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Calbayog Walkabout

Calbayog Walkabout



Here I go again, being too lazy to type up a post.  Retired life is difficult.  Difficult to get motivated after relaxing in a cool breeze, drinking a beer and listening to music all day week.  It’s only been a few years, I’ll get the hang of it in a few more … maybe.  I went for a walk to Calbayog Proper (downtown Calbayog) a couple of weeks ago and I took a few pictures along the way.  This was the same day that I stopped off at Kamalig Event Center to talk with the owner, John Blackwell.  I have already posted their menu from that day: Kamalig Event Center Menu, but I neglected to do the extra work to complete this post.  It’s time to stop procrastinating and take care of it.

Before I get started though, I have one more thing.  Another expat, Jerry Cook, has a site that I’ve come a little bit interested in and thought I’d share it in case it interested some of y’all also. The name of the site is: Triple Clicks and they sell and auction things there.  They have a very nice variety so I encourage you to at least check it out.  IF you decide you want to sign up (sign up is free), then please do so from the link I just provided.  That way Jerry will get credit for it.  I also have 2 new ads on the front of the blog now, which are from Triple Clicks in case you want to check those out too.  The more clicks they get from my blog, the better I look, so I’ll leave that up to you.

Okay, on with my little walking adventure.  I’m starting to alter the way I walk downtown now.  Instead of going straight down Mahalika highway, I will turn right, right down the road from our house and head towards the market area.  They are still in the process of completing the road from the highway to the market parking lot.

New Market road from highway

New Market road towards highway

After you get off this partial road and walk through a little bit of dirt and grass you will come upon the parking lot of the market.  Today was the first time that I noticed that on the far end of the parking lot, they have like a trike waiting area.  Trikes are lined up, waiting to get enough people in them to make a profitable trip.  They did that at the old market too, but, so far, this one is smaller.  It too could end up being larger later.

Side view of the market as you walk up from highway

Trike waiting area

Once you get to the next road, which I don’t know the name of, but I think they call it only Magsaysay extension road, you see some businesses there.  There seems to be more and more each time I go that way.  Most of them are eating places or little sari-sari stores, but they do have a bike shop there and an educational place there, plus the Mormon church and other little stores that I should have gotten pictures of, but didn’t.  Maybe next time.

In and Out Eatery

Young lady that works at In and Out Eatery

No name restaurant

No name restaurant inside

That’s all the pictures I took for awhile.  I continued down the Magsaysay extension road until I got to Pido Street and I turned left, back towards the highway.  When I got to the highway, I turned left again to head back home.  As I was walking I really only had one thing that I wanted to check out, which I did, but noticed a couple of others things before I got there that I decided to take a picture of that also.  After all, that was part of the purpose of the trip, to take pictures.  The first one is that I noticed that Joy Hotel has made improvements.  Then I noticed that we have a famous department store name here in Calbayog.

Allmango Restaurant at Joy Palace Hotel with other businesses down the alley

Macy's of Calbayog

So now it’s time for the one thing that I wanted to check out on this walk.  I wanted to try to get some inside pictures of the Seaside Drive Inn.  Why they call it a “Drive Inn” I do not know. It is a hotel.  I did get inside to take pictures this time, but it’s not a very big place that I could see.  My guide didn’t seem to be very proficient in English, so maybe that was part of the problem. He did show me a place to take a couple of scenic shots of the ocean from the hotel area and he did let me go upstairs, but not in any rooms.  It was a pretty narrow hallway to walk down, but at least I could walk without touching the walls.  I didn’t get any pictures upstairs, since I couldn’t go in any rooms, but in addition to a couple of scenic views, I did get a picture on the inside of their front desk, but that picture seems to have vanished.  I think I accidentally erased it.  The Seaside Drive Inn is open 24/7, just ring the buzzer for assistance.

Scenic view from Seaside Drive Inn hotel

Seaside Drive Inn buzzer area

Seaside Drive Inn buzzer

After leaving there, I was starting to get tired.  I thought about getting a trike to go home, but opted to keep walking instead.  Maybe I could lose a few calories and not be able to find them again.  So as I’m walking I come up on the Kamalig Event Center and notice that the place is open and there are a couple of cars out there.  I told myself that his might be a good time to finally meet John Blackwell in person, if he was there.  I decided to take a chance and figured the worst thing that could happen was that he wouldn’t be there but I’d get a few more pictures for this post.  Well I got both.  John was there and I got pictures.  He recognized me from the blog and as it turns out he is a very nice guy.  I think that most of the following pictures I have already used on the blog, but, just in case, I’ll put them on here again.

John Blackwell at Kamalig Event Center

Kitchen area of the Kamalig Event Center

This next picture of the Kamalig dance floor is the area they had the projection screen set up for the “Fight of the Century”.  He just unveiled those 2 55″ TV on the wall for this photo.

Kamalig Event Center dance floor

Last, but certainly not least, here are a couple of pictures of some of the food at the Kamalig Event Center.  The pictures I took did not come out even close to as good as these, so I’ll use these.  I have not tried the tacos here yet, but I plan for that to be my next meal there.  Also I hear that their pork burger is really good too, but I’ll do the tacos first.

Kamalig double cheese burger

Kamalig tacos and beer

After I left here, I had a few leftovers from my cheeseburger, for Lita, so I took a trike home.  I didn’t want for her food to get too cold and she was probably wondering where the heck I was anyway.  I visited there for about an hour I guess.  I didn’t really keep up with the time.  When your retired time is usually not that important.  So that concludes my little Calbayog Walkabout.  Until next time.

Salamat Y’all



  1. Hi JJ! As you may have noticed I haven’t been able to visit for a while. Really don’t know why life has been busy. I tried to catch up by starting with your last trip out of PH in Oct. I noted your continuing problem with Internet connection during brown outs.

    I was back in S. Leyte with frequent road trips to Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay last August and September. Within a couple of days of my arrival I was informed about the existence of “pocket wi-fi”s. In effect, it’s a miniature wireless router available with either Globe or Smart. Of course your PC needs to be wireless capable. You buy the PWF – at that time it was around P2K – it comes with a password so unauthorized user can’t use it. Then you chose your load. For P999 you get unlimited use for a month, or you can load it for as little as it costs to load your cellphone for a day, two days, etc.

    The reason I mentioned this is that as long as the cell signal works, you can access the ‘Net. It’s actually pretty cool because you can take this gadget with you anywhere. I used it all over when I traveled:: on the boat in an overnight sailing to Cebu, inside an Ormoc hospital.. practically anywhere there’s cell reception, just like using a smartphone. Up to 8 computers can hook up to it wirelessly without any noticeable speed lag. In fact the first viable internet cafe by the beach in my sleepy hometown in SLeyte uses pocket-wifi. The owner offered to buy my unit in Tacloban at his next trip. Globe ran out of stock when he was there so he bought a Smart and after approximately half an hour of orientation in its use, I had no problems whatsoever. It worked through brown outs as long as a cell signal was available and the battery in your tablet or laptop was not out of juice. This is where solar-powered chargers are handy. 🙂

    • Howdy Winda. Yes you don’t seem to visit as much as before, at least I don’t see so many comments. I didn’t realize that you were from Southern Leyte, my wife is also. She is from around the St. Bernard area (actually Tambis 1).
      I’ll check with my local computer guru and see about those pocket wifi’s. I’ll see if it might be something to keep me form going crazy during the brownouts. I don’t really like using the small phone/tablet devices, but I guess if there is nothing else, I would have to. I do have a tablet, but I mainly use that as my camera. For some reason (probably because I’m a bit old school) those smaller devices with all their doo-dads, confuse me.
      Well I hope you will have time to go back to reading the blog on a regular basis. Not only so you will be reading, but also so you won’t be so busy and can be having more time to relax.

  2. UJ just wondering if your there on a balykbian stamp can you use your tricare insurance? and also did open a bank account there? and wondering did you keep a us address for mail?
    Just doing some research for my own future 13A or balykbian…..

    • Yes I can use my TRICARE, but have yet to have to. There is not TRICARE PRIME here by the way, only Standard and TFL (I believe, because I’m not old enough for that yet). We did open a bank account twice (also putting one of our Filipino cousins on the accout). We do not currently have a Filipino account and I really so no need to have one, but others may disagree. As for a US address, no, we don’t have one really. At first I was told I needed one so I used my Dad’s address. Now anything I need can be sent here, but it does take a lot longer to get here, so be sure to consider that. Instead of like 2 days, it takes more like 2 weeks for a letter to arrive via regular mail.
      If I had to do it all again and actually listened to others that have experience in the matter, I’d get the 13A.

      • thanks for that info. I’m pretty sure we will get the 13A before our final move. we have a bdo bank dollar account already that we opened here in the states. my retirement pay and all my other funds will continue to go to nfcu then I can just do bank transfer as needed. my wife has a sister in oak harbor washington so she will be our contact here. and send us balykbian boxes a couple times a year.

        • Sounds like you have a better grip on things than I did when I first moved here. I wanted to open a bank account in the US at Metro Bank in Houston, but was told that the computers at their bank are not connected to the computers in the PI, so I could not do any banking that way. Also they use to have a Bank of America here in the PI, but last I heard it has been shut down. I was told they were not compatible either. Maybe you should make sure your is. And while you are at it say: GO AIR FORCE!!!

          • We have a dollar account at BDO and we have deposited money into it . and when we are there we go to the bank and have done withdraws from are account. so we know it works.
            but we are going to check with metro bank when we go to
            uni-mart next weekend because my wife sends money thru them to her sister and would like to get a dollar account with them.
            GO NAVY!!!!!!

          • We had an account with Metro Bank before and with Coconut Planters Bank. Metro Bank is better of the 2 for sure. We ended up getting our account closed because we had to use our extra money in there for our first trip to Texas. We are seriously thinking of getting another account though. Maybe not use it as much though. We were too dependent on it for my retirement check in my opinion. I hope to still get my money via Xoom and I’m pretty sure we can do that at Metro Bank. So something to check into for me.

    • I guess I should have included this in my response: . It’s a website where you can locate the TRICARE doctors in the Philippines.

  3. thanks for the reply. I’m always looking for articles to read about the philippines because I figure the more you read and research before moving the better prepared you will be. sorsogon city is the main city of sorsogon province the ferry from allen to matnog then about a one hour drive.
    the other blog I read there is the one retiredinsamar hhe also has some great articles and info.
    the guy your talking about in guimaras we talk a lot and have sent him a lot of pictures because he is in the process of building a house right now and we just recently finished building our house in sorsogon. your right he is from illinois we only lived about 30 min. apart when he lived here in illinois. so we both know this area of illinois so I can guaranty dave is a good guy because where country folks in the central part of illinois. by the way randy is also from illinois
    did you get a chance to go to philippine expat forum and check out my pictures?
    where are you going in october?
    I to hope we will be able to get together someday. and hey don’t worry about not getting around to do more things your retired and in the philippines . just do things at your own pace as they say
    ” it’s more fun in the philippines ” buy the way if you have a email you would like to share I would be glad to send you some pictures.
    try to keep in touch “GO NAVY”

    • Oh so you already know both those guys then. I’m on the tail end of this. Hey Randy is a pretty smart guy I think and he keeps up with a lot of the local goings on, so he knows the good stuff to write about. I don’t get out much, as I said, so I’m limited on what I can write. I hope to meet Dave someday, but not sure when that will be. Hopefully we’ll still both be drinking beer when I do. I heard that Randy was actually from Illinois, but you claims Texas and the last stateside place he lived was in Mississippi.
      No I have not been to the Philippine Expat Forum. I’m not even sure I know which one. Do you have a link for it?
      We are not going in October, we are probably coming back in October. We will be leaving in September. We are here in balikbayan status, which means we need to leave once a year for at least 1 day. Right now we are not sure where we are going, but it looks like either Korea or Australia. I’d like to go to Texas again this year, but I don’t think it’s going to be possible unless an unexpected influx of money comes my way.
      Oh I do do things at my own pace, and that pace is never in the ‘hurry’ mode. Looking forward to when you get here, although you’re not exactly going to be next door, we should be able to get together now and then.
      Don’t forget about that link to the expat site you are talking about.
      C ya when I do.
      GO AIR FORCE!!

      • Yes I reed both there pages along with yours and a couple of other one’s also. as I said reed as much as I can on living in the philippines. so I can plan my move to be as smooth as possible even that we do fly there and visit a couple times a year since we have a house there. when we make are move we will have everything in place. we own a boarding house and rice field and also a small store and eatery there in sorsogon.
        just wondering why don’t you get a 13A visa? also from what I reed with the balykbian visa you can extend it pretty easy to a one year tourist visa that way you would only need to leave every two years. but on that note I do understand why it would bee nice to take a trip once a year.
        not sure if I can paste the web page but if you do a google search for philippine expat forum it will be the first one on the list that comes up it will say>…>asia hope maybe this will help you locate the is a really good info page for expats and future expats once you sign up to the page you can post questions and comment on questions to pass along good info.
        talk to you later have a great ” NAVY DAY” LOL……..

        • Yeah I found it although that link did not work for me. No, I’m not in that forum. In fact, I am not in any forum anymore I guess. I already spend too much time on the computer so I guess I won’t be adding anymore forums. Maybe some Space A groups, but I normally don’t have to worry about those. Just join and only use when/if I travel Space A and will be going near one of the areas.

  4. by the way there is another blogger there in samar that I read his articles looks like a trip to samar for me is needed in the future..

    • You are probably talking about “Retired in Samar”. That is a blog belonging to Randy Landis. He’s a friend of mine here. He’s a pretty smart and a good guy. He is retired Navy also, but I guess we can’t all be perfect. I’m retired Air Force.

  5. nice article and i’m sure there are times you miss Texas but it looks like your adjusting well. to let you know about me & my asawa i’m retired navy and spent 6 years stationed in cubi pt. we have been married for 30 years.. we just recently finished building a house in sorsogon city which is just a short trip across the strait from samar. we also own a boarding house , sari sari store with small eatery, and one hector rice field. my wife sister lives there and takes care of it all. we will be back there to visit again this october. we currently live in illinois and yes it sucks in the winter. if you would like to see pictures of the house I would be glad to share them with you.
    i’m also on philippine expat forum under ( rogdas ) I have some pictures on my album there.
    take care and keep up the good work….

    • Thanks, I’m glad you liked the article. I’m even more happy that you took the time to leave a comment. I don’t get too many comments on this site these days. I suppose that if I got out more and did more things, I’d have more better things to write about. Maybe I’ll get around to doing that sometime.
      I could have been through Sorsogon City for all I know. Sometimes it hard to determine just exactly where you are when traveling because things are not marked clearly. There is an expat that lives on the island of Guimaras, down by Cebu, that is also from Illinois and he has a blog. His blog name is “Philippines Plus” ( He’s name is Dave DeWall (aka The Kano) and he seems like a pretty decent guy. I have yet to meet him in person though.
      Well thanks again for the comment and I hope to meet you someday. We should be back from our little vacation when you are scheduled to arrive in October, so if you get the time, stop by. I’m easy to find. Just walk out the front door of the Ciriaco Hotel, move to your right about 3 steps and you’ll be looking at my house right across the highway.

Texan in the Philippines