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Thursday – 14 Oct

Thursday – 14 Oct


[smartads]Feeling a little better than I did when I went to bed, I was up and moving at 0720 today.  No pancakes or popcorn for me this morning.  It was a no breakfast day for me.  Actually I have more of those than anything else.  Today my desire to get out of the house and to do something was granted.  I got to go downtown to do the shopping today.  I actually got to go downtown twice today.  The first time was not a good experience, except I did get to get out of the house.

During the first trip the goal was to go to the bank, then to the grocery store.  I went to the bank that I normally go to to use the ATM (PNB), but my Check card would not work.  I figured I did something wrong, so I tried again, same results.  Okay, so we went to another bank (RCBC) and tried there, nothing.  Well crap, I figured it was the same problem as before.  Last time I had this problem, although I was getting a different error this time, it was because my bank in the States said they were ‘protecting’ me because of the unusual activity on the card, you know, in the Philippines.  They said that I forgot to tell them that I was going to the Philippines when I left.  Well maybe I did ‘officially’, but the people at my bank in Texas knew I was coming here for months before I actually left.  I was bugging the heck out of them to get newer bills for all the money we had saved up.  Anyway I guess that wasn’t good enough, so they halted all transactions until I got in touch with them.  After I finally got a hold of the right section, and gave them a boat load of information, they lifted the freeze on my account.  They told me it would be good for only 3 months, then I would have to call again, maybe.  Maybe because they also put in the remarks section that I told them that we would be here at least one year.  All this was last July, and October makes 3 months, so I figured it was them again.  I came home all pissed off at them for doing this again.  I got a hold of the bank via live chat on the web, I do love that about Bank of America (BA), and was informed that my card is good, no problems.  They next checked the transactions I did today.  None of them made it that far.  Okay so maybe I made a mistake, 3 times here.  I mean both these banks have worked in the past, no problem after BA unfroze me.


Most of the Breadmix menu

For my second trip downtown, I went back to RCBC, because it usually has no more than 1 person in line, but it yielded the same results.  Crap! Crap! Crap!  I went to Metro Bank, they always have a long line for the ATM, but the line wasn’t too long today, and I needed to try something different.  Finally my turn comes up, I put my card in, and presto…IT WORKED, twice.  I had to do 2 transactions because the limit per transaction is P4000, and I wanted P6000 total.  Alright things are starting to turn around for me.  I hope the rest of my downtown trip is as wonderful as this.  Not!  Next we are suppose to go to the grocery, well if you remember from an earlier post, I told you that this grocery closes for lunch from noon to 1:00pm.  It was 12:10pm.  Okay, at this point, I’m still pretty happy about the ATM working, so I’m not letting this get me down much.  I told Ramil (driving) to lets just go eat.  We were heading to Chow King, as usual, but then I remembered what Wayne was saying about the restaurant, Breadmix.  I decided to give it another chance, since I haven’t been there since the year 2000.  It was okay on the inside, nice and cool.  I wasn’t sure what this picky eater was going to eat though.  They had some ‘sizzle’ platters with different meats per platter.  All meats, except chicken, what I wanted.  I finally decided to get a club sandwich.  The club sandwich has ham, cheese and egg, according to the nice lady behind the counter.  I told her I wanted one club sandwich without egg.  They seemed to think that was strange, but it was no problem.  I also ordered a single helping of some macaroni casserole looking stuff and a can of Coke.  Ramil ordered some beef stew looking stuff and a Coke.  I could have ordered the beef, but lately the beef I’ve been eating, tastes funny.  I really miss the good USDA meat these days.  When the food showed up, no it didn’t have egg in my sandwich, I know someone was thinking that.  It did however have something else in it that looked like tuna fish.  I couldn’t really taste what it was, this place is killing my taste buds, but I ate most of the sandwich.  Next time I’ll ask for a double ham sandwich, because the ham wasn’t bad at all.  The macaroni, I should have figured, had sauce that was too sweet.  I guess that is why so many Filipinos are sweet.  I still ate about 1/2 of that.  I ordered another Coke when I went up to pay, on the way out.  Total bill only came to P250.

View of Calbayog from the monastery

The monastery at the top of the hill

I just took a supper break, did you miss me?  I was only not here for about 20 minutes.  Well I was here, I just wasn’t typing.  I had to eat by the computer tonight because Lita is cleaning the kitchen and making ice candy.  For supper tonight I had chicken sautéed in gravy, onions and peppers with fresh green beans.  I added in a side of rice and a bottle of Premier water to drink, and that turned out to be a very nice meal.

Back to the story.  After eating at Breadmix, we still had a small problem.  It was only 12:40pm.  Still 20 more minutes until the grocery (COBO) opened.  I told Ramil that I need to take pictures of something that I don’t normally get to see.  He took me up to a monastery way up on top of a hill on the other side of town.  He claims that you can see all of Calbayog from up there.  Okay, cool.  We went up there and you can really see a lot from up there, it’s true, but I’m not sure it was all of Calbayog.  If it was, it’s a smaller town than I thought it was.  Ramil was looking too, and he still claimed that is all of Calbayog.  I took a few pictures and we headed back to the grocery.  As we were on the way back I asked Ramil to go by this house we saw last time the camera had “exhausted” batteries.  We went by there, and I got 3 pictures of it, which I will post today, maybe tomorrow.   I wanted to take  pictures of a couple of other things, but, I’ll be darned if  my batteries were “exhausted” again.  Man that was fast.  I guess between Grace and I, that camera got used a lot the last few days though.  When we got to the grocery it wasn’t quite opened yet, so we went to get new batteries.  I wasn’t even to the door of the Home Depot yet, and the guy was heading to the batteries.  I bought some extra long life Energizer batteries this time.  Just a step below the rechargeable.  Put them in, in the store, took a couple of pictures, talked with the pretty young ladies behind the counter a little longer than necessary and headed back to COBO.  This time they were open.

Boat house on some side street.

Side view of boat house.

Winda, at this point, I’m going to have to tell you that I really, really appreciate the questions you asked me, but I will not be answering them today.  I have enough information to make a nice full post today.  I will be using those questions tomorrow though, in case I’m low on material.  I hope you don’t mind.  I know you are trying to help and maybe it really doesn’t matter when the questions get answered, as long as they do.  I promise I will answer them tomorrow.

Lots of guns around the bank

House on top of a building.

Inside COBO, and I did get, I think, 3, maybe 4 pictures, is interesting.  It’s pretty hot in there for starters.  I guess they can’t afford central air and heat, and a generator to make sure it stays running.  I made a list of everything I was suppose to be getting at the grocery.  I don’t know where the list is, but I made it.  I’m trying to remember everything on the list, it wasn’t much.  I remember everything, except one thing.  I’m not sure if I’m suppose to be buying baking powder or corn starch.  We ended up going up front to use the phone to call Lita to make sure.  While I was up front, I took a picture of the lady sitting at the desk helping a customer.  She looked upset about me taking the picture, but she really didn’t say anything to me.  I told her, “I just took a picture, that’s all”.  She said something to Ramil, but I guess it wasn’t bad, because he didn’t tell me.  Or maybe it was, and he didn’t tell me, because it was.  I don’t know, but I’ve got the picture.  Turns out it’s corn starch I’m suppose to be getting.  That’s what she used to make my gravy for supper tonight.  So I got corn starch, large cereal (Corn Flakes), 3 boxes of milk, 6 packages of pancake mix (2 of each flavor: Chocolate, Strawberry, Maple)(actually the flavor is just the type of free syrup they have with it), some brillo pad looking things,  Quaker Oats (with free tin), Lipton tea bags and 2 cans of Del Monte whole sweet corn.  I got the corn because I don’t like the Ram brand corn and the Del Monte is not always in the store.  I flirted with the thought of getting some tequila, which they did have there, even though I was told there is none around here, and a bottle or 2 of lime juice.  I wanted to make some Margaritas.  I didn’t want Lita to get mad about me buying it though, because we are trying to save most of the money I got today to go to Tambis in a little over 2 weeks.  Turns out, I should have gotten it.  Oh well, next time.  When I told Lita about all the stuff I learned at the grocery, she said, “That’s why I wanted you to go”.  I find things that other people can’t at grocery’s.  At least in the US, I was good at it.  It’s a bit different here and I’ve not been to the grocery enough yet to get the feel of things.

Up in front of the Store

One of the 3 checkouts at COBO grocery.

Tagalog word of the day:  merkado  (mer-ka-do)  means market.

All in all it was a nice day for me today.  If everyday was like today it’d be okay.  Actually, it’d be great cause I would get P6000 everyday.  I wouldn’t want it to turn into a Bill Murray Groundhog Day or anything like that, but if I have similar days for awhile, I’ll stay happy and have plenty to write about.  I’ll still take any questions that anyone might have though.  Also, what do y’all think about the forum that Wayne was asking about?  Think we could make that work?  Think it would bring in more readers?  I’m going to be over 2000 words today.  WoW!

Oh, and btw,when I got home, I found the list in my pocket.  It wasn’t there when I checked at the store though.

World’s Largest Volume of Text Messages
Smart Communications, one of the two giant mobile phone networks in the country, claimed that the volume of text messages passing through its network reached 240 million daily as of 2001. This excluded text messages sent via the other networks. Such volume of text messages is said to be larger than those sent in the entire European continent during the same year.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. I am still enjoying reading your blog! I don’t get here every day. So I get to read more at one time. I had to read today, to remember what part of the Phillipines you are in. 🙂

    • As long as your reading. You can tell others too, if you want.

  2. Sounds like you had quite a day John. Was good chatting with you again. I really enjoyed the blog and the photos.

    • Thank you, on all counts. Come back to read anytime. I try to have a different adventure everyday. Will be going on a nice little trip in about 2 1/2 weeks and have plenty of pictures of the Philippines then. As you can see, I didn’t go to bed yet. But I’m on the way now. Jaclyn, my niece, Joyce Marie’s daughter, e-mailed me and I had to answer her. She is planning a trip to visit me in June.

  3. LOL too funny UJ!!! Love It!!

  4. Well I’m just glad to know that they have those lovely lil midgets in the PI too b/c I thought we only had them here in TX and they only liked following me around…lol Well if Aunt Lita agrees then that is probably the best solution.

    • These are Filipino midgets though, much smaller and harder to catch. The jump out of my pocket when I get home and run under the door to get away.

  5. You tell that lil midget to stop taking your grocery list out of your pocket and then putting it back later to make you think your crazy or something…lol.
    I have a question… So what happened with all the other banks that your card didnt work at their ATM’s?

    • Stupid little freaking midget. I’m going to kill him.
      Not sure what happen at those banks. They worked before, but not this time. Maybe I should just move my account to Metro bank. I can’t use my check card at the bank I have now anyway. Never could use it. Maybe will just leave the peso account there, and start 2 new accounts at Metro bank. Aunt Lita agrees with me, so it’ll probably happen soon.

Texan in the Philippines