“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year (2016)

I wish all readers of my blog a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.

Source: unknown
Looking back to 2015 the following came into my mind.

Climate Change

The conference on Climate Change, held in December last in Paris, was a success, compared to the previous one in Copenhagen.

For the second year in a row the number of typhoons that hit the Philippines, and especially our region (Pangasinan) in 2015, was far less than the long-term average. It seems it has to do with El Nino. But still we have no snow in the Philippines.
I have reported this year on five typhoons, of which two had some impact on our area. Especially the 1524 Koppu/Lando typhoon.

Even in the Netherlands they had the warmest December ever measured since more than a century.

Saturday, December 26, 2015



It's December again and consequently for property owners like me time to contemplate what to do with the "Real Property Tax" or RPT for next year, 2016.

Early bird payers of the RPT may get a discount, the amount varies from city to city or municipality.

In 2011 we paid for the first time our property tax. We invited the treasurer with her helpers to our house and discussed the classification and market value of the land and house. The classification was determined as residential for part of our lot and the rest was classified as orchard and rice land.

So our tax bill has four components: 1) rice land, 2) orchard land, 3) residential land and 4) house & buildings. It is a reasonable amount compared with what I payed in the past in the Netherlands for a much smaller property.

Only recently I was informed that you can get a discount. In our municipality Santa Barbara, the discount is 20% if you pay in advance of the taxable year, so in December, and 10% if you decide to pay in January of the same year. This year we decided to go for the 20% discount and meanwhile we have payed already.

If you make use of the possibility to pay in 4 quarterly terms, obviously you don't get any discount at all.

Here is an informative site discussing the RPT discounts in the capital area.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Windows 10 - Installed irreversibly

As you might know I published a post (see here) more than a month ago about upgrading my PC from Windows 7 to 10. I was asking myself should I continue or revert to Windows 7 after the experiment. I wasn't sure, so reverted back to Windows 7, giving myself the opportunity to rethink and study, before taking the final decision.
Well I have taken the decision meanwhile. Here is my story. The items are listed in random order.

Start menu

The Start menu looks cool and is fast, but unfortunately I am not interested in most of the items that are included by default, like photo-viewer and sound player (Groove) apps, games and many more. I am using it now only for opening OneNote (see later), some old Microsoft office products, the old Microsoft photo-viewer/editor, the News and Money apps and of course the left column items, like Settings, Documents, Downloads and Apps.

What I also like from this Start menu is that you can open it as a Windows 10 menu by left clicking, or as a Windows 7 menu by right clicking. In the latter case you get the old Windows 7 management options like Task manager, Control manager, Device manager, Computer manager, Network manager, etc. Just because I don't know (yet) where to find the same in Windows 10.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Defining your own home address in the Philippines

Barangay name centered around the company logo,
notice the green background with copper letters, this is original.
An interesting problem which I am struggling with for many years is to get a house number, here in the Philippines. So far however, no number, so I had to find my own solution. Most people here don't see it as a problem. The postman will find you anyway.

I have been to several town officials, including the barangay captain and officials in the town hall. They are all pointing to each other and to the Census (part of NSO).

My understanding is that when they (Census) are going around to count the number of people in each household, they attach a house-number to the house/gate if it is lacking one and add the household size. This is done every 4 or 5 years, but I have not seen them since we live here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Globe, a marketing or selling company?

September 10 last, I contacted Globe HQ to change my broadband Internet plan.

See my previous post regarding my old plan that I acquired in June.

Before doing so, I went to the Globe office in Robinsons mall Calasiao, but they couldn't help me there.

The service lady said they are not authorized changing/upgrading contracts and gave me two options:

  1. go to Globe in Robinsons place (Nepo) in Dagupan, there they have facilities where you can contact a helpdesk where they will process your requests; or
  2. go to the Globe website to enter your details for changing your contract, this is the site's URL.
As my experience with a voice helpdesk in the Philippines is not very positive, because they talk too fast and they don't understand my British/Dutch English accent, I choose for option 2.


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