Category Archives: Uncategorized

What About The Dog Business?

There is room in the Philippines for more dog training businesses. You don’t have to know how to train the dogs yourself, but perhaps you are a a trained dog trainer or handler about to retire from the service? Either way you can always hire the help you need at a modest cost compared to starting such a business back home.

There are already dogs in the country from which you can choose, but bringing a dog in is easy and requires little more than a quarantine form and medical check and the payment of a fee. No months in quarantine waiting for your dog to be released while the bills mount up. Of course good blood stock is never cheap but as a retirement activity to keep you busy, breeding, training and selling dogs has a lot of good things going for it.

You can start off with just a single pair and work from there, or bring in three or four bitches and a dog and network with local breeders for new stock. The market includes government and corporate security clientele, as well as private individuals. Dogs can be trained as obedience/companion animals as well as guard dogs, drug or explosive detection dogs and so on. Give it some thought.

Rabbits For Fun And Profit

A dozen years ago I looked at breeding rabbits as a food source but my wife was sceptical. She claimed Filipinos wouldn’t eat rabbit. She may have been correct, then, but today it is a small but growing agri-industry.

Rabbit meat is low in cholesterol, high in protein and a single doe can produce over 20 young a year. If you have ten does and one buck, that’s 200 rabbits for sale.  As well as the meat, they produce excellent fertilizer and the fur can be used as skins or to make felt for hats.

More Filipinos are buying rabbits as pets, also. You may prefer to target this market if you are squeamish about killing those cute, furry little friends. As an additional income source to a small mixed holding with pigs, chickens, goats and ducks, rabbits can be a good thing.

Back In The Saddle

2014-04-19 10.59.12After being away from the helm for a year or so, I’m back in the saddle again, mixing metaphors and posting great articles. In April I visited Cebu and Manila with Frank ‘Currywolf’ Green, a fellow writer and my business partner in Streetwise Global. We drove around Cebu over Holy Week and relished in the relative calm of the less than busy roads. The trick is to miss the flood going home to da probince on the Wednesday or Thursday and back again on the Sunday evening.

This was my first trip to the Philippines without my wife or kids since we were married a decade and a half ago but Frank, my own love for the asawa and a severe chest infection kept me on the straight and narrow.Frank and I enjoyed a lazy weekend with my parents-in-law and other relatives up in Calape and discovered an industrial grade operation making bancas to replace those lost in Typhoon Yolanda last year. It was great to see a dozen or more locals gainfully employed rebuilding the local fishing fleet. I had been asked by three NGOs where they could get boats made and now I have the names and numbers of the people to call.

One of the objectives of the trip was to update the contents of my StreetWise Philippines series of books and that was achieved. Now, back in Sydney I am writing for Down Under Visa and posting my articles on their general info site, Filipina Wives.

Practical Charity

Photos of March Feeding 2013

Click on the link to see some great photos of a feeding program operated by Rotary, part of the Vitamin program previously reported here.

   VitaminR March Update 2013
www.VitaminR.org
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vitamin-R/231338663598835
March may have been slow in new developments for VitaminR but exciting for what is continuing.  It is now possible to meet and greet some of the children receiving vitamins during our weekly feeding program at, On the Foot of the Cross Christian Church in nearby Habay.  Sign onto Skype and enter the access code: trends4102, Saturday morning at 9 our time, 9PM EST Friday.  Those who have already joined this event have found it most rewarding.
The Rotary Club of Bacoor will continue their strong support of VitaminR for the coming Rotary year.  The development of a steering committee comprised of Rotarians and non-Rotarians is in progress.  The committee is open to Rotarians of Dist. 3810 and active community members of our program.
Our current objectives include, ongoing efforts to establish the VitaminR Foundation, contacting Philippine Pharmaceutical companies for donations of children’s vitamins to be used within the Philippines for the children in most need;  increasing our fund raising efforts through our website, Facebook and grants from foundations.  We are always open to suggestions.
Continue our strong cooperation with both Queensrow Catholic Church and On the Foot of the Cross Christian Church.  Both churches are running weekly feeding programs serving approximately 200 children.  The photos in the attachment are of the On the Foot of the Cross church program on March 2nd this year.  Seeing the smiles, hearing the sounds and sights make these projects come alive.  Remember, Skype this weekend and every weekend, access our live video feed.
Rarely do I take credit for anything with VitaminR.  Unfortunately, I must admit to taking my eyes off Christ, the Chairman of this effort.  Please pray with me and for VitaminR, to our Father, for His continued guidance and blessing on His VitaminR program.  Pray this in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.
 Jim Baumbach
Bacoor Cavite
www.VitaminR.org

Helicopter Cops Cop A Rotoring!

Robinson Raven 44 similar to second hand copters sold to cops

Remember we reported how the Philippines National Police bought three helicopters and two were second hand? Well the cops involved have all been sacked. Funny how the report mentions how the chief cop will do it, even though one of the thieves was his classmate! The mentality of these people is such that the barkarda is super important to them, hence how cronyism is such a part of the culture.

Another laugh is calling the former president’s husband ‘First Gentleman Mike Arroyo’. Another typical Filipino cringe to the all pervading US culture, or at least their interpretation of it. That corrupt thief, married to the corrupt thief who took over as president from the corrupt thief Erap Estrada, now back in the people’s good books along with the other corrupt thief who stole billions with her hubby, old Imelda Marcos, is included int he wrist slap as it seems he owned the helicopters and got the lion’s share of the public money paid over. But hey, that’s life here. Our politicians are corrupt too, they just try to hide it more and pretend they are ashamed when caught (although it is merely upset at being caught, of course).

Spare a thought for the soldiers fighting the MILF and NPA with ancient weapons and tatty bits of uniform, three long past scrapping helicopters for support and a high command too busy tapping the kidnappers for a share of the ransom to look after them.

New Sales Model For StreetWise Philippines eBooks!

Since the first edition of Philippine Dreams was released in 2003 as ‘StreetWise Philippines’, times have changed. The market for information products has changed and so too the market for eBooks. While we sold thousands of copies at $29.99 average price, we have found in recent months the sales figured have taken a hit, but then so have the figures for every business in the current economic climate.

 

We have looked at the situation and decided to change our sales model from a ‘Membership Model’ to what we call the ‘Amazon Model’, as in selling them on Amazon.com as Kindle downloads. They are also available at Barnes&Noble and in the iTunes bookshop as well as at Smashwords.com and of course, as hard copy paperbacks at Lulu.com.

 

All of the books have been updated and in the case of the hard copy paperbacks, they are being released as A5 size volumes, about half the size they were before as an A4, just thicker. This is in keeping with making them more ‘book like’ and less like an information product. We have also dropped the price to be competitive, of course in doing so we no longer offer the half a dozen or so free value added items that made the $29.99 price tag such great value. Nor will we, officially, still offer online email support although I will always be here to reply to any questions  or emails and help where I can. We also used to offer free updates for the life of the title and while we will continue to do this for our ‘members’, we will no longer offer this with eBooks sold via the new model.

 

Basically, the updated for 2012 editions are selling for $13.99 with some locations (Amazon’s Kindle for example) offering them at just $9.99 for a limited time to generate some buzz. The hardcopy paperbacks are also re-priced with most, after 25% discount, being available for around $15 or so, plus postage and handling. For some titles for the US market this could mean free delivery depending on the promotions being run at the time of ordering by Lulu.com themselves.

 

We are hoping the price change and the new sales model will be a good thing for our customers. Those who bought from us in the past at the old price will still get full access and online email help as well as free updates for the life of the title and they get to keep the freebies they downloaded before. New customers get the great low price and we think a better mode of distribution and delivery of the product. Not only that it is far more widely available and easier to find. Let us know your thoughts and what you think of the new sales model.

Wikileaks Releases Phil Related Docs

WikiLeaks document notes disincentives to investing in the Philippines

Thousands of documents pertaining to United States officials’ views on the Philippines have been released by WikiLeaks, among them a fairly recent report — attributed to the embassy in Manila — describing the local investment climate as plagued by “legal restrictions, regulatory inconsistency and lack of transparency”.

The unclassified document dated January 25, 2010 identified the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as a “noteworthy strength” along with the country’s “well-educated and English-speaking labor pool,” but also noted that weak public institutions had repelled foreign businesses.

The report, in particular, states that “many foreign investors describe the inefficiency and uncertainty of the judicial system as a significant disincentive for investment”.

The legal system’s shortcomings were said to be the result of “…judges rarely [having] a background in, or thorough understanding of, market economics or business, and that their decisions stray from the interpretation of law into policymaking”.

The inability of the government to uphold the sanctity of contracts, it said, had led to a “clouded investment climate,” while the ineffectiveness of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to restrict and seize pirated goods has gotten the country into the US Trade Representative Special 301 Report.

Corruption, meanwhile, was described as a “pervasive and longstanding problem” because “the enforcement of anti-corruption law has been weak and inconsistent”. The report also noted that the Philippines “is not a signatory of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Convention on Combating Bribery.”

Inefficiencies in agencies concerned with business registration, customs procedures, and immigration have also been “a source of frustration” for many US investors.

“To counter this, some agencies, such as the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), BoI (Board of Investments) and the Department of Foreign Affairs, have established express lanes or ‘one-stop shops’ to reduce bureaucratic delays, [but] with varying degrees of success,” the report states.

Officials from the US Embassy and the government were not immediately available for comment.

Ferry Sinking Shame

Copied and pasted without formal permission but I feel the news must be spread. I invite Trans-Asia to reply and rebutt this report. We know they never will.

Passenger slams sunken ship’s crew, management

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By: Francis Allan L. Angelo
BRIAN Daly, 75, was born in England and lived for sometime in Canada but he later moved to Iloilo after falling in love with his Ilongga wife Jonnah.
Brian, now a permanent resident of the Philippines, was among the more than 160 passengers of the ill-fated MV Asia Malaysia of Trans Asia Shipping Corp. which sank off the coast of Ajuy, Iloilo early morning of July 31, 2011.
While the cause of the ship’s sinking remains a mystery until now, Brian has a mouthful against the ship crew and its management.
The Dalys boarded Asia Malaysia on the evening of July 30 from Cebu City where they celebrated their wedding anniversary. Brian also took the opportunity to pick up his residence card from the Bureau of Immigration in Cebu.
Brian, who teaches business English to prospective overseas workers, said Asia Malaysia is their favorite ship because of its great cabin accommodation and a very good restaurant aside from a karaoke bar on the upper deck.
“We’ve traveled on the ship 10 times over the past 7 years,” Brian said.
The trip from Cebu was just as pleasant as their vacation despite the gloomy skies due to a tropical storm battering Luzon island.
“We settled in our air conditioned cabin with TV and hot and cold shower. Later, we went for a nice meal in the restaurant and then to the upper open deck to enjoy the breeze and sing a few songs. We then returned to our cabin for an early sleep just before 10pm,” he said.
A light sleeper, Brian said he woke up when he felt slipping down to the bottom of the bunk bed. As he got up, he realized that the cabin floor was already tilting at a 30-degree angle.
“Having owned several boats including a 38-foot Ketch and having graduated the Canadian Coastguard Power Squadron Program, I knew that the ferry was almost at a critical stage of turning over. Waking up Jonnah, we quickly donned our life jackets and went to the muster area where other passengers were gathering and attempting to put on their life jackets,” Brian said.
Brian said not one of Asia Malaysia’s crew informed them that the ship was already listing to its starboard or right side.
“There had been no one knocking on cabin doors to alert the passengers, no announcements to go the mustering stations and no announcement to put on life jackets and no members of the crew in their white uniforms. This meant we were on our own at this point with no crew members to assist or guide us,” he added.

TAKING CONTROL
To avoid confusion and panic, Brian said he took control and instructed other passengers to move to the upper deck to avoid drowning in the lower decks.
Their situation looked like a scene from the movie Titanic “except the steep angle ran the full length of the ship and anything lose or not bolted down slipped down to the water’s edge.”
Brian said he saw some seamen drop the canisters of inflatable life boats from an angle of 30 degrees from the port or left side of the ship, thus they did not see if it popped open or not.
“Some of the able seamen were sliding down the steep slope only to be rescued from going into the sea by other able seamen trying to undo some of the stacked rafts which was an impossible task at the acute angle. At about 5:40am it was starting to get light and we could see a couple of rescue ships at a distance of about maybe 6 miles,” he added.
The group later decided to move to the ship’s stern or rear end “as we could not get off the ship to be rescued on either the port or starboard sides.”
Brian said some of the crew managed to put out two very narrow walkways of around 18 inches wide and 10 feet long. One plank was 8 feet above the waves on the starboard side, while the other was around 15 feet on the port side.
Using the walkways, the passengers gingerly crossed to the waiting lifeboats except for a 70-year-old woman and her daughter who leapt into the sea and swam to the nearest raft with help from the seamen.
Contrary to the accounts of Asia Malaysia skipper Romualdo Geraldizo that big waves overwhelmed the ship, Brian said the water was only choppy.
The high angle of the tilting ship and choppy waters made it dangerous for the passengers to cross the walkway. Jonnah was able to get on one of the rafters but Brian said he fell on the boat on the right side of his body after a water swell moved the boat to one side.
“No sooner had we carried out that difficult task, we moved to one side to allow others to also jump and join us. Then we had to maneuver ourselves into another wild bucking inflatable nearby to make room for others waiting to jump in,” he said.
Brian said they boarded oil tanker Phil-Visayas which helped rescue some of Asia Malaysia’s passengers. They then proceeded to Bacolod City, the tanker’s destination.

ASHAMED OR AFRAID?
On board the tanker, Brian said he saw another “despicable” actuation by some of Asia Malaysia’s crewmembers.
“A group of uniformed crew members took off their uniforms and placed them in a black plastic garbage bag and mingled among the survivors near the bow of the ship. Why? Were they ashamed?” he said.
Worse, Asia Malaysia crewmembers on board the tanker got bowls of rice and canned fish for themselves and ate their meal in front of the survivors.
“This I thought was despicable, as it showed no concern for their passengers’ well being, just their own.
Brian said his wife took pictures of the crew’s action which they later forwarded to Philippine Coast Guard investigators.

HEROES
Despite his disappointment, Brian said the kitchen crew of Asia Malaysia were among the real heroes in the accident.
“The restaurant crewmembers were the most concerned about the welfare of the survivors, checking to see if everyone was okay, ensuring that those who needed hot coffee were provided by members of the tanker crew. Later the restaurant crew cooked rice and canned fish for all the survivors. They were the real heroes of the Asia Malaysia disaster and should be recognized as such,” he said.
From Bacolod City, the Dalys and other survivors boarded another ferry bound for Iloilo City. Although he declined at first, Brian went to St. Paul’s Hospital to check if he suffered injuries from his bad fall on the rafter.
After three x-rays and two ultrasound examinations, seven blood tests and two units of blood transfusion, Brian went home on August 7. Trans Asia footed the P34,000 hospital bill.
“Now that is a wedding anniversary to remember. We had lost everything we had, including our personal possessions, passports, money, etc. and we only had the clothes we were wearing. But at least we survived. We are still alive, we have each other and everything else can be replaced,” Brian said while fingering the key to their cabin, his only reminder of the tragedy.

FINAL BLOW
Although happy to be alive and well, Brian said he was seething at the treatment they received from Trans Asia.
The firm promised the survivors P4,000 each as a sort of compensation aside from the small amount given to them so they can go home to their respective places.
On August 6, Brian said Trans Asia agents made them sign a form to prove that they have claimed the P4,000 compensation.
“I was disgusted to discover that the fare given to us right after the accident were deducted from the P4,000. Just how low can Trans Asia get? That is truly disgusting to treat their fellow Filipinos that way,” he said.
Worse, Brian said he got nothing as his P4,000 compensation was deducted from the hospital bills.
“To rub salt on the wound, they asked for my ID so they could get the seniors discount. Now that is despicable. And when my wife was given her P4,000 the taxi fare from the hospital to our home was also deducted,” he said.
Brian said they lost more than P30,000 worth of valuables after the accident, but he is not complaining for himself but for other passengers who might not have the opportunity to gripe about their plight.
“I told the company to do something about this or else I will come out in the media. As of Wednesday, I heard nothing from them. I can always replace what we lost, but what about the less fortunate survivors who may have lost their life’s savings aside from the trauma they will suffer for some time or even their entire lifetime? This has to change because it’s the most despicable way to treat a countryman,” Brian said.
TDG tried to get Trans Asia’s comment but no one was available to speak in the company’s behalf.

You Want Injustice? Go To The Pinas!

We received an update on that British man and his Filipina wife being held in prison now for over two years, all the time the aged parents getting milked by every official who can smell a peso, their kids cared for by relatives and never getting to see them as one by one the family turns away, and some even turn on them. It is a shambles that should have ended in May. Of some 24 cases alleging people trafficking and other offences more than 20 have been dismissed due to lack of evidence or complainant. The latest case, put off due to the court system being a shambles there no doubt, was another no show of the witness and claimant. So the judge postponed this case till October to give them a chance to appear. Please, they are not going to be there in October and no doubt this robed fool will postpone it again, all in the name of justice, saving the pride and face of the idiot authorities who should never have started this in the first place.

Our correspondent writes:

This is yet another shining example of Filipino corruption and incompetence and while every nation has its share of both, they seem to make it more of a national sport than cockfighting or basketball. Which says a lot for the mentality of these people, a nation where the average height is 5’6″ spend more time playing basketball than looking for work. Oh happy children, no wonder the catholic church were able to convert and rule you for so long and still do. Pathetic people, but then there is no work as the ruling elite control everything with their goons the corrupt police, thieving general staff of the AFP and of course, their witch doctors from the catholic church. It is no wonder the main export is Filipinos. They seem to blossom once outside the control of the cloying culture that robs individuals of any chance of getting anywhere except at the expense of someone else,like crabs clawing their way out of the bucket. Make no mistake, it is not a racial thing but a cultural one. The culture supports incompetence and corruption as it promotes pakikisama, or group harmony. Far more important than justice (an imported American idea from the 1900s), or competence (who needs that when labor is so cheap and sex easy to take) and corruption saves having to pay fair salaries.

If you are thinking of investing a dime in this country, be aware you too might end up the victim of greedy, lying officials and suffer for years in their sewer of a prison system, not fit for humans and clear proof the Philippines has no right to call itself a civilized society. Remember, I speak of the society, the culture and the authorities, not the individual Filipino. So get angry Pinoy and sort your system out or remain the laughing stock of the civilized world and the destination for all the loser foreigners who, like the corrupt locals, give the rest of us a bad name. Hopefully this is sufficiently nasty a note for someone to take notice and take action!  Signed but name and address withheld at the writer’s request.

Well, he pulls no punches and I hope that got it off his chest. I am keen to give equal space to a rebuttal from someone in a position of authority there but so far I don’t think they read this site, or care to bother. I doubt they care about the opinion of people like our commentator as his kind don’t waste their money on the SRRV program or hob nob with the upscale locals where it is all liveried servants and air con excess.

I do know representation has been made on behalf of the prisoners to the UN to bring the matter up with Secretary DeLima. I do believe she is genuinely trying to reform the system there and that is a huge task and they are just two of maybe millions caught up in the cesspit of the system. I understand the anger of the commentator and to a degree I agree with some of his points, although I doubt venting them will affect anyone but him and hopefully lower his blood pressure. I doubt the judge cares. If he did he wouldn’t torture them with delays. If he doesn’t then his arrogance is such nothing said here will make a scrap of difference and that is where the frustration begins. I can only imagine how it must be for the prisoners. I know once released I would leave the Philippines and never come back. Funny thing, I asked my Asawa if she wanted to go back soon and she said no, she would rather see our country first. Our country. Home is here, not back there for her now. Of course many foreigners call the Pinas home and never have any problem with the place so if nothing else, this should underline the fact, it is what YOU make it, wherever you are. And stay out of the sights of anyone looking for some easy cash.

 

FAC & New Immigration Boss Fight Corruption

A few years ago the fourth most corrupt government department in the Philippines was the Bureau of Immigration. Under the ‘Crocodile’, Commissioner Domingo, the department was used to arrest, detain, deport and extort foreigners in order to make Domingo a very rich woman. But the worm has turned and new leadership, coupled with a brave German expat called Alfred Lehnert, is seeing justice being done for expats wrongly accused of immigration offences.

Watch these three You Tube clips and then visit the FAC website. Please make a donation and help them keep working for the good of us all. You never know when you might need the help. Perhaps there is hope for the Philippines yet! These government leaders are indeed sweeping clean as new brooms should.