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Zine Entry #22

Zine Entry #22



Recently I have found something that is absolutely an essential thing that I’m going to need to survive living here in the Philippines.  I did not believe it to be true before, but in the last week or so it has been something that I pretty much miss.  I will get to what it is later on in this post, but I am going to be doing things in order of how they happened this week, so it will have to wait its turn.

Since I will not get a new camera until after the first of the month, I ‘borrowed’ the photos in this post from Juvic’s Facebook.  I knew she would have pictures because she really likes to take pictures.  I know she won’t mind at all.  I have about 20 of them so I’ll probably just put a dozen of them on here and put out the others a little at a time in future posts along with whatever pictures I end up taking with my new camera.

Grace & Juvic with mother Judith

Grace & Juvic Gloria

Bruce stopped by again recently to talk for a little while.  He was out riding his new mountain bike that he bought and I think that he welcomed the visit to get a good breather too.  From what he told me, the did quite a bit of traveling during the day, to places that I have not been and some I didn’t even know existed.  He made me wish that I had a mountain bike too.  Bruce was wondering why we have not taken advantage of being across from such a large hotel.  He thinks we should get a restaurant going.  Of course I agree and we have tried a couple of times, but it seems to not work out.  We only have so much money to commit to a restaurant, so we can’t just go whole hog and take a chance of it failing.  Our best chance so far was this last time, but when the Ciriaco never answered us on the contract for their employees, well that just fell through.  We did borrow some money from a local loan shark at 20% interest to fix the place up a little bit and get some supplies and we had to pay that off even though we never even got started on the restaurant.  It looks better in there, but it’s still not doing us much good.

Faye at Marianne's wedding

Joshua, Raven and Reverof at Wedding

Lita and Judith are talking about a small grocery in there right now, mostly selling rice.  There is no other place around here that sells rice, except at the new market, so maybe it will be profitable.  Lita says she would still like to have a smaller restaurant upstairs though with 5-7 tables, plus the picnic table downstairs.  All that is in the ‘someday’ category again.  Maybe if I got more involved with it, it would take off faster, but I have been sitting in the background letting them take care of it.   Anyway, we will see what happens later.  I still think a small restaurant that caters to the foreigners staying at the hotel would do pretty decent.

Bridesmaid Grace & Maid of Honor Jade with Rosela

Nieces - Grace Gloria & Jade Apilado

On 25 May, Marianne (Mar & Ludy’s youngest daughter) got married.  All their children are now married.  It was a nice wedding and of course Marianne was beautiful in her gown.  In fact all the bridesmaids were lovely, especially the Maid of Honor.  The Maid of Honor was my niece Jade.  She lives in Tacloban and her and her whole family came up for the wedding.  Now I already think Jade is a beautiful young lady, but even I was taken back by how much she was changed without her glasses and all dressed up.  I didn’t even recognize her at first.  She had to talk before I knew it was her.

Mr. & Mrs. Leevan Paloma

Marianne's bridal walk.

After the wedding they had the reception at Marju Krisel Hotel & Resort function room.  It was my first time to have a function there and I will say that it seemed bigger when I was the only one in there taking pictures before.  It was crowded, but that is to be expected for Marianne.  She is a wonderful, friendly woman and has plenty of friends.

I think I just discovered that her name is actually Mar Yanne and not Marianne.  I’ve only know her for 13 years though.  Filipinos go by many names, usually shortcuts for their given name, but they have been known to spell their names differently, as it is not really a concern.

Lita and I at the reception

Lita and I at the church

The foods at the Marju Krisel were many.  So much so that I did not have and excuse not to eat, like I usually do.  I had enough to eat.  Mar even came by to check on me to make sure I did have enough to eat.  The only problem I had, besides the crowd, was that when they broke out the beer it was all San Mig Light.  I don’t drink light beer.  San Mig light is like 5% alcohol, so it’s actually pretty useless to drink as far as I’m concerned, although plenty of people do like it.  Ramil asked if I wanted some Red Horse and I asked if it was already bought.  He said no, but it was not a problem.  I told him to not get any since it was not purchased already.  Of course about 5 minutes later I had a liter of Red Horse.  It was not cold, but it still tasted better than that San Mig Light (at least to me).  Of course Ramil was happy to help me drink the Red Horse and even purchased a 2nd bottle.  What a guy!  Oh, ok, I suppose he wanted the Red Horse just as much as I did.

Ludy & Mar at Marianne's wedding

Leevan with parents at wedding

After being there for about an hour or so, we decided to leave.  As we were leaving we saw Ted and Gloria Kennedy coming in.  They were going to the restaurant to eat.  I thought that they were already gone, but that is not until next month.  Ted said that they would be coming by again before they left.

Well in the next post I will tell you about the dog scare that I really enjoyed and hope to get to do it again soon and often.  Also I just realized that I never told you what the essential thing was that I discovered I need to survive here in the Philippines.  Oh well, sorry!  It will have to wait until next post also.  I didn’t realize that I would get such a long post from what little information that I had.

Salamat, Y’all





  1. Starting a new thread as that last one is getting really narrow. I did forget about Rick Smith, probably cause I haven’t heard from him lately. I know some of them other expats are part-timers, and some are planning on moving soon. All in all, we have plenty of guys around here to buy the beer! lol.

    • Well I haven’t heard from Rick recently either. I should check on him since he has been having problems.
      More guys to buy the beer, but more to buy it for. Your turn won’t come up so often with more guys though.

      • There’s my English buddy Tim Smart who’s not too far from downtown, too. I met quite a few folks at Bo’s Coffee so that may be a good place to connect with folks.

        • I have been to Bo’s Coffee several times and have met 1 person there. He was a 1/2 Filipino guy and he was not going to be around long. Usually when I go to Bo’s Coffee, I’m the only customer there. Maybe I go at bad times, but I’ve been there 7 or 8 times at least. There must be a way to get a large group of expats in the same place for some sort of get together.

          • I kind of go out of my way to say ‘hello’ to everyone much to my wife’s dismay, lol. I guess it comes from being in sales all my life. Most folks are friendly when approached nicely but once in a while you’ll find someone who doesn’t appreciate the contact. Everybody’s got a different approach to life. It would be nice to have a group get together. Maybe posting on a few web sites or Facebook pages could get the ball rolling?

          • I should be more outgoing, but I never have been so it’s not going to be easy to change.
            Yes a group get together would be nice. I know that for my May get together here, Bruce showed up and he had never left a comment on this site, so I had no idea he was even reading it. Maybe we could have some more surprises like that.
            For a big get together though, we should wait until at least August. I’ll be back from my yearly island departure then and actually will be starting to get more money coming in then too. I’ll be able to buy the first round of beer/coffee whatever.

  2. The truck looks pretty good in those FB photos John. I’ve been so busy this is the first day I’ve had little to do in a long time. I’ll be out there the end of June for a short time. If I can I’ll pop by. Sorry to hear the restaurant didn’t work out. I was looking forward to some of Lita’s BBQ.

    • The truck should look good, it’s just been sitting most of the time we had it. I hope it looks good enough for someone to buy it.
      Just because the restaurant didn’t work out doesn’t mean you can’t have any BBQ. Just give us some warning that you are coming and remind me about the BBQ and we can get you some cooked up. She still cooks BBQ for me at times anyway. Remember she likes to marinate the meat overnight though.
      We already owe Randy a spaghetti dinner and a beer, so it’s not a problem to do those things usually.
      At the beginning of July we will be gone for a short time, no longer than a week or 2 probably. I’ll have some more input on that in later posts.

    • Mark, how long you staying? We should be there at the end of July.

      • Good question Mark. I’d like to know that myself.

        • I’ll only be there for a week. I’m getting tired of commuting but two families to support so I need to keep working. I’m getting sticker shock looking at the price of flights.

          • Wow! Only a week, that hardly seems worth the effort or price. But it ain’t my money. Those flight prices are the main reason why we don’t mind waiting for a Space A flight. We’d rather pay to stay at a hotel and be able to do things because most likely it will come out much cheaper. The flights are free so it’s worth it to us.

          • Mark, our one way tickets this year will cost as much as our round-trip tickets last year. Sticker shock is an understatment!

  3. Howdy UJ,
    Back in oklahoma now and already home sick for the philippines :-). I did visit the Texas Joes BBQ while visiting Subic on May 18th, found it to be pretty darn good and obeserved a few expats there as well of a lot a locals. Seemed the locals really enjoyed the american style environent and were ordering enough food and drinks to supply an army. Needless to say we also did as well and wanted to stay longer but the asawa advised me of our 2 hour drive back to cavite. So after a few cold San Magoo’s and a heaping plate of ribs, we finished our memory tour of the base and headed back to Cavite. Luckyly I had a driver so i could partake of the San Magoo. Oh, the big ass tornado that came through Moore, Oklahoma on May 2oth just missed our house by about a half mile “PUCKER FACTOR 10”. Take care mate and stay safe. Going down to Killen/Belton next week, will stop by Belton and have some BBQ for ya :-).
    John D

    • Howdy John
      I can get dang good BBQ here when my wife does the cooking. Of course most of the good BBQ is in the sauce and she makes a wicked sauce. In fact with all this talk about BBQ, I think I’ll try to talk her into doing that this weekend. They use to sell some small T bone and porterhouse steaks here, but I don’t see them anymore. I’m going to make a special search for them this Saturday and maybe I can get her to BBQ them on Sunday. If not, well there is still chicken and maybe I’ll break down and get the only hot dog I have been able to eat here, the Pure Food regular dogs. I sure wish there was some decent sausage around here though. Is sausage hard to make? After I send this reply, I’m going to look it up and see if it’s something I can do here at the house. BBQ and beer is the way to spend a weekend.
      Only missed your house by about a 1/2 mile huh? Wow! That was a close call. I’ll bet that there was still a lot of wind though.
      I hear they have a Rudy’s BBQ in Killeen now. That would be the best place to get the BBQ. I believe it is on Highway 190 just inside the Killeen city limits coming from Belton on your right. I have not been to that particular one, but I have been to a Rudy’s many times and I really like their BBQ, especially the brisket. Have some brisket and sausage for me will ya .. and a couple of beers if you are not driving.

  4. Can you open a small bar? You already sell beer so its easy to keep in stock and only need to serve some peanuts or krapek.

    • Maybe, but there are a few of those around here already. Besides, putting up with drunks is not something to look forward to.

      • Well, if your the only bar with a Texan sitting out front, it will bring in the expat crowd, which you can charge a bit more over the locals. I only mention this because I have know a few americans that have had hard time with restaurants until they became more bar orientated. But I dont know the make up of the people in your area.

        • Well around here, at least for now, there are not many foreigners. I expect there to be more in the future though. Texas Bar & Grill. I’ll mention it to my wife and see the reaction.
          It just started a thunderstorm here so I might be knocked off or turn it off soon.

          • Or Expat Bar & Grill maybe. It wouldn’t be much business on a daily basis though, especially if we charged a little more. I wonder if it would be worth it? Something to think about I guess.

          • Well, there is a Texas Joes BBQ in Subic that does very well. Anyway, raining in Manila as i type, rainy season has begun. Later.

          • John, have you ever come up with a head count of known expats who live or are coming to the area. I have come up with around 15 and I know there are more than that.

          • No I have not. I have not even tried to do that. How did you come up with that number?

          • Well let’s see, there is you, me, Mark, Gary, Randy from Oregon, Tom, Rodney, Richie, Charlie, Gerard, Roseg, Rich, that new guy you met from Majalog, and there are a couple two or three guys living in the Tomaliques area. And then that guy in Carayman.

          • Oopps! I forgot about Ed. He’s coming also.

          • Don’t forget about Rick Smith.
            The guy in the Malajog area is Larry. There is George in Tinambacan, but he and Larry are only here part time, at least for now. I was just thinking about guys that live here permanent. If you are talking about Mark G. on this blog, he is here at times (not as much as he’d like), but it’s not for very long when he is here. Gary B. is only here part time too, but I know he wants to be here as much as possible. He also spends time in Pampanga.
            I think part of my problem is I don’t know the names of all the areas around here. I had to look Carayman up on the map. I’ve been that way, but I don’t remember that place. Before that if someone said they were from Carayman, I probably would not have looked it up to see where that is, unless they said it was in this area.
            If you are counting part time people, there is Blair (he’s Canadian, but he’s cool anyway). Also Bruce (Scottish) has been here regularly, but he seems to prefer Thailand better right now. I have seen other expats roaming the streets downtown, but I’m not sure if they are here to stay or just visiting. I’m not the ‘walk up and introduce myself’ type normally, but I have decided to give it a try if the situation seems right. I have seen expats in front of the Isla Cafe 3 or 4 times drinking coffee. I have also seen a couple sitting at a bar by the hospital and then some roaming the streets. I don’t even know if they are the same people or different ones. My social skills suck, but “Let me buy you a drink” I can do, so I’ll try that next time or maybe just try saying “Howdy”.

  5. Sorry to hear you can’t seem to get the restaurant up and going. One thing about going into business John, you can’t think about failing or the odds will already be against you. You mentioned Bruce on his mountain bike. Where does he live? Maybe next time you see him you can mention that I ride too and maybe we can ride together some day. Still waiting for your SUV description.

    • Well Randy I actually think a restaurant would work, if they would do it correctly, but it seems they do things like all the other everyday Filipinos. I think you can start off slow and build your way up, but it takes patience.
      Bruce does not live here, he is only visiting, but I don’t remember for how long, I think next month. I hope to get a mountain bike too, but it depends on when/if we can sell this truck.
      Speaking of which, I will take the pictures this weekend when I get my new camera/cell phone. The one I have now is just too undependable these days. I will be sure to get those pictures on FB as soon as I can. I will be sure to get pictures of the inside and outside.

      • Well I haven’t seen my wife since January and at these airline prices it may be a while before I can get back. I’ve personally met at least 6 expats there and I know of a couple more as well as those who post here on UJs site I’ve never met so I bet it’s at least 12. There’s a couple of Aussies I’ve met who come for a couple of weeks every year to chase skirts that I seem to run onto frequently, lol.

        • Well I guess that is a long time not to see your wife. Don’t they ever have sales for tickets anymore?
          Maybe we should set up an expat meet downtown somewhere to get a lot of these guys together. Or maybe at one of the beach resorts.
          Mark will probably be too tired the week he will be here though.

Texan in the Philippines