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My asawa had just finished her Line Dancing workshop at SM City during a recent road show sponsored by the US Embassy. We had planned to stay for the rest of the afternoon events when my spouse received an urgent text message. We had to return home to our subdivision residence outside of Iloilo City ASAP! Julie Banderas

Seems our satelitte dish installers from Cignal were already waiting for us! After a billing dispute I had with our former cable company, Cable Star, I stormed over to the Direct Networks office at SM City and signed up for new programming with their company.

The installers were supposed to arrive on Monday, but my asawa was told they would be coming on Sunday. I would think this would be something my wife would have told me before we left for the mall on Sunday morning, but what do I know? Not much, evidently.

In fairness to my asawa, the head person at Direct Networks said the satellite dish would be connected on Monday. Another lady in the office said it possibly could be done on Sunday. We were in the office on Friday. I was willing to wait a couple of days. Our cable hadn't been disconnected yet anyway.

I've been in the Philippines since July 2009. NO one has ever provided any services to us early, so I figured we would be OK going to SM City on Sunday. However, I did not know that the one employee who had said the install could be done on Sunday had assured my wife that it WOULD be done on Sunday.

So I had to plunk down 250  pesos (5.86 US Dollars) to take a taxi back home instead of the 56 ($1.31) pesos it would have cost if we had taken the two-jeepney ride back. But since we were getting a hot new satellite dish, I was OK with spending the extra cash.

The two installers were waiting outside a park in our subdivision and followed our cab on their motorcycle. One guy hung on back clutching the satellite dish and receiver.

Only took them about an hour to get everything hooked up. I was amazed by the superior picture quality and the better programming choices we had. Our monthly service with Cable Star was P545 ($12.79), and the package we paid for with Cignal is P590 ($13.84) a month but includes several HD channels. 

So for a buck more, we have superior picture quality and more programs to watch such as one of my personal favorites from the States, The Fox News Channel.

Cost for the dish and the new HD receiver,  along with four months of programming was P8,500, almost 200 US Dollars. Expensive? Yes, but worth it. I was able to use part of our income tax refund to pay for it.

So Cable Star can keep their inferior programming which included over 50 percent of channels we didn't even watch. Plus, the signal would be interrupted on nearly every program we did view.

If the office worker on duty at Cable Star would have just marked my receipt for the two months in advance service I had just handed him, for March and April, instead of January and February, I would have still been with the company.

It was fruitless trying to argue with him. My bill, due March 3, was for P545. We have to pay a month in advance. I had already paid our bill for January and February. Guess I confused the guy by paying ahead two months instead of one. Told him just to cancel my service. I wasn't going to stand there and argue with him.

Turned out to our advantage as we're extremely happy with our new  service from Cignal. I love our hot new satellite dish. And I don't mind looking at Julie Banderas from Fox News, shown in the photo above, either. Don't mind that one bit.

20 thoughts on “Hot New Dish Arrives in Iloilo!

  1. Hi Dave!

    Good move. I have a dream sattelite system and am pretty happy with it. The reason I chose Dream was because it had Turner classic movies which my father used to enjoy. Sadly though we just get CNN as a news channel and I would rather take a sandpaper scrotum massage from a rough trick named Jim than watch the liberal version of the news. I used to watch Fox news in my shop while working. There was a national event that caused me so much distress that I changed the channel to comedy central and thus insulated myself from things that I could not control. I guess that is an advantage to living in a foriegn land, I have worked hard to refine my don’t know don’t care attitude. For a guy that has a History/ Political science background in college the feeling of total uninvolvement is exhilirating.

  2. I agree with Tom. CNN is liberal crap. At least it use to be. I hadn’t watched TV in years now. I did watch the Superbowl here at the Abbey with the monks (Free food and beer) “Go Giants”. I leave for the Philippines in 4 days. Free beer on international flights! My guess is United Airlines will lose money on this 15 1/2 hour flight. Sorry United. “Cheers and see everyone soon”

  3. I am getting ready to dump my cable also. BTW – Fox doesn’t have news, just crap. The CNN we get here is NOT the CNN you get in the States. I like ANC and the BBC.

  4. My asawa and I were excited to learn that you can receive Fox News, our favorite newscast. Despite Wigle’s opinion, Fox is fair and balanced, as opposed to the others’ far-left bias. More and more is coming out about the anointed ones’s (Obama) radical past that the lame-stream media is conveniently ignoring ahead of the election. Woe is us if he gets four more years! Anyhow, I appreciate those of you who have chosen to “let go” of the day-to-day news in order to reduce stress levels. I tell the asawa that I plan to do likewise when we are in the Phils. Oh, I plan to keep up with the local politics over there, just to keep my conservative creds honed. But, as someone stated, the world and national (U.S.) scene is such a mess, it gets very frustrating!

    I am hoping that Cignal will also be able to offer some major league baseball and some college football from the States. Any evidence of that, Dave? I suppose one needs a DVR if you don’t want to watch a game or the evening news with your morning coffee and bowl of Fruit Loops. That just wouldn’t feel right!

    1. I guess that all depends on what angle your watching from. If you watch from the right, Fox looks right. If you look from the left you see it as the Conservative Right-Wing Propaganda Machine – that it is. I don’t watch CNN either , but I’m sure someone watching it from the right would see it as a Liberal Left-Wing Propaganda Machine too. I like my news broadcasts impartial, so I don’t watch the news.
      I hate left wing and right wing bullshit. They’re both full of shit, and I hate the 2 party system. It just leads to blind mice following rabid alley cats.

  5. Hmmm. Well if and when I relocate and get to hang out with you guys, I will definitely be avoiding political discussions about as acutely as I currently avoid Fox News 🙂

  6. Hey Dave, Off topic, we made it here to our home in Metro Manila. Not a bad flight. Did have a question on the information i read in your E-book (cheap shameless plug). How is the best method of asking questions for those of us smart enough to get your book and take advantage of your free advice to those who purchace the book?

    1. Scott,
      If you don’t mind, where in Metro Manila do you live? Just wondered since i will be living in Quezon City. Wanted to know some expats in the Metro area. Have a nice day.

  7. More buckets and more hot dishes!! Rough life there Dave, but glad to see your toughing it out. By the way, we never saw your “was” hot laundry lady or maid, what ever happened there? Quick, another bucket of cold SMG !!!

    1. Hi Dave!

      Before taking a picture of the laundry lady please extend a few courtesies to you loyal readers.

      1. Make sure that she is more than fully dressed.
      2 No provocative poses.
      3 Make sure that all of her accessories are installed. Including but not limited to false teeth, glass eye, and artificial limbs.

      Thanks in advance from your avid fan base.

      1. Tom,
        Had to pick myself up off the floor from laughing so hard. Good point though, never know what “roughing it Dave” might publish after having a few SMG products.

  8. Sorry to be late to the party. After the lo-n-n-n-n-g flight, the Ice Man…..has come back…..to the Phililppines! (I was channeling The Rock there, folks.) As soon as I wrote “fair and balanced” regarding Fox News, I knew it was a mistake. O’Reilly and Hannity are editorial shows, not news shows. But, unlike CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS, they don’t claim to be news. CNN and the others are editorials masquerading as newscasts. Shepard Smith does the news, and I think it is balanced. I agree that guests like Ann Coulter, the pretty Filipina Michelle Malkin, Karl Rove, and the variety of “panels” all fall to the right of center, but those, again, are opinion pieces, not news. The liberal networks are deceptive when they offer opinions as news. I also enjoy The Five, especially when Kimberly Guilfoyle is sitting in. There! I hope I cleared that up!
    I’ve been busy working on my new house here in Talavera, and tending to my ice business. I’m going to relocate the business to my home, so that I don’t have to pay rent anymore. I think Dave mentioned this a long time ago in a post, but to you guys planning to come here, bring your tools from the U.S. I shipped over a box of tools ahead of my arrival, and am so glad I did!

    1. Hi Ice Man,

      I will give you a pearl of wisdom. Invest in a can of orange spray paint and mark your tools. I have just arrived back from the US for a week after being here for almost three years. During the course of three years most of my tools were borrowed. That is the polite term for stolen. I got together a balikbayan box of tools and other things like solar lights which will be shipped in April. Good luck with your business.

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