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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Tuesday – 31 Aug 2010


[smartads] Okay, I’m back.  Did you miss me?  Wow, I had almost 50 hits when I returned.  Glad to see it.  Now if we can just add a couple of zero’s to the end of that maybe the sponsors will take notice.    I did response to all 3 of the comments I received and will continue to try to response to every comment I ever receive.  In the meantime, let’s jump in and talk a little bit about my short vacation.

26 Aug 2010 was the day of our departure.  Departure time was supposed to be 1am, but in true Filipino fashion we left at 2:45am.  Filipinos, at least the ones I’m associated with, have a knack for taking their time.  I’m told all Filipinos are this way, but it’s cool with me, I’m not in a hurry anymore.  As I said earlier, it’s a slower pace here.     Our first stop was in the capital city of Catbalogan (cat-bah-lu-gun).  We had a short rest stop in the Proper area.  Proper in the Philippines is what they call the down town area.  So we stop in the Catbalogan Proper and I snapped a picture of the gas station across the street.  I wrote down the prices of the gas too, in case anyone had a need to know.  Remember when you see the prices, that that price is PER LITER, not gallon.  One US gallon is equal to  3.785411784 liters.  Please read the caption under the picture to get the prices and a short explanation of a couple of the gas names.  Just click on the picture to do this.  That has been working on some photos and not so on others.  I’ll try to be sure you get to read them all, one way or another.  We arrived without incident (which I could say the same for the return trip, I’ll get into that tomorrow or the next day).  The trip was supposed to last approximately 8 hours and I’ll be darn it was right around  7 hours 45 mins.  I didn’t get the exact time because I was just happy to be getting there and forgot to look at the time.  After we got a little bit of rest we went to see what ever relatives weren’t there to greet us.  They always know when we are coming.  Not just the relatives either, I mean the whole village.  The batas are there to get their goodies, the old ladies too.  We passed out the little packages of goodies to every bata that showed up and still had some left over.  That was the first time that has happened.  Usually there are still little hands stretched out and their little eyes saying, “What about me?”.   I hate to see the empty hands and sad little eyes.  I guess that since I was there 2 years ago, most of the batas that were there have either moved away or have grown up and think they are too old for the candy.  I’m just happy that there was enough to go around.  Later we all packed up and went to Hindag-an Falls and Forest Park, in Hindag-an.  See pictures.  First thing I should say about this place is, be ready for a hike.  From where you park your vehicle, to where the actually swim area is, is 400 meters (that’s approximately 1/4 of a mile).  It wouldn’t be so bad, but almost all of it is uphill.  The young ones just basically fly up the hill.  Me, well I had to rest only once, which surprised me, because I thought it would be more.  Some of the ladies around my age had to rest 4 or 5 times.  The men around my age, didn’t say, but a couple of them were really huffing and puffing.  The falls is not as big as it use to be, but they have it set up pretty nice.  There are picnic tables, that you can reserve if you know who to call to do so.  The water is set off in 6 different pools.  They have pools for the little batas all the way up to us big batas.  The water is very cold at first.  I had to ease my way in a little at a time.  I see all these young ones jumping in right when they arrive and wonder if they have even heard of the word “shock”.  At the deepest part they have a sign saying it is 10-12 feet deep.   There is a cliff approximately 15 feet high to jump off of in this area.  They have a big red rope to your right while you are standing on the cliff.  This just means to jump to the left of this rope because there are rocks to the right.  Myself being a big, old fogey, just had to jump to show that us old guys still got it.  I was the oldest, and certainly the largest person that I know of to take the plunge (twice).  We stayed there for several hours, I’m not even sure how many, but we did have a lot of fun.  The 1/4 mile trek down the mountain is much easier than going up obviously, but since the steps they have there are just dirt and vines, you still have to watch what you are doing.  It was a nice sunny day, all day, that day.

After we return, my wife, who did not go with us to the falls because she thought the climb would be too much for her, decided we needed to go down town shopping for the fiesta that they were going to have.  She gave me about 30 minutes to rest up, and then we were off.  This is where I got one the pictures that I’m posting for today.  It’s just another version of the tricycle.  I like this one better because it has a rack under it for carrying shopping items.  On the ones here in Calbayog, they usually just strap your things to the top of the tricycle.  Although they strap it really well, I still worry about it.  Maybe I’ll convert ours here, to look like theirs there.  Something to think about anyway.

Well enough about the trip for now.   I’m going to tell you about the rest of the story tomorrow and the next day.  A 5 day adventure all tucked into 3 days of blog postings.  Back to current events for the day, which really haven’t been much, and I’m glad because we needed a slow day to ease back into the flow of things.

I woke up today.  Didn’t write down the time because I was too happy to be home and frustrated about things that happen later in the trip.  Plus my computer would not boot up when I returned home.  I was thinking it was going to be a really rotten day.  But….I’m happy to say that I was wrong.  Obviously my computer finally cooperated and booted up properly or I wouldn’t be writing this blog now.  My truck is back (oops, you don’t know why it wasn’t here)(check back tomorrow or maybe the next day, it’s a doozy of a story).  Our freezer and refrigerator are both plugged back in a running well, but stinky and she forgot some of the meat (that’s trash now), but thankfully not too much.  My wife insisted on unplugging EVERYTHING when we left on this vacation.  I can guarantee you that my computer will NOT be on that list next time.  We have restarted making our ice candy and everything is basically back to normal already.  My wife is off to the market again, she just left a few minutes ago.  This afternoon we have the guy that is going to sell us his tricycle come by so we can look at it to see if it is worth 12,000 pesos ($267 approx).  Our plan is to buy the tricycle and then let him use it for the standard 60 pesos per day.  Seems like a win-win situation for the both of us.

Oh, the Filipino word for today is slightly different.  The word is Tagalog (Taa-gaa-lug).  I call it Tag-a-log, being silly.  Tagalog is what the national language of the Philippines is called.  So instead of calling it the Filipino language you can call it by its name: Tagalog.

Wow, this post is already over 1300 words.  It’s going to go over 1400 before I’m finished too.  This is my largest so far.  Hope I haven’t been boring you.  If I have though, please let me know what you are tired of hearing about or what I could being doing better.  I’m open to any ‘serious’ suggestions.  It’s time for me to post the 4 or 5 pictures so y’all enjoy your day and I hope to see you here tomorrow.  It’s only 5:50pm, so if anything else happens before I go to bed, I’ll add it in for you.

It’s  7:41pm now.  The guy with the tricycle has not showed up yet.  My wife heard that the price is going to be 13,000 pesos  instead of 12,000.  She will not pay the 13,000.  If he doesn’t come down to the 12,000, then we won’t be getting that tricycle.  When my wife returned from the market, she brought me some Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion chips.  It’s weird but I never tried those before.  I always thought I wouldn’t like them because I don’t like sour cream.  That’s not the case though.  Those chips are wonderful.  I’ll go as far to say that they are in my top 3 favorite chips.

Well since I’ll be over 1600 words before I quit this post, I guess I’ll close and publish it.  I’ve already gotten 2 of the pictures posted.  I’m not sure what’s going on with the picture explanation section, but when/if I see one that does not tell you more about the picture, then I’ll comment my own picture so you can see it.  Y’all have a nice night and hope to see plenty of hits on the blog tomorrow.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. i was doing a research regarding calbayog city and i stumbled upon your blog.. anyway, im wishing you a wonderful stay here.. The city fiesta is just days away, and its gonna be a blast.. there are a lot more places you could visit around here, if you just know where to look.. haha! i might bump into you one of these days.. if someone you don’t know smiles at you, that could probably be me.. =)

    • Well I’m glad you stumbled this way. So far my stay has been pretty wonderful. A few roadblocks, but nothing we haven’t been able to handle. I know the city fiesta is on 7-8 Sept. I plan to be there to take several pictures for this blog. We planned to go to Malajog Beach today, not sure if the plan is still in effect since it’s muddy from the rain this morning. But knowing Filipinos, we will probably still go. If you bump into me, I hope I don’t knock you down. As for the smiling, well it’s going to be hard to pick you out of the crowd. They call this place the Land of Smiles for a reason. There are so many smiling faces here,especially when the big, white American shows up. I just love to see those smiling faces, especially in the batas and the young ladies.

Texan in the Philippines