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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Friday – 25 Feb

Friday – 25 Feb

[smartads] Well I finally got my camera back from Titing.  He was having a problem getting the pictures from his Boracay trip transferred from the camera to his computer.  That has been accomplished now, but it’s too late to take any pictures today.  I will have pictures of another city in the Philippines today and next post will go back to the regular pictures.  I haven’t heard anything from anyone about whether it’d be okay to have these Philippine city pictures every 2 or 3 posts, so I’m assuming that y’all prefer my regular pictures, so that’s what I will do unless I run out or hear anything different.

Useless Knowledge: Back in the 1600s, thermometers were filled with brandy instead of mercury. (they probably changed because people kept breaking the thermometers to drink the brandy, and because mercury is more accurate).

Tagaytay in Cavite Province

24 Feb – Hits @ 0135 = 145891.  I was up and moving around at 0801 today.  I filled the hot water thermos and turned it on to heat the water up to make some instant grits.  While the water was heating, I came in to check my hit status.  THIS IS NOT A TYPO!  Hits @ 0835 = 147851.  That’s 1,960 views in 7 hours.  I’m was so happy I ‘almost’ cried.  Yes I double checked and even tripled checked to make sure that it was accurate, it was.  Even as recent as last week, if you would have told me that there would be that many views in such a sort time frame, I would have told you, “Maybe someday”.  I guess ‘someday’ is here.

I know that I never did list the top ten things I hate about living in the Philippines, but if I did don’t expect the brown outs or lack of quality beef to be at the top of the list.  Right now the #1 thing that I hate about living in the Philippines (or at least Calbayog) is the phone system.  I can not even call my neighbor, if they have a different phone system, without getting charged for long distance.  An example that just recently happen to me is I needed to call Mar about renting his car with our MJ Car Rental, but he has a Smart phone and I have a Globe phone.  From my understanding, this is not normal throughout the Philippines, just in this area because of some agreement that never got signed between companies to use each others system interchangeably.  I’ll bet that with the Ciriaco Hotel starting to get into full swing and the Gaisano Grand Mall being built here will change all that.  These big businesses can’t have something ‘stupid’ like that holding back their business, so they will be sure that that is taken care of shortly after they are up and running.

Tagaytay - Canyon Woods Residental Resort

I had a problem with the blog today after doing an update.  I finally figured out what the problem was with a little help from Mindanao Bob at:  It was just one of my plug ins, the one for AdBrite was the problem.  I had to deactivate it.  I wasn’t getting rich off their ads anyway.

Tagalog Word of the Day: malaki (mah-lah-key) means big.

Lita went to the market again today and bought some pork chops.  Our new helper, whom I will have to call “Mintsy” for right now because neither Lita or I actually know what her name is and it sounds something like that, went with her to the market.  Mintsy told us her name, but we forget, and it’s an unusual name, as are many names here in the Philippines.  I’m not sure how old she is either.  She’s probably at least 16, but I gave up trying to guess the ages of Filipinas.  Some of the 20 year old ones look like they are only 12, so I just look and never touch.  She is another camera shy Filipina.  It seems that we get a lot of those around here, but all the ones on the street are always posing for pictures.  Oh well, I did manage to get this picture, but I’m sure I can do better.


They bought pork chops at the market.  As you may or may not know by now, I do not like to eat pork much, but I did eat 2 of these.  Actually it was more like 1 1/2 because a lot of this pork was fat, and I won’t eat the pork fat (but I eat bacon..yeah I know it’s weird).

Tagaytay - Meditation Garden

25 Feb – Hits @ 0335 = 150821.  Check it…that’s 4,930 views in 26 hours.  That averages almost 190 hits per hour.

Today was one of those days that I didn’t bother looking at the clock when I got out of bed.  When I got up, I was ‘less than dressed’, the window was open and Cathy was outside washing up.  I was trying to get dressed before she ‘accidentally’ looked up and I just made it.  Right as I finished, she looked up.  She thought I was sneaking a peek at her, and maybe I was, just a little, but she was fully clothed, she was just using a basin of water to freshen up.

After I got up and made my morning CR trip, Lita had me working already.  I had to do the dreaded calamansi (small Filipino lemons) squeezing.  I did, I don’t know, it had to be over 100 of those things.  She uses it for one of the ingredients in her ‘secret’ BBQ sauce.  Before I did the calamansi though, I cut up 3 of the small onions, fried them up and cooked a couple of eggs on top of them.  I made a couple of sandwiches with that mixture.  It was good a normal, because of the seasoning that I have available to use that was special mixed by Lita.  The only thing I was missing was the tabasco sauce, but I can’t find any of that around here.  I’ll be sure to get 2 or 3 large bottles when I get to Tacloban next month.  We will definitely be going this time because we will be passing through there on the way back from Tambis.  Tambis has one of it’s festivals in March, and we always go to those.

Tagaytay City

I went in to check on the hits on the website at 1010 this morning just to smile at how many hits I’ve been getting,  and I smiled some more.  So at 0335 this morning it was 150821 and at 1010 this morning they were 151724.  Chalk up another 903 hits.

Some of the things that I noticed people looking for, because I can check with the limited FeedJIT real time view, I have decided to give some answers to, somewhat anyway, just in case there are others that are looking for that information.  I wish I could afford the Pro version of this because I find it interesting to know what people search for when they happen upon the website.  It also shows other when they show up, which site they came from, if any and which site they went to from here, if any.

Peoples Park in the Sky

I wrote down 4 things that I wanted to respond to for those people searching.  The first 3 I will give answers to and/or provide website locations that I found some information about on the subject.

Tagaytay - Aerial View - People's Park in the Sky

1.  How much does it cost for Tanduay Rhum?  Well in the stores here in Calbayog it cost around P23.5.  At our little LolyKat sari-sari store we charge P25.  This is for a 1/4 liter (250ml) bottle.

2.  Do they plan to build a Gaisano Mall in Catbalogan?  I guess this person is wondering why they would build a big mall in a smaller city than Catbalogan before they built one there.  Well according to this website: wiki/List_of_shopping_malls_in_the_Philippines#Gaisano_Malls – the answer to your question is No!  They are not scheduled for a Gaisano Mall or another other mall that I can find.  I guess you’ll have to be happy with Guiuan Shopping Center, Novo Department Store and Catbalogan Centro for now.  Maybe the people at this website: – can give you a better answer.  That is the official website for the City of Catbalogan.

Tagaytay - Reception Center - People's Park in the Sky

3.  Some did a search for Samar Provincial Hospital.  Here is a webpage that lists ALL of the hospitals in and around Calbayog City.,or.&fp=2ce4b7de8d5212a -hope that is helpful for someone.

Tagaytay - View1 - People's Park in the Sky

4.  This is just an observation that I had when looking over the FeedJIT list.  Someone from Vastra Frolunda, Vastra Gotaland in Sweden, seemed very interested in all the Expat sites.  Hopefully they found what they were looking for.  If you are looking for something in an expat site and you don’t find it…ask.  We know lots of things, we do a lot of talking amongst each other and between us, I pretty sure we can come up with an answer pretty quickly.

Tagaytay - View2 - People's Park in the Sky

Sorry if any of those things you have to cut/paste, I still don’t know how to make it come up with a link every time.  Also since I am typing this from a different format than I have been in the past, I would have to research more to find out about how to do that.  I will though, pretty soon.

Well that’s the end of this post.  Stayed tuned for more details on the Gaisano Grand Mall Calbayog, Ciriaco Hotel and Resort, Blue Gazebo Cafe and LolyKat.

Tagaytay Highland Golf Course

Useless Knowledge: Plants that are dependent on bats for pollination include bananas, dates, figs, cashews, avocados, saguaros, organ pipes, century plants, cloves, mangoes, breadfruit, carob, kapok, and almost every tropical night-blooming species, including the mescal plant. That’s right without bats, there would be no tequila!  (I had no idea about this, but it’s something I will always remember now).

Tagaytay Ridge

There are many beautiful pictures of Tagaytay at this website:

Today in Philippines History


MacArthur and Yamashita

Gen. Douglas MacArthur – Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita
1945 – American colonial authorities in the Philippines hang Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese forces during World War II, in Los Banos, Laguna after a swift, ‘kangaroo court trial’; United States Gen. Douglas McArthur had appointed a military commission whose rules he himself set and the charges he also himself drew up, with the body unsurprisingly finding Yamashita guilty of failure to discharge the duty ‘to control the operations of the members of his command’ and for supposedly even allowing them to ‘commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes’ against Americans and people from its ally and dependent countries; Yamashita denied knowing and permitting the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese in Manila, with evidence even suggesting that members of the Japanese Naval Force had refused to heed his command to move out of Manila and that he really had no command over the same during the February 3, 1945 battle in Manila; it is said that MacArthur aimed at turning Yamashita’s trial into a showcase in the bid, apparently to cover up the fact that he fled Manila soon after the Japanese invasion in 1941; while Yamashita’s case will be appealed before the U.S. High Court, the decision of McArthur’s War Crimes Board will be upheld in a split vote, with Justice Ruthledge opining that it is “the worst in the Supreme Court’s history, not even barring Dred Scott”.

Pres. Manuel Roxas- Mons. Michael O’Doherty

Manuel Roxas and Archbishop collage

1947 – Philippine President Manuel A. Roxas and Manila Archbishop Michael O’Doherty formally sign an agreement whereby the government will acquired a total of eight estates owned by the Roman Catholic Church for the price of P5,630,000, with such estates to be sold later in small lots and at reasonable prices to the tenants; the agreement comes six months after the Philippines was granted “independence” by the imperialist United States following World War II; Monsignor O’Doherty will be the last foreigner and the second and last American to occupy the post of Manila Archbishop, having been assigned in September 1916, some two years after the last shots of the Filipino-American War (1899-1914) were fired and the Philippines “pacified” [Read: completely subdued] by the Bald Eagle nation.

Photo credits:
His Grace, The Most Reverend Michael J. O'Doherty, D.D.


General Edilberto T. Evangelista

General Edilberto T Evangelista

1862 – Filipino revolutionary General Edilberto T. Evangelista, is born in Santa Cruz, Manila during the Spanish colonial times; a civil engineering graduate from Belgium’s University of Ghent, he would be responsible for ably directing all the entrenchment and defense works of the Filipino revolutionaries, thus giving the Spanish colonial forces considerable trouble in the many battles during the Philippine Revolution of 1896; Evangelista will heroically perish during a battle defending the Sapote river in Cavite on February 17, 1897.

Photo credit:


  1. Just a quick note about the Phones in the Ceriaco hotel. ALthough there is phones in the rooms you can only call the front desk. Apparently the technician hasnt found the time as of yet to set up the system for any outside calls. So if needed you have to call the front desk for any or all outside services or help. Just so you know !

    • That’s good to know and I will quote you in the next blog as being true a/o January 2011.

  2. I’m not sure what I did, but I think I actually fixed it. In fact the way I was doing it before magically appeared again. I’ll try not to screw it up this time,although it really wasn’t my fault.

    • Problem solved. Good job!

      • It just kind of magically happen. I don’t know where the original set up I had went, but it came back. I’m happy about that too because the blog is doing so well these days.
        I’m adding new stuff right now. Comments for the hotels, from people who have actually stayed at them. I’ve only got 3 so far, but will have more soon.

  3. No pics here either, John. I’m not having problems on other sites. I’ll check back tomorrow sometime.

Texan in the Philippines