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Month long intermittent PLDT DSL connection Jun 26
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I have been having trouble with my PLDT DSL and phone connections for about a month now. The repairman was here yesterday and said he fixed the problem. I asked him for a new modem, but he never came back (yesterday).
 
This morning, at about 9:15, my landline rings. I answer it, but there is nobody there, but I can hear someone outside saying, “Hello.” .I figured it was the repairman, so I run downstairs to look. I see nobody outside, and start to run back upstairs, but then I hear the guy calling my name. I stop in mid-step and open the door and let him in. Sure enough he has my new modem.
 
We go upstairs (where my modem is) and I pick up the phone and hand it to him. There is no dial tone again, despite his having fixed it yesterday, supposedly. He acknowledges that there is no dial tone.
 
He changes out my modem, phone lines and DSL filter and the phone works again and is clear (no static). However, the new modem is not connecting and has a steady red light. He calls the PLDT office to get assistance. I guess they remotely reset the modem or connection. He coordinates with them for ten minutes and they still couldn’t get it to work.
 
I had to work, so I could not hang around. My girlfriend is in there (with him) now. I will post an update when I get a break.
 
For now, and for the last week, I have been using my phone as a hot spot. I am using Globe’s 4G.

UPDATE #1

Well, I finished my first class and used my five minute break to find out what happened. Apparently, the technician was able to get it to work. So, I switched over to the modem using the network cable and we’ll see how it goes.
Luckily, I finally got the technician’s cell number and I can contact him directly if I need him. It is usually the same guy, so I guess they are assigned areas.

UPDATE #2

Well, I am able to work and browse, but I was curious to see if the speed was stable. So, I ran a speedtest. I never use Philippines servers, but I wanted to get a baseline. Speedtest.net said that PLDT’s Manila server was my optimal server, so I used that and ran a test.  I was shocked to see a 1.5MbpS download speed. I figured maybe it was bad test, so I ran it again. Let’s just say I went from content to irate in .054 seconds. LOL I was getting a steady 1.5MbpS down. This is utterly ridiculous!!!

So, at around 10:30 AM, I texted Nico (the PLDT tech) and let him know what is going on. He called me back a couple of minutes later (on the landline). I confirmed what I texted him and he promised to go to the equipment cabinet on the street and adjust the speed. So, I am just waiting on that now.
I should have told him that the landline still had some static, but that could be the phone itself causing the problem. I would have him replace it, but that would just be an inconvenience to me, because it means I have to take time to let him in and wait for him to do the work. Considering I almost never use the phone, I don’t see the upside to having him come back and replace it. In addition, I just ordered a new cordless phone from Lazada and I am expecting that to be here in a day or two. If the static persists with the new phone, I will just call PLDT, then, to come in and fix the issue.

UPDATE #3

At about 12 PM (noon), I completely lost internet again. Either he is at the equipment cabinet adjusting my speed or the problem was not fixed. So, I sent him a text and he called back within a minute. He is at the equipment cabinet. Unfortunately, my DSL light is blinking (supposed to be steady) and the Internet light is off (supposed to be on and blinking). So, there is definitely an issue here because he said he would call back. Judging by the tone of his voice, I would say that’s not what he expected to hear.
With that being said, I was running a speed test when I discovered the connection was dead. So, I switched to using my Globe LTE data connection via my phone configured as a hot spot. Once that connected, the speed test automatically ran. Look at these speeds.

UPDATE #4

So, he comes back and climbs the telephone pole, on the corner, two houses down.  He says something about replacing my secondary wire. Then he gets in his truck and leaves, I assumed to the equipment cabinet outside my subdivision. Then, he returns, at around 1:15 PM, and climbs the telephone pole again. He comes inside to check the modem and all seemed fine. So, I ran a speed test.

 That’s what I’m talking about!!! That’s a lot better than I had before. I used to top out at 7-8 MbpS down and .6 or .7 MbpS up. So, this is a hell of an improvement.
However, the real test, for me, is a Hong Kong Server. The first run was pathetic at 2.6 MbpS down and .58 MbpS up. The second run was better, though.

Obviously, these speeds are not very good, but they are acceptable for my job.

Potentially Stellar News

Nico, the PLDT technician, asked me if I wanted fiber. OF COURSE I DO!!! So, I told him that and he asks if I applied. I told him that I went to the PLDT office in Imus and they said that not only is it NOT available in my subdivision, but they have no plans to wire it up.

Nico said he would try to get it for me and I told him that if he did then there would be a big “secret tip” in it for him. Of course, this brought a huge smile to his face.

He also told me that PLDT does have fiber right up to my subdivision’s gate. This means all Nico would have to do is run a line from the gate to the telephone pole, I assume install some equipment and then run a line to my house.

I don’t have very high hopes for him being able to pull this off, but if he was able to, I’d be ecstatic.

UPDATE 5

A colleague suggested trying the STC Hong Kong server.

More updates to come
How to ruin a Filipina Oct 30

Step 1:

Treat her well

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial

 

 

 

 

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Category: Advice  | Leave a Comment
The lackadaisical attitude of many Filipino parents can prove costly Jun 16

At around 11:22 this morning I opened my Facebook to see what everyone was up to. I noticed I had a new friend request, so I clicked on it to see who it was. I didn’t recognize the person, so I deleted the request. After I deleted the request I happened to look down and I noticed a picture on the person’s timeline. I looked and thought to myself,

“That looks like…hmmmmm…I wonder.”

I thought maybe the little girl in the picture was my friend’s daughter (who lives here in the Philippines with her mother). I had met the little girl and her mother a few weeks ago while my friend was here visiting. Anyway, I copied the profile link and sent him a message with the link asking if it was his “baby momma”. After sending it my mind starts to wonder,

“Why does she want to add me? Please don’t let her be a drama queen like his other baby momma. I have enough of that with my kids’ mother. I don’t need more.”

Well, at around ten after one this afternoon he finally answers me and it was indeed his baby momma here. It turns out that she had also sent me a private message, which must have been deleted when I deleted the friend request, that I never saw. Apparently, the daughter was in the hospital (turns out it is a clinic).

He asked me if I had 5K (5,000 pesos) to pay half the bill, so she could get the kid out on a promissory note and take her home.  Well, not only am I not rich, but I am borderline poverty level lately. Between not making much money, paying for my kid’s private school and the price of food lately, I am getting killed. So, 5,000 extra pesos is just not something I could even dream of right now. Much less have.

After telling him the bad news I felt bad and really wanted to help him any way I could. He is just a super nice guy and he’s not only helped me in the past, but he has gone above and beyond in the generousity department.  So, I started to ask some questions about the situation. He gave me what information he could and I asked for her cell number, so I could text her and get more information. He mentioned that she messaged me on Facebook, but I never saw it. I went searching and found it and messaged her.

It turns out that she (and her daughter) were at a medical clinic not far from where I used to live (a few months ago). I couldn’t be sure, but I think I actually went there for treatment once. Anyway, according to the mother, the little girl had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and ascaris bacteria in her stool.  Now, UTI’s are extremely common in the Philippines among women, or at least they always claim to have one whenever something hurts down in that region. So, that wasn’t concerning me too much. However, the ascaris bacteria (round worms) did concern me. How did this little girl get that? So, I did a little research and apparently it is prevalent in places, like the Philippines, that have tropical climates. The poor sanitation and hygene that is so pervasive in the Philippines is also a major contributing factor to getting Ascaris Lumbricoides.

Anyway, the mother sent me a photo of the doctor bill, which as it turns out, totaled out at over 10,000 pesos. I have to say I was a bit shocked. I started to go through the itemized list of charges and saw Paracetamol listed at 300 pesos. That threw me through a loop because it is an over the counter drug, which is not expensive. I guess they charged her for an entire bottle instead of the few tablets she probably received.

To make this long story a little shorter let’s jump ahead to some of the information the mother gave me when I first asked her how the child got sick. First she tells me the little girl chews her fingernails. Now, I do the same thing as does my eldest daughter (who is 9 years old at the time of this writing). I told the mother to buy a nail clipper and cut the child’s nails short and make sure she washes her hands thoroughly a few times per day.

Then the story changed to the child went outside with no shoes on. Well, this is another extremely common phenomenon in the Philippines. I constantly see adults walking around with no shoes. Kids walk around with no shoes and quite often no pants or underwear on. I taught my kids, from the time they were able to take their first steps, to keep their shoes on inside and outside of the house. I am constantly reminding people to put their shoes on. I used to yell at my ex, her sisters, nieces and nephews, etc… to all put their shoes on in my home. I used to yell about it because I didn’t want anyone to slip and fall on the tile floors. Why? Because the CR floor is almost constantly wet. That water gets tracked throughout the rest of the house and in the rainy season it gets tracked in from outside. Yes, even though we have rugs the water still finds its way across the house. It’s just one of those things you learn to deal with when you live in the Philippines as an expat.

Anyway, I am getting off topic. I started to get madder and madder at the mother because I knew that if she had even the slightest bit of concern for her daughter and stopped living like the typical lower rungs of society Filipino, then this wouldn’t have happened. It feels like everytime I turn around I see a parent not paying attention to their child and the child getting into some kind of danger our trouble. I once saw a 4 year old playing in the street and the mother had no idea because her back was turned to the child as she was being tsismosa with a sari-sari store owner.

I was shocked to see her actually take responsibility for her failings as a parent, but that didn’t abate my anger or excuse her. I legitimately wanted to help, but the more I talked to her the angrier I got.  I finally suggested to her to ask the doctor if she could sign a promissory note, but she said that she was too shy because she already promised him she would pay today. You see, my friend had already told her I would come with money. He did this without even talking to me first, I assume in an effort to calm her down and shut her up. When I was unable to help it left them in a hell of a bind. He doesn’t get paid until next week and she doesn’t have much money, nevermind 5,000 or 10,000 pesos.

Later she messages me on Facebook and says the doctor will let her do a promissory note for half, but he wants the other half in cash up front. Sure. He was already promised half by the American on the telephone (my friend). So, of course he is not going to settle for a 10K promissory note now. What you have to understand about Filipino culture is a great many of them just assume that all foreigners are rich. This is because so many Filipinos are poor and most of the foreigners they see are here on vacation spending money they saved up for years to get. The Filipinos don’t know the foreigners had to save it up and all they see is them spending it on nice hotels, fancy restaurants and gifts for the pretty Filipinas who are expecting this kind of treatment because they have received it from foreigners in the past or their friends have.

Anyway, in the end I stopped answering her after telling her to contact my friend. I had stuff to do and I couldn’t help and I was just getting angrier and angrier because her lack of concern for her child’s well being led to this poor kid getting sick which resulted in my friend having to come up with 10,000 pesos. Ridiculous and frankly, it should be criminal.

She screwed the delivery guy out of his tip. Feb 26
February 26, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Funny story. I am at my friend’s house and his girlfriend was cooking dinner. Like most households here they use a propane tank for cooking gas. Well, as she was cooking the tank suddenly ran dry. So, she starts to panic because it is almost 8 PM and very few, if any, places will still deliver gas this late.  Well, she finally gets the gas dealer on the phone and they agree to deliver gas. I guess she didn’t quote a price, so that became an issue.
Solane Propane Tank under a counter with a two burner stove
If you haven’t been here or don’t live here,  you may be wondering why that is an issue. Well, simply put, the White Guy Tax. I can think of a few occasions where we ordered gas to be delivered and the price given on the phone was lower than the price given by the delivery driver once he saw me. So, it is extremely important to get a price quote on the phone before the driver gets there and then stick to that price once he arrives.
Anyway, the price of the gas was 550 pesos. So, my friend gives his girlfriend a 500 peso bill and two 20 peso bills. He figures that will cover the gas with 10 pesos left over to tip the driver for carrying the tank in and hooking it up. Well, his girlfriend, being the little character that she is, takes one of the twenties and puts it in her purse and pulls out a 10 peso coin.  I thought this was hilarious because she was going to screw this poor delivery guy out of his tip, as meager as it was.  We’re talking about less than 25 cents here. (At the time of this writing.)
So, my friend and I start breaking her balls. I said,
Wait! She just made a 10 peso profit BUYING gas!
He reminds her about how she is always telling him to tip the delivery people and she responds with,
Well, I was trying to agree with you because you are always saying how they don’t need a tip because they get a salary.
I just started to laugh. I couldn’t help it.
So, this poor guy arrives. He carries in the new tank of propane on his shoulder. He disconnects the old one and connects up the old one and is out of the house in less than a minute.
Solane Propane Tank
After he left I start breaking her balls again for stiffing him. Well, it turns out she did give him the extra 10 pesos, but it was still funny as hell that she had every intention of screwing this poor guy out of his tip.
2016 Feb. 09 – The joy of jeepneys Feb 24

February 9, 2016

It was about 8 PM and I was sitting on a jeepney going to my friend’s (John) house. To get there I have to take a jeep from my house to one SM and then a second, smaller, jeep to another SM. From there I can grab a local jeep or a trike to his subdivision. Depending on traffic the whole journey can take anywhere between an hour to two hours total. Sometimes, it can even take longer. Well, this was one of the longer trips due to some construction they were doing laying water mains. Of course, this makes sense because I was in a rush. You see, I was in the process of pulling away from Jenn. My salary would normally go through her accounts, but with our impending split and the troubles we were having, I had decided it was in my best interest to pull her access to my money. So, I asked John if I could send it through his account until I could get my situation straightened out. He agreed. Well, due to a delay from one of the company’s I work for, my salary was sent late and so the money reached John’s bank account late. So, I finished my last class, rushed to get dressed and bolted out the door to get to his house to get his ATM card. We were desperately short of money due to the delay in my salary. I could have waited till the next day, as I had originally planned, but we were literally out of food. So, I figured I would make the run. .

Anyway, as I said I was on a jeepney and we were sitting in traffic and I see the driver get out of the jeep, walk in front of it and pee on the side of the road. This is nothing new, so I was not surprised in the least. It happens on a pretty common basis.  When he finished he comes back to the jeep and starts to clean the front window. I am thinking,

Hmmmm. He must be pretty confident we will be sitting here a while.

Then he decides to fix all the curtains on the jeepney. Now, I have seen drivers do all these things before, but I have never seen them do it all in one stop before. So, I start to get a feeling of dread. I knew, this wasn’t just going to take a while. I knew we would be sitting there till the end of days. Figure construction delays coupled with mall (SM) traffic coupled with the end of rush hour. I was doomed!

At least there was a bit of entertainment. I see this teenage boy get on the jeepney in the front seat. I don’t know why he bothered. We weren’t going anywhere.  Anyway, he sees some friends of his, all girls, sitting in the jeepney back by me. He turns around and gives them the finger. I just smiled and thought to myself.

YOU IDIOT!!!  You are the only boy their age on this jeepney.  You clearly know them and they clearly know you. Why are you sitting up front and why are you being a jackass? Why aren’t you back here getting friendly and being charming?

I just shook my head and thought back to when I was in high school sitting on that tennis team bus my grandmother used to drive. All those cute little asian tennis team girls. I was the only boy on the bus. I knew a few of them. I just sat there by myself LIKE AN IDIOT! If I knew then what I know now…OH BOY! I realized, this kid was suffering from the same thing I was back then. Lack of knowledge and lack of confidence. I considered sliding forward and giving him a bit of advice, but then I thought better of it and decided to just mind my business and sit back and try to relax.