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Our brother-in-law, Joery, has recently completely another new project down on The Farm in Guimaras, our home province in the Philippines. Framed wall

Joery is our all-around general handyman and will be the foreman on our new house that we will have built on the mango province later this year. He’s the proverbial “jack-of-all-trades” and has excellent carpentry skills and is able to deal with any electrical and plumbing issues we might have. He’s the perfect choice to head our crew.

The Manila Mafia, aka, sister Emily, her husband Joe, and their crew of six kids,  are coming to visit us for ten days in April. Guess where they’re staying? Yep, at “The Farm.”

The crew from Manila

Here’s a look at the Manila Mafia from a few years back

The gang will be gone by the time the annual Manggahan Festival, which according to our local Tourism Council, starts during the last week of April this year, after Holy Week. That’s too bad. Since The Tom Cat and Fearless Frank from Florida won’t be around this year to celebrate the mango mash, I’m going to be hard-pressed to find someone to share a few cold bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen with. Brother-in-law Joe will be back in Manila by then.

So to get our basement ready for our visitors Joery built a wall to separate our large basement area, 366 square feet, into two separate rooms. Our Carrier air con (that we haven’t had to use since moving here last October) will be above our bed and in an effort to save on electricity costs; we wanted the air con to cool a smaller area.Another look at the framing

With amazingly no brown outs for the past month in Guimaras (at the time this post was written) and an electric bill in January for only P1600, 35 US Dollars, we want to try and keep our costs down during the upcoming hot summer months of April and May.

completed wall

A look at the completed wall from the sleeping area

view of completed wall

A view of the wall from the other side of the basement area

We used two pieces of plywood, 4 mm thick for the wall at a total cost of 650 pesos, 14.45 US Dollars. Joery also purchased 4 pieces of  2x2x8’s and 5 2x2x10’s for the framing for a total cost of 1, 205 pesos, around 27 US Dollars. Throw in some finishing nails for 45 pesos and the cost for material comes to P1900, 42 US Dollars.

We paid Joery 300 pesos, 6.66 USD, for his labor that day and fed him lunch and snacks and compensated him for his tricycle fare to “The Farm.”

We haven’t turned on the air con yet to see how it cools down the room since we’ve been able to sleep quite comfortably in the basement. Of course, since our brother-in-law screened three large windows that we can leave open all the time now without any fear of mosquitoes, lizards and geckos sneaking in, that helps in keeping the sleeping quarters cooler.

Always good to have a dependable handyman to call on when needed. Joery will be quite busy once our new house project commences but my asawa and I both have confidence in him and know he will do quality work.

We plan to pay Joery P450 a day as foreman. While 10 dollars a day in U.S. wages might not seem that generous, it’s a good day’s wages in the Philippines, at least in our neck of the woods in Western Visayas.

For those of you, who have voiced your desire to move to the Philippines and try to find work as a carpenter or plumber, please keep in mind that the majority of people will hire a local Filipino. And they will not be paying you wages you might be accustomed to in the States. That you can count on.

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