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Thursday – 4 Nov

Thursday – 4 Nov

[smartads] Today was a good and bad day.  It started out well enough when I got up at exactly 0800.  When I checked the hits at 0820 they were at 25320.  When I went to bed early this morning at 0120 they were at 25143, so that’s 177 hits in a 7 hour span.  I’m not complaining, but that is about 1/2 my goal, eventually.

The Top website seems to be not working like it was before.  I sent them an e-mail to try to get an explanation as to what’s going on.  They have a 3 days response time limit, so I still have a couple of days left.  The only thing that seems to be working is the statistics.  On Nov 2nd we did have 36 visitors, but only 40 page views.  On 3 Nov there were 27 visitors and only 32 page views.  Guess that means people are either showing up and leaving right away, or they are just reading the post and not looking around.  Why wouldn’t someone want to leave a comment?  I mean just put something in like good read, this is stupid, or thanks…you know, something.  I actually just added a plug-in that will tell me when someone is on-line, just their IP address, and it also tells me which page they are looking at.  I think I will be adding a place to register for this blog.  I’m not sure of the benefits of registering, but it seems I’m the only registered user.  The plug-in I added separates Guests in 3 ways:  registered, guests and bots.  Everyone was coming in as guests and bots, so I’m going to add the register thing and y’all let me know if it gives y’all any special privileges.

Bacolod Masskara Festival

Boracay Beach

We’re suppose to leave at 1030 to go downtown and to my surprise Victor showed up at 0940, so we left here around 0945.  Strange to be early in the Philippines.  I was so bewildered, I forgot to bring the camera, so no new pictures.  In fact, I’m out of pictures that y’all haven’t seen yet.  I think I’ll be able to make up for that tomorrow though with some exclusive pictures that no one else, or very few people from the States has seen.  I’ll explain more about that later, I need to finish this topic first.  On the way downtown, we stopped to get Juvic to go to the bank with me.  Why they insist on someone going to the bank with me is a mystery to me.  When the person goes with me, all they do is sit there and wait for me.  They don’t have to do anything.  Well Juvic talked on the phone the whole time she was waiting.  Only one I need to go with me is whoever the driver is, that’s it.  Anyway it was good to see Juvic again.  I haven’t seen her in about a month.  Some kind of incident happen that I don’t know or really care about and she was embarrassed I think.  She should know by now that I don’t really care about mistakes, everyone makes them, especially when you’re young.  Just learn from you’re mistakes, that’s how life is.  Are you reading this Juvic?  She doesn’t read my blog that I know of, but that doesn’t change the fact that you live and you learn, just try not to make the same mistake twice.

They didn't want to move.

One of the 8 wonders of the world.

We dropped Lita off at Judith and we went on to the bank.  When I got to the bank I was pretty happy because there were only 4 people ahead of me and there were 3 tellers.  Of course everything is not always as wonderful as it seems.  Two of the tellers either couldn’t or wouldn’t do ‘dollar’ transactions.  The only one that could/would was the only one that was busy balancing some payrolls or something.  I had to wait an extra 10 minutes for her to finish.  When I finally got up there, it took about 15 minutes to finish my transactions.  Way too long, but that’s normal every time I go there.  As I was standing there waiting on the teller, I noticed a tub full of money next to her.  There must have been at least P1,000,000 in there.  I was thinking, man I wish I had that so I can finish my house.  Also while I was waiting for the teller, some guy came by to change the peso rate from 42.30 to 42.20.  I lost 10 centavos per dollar while I was standing there.  That’s only P60, but still I wonder if the other tellers would have been able to process my transaction, if I would have gotten that extra P60?  I’m pretty sure that after our Tambis trip, we will be switching banks anyway.  I can’t even use my stateside check card at my current bank.

Malacanany Palace - Presidental Palace

Metro Manila

After the bank we went to pick up Lita to go to JustMar (COBO).  Faye wanted to go with us, so we brought her.  She probably knew that her Auntie Lolly (Lita) would buy her some goodies.  She did.  Faye got some cookies and candy.  Of course she had to bring some to Khan Khan, because he was at Judith’s also.  As for me, well I bought some more chips, but they didn’t have anymore BBQ Chippy’s in the larger bags, only the snack size.  Those are a waste of time for me.  The only Chippy’s they had left was 2 bags of the beef & chili, so I got both of them and 2 bags of Taquitos, 1 corn flavored and 1 cheese flavored.  After the market we went home.  We got back at 11:10.

We had brownouts today.  The ones I hate.  In a 12 minutes time span, from 2:03pm to 2:15pm, the electric went out, came back on, went out again, came back on once more, then went out again.  The last brownout lasted until 6:45pm.  We thought it was going to be an all nighter, but we got lucky.  From what I understand the electric was out all the way down to Catbalogan.  That’s like a 4 hour drive from here.  I don’t know what happen, but I’m sure glad they took care of it and got it back on today.  We was going to have to run the generator all night so we’d have the electric fan.  We don’t sleep well without at least a fan.

Everything is not rosy in the Philippines

Market Place

Okay now it’s time to explain about making up for the pictures tomorrow, I hope.  An engineer of the Ciriaco Hotel has invited me to tour the hotel.  It WAS suppose to happen tonight, but the brownout ruined that.  He is a regular customer here for either Titing’s lunch time or our BBQ.  He said that tonight they would be testing the lighting system in the ball room upstairs.  They did that last night also, and we could see the disco lights in at least 3 different windows, so it seems to be a pretty large ball room.  Precious was very fascinated with the lights, heck so was I.  I wasn’t pointing at the lights and laughing though.  I’m looking forward to visiting in there and taking pictures for the blog.  Y’all will be some of the very few to be able to see the inside of the hotel so soon.  I plan to take at least a dozen pictures, probably more.  Maybe 2 dozen.

In another matter concerning the hotel, there were 4 workers from Manila that work at the hotel eating here tonight.  I’m not sure what there job is there, but they have been here since day one, so I’m sure it’s something important.  Lita told them about this blog, I gave them the name of it and they said they would check it out.  Komo esta guys.  I told you I’d put you in the blog for tonight.  There it is.  Hope you liked the food you ate at our little BBQ and will be back for more.

We will be leaving for Tambis on Saturday morning at 0500.  Of course in this case, Filipino time will probably take affect and it’ll be more like 0600 or 0700 before we depart.  Whatever the case, I’ll be sure to bring the camera.  I’m going to put it next to my sunglasses and hat to be sure I don’t forget it again.

Mayon Volcano

This happens all the time.

That’s the end of my input for this evening.  Not a bad read if I say so myself, and I do.  Since I don’t have any new pictures from the camera yet, I found some pictures of the Philippines on line that I will share with you.  I hope everyone has a good day/night, whatever it is where you are now, and Ill be looking forward to typing up more for you tomorrow.  Which, by the way, will be my last post until probably Monday, maybe Tuesday.  Depends on what I feel like after the trip and whether I am able to stay awake long enough to do a post.  Please remember if you have a topic or a suggestion that you want to be discussed here, use the “What Should I Write About” option on the front page.

Tagalog word of the day:  Yesterday I told you about tulog (asleep), so staying along those lines, today you get: matulog  (ma-tu-log) which means sleep.

Philippine Trivia

  • Filipino Eriberto N. Gonzales Jr. consumed 350 chilis in 3 minutes at the annual Magayon Festival chili-eating contest held at Penaranda Park, Legazpi, Albay on May 27, 1999, making it to the Guiness Book of World Records for the most chilis eaten.
  • The longest possible eclipse of the Sun is 7 min. 31 sec. The longest eclipse in recent times took place west of the Philippines on June 20, 1995, lasting for 7 min. 8 sec.
  • Camiguin province holds the distinction of having the most number of volcanoes per square kilometer than any other island on earth. It is also the only place in the Philippines which has more volcanoes (7) than towns (5).
  • The 900 sq m Relief Map of Mindanao in Dapitan City was personally done by Dr. Jose Rizal. It was used as a device for teaching history and geography to townsfolk.
  • The Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park was founded in 1910 by Gov. John Pershing. It is one of the oldest golf courses in the Philippines.
  • Isabela City is the youngest city in the region. It was only on March 5, 2001 that the Municipality of Isabela, Province of Basilan was converted into a component city Through RA 9023. On April 25, 2001, Isabeleños ratified the new status of Isabela.
  • The Kinabayo is an exotic and colorful pageant re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish Wars, particularly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against the Saracens. They were able to reverse the tide of war with the miraculous apparition of St. James, the Apostle. A Kinabayo Festival is celebrated every July in Dapitan City, attracting thousands of tourists to the city.
  • The altar at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Dipolog City was designed by Dr. Jose Rizal. The Cathedral was erected by the Spanish friars sometime in 1895, before Dipolog City became a municipality.
  • The Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City is the original estate of Dr. Jose Rizal which he acquired by purchase during his exile in Dapitan from 1892 to 1896.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. Hello UJ. I stumbled upon this site. So, I thought I would write and let you know that there is someone who actually will right back. I like some of your daily posts. I live in Florida but was stationed in Texas while in the Air Force back in the late 70’s and early 80’s for a total of six years. I am retired from the Air Force and now work for the government. I will be retiring in Manila in three years with my Filipina wife. She has a townhouse in Las Pinas (NCR).

    Anyway, I think there are other sites that have been around with more posts and perhaps show up first. That’s just a guess. I note that some of the expat web sites have a hard time getting started. I don’t know why unless it is the limited number of expats in the Phils that bother to post on websites blogs. I also am reluctant to leave my email. My email is swamped from expat blogs and I cannot keep up with them all. Anyway, keep at it. I say never give up your right to have your say. PS: I also love classic rock. I use to be a big fan of Hank Jr. But that was back in my drinking days. “I like Girls” and “All my rowdy friends…” are a couple of the good ones. Loved the Statler Brothers. Just don’t listen to country music much anymore except some old Roadhouse tunes. Also some of the 70’s originators…Willie Nelson, Randy Travis, George Strait, and Alan Jackson were favorites.

    I enjoy some of your info. Keep at it. Love the pictures – keep more of them coming.


    • Thank you for leaving a comment. So many people just look and leave, so I have a hard time trying to figure out if I can do something to improved my site. I also was in the Air Force in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I retired in ’93. We are far from the Las Pinas area, but I have at least been through there a couple of times.
      Don’t worry about me sending anything to your e-mail, I never do things like that. I am not selling anything, nor do I plan to. I do hope to get sponsors on the site in case the readers want to look and/or buy, but I personally will never have anything to sell. I’ve only had this site since 21 Aug, so it’s relatively new. I’ve only been retired here since May this year. From the sounds of your comments, you read quite a bit, maybe all of my posts. I also was stationed in Texas, late 70’s..Webb AFB in Big Spring (1976-1977) (now closed) and Kelly AFB in San Antonio (1977-1981) (now closed). Also Bergstrom AFB in Austin (1985-1988) (also now closed). I’ve got a lot of pictures from my trip down south, and I’ll be putting them in a little at a time. I know all my days are not interesting, but I sure give it my best shot, and I would appreciate you continuing to read and commenting whenever you desire. If you need to know something in particular I will try to find out for you. Thanks again.

  2. Hi JJ! Back from Tambis? You weren’t able to tell me in detail which route you take but I gather that when you reach Abuyog you take the Mahaplag by Sogod [“so good”] to the St. Bernard area. So you wouldn’t be passing SL’s Pacific side of the island. Is Tambis north of San Juan municipality? How far north? You mentioned Catmon, too. Is it east of Catmon? Just trying to get a mental fix of the town.

    How was the trip? No mechanical problems I hope and you’re all safe and sound.

    We’re all “eyes” for the next blog. Keep typing!

    • Yes we are back, thank goodness. I’ll have more about how we got there in the post later, but for now I’ll tell you that Tambis is like between St. Bernard and Catmon. At least when we turn out of the main road (only road) in Tambis, left is Catmon and right is Tambis II, Bolo Bolo and St Bernard.
      No, no mechanical problems on this trip, everyone safe and sound now.
      New post later tonight, tonight for me.

      • Got it. Left to Catmon or right to St. Bernard, Tambis, Bolo Bolo. Next time I’m in the area, I’ll check it out. Thanks!

        Salamat kaayo. Maraming salamat. Gracias. Merci.

        • Just follow the signs to Guinsaugon, you have to pass right through Tambis to get there, because there is no other road.
          If you need anything while you are there, you could ask for Khany and/or Bebie Reonal. They are the cousins there. Their house is the newer looking 2 story house with the sari-sari store connected to it, on the main road, on the left. They’d be able to help you with little things that you might need. Or you could just stop and say howdy.

  3. wtf r you its been days since u wrote 2 hurry bk

    • I haven’t been around a computer Joyce. I told you I’d be gone. Back now. Expect a new post in about 12-15 hours. I’ll have today’s events plus Day 1 of our trip.

      • Forgot to tell you St. Bernard has about 3 internet cafes right around the farmers’ market. P30 an hour, in half hour increments. I believe Smart is the I/N service provider and I was pleasantly surprised that they’re as fast as their NorthAm counterparts. The cafes themselves leave a lot to be desired but they’re air-conditioned except for one that I know of. The downside is the kids who holler and yell as they play their video games; each pc user has at least 3-5 pals surrounding him; you can hardly hear yourself think. Where they get the extra cash, I’ve often wondered but people may not be as poor as commonly assumed. I have a favorite cafe in St. John/San Juan/Cabalian; not too noisy and comparatively clean. I mean the surroundings are painted in light colors and tidy, although I still bring anti-bacterial wipes and give the keyboard and mouse the works before I settle in. Hahaha. 😉

        Elsewhere where the are no i/n cafes I use Smart’s cell phone connection, hooking the Nokia to the laptop so I don’t have to go blind surfing the net while looking at the microscopic cellphone screen. Same price, 15 pesos for each half-hour or part thereof. But ssslllooowww! So I mainly use it for email, typing my posts ahead of time using a word processor then copying-and-pasting it after I log in. Otherwise I take the 25-minute drive to Cabalian.

        The tribulations of being out in the sticks. 🙁

        • I don’t normally look for the internet cafe’s while I’m there. We just go there to shop. Next time, if I remember, I’ll get a picture of one or two of those cafe’s.
          I’m sure mga bata will be able to tell me where one or all of them are.

  4. How are things

    • Things doing okay now that I’m back. Rough and only slightly interesting 3 nights in Tambis.

  5. Maybe you should consider opening a peso account. Then just use your ATM to withdraw your money instead of staying and waiting in Line. I do have an account in MetroBank which i monitor here in US. The minimum withdrawal is 50,000 pesos a day….not bad at all.
    Looking forward to your post on the new hotel.

    • Well long time no hear. I was wondering if you gave up on me. We do have a peso account, but the money I’m getting is my retirement check and it needs to be going to a US bank. I don’t mind waiting in line so much, at least not when the electric is on and the fan is turned in my direction. As far as the hotel goes, I’ll have to wait and see now. The night we were suppose to go was the brownout. I thought we’d go the next night, but there was a big party there. Just waiting on the guy to come here to eat again, probably tomorrow, and we’ll ask once more.

  6. I was suprised when you said you exchanged from dollar to peso at your bank,is it the same as on the street such as western union.In Angeles or Subic
    it was always higher on the street.When my wife and i would ride our motor bike from Calbayog to Catbalogan it would take us 2 hours,another good reason to get a motor bike and is a great ride not much traffic after you get out of Calbayog,faster if you go by yourself.

    • We just exchange at the bank because there really isn’t any other place here. There is a place inside JustMar that is ‘suppose’ to be like black market prices, but it’s not, it very close to the bank. It’s just easier to get it all done at one spot.
      It could be only 2 hours to Catbalogan, I don’t really remember. I will try to remember to keep track when we leave tomorrow. And we are never by ourselves when traveling.

  7. nice journal…enjoy your stay and enjoy the filipino hospitality…mabuhay!

    • Salamat po! We plan to stay for a long time. Salamat for leaving a comment too.

Texan in the Philippines