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Thursday, February 19, 2004

when i landed at Ninoy Acqquino airport last 04feb--- i was on the impression that i will be using the new international airport that was built on the grounds of the former Nichols Airbase. it was already completed and still not being used. it was as big as the Hongkong International Airport in Lantau Province.

thru my wife's cousin who works at Malacanang office...she told me that the airport wont be opened for some time. the German company who financed and built it filed a case at the Supreme Court of the Phils. but unfortunately it looks like this company lost their case. too bad --- she said--- aside from the many LAGAY this German company handed over---there's lots of overhead expenses and inflation cause by so many delays on the construction of the PROJECT. i guess we will have to wait and see.

we went and visited the Fort Bonifacio development project and i was so amazed and astounded on the projects that was done inside the former fort. there is a huge grocery for members only which is part of an american grocery chain and a big St.Luke's Hospital is on the making. there is also lots of big and expensive condos and appartelle all in a distance from each other. there is also a big hardware store--- patterned after the big hardware chain in the U.S.

but the most gratifying thing that i really enjoyed are the many restaurants and pavilions inside the complex. we had dinner at a chinese restaurant called Zhong. it is in a cluster and in the middle of the cluster is an open space cum park cum stadium cum open auditorium. there was a live broadcast of the MTV Asia awards going on. and there's lots of people in attendance. i can't believe young women in very very short shorts but wearing high boots and some are even wearing spring boots in a very balmy and humid evening. its nice there was a constant breeze or else their feet will sweat a lot. people dresses stranger and strangest in pinas now adays.

the greatest frustration i have encountered is when i was changing my money from U.S. DOLLORS to Phil. Pesos. when i landed the exchange rate was US$1.00 is to Pesos 55.65 which i was so happy to exchange my dollars to pesos. i went to Banco de Oro--- the bank teller scruntinized all the 100 dollar paper bills that i have ....totalling to 2,000 in all. then this woman said she cannot exchange it cuz.....

1). i don't have a local pictured ID. even if i gave my US passport and said to her that i dont live in Pinas. she said the ruling stands.....

2). she will not accept my US dollars cuz the texture of the paper is so smooth and so thick to her touch and hand....so i asked if she has the machine that cud check if it was fake or not...she said that is besides the point cuz they have a standard to meet....

3). the teller said there are more fake dollar bills coming from the states than else where.... so i showed her the bank notes that showed that i withdrew 2,000 from my account...so she said it will not hold anything.....

4.) so i asked this lady teller if i cud just get a cash advance from my credit card and she gave me instantly 10,000.00 pesos and told me that i can still withdrew from my credit card up to 50,000.00 pesos during mys tay in pinas....so i asked her...what if my credit card is fake and/or i challenge all these witdrawal when i returned back to the states...she said i cannot challenge it nor can i give her fake credit card cuz they are all electronically linked.

so i ended up changing my US dollars in hongkong and did some shopping there..... and brougth back some of my cash back to the states and deposited it back to my bank.

i did went to SM at south mall in Alabang to change my dollars...same shit happens..they have a standard to meet and my paper dollars that i am exchanging did not meet there standards...same thing with another bank with the coconut name on it..same thing with another bank that had a scandal with Erap. three banks in all did not accept the dollors that i brought in for exchange.

i ended up using my credit cards on all my purchases of souvenirs and payments for restaurants.

WILL I STILL RETURN TO PINAS? yes... i will. but i will not bring cash for exchange. i will just use my credit card and ATM CARD if i needed money.
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:55 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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