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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Wednesday – 13 Oct 2010

Wednesday – 13 Oct 2010


[smartads] So bored, when I woke up at 0804 everyone was working so hard already, Lita, Vicky and Lynn.  I just got up, closed the bedroom do so I wouldn’t have to watch them work because it makes me tired to watch them work.  I  didn’t bother getting out of bed until 0857.  There wasn’t so much work going on then.  I must have slept on my shoulder a lot last night because my rotator cuff is sore.  It’s almost 8:00pm and it’s still a little sore.  I need to try not to sleep on it tonight, I guess so it has a chance to feel better tomorrow.

I’ve been thinking about changing the theme on this blog.  Does it matter to y’all?  I’m getting to the point that I really don’t care much about typing in here because nothing is happening.  That’s my fault though because I should get out and do something.  Not just to have something to put in here, although I would, but so I’ll be moving around doing something besides just staying home all day and all night.  At least Lita gets to go to the market sometimes.  Usually she just gives Vicky the money to go to the market before she comes to work, but sometimes she feels like going along.  It’s easy for them to ride in the tricycle.  It’s a bit more difficult for me, but it’s not so bad that I couldn’t do it.  They always go with Eddie anyway.  Tomorrow is Thursday already and I haven’t left the compound area all week.

At Hind-ag Falls and Forest Park

From the jumping place.

Anyone notice that I didn’t have any pictures yesterday?  I ran out of new ones and all the old ones are basically the same.  Going to the beach, getting ready to go to the beach, sitting around talking, playing cards or eating.  Man will I be glad when it’s time to go to Tambis and Tacloban.

Y’all might have noticed a slight difference in the tone of my typing.  I’m in a slump, but I expect to be out of it sometime in the near future.  Maybe I should just do a new post every other day, until things start happening around here, either by me or any other means.  It’s not that I don’t want to put anything in here, I just get tired of having to think of things to say and a lot of times it’s very similar to things I’ve done or said already.

For breakfast this morning I had a box of cereal.  One of those small boxes of Frosted Flakes.  There was barely enough milk left to have that much cereal too.  I don’t even like Frosted Flakes that much.

There was an old American guy looking at the hotel today.  He was walking down the street and just stopped to look for a little while.  Everyone over here at the house gets so excited when another American is around.  They always be sure to point him/her out to me.  It doesn’t excite me that much.  Unless it’s a good looking lady with skimpy clothes, there is no need to get excited.

It just now started raining, again.  First time all day.  It made it to 8:25pm before it started.

Ramil is still here.  He has pink eye or something.  One of his eyes is red, I don’t remember which one.  I don’t look at guys eyes too much.  He said that he was afraid that they would not let him out of the Manila airport if he was sick.  He did call his new employers and let them know.  He said that they said, it’s not a problem.  Ramil says he will probably be leaving on Sunday to start working on Monday.  He figures he will be cured by then and ready to go.

There was some type of small parade that came by the house today.  They have those sometimes for some Saint or something.  I don’t know.  I don’t get much information from anyone.  The either forget that I don’t know what’s going on or just don’t feel like saying anything.  I did get 3 pictures of whatever it was.  I will post those now.

Actually about the middle of the parade.

The only float

I can only do 2 pictures on one line because it messes the pictures up and I have to go through a lot of crap to fix them, so I’m typing this to take up space and to have an area between the 2 sets of pictures.

Lady saying something on a loudspeaker

Only other picture I took today.

Lita is watching something on TV that has awful special effects, but that is not uncommon on a lot of things I see on TV here.  I mean it’s so obvious that it’s fake.  It’s okay, I don’t really watch it anyway.

This is my worst day every for posting.  It really was so boring and slow today.  I guess I’m going to have to make something happen, just to have something to post here.  Nothing illegal or anything, just something.

I was over at Titing’s trying to find out something to post in here.  Not much, but while I was there, I saw a mouse playing under the kitchen table.  After a little while, the mouse was on top of the table.    All the food on the table is covered, impossible for it to get to, but just the thought of a mouse being on the table is weird.  Titing went to double check all the food on the table and scared the mouse away.  Later it came back, with a friend or cousin or something.  One of them got on the table again.  This time Titing didn’t care because he knew the food was covered.  I saw how they were getting up too.  There is a bag on one of the chairs and they climb up the bag onto the table.  If there was a mouse in my house, on the table or not, I’d kill it.  If that cat doesn’t get it, I will.

We were watching a show on TLC about bread in Istanbul.  Most of the bread they had on there looked pretty good.  But I really do not have any desire to go to that part of the world.  If I just had to go to one though, it would probably be Turkey though.

Picture Grace left in the camera

These 4 are in most of Grace's pictures.

When I came back home, there were about 7 people sitting at the table outside eating.  Seems that there are some people that rented a house down the road and will be in the area until Saturday.  They saw the BBQ place and decided to eat.  They were all smiling when I went by, so I guess they like it.  We’ll find out for sure if they come back before they leave to where ever they are going.

I’m feeling a little better now.  At least better than before.  I guess it was the interaction with Titing.  Not for sure, but that’s the only thing I really did.  I still need to do something to spice up my existence though.  Maybe just doing something simple like starting to go to the gym would be enough.  I could start there and see.  One way or another though, I’m going to do something, and do it soon.  Maybe I’ll just walk downtown again.  It’s only a mile and I can bring the camera with me too.  Just thinking out loud.

Well it’ll be 10:00pm by the time I finish this sentence, so I better close for the evening.  I know it was really boring and depressing today.  I’m sorry about that, but I can’t be living the high life everyday.  I’ll do my best to make up for it as soon as possible.

Tagalog words of the day:  daga  (da-ga)  means rat and dagat  (da-gat) means sea.

World’s Longest Mat
The people of the agricultural town of Basey, Samar own the distinction of having weaved the world’s longest mat, or “banig” in the local parlance. During the town’s Banigan-Kawayan Festival on September 29, 2000, hundreds of people paraded the mat, which extended for more than a kilometer.

The one-meter wide mat has been weaved for several weeks by groups of people from the different barangays of Basey. While the mat was not submitted as an entry to the Guinness Book of World Records, Basey Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos described the feat as a source of pride for all Basaynons.

Each year, the town, which has weaving as its prime industry, comes to life when it celebrates outlandishly the feast of St. Michael, its patron saint. The highlight of the feast is the Banigan-Kawayan Festival, where the women of Basey weave a variety of intricately designed mats from sedge grass locally known as tikog (Fimbristylis milliacea). This tradition was handed down from many generations. The Church of Basey was built in 1864.

World’s Largest Pearl
A Filipino diver discovered what is now described as the world’s largest pearl in a giant Tridacna (mollusk) under the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the “Pearl of Lao-Tzu”, the gem weighs 14 pounds and measures 9 ½ inches long and 5 ½ inches in diameter. As of May 1984, it was valued at US$42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old.

A double shot of trivia today to try to get to 1500 words.  It worked.  Thanks for reading and please don’t give up on me, I’ll get back into the swing of things and make the blog even better than it was, is, whatever.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. LOL. No UJ I’m not ignoring you b/c that would get me in lots of trouble…lol.
    But it’s okay to send my UJ a Christmas present…lol. But now if I get up there and they tell me it’s gonna be like $200 just to ship it then I will think “OK OK UJ I will just bring it to you” LOL.

    • No it won’t be that much, it shouldn’t be more than $130, at the most to ship, but then to fill the box would be another…what $70? That’s still around $200. I really don’t want you to spend that kind of money on me, when you have a family and you need to save money for the trip here.

  2. Hey UJ, Yup that’s just for the shipping. I was only able to get 3 med cans of Dinty Moore, 50 packs of Kool-aid Lemonade, and I almost got the whole case of Ramen Chicken Noodle Soup in the Orange package, just shy of 4 packages. I would have to get a seperate one to send you the Beef Jerky from Robinson’s sooo…. I think I it will be better to just do the bigger box and send it to you for Christmas. Let me know what Aunt Lita wants me to send her too.

    • Are none of my messages getting through about not having to do this? Just wait until you come here. Or are you ignoring me? Aunt Lita doesn’t need anything. She has everything she likes here, except the beef jerky. Most of the lemonade is for her too, the ice candy. The stew and noodles for me. You can put all that in one of the suitcases you will have to come here. NO CHARGE!

  3. Jen and I talked today about when we were going to Samar. We wanted to leave on the 18th but the travel agency tells us that there was nothing available that day or Tuesday the 19th. Apparently, Cebu Pacific is not going as often as they once did due to lack of customers. I’m sure that would not make the owners of the new hotel real excited to hear. It looks like we will be arriving on the 20th. I will be there only until Saturday or Sunday and Jen and George will stay there for 3 or 4 more days after I leave. I have to be back in Angeles by 10am Monday to process payroll. I am comfortable with the internet here and scared of the internet there. I don’t think the employees would be too interested in my excuses for not getting them their paychecks on a timely basis..”sorry, no internet in Samar” is not going to work very well. At some point, I have to be there on a payroll day to see how it works though. I can’t be running back and forth. I will talk to the ISP when I get there about getting things hooked up properly in San Joaquin.

    I like Breadmix better than Jollibees or Chow King. The portions are incredibly small but the food overall is not too bad.

    If you want something to do, take the POS up to San Joaquin and see if you can find our house. It shouldn’t be too hard to find. Of course, once you get there and find the house, then what? There is nothing to do in SJ so now you have to turn around and drive back to Calbayog…but at least you had an adventure. There are some beautiful spots on the drive. More pictures for the blog.

    I will let you know my schedule once I have it booked.

    • What can I say. Okay. I’ll see you when you get here. Don’t hurry on my part. I still like the orange chicken at Chow King the best. We still need to give the POS a test drive before Tambis, so maybe we will go to San Joaquin.

  4. You are getting to sound like my wife after being in Samar for 2 weeks and getting kot up with all the local news. She’s ready to go back to states or Manila. I tell her lets get out and travel around Samar and see the rest of the Island. Get out and travel see the pacific ocean in eastern Samar. You will be surprised of how many people that has lived in western Samar all their lives and have not been to Eastern or Northern. Make a day of it and I am sure you will get volunteers from the rest of the tribe to go with you. Life is to short to be hanging around the house if you have not explored the rest of the Philippines.

    • I’m going to try to get these people to just get in the pos and drive. Just for the heck of it to places that they don’t go, or don’t normally go. I understand how your wife feels though. Of course if I was in the States, I’d have to have a job. Heck even that doesn’t sound too bad right now.

  5. Yup UJ you should start taking a walk into town maybe a couple of times a week. It will get you out of the house and you will probably see some interesting things to write about even if you dont interact with people.
    I did check into the shipping of the “Flat Rate” boxes to you and it’s $55 so that is a lil more reasonable but the boxes aren’t that big but at least its a Care Package from your favorite niece that starts with a “J”… hehe.

    • That $55, is that just for the shipping? Is there a weight limit? If the boxes aren’t very big, then are they big enough to put the stews and kool-aid in? Maybe a 6 pack of ramen soup. Just asking. Still seems high. Just bringing it with you would be good enough. No need to spend money to send us something that is not ‘really’ necessary. I’ll live without it until you arrive.

  6. Would Titing or the other folks there get offended if you start informing them that rodents are not the most sanitary animals?

    Sometimes, JJ, just getting out to see someone like you didcan get you out of the cabin fever state. 🙂 And whatever happened to writing about your life prior to your move to Samar? How did Lita and you meet? How about if we ask you questions and you can expand on your replies in your daily blog? Should I keep asking? 😉

    When you go to Tambis, which route do you take from Tacloban? What towns do you go through? How long does it take the Tac-Tambis stretch? How many usually accompany your ride in the pos?

    More Qs tomorrow. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Can’t answer your questions here, already made notes for the post. I will say that the questions help because it does give me more to say. I made the decision to “stay on the subject”. Not put in there about things that happen while I wasn’t in the PI, except for the grandkids that one time. Lita and I met, of all places, at a divorce party in San Antonio TX.

  7. John i think your idea of writing every other day maybe better for you would hate to have you burnout and quit altogether.Another idea might
    be have other people write about there experiences in PI.People in samar
    would be nice.Idont know what happened to the Samar expat blog used to read that and posted a few times,sorry to see it end.
    For something to do you ever think of going into calbayog for coffee i used to do that last time we were there i always met a american at chow king or at the rest. at the corner of the fish pier and next to the gas station.
    Itwas nice to just have someone new to talk to.Also if you get a motor bike
    get a scooter it has no clutch it will be easier to learn how to drive.Hang in
    hang in there John dont get to bored.

    • I might try that coffee thing, but I don’t drink much coffee. Don’t know if I could get someone to write something else. Don’t know anyone here to write, but I guess I could have a guest writer sometimes. Anybody living in the Philippines, reading this, want to volunteer?
      I don’t want this blog to end, I just would like to have something interesting to write about. I don’t want to write things if there are not that many people reading it. Except for a couple of relatives, I haven’t had a new reader in a while. At least not one that has left a comment.
      The restaurant next to the gas station on the corner is Breadmix. I haven’t been there since I’ve been here. In fact, I’ve only been there once, ever. I should go there again. I don’t even remember if they have anything there I like to eat. If they have coffee, I guess I could do that. I’m not that sociable to meet someone new, but I could get someone here to go with me and talk with them, without all the distractions around here. That would help. Just getting out will help alone.

      • Yea the breadmix has coffee,tea,cold drinks and a few bakery goods.They
        have fillipino foods,hamburgers,hotdogs and a few other things,they also
        make cakes,nice place to have a snack and watch the people and cars going by.What do you think of a forum section where people can ask questions and they can be answered by you or other readers.

        • See today’s post for more on the Breadmix. I don’t know about the forum section, how would we make that work? Couldn’t people just ask questions in comments and that would be the same? I will say, I feel much better today than I did at this time yesterday.

Texan in the Philippines