I’m a crusty old expat that has lived in the Philippines for over six years. But I’m still like a kid at Christmas when I discover something new. Especially if it’s new and shiny. So when I discovered a surprise item at our local sari sari, a new 250 ml Pepsi Slim can, I was excited as a tick on a fat dog.
Celebrity status in the Philippines is a phenomenon many foreigners will encounter in the archipelago. Some expats, like Tom Ramberg over in Gen San, is often the recipient of wolf whistles from appreciative Filipinas whenever he steps out in public. I’ve been chased and screamed at by pretty pinays as I sat in the rear of a jeepney or tricycle in Guimaras, my island province home. Every time this event occurs I check my barn door to make sure it’s closed. It always is so I can only assume that the young ladies were either stoned on shabu or flirtatious Filipinas from the local KTV bars.
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.
Terror-stricken denizens throughout the central Philippines, from Eastern Samar to Cebu City to our own island province of Guimaras, emptied the shelves of local grocery and sari sari stores Super Typhoon Hagupit (called “Ruby” in the Philippines,) rapidly approached the island country, renewing terrible memories of complete devastation created by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) a year ago. Philippine Super Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby): getting ready is key.
My asawa and I were riding the pump boat on the Iloilo Strait back to Mango Land, Guimaras, the island province in Western Visayas of the Philippines that we retired to over five years ago. After a shopping spree in Iloilo City, we hired a pump boat at Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo to haul our new Samsung washer, Samsung DVD Home Entertainment System, and Magic Sing Karaoke back to “The Farm” where we currently reside.
A look at the Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City