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Saturday – 23 Oct

Saturday – 23 Oct


[smartads] Today must have been one of my lucky days, I got up.  It happen to be 0700 on the clock.  Some days I just consider myself lucky just to get up to enjoy a new day.  I almost didn’t do this post today.  I had only 3 items that I new about that happen today.  I decided to ask Lita what she thinks someone that is moving to or just visiting the Philippines needs to know about this country.  I think I have enough information now to stretch it into a decent post.  I might have to blah, blah, blah a little bit, but I think it’ll be a very good post.

First of all lets cover the 3 items that I had before I talked with Lita.  You’ll see that it is not much, so that’s why I almost didn’t post today.

Loading the Big Pepsi Truck

Loading the small Pepsi truck

Cathy came by this morning to get some pancake mix.  She wanted to make pancakes for her children, whom it seems that I have addicted to the “hot cakes”.  Every morning that I am cooking them, Crystal and Khan show up hoping to get some.  They don’t ask for them, they just kind of stare and I think I see some slobber dripping from time to time.  Now Precious on the other hand, she has no qualms about asking for one.  Of course she doesn’t say pancake or hotcake or anything really.  She just calls me Mama and points to the pancakes.  Anyway, Cathy got some mix today and it calls for 2/3 cup water.  She didn’t know how to measure 2/3 cup, first of all we don’t have measuring cups, plus if we did I don’t think Cathy is use to cooking and having to measure things doing so.  She just cooks it like she was taught and measuring usually just isn’t part of it.  Jaclyn is going to send me 2 or 3 cans of blueberries or strawberries or blackberries…something so I can mix them in the pancake mix and everyone can try the fruity pancakes.  She is also sending some Bisquik and maybe some Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup.  That would be great.  Well I think I’ve stretched this little subject out pretty good.  As usual, my fingers just starting typing and my mind led the way.

Today I ate one of the cans of beef stew that Gary brought me.  Man oh man was it every good too.  All that rich gravy, those thick potatoes and carrots and most important of all, the tender ‘good’ tasting beef in there.  I can still taste it as I am typing and it’s been 9 hours since I finished it.  I’m not going to eat another can until next week though.  I’m sure I can stretch all those goodies at least 2 months if I ration them correctly.  Maybe even longer, but I doubt it.  The temptation will overwhelm me and I’ll have to eat it.  I’ll just eat some bacon and tomatoes tomorrow.

Picture of a house down our street.

2nd floor of our house

Today was weigh in day.  I didn’t do very well this week.  In fact, I gained 1.8 kilos (4 lbs).  Now I never expect to lose every week.  That is just not the way it works.  I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t lose again, but I know next week I will.  Every so often this little weight gain comes around, so it doesn’t bother me too much.  For me, it’s just part of the weight loss cycle.  I think my over indulgence of the beans didn’t help much either.

I’ve been talking the last couple of weeks about our trip to Tambis.  Well that trip has been pushed back about 4 days.  Seems that we won’t have a driver to go there when we planned to on the 30th.  The plan now is to leave on November 3rd.  That will be past All Saint’s Day, but I think Lita plans to still visit her father at the cemetery when we arrive and treat it just like it was All Saints Day.  This way will be better I think, because if we go on the actual All Saint’s Day (Nov 1), then it will be so crowded there at the cemetery.  All Saint’s Day is a big thing here in the Philippines, so it will be crowded.  I’d rather avoid the crowds if possible and to me it doesn’t matter when you pay respect to the dead, as long as you do.

Yesterday I was talking mostly to Jaclyn, but really to everyone, about what kind of things to expect when you come to the Philippines.  For Jaclyn I mentioned the Ciriaco Hotel across the street being P4000 per night.  Wayne left a comment and he said that a couple of years ago he stayed at the Marju Krisel Hotel by the airport, and only paid P800.  Well according to Titing, that is about what the rate is at most hotels in the area.  So Jaclyn if you don’t mind being a mile or two away from us at night, then you can stay at one of those, if you decide not to stay with us or don’t want to pay the P4000 per night at the Ciriaco.  I did find out today, from Lita, and she said she found out from the manager of the Ciriaco, that the hotel has boats and jet skis for rent.  Or maybe it’s included with the price of the hotel, I don’t know yet.  I’m going to be checking on that after they open, if I have to wait that long.  If I can find out sooner, I will.  In addition, I will be double checking that P4000 rate.  That really does seem awful high for this area.  Of course I haven’t seen the rooms or know what’s included with the amount either.

Well I stretched the heck out of those 3 subjects, especially since it turned into 5 subjects.  I thought of the weigh in and the Tambis trip while I was typing.

Customers at our BBQ.

A group of young men I encountered during my walk.

Okay here are some of the things that Lita says is important about being in the Philippines, if you want to get along easier.  1)  Don’t dress fancy – just wear everyday clothes, it’s cooler to do that anyway.  Especially if you are going to be here during April, May and June, which is the summertime here.  The humidity here is terrible all year long, but especially during the summer months.  Dressing fancy just brings unnecessary attention to yourself and the people around you.  2) Be friendly, don’t act stuck up – I know Jaclyn and Matt won’t have a problem with this.  All this really means is just go about your business, smile and don’t be rude.  3) Beware of pick pockets – even though this is a very friendly country, they have crime just like everyone else.  Consider wearing a money belt instead of carrying a purse or a wallet.  Don’t put all your money in one place either, put a little in your pocket like you would normally do.  Do not flash large rolls of money.  That is just common sense anyplace you go.  Most people here already think that all Americans are rich, so they’ll be watching.  Don’t give them a reason to harass you.  If you have relatives and/or friends here, try to travel with them wherever you go.  ***Those items where all that Lita suggested***

I mentioned also yesterday about us not having any hot water in the house.  That’s still true today, but I wanted to make clear that even though the water is cold, it’s not freezing like the cold water in the States.  I guess I would actually rate it, very cool, instead of cold.

I mentioned here about the humidity being bad all year long.  If you’ve never been in an area where it is hot and humid, you may be in for a surprise.  For example, in Texas it is hot, but it is dry heat in most places.  Certainly where I’m from it’s really dry heat.  The heat in Texas could kill you if you get too hot, by causing heat stroke.  The heat here, I don’t think will do that.  Don’t get me wrong, it is hot and you will sweat a lot more, and feel more uncomfortable, than in Texas, but it’s not the kind of heat that will just make you pass out unless you really stay way too long in it.  That doesn’t happen much because there are just so many places here to go swimming.

At Crystal's 6th birthday party.

During Crystal's 6th birthday party. They are all watching TV in Robbie's house.

Lita will be going to church tomorrow afternoon with Titing and Neneng in downtown Calbayog.  She didn’t explain to me why, just that she would be doing it.

Speaking of Titing and Neneng, they have started reading my blog.  From what I understand they like it too.  Titing thinks I am a master of words or something.  He told Lita that he thought I was doing a very good job of writing.  Salamat Titing.  That was nice of you to say.  I don’t think of myself as being a word master or anything close to that, but I do try to type what I feel and that seems to be what attracts some or even most of my readers.  I wish I had more readers like the ones I have now.

Well that’s all I have for today, it turned out pretty good with a little help from Lita.  Oh wait…I do have one more item I’d like to mention right quick.  When Neneng and Titing saw a picture of the Ciriaco Hotel, they didn’t recognize it.  I don’t know why, it’s right across the street.  Titing has even been inside the hotel and walked up to the top floor and went inside one of the rooms.  They did feel kind of silly when they figured out which hotel it was.  We’ve all done something like that sometime in our life though.  Neneng is still the “Sweetest Lady in the World” and Titing is still the “Coolest Dude that ever Lived”.

Tagalog word of the day:  mata  (ma-ta)  means eyes.

Philippine Trivia

45. Cagayan River in Luzon is the longest river, snaking for 353 kilometers (221 miles) across the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Cagayan before finally flowing into the South China Sea in Aparri in Cagayan.

46. The first recorded intermarriage of a Filipino to a white foreigner was the wedding of Rajah Tupas’ widowed niece to a Greek ship caulker who had sailed to the Philippines with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (ca 1565).

47. According to the 1990 census, Metro Manila has a population density of 12,315 persons per square kilometer (32,000/ sq.mi.), the highest in the country.

48. The longest underground river system accessible to man IN THE WORLD is located at the St. Paul National Park in Palawan.

49. The hottest day in the Philippines was recorded on April 29, 1912 when the temperature reached 108.32 degrees Fahrenheit (42.4 degrees Celsius) in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. The coldest day was recorded in Baguio city back in January 7, 1903 when the thermometer dipped way down to 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).

50. The safest province geologically is Palawan. It is farthest province from volcanoes and earthquake faults.

51. Marissa Delgado – The first Filipina who appeared in Playboy (sometime in 1965). She wasn’t a centerfold but she did expose … her back! The first Filipina who appeared as a centerfold is the beautiful Lourdes Estores of Hawaii.

52. The Tagalog term for dye is jobus or jobos which came from the name Joe Bush. Joe Bush was an American who set up a cleaning and dyeing shop in Manila back in the 1940s. His products were powdered dyes with the trade name Joe Bush.

53. Galunggong (mackerel) has the distinction to be the most widely caught fish in Philippine waters.

54. 8 – ocho, walo, eight – is the size of Imelda’s shoes.

Catch y’all on the flip side.  Thanks for reading and don’t forget if you have questions or suggestions, please let me know.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. Thank you UJ and to Wayne as well for all the helpful tips for us when we visit. I will make sure that I stay close to my UJ and Auntie Lita. We are still excited about visiting.

    • Jaclyn nothing is as bad as it sounds,John and Lita will take good care of you.Iam sure you will enjoy the tripand have a great time.As much time as I have spent in the philippines,just a simple drive is interesting with all the sites you see on a drive down the road.One section of road to Subic in northern Luzon we used to see these guys selling live snakes,one time we stoped to take picture,before i could get out of the car he had the head of it
      coming in the window.I told my wife could only happen in the philippines.It will be a trip of a life time, enjoy.

      • He’s right Jaclyn. It will be a trip that you will remember for a long, long time. Bet David still remembers details about his only trip in 2002, and he didn’t even do very much. When we drive from Manila to Calbayog you will see lots of things you have never seen before, and may never see in person again, unless you make a 2nd visit.

    • Excited is good. Careful and excited is better. International travel is a hassle, but the end result is usually worth it. And yours should be worth it.

  2. I have priced hotels all over Philippines and I have yet to figure out how they come up with their State side pricing, when they only pay slave labor to the workers. As per the SM’s and other shopping centers. These workers have to reapply for their job every six months and hope they get rehired. They do not even pay benefits. But yet the owners are living high on the hog.

    • I know, it’s strange. I frankly don’t know how they get away with it, but until someone steps up and does something, it will continue.

  3. We have stayed at Eduardos hotel a few times,nice simple place but for the same price as MK they didn’t have hotwater and no is much better at MK. They can get a motor trike at hotel for 8 to10 peso i think.Yea i think 4000 peso is a bit much for Calbayog.

    • Nice information to have Wayne, thanks. I’ll try to remember that in case I get asked some other time about hotels in the area.

  4. Congratulations on writing such a great blog! I have saved your blogs to my computer so that I can read them whenever there is time. I am slightly over halfway through and it has been so fun reading them. It is like I am actually there in the Philippines! Please, keep up the tagalog word of the day because it is a fun way to learn another language. Also, I wouldn’t worry so much about advertising on the blog because the revenue that you will generate though your tourism business will be more than most blogs make anyway. Also, I am sure people headed to your part of the country would love to eat fish balls and candy ice at your business. It may be a long time before I can get over that way but when I do it would be nice to stop by and see your little town. Keep up the great blogging! Sincerely, Dandy Dan

    • Wow, a new reader that isn’t a relative. It’s been awhile since I’ve had one of those. Glad you like the blog. One of my goals was to make it as realistic as possible and make people actually feel they were here, visiting, shopping, site seeing, just whatever.
      My tourism business and my advertising business are both the same right now, at zero. I’m going to keep up both, but frankly I’m not sure I’ll generate any income from either, ever.
      Well when/if you ever do come this way, my last 2 blog will be of particular interest to you, but please don’t read ahead, it might take some of the meaning out of a few of the things.
      Oh I’m sure that some people will love the fish balls and ice candy, but as for me, I’ll stick with only the ice candy.
      I hope that after you get caught up with the reading, you will continue to read as often as you can. Also please continue to leave comments. I’m told that one of the criteria of having a good blog and attracting sponsors is the number of comments and interaction I have.
      Thanks again for stopping by, please let others know about it and I’m really, really glad that you liked it.

Texan in the Philippines