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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Annual Amber Box Celebration

Annual Amber Box Celebration



I called the Atlas Shippers Leyte office on Tuesday (the 9th) to ask them about our boxes.  I was told by the Manila office that they should receive our boxes in Leyte on or about 30 September and I should expect delivery shortly there after.  Well I figured 10 days to get the boxes to us was long enough, so I called.  The very nice lady that I talked to confirmed that the boxes were there and that they should be delivered before this coming weekend.  Evidently they only deliver to Samar 2 or 3 times per month, at least that is the impression I got from the conversation.  So the next afternoon, about 2:00pm, 2 of the 3 boxes arrive.  They had 2 invoices.  There were 2 boxes on one and 1 box on the other.  I figured that since we sent the boxes at different times, 2 in June and 1 in July, that they got processed separately.  Logical, but as it turned out, the invoice with 2 boxes on it is where the missing box was listed.  I made sure I marked that I only received 1 box on that invoice and of course they took their picture that they always take when they deliver the boxes.  I was the one that was in the picture, signifying that I was the one that took delivery.  I wonder who they are going to send that picture to?  Usually it is sent back to the person that sent the boxes, but that was us and we ain’t there.  I suppose it will end up with Norman at the Philippines store in Killeen.  He is the one that we shipped the boxes through.  The guy made sure that the invoice numbers marked on the boxes, were pointing towards the camera during the picture taking.  I asked if the other box would be delivered next week and he said, “Next week or another week”, so I took that to mean 1 or 2 weeks, probably depending on their Samar delivery schedule.

Casandra and her Bear

When Lita returned from downtown, I was hoping she was ready to open the boxes, but she wasn’t.  I guess I could do it, but she gets excited when she doesn’t get to give it her full attention, so it’s more quiet around here if I just wait until she is ready.  I’m hoping that the 1 box on the separate invoice would be the one that had my Velveeta Mac n’ Cheese boxes that I sent.  I believe I sent 4 of them and I’d like to make one of them.  I guess I waited this long so another day or two won’t kill me.  I bought them on sale for .99 each at HEB in Belton.  They were $1.00 off with the coupon.  I’m probably going to wish I bought more of them, but I’ll remember that for next time, if it turns out that I wish I would have bought more.

Sticking with the food theme for a minute, I have a can of Century Tuna here in our cabinet that I’ve been wanting to try.  I’ve been trying to find some dill pickles to make a tuna salad.  I can’t find any dill pickles around here, but I will be sure to look extra hard when next we go to Robinson Mall Supermarket in Tacloban.  Even some dill pickle relish would be better than nothing.  I’d even settle for the bread and butter pickles if necessary, but I don’t like the sweet or the sour pickles at all.

Some Young Ladies at the Bakery

Actually the next time we will make a trip to Robinson Mall it will not be ‘we’.  It will be her.  She plans to stop by there on the way back from Tambis when she goes down there, with most of the rest of the family, for the annual All Saint’s Day celebration.  I have decided that I will not be going again this year, as I did not last year.  It hardly seems like it’s been a whole year since the last time, but I guess it has, because it’s October and it’s here.  I just think it’s better for all, them and me, if I stay here and let them do whatever they want at the celebration without having to worry about doing anything special for me.  Besides, it doesn’t bother me to be home alone for 2 or 3 nights.  It’s kind of quiet actually with everyone gone.  At this time I am not sure who is going and who is staying, but usually not many, if any people stay.  I just reminded Lita to be sure to go by the supermarket there and to check for the dill pickles.  At this time the only thing that I am wanting from there that I can not get here, food wise, is those pickles (if they are there) the BBQ sauce and some canned tomatoes (I liked the stewed ones).

Gary, Jen and George Paul Beaudean

I cleaned the inside of my computer and the inside of my voltage regulator today.  The voltage regulator was really dirty, lots of dust.  I got most of the dust out, but I should not have it in here with me very much longer.  After Marlou gets back from Cebu, and if he has my new power supply, I won’t need the regulator anymore.  The computer was dirty also, but not as bad as I thought it would be.  The fan and the heating element were the dirtiest, so I made sure to pay extra attention to those 2 areas.  Since we now have the linoleum on the floor, it is not as dusty around here as it use to be, but it does still get some dust in there of course.  I need to remember to cover everything up every night.  I forget sometimes, when I’m not on the computer late at night.  That’s not very often, but it does happen.

Gary and Jen went to Thailand this year

I tried to put a couple of AMBER Alert marques on the site today, but they didn’t take for some reason.  Maybe it’s because the links are from and for the United States and Canada, I’m not sure.  I know I have a lot of readers in the United States and quite a few from Canada also and I like the Amber Alert thing.  Anything that helps keep a child out of danger is a good thing in my books.  Here is the link to that site that the 2 links are.  If y’all can do anything with them on a site you might have, then go for it.  I’m just trying to spend it around as much as possible to maybe help any child, if possible.

I just came in from outside with the camera.  The pictures in this post are some of those.  I think I took about 8 pictures, but I have 2 pictures from Gary Beaudean’s Facebook that I wanted to put on here today.  So I can put 2 in this post and maybe the other 6 in the next post, if there were 8 and if they all came out good.  I also have a bonus picture at the end of the post.  Speaking of the next post, I will let you know about the 5, or maybe it was 6, new links I added to this site.  I could tell you here, but I want to explain a little bit about them when I list them and this post is already almost to 1200 words.  I don’t want to over do it and make the posts too long.  I’m afraid already that my posts are too long for most people.  Almost everything I read about doing posts on a blog say to keep it simple, but don’t skimp on the story.  I find that hard to do because of my constant babbling.  Then there are people who tell me they like the babbling, so I try to get my posts between that 1000 and 1500 word area and usually end up between 1100 and 1300 words.

Why Men are not Allowed to Take Phone Messages

Salamat Y’all

Here is a website by a Filipina school teacher that lives in Texas.  I will get it on the site somewhere soon.

Freedom of expression – in particular, freedom of the press – guarantees popular participation in the decisions and actions of government, and popular participation is the essence of our democracy.
Corazon Aquino

These words by Mrs. Aquino really hit home these days with this new Cybercrime Law causing so many problems.


  1. That lot was for sale so it would make some sense for a big outfit like Mickey D’s to snatch it up.

    • Yeah, I’m not a big Micky D’s fan, but I do like their breakfast food and fries. If they have it like stateside, I’ll probably get some of that breakfast food. I don’t believe that the Philippine McDonalds has those McMuffins though. I could be wrong, I haven’t looked that close. I’ll have to limit myself on the fries though. I need to cut down on the salt intake, so my #1 thing to go is those bullion cubes I use, evidently, too often.

      • It was posted in the FB page of CalbayogCity Samar.

        The McDonalds I go to in Angeles City has the McMuffins. I usually meet friends there in the morning and have the sausage McMuffin with egg, no hash browns and an upsized coke zero for 98 pesos. The hash browns are an extra 15 pesos if I remember correctly.

        • Found it. They also talk about a pizza factory on Magsaysay Blvd. That Calda’s looks great. I’ll be there too much if they build it though.
          Close also counts in hand grenades, but I’d rather it be slow dancing or horseshoes. I wish I had some stakes for my horseshoes. I’ll bet I can find something sturdy enough here somewhere. I bet I could get someone to try it while at the beach.

  2. That is one good looking family you have pictures of in this post….well, at least the woman and child. The guy looks a little suspicious to me. 🙂

    Have you read the post in Facebook that says McDonalds is coming to Calbayog? The post said it will be located in front of PNB. I commented that I would believe it when I see it. Later someone else posted that a lease for the land has been signed. I know you are not a Mickey D fan as much as I am but I look forward to having one in town.

    The post also said that a Caldo Pizza is planned but I have never heard of them. Have you or Lita ever heard of Caldo Pizza?

    • Yeah, I’ll have to agree that the woman and child are much, much better looking than the guy. A shady looking character.
      No, I have not seen anything about that in Facebook. Whose Facebook? I already started telling people about it, so I hope it is right.
      I never heard of Caldo Pizza. If I haven’t, Lita hasn’t either. I hope it is a stateside franchised pizza place and they get all their ingredients from the US and they make all their pizzas stateside style.
      I’m going to look it up on the net to check it out.

      • is Calda Pizza, not Caldo. Close but close only counts in horseshoes and slow dancing. It will be located on Rosales Blvd. They also said there would be a Pizza Factory on Magsaysay.

        • More information on Calda Pizza.

          It is based out of NY State. There is also a FB page, Calda Pizza – Philippines which states that they are an Original Creation from Cebu! I wonder if they are part of the group out of NY State or if they are truly a Cebu creation. I see from their FB page that there is one in Tacloban.

  3. Actually quite a large Filipino community here of which we found after moving here in 1993. We moved here from Virgina Beach which is loaded with Filipinos, so when the Navy in all their wisdom decided to send me to Tinker AFB for my final tour of duty, I’m thinking they must have me mixed up with someone else cause I’m in the Navy, I do aircraft carriers and tail hook aircraft not golf courses :). So low and behold we get here in the middle of a winter ice storm, the asawa is freezing to death and ready to go back to virginia and we don’t know a single person here. A few months go by, we buy a house in a good area, settle in and within 6 to 8 months we had more filipinas at our house than ever before. So now we have like 4 different balikbayan box companies here and 5 or 6 rather large Filipino associations. The only thing missing is some good ole san magoo. Back in the day, San Miguel known as San Magoo to us sailors was the only beer you could get in the Philippines, no Red Horse or anything else, except that formaldehyde U.S. beer the military sold on the bases.

    • Well it surprises me that there is such a large Filipino community in Oklahoma, but I guess it shouldn’t though. With the amount of OFWs throughout the world, they are probably abundant in every state in the US and just about every country in the world. Even in the Belton, Temple, Harker Heights area there are a lot. Not only because of Ft. Hood either. There are a lot of Filipinos there that are not associated with the Army or any part of the military. But the Philippine Store in Killeen is the only place that I know of that you can ship balikbayan boxes.

  4. Ok fellas, here’s one for ya! Laughed at this when i found out, so had to share. It seems there has been a rash of break in’s and robberies of all kinds in the philippines targeted towards white folk or non-asian folk. This intel was received from none other than the reliable(yea right) bamboo grapevine and now has the asawa on edge thinking that we’ll be beheaded by the asian cartel. I assured my asawa that nothing has changed there except modernization and the news can now report these items where’as before during marshal law no news was ever reported unless it was good news for the administration. But of course, the chismis grapevine will overide all actual reliable sources of intel :). So to ease the lovely asawa’s mind I bought her a new Kindle Fire HD 7 (poor mans version of the ipad)to rattle her brain as she tries to figure out how to use it. So in a few days all will be well again as the chismis grapevine will have a new more important intel by then (like maybe wow wow is coming to oklahoma)…WHAT?…it could happen 🙂

    • Rumors galore. Those things are always flying around here and 90% of them them are false. I have not heard of these rumors at all and I’m closer to the source.
      As for Wow Wow Wee coming to Oklahoma, well don’t hold your breath. I’m guessing that they don’t have a very large community of Filipinos there. Even if they did, it took them a long time to get to Houston, with a huge Filipino community, and they have only been there once. But it could happen.
      Maybe her plan all along was to just get a new phone though.

  5. Sorry John I’ll catch you in the next box. Just let me know ahead of time and I’ll try to get what you’d like. That other problem is probably just me being paranoid but seems I’m always the last to know. I may drop you a line about that as more information comes to light.

    • I was just kidding man, you don’t have to send me anything. Let me know about that other problem though. I hope to be able to somehow help out if it turns out to be a problem. I hope it is not.

  6. Your exactly right UJ, they knew the others would be fighting like rabid dogs..and I didn’t care either way. So they all just about crapped their pants when they found out I was executor and everything was left to me to distribute as I saw fit. But I’m ensureing it’s divided equally among all. Both my parents were not old school, they frigging taught it…so it must have rubbed off on me…old and stubborn. I will for sure go by and have a burger at Crow’s, take the 6th St exit off 35 and go about 2 blocks north and it’s on the right. And yea ok I guess Red Horse and chicken will do…but there’s nothing better than san magoo and monkey on a stick :)…hahahaha.

    • I doubt I would have to deal with something like that with my siblings, but you never know. Since I’m in the Philippines though, I think my sister (2nd oldest of us) will end up being the executor anyway. So I see you already know about Crows, but after you exit I35 you’ll be going west and it’s the 3rd right and there is a big gap between turn #1 and turn #2. It sounds like you’ve been there before, but it must have been awhile.
      Thanks about the Red Horse and chicken. I prefer the Red Horse over San Mig (aka San Magoo) and fried chicken is more to my liking than the pork (aka monkey on a stick). I know I’ve mentioned it several times in the course of doing the blog, but I’m a picky eater.

  7. Thought I was done dealing with their estate back in May of this year…but oh noooooooooo…plus having to deal with 3 other siblings that think they are entitled to or deserve more than the rest of the family is like a pain in the a$$ on steriods. I would rather have a hot cattle brand stuck in my eye that deal with them :)…hahahaha

    • I suppose that is why they made you the executor because they probably knew the others would be that way. I know it’s a pain in the a$$ enough just dealing with people, but when they are relatives it’s 10 times worse, usually.

  8. UJ you da man, all the san magoo and fishheads are on me..hahaha & no dang PBR’s :). So you know the feeling as well Mark,,makes a difference in your life when you just know it’s right.

    As for waiting to retire and getting outta dodge…both my parents passed away within 50 days of each other last year there in Harker Heights…they made me executor of their estate so i’m still dealing with that for another year or so till it’s all done. So I still occasionally have to go down there in person to handle issues that arise cause I’m to cheap to pay a frigging lawyer down there to do it for me. Plus if I do it, I know it will get done the way my parents wanted. Once that is finished, the downzing will start, balikbayan boxes getting filled and dreams of going to home to the motherland will come to fruition. 🙂

    • Ok, but is it okay if I have Red Horse and chicken instead? No PBR to worry about here.
      Well I guess that is a good reason for not being on your way here. If you know how to do such things, then it is best to do it yourself. That way, as you say, you know it gets done right. Next time you are in the area, you might want to stop by Belton and go to Crow’s Burger. It’s on Charter Oaks road. It’s right behind the Shell station on 6th St (the one across from Golden Chick, not the other one). I love to eat their burgers with jalapeno’s on them. Just a suggestion because I’m thinking about them too much recently.
      I remember when we had to wait also before moving here. It’s not an easy wait, but a necessary one.

  9. I can sympathize with you John D. I can’t wait to get back. The Philippines is the only place I felt I ever really truly belonged. My wife and son are there so that complicates matters, too. I used FOREX to ship things this last time, still waiting for the box to arrive but it should be any day now. A little bit of something for everybody there; toys for the kids, DVDs clothes, some fishing tackle, etc.
    UJ that Pabst Beer cracked me up. I had to share with my work colleagues and they all got a chuckle out of it too. I like your sharing of photos and I’m always scanning the local ones to see if I recognize anyone. Feel free to borrow some of mine if you want. Ingat.

    • I can understand wanting to get back because I feel the same way when I’m gone. I didn’t think that while I was back in Texas I’d be ready to come back, but I was wrong. I guess home is where you make it. So Mark in your Forex box if you have a little bit for everybody, what did you get for me?
      I like that Pabst Beer one too, that’s why I put it on there. I was sure that someone else would like it also. If y’all haven’t seen it, it’s at the end of the post that these comments are on.

    • Oh Mark, did you find out a solution to the problem you were having here?

  10. Ah yes the Balikbayan Box, and I can’t believe you didn’t pack all 3 boxes with of cases of lip smackin, slap me up side the head delicious Chili to go with a few san magoo products. The lovely asawa and I were in the Philippine Store there in Killeen the last week of May this year when we were in Harker Heights closing out my parents estate. I’m surprised we didn’t cross paths there.

    Atlas is a pretty good shipper as I’ve used them in the past and also encountered shipments being split up upon delivery to final destination. But then again I’ve also used just about every other balikbayan shipper out there as well and had the same results so I guess their all about the same except for one in california that i won’t name but forwards to manila also. Nothing but delays and lost boxes and always uses the blanket excuse of it got delayed by the port authorities.

    I’m just started packing up 2 boxes to shipout the last week of March so we’ll have a few of the items we enjoy when we get there in May 2013 such as, Lots of CHILI :), 1 bottle of kentucky’s finest – strictly for medicinal sipping purposes :), dark roast yuban coffee etc etc and what ever else the lovely asawa wants to make her happy. As long as I got 3 hots and a cot somewhere, along with a few san magoo products, the lovely asawa is happy, spend time with my lovely nieces and great nephews and in-laws I’m pretty much good to go. I miss the philippines so much, how I wish the days to May 2013 would hurry up and pass 🙂

    • Well when we first arrived here we sent 32 boxes via Forex and we did have plenty of chili in those boxes, along with beef stew and several other things that we already knew we couldn’t get here easily or at all. I suppose I should have packed some chili, but I don’t know about cases of it. We didn’t have a lot of money to use on just sending boxes this last time so we had to ship things that we would otherwise have to burden others with first. On our next trip back, I’m going to talk Lita into letting me have 1 box just for me, to ship back.
      It took our 2 boxes about 11 weeks to get here, but that was probably due to the excessive bad weather. Just saying in case you want to ship it a little bit earlier to be sure it’s here when you arrive. Of course you are going to Luzon, so maybe yours won’t take so long.
      C’mon you know how it works. The days will drag and the last few days will be the slowest. Once you get here in the Philippines, the days will fly by and before you know it, it will be time to leave again. How much longer did you say before you are ready to retire? I remember that you said this next trip is partly for prepping for retirement.

      • Yes Sir, our trip this comming May will be our initial pre-planning, we know what town we’ll be retireing to, but we’ll be trying to isolate down to a specific local area to make our final move. I could fully retire now with 3 retirement incomes,,,but to young to get social security as of yet 🙂 And your absolutey correct in that the days here just seem to drag on forever waiting until May, but then they will zip by so fast after I get boots on ground there :(. Either way we’re excited like a kid in a candy store to getting back to the beautiful Philippines. Growing up in the Killeen & Copperas Cove & Belton & Temple area, I never thought I would love another place as much until the Philippines. I’ve come to feel more at home while there than I ever did here in the states..:) Only in the Philippines 🙂

        • So why in the world are you waiting for you social security? You can still get that even if you are living here. It wouldn’t take much to get it accomplished either. I’ve still got about 8 years before I can even think about social security and I’ve only got 1 retirement income (2 counting Lita’s social security, but it ain’t much). We live okay with not house payment or high utilities. With 3 retirements you could be doing very well. When the social security kicks in you can save that to do whatever.
          Living in Belton during the 60′ and 70’s was super cool and I think that still beats living here in the Philippines. I guess also because I was a kid and had little to no responsibilities (except some chores), but also because times were simpler then. I sure do miss the Hamburger King that was downtown though. The closed it years ago, but I still think about it. Crow’s Burgers in Belton is the best place around these days.
          I hope that when you finally do decide to move here, I’ll get to see you. I’ll let you buy me lunch and a beer. No, no it’s okay. You don’t have to thank me.

Texan in the Philippines