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Should Foreigners live in the Philippines?

While the current coronavirus crisis continues, the longest lockdowns on earth still exist in the Philippines. Moreover, a new “anti-terrorism” bill recently signed by President Duterte is causing concern among nuns and beauty queens. Because of the new law, suspects can go to jail without a warrant of arrest for up to 24 days. Nevertheless, … Read more

S&R Philippines Best Membership Shopping

We were excited as a turd in a toilet bowl when the S&R store in nearby Iloilo City opened up several years ago. S&R is a membership-shopping club. It’s modeled after the warehouse membership shopping chains introduced in the United States. While I had joined Sam’s Club back in the States at one time, we’ve … Read more

Surviving Philippines’ COVID-19 Lockdowns

prison

Because of the coronavirus and the ensuing quarantines around the planet, the country I now call home presents unique challenges. “Surviving Philippines’ COVID-19 Lockdowns” is today’s opinion piece, ladies and germs. Surviving Philippines’ COVID-19 Lockdowns Above all, surviving Philippines’ COVID-19 lockdowns are much harder if you don’t have a job. My sister-in-law, Alida, knows this. … Read more

Quickest Land Travel from Iloilo City to Boracay

Because I wanted to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in a special place, my loving wife agreed to return to Boracay. We had been to this top-rated white beach destination on two previous occasions. Today’s post mainly deals with one topic “Quickest Land Travel from Iloilo City to Boracay.” Vacation Time in Stunning Boracay Furthermore, … Read more

Top 10 New Reasons for Retiring to the Philippines

Seems like after living here for over 10 years, I wouldn’t have 10 new reasons for retiring to the Philippines. Because every day can be a fresh adventure in the archipelago, new reasons for moving to the Philippines to spend your “Golden Years” often crop up. Hence, today’s post: “Top 10 New Reasons for Retiring … Read more

SHOPWISE Iloilo City Opening December 2018

UPDATED NOV. 11, 2019

While the new Shopwise did open last year, unfortunately the Rustan’s Marketplace next to SM City in Iloilo has already closed. On a shopping trip to Iloilo City this past Sunday, we were saddened to see the new Marketplace shut down. The closure, according to sources, was due to lack of business.

Frankly, I wasn’t surprised. The store offered a great selection of meats, vegetables, and other products, but every time I visited the store with my asawa, there was a noticeable lack of customers. My wife loves their Top Cafe coffee and Fish Tofu (I can live without the tofu, myself.)

However, we were informed that the Shopwise and Marketplace at MegaWorld is still currently open for business. Here’s the original story:

My asawa and I had just entered the check-out lane during the Grand Opening of The Marketplace, Festive Walk Mall, Iloilo City. I was speaking to a friendly and knowledgeable Marketplace (Rustan’s) employee while the cashier rang up our purchases. Much to my surprise and delight, the affable worker informed me of the following:  SHOPWISE Iloilo City Opening December 2018.

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Coast Guard in Iloilo & Guimaras DO NOT Enforce Wearing of Life Jackets

Boat capsizes in Iloilo  dead  missing

UPDATED SEPT. 19, 2019

COAST GUARD IN ILOILO AND GUIMARAS NOW ENFORCES THE WEARING OF LIFE JACKETS

In fairness to the local Coast Guard, I felt the need to update this post. After the loss of 31 lives on capsized pump boats on August 3, 2019, the Coast Guard has been strictly implementing new safety regulations for pump boats.

Furthermore, I commend the Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority, MARINA, for sticking to their guns. Despite heavy opposition by Guimaras resort owners and pump boat operators, the safety regulations put in place by the MARINA are still being enforced.

However, I don’t know how long the regulations will remain. There’s already discussion about somehow modifying the tarpaulins that cover the pump boats. Instead of using common sense and umbrellas, there are people complaining about the tarpaulins being removed. These protesters claim that the sun beats down on them when riding the motorboats.

There is evidence that the tarpaulins were a major factor in the loss of lives on August 3. Many passengers were trapped underwater and underneath the tarps.

Well, there’s a solution to the blazing sun. Use an umbrella. Or, board one of the fast crafts that have covered passenger areas. Frankly, the mandate by the MARINA to modernize ALL wooden-hulled pump boats in the Philippines is being resisted. It seems that there is a concerted effort by some for Guimaras to remain in the Dark Ages and ignore all safety regulations for the sake of the Almighty Peso.

Therefore, things will probably go the way they did after nine people lost their lives in October 2015. That’s when theTawashcapsized on the Iloilo Strait. After two weeks, and complaints from Guimaras lawyers who had rumpled suits from wearing life jackets, the life jacket regulation was completely ignored. I hope I’m wrong.

What follows is my original post from October 2015.

The Coast Guard in Iloilo & Guimaras DOES NOT enforce the wearing of life jackets.

It is required by MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority)’s Memorandum Circular No. 08 Series of 2008 which states that “ALL passengers shall be required to wear life jackets from the time of departure and during the entire voyage…”

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