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!


Deutsch lernen in Davao City!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 seit fast sieben 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 almost seven 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 and Fridays from 9 to 11 am.

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

FOR MORE INFO (ESPECIALLY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES COURSES) / FUER MEHR INFORMATIONEN (SPEZIELL BETREFFEND VERSCHIEDENER SPRACHKURSANGEBOTE) BESUCHEN SIE BITTEPLEASE FEEL FREE TO VISIT http://www.usep.edu.ph AND THEN CLICK "ACADEMICS" - "DELIVERY SYSTEMS - INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGES or http://www.usep.edu.ph/Campuses/Obrero/Offices/IL or follow us in Facebook (send friend request to IL Usep or like us USEP Institute of Languages) or Twitter or usepil121405@yahoo.com .

Monday, January 26, 2015

DIETER SOKOLL: Suroy-Suroy's Geschichte von 1976-2009 (Teil VIII)/(Part VIII)

Erkundungen in Stadt und Land 

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1. Teil - Fahrten nach Moalboal auf Cebu, Antequera auf Bohol und Zamboanga auf Mindanao


Ich bin jemand, der immer gerne wissen möchte, was hinter der nächsten Kurve oder hinter der nächsten Ecke ist. Den "Jens Peters" hatte ich mir mitgebracht. Meine Frau war nicht dazu zu bewegen, sich "NUR" etwas anzuschauen. Sie ging nur mit, wenn es hiess "Einkaufen". Sie ging lieber zum Schwatz zur Nachbarin, die hinter unserem Grundstück in einer kleinen Hütte wohnte und uns auch manchmal im Haus half.



Ich fuhr nach Moalboal und habe noch den Panagsama Strand mit Sand erlebt, bevor der Taifun kam und ihn wegholte. Wir schreiben das Jahr 1980 in meiner Geschichte.



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Ich fuhr mit dem Schiff nach Tagbilaran, Bohol, um auf dem sonntäglichen Markt in Antequera die Möglichkeiten für den Export von Korbwaren zu erkunden. Habe einige Muster mit nach Cebu genommen, aber daraus wurde damals nichts.

Ich bin mit dem Schiff nach Zamboanga City gefahren, um den Barter Trade Market auszukundschaften. Die Schifffahrt dahin war schon ein Erlebnis. Ich hatte Billig-Klasse auf dem Deck mit Klappliegen gebucht. Kissen und Decken gabe es gegen Aufpreis. Jemand, der anders aussah als alle anderen Mitreisenden, erregte mein Aufsehen. Sah' aus wie ein Medizinmann oder so. Hopste herum und machte beschörende Gesten und wollte dabei Talismänner oder irgendwelche Medizin in kleinen Flaschen verkaufen und arbeitete sich so durch die Reihen. Irgendwann war er dann auch bei mir und gab mir zu verstehen, ich solle ihm doch was abkaufen. Er wurde immer aufdringlicher als ich nichts wollte. In den Flaschen waren Erde, kleine Steinchen, Holzstückchen, Haare, weiss der Geier was noch alles, in einer Flüssigkeit. Ich gab ihm zu verstehen, er solle sich "trollen". Meine Pritschennachbarn zur Linken und zur Rechten wurden richtig bleich. Sie meinten, ich solle nicht den Ärger dieses Mannes erregen, er wäre ein Zauberer von der Insel Siquijor. Das war mir ziemlich egal, er sollte mich nur in Ruhe lassen. Ein Weilchen war es ja gut und eben auch zur Belustigung aller. Irgendwann ging er dann schimpfend weiter. Ich kann mir schon vorstellen, wenn man daran glaubt, dass der Zauber einen krankmachen kann. Krank geworden bin ich nicht und irgendwelche Voodoo Stiche im Hintern habe ich auch nicht verspürt.

Auf der weiteren Fahrt lernte ich einen philippinischen Soldaten kennen. Er war auf dem Weg von seiner Einheit nach Hause, um seine Familie zu besuchen, und zwar mit Ausrüstung und Gewehr. Er lud mich zu seiner Familie nach Hause ein. Ich sagte ihm meine Hoteladresse in Zamboanga. Im "Jens Peters" stand ein billiges Hotel, nicht weit weg vom Hafen und um die Ecke war die Strasse wo das Lantaka Hotel und damals auch der Barter Trade Market waren. Einige Stunden nachdem ich im Hotel war, kam mein neuer Freund, um mich abzuholen. Wir fuhren zu seinem Hause, und ich wurde der Familie vorgestellt. Er war sichtlich stolz, einen weißen Freund zu haben. Es gab Pulatan und Bier. Während der Unterhaltung, in nicht allzuweiter Entfernung, waren plötzlich Schüsse zu hören. Der Soldat meinte, ich solle ruhig sitzen bleiben. Er ging 'raus und kam mit seinem Gewehr und einer Handfeuerwaffe zurück. Er behielt das Gewehr und die andere Waffe gab er seinem Bruder und sagte, sie wollen mal nachsehen, was da los ist. Es fielen keine weiteren Schüsse mehr. Nach einer Weile kamen sie grinsend zurück und meinten da hätte es in der Nachbarschaft "family trouble" gegeben. Bei mir kam so richtig keine Unterhaltungslaune mehr auf. Er brachte mich dann wieder zurück zum Hotel. Alles ungewohnte Dinge für mich. Ich sollte kurz darauf noch mehr Gewalt zu sehen bekommen und auch noch die folgenden Jahre -  eigentlich bis heute.

Später gegen Abend ging plötzlich das Licht aus. Gut, das ich im Hotel war. Wir saßen bei Kerzenlicht und Bier im Hoteleingang auf der Treppe. Es wurde mir angeraten, nicht auf die Strasse zu gehen. Dann hörte man mit Sirenengeheul auf der Strasse am Lantaka Hotel und die Feuerwehr fahren. Es war gespenstisch. Alles im Dunkel und dann wieder Schüsse. Diesmal aber heftiger und mehrere. Am nächsten Tag wurde mir gesagt, es hatte ein Feuer gegeben in Rio Hondo, und man hätte die Feuerwehr beschossen, aber jetzt wäre alles wieder ruhig. Ja, "welcome to the Wild East".

 Also ging ich den Barter Trade Market besuchen. Das hätte ich mir auch sparen können. Außer malayischer Batik in schlechter Qualität gab es eine Menge billiger Plastikwaren und Kosmetik aus Hongkong nicht viel. Vielleicht waren die Messingwaren der einheimischen Moslems noch interessant, aber die Sachen konnte ich nicht beurteilen.



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Ich habe mir in Zamboanga noch den Pasonaca Park mit dem Baumhaus angesehen. Ich durfte sogar hochklettern und es von innen besichtigen. Das Baumhaus war komplett mit Küche, sogar Kühlschrank, Bad, Wohn- und Schlafraum ausgestattet und wurde an "Honeymooner" vermietet. Am Hafen hat mir noch der Fischmarkt direkt am Wasser und der normale Markt gefallen. Auch dort gab es viele Messingartikel. Zurück auf's Schiff mußte man eine Art Zoll passieren. Es waren nur bestimmte Mengen von Artikeln des Barter Trade Markets erlaubt.

Das war mein erster Besuch in Zamboanga City. Ich sollte wiederkommen.

(Fortsetzung folgt!)

Davao City Eyes Higher Outsourcing Ranking as Space Increases

By Carmelito Q. FranciscoCorrespondent 
and
Marifi F. JaraMindanao Bureau Chief


BusinessWorld online

DAVAO CITY -- With available office space for business process outsourcing (BPO) and other information technology (IT) operations increasing to 37,000 square meters from only 7,500 a year earlier, stakeholders are optimistic that the city will improve its rank of 69th among the world’s top 100 outsourcing destinations.

The Matina IT Park, located in the southern side of the Davao City central area, is in the final stages of construction for the first of three buildings and is expected to open this year. -- Marifi F. Jara
The ranking is based on the December 2014 report of Tholons, Inc., an international consultancy firm for outsourcing research, ranking Davao City at 69th, the same spot it held when it was first included in the list in 2010.

Davao, considered as an “aspiring” city, held the same rank except in 2013 when it fell one step to 70.

Samuel R. Matunog, president of the group Information and Communication Technology-Davao, Inc. (ICT Davao), said the additional space is expected to be ready by July this year, including the new Matina IT Park and the Felcris Central mixed-use complex of Felcris Hotels and Resorts Corp.

“The industry is confident that the spaces will be filled up,” Mr. Matunog said.

New locators are expected to settle in the city within the year, while some existing operators are expected to expand.

NEW LOCATORS
In the Board of Investments’ list of approved projects in 2014, two in Davao City are classified as ‘new export services providers’, both controlled by foreign companies.

One is Cybercity Teleservices (Phils.), Inc., a 99% British company that will operate a contact center with an investment of almost P119 million and a projected labor intake of more than 2,000.

The other is US-controlled Flatworld Solutions (Philippines), Inc. for BPO operations. Its project cost is P13 million and expected work force is 349.

Meanwhile, among those expanding operations is Sutherland Global Services, which is hiring in the first quarter of the year about 700 call center agents, customer sales representatives for voice and chat, and IT support experts.

Grace P. Garay, Sutherland senior manager for recruitment, said the US-based company, which has been operating in the city for seven years, currently has about 2,000 employees.

Another company official, Marsy Iñigo, manager for talent management, said there are other expansion plans but these are still in the drawing board.

Sutherland is looking at locating in other key cities within Mindanao, including like Tagum in Davao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro in the north, and General Santos within the Central Mindanao Region.

Ms. Iñigo, however, stressed that growth will be highly dependent on the “availability of talent.”

In August, ICT Davao, the umbrella organization of ICT groups in the Davao Region, initiated a partnership with several academic institutions in Davao City to review and strengthen the existing curriculum for ICT-related courses.

The group has acknowledged the lack of employable graduates for BPO and other ICT-related positions compared to the existing demand and industry growth projections.

In the Tholons top 10 are Metro Manila and Cebu, both considered as “established” outsourcing cities, at 2nd and 8th, respectively.

Other aspiring Philippine cities are Iloilo (95th) in the Visayas and Sta. Rosa (82nd) in southern Luzon.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The World Can Learn from The Philippines ...

The  world can learn from the turnaround of the Philippines' disaster awareness as shown by its experiences with super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013 and Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) in 2014, a US surgeon who took part in the response to both disasters, said.

 
Michael Karch, a surgeon with Mammoth Hospital in Mammoth Lakes, California, said learning lessons from Yolanda and applying them during Ruby may have saved the lives of some 1.7 million Filipinos.
 
"The preemptive actions of the Philippine government, military, medical, and civilian sectors should serve as valuable lessons for the rest of the world as we collectively begin to embrace mass casualty education and preparedness on an individual, national, and international platform," Karch said in a blog post.
 
Yolanda, which tore through the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013, left more than 6,300 dead.
 
In contrast, Ruby - which, like Yolanda, packed powerful winds and posed a major threat - resulted in 18 deaths. The lower casualty count was in part due to massive evacuations in areas Ruby was projected to hit.
 
Karch said Yolanda's destruction had been described as the "Night of 1,000 Knives,” due to the flying debris that "wreaked injury and death on the Filipino population."
 
In contrast, he said, Ruby could be dubbed the "Night of a Million and a Half Flames" referring to 1.7 million plus people who survived the typhoon.
 
"Widespread public health and civil defense measures that had been established in the interim between Haiyan and Hagupit were initiated in the days before landfall," he said.
 
Karch, who said he served as a team leader in Civilian Mobile Forward Surgical Teams (CMFSTs) in the aftermath of both typhoons, found certain patterns that he said are reproducible.
 
"Valuable lessons can be taken from each and applied to the next. The initial differences between the disaster response to Typhoons Haiyan versus Hagupit are striking. The simple fact that the Philippine government was able to evacuate more than a million and a half million citizens out of harm's way is a testament to their dedication to learn and evolve as super storms occur on a more frequent basis," he said.
 
"Although the response to Hagupit was not perfect, it was much improved from that of Haiyan. The use of progressive communication through social media and Short Message Service (SMS) texting played a large role in this success," he added.
 
Karch likened the turnaround to super storms Katrina in 2005 and Sandy in 2013 in the US.
 
"As with Haiyan, the Hurricane Katrina experience was a glaring low point in terms of public opinion and confidence in governmental response to natural disaster. The government response to Hurricane Sandy showed marked improvement in pre-emptive planning and execution on the part of federal, state and city government," he said.
 
"The recent Philippine Hagupit experience provides us with another opportunity to learn. Although no system is perfect, if the motivation to continually improve our national disaster response is a driving force, we must study all storms, especially those with successful outcomes, and determine how we can apply these lessons to our own public health and disaster preparedness programs," he added.

 —  By: Joel Locsin/JDS, GMA News

DIETER SOKOLL: Suroy-Suroy's Geschichte von 1976 - 2009 (Teil VII) / (Part VII)

Unsere Hausgehilfinen und Kennenlernen der ersten deutschen Mitbürger

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Nun wohnten wir also in unserem eigenen Heim. Da musste natürlich eine Yaya (Kindermaedchen) für unseren Sohn und eine Hilfe fürs Haus her. Nicht kleckern, klotzen. Na ja. Schwiegermutter fuhr los in irgendeinen Ort im Süden von Cebu. Sie kam mit zwei Geschwistern wieder. Meine Frau kochte selber. Aber das habe ich mir nur einmal angeschaut. Beim nächsten Mal bin ich dann lieber weggegangen und  irgedwann wiedergekommen, als das Essen fertig war. Also, Essen kochen fing damit an, dass festgestellt wurde, es ist kein Oel da. Also musste das Mädchen los zum nächsten sari-sari store ("Tante-Emma-Laden") in der nächsten Querstrasse, um es zu holen. Da sie sich aber alleine nicht traute, musste das andere Mädchen mitgehen. Beide zogen dann händchenhaltend ab. Na, es fehlte dann eine Zwiebel, danach das Salz und so ging das weiter. (Hehe, das war täglich so.) Nach dem Essen mussten sie dann beide nochmals los, um eine Flasche Cola zu holen. Bis die wieder da waren, brauchte ich keine Cola mehr. Oder es war schon spät genug, einen Schuss Anejo Rhum als "Geschmacksverstärker" hinzuzugeben.

Zwei oder drei Tage vor der ersten Lohnzahlung standen die Eltern der Beiden vor der Tür. Ich fragte nach, was sie denn wollten. Sie wollten den Lohn der Beiden abholen. Da bin ich denn ärgerlich geworden und habe ihnen gesagt, ob sie sich nicht schämen würden, ihre Kinder arbeiten zu schicken um ihnen dann das Geld abzunehmen. Ob meine Frau ihnen das so übersetzt hat weiss ich nicht. Vater und Mutter waren beide im arbeitsfähigen Alter und körperlich gut drauf, also das war nicht ihre Rente. Für mich war das Ausbeutung. (Ich Dummerchen, was wusste ich schon von den Philippinen?).

Also habe ich ausrichten lassen, ich würde den Beiden ihren Lohn am Tage, wenn er fällig ist, an die Beiden ausbezahlen. Es wäre dann ihre Sache, was sie damit machen würden. (Meine Frau und Schwiegermutter standen daneben und übersetzten und dachten wohl für sich, die "Langnase" ist loco-loco.) Sie haben ja, so gut sie konnten, ihre Arbeit gemacht. Sie hatten ja von nichts eine Ahnung im Haushalt, weil sie es nicht gelernt hatten, sondern nur den Haushalt ihrer Eltern kannten. Klar. Einmal sass ich im Wohnzimmer alleine vor dem Fernseher. Eines der Mädchen kam herein, schaute auf den Bildschirm, wählte einen anderen Kanal und ging wieder raus. Habe ich aber "Hörner " bekommen... .

[Meine Erfahrung: Hausmädchen wollen meine jetzige Frau und ich keine mehr. So preiswert, wie es sich auch anhören mag bei den Lohnzahlungen. Sie wurden uns auf die Dauer zu teuer. Alleine durch zerstörte Kleidung (wir konnten sie gerade noch zurückhalten, den Lederrock meiner Frau nach dem Waschen und Trocknen zu bügeln), zerbrochenes Geschirr, nicht wieder geschlossene Wasserhähne (nicht nur einmal), wenn es nach dem Öffnen kein Wasser gab, dafür aber das Haus unter Wasser stand, als wir alle vom Strand wiederkamen. Den Knethaken meiner Brotbackmaschine habe ich nur durch Zufall aus dem Müll gefischt. Das sind nur einige Sachen. Oder, die Mädels im flüggen Alter kommen nach dem sonntags Kirchgang nicht zurück, weil es zwischen den beiden grossen Zehen juckt. Wir fragen heute lieber in der Nachbarschaft, wenn es mal zuviel wird, und fahren damit besser.]

Durch Hoerensagen von Nachbarn lernte ich die ersten deutschen Mitbürger in Cebu City kennen. Sie wohnten zusammen in einem Haus in Mambaling, nicht weit vom alten Jai-alai Stadion. Beide kamen aus Norddeutschland und waren mit Filipinas verheiratet. O. machte es sich ziemlich leicht. Er bekam eine monatliche Rente. O. hatte die Parkinsonsche und musste Medikamente nehmen. Sein Tagesablauf bestand aus zwei Dingen. Eine Sache war, Kette zu rauchen. Einer seiner Sprüche war: "Jetzt rauche ich erstmal eine dreier Serie, dann eine Fünfer Serie und dann, dann rauche ich erstmal EINE ZIGARETTE!" Eine Serie bestand darin, das er mit der Kippe die nächste Zigarette anmachte. Die zweite Sache war Bier trinken, wenn möglich "auf lau". Hehe. "Hau' rein Kumpel, ich geb' noch einen aus. Schreib das mal bei ihm auf, ich habe gerade kein Kleingeld dabei!" oder " Hallo, schön dich zu sehen. Willst 'nen Bier? Ja? Gib mal 'nen "büschen" Kleingeld, ich hab gerade nix da, meine Frau ist einkaufen". Hahaha!! Der Sari-Sari store nebenan lebte nur von O. Wenn die Rente kam wurde 'utang' (Schulden) bezahlt und das Noetigste gekauft. Als sie später nach Talisay umgezogen waren, war der Sari-Sari store pleite... !

Der andere war W. Er hatte gerade damit begonnen, in Talisay einen grossen Trimaran aus Marine-Plywood und Fiberglas zu bauen. O. zog dann bald nach Talisay und W. später hinterher.


(Fortsetzung folgt!)

Friday, January 23, 2015

DIETER SOKOLL: Suroy-Suroy's Geschichte von 1976 -2009 (Teil VI)/(Part VI)

Unser Leben in Cebu City 


2. Teil - Kauf der Wohnungseinrichtung und der Priester und das geköpfte Huhn
Wir fuhren fast täglich, um beim Hausbau zuzuschauen. Das war schon anders als daheim in Deutschland Da wurde alles per Hand gemacht. Es gab keine Speismaschine. Einer, der wusste, wie es ging und zwei Helfer. Das Haus wurde bezugsfertig. Im Schlafzimmer war ins Fenster eine Klimaanlage eingebaut worden. Schränke in den Zimmern waren bereits eingebaut.


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Nun fehlte noch die restliche Einrichtung. Die Schwester meiner Frau, verheiratet mit dem Taxifahrer, wusste einen Laden. Also hin da. Wir bekamen fast die gesamte Einrichtung dort. Alles für die Küche. Gasherd mit Flasche, (da musste ich mich erstmal überzeugen lassen, dass das die beste Lösung ist. Was wusste ich von Stromausfällen [niedlich brown-outs genannt, haha ein black-out dauert länger] und Stompreisen), Geschirr und und und; ein Bett mit Komode mit Spiegel (Mensch war meine Frau glücklich und stolz); ein Kinderbett; eine Wohnzimmergarnitur und Standventilator und für mich noch einen Schaukelstuhl für die Veranda. Als alles zusammengerechnet, war gab es dann noch eine Wanduhr oben drauf. So, alle glücklich. Am meisten wohl meine Schwägerin. Das habe ich allerdings erst später herausbekommen und war dann richtig "stinke sauer".


[Tip: Nicht in Geschäften kaufen, die keine Preise anzeigen und keine Festpreise haben, sondern ihre Preise nur in Listen haben. Sie haben Preise für Barzahlung mit kleiner und grösserer Kommission und für Ratenzahlung. Meine Schwägerin hat eine satte Kommission für unseren Einkauf bekommen - nur weil sie mitgegangen ist. Sie hat sich die Kommission später abgeholt oder sich dafür Sachen dort ausgesucht (Da verdient der Laden gleich zweimal). Auch wenn ihr alleine in diese Geschäfte geht, ihr zahlt immer Kommission obendrauf. Die Verkäufer sind dort nicht angestellt, sie sind freischaffend und verdienen nur durch ihrer Verkäufe. Feine Sache für den Ladenbesitzer. Besser alles auflisten und spezifieren was man kaufen will und dort "your best price" eintragen lassen. Mittlerweile gibt es auch Geschäfte und Ladenketten mit Festpreisen]


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Gardinen hatten wir teilweise aus Deutschland mitgebracht, die wurden geändert. Der Rest wurde dazu genäht.


Nun kam meine Frau mit dem Hammer, dass das Haus eingeweiht werden muss. Der Priester musste kommen. Ich sagte ihr, dass das nicht mein Fall ist, aber sie könne es machen, aber ich würde mich zurückhalten. Der Priester mit zwei Messdienern kam und das weisse Huhn wurde geköpft. Der Priester ging mit dem bluttriefenden Huhn betend von Zimmer zu Zimmer und bestrich die Türpfosten mit Hühnerblut. Die Messdiener mit dem Weihrauchkessel hinterher und der Rest der Familie und Nachbarn Gebete murmelnd bildeten den Abschluss. Der Priester bekam das tote Huhn mit auf den Weg. Der Rest der Gemeinde blieb zum fröhlichen Imbiss und Umtrunk. Ab da machte ich dann auch mit.

(Fortsetzung folgt!)

Philippines Cited as One of World's Cheapest Countries to Live in

By:  Alixandra Caole Vila (Philippine Star)

The infographic was made based on figures taken from Numbeo, a site where global users including supermarket companies, government institutions and press reports among others, submit the prices of goods and services in their country.  Specifically, data from July 1, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2015 were used in the study.
This infographic shows the countries with the cheapest and most expensive living cost based on data taken from Numbeo. Screengrab from Movehub.
According to Movehub, “the Consumer Price Index, used to determine the difference in the living costs between countries takes into account the prices of groceries, transportation, restaurants and utilities.”
The living costs in each country are measured against a base of 100, which represents New York City's cost of living.  For example, the data below show that living in Philippines is 60 percent less expensive than living in New York City. Below are the 15 countries with the cheapest costs of living, according to Numbeo's data.


Photo showing the15 countries with the cheapest costs of living, according to Numbeo's data. Screengrab from Movehub.
Meanwhile, the study found out that Western European countries are among the most expensive places to live in. Switzerland's cost of living is highest, barely edging out Norway. The data show that living in Switzerland is over 26 percent more expensive than living in New York City. Singapore is the only Asian country on the list.

Photo showing the15 countries with the most expensive costs of living, according to Numbeo's data. Screengrab from Movehub.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pope Francis in Tacloban

TACLOBAN, Philippines — Pope Francis arrived in the typhoon-hit Philippine city of Tacloban on Saturday, where he was met by a huge crowd drenched from waiting for hours in the rain.
The pope will celebrate a Mass in an open field near the airport, and have lunch with survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the November 2013 storm that leveled entire villages and left more than 7,300 people dead or missing.
A police official estimated the crowd at 150,000 and said tens of thousands more are lined up outside. Wearing plastic raincoats, the festive crowd clapped in unison to blaring music welcoming the pope, cheering when they heard the pope's plane land.
RELATED: Get updates on Typhoon Mekkhala at Stars and Stripes' Pacific Storm Tracker blog
Villagers hung banners welcoming the pope from the bow of a steel-hulled cargo shop that smashed houses when it was swept in by Haiyan and remains on shore.
"Pope Francis cannot give us houses and jobs, but he can send our prayers to God," said Ernesto Hengzon, 62. "I'm praying for good health and for my children too. I am old and sickly. I'm praying that God will stop these big storms. We cannot take any more of it. We have barely recovered. Many people are still down there."
The rains were brought by approaching Typhoon Mekkhala, which has prompted authorities to suspend ferry services to Leyte province, where Tacloban is located, stranding thousands of travelers including some who wanted to see the pope.
Francis is on the second full-day of a three-day visit to the Philippines. He was in Sri Lanka earlier in the week.
He issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia's largest Catholic nation to urge families to be "sanctuaries of respect for life."
Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued the Philippines for decades and urged officials to instead work to end its "scandalous" poverty and social inequalities during his first full day in Manila, where he received a rock star's welcome at every turn.
Security was tighter than it has ever been for this pope, who relishes plunging into crowds. Cellphone service around the city was intentionally jammed for a second day on orders of the National Telecommunications Commission and roadblocks along Francis' motorcade route snarled traffic for miles (kilometers).
Police vans followed his motorcade while officers formed human chains in front of barricades to hold back the tens of thousands of wildly cheering Filipinos who packed boulevards for hours just for a glimpse of his four-door Volkswagen passing by.
Police said another 86,000 gathered outside one of Manila's biggest sports arenas, capacity 20,000, where Francis held his first encounter with the Filipino masses: a meeting with families. There, he firmly upheld church teaching opposing artificial contraception and endeared himself to the crowd with off-the-cuff jokes and even a well-intentioned attempt at sign language.
Francis has largely shied away from emphasizing church teaching on hot-button issues, saying the previous two popes made the teaching well-known and that he wants to focus on making the church a place of welcome, not rules. But his comments were clearly a nod to the local church, which recently lost a significant fight when President Benigno Aquino III pushed through a reproductive health law that allows the government to provide artificial birth control to the poor.
"Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death," Francis exhorted the crowd. "What a gift this would be to society if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation."
He then deviated from his prepared remarks to praise Pope Paul VI for having "courageously" resisted calls for an opening in church teaching on sexuality in the 1960s. Paul penned the 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae," which enshrined the church's opposition to artificial birth control.
Francis noted that Paul was aware that some families would find it difficult to uphold the teaching and "he asked confessors to be particularly compassionate and understandable for particular cases."
But he nevertheless said Paul was prescient in resisting the trends of the times.
"He looked beyond. He looked to the peoples of the Earth and saw the destruction of the family because of the lack of children," Francis said. "Paul VI was courageous. He was a good pastor. He warned his sheep about the wolves that were approaching, and from the heavens he blesses us today."
Francis also urged families to be on guard against what he called "ideological colonization," an apparent reference to gay marriage, which isn't legal in the Philippines. The church opposes gay marriage, holding that marriage is only between man and wife.
The government has declared national holidays during the pope's visit, which culminates Sunday with a Mass in Manila's huge Rizal Park, and the crowds responded by turning out in droves to welcome him. Authorities estimated that between 700,000 and 1 million people lined his motorcade route in from the airport Thursday night.
"It is the wish of every Filipino to see him, and if possible, to interact with him, talk to him," said Alberto Garcia, a 59-year-old electrician who was among a crowd of about 100 people who gathered in front of a giant screen mounted on a truck at a public square to watch Friday's Mass. "Because that is impossible, just by being here we can take part in his mission to visit and bring grace to this country."
Francis was clearly energized by the raucous welcome, stopping several times Friday to kiss children brought up to him once he entered the presidential palace grounds. His motorcade didn't stop along the route, though, for him to get out to and greet the crowd as he likes to do.
It remains to be seen if he will chafe at the intense security provided by authorities, who appeared to leave nothing to chance. They have good reason to go overboard after Pope Paul VI was slightly wounded in an assassination attempt during his visit in 1970 and St. John Paul II was the target of militants whose plot was uncovered days before his 1995 arrival.
About 50,000 police and troops have been deployed to secure the pope in a country where relatively small numbers of al-Qaida-inspired militants remain a threat in the south despite more than a decade of U.S.-backed military offensives.
Associated Press writers Oliver Teves and Teresa Cerojano in Manila contributed to this report.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A German in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY—Heiner Maulbecker has experienced much in his decades-long service as a hotelier in the Philippines, but nothing made him realize more the value of working with Filipinos than the 7.7-magnitude earthquake that shook Baguio in 1990.

The hotel he was then serving collapsed. He was in the thick of saving survivors and pulling out the injured and the dead (at least 80 employees were killed).

He said the main lesson the quake gave him was this: “If I ever should be faced with a natural disaster again, I hope I am surrounded by Filipinos. Filipinos jump right in. They immerse themselves and don’t wait for help from the outside world.”

His love affair with Baguio didn’t start out sweetly.

When he first made his way up in 1979, after he was appointed to professionalize the running of then Hyatt Terraces Baguio, which was losing money and taken over by Hyatt, he took Naguilian Road.

UPPER House Village along South Drive in Baguio City. RICHARD BALONGLONG/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
UPPER House Village along South Drive in Baguio City. RICHARD BALONGLONG/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
Kennon Road had been closed for two years. Marcos Highway did not yet exist.

He was at the wheel, the road was bad, it was a rainy day in October or November, and he had an Ilocano guide by his side.

The first thing he saw when he entered Baguio was the cemetery.
He thought, “We’re going up to hell!”

On Abanao Street, he saw a big billboard announcing a Fernando Poe Jr. movie with the actor pointing a submachine gun at pedestrians and motorists.

Before he was assigned to Baguio, Maulbecker had just finished a stint with Hyatt Bangkok.
Previously, he was with the Hilton chain, serving for 10 years in Frankfurt, Germany.
Istanbul was his last posting for the Hilton.

When Baguio was presented to him, he asked, “Where the hell is that in the Philippines?” He was assured it was “the Switzerland of the Philippines.” But when he finally got to Baguio, he said, “Switzerland my foot! This is like a hick town in the US!”

When he arrived at the Terraces, it looked “like a morgue. There were no guests, no light, no flowers, no life!”

The original owners built the hotel with no expert advice.

Its opening was timed for the World Bank-International Monetary Fund conference when there was a hotel-building boom and the government was generous with loans.

He stated in his report then that the hotel had too many employees, the payroll too high, the management nonexistent, and he couldn’t fire people.

He was there to make recommendations, which he promptly did so help could come fast. The goal was to make the hotel break even.

Prioritized were the chinaware, glasses, linen. He made a budget. Hyatt took it from there.
Renovations were done, an interior designer hired to give the rooms a uniform appearance.
HEINER Maulbecker   photo by  ELIZABETH LOLARGA
HEINER Maulbecker. ELIZABETH LOLARGA
New function rooms were opened to attract those holding seminars. Two cooks from Hong Kong and Japan were flown in to beef up the kitchen.

Maulbecker retrained people to level up to basic hospitality industry standards.

While changes were being made, he observed how “the Filipino employee is the best that you can have. With the proper training, you can bring the best out of them.”
He tapped Thelma Fullon, who had a Girl Scout leader background, as training manager.
He said, “She could do what I couldn’t—whack them behind the head or kick them in the back if they’re not doing well.”

His accomplishment was to turn a “derelict, sad-looking, lifeless hotel into a jumping, lively hotel.”

He also brought in Tippin Coscolluela since he couldn’t find a hotel person in Baguio who also had a national perspective and knew the Hyatt philosophy.

He connected with the people of Baguio through print and radio spots.

“But the best way,” he said, “was to bring them to the hotel.”

He formed an Executive Circle with membership cards that entitled them to monthly buffets.
There were Greek, German, Japanese nights followed by movie-themed buffets (The Great Gatsby, Wild Wild West, Tarzan) “until we ran out of countries to represent.”
Hyatt Terraces’ edge was it had “showmanship. We knew how to present food. When I attended functions here, food was just presented on aluminum foil, lechon was just chopped, chopped, chopped. That was it.”

For 10 years, the buffets went on.

He said, “The people appreciated it. All of a sudden, their response was, ‘Hyatt is our hotel.’”

Professional pride

He admitted though that “it wasn’t love at first sight. I hated it during my first year, but I saw the potential. There was a job to be done. My professional pride kicked in.”

When the work became more enjoyable, financial success followed. By then, he was also envisioning what would happen when the Americans left their US bases in the Philippines, including their R and R place, Camp John Hay.

There were meetings with the tourism secretary and other ranking officials. His message to them in behalf of his management team was: “Don’t worry, we can run that.”
The idea was to make John Hay, Poro Point and the San Fernando airport one operational unit.

UPPER House features cottages that can house 10-14 people each  RICHARD BALONGLONG/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
UPPER House features cottages that can house 10-14 people each. RICHARD BALONGLONG/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
Then President Fidel Ramos liked the idea of making Baguio the jumping point towards such destinations as the rice terraces in Ifugao and the beach resorts in La Union.

But because administrations come and go, the plan didn’t pan out.

Maulbecker rued, “It didn’t happen. It would’ve made us the center of tourism development in Luzon.”

Before he retired as The Manor’s managing director last year, he had these accomplishments under his belt: He opened the golf course while the hotel wasn’t yet ready, he opened the hotel followed by the CAP Convention Center.

Country boy


Baguio appealed to him because he’s a country boy at heart.

Born and raised in Heidelberg, Germany, he liked Baguio because “it’s like a neighborhood. I became friends with the mayor. Even if we argue, we’re still friends. Living in the Philippines is like organized chaos. But if you know how to live in chaos and survive, that’s the way to live.”

He recalled attending a Hyatt general managers’ meeting where he was the only guy without a problem.

“I was confident with my staff, I got along with the owners, I knew everyone from the city’s chief of police to the chief of the presidential staff. I learned how to tell the phonies and pretenders from the real guys. The other managers wanted transfers because their owners were a pain in the ass. Everyone wanted a transfer, except me,” he said.

He also personally knew the Presidents.

“They came up to play golf, and I’d have coffee with them. I remember having a conversation with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo about holiday economics. I told her she can declare Christmas four times a year!”

New challenge

Maulbecker hasn’t hung up his hotelier’s hat.

He loves a challenge, and he found another one in running the newly opened Upper House Village on 88 Paterno Street, South Drive.

Upper House features cottages that can house 10-14 people each. It acknowledges the trend among Filipino families of traveling in big groups once or twice a year.

MAULBECKER is a country boy at heart    photo by ELIZABETH LOLARGA
MAULBECKER is a country boy at heart. ELIZABETH LOLARGA
“Hotels can’t cater to these groups, but our village can,” Maulbecker said. There’s a shift in the visitors coming up. The new and younger generation doesn’t know what Baguio is all about.”

He added: “It’s not like 30 years ago when everybody knew one another. Today they ask, ‘What can we do here?’ So we must offer more interesting things to do and see for them and these can be in the areas of culture, music, art, nature, fitness and wellness.”

Tribute

In his message at the recent tribute to him when he retired from The Manor, he said:
“This is not really a goodbye, as Baguio is my home. I think in the past life, I was bestowed with some of the wonderful Filipino blood which allowed me to make so many good friends, and also have such great working relationships. Being a hotelier for the past 52 years was not just a profession to me, but also a passion. It was sweat, blood, tears, courage and inspiration with dedicated long hours and sacrifice. It was teamwork, innovation, quick thinking and imagination.”
He closed with these words: “It is said, happiness is often more remembered than experienced. ‘One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been.’ I knew then that I was happy, but didn’t know until now, how happy, how very happy I really was.”



Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/184794/in-baguio-german-hotelier-finds-a-home#ixzz3OTiWXq8V
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Philippine "Winter"

Metro Manila and Baguio City shivered Saturday as early morning temperatures dropped in most parts of Luzon, making Saturday the coldest day of the year so far.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) forecasters said the "amihan" or northeast monsoon was starting to peak, bringing down temperatures in Metro Manila to 18.9 degrees Celsius in Baguio to and in Baguio to 10.9 degrees Celsius on Saturday morning.

According to weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio, Metro Manila was at its chilliest on Saturday at 18.9 degrees at 5:50 a.m., while Baguio was coldest at 10.9 degrees at 5 a.m.
Aurelio said Saturday’s average temperature in Central Luzon was 21 degrees, while Southern Luzon chilled at 22 degrees.

Even hot Tuguegarao cool

Even in Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan province which is considered the hottest place in the country, the temperature dropped to 19 degrees at around 5 a.m., while Laoag City, the capital of Ilocos Norte, felt it at 16.3 degrees.

Last year, the temperature in Baguio City was lowest on Jan. 19 at 8.1 degrees, while Metro Manila was chilliest on Jan. 26 at 15.8 degrees.

Historically, the lowest temperature in the country’s summer capital was recorded at 6.3 degrees on Jan. 18, 1961, while the National Capital Region experienced its coldest morning in February 1962 at 14.6 degrees.

Aurelio said temperatures could dip further until February and maybe even early March. “The amihan is just starting to peak,” he added, pointing out that Saturday’s chill was caused by the strong amihan surge with it.
The northeast monsoon, bringing with it strong to gale-force winds, has also made the seas in the country’s coasts dangerous for fishing boats and other small vessels.

Aurelio advised small seacraft against venturing out to the seaboards of Luzon, the Visayas and the Caraga region, where waters are expected to be rough to very rough, and alerted bigger vessels to waves that could reach 4.5 meters.

Low pressure area

Meanwhile, he said a low pressure area (LPA) over the Pacific Ocean that the weather bureau was monitoring remained far from the country’s area of responsibility.

Aurelio said the LPA was some 3,000 kilometers east of Mindanao and there was a possibility it could develop into a tropical cyclone as it was still over the ocean. Bodies of water, he explained, were mostly where weather disturbances developed and gained strength.

In Pagasa’s forecast for today, Eastern and Central Visayas as well as Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms. Bicol and the Cagayan Valley as well as the Cordillera Administrative Region and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon, will have cloudy skies with light rains.

Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy to at times cloudy with isolated light rains, while Western Visayas will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.


Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/663787/saturday-coldest-so-far-in-metro-manila-baguio#ixzz3OTfQBnV1

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