Be careful with the electricity

Electricity in the Philippines can be dangerous if one is not careful. In most of the Philippines the electrical connection and wires are all two phase that is there is only two wires connected to a house not like in the US where you have three phase two hot and one ground. each side is 110 connect both hot lines to get 220 and one hot and one ground to get 110. And the ground is firmly connected to earth ground by a long pole driven deep into the ground.  Only in Cebu city and maybe Manila do you find three phase, the rest of us have two phase. My house in Bogo is two phase and no ground connected. The outlets are two wire and you can plug in equipment any way you like as the plugs are not polarized.  For instance if I touch a ground on my computer and standing in bare feet even on a tile floor, I get a mild shock by connecting the computers ground through me to the floor. Just rubbing my finger across the metal surface surface gives me a buzz not a bad shock just a tiny leakage of current through me but you can feel it and I really don’t like it. I have a thick cloth mat that I keep under my feet to protect against this. and I wear rubber shoes as well. So all I can say is be careful and try to protect yourself from shock hazards as there are many more here than in the US. The photo at the left is actually from Mexico however the electrical connection to homes is similar. I will take a photo of my connection and add it here.

Tangled wires in Manila

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Charles Harman 571-970-9195



  1. You can use a voltage regulator like the one I have Akari AVR-SVC 1000 I think it is Japanese, runs all my computer equipment it regulates at 110 AC. I can use this to run an American TV or stereo. It also runs my big Bass guitar amp. Also you can send just about anything in a Balikbayan box like TV small stereos, books and food it goes by container ship takes 60 days to get here.

    1. Also we use 60 cycles here just like in the US except we are at 220. So even tape players will run on this OK. When I lived a year in Thailand they were on 50 cycles and the stereos did not sound right wrong speed. It is possible to wire your home for 110 but it may confuse some people like maids.
      I had a 110 VAC can opener here on a small 220 to 110 transformer it was ok until a maid plugged it directly into 220 and it burned it out. They have a habit of unplugging things when they are through so forgetting to plug it back into a transformer is easy. Next time I electrical tape it in if i can fix it. Hopefully it only blew a fuse inside.

  2. Hi Charles.. have a question? In moving there the TV’S and other stereo equiptment we have here won’t work there because of the electric..(220) Can a new home be wired both ways…..

    1. All you need to do is buy a converter which is a step down transformer, they come in a variety of sizes you need to get a large enough model to handle your TV which draws more current, I use some American lighting and the smallest size works for them.
      I have a huge model to take care of my computer equipment.

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