Advisory For Expats In the Philippines Who Have RH Negative Blood

Advisory For RH Negative Expats Living In The Philippines

In making your plans to relocate to the Philippines I doubt the subject of donor blood availability ever came up. It never crossed my mind. But it may be a factor for you to consider if you happen to be part of the 6% of the people on earth who have RH negative blood.

RH negative % of world population & Philippines population
click image for larger view

You may hear that 15% of the population are RH negative. That figure is generally for Western nations. The RH negative blood type represents about 1% of the population within Asia and less than 6% of the populations of most countries on the African continent. Therefore, only about 6% of the total world population are RH negative.

Only .33% of the Philippines’ population are RH negative. That figure equates to about 342,546 people. Persons having the AB- blood type can receive blood from all of them. 

The table below details who you can donate blood to or receive blood from based upon blood type:

click image for larger view

The figures below represent the number of people in the Philippines who can potentially donate blood to you given your RH negative status:

O-: 103,802 potential donors
A-: 207,603 potential donors
B-: 207,603 potential donors
AB-: 342,546 potential donors

The data in this article for RH negative statistics was taken from a wikipedia article on blood type distribution. There are some issues with the data that are pointed out within the article. It is likely that the proportion of RH negative distribution is lower than described, as missing data is from populations that have lower proportions of RH negative individuals than the 6% figure stated.

A hundred thousand potential donors may sound like a lot, but that is across the entire population of the Philippines. Even RH positive individuals may experience difficulties in obtaining suitable donor blood and as an RH negative person you have a fraction of their options available to you.
If you are RH negative and you do decide to relocate to the Philippines, then there are some steps that you might want to take just in case you ever need a blood transfusion:

Pillsbury Pancake Warning!

Pillsbury Pancake Warning!

view our home-made pancakes from scratch recipe

I really love Pillsbury pancakes. They taste almost home made. That is, until the day they broke my heart. Do you see those pancakes in the photo above? I actually ate them. They were not bad tasting. They just look bad and they made a big sticky mess in the pan.

This had never happened before. I asked my wife what happened and she didn't know either. She just followed the directions.

And therein lies the problem.

This particular batch of pancakes, or whatever you want to call them, is the One-Step variety:

Little did we know that the supermarket had switched out the old reliable Original variety:

If you are not paying attention it is easy to confuse these two boxes.

The key to what went wrong lies in the instructions for what to add.

The original requires three additional ingredients:

milk/water, oil and an egg.

The One-Step only requires the addition of water or milk:

It does not matter if you use a nonstick pan coated in oil, because without the oil and egg in the mix those pancakes will still stick hard to the pan.

If you want to make a decent pancake you have to break a few eggs.

I know that we are not the only ones having this problem because every time we go back to the store there are fewer boxes of Original and more boxes of One-Step. And now we have been back several times and all they have is the One Step. 

No one wants to buy it because they bought it once and this happened:


We did try mixing egg and oil into the One-Step. It did not help a lot. Still way too sticky. something about the mix itself is different.

There are hidden messages in this post of great interest to foreign intelligence, but they will never find them because I am far too clever! 


Philippines Cost of Living: Market Day

Philippines Cost of Living: Market Day


I wanted to share our recent market day haul in order to provide another facet of the cost of living in the Philippines. Market Day is a common practice throughout the Philippines where once and possibly twice per week all of the produce farmers around a municipality will gather at the local designated market facility to sell their fruits, vegetables, meats and other various products and wares. Generally speaking, the market is open every day of the week, but there are many items that can only be found there on Market Day and the variety is also much greater. Produce is also typically of a better quality on Market Day.

The assortment that you see above cost us a grand total of 1700 PHP or about $33 at the current exchange rate with the US dollar.

You will note that the list above shows rice sold by "ganta." The ganta is a unit of volume and not weight and it is equal to three liters. They measure it out sometimes by using one of the large  pineapple juice cans and they give you two level canfuls of rice, which equals three liters. At this time rice is selling for 85 PHP per ganta, but out of season it may go to 110 PHP or higher for a ganta. A ganta of rice will weigh approximately five pounds and will vary based upon water content and other factors. We have found brown rice on rare occasions and it runs about 150PHP per ganta.

The little purple onions cost three times as much as the big Spanish onions. I cannot understand why we still buy them.

The ripe banana is typically cooked, whereas the sweet banana is like the kind you are used to eating in the US. Sweet bananas are also more expensive.

A few different kinds of papaya are available to us here. The bigger ones tend to be "hybrid" varieties. The smaller ones are called "native" around these parts. The bigger ones are less sweet and less tender. The small native papayas are very sweet and taste similar to a mango IMO. We have lots of papaya trees, but none of them have ripe fruit right now. Same goes for mangoes. In season we go through a three gallon bucket of mangoes each day and they are all free because they come from our own trees. Our mango trees are a different variety from the ones at the market, hence the reason they are not producing at this time.


Micro-Suction Ear Cleaning In The Philippines

Micro-Suction Ear Cleaning In The Philippines


take care of your ears

I recently had the pleasure of undergoing the micro-suction procedure for a clogged ear. I applied ear drops to the ear for a few days prior to the the procedure to soften the cerumen and the doctor applied some bubbly peroxide stuff again for 30 minutes before the procedure. 

I had been reading horror stories on the Internet regarding bad experiences with micro-suction, so I was a little apprehensive. My apprehension peaked when I saw the metal suction tube and the metallic cone (called a speculum) that is placed in the ear to focus the suction of the tool.

speculum used is micro suction of the ear
ear speculum
There was some discomfort and it was loud and there was some pain. There was, in all honestly, a lot of pain. However, the procedure was quickly over and the offending clump was extricated and I was endowed with mutant-like super hearing for a couple of days.

Every little sound seemed extremely loud for two or three days. Every creak and squeak of the door hinges was like an explosion in my ear. The waves gently lapping the beach a hundred yards from my window (which I had scarcely noticed before) now sounded like D-Day.

Another nice effect was the musical ear tinnitus that showed up the first night after the procedure making sleep all but impossible. The Internet tells various stories about the tinnitus related side effects that sometimes follow micro-suction ear wax removal. Some people say theirs lasted for months, years or forever. Other people say that it dies down within a few days to a couple of weeks. It has been several days now and my tinnitus does seem to be growing lower and lower and hopefully it will soon be gone. The super hearing is going away too.

And the cost of the procedure?


Christians And Muslims Do Not Worship The Same God

Christians And Muslims Do Not Worship The Same God


The name "Jesus" is mentioned twenty-nine times in the Koran and "Christ" is mentioned another eight (8) times without "Jesus" adjoined to it. Is it good simply because the Koran speaks so much about Jesus? Does that not depend upon what exactly it states about him?

What the Koran says about Jesus Christ:
SURA 4. Nisaa, or The Woman

157. That they said [in boast], "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no [certain] knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-

171. O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was [no more than] a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: [far exalted is He] above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.

SURA 5. Maida, or the Table Spread
19. In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say "Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His Will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all--every one that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things."

75. They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord" Whoever joins other gods with Allah, --Allah will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrongdoers be no one to help.

76. They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: For there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.

78. Christ the son of Mary was no more than an Apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His Signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!

SURA 9. Tauba (Repentance) or Baraat (Immunity)
30. The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; [in this] they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!
Summary of what the Koran says about Jesus Christ:
  • Jesus only appeared to die, but did not actually die on the cross
  • There is no God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
  • It is blasphemy to claim Allah is a triune God
  • It is blasphemy to say that Jesus Christ is Allah
  • Christ was only an Apostle
  • Allah's curse is upon those who say that Christ is the son of Allah
What does the Bible say about Jesus' death:
Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
What does the Bible say about the Trinity:
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
John 10:30 I and [my] Father are one.

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

What does the Bible say about Jesus being God:
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Christ was much more than an Apostle. He is the Creator:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
What response does the Bible have to the assertion that Allah's curse is upon those who say that Jesus is the son of Allah? 

Nothing, actually. Jesus is not the son of Allah and I dare say that anyone who says that he is might well be cursed. This is because by now it should be clear that the Jesus of the Koran and the Jesus of the Bible are clearly not the same person nor is Allah the same person as the God of the Bible.

According to the Bible one is cursed if one cannot see that Jesus is the Son of God because the only way to get to God the Father is through the Son.
Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Since the days of my youth I have heard it often repeated that Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same Abrahamic God. But this is simply not true, as the verses above clearly demonstrate the distance between Islam and Christianity. 

But it is also false to state that Christians and Jews worship the same God.  

John 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
In John 8:19 above, Jesus was speaking to Pharisees. These were Jews and as Pharisees they believed in the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah, yet they could not recognize him as being the man who was speaking to them. They most certainly did not worship the Father either. Neither do modern Jews, as they too reject Jesus Christ. Whatever god they do worship is not God the Father who is one with Jesus Christ his Son.

If Muslims and Jews worshiped the same God as Christians there would be no need to evangelize them. They would already be saved. But Scripture states that no man comes to the Father but through the Son and this is what both Islam and modern Judaism reject.

What Happens If Your 13(a) Or TRV Visa Sponsor Dies?

What Happens If Your 13(a) Or TRV Visa Sponsor Dies?

This article is not legal advice. Consult with the Bureau of Immigration for answers to your specific circumstances. 

Table Of Contents

Death Of Visa Sponsor Can Result In Visa Revocation

It is not pleasant to talk about death and dying, but it is necessary to do so. I have read a few stories on the Internet that did not end well for foreigners whose visa sponsor passed away. There is an Immigration circular available that does address the issue, and this document is talked about on a few sites and it is also very much misunderstood.

The document in question is Immigration Memorandum Circular No. SMB-2014-009. The linked document is from the Immigration website and if you open it you may notice that there are two superscript references:
the surviving foreign husband, in his own capacity¹, or the child, as the petitioner²
In the linked document the notes that these refer to are missing so I have included my own copy of the document here that does include the two notes and I have also transcribed the complete document below.

I will go deeper into the explanation below, but the bottom line of this post is that if you hold a 9(a) visa and your Filipino spouse dies and the two of you have children who are recognized as Filipino citizens, then you can be your own petitioner or the child can be your petitioner in order to adjust your status to Non-Quota 13(a) visa or if you are from a non-visa reciprocity country you can adjust to TRV. Likewise, if you already hold a 13(a) or TRV, then you or the child can act as your petitioner to amend or extend the respective visa.

The circular is sometimes misinterpreted on the Internet. This is understandable. The document has a Flesch reading ease score of 26.3, meaning it is a difficult read, as most law documents are. The vast majority of information we read on the Internet is in the score range of 60-70. When people come across a more sophisticated document they have a tendency to read it as casually as anything else they find on the Internet and miss a lot in the process.

Documents written in legalese require a much more analytical approach to discern the meaning. Even trained attorneys argue over the meaning of laws. Sometimes laws are written to be ambiguous (or flexible) and other times they are written with great precision and you have to be very careful to understand the precise legal meaning of the specific words that are used. The way the law defines and uses a word or phrase may be very different from the way in which you are used to using it in everyday language.

Immigration Memorandum Circular No. SMB-2014-009

In accordance with Opinion No. 52, series of 2013, issued by the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on 17 June 2013 concerning the interpretation of Section 13(a) of Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 613, otherwise known as the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended and the application thereof on Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) under Law Instruction 33 and Memorandum Order No. ADD-01-038, the following guidelines shall be observed:
1. The dissolution of marriage by declaration of nullity, annulment, legal separation or separation de facto between the foreign husband and Filipino wife shall operate as a ground for the revocation of the foreign husband’s Non-Quota Immigrant Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 13(a) or TRV, except:
a. If the dissolution of the marriage is due to the death of the Filipino wife and there is/are surviving child/children of such marriage; and
b. In the case of petition for (i) adjustment of status from Temporary Visitor Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 9(a) to Non-Quota Immigrant Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 13(a) or TRV; or (ii) amendment or extension thereof, respectively , the surviving foreign husband, in his own capacity¹, or the child, as the petitioner², may file a petition for Non-Quota Immigrant Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 13(a) or TRV for the foreign husband.
2. Dependents under Non-Quota Immigrant Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 13(a) or TRV must be:
a. Under twenty-one (21) years of age;
b. Unmarried; and
c. Accompanying or following to join his Filipino parent
Note #1 The foreign husband shall simultaneously be both the petitioner and the applicant.
Note #2 The foreign husband shall be the applicant and the child shall be the petitioner.

Guideline #1 Explained

Dissolution of marriage may cause the revocation of the foreign husband’s Non-Quota Immigrant Visa under C.A. No. 613, Section 13(a) or TRV, except in the case of condition "a" in which case the privileges in "b" apply.

Under condition "a", the exception to dissolution of marriage as grounds for revocation of a visa is applicable when dissolution is due to death of the Filipino spouse AND there are surviving children from the marriage.

The phrase "there is/are surviving child/children of such marriage" presumes the children to be Filipino citizens, as they will need to be in order to fulfill privileges in "b" (being the petitioner for the surviving parent).

The privileges in "b" apply to persons who have:
Individuals who fall under categories "i" or "ii" of Guideline#1b are given two options for maintaining their immigration status (explained by notes 1 & 2 in the document):
1. They can act as their own petitioner to convert their 9(a) to a 13(a) or TRV or amend or extend their existing 13(a) or TRV; or
2. The Filipino citizen child of the foreigner can act as the petitioner for their foreign parent.
A TRV is a type of visa that is available to foreigners married to Filipinos and who are from countries that do not have visa reciprocity with the Philippines, therefore they are not eligible for a 13(a) permanent visa.

The following list shows countries that DO have visa reciprocity with the Philippines. If your country is NOT shown, then you MAY be required to obtain a TRV, rather than a 13(a) Visa:

The following country list corresponds to countries that have no visa reciprocity with the Philippines (for exceptions see starred countries above):

Guideline #2 Explained

Guideline #2 is sometimes misunderstood to be a condition of Guideline 1(b). Guideline #2 is an entirely separate issue from #1. Guideline #2 is for dependents under a Non-Quota visa, meaning they are not Filipino citizens. They are children born outside of the Philippines and whose Filipino parent has not yet filed the paperwork to have them recognized as Filipino citizens. Guideline #1 is dealing with a Filipino spouse who has died, therefore it is not logical to interpret guideline 2(c) as a condition for Guideline 1, as it is impossible for the child to "accompany or follow to join" a deceased parent. And it is also not possible for a non-Filipino child to petition a foreign parent as stated in guideline #1(b). Furthermore, a child who is recognized as a Filipino citizen would have no need to be a visa dependent.

Immediate Steps To Take If Your Sponsor Dies

I have spoken to The Bureau of Immigration about this topic and they do confirm that the 13a Permanent Resident Visa will remain in effect due to having a child/children with the Filipino spouse if the child/children are also Filipino citizens.

BoI does caution that visa status may be lost on account of remarriage.

BoI also advises that a visa holder in this situation should also apply for a new ACR-I card to amend civil status from married to widowed.

Amendments to the 13(a) visa can be processed at the Legazpi, Naga City or Intramuros Manila immigration offices. I Base this off of the Immigration Subport Directory of Transactions. Be sure to check that document and double check by contacting the office to be certain that they do process these transactions before you ever set out to go there.

Other Options If you Have No Children Or If Your Children Are Not Filipino Citizens

If you have children with the Filipino spouse and they are not recognized as citizens, but can be, then you may want to expedite getting that done.

Otherwise, if you have no children who are Filipino citizens you only have a couple of options:

Section 13 Quota Visa - The Quota Visa is similar to the 13(a) Non-Quota Visa. Only 50 persons of each nationality that has diplomatic relations with the Philippines are allowed to apply for the Quota Visa each year.

You can see from the Quota Visa application that the requirements for approval are quite a bit more demanding than the 13(a), as demonstrated in item #4 on the checklist:
4. Proof of applicant’s special qualifications like academic degrees, awards, certificates of recognition, and other documents attesting to the applicant’s special qualifications, skills or knowledge, or proof of financial capacity or investment, including but not limited to:
a. Bank certification of inward remittance amounting to at least US $50,000.00 or equivalent in other foreign currency;
b. Documents evidencing ownership/purchase of a condominium [condominium unit(s) acquired within four (4) years prior to filing the Quota Immigrant Visa may be considered] with a corresponding proof that the amount that he/she invested came or was inwardly remitted from foreign sources;
c. Documents showing ownership of or investment in an existing corporation, enterprise or business concern [shares of stock or other equivalent proof of ownership in a corporation or business concern acquired within four (4) years prior to filing the application may be considered with a corresponding proof that the amount that he/she invested came or was inwardly remitted from foreign sources;
Regarding "a", I do not know if there is a time limit on how far back you can claim remitted cash into your bank account to qualify for the $50,000. There may also be a limit to how far back a specific bank can produce a certification for you. The one bank that I have spoken to about this told me that they can only certify remittances up to twenty-four (24) months into the past.  

Philippines Visa Policy Map
Philippines Visa Policy Map
9(a) Temporary Visitors Visa - This option will be quite burdensome, especially if you have been enjoying a relatively easy to maintain 13(a) Visa. The 9(a) must be extended every 59 days at a cost of about $100 per 59 day extension. The 9(a) can only be extended for three years for non-visa required persons and two years for visa required persons.

Special Resident Retirement Visa (SRRV) - The SRRV is managed through the Philippine Retirement Authority and not the Bureau of Immigration. There is no need for an annual report and you can come and go with no need for Immigration Clearance Certificates.

Five different options are available for the SRRV.

The Expanded Courtesy option is available to retired military:
For foreign nationals, 50 years old & above, who are retired Armed Force officers of foreign countries with existing military ties and/or agreement with the Philippine Government. A monthly pension of at least US$1,000.00 and an SRR Visa deposit of US$1,500.00 are required.The SRR Visa deposit includes the principal applicant and 2 dependents. Additional dependent, entails additional SRR Visa deposit of US$15,000 each (except for former Filipinos). CHILDREN must be legitimate or legally adopted by the Principal Retiree, unmarried and below 21 years old upon joining the program.
The initial processing fee for the principal applicant is $1400 and $300 for each dependent. A $360 annual fee is also stated.

Buying Land In The Philippines Part 6: Tax Declaration in Buyer's Name

Buying Land In The Philippines Part 6: Tax Declaration in Buyer's Name

Posts in This Series:


This is the sixth part in the series about buying land in the Philippines. As always, nothing you read here is to be taken as legal advice or professional guidance. This is our personal experience that we are sharing with you. So caveat lectorum.

Documents Required By The Municipal Assessor For Issuance Of A New Tax Declaration: 

New Certificate of Title

Obtained from the previous step.

Deed of Sale

It is a good idea to have multiple copies of the DOAS notarized with original signatures at the time of execution.

Transfer Tax Receipt

The Transfer Tax Clearance fee is paid first to the Provincial Treasurer who issues the receipt.

BIR CAR/ Tax Clearance Certificate

Obtained from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

DAR Clearance

Obtained from the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Real Estate Tax Clearance

Obtained from the Municipal Treasurer.

Technical Description

Obtained as a deliverable from the surveyor if you had the lot subdivided

Otherwise, the Technical Description can be obtained from the Land Management Bureau.

Certified True Copy of the Subdivision Plan (Blue Print)

Obtained as a deliverable from the surveyor if you had the lot subdivided

Otherwise, the Subdivision Plan can be obtained from the Land Management Bureau.

Special Power of Attorney

Required if the applicant is other than the buyer. 

sample SPOA


Submission Of Documents

  • We submitted only original documents.
  • Never leave your paperwork or any money without receiving an official receipt.
  • Never use fixers or people who say that they can expedite paperwork.
  • We also had the Assessor stamp "received" on our copy of each document that we submitted.


The Bottom Line 

It is very important to acquire an updated copy of your landholdings from the Municipal Assessor every year. This is how you can know that your land is secure in your name and that no one has changed it by error or otherwise.