Sunday 27th February 2011:
The brownouts have settled down now and we have had power for a few days straight now. Ooohhhhh well till the next brownout.
Sunday morning so the Thunder Monster got a good wipe down as no rain this week so she’s still quite shiny. Quick check over as well just to make sure no loose nuts or bolts.
Midday I dropped Guy off at the office (another win) and I headed to Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Small group today (6 in all) but none the less an interesting conversation was had by all.
Back home for a nice quiet Sunday evening.
Monday 28th February:
Up at 5:00am and off to Gerald’s at 6:00am for our Monday morning hike. Guy came along and walked from Gerald’s place to the market in Gasan (11km walk), bought some supplies and caught the Jeepney home. She is becoming quite the walker.
Gerald and I caught a Jeepney to Buenavista then walked back into the boondocks heading east on a “fire trail”. At a Tee intersection we went straight ahead (in a past walk we went left down to the main road) past an Elementary School in Bagacay to the road’s end.
We decided to follow the local trails along the ridgeline in a northerly direction with the aim to hit the main road some 3-4km away. With a few checks on the map and a couple of compass bearings we were heading in the right direction but then veered west. Lots of local tracks going in all directions so the compass came in handy keeping us on the correct heading.
We came upon a local house after dropping off the ridgeline and this very lovely old lady pointed us in the ridge direction to get back to the road. We popped out the hills back onto the road we had walked up on, so not quite where we were aiming for but still a fantastic walk (12km long & 3h 30m hiking time & 500m climbing in the heat & humidity) with our little off road section.
Walked back to Buenavista and caught a Jeepney back to Gerald’s for iced tea then a nice hot cup of tea.
Home for a refreshing cool shower and a very nice lunch of Pork stuffed cabbage rolls freshly cooked by Guy. After a nice hot cup of tea to wash it all down a siesta was definitely in order.
Leisurely afternoon (after both our big walks) while watching the 3:00pm afternoon movie “Beyond Borders” with a very young Angelina Jollie.
Tuesday 1st March:
We had a bit of excitement here on Sunday. A local criminal (drug related) escaped from the cells at the Gasan police station and made his way through the streets of Gasan. Finding an open house he took the lady occupant hostage with a knife. Others in the house managed to escape. She was held for about some hours and received some minor injuries (from the knife) during this time.
The siege was brought to and end when the police shot the guy dead. Lots of wild stories going round about the whole incident but this is the basic info I have been able to deduced.
Guy off to Mahjong at midday with Vicki so I decided to head for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi as I have a few things I wanted to research on the web. Arrived at 12:30pm and over the next three hours it poured complete with thunder and lightning. It cleared up at 3:30pm ish but the roads were still very wet so I headed for home on the Thunder Monster at a nice slow steady pace due to the slippery roads.
Called into the Gasan market but they were all shut up by 4:00pm so home it was. Home safe and sound but now the humidity was on the increase after the rain. A nice cool shower after dinner fixed that.
Wednesday 2nd March:
Up and off to “Rose’s Beauty Parlor” at 9:00am for a haircut for me and a cut, colour and a hair spa (hair conditioning treatment for Guy). My haircut was P50 ($1.25 AUS) and Guy’s treatments were P450 ($11.25 AUS) and she supplied the colour, which was P250 ($6.25 AUS).
I had my cut first and then left Guy to it and headed for home with the supplies we had purchased at the market earlier. Upon arrival at home John was here resting in the Nipa Hut so a coffee and tea were in order as we chatted for an hour or so.
Dinner tonight is Beef Sinigang so I got the meat a cooking so it could marinate for the rest of the day ready for Guy to add the veggies tonight.
Finished off the Pork Cabbage wraps for lunch with a little rest that followed.
The Thunder Monster was due for her 3,000km service so carried that out (oil, oil filter & spark plug) later in the afternoon. All up cost was P650 ($16.25 AUS).
Got a message from Wayne (Aussie Doc from Brisbane) asking if I would be a sponsor / ninong at the wedding of Grace and him in May. Basically I am a witness to the proceedings and sign the marriage certificate and of course enjoy the great hospitality and food that the day will bring.
Had a chat to Wayne just to make sure I understood what the go was and then accepted this great honor. Looking forward to it.
A very nice leisurely day indeed.
Thursday 3rd March:
Guy off to the manicurist in Gasan at 10:30am and then Mahjong at 12:00 noon. As it turned out the manicurist didn’t turn up so she hit Barbarossa and enjoyed a Halo-Halo while waiting for Mahjong.
Ron picked me up at 12:00noon and we headed over Santa Cruz way to check out the progress on the new diesel generator power station that we visited about six months ago. And surprise, surprise, nothing had progressed since our last visit.
Ooohhh well brownouts to continue.
But I was able to deliver the pics I had taken of a family living across the road from the work site. They were extremely excited to get the pics and the beaming smiles made it all worthwhile.
On the way through Boac Ron introduced me to Randy who owns the local garage / hardware store. He sells generators of all sizes and will help us out with the right one for our needs. So when we come back from Australia (April) we shall pay him a visit and may lash out and get our own generator.
Arrived home at 5:00pm ish with Guy not far behind. Left over Beef Sinigang for dinner, which was exceptional as it had 24 hours to marinade from yesterday.
Friday 4th March:
Up at 5:00am and off to Gerald’s at 6:00am for a short hike today. We headed back into the boondocks from his place looping around and back down the road. All up a quick 1.5-hour walk just to keep the legs moving. A nice refreshing cup of tea back at Gerald’s before headed home with some fresh produce from Gerald’s garden (Jack Fruit, Papaya & Pechay (Local Spinach)).
Guy did her usual walk into Gasan Market (6km) first thing, grabbed the supplies and caught the Jeepney back home.
I was home by 9:00am so we both showered and headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi so we could be home by 2:00pm. The afternoon storms are back and seem to hit anytime after 2:00pm so we made sure we were back home by 1:30pm. And sure enough at 2:00pm we had a downpour with a second one at 4:00pm.
We also have a slight leak in the roof and with the boys being here today one of them crawled into the roof cavity to find the leak during the rain. He found it and it is an easy fix. Needs a bit of sealant round a nail hole on one of the flashings covering the joint of the coconut palm roof.
Guy cooked a nice fresh batch of Chicken rice with a dash of Chili for the next few days. Very very yummy.
Saturday 5th March:
Cherry here this morning for the washing and cleaning at 8:00am so no sleeping in…… Oohhh and don’t think I told that Cherry is pregnant. She already has three girls who are 9,14 & 16 and is due in May. We have a backup washer lady to cover for her while she has the baby.
Guy off to Mahjong with Vicki at noon so I spent the day getting ready for our trip back to AUS. We leave here on Monday and head for Manila and leave Manila on Thursday and arrive in Adelaide on Friday 11th March.
I sorted out the rubbish and food scraps. Cleaned out the fridge & freezer, as you can’t leave anything in the fridge cause if you have an extended brownout while you’re away you could come back to a very smelly fridge. Gave Cherry the last few bits of food we had left.
Sorted some stuff we need to drop off back in Manila to Beth, Guy’s sister. Also all our tickets and paperwork we need for my residency application as we will be visiting the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila and the Philippines Embassy in AUS.
And have to sort out what I need for AUS, which isn’t much. It is quite weird as this isn’t a holiday but more like a business trip as we pretty much have things on everyday we are there. Catching up with family & friends (in Adelaide, Sydney, Newcastle & Canberra), finalizing our tax, sorting out access to my Superannuation, Philippine Embassy visit for my residency, Centrelink visit re the pension, etc.
We will come back to Marinduque for a holiday.
Finished off the day with a wash and wax of the Thunder Monster. All finished and tucked away under her cover before the afternoon rainstorm.
Things are busy here at the cottage as well, with Yolanda here with her sister, family and friends from the USA staying in the little cottage below us. And the boys are working today on the new cottage with a truckload of bamboo to be unloaded. The new cottage will be a bamboo Nipa Hut style with a concrete frame work. Cheaper and quicker to build than a hollow block structure like the cottage we are in.
She will use these for short term stays (overnighters) and hopes to have them finished by Holy Week (Easter time) as this is the one time of the year when Marinduque receives a lot of visitors for the Moriones Festival which is unique to the island.
Guy arrived home just after 5:00pm and realized that she didn’t have her mobile phone. It was only 10 minutes since she left the Mahjong house with Vicki. She had the Mahjong house check and Vicki checked her car but no phone. We tried to ring it but it was out of service. Which can really only mean that it has dropped someway and somebody has picked it up and turned it off and/or removed the SIM card. Ooohhh well a new phone is in order. Will let you know her new number once we sort it all out.
Life is good
Trevor & Guy