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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Texas Relatives Galore

Texas Relatives Galore


[smartads] This post will be dedicated to my family.  I do not have very current pictures but I will put in here what I have.  I am doing this because on November 10, 2011 my parents will celebrate their 55th Wedding Anniversary.  In the day and age that sees so many divorces, I believe this to be a wonderful accomplishment.  I hope to someday also be married as long, but Lita and I are still 23 1/2 years behind that.  Lets think about that for a second, 55 years is over a half a century.  Sometimes it seems I’ve been married forever and they are 23 years ahead of me. Of course there are the times that it seems we just got married and all of a sudden we are older.  I guess all couples that have been married for many years have the same feelings, even my parents.  It’s not too often I can get them in a nice picture together, but the one above turned out pretty good.

John Michael (our son), Me (with Antonio) and Lita

Hits:  The last hit count was at 1563837.  At this time 10:27pm (Thursday), the hits are at 1,584,932 for 3 days worth of them.  That’s a total of 21,095 hits and an average of 7031.66 per day.  That would be 2,566,556 hits at that rate in a years time.

Cindy (sister)

New Link Added:  I added a new link under “Other Expat Sites”.  It is a brand new blog and there are only 2 posts on it at this time.  The guy that owns it is named Tom.  He is a constant reader of this site.  I look forward to seeing his perspective on life in the Philippines, learning about and from him also.  The mixture of his knowledge with his sense of humor should make it an interesting blog to continue checking out. His introductory posts can be seen here.  I think you will like it, I did.

Michael (my only brother) 

YouTube:  I got tired of trying to load another video on YouTube.  It would not load.  I was trying to upload the video of the guy playing Christmas songs on his bamboo xylophone.  I did find out that it is not that unique.  There are several videos on YouTube already with the same thing.  This one will be unique to us though.  I did add a smaller video.  It’s the one about the “Big Man making a Big Splash”.  If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you may remember that one.  It was the first video I put on this site. It is only :26 long, so go check it out right here if you want to.  If you do view it, please remember to leave a comment of some kind and maybe click “Like” or “Not Like”.  You might as well look at my video of the kids singing the Philippine National Anthem while you are there.  That’s right here though, just in case you have a problem getting to it.

Patrick (Wanda’s husband) & Wanda (sister)

MegaVideo:  I started an account at MegaVideo so I could upload that bamboo xylophone player and it was working, but it was going to take over 10 1/2 hours to upload and process a 6:14 video.  I didn’t feel like waiting that long, so I stopped it.  I will continue trying with YouTube, at least when/if it does work, it doesn’t take more than 2 or 3 hours.

Neighbor:  If you will recall, at one time I had a post that had me wondering whether or not our next door neighbor was a male or female. Well that problem has been solved, because she is pregnant.  I’ve seen her walk by in front of the house a few times and that belly is definitely not a beer gut.  It couldn’t be anything else but pregnant.

Joyce (youngest sister)
Joyce and Shaun (our oldest grandson)

Scheduled Brown Out:  I found out Wednesday morning at 0830 that we had a scheduled brown out from 0800 to 1000 today.  The electric actually didn’t go out until 0807.  I have no idea why they have a scheduled brown out when they have already had 1 12-hour scheduled one and a couple of other unscheduled ones.  You know I have talked with many expats around the Philippines and I do believe that here in Samar has the worst record for brown outs.  I don’t know what it is.  The big city of Manila has less brown outs and the small town of St. Bernard has less brown outs.  We are in between in size and geographical location, but the outages continue relentlessly.  The electric did come back on at around 10:15 and we have not had an incident since then.

Well crap, I spoke too soon.  At 5:18pm today (Thursday) we had one of those 1 minute brown outs.  It also knocked the cable system out and there is not telling when that will come back up.  It could be out the rest of the night or come back on in 10 minutes.  I know it was out a couple of minutes after the electric came back on, but that’s not uncommon at all.  I hope it comes back up before 100 Days to Heaven comes on this evening between 7:30 and 8:00, it’s not really scheduled at an exact time.  There are only 4 more days left before Anna’s time on Earth is done and they still have big things to resolve.  ***Oh good at 6:20pm Lita turned the TV on to check the cable and it was up already.  I wonder if there will be anymore problems with the cable and/or the electric between now and the end of 100 Days to Heaven.

Rose and the grandsons

Ciriaco Crack Up:  I found out on Wednesday evening, from Lita, that the Ciriaco Hotel van was in an accident Wednesday.  One of the passengers, a Japanese, was taken to the hospital.  I do not know the extend of his injuries at this time.  I do not know yet if it was the fault of the Ciriaco driver, but I do know that he is a good driver.  The van is still at the accident location the last time that we knew anything about it.  I looked for it at the hotel and that’s when I was informed that no one has moved it yet.  I will see what I can find out about this and keep you up to date.  I might even have something before I actually publish this post tomorrow evening.

Speaking of the Ciriaco Hotel, I was wondering why there are other websites higher on Google than my site.  I was under the impression that sites that had the most information about a place were higher on the search list.  I guess it doesn’t exactly work that way.  Probably the more popular places get priority on the search list even when they do not have much, or in some cases, no information about the hotel itself.  Well I can tell you that this site has more information and pictures than any other site that I have seen on the web, including the Ciriaco Hotel website.  The Agoda and TripAdvisor websites pale in comparison to what I have.  In fact I think I will get more update pictures and add them to the site, double check the rates and talk to a couple of employees to find out their real opinion of the hotel.  I already know that many of the working class there do not eat in the restaurant (Cafe Elsa) because they do not get a discount and the prices are too high for them.  I may even go all out and get as much information as I can gather and make a special, separate, up-to-date post just for the Ciriaco Hotel and Resort.

Our oldest niece Chris (Cindy’s) and her husband Jason
Our niece Jaclyn (Joyce’s) and her husband Matt

Ado:  I found out today, Thursday, that Ado’s multi-cab has been down and out since Sunday.  You would think that I would notice something like that sooner.   I have noticed him around a bit more recently, but I never realized that his vehicle was down.  He’s a good mechanic, he has to be, so he probably just needs some money to get parts.  I wished I had it to give to him or at least loan to him.  Someday, if we ever win a lottery, I’m going to buy him a new multi-cab and he won’t even have to pay me back.  Ado has helped us quite a bit around here, but everyone is pretty helpful at times.  He does get to stay at home with the kids more, and they like that, but he still needs to earn a living and that is his main source of income.  He does help around the house when he is at home, but he doesn’t get paid for it of course.  I’m sure he will find a way to get going again by at least Monday morning.

Nephews Jayson Farmer (Joyce’s) (oldest nephew) and Randy Jackson (Wanda’s) with their respective daughters Kaley and Maddie
Jonathan, Ashley, Chris and Cody – Brothers and Sisters, our Nieces and Nephews (Cindy’s children)

Useless Knowledge:  The Sperm whale has the biggest brain of any mammal.   Its brain weighs up to 20 pounds, while the human brain weighs 3 pounds.

Bourne Information: I just saw on TV that they may be making a new Bourne movie in the Philippines.  The Bourne Legacy, which is book #4 would be the name of it.  I believe this is the one that Jason finds out that his son may still be alive and out to kill him.  I don’t have the book here with me, it’s in storage in Texas.  I have 4 of them here, but not that one.  I’m glad to see that Joan Allen will also be in this movie, she really made the Bourne Supremacy and the Bourne Ultimatum better.  I noticed that they will be changing the name of the character, so I wonder why it is still called the “Bourne” Legacy.  Maybe for box office purposes.  I found out that information here.  I hope that this movie is very popular.  Popular enough that they will decide to continue with the series.  This would be #4 and there are at least 7 books, even though I have not read #7 yet.  I wonder how close to the book they will stay?  They are not even close on the rest of them, but they were still good movies.  The Bourne Supremacy is my favorite of the three.

Brother in Law Joey Farmer (Joyce’s husband) with their grandson Wyatt (Jaclyn’s)

Launch Pad?:  I see that a lot of people like to use this website as a kind of ‘launching pad’.  They check out my site, then they click on one of my links to check out another site.  After they are done with that, they come back to this site and click on another site to visit.  That’s good for me.  It tells me that I have supplied information or a link to the information that people want.  It also gives me more hits with each return visit, so that definitely a good thing.

The Sweetest Lady in the World Stops By:  Neneng dropped by to bring us some rice.  Lita has been wanting rice all day and we were going to buy some tomorrow, but now we don’t have too.  Lita is getting ready to re-open the BBQ on Monday and when they order food, they have to have their rice.  It’s definitely a main staple here.  In case you don’t know or don’t remember from a way earlier post, I consider Neneng to be the “sweetest lady in the world” and her husband, Titing to be “the coolest dude that ever lived”.  After all this time of us being here, they have not given me any reason to retract my analysis.  ***Look she is bringing Lita a bowl of soup that she made at home right now. I stand by my assessment of her.  **Wait!** As if that wasn’t enough, about 30 minutes later Neneng showed up to give Lita a massage.  Lita has been feeling a lot of bodily pains recently and I’m a bit too strong to give her a proper massage.  Neneng used some Efficascent oil and gave her a neck, shoulder, leg, foot and head massage for almost an hour.  Now you can’t tell me that she’s not the “sweetest lady in the world”.

David Risen – Brother in Law – Cindy’s Husband

To the Tagalog Speakers out there reading:  I found out today that recently I have been spelling “Paalam” as “Palaam” on each post and no one out there has caught it.  Well maybe you did catch it and decided it wasn’t worth mentioning.  Just for the record, if you do find a mistake on this blog, it’s okay to say something to me, I don’t mind.  I like learning too.  Please let me know if you see an error.  That is not only for the Tagalog words or just for the Tagalog speakers either.  Any error on anything is okay to inform me.

Calbayog Story Links:

David Jackson (nephew, Wanda’s) with his niece Maddie

Conclusion:   It’s not a very interesting post today, but it is up to date on all the information that I could come up with.  I’m sure I missed something though.  I try to write down things as I learn about them, even if it’s just a short note.  Just something to jog my memory about the incident and that’s when you get the long posts because I let my fingers type and disengage my brain.  As I stated earlier, all the pictures on here are not so current, but I figure they are close enough so you can see basically what everyone looks like.

Other Interesting Sites:–2

Salamat Paalam!

Today in Philippine History


Aniceto Lacson y Ledesma

1898 – The provisional revolutionary  government in Negros is established and a constitution promulgated a day after  Spanish  capitulation to Filipino revolutionaries in Negros  province during the Philippine Revolution; to be referred to as the  Cantonal Republic of Negros, supposedly subordinate to the central government of the  Revolutionary/First Philippine  Republic, it has the following set of elected officers: Aniceto Lacson, President; Juan Araneta,  Secretary of War; Eusebio Luzuriaga, Secretary  of Treasury; Simeon Lizares, Secretary of  Interior; Nicolas Golez, Secretary of Fomento;  Antonio Jayme, Secretary of Justice; Agustin  Amenablar, Secretary of Agriculture and  Commerce; and Melecio Severino, Executive  Secretary; the Spanish capitulation and succeeding inauguration of the Negros Republic  and its constitution came came more than two  months  following the infamous Mock Battle of  Manila wherein the emerging  imperialist nation, the United States, and colonial Spain falsely  made it appear before the world  that it is the  Americans, and not the  Filipino, who defeated the Spanish colonizers.

1751 – Some two centuries into the Spanish  colonial rule, an auditor of the Royal Audiencia  of the colony, the Philippine Islands, Don Pedro Enriquez, reports on  his pacification efforts for the villages of  Taguig, Hagonoy, Paranaque, Bacoor, and  Cavite Viejo; the colonial villages had staged  revolts owing to onerous agrarian conditions but a general  pardon has been proclaimed, along with the  promise of hearing the natives’ complaints and  the carrying out of justice.


1762 – British colonial forces capture Pasig a  month after the surrender of Manila by the  Spaniards led by acting governor-general Archbishop Manual Antonio Rojo; some four  days earlier, the British authorities that at that  point occupied Manila and Cavite, which lie  along the harbor, issued a proclamation  granting Filipino residents with rights enjoyed  by other subjects of the British crown; Britain’s  occupation came amidst the Seven Years War  between the two European powers.
1899 – San Jose, Nueva Ecija is captured by enemy American invaders apparently without resistance  nine months into the bloody and protracted Philippine-American War (1899-1914); the capture comes nearly a month after the imperialist United States forces started a major offensive that involved the influx of troops in  the bid to invade the Southeast Asian archipelago, with Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy going into hiding and further retreating northwards; the Filipino freedom fighters in much of Luzon and also the Visayas and Mindanao islands would later stage guerilla-style defense of their motherland against the imperialist Bald Eagle for well over a decade.    Photo credit:


1892 – Filipino revolutionary Ramon Basa is  initiated into the Kagalanggalangang Katipunan  nang  manga Anak nang  Bayan (KKK), a secret  society aimed at attaining Philippine  independence against Spain; Basa will become  the second president of the Supreme Council of the Katipunan after  Deodato Arellano and preceding Supremo Andres  Bonifacio y de Castro who will serve as the  driving soul of the Revolution launched in August 1896 after its  premature discovery by Spanish colonial  authorities until he was deposed and executed by the camp of Emilio F. Aguinaldo in May 1897.
Hen. Mariano Llanera

1855 – Mariano Llanera, future barrio chief and municipal captain, mason, patriot and general  in the Philippine Revolution against Spain, is born in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija; Llanera, who would fight in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija, would adopt a revolutionary black flat with a white letter K on the left and a white skull atop a cross of two bones, the design of which was based from the initiation rites of the secret-society-later-turned-revolutionary-government Kagalanggalangang Katipunan  nang  manga Anak nang  Bayan (KKK), and  which Supremo Andres Bonifacio would refer to as “Bungo ni Llanera” or Llanera’s Skull; Llanera,  would also be known for leading the “first cry of Nueva Ecija” in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija  on September 2, 1896, a victorious attack on the local Spanish government that signaled the participation of the province in the Revolution.

1937 – Tagalog is recommended to be the basis  of the national language of the Philippines by  the Institute of National Language during the  colonial American period; the Institute, created  a year earlier through Act No. 184 by the  National Assembly, was given the responsibility  of studying the various languages of the  Southeast Asian country with the aim of  evolving and developing a common national  language; less than a month after the Institute  submitted the recommendation, President  Manuel L. Quezon would proclaim  Tagalog-based Filipino as the national language  of the Philippines.

Photo credit:


  1. Thank you for posting the pictures! It’s been so long since I have seen everyone. I want to go to Belton now. Not sure if I have told you yet, but I have a 4 yr old daughter now, Aryanna. She’s been mine since Dec 16th, 2011.

  2. My father is also 90 yo he was on the first beach landing ay palo beach code name Red Beach

    • If you have a story from your father and care to write it down, I’d be happy to post it here. I would like to read it and I think many others would also.

  3. Looking forward for the link. Try submitting an article to ViewsHound. Right now you can sell your article to a buyer at $6.00 per 100 words( exclusive right) or $1.20 for 100 words (non-exclusive). This is a new program by VH.( I believe you have to sign on Facebook to be able to submit an article. I am earning about $5.00 a month on my adsense. Luckily, I am not depending on it. It will be nice to earn more, also. Happy Veterans Day!

    • I tried submitting an article to that ViewsHound site, but it never works. I tried 2 different stories at least 8 times and there is always something wrong, or Google crashes.
      I also tried to submit a picture, but the same thing happens.
      I gave up. Maybe I’ll try again later.

  4. Okay John I will share with you a bit of wisdom that I gained from the show called Manswers. In order to determine the gender of the young lady that you have been romancing all night you just have to look at the index finger. On men it is shorter than the ring finger and on women it is the same length. Boy what I would have given to know this earlier in life. Haha joking! or am I? wink wink! I enjoyed your pictures. I have been working on my site but am taking a break to prepare for our Paqciuo party. We are the only ones in our place to get the pay per view so we invite everyone to come and watch and have lunch. I think this is the fourth time we are doing this. It is a great way to meet everyone. Also it makes me more approachable to everyone because they find out that I am friendly. I was teasing my friend that is the lay priest at our barrio church this morning. I told him that he is gonna be awful lonesome there at the church on Sunday morning because everyone will be at my house for the fight.

    • I use to watch Manswers all the time. In fact I was watching a couple of their videos today. The one about washing a car with their boobs and does size matter (in guns).
      I don’t know if you are joking or not, and I really don’t want to know either.
      Glad you liked the pictures, but I wish I had more current ones.
      I will not be watching the fight. I’m not interested in boxing, but just about everyone else around here will be watching. Of course if they have free beer and eats, I’ll be there.
      I hope that Congressman Paqciuo loses actually. I doubt he will though.

      • You might want to keep you good wishes for Paqciuo’s opponent under your hat. He is the only modern day hero here in the Philippines so we have to respect that. I have no interest in boxing what so ever. I just enjoy doing something nice for my friends and family. Something like this gives people a chance to meet me that are otherwise shy to talk with me. The only sports that I follow is New York Jets football. Sorry aout your Cowboys. I really liked them in the Staubach days.

        • I would only tell the relatives here about my wish for him to lose, although a couple of them agree with me. I just think he has gotten too big for his britches. How is he a Congressman? It’s only because he has money because he sure isn’t educated enough to be there. But that’s how the Philippines run, on people buying their way into politics. It’s one of the reasons why things are so messed up here. The biggest disappointment though is that people actually take the bribes and vote for that person. I guess it’s really no different than a lot of other countries though. I’m sure that even in the US people are taking bribes in some form or another.

  5. Hi UJ: Thank you for listing my article on ViewsHound-Philippines-nation of Fiestas and Festivals. I am again very impressed on your daily hits. Hopefully these hits will turn into adsense dollars for you in the future.
    Note: You may be interested on my gold award winning article in ViewsHound titled: My Childhood Experiences during the Japanese-American War in the Philippines, published last September. Cheers!

    • Howdy again. I read your article about your childhood experience and it reminded me of a similar story that Lita’s Uncle (Poppa) told me here. Yours is quite a bit more in depth though. He is 90 years old and he has a lot of gaps in his stories, but he does remember the landing in Leyte by MacArthur, he was there. He said that when he saw the American planes flying overhead, he cried because he was so happy. There will be a link in my next post, probably tomorrow, to that article.
      As for the hits turning into AdSense dollars, well that comes very slowly. I wish to find a way to make money with this blog and/or my stories faster and more of the dollars. Right now, after about 6 months I have slightly over $60 in my AdSense account and I’m not allowed to withdraw it until I reach $100. So I have not gotten anything from the blog yet. I see blogs that don’t get near as many hits as I do and they make money, so I keep thinking I’m not doing something I should be doing. I hear stories of companies that will pay you to write for them and I’m hoping that they will somehow find out about my site and hopefully give me a chance to impress them. Somehow or another, the time will come. I’m going to keep trying and hopefully someday it will happen.

Texan in the Philippines