. It appears I'll be sorting out their reporting system and walking them through testing. I guess they want someone who knows what their doing.

PK has given my some very good advice too and is expecting photos!

I have a cast iron gut but will be taking loads of biscuits brown (British Army) and anti-poop pills just in case.
There is no way I'm not trying out the local foods. I'll eat almost anything.

I have a date with some needles on Tuesday at a travel clinic...

Are there things I should know - I don't want to insult my hosts.

Thanks
 
d'mo

d'mo

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from the PI and we travel there every few years.

Since it's not an option to blend in and the political climate is a bit unstable, we try to avoid any large "tourist" areas.

Expect it to be ridiculously hot and humid. Rains are typically quite heavy.

Ask someone you trust what you should be paying for anything you want to buy, or better yet, have a Philipino pay (unless the price is conspicuously marked). Otherwise, you'll be paying several times more than the locals.

Take a water purifier (not just a filter) and/or only drink bottled water.

Try the local foods and peel-yourself fruits, They're great! Just make sure foods are fully cooked. Getting foods served hot might be a bit of a challenge at many local restaurants. If you're going to be in a rural area, I hope you like fish and rice.

Make sure your passport has at least a year of life remaining so you don't have immigration troubles.

You probably won't need a phrase book - very few people I met did not speak English.

Take TP and hand towels with you - most public lavatories won't have them.

If you're going to be near Bohol, check out the Chocolate Hills. Simply stunning. (My wife is from near by.)

Have Fun!!!
 
Size15's

Size15's

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
18,416
Location
Kettering, England
Never travel without TP and wipes to clean your hands!
I've also used the "trusted local" trick when buying stuff. It can save you money all over the place.

Chocolate Hills?
The girls at work will be very jealous!

Thanks

Al /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 
S

snacketeria

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NJ
If you don't want to insult your host, at least try the food offered to you.

To get the best exchange rate bring perfect (no wrinkles) currency. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif For US currency at least.

If you need to bring gifts...flashlights!!! A decent flashlight is hard to come by.

Oh,and have fun. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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