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Zine Entry #12

Zine Entry #12



Well my first ever expat get together went better than I expected.  It’s not that there was a lot of people because only 2 people showed up.  Around 2:45pm, George and his wife showed up.  They were out paying bills and got it all done early, so instead of driving all the way back to Tinambacan, they just came by here early.  He and I sat out in the restaurant, talked and ate.  The asawas were talking in the house.  Since they were the only one that showed up at that time, I didn’t bother charging them for the chicken and fries.  I actually liked that better.  I wasn’t too keen on having to charge people for eating, but if there was going to be a lot of people, it would have become necessary.  They were here until about 5:30pm.  They wanted to get back home before it got too dark because they do not like to travel at night time very much.  It was a good visit and they invited Lita and me to stay at their house overnight this coming weekend.  It will be our first time going to Tinambacan so I hope I remember to bring the camera.

Outside Centro Mall under construction

Inside Centro Mall under construction

About 40 minutes after they left, while I was sitting at the computer, I was told that I had another visitor.  I was expecting that to be Blair and Charise, but it wasn’t.  In fact I had no idea who it was when I got out there.  He introduced his name as Bruce, from Scotland.  Seems he likes to read the blog, but he has never left a comment.  He read about the get together and decided to show up.  He arrived with his girlfriend, I forget her name (sorry Bruce/girlfriend).  They are in the process of acquiring an apartment here in Calbayog.  They are staying at the Ciriaco for a few days so it was an easy walk for them to get here and go home.  Bruce brought by a 6 pack (not in the pack) of San Miguel.  That was mighty nice of him.  He even let me help him drink it.  I didn’t want to be rude, so I helped him.  Oh, okay, I was happy to help him drink it.  I expect that we will be seeing them again in the not so distant future.  We had a nice visit and talked about lots of things while we sucked on the brews.  I don’t even remember what time it was when they left, but they were here for over an hour, easily, maybe even two hours.

Old wet market now demolished

Future site of Gaisano Grand Mall

Blair told me that he and Charise would probably be stopping by that day, but I guess something unexpected came up.  It happens I know.  At least it happens to me more times than I want it to.  It’s okay though, I’m sure that when he has time, he will be stopping by for a visit.  It doesn’t only have to be on the expat get together day you know.  I will happily accept visitors on whatever day they decided to stop by.  Hopefully not between midnight and 0600, but even if they did that, and I know they are here, I will welcome them and try to be a good, awake host.

I discovered another store downtown.  It is on Nijaga St next to SO Cafe.  It is a small grocery and bakery that opened up on March 20th.  The guy behind the counter told me that they are open 24 hours a day.  The name of it is Calbayog City Bakery & Grocery.  I got pictures of the outside and inside (pictures below).  As you can see they have a nice selection of grocery items.  At least it’s a lot of the things that I need often.  I have not compared their prices with the local markets yet.

Inside Calbayog City Bakery & Grocery

Outside Calbayog City Bakery & Grocery

You may have noticed that I finally got around to adding some of the local restaurants on the blog under “Calbayog City Restaurants” (which is under Calbayog).  I didn’t have them on there sooner because I didn’t have a lot of information on them.  I still don’t have a lot of information, but I figure I’ll put what I have on there and when I get more information later, I will add it in there.  If anyone reading has some information on any of the restaurants or hotels or anything I put on here, please let me know and I will update things.  I want all the readers to have the most current information that I can find out.

Heidi was wondering about a torta.  I decided to take a couple of pictures of some torta for her and all y’all to see.  To me they taste alright, but I do not buy them on a regular basis.  Mostly in the bakeshop I will buy the cheese bread or cinnamon rolls when they have them, but that is not often.  If you request cinnamon rolls they will make them for you though.  At least they do for me.

Torta, Cupcakes and Puto-puto

Torta up close

Rick  Smith did some checking on that house for sale on Navarro St.  He finally got word back from the people he called.  Remember the house that is a few houses down from Mar’s house?  Anyway, the owner says the house is 197 sqm.  The asking price is P5M.  Mark it up some if you want to go through a broker.  All the taxes are paid up to date.  That’s P25,380 a sqm.  According to Rick, and he is usually right about these things, newly constructed houses are about P18,000 a sqm, so they are expecting a lot for that place.  Maybe it’s a buyers market, or they think it’s a buyers market.

I did another guest post for Bob Martin and Live in the Philippines.  It is scheduled to run on Saturday, April 20, 5am.  It’s just a little bit of the things that frustrate me about Filipinos and living in the Philippines.  Not everything, but a small sample.

Salamat, Y’all







  1. That torta looks more like a bibingka to me

    • I can tell you they call it a ‘torta’ and as far as I know, no customer has disputed it. I don’t really know because I don’t buy them. I buy sliced bread, cheese bread and the cinnamon rolls (when they have them). Mostly I buy the cheese bread because even the sliced bread is not near as good as the Gardenia bread. Of course the Gardenia bread costs just over twice as much. P2 for each roll of cheese bread is fine with me, if I just have to have some extra bread for some reason.

      • I learn something new everyday. The Visaya torta is different from the regular pilipino torta. I googled “pilipino torta” and the images that show up are what we call a torta…more of an omelette style. Interesting. Without your blog I would not have known there was a differnce.

        • Well I’m glad you learned, so did I. I’m going to Google “pilipino torta” also and see what you saw.
          I hope that we all learn something on at least a weekly basis from this blog.

    • Hard to confuse a Filipino torta for Filipino bibingka, torta looks like a large cornbread muffin till you have tasted it, and bibingka is more of a round flat about 1 inch thick cake like product kinda like a flat yellow cake, popular with pineapple or coconut cooked inside it and if a “Royal” has a mango glaze on the outside. Not many bakeries in town make bibingka or the egg pie, a custard pie, that’s why we like Joy’s so well plus their unidentified flying object , similar in shape to bibingka but light in texture and color is one of my wife’s favorites.

  2. good article. helps us keep tabs on you. hehe. i am glad you had nice visitors and a few beers to share. If I lived there, my son and I would have came to your get together. the Torta looks burnt but maybe it is only the pic. cinnamon rolls sound good and I would order some for sure. and that is bad news about the house. It is way too overpriced. WOW

    • I stopped by Metrobank they post a listing of some properties for sale. Sometimes areas like Timanbacan or Dagum can run for as low as P36-P100 a sqm. In town or edge of town can run P3000 – P7000 depending on property location. Now you can build right up to your property lines, no easements required, and even most the distant outside barangay have city water an electric. Just remember the law here will not help you remove squatters already on property you want to buy. It’s common practice, if you want squatters gone you find them another place and help to build their new hut or learn to live with them on your property, give them a job as grounds watchmen, etc.

      • Rick you are just full of useful information. I wish you were more of a writer. That way you could send me dozens of articles on all the different knowledge that you have acquired and I could post them all. Oh well, I guess it’s sufficient to have the knowledge expressed through these comments, not as effective, but at least the knowledge is out there for others to see.

    • I’m not sure it was burnt, I wasn’t paying attention, but I did eat one once and it is a little hard, almost like cornbread. Every once in awhile I will ask for cinnamon rolls, but the problem is that not too many people buy them and I have to eat them all. It’s not a problem for me to eat them all, and that’s the problem. I guess you get that drift.
      Yes I was surprised when Bruce showed up, but was glad he did, and not only because he brought beer. I was glad to know that there are actually some people out there that follow the blog, but don’t necessarily leave comments. Besides, Bruce was a pretty cool dude.
      George was the first to arrive and he stayed the longest. Lita and I will be going to his house this coming weekend, most likely spending the night there. It will be our first time being in Tinambacan.
      Yes that house was a bit overpriced. I have seen those listings that Rick is talking about, they are plastered on the windows at the bank. I don’t pay much attention to them because I am not in the market.
      I do those Zine articles so people will know a little bit about what could go on here on a regular basis. I’m always happy when it helps someone, somehow. I have very little in my life to hide, and what I do have, I don’t put on the blog. I have a pretty open life here and don’t mind sharing most of it if it will help someone in moving to or adjusting to life in the Philippines.

  3. Thanks for the picture of a torta. I guess a torta is different in Manila. The torta that I’m familiar with is more of a main dish, kind of like an omelet, the type my mom used to make.

Texan in the Philippines