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  WHERE TO LIVE:  I would


WHERE TO LIVE:  I would not lock into any geo-place to live until you have lived in PH for at least 3 mos.  There are so many beautiful places here to live that you stumble accross fantastic new digs and deals all the time here.  Secondly, many places here are heavily marketed by friends, relatives, friends of friends, friends of relatives and relatives of relatives concerned more with helping their friends and relatives "sell" than with your personal lifestyles interests, needs, etc.

BANKING ACCOUNT:Your ATM card is good throughout PH and the world at any ATM machine.  You can set up checking or savings accounts here with only 2000php, and two valid pic IDs and obtain an ATM card for these accounts as well which takes about 2wks to get your card.  In the interim, keep your accounts open in the states as you can easily check your state banks account online.  Ensure your stateside bank has online accounting AND open this account online NOW!  Don't wait another 1 or 2 mos or until you get to PH to try to open your online account with your stateside bank as it will be more of a hassle.  I opened up my online accounts with Academy Bank way before I came to PH and just kept using them here in PH for one and one half yrs now.  I also still use my ATM card from Academy Bank at BDO bank which is one of the largest and most stable banks in PH. I have used my ATM card at Security Bank and BDO banks without any problems now for the past one and one-half yrs. You can keep your direct deposit with your stateside bank until and if you decide to have direct deposit with an bank in the PH.  You may want to inquire with your employer's pension program to see if they allow you to have a monthly allotment sent directly to your bank in the PH.  This would allow you to have direct deposit of funds to your bank in PH but maintain direct deposit of your pension to your bank in the states until you decide you want to have it all direct-deposited in a bank in PH.

Academy Bank is considered an Armed Forces Bank as it has agreements with DOD to provide international services for armed forces personnel and their dependents overseas but also provides these same services for any of their account holders.  These services include significantly reduced fees for money orders, bill payments, etc. compared to other international money ordering/payment businesses. Check with you bank now to inquire on any international kinds of services they may offer.  They may also offer similar services and fees.

ATLAS SHIPPING: I had terrrific experience with Atlas Shipping for the past 5yrs as they have no weight restrictions and allowed me to send over just about everythng I needed to send over, kitchen sink, American made mops (no kidding) are a lot sturdier with a lot more quality than many of these household items you will find in the PH. Few products made in the USA are to be sold or found here so I suggest you bring em with you. There are other shipping companies and maybe even cheaper but I had good rates on x-large boxes and even U-Haul wardrobe boxes I shipped to PH at fraction of costs charged by moving companies.

MY TWO CENTS WORTH: scan any an all important documents such as passport, drivers license, certificates, marriage license, etc. and send them to yourself via e-mail so they are in cyberspace for your referral as and when needed.  It beats having to keep storing these documents here and there and getting them all ruffled up etc.  I did this and have had to send copies of these documents here and there even back to the states by e-mail as needed.

Hope this helps...


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