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My asawa has borne the brunt of the stress associated with the building of our new home in the Philippines. My spouse handles the ordering of materials and takes care of the payroll and makes sure all of our workers have an ample snack supply on hand for their daily merienda. Regular readers know that I don’t do much of anything and excel in that function. But the other day, I had gotten fed up with the excuses of our roofers, and thus the “ugly american” found it necessary to make an appearance at our new construction site.

Our roof had been nearly completed a few weeks ago when my wife received word that four small sections of the roof were still needed to finish the gable section shown below. I was not overly concerned. The additional roofing was not going to cost us anything and we we were not going to pay the roofers in full until said gable was completed.


the unfinished gables

But on three separate occasions the crew did not show up the day they said they said they would. On the first missed date it was reported to my asawa that the foreman was sick. But the other day, when the workers missed their third scheduled date, I hit the roof.

We had arrived at the construction site and noticed the roofers had not shown up. My asawa called Jolex, the roofing company representative who had ordered our roof and who had recommended the crew that had installed most of our roof.

After my wife got off the phone, she informed me that Jolex had “scolded” the lead man and assured me that the workers would arrive the next day. I was fuming! I took the phone from my spouse and called Jolex.

“Jolex, I am tired of the [expletive deleted] excuses this crew are giving us! If the workers are not here tomorrow I will pay them HALF of what we owe them yet!” I said in an angry tone and loud enough that the workers at our site, and the whole neighborhood, could hear.

“They will be there, sir,” came the reply.

“They had [expletive deleted] BETTER be here. I’m tired of these [expletive deleted] delays!” I informed him.

The crew arrived the next day and finished the job. My asawa and I will go to the site today to inspect the work and make the final payment to the roofers if all is in order.

terrace facing the nipa hut

That matter aside, while at the site, I took the pictures seen in the remainder of this post. The above photo is an inside look at our new terrace that faces my father-in-law’s nipa hut.  My wife plans to hang plants from the concrete beams above.

the electricians are finishing up

Our electricians, seen above, are finishing up their work. They’ve done quality work and will soon be adding motion-detector lighting to the front and rear of our new home in the Philippines.

progress on our new ceiling in the Philippines continues

The ceiling crew has finished most of the living room/dining room/kitchen area.

precast concrete

Our foreman, Boy, has been busy working on the concrete precast designs, seen in the pictures above and below, which will be installed outside of our windows and doors.

more precast concrete which will go above the doors and windows


view of the dirty kitchen

More hollow blocks are being added to the walls of our new dirty kitchen, seen above.

work on the dirty kitchen continues

That’s crew member, Gerry, on the left, along with my asawa checking out the dirty kitchen.

my asawa goes up the spiral staircase

Here’s my lovely wife again, posing at the top of our new spiral staircase which leads to the terrace on the opposite end of the house from the other terrace. This terrace, with the staircase, is located on top of our garage.

view from the terrace

Surprisingly, I easily climbed the new staircase and checked out the view with my wife. That’s our Ford Ranger in the background. The electricians’ truck can see be seen in the foreground.


another view from the terrace

We will have rails installed around the perimeter of the terrace. There was a good breeze that afternoon and I’m looking forward to having a few cold bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen, once the terrace is completed. A few cold ones can always calm down this “ugly american.”

7 thoughts on “The “Ugly American” Makes an Appearance at New Construction Site

  1. Dave,
    Filipino Time rears it’s ugly head again. But for the most part you really haven’t had any other problems, which is great for there. Hopefully the rest of the way will go smooth.

  2. looks like things are progressing along nicely. ceiling is looking good sounds like you had to use a little bit of authority lol.. sometimes that filipino time can get a little to slow. my asawa sister had to fire a couple of the workers during are construction do to there performance. she lived at the sight during the construction so she watched them like a hawk….
    also nice view from the top deck. i’m sure you will enjoy a couple beers up there. thats one thing we really enjoy about are private back patio it just looks out over the rice fields and mountains a place to get some alone piece and quit time….

  3. Hi Dave, I know how you feel some times it can drive you nuts we are busy renovating our bungalow you
    Have to watch the workers in case they decide to do the job different to what you told them very common
    Here, and like my wife says they are more wary of foreigners when you open your mouth but having said
    That it’s better living here then being stuck in our old jobs back home .Derek in pasig ,
    Enjoy your balcony chill out and have a cold beer you know the old saying Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  4. yes dave it was good to have a trusted relative on the sight. but that being said I know she went thru a lot of stress making sure things were getting done and then also having to keep my asawa up to date with progress reports.
    you and your asawa have a lot of patients to be living there during the construction. I don’t think me your my asawa would have handled that very well.

  5. Dave: hope you had a successful day in the city purchasing material for your house.
    our woodworker has finished are chairs for the kitchen table he built. so finally after six months the kitchen is finished I consider that pretty good for custom built on filipino time…
    pictures sent to your email..

  6. it took a couple months for are wood worker to get are doors finished. but well worth the time. and considering everything is pretty much done by hand. better then buying factory built doors…
    I had to keep reminding myself patients is the key because i wanted them done right instead of done in a hurry…

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