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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Zine Entry #43

Zine Entry #43



For awhile there I was feeling like I did not want to continue the blog.  I was getting so few comments I wasn’t sure if anyone was actually reading.  I didn’t have a program to tell me if anyone was either.  The last one I had was slower my system down so I had to delete it.  This dang thing is slow enough as it is.  I found another plug in that so far does not seem to be a problem.  I think I’m going to have to make a little change though.  I have been thinking for a long time that I should be doing shorter posts, so I can get more in.  I know that there are y’all out there that like the longer posts and perhaps I will continue to do some.  Y’all should know by now that when I start rambling, I could put in a couple thousand words if I don’t curtail it.

I’ll be putting in whatever pictures I have not already shown to y’all.  I won’t promise that they will be in sync with the post though.

Imelda's Lounge - Calbayog

What this post is going to be is what we finally did to take care of our Visa problem.  If you remember we were going up to Clark and failing to get on a Space A flight.  It wasn’t all that bad though, because we did learn some things and got to get away for awhile.  I did get to hang out on Fields Ave for awhile and get to eat a large sandwich that was not a Filipino sandwich.  I’m talking like a hoagie.   Definitely going to have to go back there again on the next trip there.

Okay John curtail the post.

This posts dates back to 22 August, the day before we bought our airline tickets.  Normally I would not start the day before, but on that day we had an unscheduled 14 hour brownout.  We lost the lights around 10:20pm and they did not come back on until 12:20pm the next afternoon.  Actually recently we have had a lot of brown outs and at least 2 of those were in excess of 12 hours.  In the past week, we have had at least 7 brown outs for a total of about 28 hours of no power.

Back to the story.

Island hopping boat service

So we needed to be out of country no later than 27 Aug or our Visa would have expired.  We had heard that even if it did expire, it would  only be a small fine when we get to the airport when we do eventually leave, depending on how long it was when we left.  We decided against that though because there were other stories of large fines and also of  being ejected from the country and we did want to take a chance.

On 23 August we reserved a flight from Clark to Hong Kong.  Why from Clark you may ask.  Well after figuring it out, it was about P7000 less to leave from Clark, instead of Tacloban or Calbayog.  Even when the fee for the ferry and the overnight stay at the hotel in Angeles was added in the mix.  I don’t know why, but I checked it 3 times to be sure I didn’t make a mistake.  We sure were not looking forward to the long bus trip, again, but to save P7000, we determined it was worth it.

Line of island hopping boats

The only place in the city to get the Cebu Pacific tickets and be able to pay the prices (or less) that you find online is at the Sky Horizon office.  As it turns out the lady in the office saved up about another P200.  Good for me.  Of course while we were waiting for the ticket to process, the computers went down.  Now this next part is some class.  Instead of us having to wait until the computer came back up, the lady told us that she would deliver our paperwork to us at home after she got off work.  That’s something I’ve never heard of happening in the US.  She said that she would be at our house between 6:30pm and 7:00pm.  And she was.  She arrived at 6:45pm.  Everything is cool.

The next day, 24 August, I was at Mercury Drug and someone said hello to me.  He introduced himself only as Tom and I had to figure out later which Tom it was.  I eventually did.  It was Calbayog Tom.  He did confirm that I was corrected a few days later.  We didn’t get to talk much at the time, but I hope to be able to some other time.

Island hopping boat close-up.

In fact I’d really like to have a weekly get together someplace downtown for expats.  I suppose that everyone won’t be able to show up all the time, but it would be nice to have a place that we could all meet and have a decent time.  It’s also a good way to meet any new expats coming into the area.  So if anyone of y’all living here read this and know of a good spot, please let me know.  Gary B., will be moving to the area in a couple of months and he also would like a good place to met.   He will be living in San Joaquin and he says he could make the trip to the downtown area on a weekly basis, so I suppose everyone else should not have a problem, since most likely you will not being living further away than that.  Besides, it would not be a mandatory meeting anyway, just a place to meet and we can always head to another place afterwards.  Y’all let me know of any ideas on that and I’ll spread it to all that read this blog.

In the next post I will begin with the beginning of our trip to Angeles and the flight to Hong Kong thereafter.  I’m trying to do what I said and make these posts a bit shorter, although I did eclipse 1000 words.

Salamat, Y’all



  1. Hi John,

    Just caught up on your blog. With my oldest attending a new High School here and all kinds of things happening tied to that I haven’t even been on FB that much either. I read from August to now this morning, lol.

    Mark G.

    • Cool, you’re caught up. I haven’t done too much recently anyway. I hope to get a post in at least 3 or 4 times a week for now though.

  2. Glad to see you back. I’m a regular reader but seldom comment.

    • Thank you Tony. I see you seldom leave comments, this is only your 3rd one. I do remember that e-mail name though “Oldhawker”. That pretty hard to forget. I’m glad you are a regular reader and I hope to not get bored with this for awhile or maybe never again get bored with it.

  3. Hi John,Glad to see you back on the site,i am back in washingto stae,spent more time in Alaska than i wanted to.I got all caught up on the back post and was wondering what happend with nothing new.Maybe if you got out and walked around town takeing a few pics of the new things happening with explanation of them,might get you more remarks.Any way good to see you back online

    • I really do need to do that Wayne. I want to. I have to wait until I get a new camera though. I should get it next week though. I need what that is not a ‘smart’ phone because I just don’t have the smarts to use one of those. Or rather I’d rather not have to go through all the hassle of learning how. I’ll be getting a simple phone/camera combo and will get back to the picture taking. There are quite a few new things to get on the blog.
      When are you going to be heading back this way?

      • We will be heading back to Samar march of next year for two months,wife wants to be in tigdarano for the fiesta,first one in quite a few years.We are hopeing for good weather and few brown outs.

        • Well Wayne I can’t promise you the good weather, but I can almost guarantee that you will get those few brown outs that you want in a 2 month span.

  4. Hey John glad to see you have gotten over your cabin fever and decided to pickup your site where you left off. There might be a little change of plans about coming back in Jan. Just got out of hospital last month, had to have two operations on right leg to remove blood clots. Good thing we did not decide to extend our stay by a month like we was talking about or I might have been SOL. Am still under doctors care and when they release me, have couple of trips around US before planning to return to Calbayog. Oh also have jury summons I have to talk myself out of. I bet you miss them. I guess they figure you are retired so you have nothing better to do but sit around waiting for their summons. This is 3rd I have received in 3 years. Will let you know when we decide to return. Am sure Nila will be calling Lita to catch up on lates news and keep you up to date on whats happing.

    • Well George I’m going to have to get out and do some things more often or I’m probably going to get that cabin fever more often. I just know that if I ever get started on something, I will be alright for awhile.
      Sorry to hear about your problems, but as long as you are doing fine, it’s cool.
      I remember Nila saying y’all have a couple of places to visit before returning. I don’t remember them both, both I do remember Seattle.
      Actually in my whole life I only received a summons for jury 3 times. Only one of those times did I make it to the next round for selection, but I did not get chosen for the actually trial.
      Well when Nila does call, I’m sure that Lita will be happy to talk with her. All that yap yap seems to make her happier most of the time.
      Well we’ll see you when you finally do get here. Hope things go well for y’all.

Texan in the Philippines