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Last Squeal of the Pig at End of 2011

Last Squeal of the Pig at End of 2011


[smartads] At the end of the last post I was letting y’all know which chicken meat I like the best, white or dark.  Yeah, I know, not very interesting there, but the rest of the post turned out pretty good and I hope you got a chance to read it.  As for this new post, let’s get it going ….

It’s the last day of 2011.  This will be our first entire year that we have been in the Philippines.  There are definitely been a lot of ups and downs by living here.  At times it seems the downs outweigh the ups, but in the long run, that isn’t so.  No matter what you think or how prepared you think you are, I’m really starting to believe the old timers here when they say it takes about 5 years to get fully accustomed to living in the Philippines.  I thought I had all my ducks in a row, but I was wrong.  I’m resetting ducks now and hope I can set them up right this time.  In case you missed it, if you are thinking about moving to the Philippines, this is a MUST READ  article.  No fancy crap, this article is right to the poop, read it and heed it.  It may help you in so many ways.  I wish I would have seen an article like that one before we moved here.  We fell into this trap, that is why we’re digging out now.

Lita and I will be going to the dreaded JustMar later.  I hope they have the regular Kraft cheese today.  They rarely do, but I haven’t been able to find it at any other place here, at all.  If it’s not there, I will just get a smaller box of the Eden filled cheese.  It’s okay, but I prefer the original far more.  I might as well get a couple of boxes of pancake mix while I’m there too.  I’m telling you, 2012 is going to be a better year for us here.  I’m going to start it by having my pancakes 2-4 times per week like I use to.

P80 worth of coconut oil

Even Lita was telling me this morning that she wants to start having more decent food.  She can easily survive on the cheaper food here, but she also would like to have a T-Bone steak and a salad bar.  We eat the rice here, but we both prefer the high grade Jasmine rice.  The price for it keeps us from buying it right now.  That will change starting in February.  We will be buying that rice for us and maybe when we have parties to share with all.

I started a new notebook today and actually this is the first sentence I wrote in that new notebook.

Our electric bill just arrived and it was only P3677 ($86).  I thought it was a mistake so I double checked the name.  Nope, it’s right.  Of course the actual electrical use was only P1578 ($37), then they added on all the surcharges, taxes and other shi-stuff to more than double the bill.  But I ain’t complaining.  Mostly because it does no good to complain until we get a second electric company around here.  With only 1 company it’s take or or leave it.  Well we’re going to ‘take it’ for now.

I hear another pig squealing in the back and —- never mind, it stopped squealing now.  I doubt that I will be hearing that pig squeal anymore.

Another blind singing person has arrived at the window.  They always show up with a little one to collect money for them.  I hate to not give them anything, but if you give them too much, then soon you are overwhelmed with blind people and/or other handicapped people.  I usually only give them P5 or so, because I’m not exactly rolling in dough either, not that most people here would believe it.

Precious & Faye don't like the fireworks

A guy came by to buy a Mountain Dew, but all he had was a P500 note and I didn’t have change.  I had to turn him away.  I’ve never done that before.  Even if I would of had change, it would have bled me almost dry.  Some people just do it to get change.  I’ve had people buy things for P1 and hand me a P200 note, but I’ve always managed to find the change for them, until now.

At 11:50 brown out.  Good time to go downtown.  We’re going to close the store while we are gone.  The electric came back on only after about 5 minutes, but we went downtown anyway.  We got the money, paid a couple of bills, bought fruit and went to JustMar.  That place just seems to get worse, especially in the area of customer service.  When you go there to get cigarettes, you have to order them by the carton and someone will go into the back to get them for you.  We ordered 4 cartons, 1 for each brand we wanted.  When they brought them out, they only had 3 cartons.  We waited for them to bring the 4th, but they didn’t.  Lita asked them again, and they said that we already had all 4 cartons.  I was already outside waiting by the tricycle because I got tired of waiting in the store.  Lita stayed behind to wait.  Pretty soon someone from the store came out, looked in the bag I was carrying, looked at our receipt and finally went to get the missing carton.  We waited about 15 minutes, but when they finally did go to get them, it only took about 15 seconds to get them.  I will not be sorry when they end up closing down because of the new Hypermarket being built.

It was crowded in the store, but not as crowded as it was in the wet market.  I got into that mess and all I wanted to do after that was get out of there.  All those pint sized people cutting in front of me, it was all I could do to keep from knocking them over.  I could have walked in there and walked straight to where I wanted to go, if I just pushed everyone out of the way to do it, but I’m not made that way.  I should start a travel blog and make that my first entry because I was tripping in there.

We’ve sold a lot of ice today.  We’ve sold over P200 worth and we only sell it for P2 each.  It’s like someone is planning a party of something tonight.  Let’s see 31 Dec, I think there might be a party or two tonight.  We’ve only got about 25 of them left.  We’ve got more water chilling, but I don’t think it will be frozen for a few more hours yet.

Arnel sat in LolyKat with me so he could drink some Tanduay.  He wanted me to show him how to play Cribbage.  I showed him.  He was doing pretty well too.  He got to where he could count the points pretty decent and decided he wanted to try a hard hand.  I hand picked a hand for him and told him that him that if he got the right answer on the first guess, I would let him have the 5 Marlboro cigarettes he just bought, for free, a P10 value.  He ended up having to pay.  He missed the amount by 3 points.  He said he was ready and he did get a pretty hard one right before that.  He still remembered the next day what the correct total was for that hand though, so I guess he wasn’t that drunk.

This is why the pig quit squealing.

Pig Quit Squealing

You’d think he’d be squealing more now, but thanks to this guy, it isn’t.

Joshua shooting pig

I slept for awhile after we closed the store at 7:00pm.  After I got up I played some Text Twist on the computer and checked the blogs.  About 10:30pm I decided it was time to make the punch.  I was making one large container for both adults and kids, but I put some in a smaller container for the kids before I added a couple of bottles of vodka to the punch.  Lita’s calls it the Pacquaio Punch.

After I completed that I let it set on the table while I took a shower, shaved and brushed my teeth.  I wanted to be nice and fresh for the New Year.  I’ve got some Listerine now, so it’s easier.

At 11:30pm I brought the punch to the table on the patio and placed it next to all the other things to eat and drink.  After a lot of deafening fireworks it finally made it to the New Year, Lita’s birthday and time to eat.

See y’all next year.

Salamat, Paalam

Useless Knowledge:  Coyotes  are extremely loyal to their mates. If one is caught in a trap, the other will bring small game for it to eat; it will soak itself in a river to allow its thirsty mate to chew on its damp fur for water. It has been documented that the free coyote will stay with its captive partner until death.



  1. Hi UJ,
    Thank you for clearing my concerned. I was very worried because as you know life always imitates art.

    As far as the market with people seemed to just park themselves in the meddle and talked, have you ever met a a friend that you haven’t seen in a long time,and that your feeling is overflow with excitement,and joy to see him/her again and all you wanted to know is to find out how their life is going? I am sure you did, we are all like that. To step aside will not be first in our mind otherwise the momentum is lost. Besides, since it is very crowded from corner to corner it is better off to stay put.
    Here’s what I think, you know the cliche of the saying “if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen”. Well, you and Rick should do just that, stay away from the hustling and bustling of that market.
    If your intention is to go to the market and walk about your marry way in peace , then you are in a wrong place. You mile as well come back to America. Even with that new market openning, the old habit will still be there. It might not be like that at first but eventually it will come back. Unless of course there are other market nearby for people to go to and to choose from, and one market will not do it.
    The reason that people does not step on each other here in United States is because there are plenty of grocery stores in almost every corner.
    Here for example where I live, there are 4 large grosery stores in a three mile radius, and not to mention little mom and pop store that the Mexican, Ecuador Pilipino, Chinese, japanese, Vietnamese, Thai,Korean, Indian and among others. It is no wonder that no one step on each other’s toes.
    But, do you even remember when during the holidays or there is a football and it is there last season? Yeah! it is crazy,the parking lot is like a pandamonium.

    Nevertheless, you went to retire in a another country in Samar, Calbayog because you do not want it here in your birthplace anymore, you want something different, something exotic, inexpensive perhaps and most of all family oriented, then take that country for what it is; embrace it even if those people are standing in the meddle or someone did not take their time to pass by you so you won’t fall, it is however what made Samarinians, it is their politeness and care, that they care enough and stop to chat with a friend. It does not matter who or what is around, wthat matter is now and that person after all, there might not be another time.

  2. UJ you need to warn the unawares about interest rates charged here on loans, not uncommon are 2.5-3.5% interest per month, x12 for annual rate, folks this ain’t USA, housing loans usually require 20% down have shorter terms than USA too. Borrowing is something to really watch out for here. 5/6 loans are common borrow 5 pay back 6 in 30 days.
    UJ you are braver more patient than me i can’t handle inside the market, walking in there, a unsteady as I am , with a cane even, still can not make up for the number of times a 5 ft weigh nothing cuts me off or bumps me, let alone the annoying habit many have there of standing still talking, not buying , to other ppl blocking the onlt level dry path through the market.

    • I don’t know much about the house loans, but we did get a loan. We borrowed P10,000 and had to pay P200 per day for 58 days, so P11,600 (16% interest). That’s a little better deal than the 5/6 loan, which comes out to 20% and a $2000 payback in our case.
      I’m pretty patient because I know I’m the foreigner here, not them. I will however not go into the wet market again if there are that many people. If she just has to go in, she’s on her own or we’ll have to find another way. I’m hoping our new market will be better organized and with more space.

  3. Hi UJ,
    I would like to start by saying I love and enjoyed reading your post very much. However, it was very disturbing to see a little boy holding a gun and shooting the pig. As you know, you have just reported on your other websites(Calbayog Corner) about the incident that happened with the grenade exploding.
    (article below).
    Yes, point taken that those people were adults, and yes I don’t know how experienced the boy were with the gun, still it is very dangerous. Something like that children should not have been present and never mind holding a gun.
    The the one that even bother me the most is that besides him getting hurt, I also am sure that there are other small children around that could have been hurt. Even with a slight movement the gun could have fired and hurt someone.
    I hope that parents and none parents alike would be smart enough not to let this happened again. Children needs their innocence. Let them be kids and enjoy life. Once they become an adult, well, we all know how that goes, with too much responsibilities sometimes we can’t even enjoy life anymore.

    TACLOBAN City – Two people were killed while another one was injured yesterday in a grenade explosion in one of the hinterland barangays in Calbayog City, a police report said.
    Reached through his mobile phone, Chief Supt. Arnold Revilla, PNP-8 regional director, said that Edwin Gutierrez and Edita Juanerio, both of legal ages, were killed in the grenade blast in Hogon Rosales, Oquendo District, Calbayog City. The injured victim was identified as Balbina Juanerio.
    Revilla said that Guitierrez, who was already drunk, was toying with the grenade when it exploded at about 4:30 a.m. yesterday.
    The incident happened while the victims were having a drinking session.

    • Not to worry. If you would click on the picture to read the additional comments, you would have found out that he didn’t not really shoot the pig.
      In fact, it is not even a real gun, just a plastic one. Maybe if the picture was better you would have been able to tell that. The parents of this child would not let him have a real gun, in fact they do not own one either, to my knowledge. I know that I would bitch and complain if he did have a real gun, that’s for sure.
      I’m glad you have been reading the Calbayog Corner though, it needs all the help it can get right now.

  4. You know John, I have always wondered what happend to derail Your and Lita’s plans when you first arrived. I have read almost all of your olds posts to find out what happened. (I read all the ole timer blogs). If it isnt to painful, or sensitive I would be very interested in your experiences when you first arrived.

    • I agree with Scott John. If it is not too painful to discuss it would make a good post and also let others know that even well laid plans can go awry.

      • Well they were not exactly “well laid”, as it turned out. As I said before I fell partly into the trap that you warned about in your “You are not longer on vacation” trap.
        Also we did jump head first into several business ventures at once, which was an obvious mistake. I’ll see if I can recall the stupidity and I just might post it.

        • I am eager to hear your story. You really should not feel any shame because you are not the only one to have that experience. I have an idea for a title. “Mr Capital….don’t be that guy!” I have a little business experience in the US since I ran a service company for eight years and I also worked for a marketing company. I am also very lucky that my wife owned a successful business in Manila for many years. Business is hard anywhere and is a continuous learning process. The profit margins are much smaller here due to the competition. I always hear stories of expats being hit upto provide capital for someones business idea. I have been approached by people with ideas for businesses but when I ask about their former ventures they give me stories of failures. I then ask them why would I partner with someone with no record of success?

          • I guess I’ll have to put something together on that. I need to get caught up on the post first and I’m not doing a good job of that right now.

    • Well Scott, I did think that I mentioned it before and I think I might be able to recall most of it. I really want to forget it mostly. If I can recall all or most of it, I will probably post it. It was mostly just stupidity and over extending though.

Texan in the Philippines