You plan to move to the Philippines? Wollen Sie auf den Philippinen leben?

There are REALLY TONS of websites telling us how, why, maybe why not and when you'll be able to move to the Philippines. I only love to tell and explain some things "between the lines". Enjoy reading, be informed, have fun and be entertained too!

Ja, es gibt tonnenweise Webseiten, die Ihnen sagen wie, warum, vielleicht warum nicht und wann Sie am besten auf die Philippinen auswandern koennten. Ich moechte Ihnen in Zukunft "zwischen den Zeilen" einige zusaetzlichen Dinge berichten und erzaehlen. Viel Spass beim Lesen und Gute Unterhaltung!

German Language Course in Davao City/Deutschsprachkurs in Davao City,

Sie muessen auf den Philippinen DEUTSCH lernen? You have to learn the German language in the Philippines? Sie wohnen in Davao oder irgendwo in Mindanao? Do you reside in Davao City or somewhere else in Mindanao?

Mein Deutschkurs als Professor am Institute of Languages (Fremdspracheninstitut) an der University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao besteht bereits mehr als sechs Jahren und bietet die fundierte Ausbildung, die benoetigt wird, um das A1/A2 Examen beim Goethe Institut in Manila bestehen zu koennen. Das Goethe Institut Manila und USEP haben bereits vor Jahren ein Memorandum of Understanding unterzeichnet. Das Institute of Language ist seit Jahren eine spezielle Einrichtung unter der Aufsicht des Universitaetspraesidenten Dr. Perfecto Alibino. Es unterrichten nur Professoren, deren Qualifikation nachgewiesen werden konnten. CHED - Commission on Higher Education befindet sich in unmittelbarer Naehe auf dem USEP-Campus. Alle Kurs-Teilnehmer erhalten ein Universitaets-Zertifikat mit Abschlussnote. Dies ist wichtig fuer eine Visaerteilung! - My German Language Course at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City as Professor (since more than six years now!) provides you with the requested education. You will be able to pass the A1/A2-exam at the Goethe Institute in Manila. Several years ago already, the Goethe Institut and USEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The "Institute of Language" is a special project since many years being supported directly by the Office of the President Dr. Alibin Perfecto. Only qualified professors are being able to teach different languages. CHED - Commission on Higher Education is located at the USEP campus. Language Course Students will be receiving an university certificate with average grade at the end of the course. This certification is important for a visa application!

Rufen Sie an: DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. Please call DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. ODER/OR 0915 - 2199002.

GERMAN LANGUAGE COURSES A1 and A2: 120 hours with following schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 am and Fridays from 8 to 10 am.

Deutsche Sprache Kurse A1 und A2: 120 Stunden - Unterrichtsstunden: montags, dienstags und mittwochs von 9 bis 11 Uhr und freitags von 8 bis 10 Uhr.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More Rain in The Philippines

rainfall warning system

MANILA, Philippines–Light to moderate rains are expected to continue Tuesday in most parts of Luzon due to the low pressure area (LPA) that developed over the weekend off Eastern Samar, the weather bureau said. 

As of 4 a.m. Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) spotted the LPA at 45 kilometers southwest of Daet, Camarines Norte.
Pagasa said Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol Region and the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Pangasinan and Romblon will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms during the day.
Pagasa moreover raised the yellow rainfall warning, or heavy rainfall warning, in Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, portions of Quezon and Nueva Ecija as of 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Classes suspended in 4 universities 
University of Santo Tomas, University of the East Manila, University of the East Caloocan and Perpetual Help College Manila suspended their classes due to anticipated floods.
Pagasa advised residents and local disaster councils to be alert, take all necessary precautions and monitor updates on the weather disturbance.
Senior weather forecaster Buddy Javier said the LPA was not expected to develop into a tropical cyclone.

By Bong Lozada,; and Dona Z. Pazzibugan, PDI 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Philippines' Protesters

Thousands of people including activists and clergy gathered at the Philippine capital's main park on Monday (Aug 25) in a rally to denounce the "pork barrel" system which they blame for spreading corruption. 

The crowd, which included nuns, priests and lawyers, was significantly smaller than a similar rally over the same issue last year which observers said drew at least 250,000. That rally, called through a vigorous social media campaign, had captured the outrage following reports of a scam involving tens of millions of dollars from the "pork barrel" funds of congressmen.

Such allocations are supposed to pay for the pet projects of legislators but large amounts were allegedly syphoned off. Three powerful senators have already been jailed over the controversy.

Influential Manila archbishop Cardinal Luis Tagle praised those taking part in the "march against pork" in a statement posted on a church social media site. "I extend my greetings and solidarity. Thank you for making democracy alive and active. Thank you for advancing decency in public life," the senior church leader said.

Peachy Bretana, an official of the Scrap Pork Network which was one of the organisers, told ABS-CBN television the issue was non-partisan. "This is not about parties. This definitely is not anti-administration. This is pro-people," she said.

But many of the protesters at the rally used the issue to attack President Benigno Aquino, whom they accused of abetting the pork barrel system and of seeking a second term despite being limited by law to only one term. "No to pork barrel. No to term extension," the placards read as protesters carried effigies of Aquino.

Aquino, who was elected in 2010 on an anti-corruption platform, has seen his approval ratings dip amid accusations that his allies are among the beneficiaries of the pork barrel system. The president did not directly address his critics. But speaking at an event at the military cemetery, he called on the public "to remain vigilant against those who seek to sow doubt and lies" and spread "baseless accusations".

Saturday, August 23, 2014

No Longer Worst Airport?

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Mania will be upgraded with better comfort room facilities and new air-conditioning units before the year ends.

An estimated P32.6 million will be spent by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for the rehabilitation of 121 toilets in Terminals 2, 3, and 4.

The project also includes the installation of major fixtures such as water closets, sensor-type urinals, lavatories, tiles, ceilings, and waterproofing works in comfort rooms.

Airport authorities said that as of August, around 15 percent of civil works had been completed.

A total of 26 toilet facilities will be fixed in Terminal 2. MIAA said 16 comfort rooms located in the passenger movement area are now undergoing repairs.

Out of 85 toilets in Terminal 3, 26 are being rehabilitated. The rehabilitation of 10 toilets in Terminal 4, on the other hand, will begin this month.

In Terminal 1, 54 toilets had been rehabilitated as early as 2010.


The MIAA will also replace 36 air-handling units (AHUs) in Terminal 1 with newly procured units, 17 of which have been received by the airport authority for full installation by November this year.

The remaining 19 units will be installed and fully functional by March 2015.

In Terminal 2, 21 new air-conditioning units will be installed, 9 of which will already be in place within the month.

Structural retrofitting and other engineering works are also ongoing in Terminal 1. Operations are expected to normalize by March 2015.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Davao City Declares Ramon Bautista as PERSONA NON GRATA

Ramon Bautista FILE PHOTO

Ramon Bautista has been declared as persona non grata in Davao City following a joke he made at the Kadayawan Festival on Saturday, August 16.

A resolution approved by the city council said Bautista was declared persona non grata to make him “understand that as a visitor he should be mindful of decency and propriety.”

The declaration came after Bautista, in an event during the Kadayawan Festival, joked: “Tama! Ang daming hipon dito sa Davao, alright.” He then asked the crowd to chant the word “hipon.”

Bautista later apologized for his joke during the event.

Hipon is a Filipino slang that refers to a person with a beautiful body but an unattractive face.

The comedian — who is also a TV host, radio DJ and author — apologized over the joke again on his Instagram account on Monday, August 18, saying he's ready to face the consequences of his actions.

“Unang una po, tinatanggap ko po na ako ay may nagawang pagkakamali sa event sa Kadayawan na ikina-offend ng mga taga Davao at iba pa po nating mga kababayan,” he said.

Bautista added, “Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa aking nagawa. Tatanggapin ko po kung anumang maging consequence o kahihinatnan ng pagkakamaling ito. Taos puso po akong nagpapakumbaba sa pagpapaumanhin at humihingi ng kapatawaran sa inyo lahat.”

On her Instagram account on Monday, August 19, former Davao City mayor Sara Duterte said: “Ramon Bautista, if I do not tell you that you are wrong, then who will?”
“I have two small children growing up in a society where abuse, parental neglect, corruption, injustice and senseless killings are as common as candies on the store shelf,” she added. “Totoo meron mga babae na hindi desirable ang mukha at napaka seksi ng katawan, pero kelangan mo ba turuan ang mga bata kung paano mangantiyaw ng 'Hipon'? Kung sa darating na panahon magkaroon ka ng babaeng anak na ganito, don't teach her to roll with the punches of bullying, teach her to stand up and fight, teach her respect.”

Duterte further said, “Comedian ka pala, the great comedians that I know use their wit and do not toilet trash women. You have the power of influence, use it positively." 

Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte, in an interview with GMA-7's news program “24 Oras” aired Monday, August 18, hinted Bautista will be declared persona non grata.
“I'm trying to protect everybody here. When I protect everybody, it doesn't mean only the physical being. I protect their honor,” he said.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Letter to Filipino Farmers

By Karyn Mae F. Azur, SUNSTAR DAVAO

THE so-called backbone of the nation produces the fruits, vegetables, and rice that are served on Filipino tables. They are the farmers. It is because of the farmers’ ceaseless efforts that we have something to eat to fill our stomach and nourish our body.
With that, I am writing this to thank and salute you for all the selfless things you do, and to express how important you are to me.
The sad thing is that most of the people you feed do not appreciate and give importance of your existence and contribution. What’s more heart-breaking is that you work harder, but earn less.
You earn less not just because of the small amount of income you gain, but because of the little value given to you. You earn less because most of Filipinos do not deeply appreciate your important role in the society as food producers.
In our dining table, we never forget to thank God for providing the food we eat. But, we don’t realize you are God’s instruments who make it possible for us to have the fruits, vegetables, and rice served on our tables.
I often reflect about your life.
You wake up before the sun rises, then sip a cup of coffee and eat four to six pieces of pandesal.
I find it heart-rending that you wake up early every morning to take care of the crops that are later cooked and served on our table, while we stay at peace on our bed, wake up late, and eat what you have produced for us.
While we’re lying with our back on a comfortable mattress, you’re working so hard with your sweat dripping and back under the torturing heat of the sun. But, you never complain. You never stop.
We don’t even think of the farmers’ hard work and hardship while we chew our food. What we have in mind is to eat to our heart’s content and start our day in a way that’s far different from theirs.
Rain or shine, you go to the fields to check on the crops, and do everything to have a good harvest to gain bigger income. You spend almost half of your day under various difficult situations, but you do not earn what you deserve.
You put in a big percentage to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and along with the fishery sector, you contribute almost 20 percent of the total GDP.
But, you receive less of government’s assistance. Your income is not enough for your basic needs and can’t even support your family. You don’t deserve to get this in return from your huge contribution in the society and economy.
It upsets me that even if you fulfill your role in the society in the best way you can, together with the fishermen, you are still the ‘poorest sectors’ and ‘most vulnerable to hunger and poverty’ according to a report by Oxfam International Philippines.
As one of the pillars of Philippine economy, you are worthy to be commended. You deserve to live in abundance. You deserve more.
I thank you because you are the reason why my mother is able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the market, which she cooks into a delicious and healthy meal for us.
I thank you for if it isn’t because of your undying efforts, my father won’t be able to purchase a sack of rice to sustain us for a month.
I thank you because we’re able to survive everyday, through the staple crops you produce, which we buy, cook, and eat.
You might not know how important you are to me and to my family that’s why I’m writing this and I hope you’ll be able to read this.
I am certain that one day will come when, like the seeds you plant, you will rise from the ground and grow abundantly. Yes, you will. 

Sunday Essays are articles written by Ateneo de Davao University students for their journalism subject.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Military Verifying "Proof of Life" of ASG-held Germans in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines  - - Police and military intelligence  officials are verifying what could be a “proof of life” picture of two German nationals held by the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu.
The picture was posted on the internet and was discovered by authorities, officials said.
Capt. Ma. Rowena Muyuela, spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), believes that the intelligence community has a copy of the picture that shows German nationals Dr. Stefan Viktor Okonek, 74, and Henrite Dielen, 42, seated and holding a German flag with about 10 masked gunmen believed to be Abu Sayyaf members in an unknown location.
Muyuela said government troops have been pursuing the Abu Sayyaf group to rescue hostages, including the two German nationals who were initially declared missing after sailing aboard their yacht near Rio Tubataha off Palawan toward Sabah last April.
Muyuela declined to give further comment or details, saying that any operational information leak might pre-empt the safety of the victims and the military's pursuit.
“We can only say in general that efforts have been ongoing to recover the victims,” Muyuela said.
Senior Superintendent Abraham Orbita, Sulu provincial police director, also confirmed the presence of the two German hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf group in the province and a tracking operation is underway to locate the victims.
“Intelligence operatives are working to locate the victims,” Orbita said. He did not elaborate.
The presence of the two captive Germans was initially confirmed by Octavio Dinampo, aprofessor at Mindanao State University (MSU) and an active peace advocate in Sulu,  sometime in May following tips by informants on the ground detailing how the victims were brought to the province.
Dinampo, also a former kidnap victim of the Abu Sayyaf, disclosed earlier that the two German captives arrived in the coastal village of Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul town with their captors led by Jihad Susukan alias Iddang  last Arpil 14 and brought to the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Radullan Sahiron.
He said  the two captives then joined the group of other captives, including  two European bird watchers -  Dutch Elwold Horn, and Swiss Lorenzo Vinceguerra, and  a Malaysian maritime police officer.-  Roel Pareño, Philippine Star

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Philippine Immigration Eyes Advance Info on Philippine Visitors

Immigration commissioner Siegfred Mison said they are pushing for the implementation of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to allow immigration officers to receive data about the passengers bound for the Philippines even before they arrive at international airports and seaports.

He said the government needs an APIS “so that we could channel all our resources to those passengers who are considered as high-risk and low risk. We would be able to immediately let the ‘good guys’ in and keep the ‘bad guys’ out.”

Mison said they are still in the process of getting President Aquino to sign an executive order to implement APIS.

The yearly subscription to the provider of the advance passenger database alone could amount to P16 million. Aside from the BI, the Bureau of Customs and the Department of Tourism might be asked to help shoulder the subscription cost since they would also benefit from the system.

The service also covers the training of personnel for the APIS.

There are three top APIS providers that would still have to bid for the project once the President signs the executive order.

Mison is hoping the project pushes through before the end of the year.

Two international events are scheduled next year where the APIS would prove to be useful – the five-day apostolic visit of Pope Francis from Jan. 15 to 19 next year and the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meet.

The first batch of delegates for APEC is expected to arrive this December.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

From Germany to Gubat: Philipp Dukatz Travels to the Philippines

Enjoying a buko juice on the beach of Sabang, Palawan. All photos courtesy of Philipp Dukatz
Philipp Dukatz was working for Germany’s biggest telecommunications company when he decided to leave his job, give in to his wanderlust and travel to Southeast Asia, as he had long dreamed of doing.

The result is a year-long trek in which he zig-zagged the region, visiting the temples of Thailand and walking with the Komodo dragons of Indonesia, crashing a wedding in Hue and riding on top of jeepneys in Sorsogon—all chronicled in his blog

While Dukatz has since gone back to the corporate world, he says there are still some places he wants to visit, and others he wants to go back to. He spoke to GMA News Online via email about his travels in the Philippines.

Sambawan Island, Leyte.
Q: Was the language barrier a big one? Were you able to communicate easily with people?

I have traveled all across Southeast Asia, visited 9 countries overall, and I can say that communicating in the Philippines was probably the easiest. This was due to the Filipinos’ good command of the English language which made interaction easier. I found it a lot easier to get to know people, strike up a conversation and socialize than in any of the other countries I have visited. And all of this made for the unique travel experience which I ended up having.

Q: You talked about living the "Buhay-Baboy" in Gubat, Sorsogon. Was that a radically different lifestyle than you were used to in Germany?

The term was coined during a longer stay in Gubat, a small seaside town in the province of Sorsogon. We spent Holy Week there at a little beach and surf camp organized by the local surfing community. We got to know locals as well as other Filipinos from Manila who were also there for the so called Hayahay camp. We often sat together, had good food, drinks, listened to music, sang and enjoyed those relaxed days. It was a good life, without much to worry about, lot of laughter and happiness. Someone called it “Buhay Baboy” which, as far as I remember, translates to a “pig’s life”. Everybody liked it so much that it stuck instantly. My travel mates and I adopted the term for the rest of our journey and quoted it whenever we had another one of those “Buhay Baboy Moments”.

This lifestyle, of course only temporarily, was very different from what I was used to at home. I was caught up in a stressful job, lots of obligations and lots of worries, which, now that I look back, where not even justified. So yes, it was different and I enjoyed it a lot.

Dukatz with some residents of Gubat, Sorsogon.
Q: Do you prefer going to the off-the-beaten-track places?
A: I definitely prefer it on a general note but sometimes it also feels good to return to the backpacker trail. Just to enjoy the company of other travelers, exchange stories and travel tales. But usually venturing off the beaten track makes for the better travel experience. The things you experience are more unique and the interactions with the people are more real than in areas which have been exposed to tourism for some time. I can say that the best memories of my journey wouldn’t have been possible without going off the beaten track. But as I said, mixing it up a little is usually good as being on your own in the remotest areas can become a bit exhausting after a while.

Q: I don't think you went to Mindanao. Was it a deliberate choice not to go there, and are you planning to go there in the future?

We were actually supposed to go there but in the end we ran out of time. I think to really explore Mindanao, we probably would have had to skip Palawan and that was a place I really wanted to see. But yes, being a surfer I really would have liked to surf Cloud 9 in Siargao, to see the enchanted river, visit Davao and explore the other highlights of Mindanao. In the end, you can’t do everything but it is something that is high up on my list for my next visit to the Philippines. Hopefully not before too long.

Wreck diving off the coast of Coron, Palawan.
Q: You noted all of your expenses. Is this part of your routine when going on extended travels?

In my opinion this is a must if you are traveling long term. It is easy to lose track of your expense if you don’t note them in one way or another. For most people who decide to travel long term, money is the limiting factor rather than time, and this was also the case for me. So if you can prevent to overspend and budget wisely, you will be probably able to stay away for a couple of more months. And that is a good motivation.

Q: Did you have any truly unusual experiences, the kind that made you go, "I can't believe this is happening to me right now" or "I can't believe I'm doing this"?

A: Well maybe two different kind of experiences. The first thing involves me setting out for a solo trek into the Malaysian jungle of Taman Negara. You are not supposed to that on your own but at that time I didn’t feel like joining a group tour. I underestimated the trek and it ended up being a grueling march through leech-infested terrain with 35 degrees at about 90 percent humidity outside. I found an abandoned bungalow complex by the river and camped out overnight. The next day I really didn’t feel like hiking back so I hitchhiked a local longboat to make it back to the village I was staying at.

The other story is about my stay in Gubat, which I mentioned above. It was nothing crazy or thrilling, but there I was allowed to experience the amazing and unique Filipino hospitality first hand. During those days, I was offered food, drinks and shelter by people whom I was just introduced to. I was able to make real friends which is an extraordinary thing when traveling long term. I look back at this time with a smile on my face and a humble feeling of gratitude.

Dukatz and some newly made friends in Batad, Mountain Province
Q: Where are you off to next?

A: For now I am back to work so I can’t even tell when I will go traveling again. But I definitely want to visit the Philippines again and I can just hope that it won’t be before too long. I have received so many travel tips by my blog readers and facebook fans, that my list of places I want to explore is too long already. I’d like to see Ilocos, Batanes and Mindanao, just to name a few. Apart from that there a few countries in my bucket list which are really intriguing. Certain parts of India, Bhutan, Mongolia or Tibet for example. But at this time I have no real plans made..... not yet.

Cliff jumping in Siquijor.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why Davao City?

Re-published column of mine from August 1, 2014 in MINDANAO DAILY MIRROR with friendly permission of Publisher Marietta F. Siongco.

A couple of years ago, I got the chance to meet Davao City's then vice mayor Sara Duterte for an interview. She took almost an hour to talk with me. One question of her was very much preying on my mind: How can Davao City become more attractive for investors and expatriates? Expats as pensioners and as business people as well... . 

Davao City has really a lot to offer. Where should I start?

Living in this wonderful city since 1999 already as an expatriate and businessman, I experienced already many of the good things that Sara Duterte has talked about. Sure, with the predominantly migration population, Davao City is a melting pot of cultures where diversities are well appreciated, respected, and  nurtured in a harmonious and peaceful environment. This is one of my most important reasons in staying here for good. Until 1998, I resided in Berlin, which is also very known for a multi-cultural and open city.

Davao City has one of the highest literacy rates in Asia, if we could believe, what's been published many times already. Davao City's labor force is cited as among the best in the region: educated, easily trainable, industrious and English speaking. Yes, I love to do business here while also being able to teach at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Obrero.

Every time, I am coming back from different business trips and entering then Davao City's airport, I utter the groan, "Salamat, I am back home!"

There is another reason: Although Davao City's average monthly crime volume went up a little bit, the peace and order public safety is indeed unique and awesome and very well known even leaving the municipal area of Mindanao itself. The Philippines' first emergency 911 call center has been of the priority development programs of our good mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Many expats or tourists can't imagine that a state of the art communication system that Davao City shares in common, an only befound in the U.S. and Canada.

Many more things could be mentioned. One thing for sure: Our good mayor has credited the Aquino administration for putting Davao City on the "green map" of investments and tourism in the country, as the MIRROR headlined last Monday. The mayor is totally right in saying, "Whether it is a spin-off of an improved economy - it happened during the Aquino administration." Speaking about the whole nation, German Ambassador to the Philippines Ossowski got the same opinion  when I met him last time in the German Embassy.

Yes, Davao City is really "a haven of urban luxury and gateway to natural wonders, engaging festivals and world-class tourism facilities. I left my heart in Davao City already in 1982 - during a trip to San Francisco... !

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