Our pool project progresses in the Philippines. It’s been a month since I first gave an update on this major undertaking at our new home in the Philippines. Our five-man construction crew has been working hard under a torrid summer sun with temperatures now approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer has hit our mango island province of Guimaras but the humidity thus far only stands at 59%. The average humidity for the island province we call home is 86%.
Our new roof in the Philippines is halfway done. If our construction crew did not take off this Thursday through Sunday for the Easter Holy Week, the roof would probably have been completed by the end of the week. The pictures posted on this article are the result of only 2 1/2 days of work as the roofers took off early this past Wednesday to return to their home provinces for the long holiday. Any expat that has lived in the Philippines for any amount of time knows that everything virtually shuts down for Holy Week and for Christmas. That’s to be expected in a country where about 84% of the population are Catholic.
Construction costs for our new home in the Philippines is the topic for today’s post. I took new pictures of our job site a few days ago and a recent comment from Kevin prompted me to confer with my asawa, who is in charge of buying materials for our house and handling our construction crew’s salaries, to check on our ongoing construction costs. My wife handles these chores in addition to taking care of her father, afflicted with dementia, and running a household of six people. Me? I stay out of the way and do as little as possible, something I’m exceptionally good at.
Gerry the caretaker comes through for The Kano. The custodian at “The Farm,” where we currently reside as the construction continues on the building of our new home, is an invaluable helper to both my wife and me. Gerry takes care of problems at “The Farm” and is part of a construction crew at our new property site on his days off from our current location. He also works as our security guard at the new site. He’s one busy guy.
Joery’s electrician contact was on site. My asawa and I were at our new property site in Guimara, Western Visayas, the Philippines, when my asawa and I walked up to the new nipa being built for my father-in-law who will live on the premises. I absolutely did not want to be seen by the electrician as I feared the price he was charging to sign off on my brother-in-law’s electrical work, 350 pesos, would substantially increase once he saw a “rich” foreigner. But it was shocking news as the electrical work done at the nipa hut was approved without any additional charges. The dreaded kano “skin tax” was not implemented. My brother-in-law had contracted the services of an ethical man. Unlike Diogenes I did not need to carry a lantern in the middle of the day to find an honest man.
An independent contractor is being hired to build our new home in the Philippines. As Lolo’s (my father-in-law) nipa hut nears completion, work will begin shortly on our new house located on our island province of Guimaras in Western Visayas. We had previously spoken to “Boy” in late October and while he has an architect that is developing the plans for our new digs, we felt the price that this Filipino contractor was asking for labor was way too much. He was requesting 4,500 pesos per square meter for labor costs. Over 24,000 US Dollars. We would pay for all the materials. Our abode will have over 250 square meters in floor space meaning that the labor costs alone would be over 1 million pesos. This was not acceptable to us.
Do you want to build the best nipa hut in the Philippines or do you want to build one half-assed? The Bahay Kubo, Balay, or Nipa Hut, is a type of stilt house common to most of the Filipino rural culture. If you desire to manufacture a quality hut, you need a quality crew. Take a gander at our brother-in-law Joery in this photo. He’s preparing to put a concrete finish on the CR, Comfort Room, walls. He always does quality work.