With this site, and many readers, I have been asked to get information for some people, answer questions, locate items and also assist people either moving here or once here finding places to rent. I always do my best to help when asked.
About three months ago, one of the readers here contacted me. He was soon to arrive in Davao and asked if I know of a nice apartment to rent on a monthly basis for his stay. He was planning an extended vacation and felt if he could rent a place cheaper than a hotel, and had the ability to cook some of his own meals, he could remain here for a few months. The day he arrived, he emailed me, and then sent me a text. I told him of about the apartelle I posted about on June 30th. Click here to read.
I also offered to meet him at his hotel and drive him to see the accommodations. As soon as he viewed the apartment available, he said he would take it. I drove him back to his hotel where he checked out, brought his luggage down and I drove him back. He became a real friend that day and stayed here 2 ½ months until he needed to return home quickly because of an illness in his family.
Last Friday I was contacted again by an American who just arrived in Davao and with a similar request. This man is planning to live here in Davao but wanted to locate a place to rent, fully furnished with all the amenities including wifi or internet access. I directed him to the article I had posted, and again as in the past, I offered to pick him at his hotel and drive him to see the apartments. I met him at 10 am at a nearby coffee shop and we talked a little, then I drove him and his girlfriend to see the apartment. Just as with the previous person, he liked it right away and I drove him back to check out of his hotel and after we stopped for lunch, I brought him to move in. Just as the first person I met and showed the apartment, we sat for a few hours talking and soon realized we felt comfortable with each other to be friends.
With both these people, they asked to pay me something for my time and gasoline. I told them to give me what they felt they thought was applicable and I was treated fairly.
Also from my time here, and my associations with tradesman and architects, I have been asked for design assistance and to possibly help with getting a house built. Many times someone has needed a painter, electrician, carpenter, mason or other building or repair needs.
Recently a friend replaced an old hot water unit in his shower. The new unit drew more current than the old one and after about a minute of use, it blew the breaker. He asked me if I had an electrician. I contacted my best contact and two hours later, I brought my electrician to his house. The electrician went into the attic, checked the wiring and gave his recommendations, a part list of needs and his fee for labor. My friend agreed and within two hours, the job was done.
Earlier this week, another friend contacted me. He bought a new range with a lift cover and an exhaust fan unit. Unfortunately his kitchen cabinet was too low to even raise the glass cover. My friend wanted to have the cabinet bottom raised, the exhaust fan wired and a hole to the outside for the exhaust outlet. I contacted my carpenter and the next evening brought him to my friend’s house. They discussed the project and my friend also realized with the location of the range, he would have room to add an “L” extension to the lower cabinet between the range and the existing cabinet. My carpenter looked over the project, made a parts list and decided it would take four days with him and a helper. He gave my friend the labor fee and my friend agreed. The project started Wednesday and on Friday I visited the house, most of the work was done and the tile on the cabinet extension was complete. It matched so well, once painted, it would look original. Saturday I met with my friend in the evening and asked about the project. He told me it was done and he was completely satisfied with the work and will keep my friend in mind for future needs.
After we hired our domestic helper, Elena was asked by a few friends if she could get helpers for them. Elena called her sister-in-law and about a week later, she came to Davao with three girls for Elena’s friends.
I enjoy these situations. I get to help foreigners that need assistance and also get to help Filipinos whom I know with their businesses. If I make a commission, that is fine, but not my main objective. Maybe someday it will turn into a real business or someone will offer me a position or a way to earn some income because of our connections.