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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Thursday – 2 Sep 2010


[smart] It’s a new morning here in The Land of Smiles.  I kicked it off officially at 0641.  I did have a couple of wake ups during the night for a CR break though.  Check yesterday’s post for meaning of CR.  There was no rain when I got up, but there was thunder in the skies.  Around about 7:20am, it started a short, heavy downpour, still sprinkling now at 8:15am.  The only noteworthy thing that happen last night after I published yesterday’s post was that at 9:30pm, a young fellow stopped by to buy some ice candy.  He bought 5 lemon-lime ice candies (10 pesos) because he said he didn’t want to keep running back and forth to buy them.  That may be a smart kid, but I wonder if he thought about a place to keep the ice candy so it wouldn’t melt?  I guess he could have just eaten them all one right after the other, but that’s not the norm, and there’s not too many people in the area that have refrigerators.

Do you realize that my hits have more than tripled in the 2 days since I’ve been back.  There was 47 when I got home and this morning there are 150.  Bring on the sponsors.

I do have to go to Calbayog Proper today to get a new card reader.  I’d like to share some of my pictures with you.  I already owe you 4-6 pictures now.  Don’t want to get any further behind.  Next time maybe I should just load all the pictures to the computer, delete the memory card and just use the pictures on the computer to post.  It would be less use on the card reader.

Oh my goodness, my niece next door (Cathy) is cooking dried fish.  I hate that smell.  But they all, including my wife, love to eat it, so I try not to complain, too much.  We have a policy in our house that all dried fish is cooked outside in the dirty kitchen we built.  My wife decided on this because she knows how much I hate the smell, but it’s hard to get away from it around here.  Guess if it was in the other room, it would be stronger and the smell would linger in the kitchen throughout the next 3 days.  Maybe I should explain ‘dirty kitchen’ a little bit.  It’s basically just a cooking area outside where they cook the smelly foods (dried fish) or things that have a tendency to get sloppy.

Well I got a new card reader and the ding dang thing wouldn’t read all my pictures.  Had to go back down town and get another one.  This one works great (for how long is yet to be seen).  I added in several pictures that I owe y’all and I will add 2 or 3 more after this blog is published.

Today turned into kind of a mini historic day for me.  Between the house and the Pepsi business next door there is a shortcut between 2 buildings.  All the Filipinos here use it for a shortcut.  I was always too big.  Did you noticed I used the word ‘was’?  Today was the first day that I actually ‘squeezed’ through the hole and didn’t have to go all the way around to the front.  Since I’ve been here I have lost 14.6 kilos.  That is approximately 32 1/2 pounds.  I check every Saturday, except last Saturday I was not here to check, so I’m waiting until this Saturday.  I’ve been kind of stuck on that 32 1/2 pounds too.  I lost that as of 3 weeks ago.  I just keep hanging around that number.  I think this week it will be a little bit lower.

It’s getting late.  I better finish my vacation story so I can move on to other things tomorrow.  I’ve got plenty of pictures for the day.  Okay it’s day 5 of the vacation, coming home day.  We were suppose to be leaving right after breakfast in the morning.  Well if you’ve been reading my entire blog, you know that didn’t happen.  About 2 hours after we were supposed to leave, we did though.  For some unknown reason to me, but it won’t happen again, our driver and the drivers of the other 2 cars decided they wanted to return on a different route.  This route went through the mountains.  Up, up, up, turn, turn, turn.  That’s about all we did on that road.  Somewhere along the way we came to Agas-Agas bridge.  The highest bridge in the Philippines.  I do have a picture for that and also a link from someone who was able to hang around while the bridge was being built.  He got pictures at different stages of the bridge being built.  Not too much longer after that, as we are on the way home,  I start hearing a strange sound coming from under the truck.  Next thing I know..BANG!..the whole truck hit the ground.  The front passenger side wheel came completely off.  It was rolling in the ditch heading down the hill.  Turns out that the last person that put the lug nuts back on must have been a wimp, because they were not on tight enough.  To make matters worse, it broke a couple of the studs that the nuts go on.  I’m thinking crap, it’s getting dark and we’re stuck out here for a while.  This must have been the most exciting thing that’s happen in this village for quite a while, because half the barangay was out there rubber necking.  Several of the men and a couple of the bata’s even came right up to see what was going on.  Well I’m standing there, sweating and getting eaten alive my mosquitoes, wishing I was anywhere else.  Next thing I know is one of  Vans Van’s show up.  Vans Van’s is a transportation service that actually goes right by our house.  Well myself, my wife, my nieces Cathy & Juvic, plus Cathy’s 3 batas rode that van home.  It cost us 1200 pesos for the trip, but it was worth it for us to get us out of there.  A couple of hours after we left, they actually had the truck fixed already and were on their way home.  About a half hour after that, I hear that the truck broke down again.  This time the fan belt broke, and the oil pan was leaking.  They just paid a nearby resident to store the truck until the next day, headed home.  Not sure how they got here.  Maybe another of Vans Van’s or possible a bus.  There are lots and lots of buses running throughout the Philippines.  In the meantime, I’m at home, feeling guilty that I got to go home and left people there, with my truck.  In reality, there really wasn’t much I could do, except help feed the mosquitoes.  While I’m at home though, I went to my computer to check my fantasy football draft that happen the night before (while I wasn’t here) and my computer wouldn’t come on.  I knew I shouldn’t have turned it off.  As I said earlier, it won’t happen again.  Next day I did get my computer running again.  Maybe I was just too frustrated to handle the computer and truck failure all at the same time.  But we are all home now safe, sound and wiser.

I did find out today that the truck I have, a Nissan Patrol, has a recorded problem with the wheels.   But also it is an easy problem to fix.  That will be taken care of this week.  In the meantime, neither my wife or I, or any batas will be allowed to ride in that truck.  I told everyone here, it’s not going to happen.

Our ice candy and Pepsi business are back in full swing and when we are supposed to go back to Tambis in late October, early November for All Saints Day, I’m not going.  I decided that I’m staying home for that.  I’ll stay here and sell the ice candy.  Lita says if I’m not going, then she will only stay for 2 nights before coming home.  If I go, we’d probably end up staying 3 nights.  Anyway, everything is cool now.  Computer is working, card reader is working (my new 250 peso card reader) and we have our income incoming.  Only problem is the truck, but that will be taken care of soon.

Tagalog word for the day:  ante (an-tea), means like older sister, or (like kuya for males) even older female cousins.  It also is a sign of respect for the elders.  Even a 2-year-old calls a 3-year-old  female cousin, ante.

It’s about 8pm now.  I’m going to close for the night.  Hope I didn’t forget anything that I said I would write about today.  I kind of got carried away on the pictures.  Hope y’all don’t mind so many pictures.  I still have 1 or 2 more to post tonight too.  I’ll get an early start tomorrow and we’ll see what lies in store for this Texan living so far away. As usual, if something interesting happens later tonight, I’ll put it in tomorrow’s post early.

Salamat, Paalam.


  1. OMG UJ…. I did look up Bagoong…Ewww gross and nasty… that’s gotta smell so bad. And I do remember what the dried fish smells like too… ewww.
    That’s really scary about the Truck breaking down like that. I’m glad no one was hurt.

    • Bagoong doesn’t really smell, it just looks nasty. The dried fish, not that stinks.
      No one even got a scratch, just a little nervous.


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Texan in the Philippines