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Saturday – 13 Nov

Saturday – 13 Nov


[smartads] People in the Philippines can come up with all kinds of ideas to make money.  Lita gave him P70 and 1 ice candy.  Titing gave him P100.  Yeah that’s only about $4, but it’s a pretty good haul in the Philippines for only about 8 minutes of playing.  A lot of Filipinos work in the hot sun for 4-5 hours to make that kind of money.  His xylophone was made out of bamboo and for the metal he used soda bottle caps.  I liked it, but I have always like listening to someone that can really play the xylophone.

This morning I got up.  I have no idea what time it was because I forgot to write it down, but I did get up, of that I am sure of.

At 0111 this morning the hits were at 29149.  At 0808 they were at 29335.  Approximately 24 hours before the 29335 it was at 28463.  So that equates to 872 for 1 day or a little over 36 hits per hour.  My immediate goal is 50 per hour, so it’s not that far off.  I haven’t been checking for a 24 hour period, so I wonder if it does about the same everyday or was this a low or maybe a high day.  I’m going to start keeping track of that too.  Also this morning in Personal we were at #419 of 1562 (26.8%) and at #2115 of 6704 (31.5%) Overall.  Right now it is at #407 of 1571 (25.9%) and #2090 of 6761 (30.9%), so it is improving.

This is the main road in Tambis I.

The Reonal's new living room.

I changed the blog layout a little bit to make it more even on both sides.  The right side was about twice as long as the left and it didn’t look right to me.  I deleted the “Page” section that was on the right because it is already at the top in the menu line.  I moved the Translator and the Suggestion box to the left side.  I added a Link and deleted one, plus I added another blog site on the left.

I guess I should let y’all know how the weigh in went.  I was almost shaking when I got on that scale this morning.  It even took me just a little too long to look down to see what the numbers were that came up.  As it turns out, I didn’t really have to worry much.  Last time I weighed in, 31 Oct, I was at 130.6 kilos.  Today, 2 weeks later, I weighed exactly the same thing.  The lowest I’ve weighed since I’ve been here is 129.5 kilos, so I still need to get back to that, but it’s heaps better than the 149.9 kilos where I started out.  I’m still not exercising though.  I wonder if I could get J to go with me to do that?  Probably not because he’s a young, skinny guy, so he doesn’t do that kind of workout.  His daily life is a workout.

Lita went to the market again this morning.  I don’t even know what she bought, but it wasn’t anything for me.  I must have been things for the BBQ.  We’ve been getting a lot of people here recently for Titing’s lunch and our BBQ in the evening.  We’re still not making a killing, but at least it’s a little something so we don’t have to use so much of the other money we have.  We keep the money we make selling things separate from the retirement check anyway.

Lita is buying some peanuts from this guy.

Talking outside the grocery in St. Bernard.

Around 10:00am I made pancakes.  This time I made them from a new mix that I bought in Tacloban.  Actually it was Pillsbury Vanilla Creme pancake mix.  Lita had to send Lynn to buy a couple of eggs for the mix because we didn’t have anymore, plus normally we don’t need eggs for the mix.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but this mix was enough to make twice as much as the one I usually use.  Instead of making 5 or 6 medium pancakes, I made 8 large pancakes.  I followed the instructions on the box, but the pancakes weren’t turning out well, so I did it my way instead, and they were much better.  Lita, Vicky, Lynn & Robbie helped me eat all the pancakes.  Precious didn’t get any from me today because Cathy cooked pancakes earlier.  Although Cathy said that my pancakes were better than hers.

Tagalog word of the day:  itlog  (eat-log)  means egg.

Precious did get her ice candy today though.  She came by and Lita gave her the peso, she gave it to me, I gave it back to her and told her Auntie Lita would get it for her, so she gave the peso back to Lita.  Lita put it back where she got it from and then she gave Precious her ice candy.  That sweet little girl is a mess.  I don’t know what flavor she got today, because like I said, I didn’t get it, I stayed in the bedroom, watching TV.

At 11:57am we had another one of those less than a minute brownouts.  There was talk about a scheduled brownout tomorrow, but I think that turned out to be just that, talk.  It did rain again today pretty hard, but it didn’t last long.

There were 3 girls there, but the other 2 ran away when the camera came out.

The shorter girl is one of the twin girls.

I found out this evening that Marianne got a job.  She is a teacher at the same university that her father is the vice-president.  I’m guessing, but I think he had something to do with her getting the job.   She said that a lot of the students there think she is just another student, until she gets to the front of the class to start teaching.  She is pretty young, 23 or 24, and she looks even younger, but she has finished her college degree in Engineering and she is a very smart young lady.

I also found out this evening that J knows how to bake.  We plan  BROWNOUT…I’m running on battery power now.  I need to shutdown but will get back on as soon as the power comes back on, if it doesn’t take too long.

Well the power didn’t come back on until 0824 this morning.  My little battery powered fan worked a lot of overtime last night, as did Lita’s.  I was in the middle of making myself look good, so I couldn’t get here right away.  I was showering when the lights came back on.  I still needed to shave too, I hadn’t had a shave in 6 days.  When Titing shaved my at the river in Catmon was the last time.  Then I had to brush my teeth.  I was in the CR for quite awhile so Lita started getting worried and of course when she decided to check on me, I had a mouthful of Listerine, so I couldn’t answer her properly.  I don’t think she does that on purpose, but she sure does it a lot.

They put up this tarp at the river to keep the sun off us.

1 thing that was nice about being at the river was the nice background.

Back to the previous story before the brownout.  J can bake.  We plan to buy an oven later anyway.  We’d like to be the first to have a bakery in this area.  Right now if you need any baked goods, you have to travel all the way downtown.  That was one of the original plans we had before we moved here.  We had a different baker in mind, but she hasn’t been here since we’ve been here this trip.  She lives in Manila and wanted to move back here, but I guess things changed.  Anyway I hope that pretty soon we will be able to have a bakery here.

Okay for our final day of vacation.  It was mostly a travel day.  I couldn’t wait to get to Tacloban, but I had to.  I was so hungry.  I still hadn’t eaten anything since the oatmeal.  Lita tried to make me some pancakes earlier that morning, but whatever she did to them, they just tasted nasty.  I was hungry and I couldn’t eat them, so you know they were no good because that rarely happens with something I like.  In fact, it’s only the 2nd time it’s ever happen that I can remember.  So when we got to Robinson mall I was so happy to get into KFC.  I didn’t really want to go to Shakey’s because if I did, I would have ordered a whole pizza just for me, and I would have eaten the whole thing by myself.  I think that my weigh in would not have gone as well, if I would have done that.  All I ended up eating was 1 breast, 1 zinger (had to take off half the mayo), 2 chicken strips, 2 mashed potatoes, 1 corn and 2 mountain dews.  I could have eaten twice that, but I held back.  The mashed potatoes and corn are really small portions though.  Even the breast is Filipino sized, not American sized, so it’s not quite as bad as it looks.  I really liked that zinger.  Next time we go back and we go to KFC, I’ll going to get 2 of those and try to get them to ease up on the mayo.

I jumped ahead a little there.  I couldn’t wait to talk about the food, so I must be hungry now.  I want to get this post out before I eat though.  Before we got to Tacloban and as we were passing through Silago, Jun appeared again.  He got on in the same town where he got off.  I guess it all got coordinated through text messages, because he was right there waiting for us.  Once we got to Tacloban and before the mall, the other Jun showed up.  We were parked on the side of the road picking up something, and he just appeared over the back of the truck.  He just happen to be passing by, because he lives in Tacloban, and saw us.  Lita made sure she told him that we’d be back taken next month and we’d stop by to see him then.  Maybe trading in the Nissan, maybe not.

They caught these eel while at the river.

This is that Tanduay rhum that is so popular here.

We did our shopping at the supermarket, J was with us.  I couldn’t find the Underwood Chicken Spread and no one I asked that worked there seemed to know what I was talking about.  I found 4 cans of chicken noodle soup and I got all of them.   I should have gotten the cream of potato too, but I didn’t.  Next trip, I’ll get all I can, that I like.

After shopping I went to find out how much a 1500W transformer is, it’s almost P5700 for a good one or P3500 for the cheaper one.  We forgot to get the pump for the toilet and the door knob.  We’re going to have to do that next trip or just buy them here.  We’ll probably just wait until next trip since it’ll only be next month anyway.

When we left the mall it was a classic case of what happens when I don’t know the entire plan of what’s happening.  Lita forgot the name of the place where the truck was parked.  We were in a taxi and she and J had him going in circles.  We passed the mall twice.  Finally we got a hold of Titing on the cell phone and he gave a more exact location.  The taxi driver figured it out and we got there.  It cost us like twice it should have though because of the screw up.  I think that if we do trade in the Nissan, we should get an automatic, that way if necessary, I will be able to drive.  It’s just much easier if I do things like that myself.  I’m used to doing them anyway from in the States.  In this case, I just needed to be in on what was going on as to where we would meet them.  We had to meet them because they didn’t want to park that big truck in the mall parking lot.  If we are in the situation again, I’ll be sure to force myself into the loop.

Well I’m going to post this now.  Wish I had some chex mix (Jaclyn).  I’m already taking notes for the post tonight, so I hope we won’t have anymore problems.

Philippine Trivia

  • Kibungan is known as the “Switzerland of Bengued” because of the frost during the cold months
  • The Delmonte Pineapple Plantation in Bukidnon is considered to be the biggest in the far east
  • Both Tridacna gigas, one of the world’s largest shells, and Pisidum, the world’s tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters. Tridacna gigas grows as large as one meter in length and weighs 600 pounds while Pisidum is less than 1 millimeter long. A shell called glory of the sea (Connus gloriamaris) is also found in the Philippines and considered as one of the most expensive shells in the world.
  • Seahorses are small saltwater fish belonging to the Syngnathidae family (order Gasterosteiformes), which also includes pipefish and sea dragons. Most seahorse species, probably the most peculiar creatures in the water, live in the Coral Triangle. There are at least 50 known seahorse species in the world. They inhabit temperate and tropical waters but most of them are concentrated in the warm coastal waters of the Philippines.
  • Donsol, a fishing town in Sorsogon province, serves as a sanctuary to a group of 40 whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), which are considered as the largest fish in the world. Locally known as “butanding”, whale sharks visit the waters of Donsol from November to May. They travel across the oceans but nowhere else have they been sighted in a larger group than in the waters of Sorsogon. They measure between 18 to 35 feet in length and weigh about 20 tons.
  • The Philippines is home to some of the world’s most exotic birds.
    One of the most endangered species is the exotic Kalangay or the Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), which belongs to Psittacidae or the family of parrots. Some cockatoos can live up to 50 years. They are known for mimicking human voices. Most of them measure 33 centimeters in length and weigh 0.29 kilogram.
  • Palawan bearcat is neither a bear nor a cat. Known in Southeast Asia as binturong, the bearcat is a species of its own, with population in the forests of Palawan, Borneo, Burma and Vietnam. It belongs to the family of Viverridae (civets). The Palawan bearcat has a long body and a pointed face leading to the nose. Its head and body measure 61 to 96 centimeters in combined length while its tail is almost as long. It weighs 9 to 14 kilograms and lives up to 20 years.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. i like readin ur blog its like gettin a letter from you every day.

  2. I try to read your blog every day to keep up with what is going on in Calbayog. Keep up with the good work. God willing and if the creek does not rise, looking forward to being there in May.

    • George are you coming to Calbayog? My mind has had so many things going on, I don’t remember where you are going in the PI. If you get here in May, that is when we are suppose to be going to Korea for a few days, with Jaclyn and family.

  3. UJ,
    Keep up the good work. Do not become discouraged on your blog. I read a few other blogs from expats in the RP and yours is more informative to me. Keep tellling the stories about daily life and the people in your life. Keep posting pics of daily life. That is what makes your blog unique. It keeps me coming back, even if I don’t post daily, rest assured, I read it daily. Actually, there is only one other blog I read daily. You’re doing great, keep it up!

    • I’m glad to hear that. I was afraid everyone was getting bored with my life and it not being that exciting. I hope there are more people that think the same way you do. It is hard to keep writing when I don’t see comments. I see that someone is stopping by to read, but mostly they do not leave comments. I just think it is someone that stops by, reads a little and just leaves. I just don’t know what to think sometimes. It’s been almost 3 months now since I started this blog. I’m going to give it a year and I’m hoping by then, I’ll start having an income from it. If not, I may continue to blog anyway, just maybe once or twice a week instead. I don’t really want to do that, because I’d have so much information, I’d have to cut down on the rambling that some people here like, or the blog will end up being twice as long as it is already. Thanks for letting me know that. It gives me a little spark. Now if I can get some more sparks, I’ll have the fire burning again.

Texan in the Philippines