Philippines Travel Stories, Page 20

Doing Business in Asia

Doing Business in Asia
I am Ready to Leave the Philippines, it is Sunday the 3rd of August, my plane does not leave for Thailand until the August 10th of August.

I have learned an expensive lesson on this trip to the Philippines about doing business in Asia.

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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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Development of products is best done in the USA or Canada.

Come to Asia with a product and say,
“Copy this.”

Even though the Philippines speaks English better than other countries in the region, this is not a good reason to do business in the Philippines.

I am now leaning towards making the bag in either Thailand, Mexico or Guatemala.

I would love to make in the USA or Canada, however I believe it is impossible to find normal labor to run sewing machines.

The cost of a plane ticket from the USA to the Philippines round trip is about 2000 U.S. Dollars, the cost of plane ticket from the USA to Guatemala is about 700. The cost of labor is about the same, the clutter of people in Asia makes doing business like a traffic jam, you spend all your time waiting...

Doing Business in Asia


Traveler Pride in your Adopted Countries

Traveler Pride in your Adopted Countries
Travelers and Tourist adopt countries, a sister country to make friends with and share good times. I have a few Adopted Countries, I return to these countries when I need a vacation from travel.

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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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Central America
- Guatemala
South America
- Colombia
- Peru
- Brazil (I need to earn more to return.)
Africa
- Togo
- Ghana
Europe
- Germany
Asia
- Thailand
- Philippines

Thailand versus the Philippines?

I was bored, wanted to eat breakfast this morning, I thought to myself,
“I can buy a girl easier here in the Malate, Ermita, Mabini part of Manila easier than I can buy a good value breakfast.”

I do not want to eat breakfast in a boom boom bar.

I finally remembered, the Midtown Diner near Robinsons Mall, I walked over and ate two eggs, toast, ham, and including coffee which I did not drink for 115 Pesos.

Walking back to my hotel to hide in the room, I had this feeling.
“Shame.”

I am not proud of the Philippines, it just is not getting better, and I am always tempted to say.
“Thailand has a lot better roads.”
“Taxis in Thailand are clean, air conditioned and honest.”
“The food is half the price in Thailand.”
“The rooms are half the price and twice as good.”

I enjoy going to Robinson Mall and walk around; I have finally discovered a path where I can walk to the mall without being run over by a Jeepney or feeling I am walking in shit. I live in a great Hotel for 1200 Pesos with WIFI, double the cost of Thailand, but an excellent Hotel. However, when I leave the Hotel, it reminds me of Varanasi, India.

I am not sure the Philippines is evolving, I think they did a lot of development right after World War II, and continually unto the 1960’s. I think the place has been falling apart ever since, I just do not understand this country, and a semi-adopted country of mine is in danger of becoming an orphan.

Traveler Pride in your Adopted Countries


Bag Manufacturers

Bag Manufacturers
I have been nosing around the Bag Manufacturing industry for a few years now, trying to understand how to make a backpack. I have discovered and realized in the underdeveloped countries, bag manufactures are a dime a dozen, but closer to a dime per 1000.

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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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In the under-developed countries, there are many locally owned bag companies that makes School Bags out of fabrics that can be sown. The school bag is the staple product of these busineess, simple bags, easy to make, and easy to sell.

What these bag companies do is copy another school bag using some easy to find local materials or fabrics. Easy to find materials is the defining aspect of these companies.

Taking a shower today, I had what them light bulbs above my head, I realized I have been trying to get school bag factories to make one of the worlds most complicated and well thought out backpacks on the planet.

This is like asking a computer shop to start manufacturing compters, they could assemble a computer, but they could never make the whole computer.

Alternatively, it is like having a Home Builder go and build a 100 Story High Rise Building, as the complications increase fewer companies are capable of doing the job.

When I explain my backpack to companies, I continually learn they are not capable of doing this bag.

I have never met a company capable of doing this Windmill Backpack, however even company I have met is capable of doing one component of the pack.

If I take a different path, divide the bag into about 10-20 separate componets, I could easily get price quotations from these companies to sub-contract parts of components of the bag.

I would be the research and development arm, I would make all the samples myself, then sub-contract with other companies to make the parts. I could then ship all the component pieces to somewhere like Guatemala where I could have the bags assembled.

Bag Manufacturers


Expats Gold Rush in the Philippines

Expats Gold Rush in the Philippines
Expatriates, the wanted and the unwanted are a strange bunch, clothed in confusion, they have real dreams.

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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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Manila, Philippines is a good place to study Expatriates of the planet. They are an interesting social group, for the most part, playing pool, drinking beer, and buying boom girls, this is the job title of the average Expat in the Philippines.

There is maybe 25 percent that get motivated and they seem to be going to a Gold Rush.

I have no idea how they can be so busy; however, there are Expats who rush from here to there, making telephone calls and saying they have appointments. I listen, I try to understand, I leave for a year and come back and nothing changes, the majorities are still chasing Gold at the end of some rainbow.

There are people who leave the big pond of their home country and go swim in a small pond like the Philippines. They wish to be a big fish and all their lives they was a small fish. Expats all over the world are up to something, chasing some dream.

I call them the True Believers, they believe they will one day be rich, and for sure, they will tell you tomorrow they find the Gold for years on end.

Note, a sub-class are pure con men.

I hope a few become a big fish, some really do have dreams, others have delusions of adequacy.

Expats Gold Rush in the Philippines


You Wanna See a Big Gun

You Wanna See a Big Gun
In August of 2003 when I went to Iraq, I saw some big guns and tanks that sounded like Helicopters.

Today I saw one of the bigger guns carried by a man here in Manila, Philippines in front of the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Shoot, I could have just went to the Philippines, a lot simpler… hehehe, but Iraq was a bigger thrill.
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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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A good guy allowed me to take his photo in front of the Pan Pacific Hotel here in Manila, Philippines.



I alwasy chuckle when I walk by the Hotel. The name of the private security company that works in front is called Shooters.

Funny, is my hotel or the Pan Pacific safer, I tend to believe big guns means there is a need. My cheaper hotel has a man that stays up all night, but no gun, as normal always safer to not live in a Five Star Hotel.



Pan Pacific Manila, a nice hotel, at least the front is cleaner than than most, the whole street resembles a construction zone with wash water running down it, this is the only beautiful stretch on the street.



The man on the right has a very large gun, as I understand it, about 1 in 3 soldiers were required to carry this size gun. I met these to American Soldiers in Mosul Iraq in the internet cafe in August of 2003.



This is the same gun, but set up read to use.



Three American Soldiers in Mosul, Iraq in August of 2003, notice their bulletproof vest. This is a hot place, no girls, no beer, not the same as WW II and landing in France with a lot of lonely French girls.

Thank boys, I appreciate you.

I guess, I did not need to go to Iraq, I could just go stay in a Five Star Hotel in Manila, Philippines to see a big gun.

You Wanna See a Big Gun


Cyber Begging

Cyber Begging
Hmm, which country is best at this in the English language?

"Ok, yes I do understand, you love you and your mother is sick."

Nigeria, Ghana, Philippines?

Hmm, which country is best in French?
Cameroon, Togo, Morocco?

A reader made a comment on the bottom of a Blog post and used the phrase “Cyber Begging.”
Posted on this page: Streets of Manila Photos

I do not exchange emails often with the poor countries, about 50 percent of the emails turn into something about their mother being sick and they need money. Now, I realize what this should be called,
“Cyber Begging.”

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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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I do not like social networks, I am social with real people, and I have no desire to something with the webcam on my computer.

I have up on HoboTraveler.com pages that allow people to post scams, frauds, and swindles, more or less when their fantasy love life on the internet turns into a problem. They discover, this is the business of Cyber Begging, normally started under the guise, of friendship and love.

When a person post on the links below, I get a copy in my email box to moderate, the Ghana and China link are active, the world has not found the Philippine link yet, however the Philippines is more a Cyber Sex specialist country. No need to go to strip shows here, go into an internet café, this is too funny and one day I will get the photo to prove what happens, and probably slapped also.

Ghana Scams
Philippine Scams

Here is the China one; they seem to be Alibaba.com scammers experts.
China Scams

There is an art to begging, pull on your heartstrings, involve you middle class guilt, of course you know,
“You are rich and I am poor.”

I know various internet cafe where there are 20-50 people working in the internet cafes, this is a big business.

Cyber Begging


Professional Bags Philippines

Professional Bags Philippines
I interviewed the second bag company from the Philippines today.

After my first SNAFU, this was like a breath of fresh air, they were professional, and I learn a lot from the company.

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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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A brother and sister team, a large company, air-conditioned office, many workers actively walking around like something was happening.

I met a couple of Pros; I hope we can come to terms that are acceptable.

I did learn something about bag companies today; they show know a lot more than me about how to manufacture bags. This made me feel good, a Bag company from the Philippines should know more than me, and teach me, there should not be the feeling that I am teaching them.

This company gave me a class in Backpacks today.

What was amazing, she went into great detail about how to draw the bag; they work from drawings, not from copies. This is the first company I have ever encountered that works from drawing. The other always needed a sample bag more than they needed the drawings. I have always felt like I was wasting my time with drawings, I do them for me, not the company, but this company even explained how to draw the bags so they could understand. I think they want closer to three-dimensional renditions more than just drawings, but I do understand.

How to proceed, I will still make all the patterns and while I am doing the patterns, I will further revise the backpack. I do not live in the Philippines, not sure how to get one pack done in the Philippines before my return plane ticket to Bangkok but I am a persistent person, so all will happen eventually.

Whatever the case, with a set of patterns and about anybody on a sewing machine including myself I can get two samples made.

With a good set of drawings, I can get a quotation for another sample to be made and after they personally make one sample, they will give me a quotation for large numbers.

I can tell you this, making a great backpack is not easy.

Professional Bags Philippines


Philippine Bag Makers Interviews

Philippine Bag Makers Interviews
I have three Philippines bag makers to interview, I have now completed the first one and they,
“Crashed and Burned.”

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Manila, Ermita Philippines
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Backpack Design Survey
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Interesting efforts here, I showed them a complete set of 10 pages of printed backpack component designs. I was told before I came to this Philippines Bag maker that they had 50-80 employees.

They decided to make one sample, I still needed to make the Patterns, which was quite ok, I think only about 1 in 50 could make a bag from scratch, they more or less copy good but patterns would make easy.

Well, I started to make the patterns, telling them I leave on the 10 of August for Bangkok. The owner knew this from the beginning; I would only be in country for 15 days. However, I am ready to stay longer if I found the Pro Philippines Bag Maker.

Finally, I realized they was going to take one month to make one bag. I keep thinking, they build house in three months. We finally decided I would make the patterns, then give me a worker with me for 4 days to make two samples. Then they decided they did not have any spare workers.

She wanted 8000 Pesos for a worker who is paid 400 pesos per day, not give or take here, even when I do all the work, do all the patterns. I started too laughed; I did not say stupid, even though this person was outrageously greedy. She kept saying you can trust me, I almost never trust a person who says trust me all the time.

Finally it came down to this, she just finally admitted this bag was too much for them, they do not have the people, plus none of them spoke English good enough to talk with me. SNAFU

Hmm, she told me they had 50-80 workers, which would make finding one extra worker easy to find, sort of funny to me in a way, but I know I need a special Bag Maker to do this bag.

One great realization was this,
“This backpack will not be easy to copy, so very few will try to pirate or knockoff this bag.”

This is a nice thing to realize, I can give a shop all the designs and they cannot steal the design. I would have to give them the complete patterns and show them how to make the Backpack.

The owner of this Philippine Backpack Maker lied to me about the number or employees and the size of her operation. This is my fault for trusting the woman, I should have made her give me a complete tour of the shop and see all the machines and workers.

Ok, now to go to number two, I have 100 percent realized now, no amount of drawings or patterns would make this bag happen. There is a need for one perfect Backpack to copy; they cannot work from designs, maybe on simple school bags.

When a person wants the best, the majority of companies will not work, this stands to reason.

Philippine Bag Makers Interviews