Experiences of living in Cebu, Philippines. I aim to show the Good and Bad aspects of living in this Tropical Island that is Cebu "Queen City Of The South"

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Location: Cebu, Lapu Lapu City, Philippines

Sunday, September 24, 2006

How time flies

Hello again,

I cannot believe where the time has gone since my last posting. I do not have much to say but I guess the nature of blogs is to say it anyway. I have spent a number of weeks sorting out my real estate web site, adding pages and listings. I am still unable to crack the Google Search engine with very few hits om the site coming from Google.

I have added a link to a local business here in Cebu offering Pilates RI exercise training, the trainer is a licensed Pilates Trainer. My aim is to promote Cebu and some of the smaller companies, using the internet.

Told you not much to say.

Alan Jay

Monday, July 17, 2006

Trespass Case Update 3

On the 13th July 2006 I had to attend the court here in Lapu Lapu, Cebu, Philippines for the pre-trial hearing. This is where the lawyers of both the accused and accusers lay out what evidence they are going to presents etc.

The hearing was scheduled for 8:30am, with my case being number 5 on the schedule. Waiting in the court room while the other cases were dealt with it was becoming apparent that the people I accused of trespass in to my house and grave coercion of a minor (my 7 year old daughter)were not going to show up.

My case was called and on seeing the accused were not in court yet the judge moved on to the next case, we eventually get back around to my case again and still the accused are not present. So the judge ordered that a warrant for their arrest be issued.

I find it hard to understand why these people think they are above the law, one of the accused is a policeman here in Cebu, his actions could cost him his job and pension benefits. The accused have been so full of bravado saying "It's an easy case, you cant touch us, we have never lost in court"etc...

It would appear that their lawyer dropped them probably because they could not afford him and because he was an ex trial court judge and I don't think he would pursue as case where his clients were so obviously guilty. I believe that the Phil American sister of these people has also cut off the revenue stream they were so reliant on.

The case is now scheduled for the back end of October, I will let you know how it pans out.


New Real Estate Web Site

Hello long time no blog. I have been working hard to create a new Real Estate web site. I wanted to keep the same general look as the old liveCebu site but switch to using a database driven design.

This is now done and thanks to OpenRealty (open source software) and a lot of hard work things are now up an running. I am now able to add property listings without having to generate individual html pages. The listings do not display quite as nicely but on the whole I think things look quite good. Have a look:

Alan H

Friday, April 28, 2006

Racism or Not!

Hello to all and sorry for the long time between posts. My topic here is whether one mans Racism is another mans honest and decent behavior.

I recently joined a Yahoo group I will not mention the name, the rules for joining the forum were posted at the entry page so it can be reasonable to assume I new the rules before joining. The current rule are as follows:


This is a Group for persons British, and their spouse/girlfriend/fiancée; either Living in the Philippines, particularly Cebu, or considering doing so.

Unlike other Yahoo Groups dedicated to the Philippines, its people, cultures, and more specifically Cebu, this Yahoo Group - 'I will not name it', is only open to those main members, who hold a British Passport! A Filipino wishing to join, would need a 'partner', who is a Member. The only purpose behind this stipulation, is to keep the message postings focused on those topics of interest to Brits (and to keep scammers out hopefully?).

When joining this group I already knew that it was open only to British Passport Holders and their relative spouses etc. I honestly believed that this stipulation would be fairly flexible, but oh, how wrong could I have been.

A post was made by a member concerning monkeys attacking Americans, this was basically a true story and was posted because it was also in a way quite humorous. To my surprise the post was removed, the reason, nothing to do with things British!

Well, I saw RED, I wrote to the group and expressed my concern and suggested it only added a little light relief to an otherwise boring subject matter (my words could have been better chosen in hindsight). I went on to state that Britain cannot make it in this world alone and nor could this forum.

I suggested that as a matter of courtesy to our Philippine Hosts we should allow them to join the forum, after all many might have some very interesting information about their own country. I was basically told that the forum rules are quite clearly stated and that the forum has no intention of letting "any Tom Dick or Harry" join it. Now to those no English countries, TOM, DICK OR HARRY, is an expression often used. Regardless of this, it is still a derogatory term, for example:

You go to a nightclub, you try to get in and the bouncer says no way, on asking why, he might reply listen mate we don't let any TOM, DICK OR HARRY in here. His words are derogatory to that person, as he has been labeled unsuitable or unworthy to gain entry, he has been labeled as a "TOM, DICK OR HARRY"

So my problem is this, am I being over sensitive or is this in fact a case of Racism hiding behind the facade of a nice yahoo group for British Folk.

The sad thing with all of this, is that most members of the group are married to Filipinas, so there is a contradiction in my accusation of Racism. How can the entry requirements to the group be Racist when many members are married to a person from the country I am accusing entry requirements to be racist against.

Well I think it can and does happen. You see many foreigners come to the Philippines because they know they can find themselves typically a young bride or girlfriend. These people (typically 50 year olds+) are happy to strut around with their little babe in arms showing off to the world "Hey Guys, Look what I have got". In truth and in many cases the girl is with the guy because she was so poor that being with him is perhaps the only way to get anything in life.

When you hear many of these people speak about the Philippines and Filipinos you hardly hear a good word spoken, “the people are stupid, the hospitals are dirty, the police are corrupt it goes on an on”. At this point I will hold my hand up and say I have made some of these comments, always out of frustrations that arise here. Even Filipinos make some of the remarks so you have to give a little tolerance and you have to live here to understand.

Let me say here that I have met many 50+ guys who are honest decent and have a great deal of respect for their wives and culture. and I am certainly not accusing members of the Cebu_Brit club as being racist or the types of person described above. I met only two members in person and neither of these could be described as anything other than fair minded and respectful of their spouses and the Filipino culture and people.

I have ranted on for long enough, my point is that if you have a group aimed at information helpful to British Citizens, living or looking to live in Cebu, out of courtesy, Filipinos must be allowed to join. It is Racist to keep them out because they are not British. Were it in Europe or the USA the entry rules would be unacceptable because of the British Passport Stipulation.

Tell me what you think, I received the following posts from the Yahoo group in question, as you can see they are very enlightened, intelligent and complimentary:

febalan SHUT THE F##K up as you are destroying an excellent group with your, frankly, incoherent "I've had a post deleted and I am furious so I will vent and talk crap and disagree with all posts until everyone gets bored with what I have to say and agrees in pure frustration so I will SHUT UP… even when they disagree or agree with me" views.

If you think you are foolish then maybe your options are to either un-
subscribe or apologise, or,
If you still think your in the right then maybe you should un-
subscribe for being a fool without a clue, or, just shut the hell up.

Either way, get a life, lighten up, smell the roses and go to another

Fed up with febalan' arses view,

The person who runs the group in reply to me asking for one of the above post to be removed, posted:

Whilst Alan (Febalan), might have thrown a wobbly a spat his dummy out and resigned from the forum, I do ask that there is 'No Flaming' on this Yahoo Group, in line with many other Yahoo Groups - attack the topic not the poster!

We do not need name calling and abuse being hurled at individual members, just because they have a viewpoint or opinion which goes against that of others.

I had already replied to Alan (febalan) stating my viewpoints and trying to show him I was not being derogatory towards Filipinos. I was trying to inject a little humur into the many (perhaps boring to some) postings on Visa's, pensions etc.

The main point I was trying to make is, no matter what Alan's views on allowing Philipinos to join this Group, I will only allow such to join, where they have a BritClub member to vouch for them - ie partner/fiance/spouce etc. I do not want to get Filipinos joining up to Spam this Group, like on some other Groups.

If you read this carefully you will see that this group has no intention of letting in Filipino's in the group leaders words:

"The main point I was trying to make is, no matter what Alan's views on allowing Philipinos to join this Group, I will only allow such to join, where they have a BritClub member to vouch for them - ie partner/fiance/spouce etc. I do not want to get Filipinos joining up to Spam this Group, like on some other Groups"

So here is my dilemma and question, the guy that runs this forum is not in my opinion a racist of any sort, and I would never try to brand him as one. Yet his stipulation for membership to his group is Racist, not only to Filipinos but to the rest of the Worlds nationalities.

I do not believe the group is racist, however it fails to see how the groups entry requirements are indeed racist. Therein lies a world wide problem faced by many of the oppressed ethnic groups. They are discriminated against by people who honestly cannot see that they are doing it.

Tell me what you think, am I out of touch with reality, have I got the wrong end of the stick or am I in truth, correct and trying to fight for the right of freedom and fairness in a world that quite honestly is loosing touch with all that has gone on in the past, all the struggles various races have had to fight to earn the right to be accepted.

Thanks for Reading

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Trespass Case Update

Hello, long time no write!.

I am just giving an update regarding the trespass case I am embroiled in here in Cebu Philippines. On March 16, 2006 I had to attend the court because my case was referred to mediation. Basically the two sides are given the opportunity to reach an amicable settlement.

I turned up at the court and met with the accused, it was obvious from the start that there was not going to be any form of settlement and indeed the accused were very close to becoming physical in their smug belief that this is an easy case for them to win.

These people are treating us like we are foreign scum and that we have no right being here in the Philippines. TO all who know Filipino's do not be fooled by the very friendly nature and warm welcoming greetings, many are very sincere and heartfelt but many are false and you are seen as an easy target to exploit or threaten.

I live in Cebu Philippines I meet many good folks who I would trust with my life yet there are just as many who would rob you of your child’s medication if they got the chance. This is not a racist statement but the honest truth, a truth that 10's of thousands of Filipinos would verify if asked the question.

So my warning goes out again if you are here in Cebu be very careful of who you make friends with even more careful of those who make friends with you!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Update on my Trespass Case

Today the 16th March 2006 I have to attend the court here in Cebu to take part in a process called mediation. As I understand it, I have to meet with the accused and see if there is any way that formal proceedings can be avoided.

To my mind this is a pointless procedure as the accused are so full of bravado that there attitude is, we can beat you , you are just a stupid foreigner here. On there own the accused could not afford to pay their electricity bill but because they have the infamous Phil-Am sister to fund their case they feel sure to win.

I have a good case against them but hey this is the Philippines and strange things do happen. I will give you an example, the judge in this case decided to lower the offence that these people were being charged with, from grave coercion of a minor with trespass to dwelling, down to just Qualified Trespass to Dwelling. As a result of this I was allowed to submit review affidavits and enter any new witnesses I might have. The court however failed to make me aware of this and as such I am now probably stuck having just one witness.

Bottom Line, if you have to take legal action over here then get a good lawyer from the start and do not believe everything the justice department might tell you.

Keep you posted on development from today's meeting

Avoid Legal Proceedings in the Philippines

Hello again,

I would like to warn anybody living in the Philippines to avoid at all costs taking any legal action. I am speaking as a person who has embarked on a case of trespass against 3 people that entered my home without invitation.

My wife and I were out at the time but my 6 year old daughter and our helper were at home. Having found us not to be home these three people came in to my home and removed and item belonging to the sister of one of the trespassers.

To cut to the chase I accused them of trespass, intimidation and coercion of a minor. The whole matter is now with the courts. The Reason I advise against getting involved is that the Justice System here is overworked and underpaid. Advice given is far from accurate and I feel that I am halfway to loosing my case before it's gone to court as a result.

It is only the fact that these people invaded the sanctity of my home and left my daughter exposed to the experience, that I am pursuing the matter. If at all possible just let it go!.

Will keep you posted as to what happens next.

The New Web Site

Well I seem to be typing this blog well after the event but what the heck. I have finally published the new and improved website. The site is a multi-purpose web site designed to offer information about visiting Cebu, Philippines or perhaps coming here to live.

My site has various guides to living in Cebu, including living costs, Education, Health Care, Getting about and much more. The site also promotes the services of several companies based here in Cebu. We can offer Tours, Real Estate and Forwarding services.

Please have a look in and let us know what you think. There is a nice Image Gallery as well, showing various places here in and around Cebu City.

Have fun!

ATM Cash Refunded

Hello to all,

After my last entry I was certain that I had seen the last of my 4000PHP and that the PNB were a corrupt bank. OK I was jumping the gun and expecting the banking system to work at faster pace than was reasonable. It has taken just under 3 months but I have been refunded the 4000PHP.

I appologise to all PNB staff I might have offended. but hey I was the one out of pocket. I heard from friend on the myPH forum that he had a similar problem and it took him about 3 months to get his money back.

So there you have it if the ATM steals your money in the Philippines expect to wait 3 months to get it back.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Welcome to our new blog site

Welcome to the liveCebu blogg site. Here you will find posts related to living in Cebu, the good and bad aspects. Please look in and share any comments or your own experiences.

Daylight Robbery? (PNB ATM)

I thought I would tell you about a recent ATM problem I had back at the begining of December 2005. At around 11:30 a.m I tried to withdraw 4000PHP from the PNB ATM at Wanterfront Mactan PNB Bank, Cebu.

I enterted my pin number, selected withdrawl, entered 4000php, the machine told me it was unable to process my transaction, returned my card and printed me a slip showing an error code. A couple of days later looking at my online Alliance & Leicester UK bank account I was shocked to see that the 4000php had been debited from my account along with the usual £1.50 charge for using the service.

I went straight to the PNB Bank and showed them a copy of my bank statement showing the debit, explained the problem and gave them the printed ATM receipt showing the error code. I was told to fill out a form and that the matter would be dealt with and my money returned before Christmas.

Today (2nd Jan 06) the bank seems to know little about my problems (despite me filling out an official PNB form) and stated that my bank would be the one to refund my money and it could take months. What a load of rubbish! I expected this would be the response from the PNB bank staff.

Please be warned that when an error occurs over here using your European Credit/Debit card in the ATM you are more than likely to run into a brick wall with respect to sorting out the problem. I am now £44 out of pocket with no hope of getting my cash in the near future. Has this happened to you? let me know and tell me if you got your money back.