American Expat in Philippines Making the Move to Guimaras

American Expat in Philippines Making the Move to Guimaras

This American expat in the Philippines and his lovely Filipina wife are making the move back to Guimaras, the sweet mango province in Western Visayas soon. The original move date was scheduled for next year. That date was pushed up by a year when Lolo’s Alzheimer’s worsened.

Guimaras sunset

Pump boat at sunset on the Iloilo Strait

The trek to my asawa’s home province was  then scheduled for the second weekend of October. We had thought the move would happen this week but due to a miscommunication with Cousin Emma at the Jade Market, who is providing a truck for us, the move will occur at the originally scheduled date in October. My head is spinning faster than Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist

But our boxes are mostly packed and final arrangements for the move are in place. 

The logistics of moving from one island to another, though the two are only about a 15-minute pump boat ride apart, are challenging. 

Jeepneys waiting at Parola Dock in IloiloJeepneys waiting at Parola Dock in Iloilo, near the RORO ferry

We have amassed more furniture and other items in the past two years in Iloilo and one jeepney load, that originally brought us here,  won’t do the trick.

We approached Cousin Emma while visiting Guimaras last week and she has agreed to rent us their truck for the move. A person can’t just check the yellow pages (or even find a phone book) and call up your local U-Haul outlet as you can back in the States. 

Cousin Emma has a rice farm in Iloilo and needed to bring their truck to the Roll On, Roll Off, RORO, ferry that operates between Panay Island, where Iloilo City is located, and Guimaras. 

Rice fields in GuimarasRice fields in Guimaras

The harvest will be done this week and we thought  this was our only opportunity to use the truck.  Though this would have gotten us to the mango province two weeks earlier than planned, we were ready to go.

Cousin Emma has to get the harvest done before the local barangay fiesta starts on Saturday, September 28. The festivities brings in lots of extra income to her market, with bottles of Red Horse and Tanduay Rhum almost literally flying out the windows. So it’s imperative the harvest is done before the celebration starts so Emma can be at the store. 

Stacey and Jensen, Red Horse and "Happy Horse"Let’s get this party started! The Peace Corps in Guimaras

But my asawa wondered out loud the other morning and said all of our stuff wouldn’t fit in Cousin Emma’s truck along with all the rice they will be harvesting from the farm.

I already knew that but was under the impression that the truck was only going to be used for our move and not Emma’s rice, also. We were paying all the RORO fees for the ferry and would give my wife’s relative money for the rental, so in my mind, it was a “done deal.” It seems my wife’s thrifty relative thought the rice and our furniture could be combined in one trip, saving her the ferry fees. 

But several text messages between Emma and my asawa has finally got the situation straightened out. All is well in Iloilo again. And frankly, I really don’t mind missing the fiesta in Guimaras this weekend. I’m still recovering from last April’s Manggahan Festival. 

Our Cignal Satellite dish will be taken down as well as the Smart Bro antenna on our roof. Rest assured, at 61 years of age, I will not be the one climbing the roof and removing said items. 

Our Internet service will be disrupted. Won’t have access to the web at our new residence but I’ve purchased a new Galaxy Samsung Tablet through our local Sun Store which will enable me to use the available Wi Fi hotspots on the mango island. 

Thanks for your support and please bear with me as we make the big move back to Guimaras. Hopefully, all will go smooth and we’ll be back in mango land where there’s running water 24/7 and half the number of brown outs that we had in Iloilo. I can’t wait. 

American expat in Philippines. Another adventure. 

28 thoughts on “American Expat in Philippines Making the Move to Guimaras

  1. Dave,

              I liked Guimaras much better than the city, it was much cooler and the people were nicer.

              I'm sure that you will be happier there!

                                                                      Fearless Frank from Florida

    • Guimaras is chockful of nice people, as you know, Fearless Frank. Completely different environment than the big city of Iloilo of course. Advantages and disadvantages to both, but in the long run, Guimaras is going to work out best for us. 

  2. Yo Dave

    Not that i am planning on moving to Guimaras,well not yet anyways do you think

    it would be hard to find a good place to rent there?

    Old Bob

    • Unless you plan to stay at a pension house, Bob, it would be difficult to find a place to rent in Guimaras. Guimaras doesn’t have all the subdivisions and other housing facilities that nearby Iloilo has.

  3. Dave,

    Well be glad to come help you all move, just send me a plane ticket (first class of course) and tell me when to show up. 

    Good luck with the big move though, bet you wish it was 2014 though. I never thought at my age I would want time to go faster, but I do, since am planning to move there in a few more years. 

    Hope it wont be too hard for you to get internet there, since your mast is long gone. Sounds like you will have to go to town to get a signal.

    • Dave,

      I don't know about you, but i dislike moving.  The only move i enjoyed was to the Philippines lol.  Well at least you have a decent truck to move your belongings. I know you wil be glad when the move is over and you can have water all the time and better power.

      • Papa Duck, I detest moving. My Mom and Dad moved us 27 times back in the States during our high school years. I cannot begin to count up all the times I have moved in my life. But hopefully, this will be our second to the last move as we plan to start building the new house sometime late next year. 

        And water 24/7? I can’t wait to start taking my three showers a day again. Neither can Melinda. 😛

    • Well, Bill S, as much as I would like the help, a first class ticket’s not in this month’s budget. 🙂

      I understand how you feel about wanting time to go faster. My wife and I are both anxious to start building the new home, but we’re four years closer than we were to that goal. It’s amazing how fast the time has passed by, however.

      Yes, too far out for an internet signal at our location but it’s a short walk to downtown, about 15-20 minutes, and I can get a Wi Fi signal there or use the many local internet cafes. The exercise will do me good. 

      • Dave, scattered around YouTube and the net in general are designs for WiFi range extenders.  They are usually homemade parabolic dishes of whatever sort.  No idea if you're too far out for even that, but they do work and 15 minutes walk isn't far.

        • Thanks, Owen. I’ve checked out that link you sent. We’re quite a distance from any WiFi network but the device on the link doesn’t look that difficult to make. Now if we can just get my new tablet and my wife’s new phone to work on the WiFI networks we do have access to when we go shopping. Neither one of our devices will connect despite having a strong signal from the network. Sigh. Looks like I’ll have to go back to the Sun Store where I purchased said items and have them take a look. It’s hard teaching an old dog new tricks. My HP PC that I currently use is nine years old. Never had a laptop or tablet before. 

          • I'll defer to someone else's skill for you tablet/phone connection to WiFi.  

            You said you were fifteen mins walk from wifi and that would not seem more than 3 miles?  That colander antenna design is just one of many simple ones, and most talk in terms of over three miles.  You may not want to use it to stiff your local provider ( though many do), but I would guess you might give it whirl as a backup for when the paid service is down ( assuming the WiFi service in town doesn't rely on the same service). So . . . a rainy day project.

            • Morning, Owen. I do want to put this project on “my do list.” I’m relatively sure no one in our new immediate area has WiFi. I’ll check out the signals from the surrounding businesses that offer it and see how that goes. Entirely new experience for me. Our local PitStop Pizza joint has WiFi according to the Tom Cat. Now if Lisa’s Talabahan would offer free WiFI I’d really be living in paradise. Cold beer, BBQ pork sticks and the Internet. Now that’s a great combination.

        • Owen, Dave's current problem with his tablet is unrelated to getting internet in Guimaras 🙂  The Guimaras problem has to do with "line of sight" communications. Hence the tower they had before.  The internet connectivity problem with the new tablet, within 20 feet of a WiFi connection, is completely different.  BTW, I am a communications guy.  

          • If brother-in-law Joery wouldn’t have taken down our 50 ft. tower, Rease, all I would have to do is have him scamper up the tower and reinstall the radio atenna. The tower had perfect line of sight with the Smart Bro main tower. The new location doesn’t have any tower in the line of sight, thus the need for the tablet and WiFI connection. I could, however, use the WiFi signal extender Owen has mentioned and see how close I could get a signal from our new residence. 

            I might be in touch with you, Rease, if my local Sun Store can’t figure this out. Thanks, much. 


      • Damn, I was sure you would be sending me $15-20,000 for the plan ticket, and I was even going to bring the beer for the moving party.

        Anyone else, need some help moving?

  4. Good luck on the move Dave. No internet? Yikes that sure doesn't sound good.

    We had a 3 and a half hour brown out last night. What fun! I need to find a place to live without the brown outs. I am too old for this crap. I have had a bad heart since I was 5 years old. I need a fan blowing on me. My rechargeable fan quit after 2 hours. Still not feeling well.

    Rain??? We had a very small rain last night. First rain in over a week. All the rain is north of us. Getting very dry here…

    • Yep, might not have a permament internet service until we get the new house built, Gary. But there’s plenty of internet cafes and wi fi spots nearby. 

      Now that we’re moving we’ve only had 6 brownouts this month thus far compared to 12 in August and 25 in July. The longest one this month was only one hour. Hope you can find a place without brownouts. We’ve had plenty of rain. I’ll try to send some your way to cool things off. Take care and hope you get to feeling better. 

  5. Dave, some years ago I was in Bangkok on the 25th floor of a hotel.  Powered up my laptop and looked at the list of signals.  The hotel's signal was there, of course, and they wanted $10/day for the password.  I was going to pay it but noticed there was a McD's on the list, and a Burger King and some others I didn't know what they were.

    Over the next few days, I accessed the net with just about all of them.  Never paid the $10/day.  No point.

    Point is, 25th floor is some distance away and I could not see any golden arches from the window.  In those days the McDs wifi was probably stronger than it needed to be.

    But no matter.  Imagine how small the antenna is in a laptop.  A dish antenna greatly expands the surface area intersecting signal waves, and then focuses it on the focal point where you put the little antenna thing, and it then sees signal plenty strong.  Ditto in the other direction, transmit.  The dish scoops up all the signal that was going to go in the wrong direction and beams it where you want it.  Which reminds me . . . you do have to move it around to get it pointed right.  Not too tricky, but you can't be pointed opposite direction haha.

    • Owen, I’m definitely going to build one of those WiFi atennas. Anything that could boost my signal is a positive. If I wanted to have some fun with it, I could cover my head with aluminum foil and affix the antenna to my head. I believe The Tom Cat picked up a Globe signal in an area I’ll be close to. Lots of possibilities available even in rural Guimaras. One downside is that Sun, the company I have my tablet and new internet service with, doesn’t cover San Miguel, Jordan, the provincial capitol, but does have a signal at the beach areas and other locations throughout the island. Why service is provided at the province’s biggest city and the capitol is beyond my comprehension, but I’m sure I’ll be able to work something out with the available free WiFi locations nearby. 

    • TG, if I could have gotten water on a 24/7 basis in Savannah Subdivision where we’ve lived for the past two years, in Oton, Iloilo, we might have considered staying. I used to complain about the brownouts in Guimaras but not anymore. We’ve had less than half the brownouts in Guimaras than we’ve had in the past two years in Iloilo. Now if the politicking and delays over the windmill project in San Lorenzo, Guimaras, could get settled, the mango island might even be exporting excess energy. But I’m not holding my breath on that one. 

        • We are checking out different alternate energy sources, Lance, before we start building our new home late next year. It would make for some interesting articles. I’ll keep everyone posted as we move forward, thanks. 

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