Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

February 27, 2009

Gimme Piso

Filed under: siquijor — Donald @ 8:10 am

Allied Bank Siquijor

I hoped never to know about the vital signs of banks. That’s a luxury I can’t afford anymore, so lately I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time on the Philippine Stock Exchange website reading disclosures of capital adequacy and non-performing loan ratios, returns on assets, and other stuff the accountants made up. The result is a couple of bank accounts that will allow me to diversify my currency exposure and finally begin losing pesos just like everything else. A dollar buys a lot of local coin right now, but that may change after the current panic abates and the Philippines elects a new President next year. Good a time to move in as any. Fortunately, the security procedures at my bank here on the island are very reassuring.

Bank Notice

February 18, 2009

Visitors

Filed under: General — Donald @ 7:35 am

Computer Build

I was changing clothes for a night on the town when I saw the face in my window. Other foreigners in my neighborhood had been hit by burglars in recent weeks and I was expecting a visit, but it still shocked me, especially with my pants literally down. I should have just taken a very good look at the guy so I could identify him, but I was too angry to be clever, so I yelled instead. He didn’t move from his perch atop the motorcycle parked under my bedroom window; he just kept scanning the room for things to steal. It was only when I yelled a second time using more graphic vocabulary that he scampered off toward the beach.

My landlady was very good about it, agreeing to beef up security for my bedroom so that I would have a place for valuables. That meant it would be a construction area for a while, so I headed for Dumaguete to do some shopping and blow off some steam. Having my privacy invaded wasn’t the worst thing that had happened that week, but it was the final straw.

Well, not really. You can pile as many straws as you like on a broken camel. One wafted gently down when I finally found out just how waterproof a Zero Halliburton laptop case is (and isn’t). I decided on a desktop replacement because they’re so much cheaper, especially over the long run. The cheapest computer shop I could find in Dumaguete, and the busiest, is Ace Logic. They build their own systems and I offered to buy one if 1) I could watch the technician put it together and 2) he would watch me take it apart and put it back together again. No anti-static wristbands or dust-free assembly areas in that back room. Seeing my sweat drip into the case sometime in the third hour temporarily re-traumatized me, but the new beast works great.

I’ve been back in Siquijor for a week or so now. While I was out for a Valentine’s drink the burglars came back. They entered through the window over the kitchen sink, as I had told my landlady they would. Stuff was messed around a bit, but they never got into the hardened area, and nothing seems to be missing. If they come back again while I’m out and do manage to get into my bedroom they’ll be in for more disappointment. Best if no one knows just why.

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