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Calbayog Update Hodgepodge – Part 1

Calbayog Update Hodgepodge – Part 1



We have plenty of little things going on around here and it is high time that I got you updated on all the things that have been happening in our little neck of Calbayog on the island of Samar in the Philippines.  I have not had a feature post in about a week now because things were slow, but recently it has become more active.  I will be informing you of all the few things that were happening and all the recent events all in this post.  It’s a hodgepodge of activity and I feel like expanding my thoughts today, so by the time I get to the end of my list,  finish thinking up things I forgot to put on my list, temporarily draining my imagination of things and get tired of babbling, I may end up having to put everything in 2 posts instead of one.

A sweet kiss

Single for 27 Years

My computer is running again, but it is not 100% yet.  I am not sure if I mentioned about the problem I had with my Windows, but I ran into a major problem.  It seems that I could not re-activate my XP because it has already been activated too many times already for this machine.  I think the problem developed because the first motherboard that was inserted only lasted for one day and I had to get another one and, of course, reactivate my Windows XP again.  Well the 2nd time it would not do it.  I tried to reactivate via the internet, but that’s when I got the error message.  Since they don’t list an e-mail, my only other option was via telephone.  Problem is the phone numbers they have listed for the Philippines were always busy and I think incorrect.

It was still possible to get on the internet, if you are a little sneaky, but I could not get to the blog, my mail and I was limited on other things I could do.  I was able to track down a website that had a place for a live chat with Microsoft and I actually got someone on there pretty quickly.  The solution he was trying to give me though I could not do because I had already been locked out of my own computer and I didn’t have a START button anymore, which is where he wanted me to start.  I tried to get that START button to come up, but when I did that I lost the chat room.  Since, in my temporary pissed off state of mind for not having my computer working, I forgot to save the website where the chat room was, I could not find it again to get back.  I had to find another way.

Table 12 at the Wedding Reception

Table 2 at the Wedding Reception

The other way turned out to be finding another phone number.  I actually did, finally, find another one and even got through the first time I called.  Needless to say (but it takes up more space if I do) I saved that website just as fast as I could.  I expected to be asked dozens of questions and have a hard time getting reactivated, but I was wrong.  There were few questions and having my original Windows XP product code seemed to be their main concern.  After only about 2-3 minutes on the phone, I was back up an running.  I was so relieved and so was Lita.  I know that I am a major pain in the butt when I don’t have my computer.

I still do not have a DVD or a printer and my sound still does not work but I can get on the internet (unlimited), my mail and most importantly, my blog.  I now think that the problem with my sound was not the motherboard at all, but most likely my headphones.  I guess they have been dropped too many times, especially when Precious use to come in here a lot to listen to “Wah Wah” (Joshua) on that video I made of the children singing Lupang Hinirang (the Philippines National Anthem).  In February I plan to get a DVD and hopefully speakers, but at least new headphones.  The printer will have to continue to wait.  Maybe I will get it in April because I’m already delaying our hot water heater to March because of the DVD and speakers/headphones.

Table 9 in the orange light

Cafe Elsa entrance

Of course my birthday is coming up next Friday (I will be the big double nickel (55)) so maybe I will get one of those items then.  It’s a long shot because it is more than most people here spend on presents.  Besides I really would not expect anyone to spend that much money on me.  It’s not that I ain’t worth it (because I am), but I don’t spend so much money on them because I can’t (at least not yet) and I would not considering it right if they did for me.  I would take it and be thankful, but then, even though it was a present, I would feel obligated to spend a little more on them for their next birthday.  I shouldn’t feel that way, but I would.

Ramil has my old hard drives and DVD player and he is copying my files onto a flash drive a little at a time and I’m loading it onto my new computer.  I don’t really need all the files and some of them I have already reloaded, but I am concerned about my pictures and music files.

Speaking of Ramil, Lita has explained to him that I want to get the internet switched over to my name, instead of his.  He has no problem with that, but he must go with me to the Globe office to make the switch.  It will be the only bill that I will have in my name, if they let me do it.  I was told before that I could not do it, but maybe since I have been here for awhile and I am the one that has been making all the payments, things will be different this time around.

Grace put on a Face

Joshua Jack Rabbit

Lita will be getting the water bill in her name and we will be making some adjustments to which of the faucets are our responsibility.  Right now we have 4 families using the water under the bill that we pay.  Even though we are suppose to be getting money from the others to help defer the cost, it doesn’t always happen.  We are going to cut out 2 of the families and let them figure out for themselves how to pay for their water.  That will probably be done in March or April or whenever Lita decides to take care of that.  I won’t get involved in that procedure.  It will be just Lita and Judith taking care of that.

I suppose that this post is long enough and there will be a part 2, probably the final part, within the next day or so.  Highlights for the next post include waiting for a fellow expat to arrive, a Rail Baron, traveling in July (or sooner) and our restaurant.

Salamat, Y’all





  1. Hello again, thanks for all the great comments. To be honest been just looking and checking out different area when ever i am there in the Philippines. thanks again.

  2. Hello again UJ! Im still here in Calbayog until 24 Jan when we are taking the Cokaliong ferry over to Cebu. I have to get my Exit Clearance at the BOI there having stayed here already over 6 months. It will be about 9 months total time I’ve been here this last year 2012 and into the New Year 2013.

    I can’t afford to travel to very many places except here and Cebu and Manila. Like you, ihave a pretty tight budget… my pension from Honeywell helps me with my expenses here and in the US, but it’s not anything much left over. My fiancé does hair in her home salon here….it’s been a family thing for many years….

    We picked up some spring rolls and some vegetable soup and rice and some sweet and sour pork at Marcial’s Grille this morning after attending Church at the New Life Mission Church here in Calbayog.

    I’ve got a Honda XRM 125 that gets us around….we’ve been to Tacloban, Catarman, San Antonio Island and up to Catarman. Usually ride around the local area enjoying the scenery and native people’s here. I have an American friend from NY that has a nice home and business with pepsi in Cagsalaso….(did I spell that right).

    Directions to our home in San Policarpo are simple……
    Take the highway out of Calbayog. Turn right at the Sanitariam Hospital. Follow that road Magsaysay past the 7th Day Adventist church on the right. Then take the first turn to the right San Roque St…we are in the big white two story house and our families are on every side of us.

    Anyway, it’s a pleasure to meet up with you on your blog and pages and maybe we can get together sometime…..

    Take care,

    • Howdy Tom. So I guess that means you are not here in balikbayan status if you need to do that. We have not been to Cebu for awhile, but I hope to be going in the not too far future. I would like to take my time getting there, but I’m not so fond of riding on the ferry. At least the few that I have been on were not so great. Going by plane is okay, but you don’t get to see much. Maybe I can talk some of these people in traveling to Ormoc and getting on there, or maybe even taking Grand Tour to Ormoc. I don’t know. It’s nothing we have given a great thought to yet.
      Yeah I liked those spring rolls at Marcial’s Grille and I normally do not eat spring rolls at restaurants. I haven’t tried that vegetable soup or sweet and sour pork there yet, but it’s probably good.
      Lita has been thinking about us getting a motorcycle w/sidecar to travel places with, but we have to come up with the money somehow first. I have never had a motorcycle license, but it can’t be all that hard if we get an automatic one.
      I’m not much for going to church or getting out and seeing people, as you probably know from reading the blog, but I do hope to get together with many of the expats in the area sometime. When/If the restaurant gets going I know we will have the monthly expat meetings. I don’t know how many will show up, but the option will be there. If you read part 2 of my hodgepodge post, then you know that we have started moving in the direction and hope to keep it going until we get what we want.

      • thanks Uj for the fast reply… I’ll read the part 2 of your hodgepodge post…. and get back here again later.

  3. Well hopefully, I should be there to join the growing Calbayog City expat crowd before too long. We have decided to lower the price of our house to get it sold quicker. The thing you mentioned about Globe not allowing the account in your name – why would that be? That make no sense to me but I’m not there and you are so maybe you can find out the answer. Thanks for visiting my site and commenting John. You have become a regular!

    • It’s kind of strange that you mention this because I have a special note for you in the post that is coming out tomorrow. I have already finished it and it is scheduled. I even ‘borrowed’ a picture of yours from your Facebook page to put in there. In fact I borrowed a lot of pictures from a lot of y’alls Facebook pages. Might want to check that out tomorrow.
      Maybe my relatives are the ones that didn’t think it could be in my name. I mentioned it to Globe and the lady there didn’t see a problem. I’ll find out at the end of this month when I try to get it changed. I might even see about getting my internet upgrade at the same time.
      I know that some people like to live close to or in the big city and that’s fine, but I just can’t do it. I like to have some open space and only visit the city on occasion.

  4. UAE; has lots of opportunities, I have been looking at the Cavite area.

    • Cavite is a nice area if you can afford it. Also if you don’t mind all the people, the traffic and the crime. It’s not for me, but I’m pretty sure there are plenty of expats living there. A lot more there than are here, that’s for sure.

      • Ah come UJ, Cavite isn’t that bad :). I’ve been going there on and of for close to 40 years and never had a problem with crime. The traffic is another thing though in the area closest to Manila. Speaking for myself and my lovely asawa, we have found Cavite to be a great place as long you get farther away from Manila in places like Noveleta, Imus, Dasmarinas, Amadeo(coffee area), Tres Martes and even Cavite City is still a rather quiet and nice place to enjoy. I’ll be in all those places this coming May as well as Subic for a short visit and maybe run into an expat or two. To bad your not closer to that area, we could get together for a beer or 2 or 3 and have a good ole time. 🙂

        • Well I can’t argue with you because I have not been to extensive visits in Cavite. I hope that Ben sees your comment and maybe takes it into account when he is deciding on a place to live there. I can say that it’s not for me though. Most likely you will run into some expats there, but I hope you are not driving at the time.
          Yeah we could be a couple of John’s on the town. I doubt very seriously if I’ll be in the area at that time though. Of course if you make it down this way, stop on by. I’ll even buy the first beer. Hopefully it will be right after the beginning of the month though, to be sure I have the money.

    • Hi Ben. I’m curious as to how you are leaning towards Cavite City? I guess if you don’t mind the crowds and heavy traffic and you need to be close to Manila, it would be okay. I’m with UJ though, it wouldn’t be for me. I need a little slower paced place like Calbayog City.

  5. still in the looking phase, i work in the uae, what was your job before.

    • I worked with semi-conductors, helping to make computer chips, but they closed down the company where I worked. I got laid off in August 2008 and got tired of living off the US government and finally moved here in May 2010. It was about a year ahead of our schedule, plus we were unable to send money here to complete our house for almost that whole 1 1/2 years while I was laid off. My income was about 1/2 with unemployment compared to my job. So that’s 2 1/2 years that we should have been paying to build the house the way we wanted, but things just didn’t work out. It’s okay, I’m not so hard to please.
      So in your ‘looking’ phase do you have a particular place you want to move. Like maybe close to your wife’s relatives, or is that something you don’t want to do?

  6. being married to a filipina is a great experience, I have been thinking of moving there and investing into a house and lot there.

    • So what’s stopping you? Where in the Philippines? Here in Calbayog? We are invested into a house and lot, but the house is not what we wanted because we ran short of money because of me getting laid off my job in Texas and not being able to find another one for over a year and a half. It’s still okay though and we hope to improve on it later.

  7. i enjoy reading your site, thanks for being honest…

    • Why thank you Ben. It’s easy being honest because I really don’t know any other way to be. Oh I may tell a ‘white lie’ from time to time, but in the case of someone making a life decision of moving to the Philippines, there is no more for even ‘white lies’. I figure people need to know the facts to make an intelligent decision.

  8. Hello UJ,

    I enjoy reading your page and updates you post. Im also an American from Minnesota, retired and 62. I have been coming here to Calbayog for the past 4 years staying with my fiance in San Policarpo. I usually stay from Apr or May to Feb or Mar. Leaving for Cebu on the 24th of this month Jan. I will get my ECC at the BOI in Cebu and then fly out on the 4th of Feb to Korea, and on to Chicago and then Minneapolis. Anyway, thanks for your web page here as it’s fun to see what’s going on in Calbayog and other stuff here in the Philippines.

    • Howdy Tom. I was wondering if you were still around. I remember that you are the first new person to send me a comment after we returned from Texas this past July. I was beginning to think that you were just someone that happen to see one of my posts on the internet, but you didn’t actually read the blog. I guess I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before though.
      So do you go back to Minnesota every year for 2-3 months or do you sometimes go elsewhere? We’d like to be able to go back to Texas each year, but his last time, I gained 21 pounds in the 2 months we were there. I can’t afford to keep doing that. It’s getting harder and harder to lose the weight again.
      San Policarpo? Isn’t that where Marcial’s Grille is? I’ve been to and/or through it quite a few times, but I didn’t see you outside waving your arms around or anything like that.
      Anyway, I’m glad you like what I post and I will try to continue to put good things in here. Sometimes it’s hard when all I do is hang around the house, but I’ll see what I can do without boring y’all into a coma.

Texan in the Philippines