Wait a minute, where are the books — ? {7}


A guest article from Jack Emery. Jack splits his time between Davao and Samal Island, having moved here a couple of years ago from Arizona. He also has his own website at Jack In Davao.


People sometimes ask me what I miss the most from Arizona, now that I live in the Philippines. For me, the answer is easy: the public library. (A close second would be Mexican food.)

In 1993 my wife and I seriously considered moving here to Davao permanently. We even came over and lived here for six weeks as a kind of test drive. No internet then, no bookstores that carried foreign books – the best you could do was a few foreign magazines. No Skype or Magicjack, either, back then long distance to the U.S. was about 80 cents a minute.
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My Internet In Davao {12}

Globe Tattoo DSL Modem

One concern of those that live here in the Philippines, and those considering moving here, is the Internet. What are the speeds like? Is it reliable? What’s the cost? Can I get it at all in xyz remote location?

The answer, as is true for most things here, is it depends on where you live or intend to.
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Akong Bisaya Maestra {7}

As many readers that have been visiting my blog for any time now will know, I have been taking Bisaya (Cebuano) lessons online for around two years now. You might be thinking that I should be pretty proficient at it by now. Well, I agree that would be the case if it wasn’t such a stop and go affair for me.

That’s what I want to write a little about today. First the incredible patience of my teacher (maestra, magtutudlo) and second the nature of my lessons and what the have become to me.
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Smartphone Pay As You Go Internet {12}

Smart iPhone PlansLike many people around the world I’m an iPhone user. That’s not surprising for those that know me well, as I’ve used Apple products exclusively (for personal use) since 1984. I know that kind of dates me, but I already understand that I’m tigulang. Of course the iPhone has great appeal beyond those that use other Apple products, but for me the tie-in is the key.

So when I decided to make the move to the Philippines it was with relief that I learned AT&T had recently revised their policies to allow unlocking of iPhones for those who had fulfilled their contracts with them. I fell under that rule, and without a lot of trouble I was able to get my iPhone 4 unlocked legally before leaving the US to my new home.
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Internot Philippines {8}

Internot Philippines

While the rest of the world has this thing called the internet, the Philippines has their very own version, which I have dubbed the Internot. Not cheap, not fast, and not at all reliable. Even when it is working it’s not robust enough to handle much of what the internet is being used for and where the net is going.

I had high hopes, and still do I suppose, that things would improve with regards to the internet in the Philippines by the time I were to retire there. Well, things have improved, at least in theory, since I’ve first started visiting there, but in many ways they really haven’t.
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Brownout {0}

Electric Meter Davao

If you’ve been to the Philippines, you know what a brownout is. If you’ve spent any amount of time here at all, you’ve experienced them.

For those that don’t know, and can’t guess, a brownout is when the electricity goes out. We called them blackouts back home. I’ve seen some try to explain the difference between the two, but to me you either have electricity or you don’t. It doesn’t matter what you call it, or how you explain it.
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