Maayong hapon, everyone!
First off, I have been getting some good feedback on the Twin Lakes video I put up the other day that was filmed entirely with out new(ish) Samsung S6. The phone did a pretty great job of capturing our adventure there, and the only issues were some “juddering” as I panned the S6 too quickly and the images became jumbled. And although the optical image stabilization was good, I am actually going to order a phone adapter for mounting it on a tripod or monopod.
I have also been putting more work into making our e-book, Chasing Your Philippine Dream, even better. One of the things I neglected to include in the last edition was a list of things to bring and not bring with you, whether you are just coming over for a month or so or transporting yourself for the long haul. I came up with an initial list (noted below), but I could always use more suggestions. Leave any additions or recommended subtractions in the comments section. And thanks for taking the time to help out!
Here’s what I have so far:
WHAT TO BRING
If you are visiting the Philippines, don’t get too worried over what you should or should not bring. Just use common sense and remember that on most “same ticket” international flights you can carry over 120 pounds of luggage (check in’s and carry on’s). With that noted, here’s some suggestions that our writing team has put together.
Short Term Stay (Visiting)
Medications and prescriptions/note from doctor.
Medical ID bracelet.
Newer unlocked cell phone (at least a Samsung S5 or iPhone 5S)
Small laptop or tablet w/Bluetooth keyboard and mouse
Cargo shorts/bathing suits w/deep front pockets and secured cargo pockets
Lightweight T-Shirts (cheap Walmart Gildan brand are PERFECT)
A few lightweight collared Polo shirts
Sturdy running shoes/sneakers
Convertible lightweight pants/shorts
Sunscreen (usually much cheaper abroad)
Vitamins and supplements (cheaper abroad)
Bluetooth speaker (Creative or Bose recommended)
Small motion alarm (Amazon recommended)
Good quality (not local Chinese quality) collapsible umbrella
Kindle or Kobo e-reader (or tablet with long battery life)
Long-sleeve t-shirt for sun protection.
Wide-brimmed hat (or buy one here).
Good quality headphones (I like Bluetooth and a earbud-style backup).
Knife sharpener (Amazon recommended)
A few pairs of “real” sunglasses with actual UV protection.
Google Chromecast or Kindle Firestick loaded with Kodi (google it).
Long Term – Lugagge or BB Box – All the above plus:
Eneloop batteries (AA and AAA) and charger
Bed sheets (I love the cheap cotton sheets that feel like t-shirt fabric – available Target or Wal-Mart)
Computer components (motherboard, drives, GPU etc.; purchase case in Phils)
Long term supply of vitamins/supplements (protein powder, vitamins, etc.).
Gaming consoles (much cheaper in the West)
Good quality router.
M&M’s or other “pasalubong” gift items.
Deodorant (a lot of stores only sell antiperspirant).
*If you don’t actually use the extra phones and laptops (“gadgets”), you can usually sell them at a profit to pay for the BB box shipping. Just make sure the items are not new or in their original packaging or customs could charge you fees and taxes. Note that brining in items intended for commercial resale is not allowed in the Philippines.
What NOT to Bring
Towels – the thin, cheap towels sold here actually dry faster that thick, “Western” ones.
Flip flops – these are sold everywhere in the Philippines.
Dishes – The cheap ones sold here work just fine.
Blenders – very good quality ones available here.
Monitors/TV- Lazada.com offers good deals on both.
Kitchen Appliances (toasters, small electric ovens, etc.) All are available here and all run on 220 v. The only problems with voltage seem to occur with 110V Western kitchen appliances and surge protectors.
Kitchen Knives – Available everywhere. Just bring a good sharpener.
Furniture – Most foreigners don’t stay in the Philippines so shipping everything that you own in a 20 foot container doesn’t make much sense to us. There are custom, handmade furniture shops all over the Philippines that offer inexpensive, high quality products. Just be sure to avoid particleboard (“fallaparticleboard”) furniture as it is a mold and mildew magnet and doesn’t last long in the tropics.
Any newer cell phone will work in the Philippines as long as the SIM slot is unlocked. (By newer, we mean the newer models up to and including the iPhone 5 and Samsung S5.)
Load on phone
Google Voice (Hangouts and Hangouts Dialer)
Make sure SIM is unlocked
Games for waiting in line/queue
Make sure contacts are being uploaded and backed up to cloud service (iCloud or Google).
Backed Up to a Cloud Service (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
Scans of medical records (immunization, prescriptions and recent visit documentation), personal identification (scans of driver’s license and passport stored in secured folder/file)
That’s all I got so far. Thanks again for any help.
And if you haven’t seen our Twin Lakes video, here it is! Although I got a bit long-winded during some parts, I think it came out pretty durn good.