Well, it’s Friday morning and the proverbial cats and dogs are raining down from the heavens. I was going to do my mile swim over at the Teves Aquacenter but some worrisome lightning strikes sorta shuffled that possibility into later this afternoon. Here’s hoping that the celestial electrical charges will eventually taper off. My expanding midriff could certainly use the exercise.
Thanks to Sir Martin who I met up with last night at my secondary office site, Bogarts Dive Bar. He was kind enough to bestow some groovy gifts upon my undeserving self including a new rashguard (SPF 50 to protect my fish belly-white skin), a seriously wide-brimmed hat to ward off the tropical sun, a new set of swimming goggles and a copious collection of science fiction novels. And although I am plodding through the Leviathan Wakes series, it’s always good to have some books loaded up in the pipeline. Thank you, Martin – it is sincerely appreciated.
So, since I can’t go swimming, I decided to post up the transcript from the October 11 Wednesday morning’s Livecast.
Oh, lucky you….
So, here was go!
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Last week’s trivia question:
From having the world’s largest python and salt water crocodiles, giant mutant hornets and the biggest fish in the Seven Sea’s, the Philippines is home to a bunch of bigly beasts. This particular animal in the largest that lives in the Philippines and can only be found on the island of Mindoro. The answer was of course, the tamaraw (a giant, mutant water buffalo), and Chris S. was sent a free a free copy of my ebook, Chasing Your Philippine Dream: An Expat’s Guide to the Philippines. A number of folks also guessed correctly in the video’s comment section, but ya gotta email the answer in to get the prize.
I also never realized that the gawd-ugly Toyota Tamaraw was named after this lumbering beast. For those unfamiliar with this decidedly odd melding of a Volkswagon Thing and a Chevy Blazer, check out the photo below.
Also a note that Dave got the Vanguard reference in the Mavic Pro Maiden Flight Video and was also sent a free copy of the ebook.
This week’s trivia question:
This outlaw from the southern hemisphere is famous for building early-model body armor out of boiler plate and having shoot outs with local constabulary. His last words before being hung were, “Such is life.” Who was this man and what is his nickname in his home country?
The first person to email the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org get a free copy of our book, a $10.95 value at any of your local book retailers.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the comments and questions.
Dan Packard on Facebook asks:
“Ned, with all the things that are going on the Philippines, what do you think the biggest dangers to foreigners there are?”
ME: I still think the biggest danger to foreigners is ourselves. I have spoken about this before, and I still believe it holds true. Most issues that ‘porenyers’ face here are typically a result of putting themselves in the wrong place, hanging out with the wrong people or simply making poor decisions. Drinking and driving are a big issue here, especially for recently arrived foreigners who are not used to the local driving “rules.” We also tend to stick out when traveling about, so living and/or traveling in areas that have been subject to kidnappings or insurgent activity (MILF, ISIL, NPA, etc.) can also put us in bad situations. And believe it or not, having too much idle time with nothing to do can also be a big issue for people, with folks turning to the cheap local booze or engaging in other similarly self-destructive behaviors.
aka98032 commenting on Mavic Maiden Flight video
“I’ll be looking forward to aerial views of your house while you’re sitting inside pontificating. $1300 bucks? Looks like it goes for around $850. I can see why you’re begging now”
ME: The Mavic Flymore package costs $1,299 in both the United States and the Philippines, random number guy. And it’s not my fault you are lacking the cognitive skills necessary to get the joke. 😏
aka98032 commenting on Mavic Maiden Flight video
“sorry, I do enjoy your vids. Just woke up and watched Bud Brown’s vids and was overwhelmed by pointlessness, and he uses the same theme music as you, got me thinking of your drone.”
ME: Yer trollin is impressive. If you want to tell Bud how “pointless” his videos are, why don’t you wander over to his channel and tell him yourself. But alas, you probably can’t do that as he has most likely blocked your smug little self-righteous ass. If you really want to show us how to do it, why don’t you put up some of your own content? Create – don’t denigrate and destroy. /mwaaah!
Gothus Touchstone Singularity on My Filipina Stole My House
“Best tip: Get a condo, not a landed house!”
ME: Thanks, Gothus. While it is indeed true that foreigners can own condominiums in the Philippines, I would personally never live in one for two reasons: First off, most – if not all – condos are in the congested and grimy built-up urban areas and dwelling in the midst of metro-Manila, Cebu or Davao really doesn’t appeal to me. The second issue is the size of the condo offerings in the Philippines – unless you are spending in the neighborhood of $200,000 US dollars, they are simply waaaay too small.
Doulas Glenn on Facebook insists:
“You shouldn’t be giving money or food to the poor. It just encourages them not to work and creates a cycle of dependency.”
ME: Amazing well thought out conservative talking point. What I do with my money is my own business, Doug. And gawd only knows, I’ve spent it on worse things in the past….
Mamot Malmon on Cooling Your Hot House in the Philippines notes:
ME: Yep, all the additions that have been put into keeping Pink House cool are indeed passive cooling: The nipa cover over the western side of the house (driveway), the polystyrene insulation in the ceiling and the veritable jungle of shade trees now surrounding the house are cheap and simply ways to passively cool your home.
Rollyn TheGreat Cool Philippines House for 20,000 pesos comments:
“,500$=76,500 pesos … u can live like a king here in Phil ….. If u want to be more like a king ….go live in Province its more cheaper price ….for #REAL ..more natural beach and good food …. To eat”
ME: Thanks, Rollyn, but I can’t really do the provincial thing for too long. I need my steady electricity, somewhat dependable internet and local shopping and restaurants. My personal preference is living on the outskirts of a medium-sized Philippine city such as Dumaguete.
David Knapp on Mavic Pro Maiden Flight comments:
“Nice job. I am impressed with the smoothness of the flight. No crashes? And the sat / vibe was fine for me – but what do I know”
ME: No crashes up to this point, David. (Knocks on side of head.) The Mavic is INCREDIBLY easy to fly: It takes off and lands with the push of a button and hovers whenever you let go of the flight sticks. Bud Brown gave me his old toy drone, and the difference between the two is night and day. I still get a little nervous when it is flying out over the water, but the footage is so good, it’s kinda hard not to take the chance. As for the Lightroom effects, I pushed a little too hard on the satuaration and vibrancy sliders – it made the sunset really pop but also gave the rest of the video that “plasticky” look you get when using too much.
Colin Maharaj on Mavic Maiden Flight Video noted:
“agh smoggy But I like the 360….”
ME: You mean the smoke? Yeah, Dumaguete really, really likes to burn stuff. Pollutes the air and gives their kids respiratory issues. I don’t know why they don’t outlaw burning and actually enforce it. It would do much to improve quality of life and giving visiting foreigner tourists one less thing to gripe about.
Philippine Life on Mavic Pro Maiden Flight video notes:
“Read the laws before you lose it. One of the laws for example is not to fly within 30m of anyone not directly involved with the flying of the drone. I’m not hating, I’m just trying to protect all drone users”
ME: (My terse, sarcastic response was:) I’ll get right on that. (My extended response would note that you are not allowed to fly a drone within 5 KM of an airport in the Philippines, and since Dumaguete is within that limit, the whole city comes up as a No Fly Zone. I think if one is employing common sense and not actually flying near the airport, the dangers are rather minimal. Less dangerous than being a local drug addict, at least.)
Milton Waddams on Last Livecast: Drones, Tuition Assistance, and Has Life Gotten Better or Worse for Foreigners in the Philippines?
“No wonder so many Filipino kids are asking me for money, they think foreigners just hand out money as they have too much of it. You’re doing a terrible disservice to all foreigners in the Philippines. You should be teaching them to get a job and work hard, then get a SALARY. Instead you’re teaching them to ask for money, money for nothing.”
ME: (Again, I responded to this one in a notably snarky manner – there seems to be a pattern forming…): You’re right. I’m a horrible person.
Milton Waddams : “You’re actually one of the best vloggers about Philippines but it’s still a bad practice in my opinion. I’ve been raided by kids in Makati coming out of a store, they all expect I’m just going to give my food away. Other slum kids just straight up ask for money. I always give them nothing or just a small snack if I feel the kid is sincere. It doesn’t make me a bad person because their parents have opportunities to work and buy them stuff. Once you start giving stuff away, you’ll always be doing that.”
ME: The opportunities that you speak of are very limited when compared to say, the United States. That’s why millions of Filipinos go OFW to support their families.
To which Milton replies: “Giving out money or food has never helped any nation. Investing and teaching might but that requires real effort. I think Ned is doing this stuff so he feels good about himself as do most people who “help”. I warned him about the situation regarding the house he was helping to build, he disregarded my advice but in the end I was right…”
ME: At this point, I kinda loss interest in the incessantly pointless back and forth. I think I noted that someone should tell Puerto Rico that giving out money or food following the recent hurricane won’t help them. Or any other areas where people are hungry and opportunities are limited. As for Milton warning me about “the situation regarding the house he was helping to build,” the house was completed with no issues and the two families are still living there. You can actually see Nano, Nikki and Jun-Jun helping out in the last two spaghetti-fest videos, passing on what they were so freely giving. And Milton is right – it does feel good to give of oneself and share what you have. It’s one of those win-win scenarios that I am incessantly yakking about.
celtosaxon on last Livecast Video notes:
“Most people here keep their camera stuff in a dry box. I actually have 2 bar fridge sized dry boxes where I keep important documents, photo albums, lesser used leather goods & any chalky type substances (like a roll of tums) to give a few examples.”
ME: Thanks for that. Celtosaxon is referring to the fungus issue I am having with my DSLR camera. I am presently keeping it in a gallon Ziploc freezer bag along with a sock full of silica gel that has dropping the humidity level from 85% to a bit over 50%. I still have to get a big Tupperware container and make a more permanent solution, however.
OK, so that’s the Livecast write up. If you want so see the actual video, you can simply click HERE.
Take care everyone!!