CONTACTS AND SERVICES...
Visitors who are not familiar with the Philippines often ask us to recommend good hospitals -- medical doctors -- dentists -- attorneys -- real-estate companies -- mechanics -- electrical repair shops -- good places to buy things inexpensively -- hotels -- restaurants -- etc.
Here are a few of our recommendations (with MANY more to be added soon).
This article can prevent you
from making some very expensive mistakes here in the Philippines.
If you move to this island, you will have a built-in group of good friends (Skip and his amigos) to hang out with -- get advice from -- learn about the culture from -- etc.
In other words, you will not be "alone" here.
A LIST OF "PEOPLE -- PLACES -- AND THINGS" THAT WE RECOMMEND HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES IS AS FOLLOWS...
AN EXCELLENT HOSPITAL:
Skip's last two children were born at Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City (Chip was born on May 4, 1995 -- and Flip was born on March 20, 2006).
Chong Hua is one of the best hospitals in the world. Also, the medical procedures here will cost a fraction of what they cost in America.
In our opinion, it would be possible for people to fly to Cebu City from America – stay at a nice hotel – dine at excellent restaurants – take a nice tour of the island – stay at some nice resorts -- have a nice vacation (with a full-time-live-in guide) -- have medical procedures done (involving operations, plastic surgery, child-birth, etc.) – and return to America – all for less money than only the medical procedure would cost in America.
EXCELLENT MEDICAL DOCTORS:
OB-GYN: The attending physician for both of Skip's children was Dr. Gladys Pelicano. She has an office in Chong Hua Hospital. Skip says that this doctor is empathetic -- compassionate -- communicative -- and highly skilled.
Now that Skip is almost 70 years old, he says that he will never allow any of his future twelve children to be born anywhere else but at Chong Hua -- and he will never allow anyone but Gladys to assist in their births.
[Hey Belle... is skip just kidding about having 12 more children ???
In our opinion, some of the best medical doctors in the world are living and working here in the Philippines.
Among them are the following (listed in alphabetical order)
Dr. Lamberto Bajarias, Jr., M.D.
Medical Specialist II
Department of Surgery
Vincente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
Cebu City 6000
Dr. Dublin, M.D.
Dr. Edgardo C. Serafica, M.D.
Fellow - Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Chong Hua Medical Arts Center
AN EXCELLENT DENTIST:
Skip's personal dentist is Dr. Emelia Lada Lacang. Her office is in the downtown area of Cebu City, approximately 15 meters west of the Southwest corner of Osmena Blvd and Sanciangko Street. From the sidewalk, just go up the stairs to the second floor and turn to the right. Her office is open six days per week -- Monday through Saturday. The specific address is:
Room 223 Eustaquio Building
Corner of Osmena Blvd and Sanciangko Streets.
Cebu City, Philippines
Telephone: 032-413-7581 Cell phone: 0910-251-0103.
She also has an office in her home, and is available there (by appointment) on Sundays. Her home address is:
Block 3, Lot 36
Cebu City, Philippines
The following photos were taken in Dr. Lacang's office in Cebu City, as she was working on Skip's son,
DeWelle Ferguson [Chip] Ellsworth, IV (the fourth). When these photos were taken Chip was only 6 years old -- and he is now 12. This dentist has the most gentle hands that Skip and Chip have ever experienced
Dr. Marietta C. Aninon, Optometrist -- AT ACEBEDO OPTICAL CLINIC, is located in the Osmena Building -- on Palaez Street (between Colon Street and Sanciangko Street). Her phone number is 032-253-7933. This excellent optometrist has been taking care of Skip and his friends for many years.
Dr. Cesar Acebedo, Optometrist --
AT ACEBEDO OPTICAL CLINIC, is located at the Colonnade Mall, on Colon
Street. His phone number is 032-255-6494.
Skip's attorney in Cebu City is Andito Escoton. His offices are on the National Highway in Mandaue -- just south of the San Michelle Brewery. His cell phone number is 09279325189. His land line number is 032-436-4238. Skip says this attorney is highly skilled -- very intelligent -- friendly -- and affordable.
In the Daanbantayan-Bogo area, Skip's attorney is Cornelio A. Lopez -- Land Line Number: 032-434-8950 -- Cell Phone Number: 0915-441-1387. Cornelio is also highly skilled -- very intelligent -- friendly -- and affordable.
In Cebu City, we recommend St. Mark Hotel, Telephone: +(6332) 505-5555. They have very nice rooms for reasonable rates. U.S.
Located on Palaez Street -- approximately 50 meters east of the corner of
Palaez Street and Sanciangko Street. This well-known and extremely popular
restaurant specializes in serving traditional Filipino food at very reasonable
prices. Be prepared for the fact that these people actually have "two"
restaurants that are right next door to each other. We recommend that you
try the one that is closest to Sanciangko Street "first" -- and then for your next meal try the
"other" one that is further to the east. At the second restaurant you will see that they
also sell antiques and "collectables" for reasonable prices (via one of the owners named Alex
-- telephone 032-255-3808). Alex and Skip are good friends.
OUR PLACE: Located "upstairs" at the southwest corner of Palaez Street and Sanciangko Street. This "tavern-restaurant" is a popular hang-out for foreigners -- partly because the food is quite good -- and partly because of the camaraderie that can generally be found there. It is the only tavern we have ever seen where customers sit at both sides of the bar. Skip eats at this tavern-restaurant almost every time he goes to the city. He almost always orders the pepper-steak, with mashed potatoes and gravy.
THE FRENCH BAKER: This buffet restaurant is located at the SM SHOPPING MALL. Specifically, it is located in the main "walk-way" inside the mall. This restaurant does not have any walls between the diners and the shoppers (generally consisting of thousands of beautiful girls) strolling past. This means it is an excellent place for "girl-watching" -- and even "girl-meeting." Last but not least, the menu is large and varied -- and the food is quite good.
JONIE'S: Located at the other end of the SM SHOPPING MALL from The French Baker (but on the same floor) there is another buffet restaurant called Jonie's. Skip usually orders half of a baked chicken -- with their special sauce -- extra mashed potatoes, and extra gravy.
THE PERSIAN PALATE: Located at the AYALA SHOPPING MALL -- at the ROBINSON'S SHOPPING MALL -- ETC. This restaurant serves excellent Persian food. Skip usually orders the Veggie Special.
ELECTRICAL REPAIR AND SUPPLY
In our opinion, a store called AC-DC is the best bet in Cebu City for electrical repairs and supplies. This store is located within three blocks of Gaisano Metro Department Store in downtown Cebu City. This store sells major amplifiers -- giant speakers -- and other VERY LOUD stuff. Therefore, almost anybody between the ages of 15 and 25 should be able to give you directions to this store.
A vitamin store called "HEALTHY OPTIONS" is located at the Ayala Shopping Center -- ground floor. If you are "into" that sort of thing, you will definitely want to go there.
In Cebu City, you can get directions to this place by just calling the following cell phone number: 09189192462. These folks even sell "WHEAT-GRASS CAPSULES." Just tell them that Skip Ellsworth (from Daanbantayan) sent you.
The CARBON MARKET is one of Skip's favorite Public Markets in the entire world. It is located in down-town Cebu City. It would be a good idea to have a local girl accompany you -- and guide you -- through this awesome place.
The TABUNOK MARKET is located a few miles South of Cebu City. It is a much smaller market, but still a very good one.
The BOGO MARKET is located at the Town of Bogo, near the north end of the Island of Cebu. It is a large market and a worthwhile experience.
The DAANBANTAYAN MARKET is located at the Town of Daanbantayan. It is a brand new market, and very well designed. Our friends always enjoy going to this market with us in our van.
In Cebu City be sure to go to the "AYALA MALL" -- the "E-MALL -- and the "S-M Mall."
1. Bionic Hardware -- just south of Carbon Market.
2. Ace Hardware -- at S.M. Shopping Mall.
3. Five J's Surplus Store -- a few blocks south of S.M.
Mr. Edwardo Auman is one of the best mechanics we have ever met. He is an excellent diagnostician, honest, hard-working, conscientious, communicative, and FRIENDLY.
While working for us, Edwardo could have cheated us on several different occasions, but he did not do so. For example, he could have charged us for parts that he did not really install -- he could have installed "used" parts and charged us for "new" parts -- etc. In our opinion, an "honest" auto mechanic is hard to find in ANY culture. In addition to being familiar with gas engines, he also knows how to fix diesel engines of all sizes -- from small cars to large trucks and busses. He works all day in the hot sun without complaining.
Edwardo confided in us that he would
really like to work abroad -- in such places as Saudi Arabia, or Dubai, etc.
On one hand, we do not want this man to leave
Daanbantayan because he is such a good mechanic. On the other hand, if we
owned a trucking company (or a bus company) in Saudi Arabia or Dubai, we would
hire this guy immediately. This excellent mechanic does not have a
phone, but he can be contacted through Skip -- or as follows:
AUTO-BODY REPAIR MAN:
Mr. Renie Boy Unidos, is one of the very best auto-body repair men in the area. He can completely repair a totally damaged car and make it look brand new.
In some areas of the Philippines the salt air is very conducive to causing rust -- and therefore a lot of cars become rusty. Renie is in the process of totally repairing the body of our Mitsubishi L300 Van. In the photo above we put a pipe in one of the holes in the van -- and there are MANY such holes. Before long, this van will look like brand new.
Renie does not have a telephone, but he can be contacted through Skip -- or at the following address:
Renie Boy Unidos
BOGO SURPLUS (in the Town of Bogo) is an excellent place to go for used auto parts. The managers are as follows: Joy and Roel Catadman, of Cantecson, Gairan, Bogo, Cebu, Philippines -- Telphone 434-8112 -- Cell #1, 0927-721-7711 -- Cell #2, 09059185375. Unlike the managers of many auto parts stores, Joy and Roel are actually FRIENDLY !!! Also, they are very knowledgeable.
ELECTRONIC PARTS AND SERVICE CENTER:
The MAC J ELECTRONIC PARTS AND SERVICE CENTER, in Bogo is an excellent place to know about. The man wearing the white T-shirt is Nick Rojas, one of Skip's best friends in the Philippines. In fact, he is the God Father to Skip's son, Flip. Nick is one of the "hippest" guys in the Philippines regarding where to go to buy anything. At this time he was having his own radio repaired at this service center when we drove past. When we saw Nick, we stopped just to visit. At this writing, Nick is the Barangay Captain at TAPILON.
TV SATELLITE SERVICES:
We finally found someone that really understands this stuff, and can hook up (and service) the unit correctly and honestly. His name is Eking Perez. He is located in the Daanbantayan-Bogo area. His land line number is 032-516-0395. His cell phone number is 0917-389-8924. Here is a photo of Eking at Skip's resort -- helping with the satellite unit.
PRINTING "VISITING CARDS" (AS THEY ARE CALLED HERE):
All of our "visiting cards" (e.g. business-cards) and signs are printed by a company called PIXZELS CONCEPTS, which is located on the ground floor of the M &J Building, V. Rama Avenue, Guadalupe, Cebu City 6000 -- Telephone 032-255-2027 AND 0919-387-3157. This company is owned by a gentleman named Dennis Jimenez, and he has always taken excellent care of us.
All of our "SKIP'S BEACH RESORT" t-shirts are printed by the following excellent artist:
Mr. Alvin U. Conag
Birhen Sa Enar -- Lanao
Cell phones: 0905-833-2897 or 0918-535-5726
This gentleman is fast -- honest -- dependable --
and a nice guy to deal with. He also is a very good artist, and
specializes in such things as backdrop drawing, painting pictures, lettering,
sign making, sticker lettering, and making "props" for stage plays, etc.
As soon as you arrive in the Philippines, it is a good idea to purchase some excellent maps of the local areas. This will enable you to know where you are -- to know where you want to go -- to know how to get there -- etc. In our opinion, the best maps are made by EZ MAPS. Their very accurate maps are printed in cooperation with the PHILIPPINE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM, and they contain information that will prove to be virtually invaluable.
In fact, earlier this year, EZ Maps won the prestigious "TOURISM NEGOYSO” Most Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneur Awardee -- Travel Publications. The award was presented by President Arroyo to Ariel Jersey, UTP’s owner.
The president of EZ MAPS is Harland "Charlie" Kemplin. His email address is email@example.com . His personal cell phone number is 0918-926-8291.
Charlie is a good friend of ours and
we are always happy to see him when he comes to the resort. Here is a
photo of Charlie and Skip's son, Chip. As Chip often says, "Charlie
is an awesome dude."
October 14, 2007: Whoops... today we got an email from Charlie. He is in Guam, and will be there for the next two months, making a much needed map of that area.
In our opinion, the private money changers give a much better exchange rate than the banks. We recommend that you first go to the banks to determine "their" rate -- and then go to the places where "we" go.
Our money changer (see photos below) is located just to the left of the "registration desk" at the Hallmark Hotel. The Hallmark is located directly across the street from the Gaisano Metro Department Store and Jolibee's Restaurant. Anyone in Cebu City will know where this store and restaurant are located, so they will be easy to find. Here is a photo of Belle changing money.
A SHIPPING COMPANY -- (FOR A BOAT "OUT" OF THE PHILIPPINES):
INTERNATIONAL BOAT TICKETS (FOR LEAVING THE PHILIPPINES BY BOAT INSTEAD OF BY AIRPLANE) can be purchased very reasonably from ALESON SHIPPING LINES, INC. Talk to Mary Ann at 032-255-5673 OR at 032-255-6277 OR at 032-253-1934.
WARNING: UNDER SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU MIGHT WANT TO PURCHASE A BOAT TICKET OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES !
The following explanation might sound
extremely weird to you -- but it is none-the-less true if you are a foreigner
in the Philippines:
*** THE PROBLEM:
If you are
staying in the Philippines, and you purchase a R/T ticket from here to another
country, you will probably NOT be allowed to return to the Philippines without also possessing a ticket for
DEPARTING from the Philippines in the future.
In other words, the airport in Hong Kong (or wherever you are...) will not allow
you board an airplane
that is flying INTO the Philippines unless you also have a ticket OUT of the Philippines, which you
would NOT HAVE if you only purchased (for example) a R/T ticket from the Philippines to Hong Kong
*** OUR SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM:
Before we leave the Philippines, we go to Aleson Shipping -- purchase
a relatively inexpensive (and refundable) boat ticket OUT of the Philippines (e.g. going from Zamboanga in
the Philippines to Sandakan in Borneo).
This means that at the airport in Hong Kong (or wherever...) we can show our ticket OUT of the Philippines --
so we will be allowed to go IN to the Philippines.
WHEN WE GET BACK TO THE PHILIPPINES, ALESON SHIPPING REFUNDS THE
PURCHASE PRICE OF
OUR [UNUSED] TICKET OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES -- less a small "handling-fee" of perhaps 20% or so.
We have used the above-mentioned technique many times, and Aleson has always
made refunds on the
THE COST OF THE TICKETS: At this writing it is possible to purchase tickets from Zamboanga, Philippines to Sandakan, Borneo, for approximately the following amounts:
ECONOMY CLASS: One way (2,600 Pesos - approximately $50. U.S.) Round trip (5,000 Pesos)
AIR-CONDITIONED FACILITIES: One way (2,800 Pesos) Round trip (5,400 Pesos)
CABIN: One way (3,000 Pesos) Round trip (5,800 Pesos)
PS -- When you purchase your
ticket from Aleson, you will need to give them two copies of your Passport.
Also, if a
Filipino is traveling with you, then it will involve paying additional 200 Peso (approximately $4. U.S.) Travel Tax.
PS -- Here is a photo of Skip's 12 year old son Chip -- with some of his girl-friends at Aleson Shipping, Inc. :-)
PS -- Whenever we go to Aleson
Shipping to get refunds on our tickets, we usually bring a box of candy for
these awesome girls -- to show our appreciation for them helping us in this way.
MOTORCYCLE MECHANIC: Mr. Dionisio Gulfan is Skip's motorcycle mechanic, and he also works on the motorcycles that belong to all of Skip's friends. He even makes "house-calls." He is fast -- good -- and his prices are very reasonable. His cell-phone number in Daanbantayan is 09182257193.
FIVE JAYS SURPLUS STORE:
This is an excellent place to purchase new and used "everything," including computers, printers, furniture, tools, office supplies, TV sets, telephones, and the list goes on... They are located at the corner of V. Sotto and S. Osmena Streets in Cebu City. The manager is Ameleta G. Pilapil. Her phone numbers are: 032-255-1662, 032-416-6609. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . [wHOOPS... they recently moved to another location within the city, so you will need to call them for directions.]
MANDAUE CEBU TRADE CENTER, INC.:
This awesome store is located at the Elizabeth Building, 70 Subangdaku, Madaue City, 6014 Cebu, Philippines. Telephone numbers: 346-8643, 346-0266, 346-1194, 346-1195, 422-6301, 422-5565, FAX 346-1193. Their EMAIL address is as follows: email@example.com. In our opinion, this is an excellent place to purchase cement, re-bar, steel plates, GI sheets, plywood, bathroom fixtures, GI pipes, Tiles, paints, power tools, general hardware, pluming and electrical supplies. Personally, I only deal with a guy named "Roger" there, because Roger goes "above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty" when helping us with our construction problems.
IN THE NEAR FUTURE, OTHER "PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS" WILL BE ADDED REGARDING THE PHILIPPINES...
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OUR THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Terrorism has replaced
Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the
country [America], for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil
liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria:
Howard Zinn - author of Terrorism and War
Terrorism is the price
of empire. If you do not wish to pay the price, you must
give up the empire:
Buchanan - author of Where the Right Went Wrong
The debate here isn't only how to protect the country. It's how to protect our values.
It's not right to respond to terrorism by terrorizing other people. And furthermore,
it's not going to help. Then you might say, "Yes, it's terrorizing people, but it's
worth doing because it will end terrorism." But how much common sense does it take
to know that you cannot end terrorism by indiscriminately dropping bombs?
Howard Zinn - author of Terrorism and War
Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism
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