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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Wednesday – 25 Aug 2010


[smartads] This morning I pulled myself out of bed at 0653.  Today is my last day in Calbayog for a few days.  Early tomorrow morning we will be heading for Tambis and Saint Bernard.  IN CASE anyone is reading this blog and they can’t figure out why I have Wednesday – 25 Aug as a title, and I’m publishing it already, remember that here in the Philippines we are 13 hours ahead of the United States’s CST.  Until Daylight Savings Time (DST), then we are 14 hours ahead.  I think the whole DST should be eliminated anyway.  I don’t believe it’s being used for what the original intend was anyway.  Benjamin Franklin started it back in the 1700’s, so you can see how things could have changed since then.  Oh well, back to Philippine issues.

My wife is outside right now talking with one of her good friends in Texas.  She has to go outside because our mobile phone service doesn’t seem to be able to establish a signal inside our concrete house.  It’s the same with my cell phone also.  The cell phones here are mostly the ones that need a sims card to operate.  So you have to buy a load to put in your phone.  When you load runs out, you get another.  No other monthly charges.  It may sound better that way, but I’m not sure I prefer it.  My problem is that if you lose your phone, or have it stolen, anyone can use it.  There is no one to call to cancel your service.  Of course they can’t run up a phone bill on you, but you would have to buy a new cell phone.

My wife is off the phone now and heading for the market again.  Vicky arrived and they both went down town.  She says I will be having fried chicken for lunch today.  Fried chicken, rice and pork n’ beans, all sounds good to me.

I just added 2 more links to the blog.  The ones with the Calbayog pictures.  I should mention that on all the pictures in my blog, well the ones that I inserted, not the ones at another link, if you click on them, you will get a larger picture and a better description and details of the picture.

My wife, her name is Lolita (Lita) by the way, is in the kitchen with one of my nieces.  They are putting candies and cookies in a little plastic bag to had out to the batas in Tambis.  If you read my post yesterday, you’d know what a bata is.  When I first visited Tambis back in 2000, I brought along many pieces of chocolate to share with the batas.  Since then it’s been sort of a tradition.  Every time I visit, I had out the little bags of goodies.  It’s not just the little ones that want it either.  Although you usually don’t see any of the older batas there asking for candy, the old ladies there have no problem asking for themselves and their grandchildren.  I’ve gotten to where I just call them ‘big batas”.  A few times I also bought the entire load of ice cream from a guy there selling it (one of my wife’s cousins), and just asked him to let me go with him to hand out the ice cream for free.  At first we roamed the whole village just like he would have to do anyway, but the next time I tried to do it, it was different.  The word got out that the American was back and he was giving out free ice cream, and let me tell you there were batas of all shapes and sizes converging on the ice cream cart.  We didn’t have a chance to hardly move at all.  The 3rd and last time that I did this, we didn’t even get to move out from in front of the house where we started.  We were swarmed with batas asking for ice cream.  I’m not sure if her cousin still sells the ice cream, but I’m also not sure I want to do that again.  On my 4th visit (my last visit), I didn’t do the ice cream thing and no one seemed to mind, as long as I had the chocolate, cookies and candies, which I did.  It gets difficult handing out the things and trying to be sure that everyone gets just one.  I have my niece there to help me sort out who already got some and who didn’t.  She knows them better than I do.  We usually hand out between 100-150 bags.  It does my heart good to see so many happy batas.  I’ll take pictures so you can see most of them.  One of my cousins that lives there told me a few years ago another American came for a visit there.  He didn’t do a very good job of coordinating because while he was there in the village looking for his girlfriend, she was in Manila waiting for him at the airport.  Anyway he was stuck there, couldn’t get into the house of his girlfriends parents (because they were with her) and being a big American, and she said he was big and round, he was soon surrounded by batas.  He got scared.  My cousin shooed away all the batas and allowed him to rest in her house.  She called the girlfriend to let her know what was going on, and he just waited there for her to return from Manila.  So if any of you plan something like that, be sure to communicate beforehand.

Tambis is also the most “wish I had a video camera” place.  Back in 2002 while visiting there we brought along some popcorn.  Did you ever wonder what it would be like for someone that didn’t know what popcorn was to start cooking it, without a lid?  Well let me tell you it was pretty funny.  Popcorn all over the place, people backing up away from the stove, hot popping corn hitting people in the arms, all kinds of laughter going on, it was great.

Before I forget, the Filipino word for today is:  guwapo… gu-wa-po (pronounced … goo-wah-po)(just say it fast, seems like most Filipino words need to be said fast).  Means: UJ…er, I meant it means handsome (same thing).

I looked at my blog front page and noticed that I had 3 more hits on it.  Thank you who ever you were.  I wish you would have left some comments though and maybe looked around a little bit.  But I do appreciate the visit.  Hopefully you will let a few friends now, ones that could be interested.

We are almost finished packing our truck for the trip early, early tomorrow.  Just found out that we are suppose to be leaving at 1am.  But in accordance with Filipino Time (things are at a slower pace here), it will probably be 2am.  Either way, I’m going to have to get up way early, so that means going to bed way early.  I don’t have to drive, we have drivers for that, but I want to be sure to get some pictures along the way to post for anyone that happens to be here.

Well I have to go to bed early tonight, as you know, so I guess I’ll close it down already.  It’s only 5:40 pm, but I doubt if anything else will be happening today.  It is raining so I’m not going down town.  But if anything good does happen, I will be sure to write it down and post it on my next post.  I will have plenty of things to say, pictures and videos to post upon my return on the 30th.  Hope someone is here to read and see it.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. Yes I think NY is the best bet also. Only 2 more days until Fiesta, it’ll be my first one here. I’m hoping it’ll be a good adventure that I’ll never forget.

  2. Thank you…much appreciated. You’re it is more efficient to get all the paper done here in US and since NY is only two hrs away from us that probably our best bet. I did not think about paying taxes since we won’t be working in calbayog unless i get bored and open a business of which i need a business plan. We will solely depend on our pensions and eventually SSS. We currently own a small house in Brgy Carmen but plan to build another in Narcisa Hills. I will check out the site. Happy fiesta.

  3. My husband is black American and as many times he had been in Calbayog he still get some stares. He just smile at them and go about his business. We plan sell to our house in Delaware before moving to Calbayog. I am also trying to see if we can endorse our mnedical insurance policy (Blue & Blue shield)to ensure that we have medical coverage.I am also trying to get him a permanent Visa so he doesn’t have to go out the country yearly/renew his visa. So much work to do before we can retire:(

    • I might be able to check on the medical insurance for you. I’ll let you know.
      As for the permanent Visa, check into the 13a and 13g Visas for the Philippines. One of them, I forget which right now, will allow him to become a permanent resident and he won’t have to leave every year. Of course this also means he will be asked to pay taxes. I hear it’s easier and cheaper to get a 13a/13g Visa in the US, before travelling here.

    • And another thing. If you have any questions about Living in the Philippines there’s a Yahoo Group called “LivinginthePhilippines3” that has a lot of expats living here and they can answer most, maybe all of your questions.

      Also try

      Both sites have good information.

  4. Maybe a ‘true Samarino’ in spirit, but being a big, white American is going to make it hard to be totally true. I’ve been here almost 4 months and I’m still getting many stares. Especially from children. It’s cool though, I usually just stare back or ignore it. It doesn’t bother me really. Maybe in a few more months I’ll stop getting so many, when they get more use to me hanging around.

  5. You’re becoming a true Samarino( native of Samar).

Texan in the Philippines