Tag Archives: In the Philippines

Atis in the Philippines

10 Nov
Known internationally as sweetsop

Known internationally as sweetsop


Known internationally as sweetsop, sugar apple or custard apple, the Atis is one fruit you can easily grow even if you have only a square meter of soil. The atis tree grow just about anywhere a seed falls. And it grows fast so that you can get to harvest fruits in a little over a year from seedling stage. A tree bears fruits about three times a year: in the summer, during rainy season and towards Christmas. The best batch of fruits, those with thicker and sweeter flesh, comes out in the summer.

And if you’re interested in growing an atis tree in your backyard, here’s a warning: bats and birds love the fruit. This means that you have to harvest the fruits once these are mature. Don’t wait for the fruits to ripen (which would actually give you the sweetest type of atis) as the bats and birds may beat you to that one big fruit you’ve been reserving for yourself.

Since I am very interested in health benefits of fruits and vegetables, I want to share what I found out from my researches.
1. Helps prevent asthma (Vitamin C – 151%)
2. Helps control sugar levels (Fiber – 44%)
3. Keeps the heart healthy (Vitamin B6 – 25%)
4. Lowers blood pressure levels (Potassium – 18%)
5. Helps the body produce energy (Thiamin – 18%)
6. Maintains supply of other B vitamins in the body (Riboflavin -17%)
7. Keeps bones strong (Magnesium – 13%)
8. Helps lower cholesterol levels (Niacin – 11%)
9. Helps maintain thyroid health (Copper – 11%)
10. Help prevent pregnancy problems (Folate – 9%)


I love The Philippines for Vacation

29 Oct

Mega Manila, Philippines

20 Sep

One of the best change I discovered during my most recent trip to Mega Manila, Philippines is the completion of Manila Ocean Park, cited to be the best tourist attraction created to date, it brought something exciting and new in the country’s capital and the main one reason why I was looking forward to my recent trip to the Mega City.

very first state-of-the-art Oceanarium, open water habitat, boutique mall, restaurant row and function facilities all located in one complex in the country. Being situated at the back of Quirino Grandstand, facing Manila Bay, it gives a perfect ambiance to the facility that brings the best of the water world can offer and a best place to see the most beautiful sunset in the world. An all in one facility for learning, shopping, dining, relaxation, fun and just about anything.

I learned about about Ocenariums on television few years back, the one that I saw that was the Oceanarium in Singapore, and was really amaze by it. From then on I dreamnt of visiting at least once im my life. The very moment I learned that an Oceanarium is about to open in Manila, I was very thrilled and happy, a dream come true.

Ilocano homeland

11 Sep


When the Spanish first encountered them in 1572, the inhabitants of Ilocos (then called “Samtoy”) were living in large villages at sheltered coves or rivermouths and were trading with the Chinese and Japanese. Although massive churches in a distinctive style give evidence of Spanish-Ilocano collaboration, the colonial period was marked by frequent revolts; the most famous of these was that led by Diego and Gabriela Silang during the British occupation of Manila in 1762–63.

Ilocanos were prominent in the nationalist movement, and many rose to high office in the central government. The greatest of these Ilocano “success stories” (as far as it went) was President Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled from 1965 to 1986.


The four provinces of the Ilocano homeland (Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and landlocked Abra) stretch from Cape Bojeador at the northwestern tip of Luzon down to the Gulf of Lingayen. Most of the population is concentrated along a narrow coastal plain that has only a few good harbors. This environment is harsh, forcing Ilocanos to be hard-working and thrifty. Many Ilocanos have left their homeland to seek employment elsewhere.

The population of the four provinces is about 1.8 million. Ilocano speakers, however, numbered 11 percent of the national population of 66 million, or 7.26 million people. Among all Filipino groups, the Ilocanos are the most famed as migrants, settling since the nineteenth century in sparsely populated expanses of the northern Central Plain of Luzon (provinces of Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija) and of the Cagayan Valley in the northeast. In addition, many Ilocanos have established themselves in Manila and other major cities of the country, as well as in frontier lands on Mindanao. Ilocano men left to find work as migrant laborers on sugar plantations in Hawaii and on farms in California in the first decades of the twentieth century. They were the first Filipinos to immigrate to the United States. In the Philippines, every Ilocano town has a number of men known as “Hawaiianos,” returned migrants from the United States. These migrants courted their future wives in their home country by letter.

Great Customer Service

2 Sep

Today we have a guest post from Jeff Harvie my Migration Agent.

Something happened to me the other day when I was shopping in the Department store of one of the larger malls in Davao. It was such an amusing situation that I wanted to share it. It was just something simple, but we had such a laugh, it really reminded us again of how open and friendly and hospitable some of the Filipino people can be. I went looking to buy a Microwave.

I browsed the shelves and pretty soon a couple of store assistants approached me I asked questions about the various appliances. You always receive service with such a smile and friendly behaviour wherever we go in the stores and this was no exception (is it purely because we are foreigners? I don’t know).

Something that is so great here in the Philippines, is when you purchase something here, the assistant will always unpack it all and demonstrate that everything is in working order. So, yes, we got a working demo of the microwave.

The guy actually serving me was a little embarrassed because the microwave required an adapter to be plugged into the wall and he could not find one. To help ease his embarrassment while he was hurriedly searching through the drawers and shelves I began chatting and bantering with the other staff.

Suddenly a chair was produced so we could sit down, in the middle of the shop floor. The microwave was placed on the floor in front of me, waiting to be plugged in.

“What channel can we get on this?” I asked, thinking the guys would understand my humour, but at first they looked a little confused.  “This is not very good.” I continued.

“Sorry sir, sorry sir,” they were saying, obviously apologising about the wait for the adapter plug.

“No not that,” I said, “But the picture is not very good. Where is Star Movies?”

Suddenly all the guys realised what I was implying. Here I am, sitting in the middle of the store, on chairs, surrounded by them all, staring at a microwave on the floor and we were making out it was a TV. Well they howled with laughter. Most of the department seemed to come to a halt; everyone was looking to see what all the commotion and hilarity was.

Well finally the plug arrived and they set it up and put a mug of cold water inside, to demonstrate that it would heat up. They did this and handed me a mug with hot steaming water. “No good. This hot tea tastes terrible.” I said.

For a second they looked worried then again the joke was realised and they cracked up laughing and clapping. It was hilarious.

By now I think nearly all of the shop assistants in that entire department were with us. All over a microwave on the floor and us sitting on chairs having a good laugh.

It really was a pleasure to be assisted by these guys. Shaking hands, back slapping and winking went on while the fully functional microwave was repacked.

“Can I have the adapter please?” I asked knowing that I needed one and wondered if they would just throw this one in as a freebie.

“Pardon sir?”

“I need the adapter” I repeated.

Several of the guys looked really concerned.

“Are you ok sir?” There was genuine worry on their faces and awkward shuffling.

You need a doctor sir?”

“Doctor???” They thought Steve said he needed a doctor.

“I need an adapter – not a doctor!!!!”

Well – the howls and hoots and laughter must have travelled throughout the entire mall.

But it was a great situation and a true demonstration of the Filipino sense of fun. Believe me I we could do with some of that magic in the stores in the west.

Jeff Harvie is an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) who has given up the quiet life in Australia a few years back for one more adventurous with his Filipina wife and kids in Manila, Philippines. He runs Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas for those Aussie men who fall madly in love with the local girls and want to bring them to Australia.

Visas in the Philippines

8 Aug

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Philippines Tourist Visa Application



Tourist Visa PhilippinesPhilippines Tourist Visa Application

In the Philippines, visa applications for tourists may or may not be required depending upon the nationality of the candidate. For applicants from countries that do not receive a visa-waiver, and for those who wish to stay for a longer period than the visa free duration permissible for their country, it will be necessary to apply for a Philippines tourist visa.


Who Can Apply for a Philippines Tourist Visa?

More details at Philippines Getaway

Whale Shark Interaction in the Philippines

7 Aug

Donsol Whale Shark Interaction

Until the ‘discovery’ of whale sharks off the coast  in 1998, Donsol, southwest of Legaspi, was a sleepy fishing village in one of Sorsogon’s more remote areas. In 1998 a local diver shot a video of the whale sharks and a newspaper carried a story about Donsol’s gentle butanding. Since then Donsol has become one of the Philippines’ most popular tourist locations. Donsol is a third class municipality in the province  of Sorsogon,  Philippines located at the south of Luzon  island.


More details at Philippines Getaway

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