I’m a Grab Fan Now

1200x630bbI made mention a few posts back that it seemed to be a lot more difficult to get an Uber in the Philippines than it used to be. Not long before Christmas I actually gave up after trying for nearly an hour to get an Uber from Manila’s BGC to the airport. I’d noticed that among my Filipino colleagues the majority had tended to move to Grab over the last year or so, so I downloaded the app’ and within 5 minutes had a confirmed ride.

For those who may be unfamiliar with it, Grab is a Malaysian ‘ride-hailing’ company which operates across SE Asia. Very similar to Uber but with one of the main differences being that the fare is set at the time of booking the ride (instead of being an estimate).

160 Still Missing in the Philippines Following Typhoon Tembin

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It’s been a shocking Christmas for parts of Mindanao with nearly 250 confirmed dead, 70,000 homeless, and 160 still missing as a result of Typhoon Tembin (known locally as Typhoon Vinta) this Christmas. All those numbers are expected to rise significantly as rescue services make their way into more isolated provinces and villages.

Particularly badly hit was Zamboanga. Prayers and sympathies are with everyone, especially as I have friends in the region who I haven’t heard from since the storm hit.

Changi Airport to Assume Passenger are Responsible Adults

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From Jan 1st Changi Airport will no longer provide announcements for “Final Boarding’s” or provide pages for specific passengers. 

In line with a growing international trend, only essential announcements (lost children, gate changes, flight delays, etc) will be made. Hong Kong adopted this approach years ago with no measurable impact on flight performance or efficiency.

The only significant objection has come from Australia’s Jetstar Airlines – not surprising, considering how unaccustomed Australian’s are to taking responsibility for themselves.

A thank you to Austrade (Autralian Trade and Investment Commission)

An enormous ‘thank you’ to Grace Halcon and her colleagues in Austrade’s Manila office for making the Asian Development Bank 7th International Skills Forum such a success for the Australian contingent.

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Buying property in the Philippines

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I’m not a property broker, financial consultant, or any other form of qualified expert in this space. I have, however, been doing quite a bit of information gathering recently and thought it would be worthwhile summarizing some of the main points to consider if you’re one of the many foreigners who are looking to the Philippines as a potential retirement or property investment destination.

Keep in mind that this is intended to be an unofficial guide and not professional advice! I don’t want to receive any emails saying “I invested all my retirement savings on the basis of your article and now my Filipina wife Pepay has run off with a helicopter pilot from Makati and I’ve lost everything!!”

With that said……

Continue reading “Buying property in the Philippines”

Electric car sharing programme launched in Singapore

Singapore’s first large-scale electric car sharing programme has been officially launched this week. As of the 12th Dec launch, the scheme has 80 battery-powered hatchbacks and 32 charging locations / drop off points around the Island. By 2020, the goal is to have 1,000 cars, along with 500 charging locations offering 2,000 charging points which would make it the second-largest electric-car sharing programme in the world (after Paris with more than 4000 cars). The infrastructure is provided by BlueSG, a subsidiary of French conglomerate Bollore Group which operates the Paris scheme.