Pages Navigation Menu

SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Thursday – 7 Oct 2010

Thursday – 7 Oct 2010


[smartads] It was a lazy morning this morning, again.  I didn’t rise and shine until 0937.  Wasn’t doing that much shining either.  I guess you can say that I just basically dragged myself out of bed and headed for the CR.  After I was up and moving about though, I checked on Titing and Neneng.  They were still not home yet.  I asked and they were still doing good, but Neneng decided to stay with Titing at the hospital last night.  She didn’t want to leave him there alone.  Sweet, isn’t it.  Speaking of sweet, it was also determined that Titing has high sugar.  He also got some medication for that.  That’s not really too much of a surprise though, because we have a glucose meter that Lita and I check our sugar on, and we have checked Titing’s before, and it was high then.  Finally he has gotten some medication for it though.  Same thing happen to Khany, except his was blood pressure.  A couple of years ago we checked his blood pressure with our little blood pressure machine, and he was 200 (something) over (100 something).  That’s way too high.  It took him a few months after that before he finally went to check it out officially with a doctor, and sure enough, it was too high.  Bebie ‘talked’ him into getting the medication for that.  I assume he is doing fine, we haven’t tested his blood pressure since, but if I remember, I’ll ask him next time I see him, in about 3 1/2 weeks.  Bottom line is everyone is doing fine, and maybe even better off now because they have taken care of a health problem too.

aka Lovely Grace

The clown in the family

Titing and Neneng finally showed up at 2:20pm.  They were both all smiles when they got here, but they are mostly all smiles, no matter what.  I was cooking bacon when he arrived, but I asked him if he wanted some of the mushrooms I was cooking.  He said, “No, I will never eat those again”.

Arnel built a little fence and gate for the BBQ area.  This is Lita’s attempt to keep mga bata out so Vicky or Lynn won’t get too crowded in there and have another accident, like Vicky’s little grease incident.  I believe the whole thing is movable, so we can move it out of the way when the BBQ is not open.

Portable fence/gate for BBQ area

Titing’s little store area is coming along nicely.  I didn’t get a good picture of it, but I did get ‘a’ picture.  He didn’t mention anything about it today, but I guess he had other things on his mind today.  I hope he is successful in his little business.  He is so enterprising.  In fact, the whole family of Apilado’s is always thinking of ways to make money.  Maybe that is from their up bringing.  I hope that Titing’s business is always better than ours has been lately.  Last night we had less than P1000 again.  That’s 2 of 3 nights.  Seems like it might break the P1000 mark tonight, but not by much.  That P1000 is counting BBQ, ice candy and any charcoal we happen to sell during the day.

Door for Titing's store

Lita is watching some werewolf/vampire movie on one of the Filipino channels.  It’s looks kind of interesting, but weird.  She doesn’t normally watch things like that, oops, she just changed the channel.  Maybe it was a commercial, because she did have that on for a long time, if she isn’t going to watch it.

Tagalog word of the day:  bampira (bam-pi-ra) means vampire.  I was just going to use ‘monster’, but it was like 20 letters long:   napakalaking halimaw.  Don’t know how to pronounce that, but I’ll attempt it.  Winda help me.  Here goes:  na-pa-ka-la-king ha-li-maw.  Is that right?  Why so long?   I just asked Lita, and she said it meant “big monster”.

Did y’all see the new page for MJTS?  I had a hard time with it.  When I click on it, I have to click it 3 times to get to the right page.  Did it work for y’all?  If it did, what do you think?  It’s the first time I’ve attempted to do a flyer, so I’m not that great at it.  Mar did most of the work though, I just tried to refine it.  I couldn’t get the link he has on there to work, but if anyone has any interest in it, I can send you the details.  Actually all details are negotiable.  As I stated before, the price of that 7 day tour includes staying in 4 star hotels/resorts.  It you don’t mind staying in lesser hotels and not eating in a 1st class restaurant twice, then that price can be brought down quite a bit.  Probably down $1000-$1500.  Just depends on the details we work out via e-mail.  Still would like to have at least 5 people though.

BBQ operating

Well Gary is on the way back to the Philippines.  Not sure when he will be coming by to see me.  I know he was nice enough to bring me some things, but I don’t remember when he will actually be in the area.  I know he will be seeing his beautiful wife and son first and I believe he said they were in Angeles right now.  Of course they’ll probably meet him at the airport in Manila.

I’m going to expand on the arrival in Manila thing a little bit, mostly because I’m short of material to type today.  My list of things to type is already exhausted, and unless I think of something else, I’ll have to improvise.

Taken at Judith old house, I think.

I believe this picture was taken a Khany's mothers house.

For those of you that have never been to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), then you will be in for quite the experience if you ever do.  It seems that the incoming area is always crowded.  I’ve never seen a small amount of people arriving there.  I read recently that the line to get to the counter has been changed to a long snake line, instead of the many long lines that they had.  I think the new way will be better, for a couple of reasons.  1) It has a better chance of keeping smugglers out because they can no longer  go straight to the line with the clerk they have paid off.  This was the main reason for the change in the first place.  2) Some of the clerks are slower than others, and of course every time I go, I get in the line of the slowest clerk.  This way it doesn’t matter, an opening is an opening, and if your next, you go.  The next stop after that is the luggage carousel.  If you have a lot of luggage there, or if you have children with you and you don’t want to mess with the luggage so you can keep up with the kids, then there are helpers to assist you.  They all have little tags on their shirt.  You just let them know about your bags, point them out when they come out, and they will get them for you.  They will stack them up for you and even push them to the next station for you.  Of course they will be expecting a tip.  I’m not sure of what the standard tip would be, maybe some of you out there know.  I would think around P100 ($2.30) would be good.  Or they’ll take dollars, since you probably won’t have pesos yet.  You could get pesos there at the airport, if you wanted to.  The exchange cashier is right before you get in the big snake line.  I wouldn’t get too much at the airport though, their exchange rate is not very much.

Now anyone that is there to pick you up, can not come into the terminal.  The next station, after luggage, is your last station.  You have to give them your luggage tags so they can check them.  Well basically they just check all your papers there.  The final check before you leave.  When you leave that station you go through the open doorway and you will be outside under a big overhang.  Across the street will be all the visitors.  If you look, you’ll see that the area above them has letters.  The people there to get you are suppose to be under the letter of your last name.  Like when Jaclyn goes there, I’m will go to the “F” section.  Get that Jaclyn?  You will be able to see whomever is there for you, but you still have a steep ramp to get your luggage down across the street there.  Just go across the street and on your left will be the ramp.  I can’t remember if the visitors can help with the luggage or you have to wait until the bottom of the ramp.  Anyone?  Anyway, after that, you will be in the hands of the person that picks you up.  Hopefully they have a plan all set.  Like for Jaclyn, she wants to go shopping, so we will have a few places picked out to take her.  It’s an adventure, just for the airport experience, so be sure to bring a camera with extra batteries.

Lita likes to put guava in the room and eat it when she gets hungry.  I don’t like to eat guava, but it smells good.  She puts a basket at the end of the bed or on the box, posing as a chest of drawers, next to her side of the bed.

The guava on the boxes.

As you can see, I’m also short on new pictures.  All the single pictures above are new.  I’ll throw in a few old ones, so it’ll look nicer up there.  It’s 9:37pm now.  Past my normal post time by about 2 hours, so I’m going to wrap this up.  I know it was boring today, but I rambled as much as I dared.  Hope you enjoyed it regardless.  I also hope that some of that information for at the airport comes in handy.

World’s Sweetest Fruit
What can be considered as the world’s sweetest mango is produced in the island province of Guimaras (Philippines). While other countries have different varieties of the tropical mango (Mangifera indica), none of them tastes like the superbly delicious Guimaras mango, which is a variety of the popular Carabao Mango (Manginera indica).

In 1995, the Guinness Book of World records listed the Carabao Mango as the sweetest fruit in the world. In the Philippines, mango ranks third among fruit crops in production, next to banana and pineapple. The country supplies mangoes to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and recently the United States. In 1995, the Philippines produced 432,322 metric tons of mangoes, with an average production of 6.35 metric tons per hectare and 250 kilograms per tree from a total production area of 68,056 hectares.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. Yes, Mom I’m on top of that….lol. UJ I don’t know if I buy that but I’ll forgive ya cause I love ya!!! LOL.
    Thank you all for the great tips about getting larger bills before we come and about scanning our important documents.

    • Don’t thank me, thank Winda. She brought the subject up. I probably would not have remembered.

  2. Well I made it to Tokyo now. I am in the Delta lounge. The flight to Manila leaves in about 90 minutes. Good Lord, I am tired!!

    • Inching your way closer all the time.
      Yeah, tired, I know. You get that way on those international flights easy.

  3. Do they still have the 2 separate terminals for PAL and the rest? I think the new terminal 3 is for PAL and 1 is for other international. But they are supposed to move eveything to the new terminal in the near future. They are quite a distance apart.

    • That is my understanding too. I know PAL has a separate terminal, and you can take a bus from the international terminal to the PAL terminal, if you have a ticket on PAL.

    • PAL has their own terminal. Terminal 3 has PAL Express and Cebu Pacific and a few other inter-island airlines. I hate NAIA. I could have flown into DMIA Clark but that would have meant some airline other than Delta and I have 300,000 miles in my Delta Sky Miles account so NAIA is really my only choice.

      • Does going into Clark usually mean spending more money too?

    • If your port of entry is Manila and you’re taking another airline for the local flight [for instance: PAL to Manila and Cebu Pacific to Tacloban], there is now a complimentary, air-conditioned bus that will take you to the local airport. Yes, complimentary, and it goes both ways. Cebu Pacific incidentally is dirt cheap compared to PAL’s local airfare. To lessen the overweight baggage charge (much lower baggage weight allowance between local airports – of course you don’t have to worry about this if you’re using PAL all the way to your final destination) you can check your luggage to go as cargo on the same flight you’re taking. Do so as soon as you get to the local airport in Manila before you check in for your flight. Head straight to the cargo area of the local airline that you’re taking. Lots of uniform guards you can ask for direction. Otherwise, the overweight luggage charge is a killer.

      The a/c comp buses are no different from the ones in NorthAm. Very comfortable. Currency: forget about traveller’s checks. Credit cards for the bigger department stores in the cities and cash for the outlaying areas are easiest. Change just enough to get by at Manila international airport’s forex kiosk, then money changers [pick a safe place like malls] once you’re out of the city are very handy. Make sure you ask your NorthAm bank to give you their newest bills. The money changers offer a slightly better rate on larger currencies [50s or 100s, the larger the better] and they do refuse torn or otherwise ‘unslightly’ bills. Men, never place valuables in a back pocket as pickpockets exist all over the world. 🙁 A money belt for both genders is a good idea. There is a dependable money changer inside Robinson’s mall in Tacloban; upstairs at the rear of the building to the left but I can’t remember the name just now. I know nothing about Catbalogan but JJ and Lita do.

      Scan all your cards and important documents and email them to yourself so that you can access that info anywhere there’s internet if you ever lose it/them while on the go.

      An open mind and an understanding heart will guarantee a good experience. All for now, ladies and gents! 🙂

      • I didn’t know that information about the complimentary bus, thanks for that info. I already knew Cebu Pacific was less expensive than PAL. I’ve never taken PAL within the PI.
        I forgot to tell Jaclyn to get the larger and newer bills before coming here. Also, not keep all your money in one spot on your body. Put it in 2 or 3 places, but the money belt is where you should keep the bulk of it. Lita made a money belt for herself before we came over here. We don’t know that much about Catbalogan, but Titing and Neneng lived there for many years, they know.
        I’ve never thought of scanning my important documents. Luckily I’ve never had a need for it either. But it wouldn’t hurt, just in case.

  4. Hi JJ!

    The thumbnail photos on this date are no longer links that you can click on to take you to a larger image, did you notice that? Big monster could just as easily be MALAKING [big] HALIMAW. Napakalaking just means in today’s idiom, “It’s soooo big,” or something to that effect. Actually that word is made up of two: “napakali” and “nga” shortened to “ng.” Like contracting “it is” to “it’s” – except that the apostrophe isn’t used. Yup, you got the pronounciation just tickety-boo. Triple A+ !

    JJ wasn’t kidding when he advised newcomers to bring lots of hankies for the shock, so brace yourselves. Inspite of such unspeakable poverty in many areas, you can easily get a smile from those who don’t know where their next meat is coming from, when, or if it’s coming at all.

    I’m sure you’re all going to have quite an experience. Enjoy! 😉

    • Forgot to explain that the root word is “malaki” – big. The “ng” at the end is stands for the word “nga” obviously without the “a” at the end. And you’ll have to get Lita to pronounce that, JJ.

      Guava. I only eat it when it has a bit of a “give” when you press it, otherwise the optimum taste is missing, and you could break a tooth when it’s not ripe. Too ripe and it’s not good either.

      I’d have to say the best mangoes are those grown in the island of Cebu, but the ones growing in our little town can give them a run for their money. 🙂 Have you eaten lanzones?

      • I don’t eat guava at all. Haven’t found one I liked.
        Not sure on the lanzones. I might I tried it, but if I did, I didn’t like it, because I’m not bugging Lita for it.

    • Okay, I fixed the photo problem. It was my fault. I was clicking on things yesterday and didn’t know the affects of a particular click.
      And Jaclyn is very sensitive.
      That’s why we call this place The Land of Smiles

  5. lol i was goin to tell him that 2 jaclyn but i see u have it covered..yes john when a woman gets married most of the time they take the mans last name…lmao duhhh

    • I said I knew that. Just making sure she was reading.
      Are y’all buying that?

  6. UJ you will need to stand under the “M” cause I’m no longer an “F” (thank goodness….lol) I will have to make note of all of that so that I will remember how things go when we get there. Make sure you let me know if things change before we visit.

    • I knew that. Just wanted to see if you were reading the posts.

Texan in the Philippines