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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Wide Highway, Short Build

Wide Highway, Short Build



If you have been reading the posts here, you will know that the city is planning on expanding the highway the runs in front of our house.  Of course not ‘just’ in front of our house, but, from what I hear, they have plans to widen the whole highway, at least in Samar.  When they told us last year they said they didn’t know how long before they would get started.  Knowing how quickly they do things in the Philippines, I figured it would be about 5 years before they actually did it.  I could still be right, but they did take a step in the direction of completing it just 3 days ago.  They stopped by and ‘officially’ marked how far they will be taking.  The only good news about the whole thing is, well actually a couple of things.  One is that we should be getting compensated for what they are taking.  We don’t know how much yet, but I’m sure it won’t be close to what we paid for it.  My name is not on the lease, but I will be in the loop for when we do find out.  I wonder if we can refuse to sell at their price or do we have to take what they offer?  Here are the 2 marks they made:

Road widening mark ground

Road widening mark building

As you can see from the 2nd picture they will be taking almost all the building that use to be the bakery.  The place that they marked it though is about 6 inches less than we had figured it would be.  That’s the 2nd bit of good news, from the previous paragraph.

Now I’m wondering if the people around here will now start planning for the store and/or restaurant they should be starting here.  Lita’s cousins are actually the ones that want to do the store/restaurant.  Lita seems content to collect the rent money from whichever of the cousins start it.  Titing/Neneng want to do something there and so does Judith, but we’ll see how things develop.  They’ve been procrastinating using the road widening as an excuse.  Now that we know the exact distance, maybe they will think more about it now.

Personally I think that a restaurant would be better than a store for a couple of reasons.  The first is that there are already plenty of sari-sari stores around here, including one just next door. The second reason is because there are no decent restaurants around here.  There is the Ciriaco Hotel, but their food is not that good, at least not in my opinion and the opinion of many others I have talked to.  Plus they charge too much for their food, at least for the average person.  I’m sure that people that have money to waste and the ones that are here on business, and the company is paying for it, they don’t mind so much.  There was a restaurant next door, but I think they have closed that down and only have a store now.  They had better prices than the Ciriaco, but their food was not all that good.

Actually I think that maybe a combination store/restaurant might be the best option.  A small restaurant with a small menu (at least to start) and a small sari-sari store that only sells the most popular items that people buy, including beer, Tanduay and cigarettes.  The restaurant part should include items that foreigners will want to eat, food that they are use to, but it might be hard to control.  At least right now, there are not an abundance of foreigners.  Of course the most popular Filipino items need to be served.

As much of the property they are taking, we probably will have to re-route the stairs so we can build in that area so the place will be some kind of decent size.  We also plan to add on another room in front of my computer room, so that will hinder the length of the store/restaurant.  Although that probably won’t have that much influence on the outcome anyway.

I guess I’ll let y’all know, when I know.

Salamat, Y’all



  1. Here is my comment just to see if you can see it. Glad you did something to fix it!

    • I can see it. Glad you did something to type it.

  2. The compensation offered is pretty reasonable.Yes you can refuse to sell but only as a delaying tactic in the end they can compulsory purchase and often you will get a lesser amount than the original offer.
    Also you will have to be plan any future extensions to your place ,there is a minimum clear distance from the road edge to any new construction. I’m not sure what that is for a national highway but for a barangay road its 1 meter.
    All of the houses that you have seen constructed on the road edge can at any time be cleared as illegal structures.The Japanese and Korean governments are putting a lot of money into road construction in Samar at the moment plus the military are building roads to open up the interior so I would not count on having five years. but on the plus side when they widened the national highway in the Catbalogan area they were more than fair with compensation.
    Good luck take care

    • First of all I’d like to thank you for commenting. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a ‘new’ commenter. I appreciate you taking the time to express your opinion of this post and hope you will of other also. Next, I sure am glad to hear of the ‘fair compensation’. I was a bit worried about that really. I’ll be sure to find out the exact distance from the highway before we build on anymore, but I think we should be a safe distance with our current plans. When they came by to put that official measurement, I was thinking they would be quickly after that. Not so. Of course with as much as they are taking all along the highway, it’s going to take sometime for them to tear down everything that is already built along the highway. I don’t know which section they will be starting at though and there are a couple of cemeteries right down the right, so maybe they will start ‘after’ them and away from town, which would make us in their path. I just want them to do it already, since it seems like we have no choice in the matter. Just get it started, compensate us well and let us get on with things.
      Again I appreciate your comments and look for to hearing from you on future posts.

    • Oh, and I wonder how much of that compensation actually is before it filters through the government hands? Do they deal with us directly or will the elected officials see it first?

      • The National Highway widening is a presidential project The funding is mostly Japanese and Korean so its mostly above board.
        As for how quickly they will move well that depends on funding. The project has been ongoing for about 15 years already with many starts and stops due to funding.
        A Japanese expat in the Carbalogan area has been waiting 6 years for his house to be thorn down.Compensation is agreed in the millions but funding is not available.

        Your case will be simple in comparison and wont take nearly as long.Its a stressful time for you but its a national project and it has not generated any large scale complaints or protests so far

        • Yes I realize that they are ‘normally’ slow around here. I guess I just want it over and done so we can move on. I’ve got no control over it so I guess I’ll just wait.

  3. Don / 19 May 15

    Well, if they take up to where you marked on the building, then you will also need to go back another 6 feet or so.

    I wouldn’t worry about moving to far back from the road, customers will just use the new lane for parking 🙂 lollolol. In fact you might be able to set up some tables out there for “out door” dining lolol 😉

    • You know Scott you are probably partially right anyway. I’m sure people will be using it to park. It happens now with just 2 lanes. I’d be a bit scared to put tables out there though. It is a major highway. In town or in the province you can get away with that, but I don’t think it will work here.

  4. btw, not sure if you have done something different to your website. But this is the first time in prob 6 months I have actually been able to comment.

  5. Well, if they take up to where you marked on the building, then you will also need to go back another 6 feet or so. You cant be right next to the road, especially when you figure someone will crash into the building while laying down the concrete.

    • I don’t know about that 6 feet thing Don. There are houses here right on the highway. I’m talking maybe 3 feet from the edge of the road. Our house may end up being that close IF we ever get the extra room put on. IF we end up doing a store and/or restaurant, then it also will be about that close.
      As for the website, I haven’t done anything new recently, but about 2, maybe 3 months ago, I got rid of the CAPTCHA. It was causing too many problems and a few people were complaining about not being able to leave a comment. I have a new one that doesn’t bother anyone, it just does all its work in the background.

Texan in the Philippines