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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Zine Entry #9

Zine Entry #9



I’m just glad that people read my blog and appreciate the ones that let me know what they think of it.  Although making a little out of it is nice, it’s really secondary.  That’s a big turn from when I first started my blog.  My main goal then was to make money, but now the blog is a bit more of an addiction than anything.

Jason Apilado (Jun & Luz's Oldest)

We have had 2, what I call, Politician Parades in the last couple of days.  That’s when you get a bunch of horn honkers and people yelling about a candidate.  I don’t even know which candidate it was, or even if it was 2 different ones, but he/she/they sure had a lot of “supporters”.  Notice I have supporters  in quotes.  That because I also heard that everyone that participated in the ‘parade’ would receive P2000 each.  Shoot that’s almost a month’s wages (or more) for a lot of people around here.  So I’m thinking that they are in it more for the money than the supporting part, but they sure did make a lot of noise.  Make a lot of noise and get paid for it.  That’s a nice way to make some money.  I hear that when it comes time to vote that voters could make more money by voting for “their” candidate too.  Elections begin on May 13th from what I understand.  So I am expecting more of these ‘parades’ soon.

Pajak-Pajak Connection

During election time, I try to limit my appearances downtown.  This area is considered a hot spot for election killings although it has been said that this year things could be a bit less active, killing wise.  I hope so and I hope all those killings become a thing of the past.  Supposedly there is a peace treaty in affect with the MILF and I have not heard anything from them, but the NPA is a different story.  There is no current peace treaty with them.  Lita picked up my medication for me today, but I probably have to go downtown tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning.  No one has every bothered me, in fact everyone has been very nice, so I never worry about any encounters of the bad sorts.  I don’t totally ignore it, but I don’t let it bother me either.

Lita with her favorite vegetable vendor here in Calbayog City

This morning I received my new Texas drivers license in the mail.  I applied for a new one online on 24 February and paid my $25 via my check card.  My license had already expired in January of this year.  I was a bit worried about it and wasn’t really expecting it for about 8 weeks, but it has only been about 6 weeks.  They have a new style license since my last one in 2007.  I like the new style better, but Grace likes the old one because she said it’s more colorful.  Now that I have a valid stateside license, I can get my Philippines driver’s license.  I have a little bit of information on that.

Samantha checking out Rhynz Azarcon

If I had a scanner I could just scan in the paper I received from the LTO Office, but I guess I’ll have to do it by hand.  You know what, forget all that.  It’s too much and the lady that I talked to at the LTO Office told me that all I really needed is a valid drivers license and my passport.   This form has medical exams, drug tests, Police or NBI clearances and passing another written examination.  She told me that just bring in the driver’s license, passport and P517.63.  That’s the total cost, all fees.  License Fee P350, Conversion Fee P100 and Computer Fee P67.63.  The phone number for the LTO Office here in Calbayog is: 055-209-1595.  I believe that at the beginning of May I will head that way and get my Philippine drivers license.  I don’t know that I will ever use it for driving, but I can use it for identification.  When I actually get my license, I will make another entry as to what the reality of things were.  I hope for no surprises.  Ted Kennedy got his license and he told me that it was easy and pain free.  It’s a nice looking license too.  Maybe it won’t look so good with my ugly mug on it, but I suppose there ain’t much I can do about that.

I haven’t been out to take any new pictures for this.  I hope that the pictures I have on here are not overused.  I tried to put on some that I have not used before, but it’s hard to remember which ones I used and which ones I didn’t.

Salamat, Y’all






  1. @ ScottH – Do you think the dumb Kano face thing will work if I pull out my PI driver’s license that expired in 1988? At least it shows the motorcycle rating.

  2. Your USA drivers lic. is good for 90 days after arriving,I have done this on three different trips last one i was there for three months and we were stoped three times at check points,one check point didnt know about 90 day deal when i told them all they said was ok.Every area is different on obtaining a lic, like in samar very few have lic. plates on the moter bikes.

  3. UJ, A couple of things,,,be prepared to fork over a couple of hundred extra P for a drug test, when i go my lic here in manila, the first thing I had to do was pee in a bottle, I believe it is separate from the LTO, but the LTO wouldnt see me till i have the drug free certificate. Start practicing your “dumb Kano” face also, I believe that the reason you need to bring your passport is that foriegn drivers lic are valid for 30 days upon entering the country, I know they checked my entry date on my passport. After that you have to take the test. BUT you know how things are here, hope either I was wrong or they let you slide…good luck 🙂

    • That’s interesting Scott that you had to do that. Ted Kennedy just got his license here and all they made him do was show his license, show his passport and pay the fees. That’s all the lady at the LTO told me that I had to do also. I guess I’ll find out when the time comes. I don’t mind doing the pee test, but I don’t want to get involved in their ‘pay more peso’ war. I’m definitely over the 30 days.

      • I got my PH dr. lisc over a year ago well past the 30 days mentioned but since i used a golf cart that LTO had told me previously needed no lis, or registration i had no worries on getting my drivers lis ,basically it wa for additional ID i still don’t drive andy registered vehicle in PH. I went down to LTO at Avelino and PidooShowed my passport and USA dr lisc. was told to cross the street get 2 parts copied then walk 3 buildings down from the copy shop gt the urine test done, to P20 and 20 mins to do all that returned with everything to Lto paid my non- proffessional dr’s fee , plus my buddy added Motorcycle to his PH lis, lol he never rode a bike in his life, no driving tests, no paper tests, sat around for our names to be called to get out photos taken , then out the door with new PH dr lisc.

Texan in the Philippines