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Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Survival Tips in the Philippines

Zest Air to Marinduque- Reserved on Line for Promo Fares

I have learned a few survival tips during my annual winter sojourn this year in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. First, I have learned not to fall in line anymore when doing my transactions in our local bank. I used to form in line for one to two hours, when I noticed that one of the customers went directly to the private office of the vice president. The next time, I went to the bank, I went directly also to the office of the vice president when I saw the line was extending outside the bank in the heat of the sun. The VP told me I have to open a premium account with a substantial amount of balance as well as a dollar account. So, I did and every month, my bank transaction is done in the private office of the VP saving me from one to two hours each time, I go to the bank.

I also learned that you could reserved a hotel room in one five star hotel in Manila via E-mail. The e-mail is addressed directly to the hotel and not to headquarters or the main reservation office. Since I hate using the telephone to reserve a room ( too long a wait and too many questions ask), I did reserved via e-mail. I waited for a week for confirmation of my e-mail. After a couple more days, I decided to call the hotel and I was told my reservation is confirmed. My reservation was confirmed in one minute.

I also learned that the best way to buy airplane tickets from Zest Air (www.zestair.com.ph) is to do it on line. The problem is the airline will not accept my credit card originating here in US. I have to use my sister-in-law credit card originating in the Philippines. Booking on line also give you a chance to get promo fares cheaper than taking the door to door service (air conditioned private vans,from Manila to Boac and back). In addition, always check your departure time, 24 hours before departure. The airline schedule is crazy. It keeps changing starting from 6:00AM, then 8:00AM and then to 10:30AM, with the airline sometimes forget to call you.

I also learned that I could purchase building materials, paints, hardware goods from a local hardware store on credit ( payable in 30 days). There is no limit to the amount I could charge and there are no interest charges. I could even pay it by personal check instead of cash. How did I manage to do this? First, the hardware owner is my neighbor. Second, the accountant of the hardware owner is my sister-in-law. And lastly, I have been a customer of the hardware store for the last 10 years, and had been paying my bills within the 30 days credit period. This arrangement is handy as it gives time for my checks to clear in my US and PI bank accounts.

I also learned a few phrases unique to the island. One phrase I will never forget,

" I do my gardening by mouth". As an avid gardener, I was curious what it meant.
It means that you have a helper or garden assistant that do the gardening for you. All you have to do, is tell him what to do. So, since I have two gardeners, most of the time I do my gardening by mouth. But If I want to sweat, I am still strong enough to do my own weeding, watering and pruning. Transplanting, fertilizing,and spraying for pests, I let my gardeners do it.

Lastly I learned to be patient. If someone is late to an event I am hosting, I try not to be upset. In this way, my blood pressure does not go hay wire and hopefully, I will live longer. If you know of other survival tricks in PI, please comment.

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