VIDEO: What NOT to do as a (mainly male!) Expat in the Philippines

I just love this guy! Click for the video.





A short time ago 2 bombs exploded in the Muslim-majority province of Sulu in the far south of the Philippines.

27 confirmed dead as of this post with another 77 injured.

The first bomb exploded in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the capital Jolo during Mass. The second blast hit the parking lot a short time later while Government and emergency services were responding.

No one has formally claimed responsibility yet.

Local Festivals in the Philippines for Jan. 20th – 26th 2019

Jan. 14 to 20: Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival

Festivities include a float parade, street dancing featuring indigenous music and participants in ethnic clothing, penitential procession, Mass and the transfer of Sto. Niño de Kalibo.

Jan. 20: Sinulog Grand Parade

Closing activity of the Sinulog Festival, which pays homage to Santo Niño.

The festival’s theme this year is “One Beat, One Dance for the World.”

The day starts with a Mass at Cebu City Sports Complex, followed by the grand parade, wherein participants strut in colorful costumes and props in the streets of Cebu City.

Jan. 25 to 27: Dinagyang Festival

The festival, set every fourth week of January at Iloilo City in Iloilo province, is also among the many events held in Western Visayas to profess devotion to the Santo Niño.

The festival started as Ati-Atihan festival, but organizers in 1977 changed its name to “dinagyang,” from the Hiligaynon word “dagyang,” or merrymaking.

This year’s festival theme is “Connecting Communities through Culture and Faith.”

Among the activities lined up are fluvial and foot procession and a tribes competition.

With thanks to Kathleen de Villa, Inquirer Research


Local Festivals in the Philippines for Dec. 16th – 22nd 2018

Dec. 16 to Jan. 2, 2019: Giant Lantern Festival

The city of San Fernando in Pampanga province lights up for the Giant Lantern Festival, locally known as “Ligligan Parul.”

Thousands of local and foreign tourists come to the city to watch the festive display of lights and lantern designs in the exhibition that will run until Jan. 2 next year. A giant lantern is usually 6.1 meters (20 feet) high and is made of colorful bulbs intertwined in wires.


Dec. 16 to 22: Paskuhan sa GenSan

A “fantasyland-themed” Christmas festival of General Santos City in South Cotabato province. With a budget of P4.5 million, the festival features the annual grand pyrotechnics competition at the Oval Plaza grounds.

Other events include light-a-tree contest, barangay “belen” competition, Christmas carol for senior citizens and drum and lyre competition.

Dec. 16 to 20: Pasaway Festival

Residents of Sipalay City in Negros Occidental province celebrate the mining industry that transformed Sipalay into a booming town that eventually became a city.

Copper was one of the main products of Sipalay, before several mining operations closed down.

Participants in the street dancing competition are clad in ethnic costumes with copper ornaments.

With thanks to Kathleen de Villa, Inquirer Research


Philippines 11th Regular Foreign Investment Negative List

This one slipped under my radar – I’d known it was coming but it was only pointed out to me last night that Philippines President Duterte had signed it into law on October 29th this year.

So what is the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) and why does it matter?

The Philippines is widely regarded as having one of the highest barriers to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in SE Asia – as a minor example you can refer back to my article about buying property in the Philippines as a foreigner which talks about some of the restrictions on land and property ownership. The FINL describes the restrictions on foreign investments and the practice of professions and describes those specific investment areas/activities where foreign-equity participation is limited. This might be for reasons of defense, public health risks, protection of local enterprise or Constitutional reasons. Every few years the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reviews the list and makes recommendations for Executive Order approval. The most recent review (the 11th) is President Duterte’s first and the amendments are very much in line with his desire to open up the Philippines to more FDI and encourage his “Build, Build, Build” campaign.

The full Executive Order is here but, in a nutshell, the new FINL will now allow up to 100 percent foreign participation in:

(1) Internet businesses, excluding “mass media”;

(2) Teaching at higher education levels provided the subject being taught is not a professional subject (i.e., included in a government board or bar examination);

(3) Training centers that are engaged in short-term high-level skills development that do not form part of the formal education system (under TESDA or CHED);

(4) Insurance adjustment companies, lending companies, financing companies and investment houses;

(5) Wellness centers.

Of particular interest to a lot of foreigners engaged in building and construction, the 11th FINL also eases restrictions from the previous 25% to 40% foreign participation in contracts for construction and repair of locally funded public works (except those that are foreign funded or assisted and required to undergo international competitive auction).

Now, if only the land ownership side of things can be freed up, I can start considering that beachfront property in Palawan that I’ve had my eye on.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about how to access markets in the Philippines, give me a yell.


Local Filipino Festivals 2nd – 8th Dec. 2018

Dec. 2 to 5: Palayan City’s founding anniversary

The city of Palayan in Nueva Ecija province celebrates its 53rd anniversary.

Former President Diosdado Macapagal issued Proclamation No. 495, designating Dec. 5, 1965, as the date of the formal organization of Palayan City, also known as the rice granary of the Philippines.

Activities include a job fair, community service caravan, first aid olympics, zumba fest and “larong Pinoy” (traditional Filipino street games).

Dec. 8: Pag-alad Festival

The town of San Fernando, Romblon province, gives thanks and praise to its patron saint, Mary Immaculate Conception, for blessings in the past year.