Too much negative posts on the Philippines?

I have just got up at 4am to talk to my daughter Nicole online as my Skype phone went off. As I sorted my morning coffee I was starting to think am I turning into one of those miserable guys who just write negative things? The conclusion I came to is not that I have become negative but just a lot of negative things have been happening recently. Take yesterday pre-called Nu-Tech in E-Mall for two IDE hard drives, an IDE DVD burner and a printer. Not difficult as we explained exactly what we wanted before I spent thirty minutes in rush hour traffic getting there finding the only thing the had was the 1 IDE drive everything else they didn’t have. Why did they tell us the complete opposite on the phone?? who knows.. did they misunderstand me on the phone your thinking. It wasn’t me that phoned it was April with a list of exactly what we wanted. So I will cut the negative chat off there as hopefully its the last negative thing to happen for a while and concentrate on what positive things have been happening.

The net café is starting to become viable as word is spreading we have a few advantages and disadvantages. First one being we don’t have a great internet connection but we do have Xbox’s which none of the Cafes nearby have. We have also noticed that sorting 2 player games out allows the players to double up and spend more money on the machines the result being that we are looking to put more Xbox’s in as currently they are full most of the time. The cafe itself we stocked with some treats this week and lolly pops seem to go well at P1 each but the bigger stocks we think the kids prefer to stick the money in time instead of spending on food. I’m hoping it will be seriously viable within three months so that Jovie can do this full-time. Jovie by the way is my sister in-law. The internet cafe is part of a project we are developing. At the moment we are seeing how it develops as word of mouth is bringing people in from a lot further than I had expected. Initially I thought we would just be busy with our neighbourhood but what is really happening is people are coming from probably upto a mile a way you might find it funny that we are concerned with people that sort of distance which in Western terms wouldn’t mean a lot in a village. But there are thousands of homes across that distance here and that is what counts. The reason we are waiting for things to settle down is that the base of operations for more cafes will run from the main one as we can soak test equipment and pre-install ready for an opening as well as the other things we are looking at doing. For example “free” training in Basic computer usage as well as small premium package training like the ECDL (European Computer Driving License) to train people in the use of day to day packages they can use for work. Even better can do the work at the net café. It will in essence turn from a net café to a multimedia business suite with business support services. Wont happen over night and wont happen with a small budget but it will happen phased in over the next year.

Above that we have just received the delivery of the first loads of concrete, hollow blocks and sand which are for the apartment that will start construction next week. Hoping that will be a success as the next 2 stages are relying on the net café and apartment to get them complete. Which is Apartment 2 and the Sari-sari store.

A lot of people will tell you Sari-Sari stores cant make more than a living but as I have said before everything is down to time management. For example the internet cafe I am looking at converting the machines onto timed cash slots as this would pretty much do away with the need for a teller unless customers need assistance as even on training nights/days it would be upto the user to feed the machine as that is the reason for the “free training” as the machine hire is seperate. But freeing up Jovie from having to log the machines in and out allows her to operate sales on the Sari-Sari. Which in reality means the profits/salary can easily double due to two ventures in one. Top that with the two apartments above and the business is viable and likely to stay a float for a long time in the future. The other reason we are doing it like this is it fits into our budget. By the time all phases are complete I would have expected a price tag of around P1m and a return of around P20,000+ a month may seem a small amount as the repayment will be several years but its not because it creates a full-time job for Jovie and at the same time we will be receiving a regular income towards our next projects which currently stand at two P1m houses which at this moment in time seem a bit far to reach financially but only thing holding us back is time as things are moving forward and viable already. There are lots nearby that if they become available I would love for us to get them as they would be ideal for apartments. Infact one already has a block of 6 apartments which has never been completed due to financial restraints and illness on the owner. Ideally would love to be renting those out at around P5,000 a month including internet + Cable TV each which may seem cheap because it is. But my prime objective is keeping people happy and the building full same as the net café. Its the regular incomes that generate the ability to move forward financially. But its not yet ready for sale so will just have to wait and see.

I have spent the last couple of days looking for a couple of water pumps for the Aquaponic experiment. Haven’t been so lucky yet but just a quick note to say the idea is still in my head and I do have two large plastic bins for the fish ready and also visiting a professor who deals with fisheries in the area shortly. Also I might do an expat video while there as I think others would find it interesting to see what goes on.

So as you can see not all things are negative but we do have the odd day where I go home closing the door and thinking tomorrow is another day. Not sure how April is on those days as she generally keeps quiet because of it being a bad day. Anyway this is the last update for today its now 5.30am Nicole has gone off to the Pub back in the UK with her step dad and mother so I’m heading back to bed for an hour as I seem to leave the net café around midnight most nights these days.