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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Friday – 3 Sep 2010


[smartads] This morning, here in paradise, started early for me at 0602.  It’s a nice day so far.  No rain, light traffic, batas still sleeping and almost time for breakfast.  By 7am though I’ll hear more traffic and screaming batas getting ready for school.

I did forget to tell you something about my return trip of my vacation.  We stopped in Tacloban at the Robinson Mall.  It’s quite a nice little mall.  Our main purpose there was to do some grocery shopping.  You see, here in Calbayog, there are a lot of things that are not available.  The supermarket at Robinson Mall has a good many of the items I am used to from the States.   That is why we plan to shop there every couple of months.  I hear that I can get even more Stateside items in Cebu.  It’s a longer trip, but we will be heading that way too, going to probably SM Mall.  There are 3 or 4 large malls in Cebu, SM is the only one I’ve been to.  Maybe I will go to a different one also, just to take pictures, check the place out and be able to say I was there.  At Robinson’s we bought some Pure Food hot dogs.  We can not get the American hot dogs that I’m use to here and I was told that Pure Food is the closest that you can get here.   By dingy, they were right.  It’s almost like home, smaller but good to eat.  I also bought my favorite bar-b-q sauce at Robinson’s…Kraft original flavor.  My wife knows I like it, so she bought an extra one to be sure we don’t run out.  They are both the large bottles too.  That’s were I buy my Underwood Chicken Spread too (there’s none here in Calbayog).

SPECIAL QUICK NOTE TO KEITH:  Did you see all the furniture pictures I posted, at your request?  Will get the house and neighborhood today.   Oh..and my cousin Glenda is out hitting you on this blog now, but you’re still #2.  I know, the story of your life.

I’m going to take a quick CR and breakfast break, in that order.  I was going to have cereal this morning, but we seem to be out of cold milk.  We have warm milk.  The only milk I like here, that’s I’ve found so far, is Nestle’s, and it’s in a box.  You can find it at the store on top, outside of the cooler.  A cooler like the ones they put the sodas in in the aisles at Wal-Mart.  Any hoot…since there is no milk, I guess I’ll use our hot water pot to make some instant grits, after the water gets hot first.  That’s why I am still typing and not eating, I’m waiting for water to boil, and I’m not watching it, because we all know that a watched pot never boils.  I won’t use the water here for digestion unless it is boiled first.  I brush my teeth with it though.   Though recently I’ve tried using Listerine on the toothbrush instead of water, and that works well.  Kind of strong though.

While I’m waiting I’d like to tell you about ‘motors’.  Motors are also tricycles, except they use motorcycles instead of bicycles.  That’s how they distinguish between the two.  They call the bicycle a tricycle and the motorcycle a motor.  Simple.  It cost more, about twice as much, to ride a motor, but they get you there faster and they will go a little further away than the bicycle tricycle.  I have a picture or two that I will post later.  I think I have a picture of the ones with and without the top for the driver.  You’ll see when you are reading.  Most of the motors have a compartment built around the driver and passengers together.

Okay it’s 8:50am now.  My break

Did u see that?  Right in the middle of my sentence…power outage.  Man I wish they would have warned me.  I’m back now and it is 10:25am.  The brownout only lasted about 1 1/2 hours.  They are connecting the power lines to the new hotel.  While the lights were out, I took some pictures of the neighborhood and 2 more of the hotel across the street, including one of the big staircase on the inside.  I’ll post those later too.

It’s 2pm now.  Just finished my lunch of Underwood chicken spread, a few chips and a Mountain Dew.  Speaking of Mountain Dew, there is a brand of soda here called Sparkle that I would not recommend.  Guess if you were raised on it, it’s okay, but I wasn’t.  That will be one of the last things I ask for to drink and I’d have to be really thirsty.

Lita is making some ice candy now.  Flavors she is making today are Strawberry, Mango and Chocolate.  Orange has been selling very well recently.  Of course Chocolate always sells well, in fact the 3 best sellers (in order) are: Chocolate, Orange and Strawberry.  She use to make coconut too, but it  didn’t sell well.  She’s cooking it up and Vicky is outside putting it in the little bags.  I think next month we are going to get Vicky’s niece to help out around here too, full time.  She has to move here from Tacloban though.  It doesn’t look like she is going to show up today.  One of Vicky’s sons (the 15 year old) will be here to help soon too.  He will do a lot of the heavy work, errand running and tedious things that no one else likes to do.  He will be only part time though.  Not sure at the moment how much either of them will be getting paid, but I’m sure it will be less than Vicky is making ($55 per month).

I had to get one of my nephews to go to Calbayog Proper to get me a new microphone for my computer.  The one I have on the headset, crapped out on me.

It’s a slow day today so let me tell you about something I neglected to earlier.  I didn’t do it on purpose, but I have been typing a lot and don’t want y’all to get tired of the long posts.  On our trip to Tambis, and shortly after we crossed over into Leyte (right after the San Juanico bridge) we came across a tiny eatery.  They are usually someone’s house that they use to feed traveler’s to make extra money.  I took a picture of one.  Shortly after that we stopped at a picnic area.  I was standing there and I started hearing a noise.  It sounded like children splashing in the water.  Well we were right next to the ocean, so I didn’t think much of it.  I decided to go take a picture of the little batas, but there were none there.  It was only the waves coming in so hard it sounded like splashing.  I never heard them so loud before.

It’s 6:15pm now.  My wife is sitting outside helping Vicky fill the ice candy.  Master T (that is what I call Titing) is there with them chit chatting.    Just found out that they don’t sell microphones for computers here.  Well not by themselves.  You can get them on headphones.  I think that the power surge we had time before last, fried something on my mother board because my microphone doesn’t work.  I can hear through the headphones just great, but no one can hear me.  Guess I’ll have to get that checked out when I have a little extra money to spare.  Right now everything is going into building our businesses up.  Besides the ice candy, my wife will be selling food items and knick knack type stuff out front too.  Her and my niece Cathy will be in-charge of that area.  I suggested the name Loly Cat, and my wife likes it.  Her name is Lolita, but her relatives here call her Loly, and then Cat from Cathy.

Filipino word of the day:  sige (si-ge).  Literally means to “go ahead”.  Sige na  – is used a lot for –  Let’s go now.

I’ve already posted 6 pictures and plan to put in at least 4 more tonight.  My 2 nieces in the picture I already posted, Juvic and Grace, they use to act as my body guards when they were 8 and 9 years old.  I let them think that anyway.  Now they need someone to help guard their bodies.  Grace is almost 18 and Juvic will be 19 next week.  They are real sweethearts.  Of course I would think that, but they are, really.  Both are going to college and studying hard so they can help support their family.  Jobs here in the Philippines are not that plentiful.  There are plenty of college graduates here that are supporting their families by riding a tricycle.  The #1 export of the Philippines is labor.  They call them OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers).  Remind me and I’ll continue more about OFWs in tomorrows post.  I’m about to shut this one down.  Hope you are enjoying the pictures and the posts.  I’m trying hard to get out as much information as I can.  If you have any suggestions or anything you would like to know about the Philippines, please ask.  As long as it’s not rude or too complicated, I’ll see what I can do.

Salamat, Paalam!


  1. He used coconut wood. There are tons of that here. He did a very good job on the stain though, didn’t he? To me it made it look like more expensive wood. Your so very funny on the complicated question issue. NOT. Is Ligaya a US citizen? Not sure I ever knew. Anyway, if you are married to a former Philippines citizen and you are travelling together, when you get to the Manila (or I guess any major airport here)(only 3 that I know of) they will ask you how long you plan to stay. Just tell them something between 6 months and 1 year and they will stamp your passport with a bilikbayan (not positive on the spelling on that) visa that is good for 1 year. Before that 1 year is up, y’all need to travel out of the Philippines, doesn’t matter where, come back at least 1 day later (or 1 week or 1 month…whatever) and the process starts all over again. You got that kano?

  2. Yeah I saw the pictures. It all looks realy good. Curious what type of wood he used. I’m guessing there aren’t alot of oak trees lol. Ask questions as long as they are not “too complicated” , It will be VERY difficult to come up with questions that are simplistic enough for you, jk 😉 Do you have a visa to live there or how does that part work? Or are you a Filipino now ?

Texan in the Philippines