I mentioned about appliances and electronics. If you’re coming from America, the electricity is 110V-120V. Here in the Philippines it is 220V. I do not know about the electrical systems in any other countries so I am no help there. Both US and Philippine power is 60 Hz.
In America the way the electric system is set up, there are 2 flat prongs and sometimes a round ground. One is 110V, the other is Neutral or 0 volts and the round ground is there in case there is a short, it will sent the electricity to the ground. In the Philippines there is no neutral. The plug looks the same, 2 flat prongs and sometimes a round ground. Both flat prongs carry 110V. You get 220V because they are opposite phase. For the round ground, hardly any house is wired for ground.
Before I moved here I bought (3) 220V to 110V converters. They were about $30.00 each. All they do is reduce each leg or the power from 110V to 60V. I destroyed an electric drill charger using it.
Many Electronics, such as computers, monitors and chargers are dual voltage. If your device is a dual voltage type you will have no problem. Just look at the sticker on the device or the information on the charger. If it has something like “110V-220V” or “120V-240V” you will be safe. If it is only “110V-120V” you will need a Power Transformer or a Power Regulator. The differences is the Transformer steps down or regulates the voltage to 110-120 and creates a neutral. The regulator has circuitry to regulate the voltage incase the voltage varies. Such as when lights dim when an Air Conditioner or Refrigerators compressor kicks in.
On American 220V devices such as ovens, clothes dryers I am not sure. If you’re going to bring such a device, consult an certified electrician or electrical engineer here once you arrive.
It was strange for me, my desktop computer did not have a switch to change the input voltage settings but my monitor was dual voltage. I also brought a few kitchen small appliances such as a rotisserie, Stand Blender, Immersion Blender. One thing I needed to make sure was the Regulators I bought had a high enough amp or wattage rating for the needs of the devices.
Regulators come in many sizes. I know someone who bought a huge one and is running a refrigerator and other appliances from it.
Another thing to keep in mind, especially when you fly here, airlines restrict the weight of each piece of luggage or box and has limits of free baggage and limits of how many pieces you can bring, even if you’re paying for the excess. There will be things you want to bring with you so you have when you arrive. There are also things you would like to have until it is close to your departure date. Remember again, most shipments travel by sea. They also first arrive in Manila and then shipped again to your location, especially if you are on a different island and not Luzon.
Most shippers require an inventory of what you’re shipping. I listed everything as personal items. I did not have to pay and VAT (value added tax). Make sure you know what charges you might have to pay once your items arrive in the Philippines. I thought all customs and fees were covered in the shipment. I also thought my boxes were to be delivered to my local address. When the shipment arrived in Manila, I was contacted by the agent in Manila and was informed we needed to send approx. 4,000 pesos to get my boxes released and then shipped to Davao. Being on Davao, I had no choice to send the money, even though I thought all charges was covered. Once the boxes arrived in Davao we were called and told where to pick them up. Again, how do you argue that they were to be delivered? They would have delivered them but probably we would have to pay an inflated trucking charge. Our neighbor had a friend with a Jeepney offered to go with us and all we had to pay was the gas usage. When we arrived the boxes were no longer on the palate and most looked like they were dropped or sat on. Luckily nothing was damages except the one ceramic vase.
As I mentioned in the previous article, most houses here do not have closets or storage rooms. They day the boxes arrived and we were loading the Jeepney, and then again as we were unloading at the house, I was thinking “Oh my God, where are we going to put all this stuff?” I had 17 boxes. Well to my surprise and the exceptional work of Elena, in 2 days, all boxes were opened, unloaded, items put away. I also realized, since we would probably move in the near future since the lease was up and we needed a bigger place, we flattened the boxes and stored them under the beds and behind some cabinets.
After all was done, and with the use of the regulators, I wish I would have brought some other items as my electric grill/Panini maker, my convection toaster oven and my Tivo box.
Something also to keep in mind, electronics, in most cases, are more expensive here than in America. You can find good deals on computers, external hard drives, even some TV’s in the states. If you’re going to buy new, or will need them here, check the price differences. Buying there and shipping over might work out cheaper.
Best advice is using your computer, do lots of research and then plan your move. Remember, unless you have good support from someone back home, once you’re here it is hard to get the things you left behind. It is also good to have someone you can send money and they will ship things here. Before you leave visit Asian Markets, some will have Balikbayan shipping service where you, or someone once you’re here ship things to you. Shipping this way, you are charges by size of box, not weight. This will save you a lot of money compared to using the Postal service.
Any comments are appreciated since I am writing from memory and things I have heard from others.