Day 442 of retirement

April 30, 2011

Hi All

Monday 25th April:

Slow start this morning as we all had a bit of sleep in after the hectic weekend’s activities.

Guy and I ducked into the market for some supplies as the boys arose. Then the boys and I walked down to our block (5km walk) to show them where our house will be one day. Was a great walk but rather hot, humid and sunny so we all suffered from a little sun burn unfortunately.

Back for lunch and then all off to Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi. I rode the Thunder Monster so made it in quick time. Guy and the boys took the Jeepney and arrived about 45 minutes later. I posted the blog and got all my emails sorted so handed over to Guy when she arrived.

I then ducked into Boac for some chocolate, Globe re-charge for Guy’s phone and a bike pump for the Thunder Monster. To get any Cadbury or Hersey chocolate here, there is only one shop on the island to get it. It is a specialty shop in Boac that has imported goods mainly from USA and they are a little expensive. Great to get a little treat every now and then.

Home for a Sinigang dinner followed by some chocolate and man it was good (nice and cool out of the fridge).

Tuesday 26th April:

Up and off at 7:00am with Ron for our trip round the island. The first stop was on coast opposite Elephant Island (The 6 Start Resort) for a look-see on the southern end of the island. Then we continued onto White Beach where swims and siestas were the order of the day followed by drinks, noodles and halo-halo for lunch.

From here we visited the Flintstone house and caught up with Divine for a chat. Then it was off to Santa Cruz for drinks and some freshly cooked delicacies from the local bakery. We also stocked up on some local produce consisting of Co-Co Jam, Arrowroot biscuits and Polvoron.

Next stop was at Dave (Canadian) and Crissa’s (Local) house for a chat. Crissa was home but Dave was over Gasan way. So we organized to meet him at Barbarossa. Arrived some 45 minutes later and caught up with Dave, Geoff and Harry who were enjoying an afternoon refreshment.

French fries, cheeseburgers and meatloaf sandwiches were enjoyed by all.

Made it home just on 5:00pm and the boys went for a swim and Guy and I had a little siesta after our hectic day out.

Guy arranged with Yolanda’s boys to get Jas & Mike some local coconut wine to try. They delivered 1.5L of wine for P10 ($0.25 AUS) in a Sprite Bottle today. Well we tried it tonight and man it is some strong stuff. To me it tastes like melted inner tube. Needless to say Yolanda’s boys will be getting back a large amount of their local coconut wine.

Wednesday 27th April:

Slow start this morning. Just before lunch I ducked into the market for some supplies for tomorrow, as it is the boys’ last day here on the island. As we completed lunch and were resting a brownout hit us at 1:30pm.

So it was decided to head for the Hot Springs just down the road by Buenavista via a Jeepney. Made it at 2:00pm ish and hit the pools. The big pool was full and hot but the little pool had just been emptied and was in the process of being filled (it was about a foot deep) and the water was dam hot.

The process was to lie in the hot small pool for a couple of minutes (about all you could stand) and then hit the big pool to cool off. It was once again a very hot afternoon but bathing in the pools was actually very very refreshing.

Following the pool swims a little siesta was enjoyed by a few of us on the Nipa hut seat at the Hot Springs.

About 4:00pm ish we caught a Trike back to Buenavista and had a wander round the town down on the waterfront. Made it back home at 5:00pm ish for a lovely cool evening breeze.

Thursday 28th April:

Slow morning and as it is Jas & Mike’s last day here, we decided to head to Barbarossa for a long lunch. We stopped at the Gasan cemetery on the way for a wander round the grounds where everybody is encased in concrete tombs above the ground. Nobody is buried in the ground here.

Had a great long lunch with Lomi (a stew come thick soup noodle thing), crispy pata (Pork knuckle) and garlic rice. All washed down with Coke’s and Iced Tea. Desert was Halo-Halo and ube ice-cream (Purple ice-cream).

Back home after 3:00pm and siestas all round was the order for the afternoon.

A beautiful orange sunset completed their last evening on Marinduque.

Friday 29th April:

Early start as Jas, Mike and I headed for the airport courtesy of Ron. Got there at 7:30am and the boys headed for Manila till tomorrow night then back to Australia on Sunday.

Sad to see them go, as it has been a fantastic 12 days having them here.

Back home and Leah was in to do the washing and cleaning. I ducked into the market for some supplies and freshly cooked food to feed Leah and us.

I made it home just as we had a big dump of rain, the first in about three weeks. Was great as it settled the dust, watered the garden in the yard and cooled things down a bit. Although we will pay for the humidity when the sun comes out.

After lunch Guy headed for Mahjong with Vicki. Her hands were getting a little jittery due to her limited games this last two weeks……….

Once Leah finished up and left I had a nice siesta and then headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart to do email and post my largest number of blog pics (39 in all) ever due to the Moriones Festival over the last week.

More rain while I was there but all gone by the time I headed for home.

Man I need a holiday after the last two weeks activities….

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 437 of retirement

April 25, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 16th April:

Busy day today. Up at 8:00am just as Ron arrived for an early morning chat. Once he left we got the Buko factory in operation as Vicki had delivered a bag of coconuts yesterday. As Jas & Mike arrive tomorrow we now have a nice stock of Buko juice for them.

At midday off to see the bride (Grace) and groom (Wayne) over Boac way. Guy doesn’t have a dress with her in the island, so is borrowing one from Grace for the ceremony tomorrow.

On the way home dropped into Joseph’s Mini-Mart to post the blog and Guy have a manicure and pedicure. The lady works out of Joseph’s so works for us both.

In Gasan we dropped in to see Rose to organize her to come to the cottage at 7:30am and do Guy’s makeup for the wedding. Ron and I are picking up Jas & Mike from the airport at 8:00am and dropping them at the cottage then Ron, Vicki, Guy and I are heading to the wedding, which is at 10:00am.

Big bag of Pandecoco for us all and back home in time for a nice cold refreshing Buko juice.

Guy cooked up some food for the next few days for us all and we readied the cottage for our visitors.

Sunday 17th April:

Up early as I’m off to the airport with Ron to pick up Jas & Mike and Guy has Rose, the beautician, coming to do her makeup for the wedding.

The plane was 20 minutes early (arriving at 7:30am) so back at the cottage just after 8:00am. Guy had her make up completed on our return. Got the boys organized with food and at 9:00am we caught a ride with Ron and Vicki to the wedding of Wayne and Grace in by Boac.

It was a civil ceremony at a function centre on the beach so we had a nice sea breeze. I was a Ninong and Guy was a Ninang (sponsors to witness (sign the marriage certificate) the wedding). The ceremony was only about 15 minutes and followed by lots of pics. Everybody gets photographed with the couple and they call you up in groups. Very organized.

Lunch was served and the food was absolutely delicious and lots of it. Following lunch there were the speeches. Once again lots of people spoke and it was well organized as you are called up to speak. The great thing was everybody’s speech was short and sweet, no looonnnggggg speeches.

Then the bridal dance followed where Guy and I had to join in.

The final entertainment for the day was where the Ninong and Ninang’s sat in chairs and the locals sing a welcome song to us. They then present us with a bouquet of flowers and place a tiara on our heads. This tradition is called a ‘putong’, literally translated as ‘crowning one’s head’.

The final part of this tradition is where we throw lots P1 and P5 coins into the crowd for the kids to collect. The kids (and kids at heart) went crazy and loved it. There were even a few P100 notes thrown and man did they make the kids scramble.

No blood or tears from this little activity so all good.

It was a great day and we thoroughly enjoyed the wedding.

Back to the cottage for a siesta followed by a walk up the beach with the boys before dinner.

Monday 18th April:

Up and off to Boac for the day. We caught a Jeepney and an hour later we arrived. The first stop was a new ‘fine dining’ restaurant that opened today above an existing “fast food” eatery. We meet John (the pom) there and we all enjoyed and early buffet lunch. The food was very nice (Filipino style food) including the Buko salad for desert.

We wandered across to the city square and had a look at the Moriones Festival headquarters. We had missed the morning parade but the dressed up soldiers were still out and about.

A stroll up the hill to the 17th Century Cathedral followed. We had a good look round the grounds, took some pics, and then back down the hill to the third floor roof top venue of a local hotel over looking Boac. We enjoyed a nice cold Coke as the day was getting quite hot and humid.

Back down and over to the museum, which has some of the history of Marinduque on display. As it was rather warm now we headed back to the restaurant for Halo-Halo before back on the jeepney for home.

On arrival at the cottage, a quick siesta was in order for us all as it had been a big day out.

A nice cool shower to wash away the sweat with a freshly cooked dinner completed a great day out.

Tuesday 19th April:

Up at 5:00am and we all left to walk to the Gasan market at 6:00am (6km walk). As it is market day we were taking the boys in for their market experience. Was a nice leisurely walk in along the coast road in the cool of the morning.

While Guy and I did the grocery shopping the boys explored the sights, sounds and the smells of the market.  For lunch and dinner we purchased some fresh ready cooked dishes from the market.

We caught the jeepney back to the cottage and had a late breakfast. Guy also bought four freshly cooked crabs from just up the road to try. They were actually very very sweet and yummy or so I’m told. I’m not a crab person I’m afraid.

The boys had a swim to cool off before lunch. A nice long afternoon siesta followed for us all as it was quite hot and humid.

Mike also developed nice big painful blisters on both feet from the walk this morning so he was hobbling about. We called off the early morning hike with Gerald tomorrow morning. Rest day with a sleep in is in order.

Wednesday 20th April:

Bit of a sleep in for us all this morning. Hiking was called off to rest up Mike’s blisters on both feet. After a leisurely early lunch Guy headed for Mahjong and we (the boys) headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for an afternoon of Wi-Fi to catch up on emails, blog, facebook, etc.

Before we left we wandered across the road past the Police station, the now closed jail and the hospital.

We caught a trike in and a very empty jeepney back, which was a nice change from being packed in like sardines. A nice quite evening was had by all, and to top it off, Guy had a big win at mahjong as well.

Thursday 21st April:

It is an Easter public holiday today and tomorrow but not on Monday. Most of the market is open today but closed tomorrow so we will top up our supplies.

Had some light rain this morning but all cleared by 10:00am. We headed into Gasan for some Moriones Festival activities. Today there was a music competition between the schools. The musical instruments were pieces of wood that are various lengths and diameters, which give off different sounds when hit together. The instruments are called Kalutang (pronounced ka-lu-tongue).

Each group played the same song but all had their own little dances to go with it. In the elementary school section we had one school where two boys who were about 8 years old got the dance steps mixed up and ran into each other. The result was that they almost came to blows during the performance, which was actually quite entertaining as they traded insults with each other while still playing.

The crowd enjoyed the distraction and they actually won the elementary school section.

Off to the market for our supplies for the next few days then a jeepney ride back home for lunch. A siesta followed with a little rain falling to serenade us as we rested.

At 4:00pm ish I took the boys for a walk back into them there hills up onto a plateau for a view of Mount Malindig and the coast looking south. Take a slight different turn on the way home and had to do a bit of bush bashing down a spur to get back to the track but all good and made it home just on dark.

Fresh veggies and some smoked Pork sausages all cooked up for dinner with some fluffy steaming rice.

Friday 22nd April:

Up at 5:00am and left for Gerald’s place at 5:45am with Guy in tow. She walked back home from Gerald’s as I stayed and utilized his printer and scanner to print out a form from my bank re the credit card fraud, sign it, scanned it and then email it back to the bank. All done and home by 8:00am.

Lazy morning and after lunch we all headed into Gasan for the day’s Moriones Festival activities.

There was a parade at 3:30am of all the Moriones soldiers going through the streets. We then headed up the hill to the Cathedral for a visit and then back to the port. A visit to Barbarossa for some French fries, Halo-Halo, Coke and beer got us through to dusk when the main street procession of the whole festival took place.

There were about 25 floats all based on the Easter theme. Each one had a generator attached to it, so they were all lit up with lots and lots of lights. Very spectacular as they made they way through the streets of Gasan in the dark.

Each float was basically supplied by a family belonging to one of the two main churches (catholic and aglipayan) in town. Following the float was a large group of family and friends with lit candles. We reckon that there were about 2,000 people in the parade alone with all the streets jammed with on lookers.

It was a very spectacular night and enjoyed by all.

Saturday 23rd April:

Leah our stand in washing and cleaning lady here at 9:00am. She had her work cut out for her today as she had the extra washing from Jas and Mike as well. We actually ran our of clothes line space and as clothes dried during the day, I had to hang the remaining washing.

The boys got to experience their first brownout Marinduque style. Luckily they had made their coffee for breakfast before it went off. It was only off for an hour or so, so not too bad.

Guy and I did a quick trip into the market for some supplies. We had a Buffet lunch today as we had five different local fresh dishes with rice for the boys to try. All good and nothing they don’t like, yet.

Guy off to Mahjong and the boys chilled round the cottage. Later in the afternoon Jas and I went for a walk back into valleys at the foothills exploring and taking pics of the locals. Was a very pleasant walk all be it a little hot and humid. But nice back at the cottage with the afternoon sea breeze.

Relaxing evening as we have another early start tomorrow morning as we hit Gasan for the street dancing as part of the Moriones Festival.

Sunday 24th April:

Up and out of the cottage at 7:00am and into Gasan for the street dancing parade. It was scheduled for 7:30am and started at 8:15am so pretty much right on time.

It consisted of each Barangay having a group of dancers (made up mainly of kids of all ages) and accompanied by drummers. And boy did these guys drum. When they passed by, you could feel your whole body reverberate from the drumbeats. It was great.

They started at the town park and did a big loop round so we got to see them twice. The streets were packed and as each group came along the crowd would part and then merge to cover the road again. No barriers, police, security guards or people getting agro. Just one big happy, friendly, cheerful street party and we all loved it.

It was pretty hot as well and it took over an hour to do the loop but these kids just kept dancing and the drummers just kept drumming. Lots of hot sweaty bodies and it was just starting for them.

Once they were back in the park they then performed once again, one at a time, in front of a judging panel to see who would win the day. We went to the park but left as it was wall-to-wall people and you just couldn’t see or move.

We wandered down to the market for a few supplies then hit the Barbarossa for some well-deserved refreshments, cheeseburgers and a club sandwich.

There was a brownout while we were in town but luckily the power came back on just before we arrived home.

Guy broke out the Karaoke and her and Mike spent some time “singing” and I use that term very loosely. This was followed by a siesta for me and the kids while Guy kept “singing” away.

A further big batch of Moriones Festival photographs will be published next week. Lots to go through at the moment.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 428 of retirement

April 16, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 9th April:

Bit of a sleep in and a leisurely breakfast. Pottered round the cottage, watered some new plants and finally got my two cut keys working. It took an old hacksaw blade, some emery sand paper and a bit of filing here and there and the keys now work. Amazing what you can do with a few simple tools.

While Guy prepared Snake Beans and Pumpkin for lunch I walked to the local Sari Sari store for a fresh supply of Coke in glass one litre bottles. Got my Coke supplies and had a very pleasant walk back along the beach.

After lunch we headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi and to post the blog. On the way back we called into the bakery for some fresh Pandecoco and a roasted chicken. This guy had set up on the roadside in Gasan roasting chickens over a charcoal fire on a hand-rotated rotisserie. He recons that once you taste his roast chickens you will be back. So for P200 ($5.00 AUS) we enjoyed one of his chickens for dinner and he was right. It was very sweet and juicy and yes we will be back.

Sunday 10th April:

Had a leisurely morning pottering round the house. No need to wash and wax the Thunder Monster, as she is still all clean and shiny from her clean on Tuesday. A quick wipe over sufficed.

Dropped Guy off at the office at midday and I hit the Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Usual crowd with lots of interesting discussions. 5:00pm and I picked up Guy and we headed home to a glorious sunset.

Monday 11th April:

Nice sleep-in this morning till 10:00am as we had a late one last night (off to bed at 12:45am). We are watching season 6 of “Lost” and as a few of you may know, I used to be a big fan of the early Lost series (as a few of you were as well…..).

After a leisurely breakfast we headed for Gasan for some supplies. Got a very nice beef & pork dish for lunch and some fresh chicken for chicken rice for tomorrow.

Home for lunch with some freshly cooked rice and then a very nice longggggg siesta. Still recovering from my flu thing so had a very nice recovery nap.

I must say that today is one of the most relaxing day we have both have since retirement on 12th February 2010 and it feels dam good.

Tuesday 12th April:

Up early and off we go walking into the Gasan market, as it is market day. Nice leisurely 6km walk in the cool of the morning. We loaded up my backpack with groceries and then walked back home at a bit of a slower rate (a nice 12km round trip all up).

Midday and Guy is off to Mahjong with Vicki and I go exploring on the Thunder Monster. Dropped in for some Wi-Fi at Joseph’s Mini-Mart then went cruising on the bike along the coast, as it was a great day for just riding.

Home just before Guy arrived for a leisurely dinner.

Ooohhh and I have been hit with Credit Card (CC) fraud. Noticed two transactions (about $500 AUS all up and placed in the USA) on my CC over the weekend and immediately contacted Westpac in AUS. They were really great as they explained the process for cancelling the transactions, cancelling my card / getting me a new card and get all the paper work completed.

As I am “overseas” they worked with me to channel the documentation through to my brother in Adelaide. He will courier any documentation required to me and we will not rely on the snail mail system. Bit of an annoyance but all good in the end and at no cost to me.

Wednesday 13th April:

Slept in till 11:00am this morning. Was very very nice to be able to get up when we wanted to get up.

Light breakfast followed by a light lunch. I cooked a batch of Adobo Pork for dinner tonight and to feed us tomorrow. A little “rest” after lunch was in order before heading for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for Guy to catch up on her emails.

I headed for one of the ATM’s across the road and got all cashed up for the up and coming Holy Week / Easter. As next week (Holy Week and the Moriones Festival) and the Easter weekend is the year’s busiest period for “tourists” on the island, I suspect that the ATMs will run out of cash at some stage.

Quick trip into Boac as Guy is looking at a DVD player (that hooks into the TV) that also has an inbuilt Karaoke machine with some 20,000 songs. Filipinos love their Karaoke and Guy is no exception. I need quite a few “Rums” before you will see me participating. I haven’t found that level, yet….

Ooohh and it does play normal movie DVDs.

Great ride home in the cool of the evening along the coast road.

Thursday 14th April:

Liesurely morning as Guy is off to Mahjong at midday and I’m off to Boac to get a wooden cutting board (none in Gasan) and look at DVD / Karaoke players. Eventually found the one I was after in the only shop on this side of the island that has them. Most cutting boards are plastic here and don’t like hot pots on them.

Also looking at generators. Called into one of the large hardware shops and spoke to Randy the owner (Ron introduced Randy to me previously) and he has the info texted to me within the hour.  Great service.

Looking at a 3.0KVA (P15,000 ($375 AUS)) or 5.5KVA (P35,000 ($875 AUS)) petrol generator to run the water pump, fridge, lights and TV in a brownout. Only looking at running it for short periods at a time to top up our water supplies, keep the fridge cool and see the news on TV (in the event of a Typhoon).

Dropped in for some Wi-Fi and back home for a little siesta before Guy arrived home.

Friday 15th April:

Up early (5:30am) and off walking to the Gasan market at 6:00am. After a nice leisurely 6km walk in the crisp morning air we hit Gasan with the first stop to look at a house for rent in the township. Once again not for us I’m afraid.

We hit the market and topped up on supplies for Jas (my son) and Mike’s (his mate) arrival on Sunday as they are staying with us for 12 days. Caught the Jeepney back home as we had a load of groceries.

At 9:00am our stand in washer / cleaner lady Leah arrived as Cherry had her a baby girl on Monday so will be out of action for a while. She started by cleaning the house and just as she was about to commence the washing (10:00am) a brownout hit. Luckily she had enough water from our reserve backup barrel to complete the washing so all good.

Guy headed for Mahjong at Midday and I visited Gerald for a chat and dropped past Ron’s place on the way home but he wasn’t home.

Power came back on at 2:00pm so a short 4-hour brownout.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 421 of retirement

April 9, 2011

Hi All

Sunday 3rd April:

Nice sleep in this morning to try and kick this cold. Didn’t even get to wash and wax the Thunder Monster. Oohhh well always tomorrow.

At midday I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and I hit the Barbarossa for the expats gathering. Caught up on all the island news and solved a few problems of the world as well.

Home in time to watch the live telecast of the MotoGP. Plenty of spills and thrills in the wet in Spain.

Monday 4th April:

Up at 5:00am and left the house at 6:00am with Guy in tow as we headed for Gerald’s place for our Monday morning hike. Guy left us to walk into the Gasan market (10km), bought some supplies and caught the Jeepney back home.

Gerald and I headed up into the hills for a leisurely walk as I am still suffering from the cold thing. Was good to stretch the legs as we covered 6.5km exploring a new trail that Gerald had spied. Turns out it led part way down the ridgeline and ran out. So back up we climbed and made our way back to Gerald’s for a nice cup of tea.

Back home with some nice fresh Jack Fruit and Papaya from Gerald’s garden.

Had a shower and off to Joseph’s Mini-Mart to post the blog as I had some issues yesterday with the Wi-Fi so couldn’t post. All good this morning and posted blog successfully.

Back home in time for a very yummy lunch of chicken cooked in coconut milk with green beans, banana heart and served with rice. Very very nice. This was followed by a lovely afternoon siesta for us both.

At 5:00pm we headed off to Bombie’s house (one of Guy’s Mahjong group) for his 60th birthday and his granddaughter’s graduation party. Lots of yummy food, again. Rode home in the dark, which is a challenge as everybody is out in the cool of the evening, strolling on the road. Made it home safe and sound to finish the day with a nice hot cup of tea.

Tuesday 5th April:

Thunder Monster wash and wax time as she missed out on her Sunday shine. Spent a couple of hours washing and waxing and I removed the side panels and checked nuts and bolts as well. She is back to her shiny clean self once again.

After lunch Guy headed for Mahjong with Vicki and I retired to the couch for an afternoon siesta. About 2:00pm ish I rode over to see Ron. Jeff arrived at the same time so we shot the breeze for a while.

Back home and pottered round doing a few chores (watering some newly planted plants, rubbish clean up, etc.) before Guy arrived home.

Feeling much better today from the flu thing. Still a little tired but feeling human again.

Wednesday 6th April:

We decided that today was a day of rest. Nothing planned, just go with the flow.

After a leisurely breakfast we walked down the road and purchased some fresh cucumbers (breakfast tomorrow) and snake beans to go with the fresh pumpkin Guy bought yesterday.

Guy cooked up all the goodies for a very yummy lunch. After lunch we did a run into the Gasan market for a few more supplies to last for the next few days.

An afternoon siesta followed for us both. The flu is still hanging round but getting better.

Guy spoke to Dream TV and we upgraded our satellite service to the full 38 channels. It took one phone call and 5-minutes later we had access to all 38 channels. The cost now is P650 ($16.25 AUS) per month.

A nice little brownout at 6:30pm (for an hour) arrived just to remind us not to get to complacent about our power supply.

Thursday 7th April:

Up and off to see John at his house which is the other side of Gasan. We are going to have a look at his Turbo Cooker. Basically it is a largish glass pot with an electric cooking element built in to he lid. You can cook bread, chickens, roast pork, veggies, etc., in it. A mini oven basically, also fan-forced.

Once we had a look at the cooker John took Guy and I for a little hike up to the ridge top over looking Paradise Valley and back down another ridgeline. Was a bit hot and humid but a very pleasant hike.

Back home at midday and Ron picked us up on the road. We dropped Guy off at Mahjong and Ron and I headed for Boac where I had another go at the key cutting for the cottage (one works now and I recon I can fix the other one). Also picked up some Dream Satellite TV recharge cards.

We then called in to see Wayne (Aussie Doc) and Grace (Local) as they are getting married on Sunday 17th and Ron and I are Ninong’s (sponsors for the wedding). Had a great chat to them and Grace made us a very nice Halo-Halo for afternoon tea.

Back to Barbarossa for a tea and coffee while we wait for Guy to finish at Mahjong at 5:00pm. Vicky, whom she usually travels with, is away hence Ron now being the taxi service.

Back home for a relaxing evening after our hectic day.

Friday 8th April:

Cherry here for the washing and cleaning. After lunch a siesta was in order before the afternoon’s activities.

After the siesta we headed for the Buenavista  Municipal (Council) offices. Gerald had heard that they might have some topographical maps of the island there that we could use for our hiking expeditions. Caught up with Montemayor (our architect who also works there) and had a chat to him. Alas no topographical maps there. Our only other avenue is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Boac. They may have some topographical maps there. If not may have to try the DENR in Manila.

Where is a good “Mapworld” shop when you need it?

On the way back from Buenavista we dropped into Gerald’s place and gave him the bad news over some ice tea.

A brownout had also hit while we were in Buenavista but it came back on when we were at Gerald’s, so all good.

Home at 4:00pm ish and off for our evenings walk up the beach. Dropped off more baby clothes to a family living up from us who have a 5-month old daughter.

Home to some nice fresh cool Papaya as an appetizer before dinner.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 415 of retirement

April 4, 2011

Hi All

Sunday 27th March:

Awoke this morning well and truly with the head cold thingy. Blocked nose and a thick head. Was up at 8:30am as I think my body was still on Sydney time (11:30am Sydney time) but I did sleep well.

After breakfast I snoozed while Guy sorted out some clothes and stuff (towels, sheets, etc.) we have in a couple of boxes here. We have been pulling out bits and pieces over the last 12 months so the boxes were a mess. She sorted out all her stuff and left mine for me to sort later. We now only have 1 ½ boxes and she knows where everything is.

11:00am ish we headed for the mall as it was starting to get hot and I was having hot flushes so the air-con was looking pretty dam good.

Set ourselves up in our favorite little Japanese restaurant on the second floor as it is quiet, have a power outlet at the table for the laptop and access to the mall free Wi-Fi. We had lunch there as I posted the blog and Guy did email.

After picking up a few island treats and an early dinner, we headed back to Beth’s place round 4:30pm ish.

I wasn’t feeling the best so had a late afternoon siesta while Guy completed the boxing of her clothes. After I awoke we had a freshly cooked sweet corn for a snack followed by a nice hot cup of tea. Starting to loose my taste with this cold thing but the tea slid down very nicely.

I completed my sorting of my remaining clothes (a fraction of what Guy has) and placed them in the box for later use.

I updated our finances from the AUS trip and checked our Philippines accounts and all our cash is still there. The cost of our trip back to AUS really showed up how expensive it is to live there compared to Marinduque.

But we are both extremely glad to be back and just want to get back home to Marinduque. Looks like Tuesday at this stage.

Monday 28th March:

The flu thing has well and truly hit as I feel like crap and you know what a bloke is like when he is crook…….

After breakfast we walked to the MRT station and caught the train to the end of the stop. A quick taxi ride and we were at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). We had a copy of our authenticated marriage certificate from the Philippines Embassy in Sydney, which we were able to show them (they will get a copy as well) and confirmed that all is now back on track.

The official copy will now be sent to the National Statistics Office (NSO), which like our Births, Deaths & Marriages, and when they get it, they will then give it their official stamp and we can apply for my residency with the Immigration Office.

DFA are saying that the NSO will take about two months to complete the process so more waiting now. But at least we now know that we have all the required documents authenticated.

A quick cab ride back to the LRT and caught this back across to the other side of town to get some spares for the Thunder Monster. You see the motorcycle dealers here only sell you the bike and don’t carry any spare parts. You have to go to a separate spare parts dealer. We have one on the island for Suzuki but his stock is very very limited. He has oil filters for the Thunder Monster but no O-rings of which I require two for the oil filter change (1 large & 1 small). The existing ones have been reused for the last three changes so time for new ones on the next change.

So we land in Monumento and found 10th Street and sure enough this street is full of motorcycle spare parts and accessory shops. Eventually found the Suzuki spares dealer and I bought five large and five small O-rings, two oil filters and a fuel filter and all for P225 ($5.50 AUS). This will keep me going for a few years.

It was quite interesting wandering down the street seeing all the mods happening on the path.

Back on the LRT and about half way back to town we switch to LRT 2 for the remainder of the journey followed by a short Trike ride and we are home at 1:30pm.

We then decided we just wanted to get back to Marinduque so we packed up and at 4:00pm triked it to the JAC Liner (Bus) station. As we had a heap of stuff (large bag of baby clothes for the locals thanks to Doug & Bec & Ben & Kim) we went to the JAC Liner as this bus actually drives round the island (after the Ro-Ro crossing) and will drop us off at our front door. So you load up all your stuff and don’t have to touch it till you’re home. Works a treat.

Bus trip down was fine and the Ro-Ro 3-hour crossing was okay as well. Just a little rough but I was fine as I slept most of the way on a thin plastic bench seat.

Made it home at 5:00am after a 13-hour trip to find that the gate was padlocked shut and I didn’t have a key. After checking out another gate which was all wired up, I managed to break into the cottage grounds by un-wiring the existing gate. Nothing serious but just what you don’t need at 5:00am in the morning (still dark) when you’re feeling crap.

A quick cup of tea and off to bed till 9:00am.

Tuesday 39th March:

Slow start as I wheeled out the Thunder Monster. Turned on the fuel, the key and hit the starter and nothing. Flat battery, or so I thought. So tried the kick-start and still nothing. Tried a few more times and nothing. MMmmmmm what has happened to my poor Thunder Monster. And then I saw it. Of course not thinking too straight I had left the kill switch on, didn’t I. Flicked that off and hit the starter and she came to life instantly. Luckily there was nobody round to see…..

After a leisurely breakfast we headed for the Gasan markets, as it is market day today. Stocked up once again on supplies and headed for home for a long siesta for the rest of the day and get over this flu thing. Oohhhh and finish the unpacking. We actually got everything home that we wanted, nothing missing at all. But then again we are both Virgo’s…..

Guy handed out some aussie caps to the boys and the first lot of baby clothes was distributed to Nato (who has a 3 month old daughter) and Mang Tiko (who has 7 month old grand daughter). They loved the hats and the baby clothes.

For dinner some nice fresh local food with rice was consumed and I must say it is good to get away from the heavy western food we have lived on for the last few weeks.

Wednesday 30th March:

Got the big welcome home to Marinduque with a 2-hour brownout this afternoon and another 2-hour brownout this evening.

Still feeling lousy with the flu thing so a quiet day for me. Mid morning Guy and I rode up the road to Ron and Vicki’s to drop off a knife sharpener I bought Ron and a good old aussie tee shirt. As some of you may well know I have to have sharp knives (a me thing) and I have also been sharpening Ron’s for him as well. So I bought him his very own sharpener from AUS so he can now keep them sharp himself.

At midday Guy headed off to Mahjong with Vicki as I could see her fingers twitching for those tiles. After an early afternoon siesta I did a quick ride into Gasan and caught up with Geoff (the pom) at Barbarossa for an ice tea and then picked up a couple of supplies we missed yesterday. Also got some fresh Pandecoco buns. Both Guy and I were going into withdrawal for these delicacies. Afternoon tea all sorted for me.

And we now also have a brand new ATM in Gasan (that makes 5 on the island now). It was scheduled for commissioning back in December but hey 3-months late is pretty good. Tried one of my Filipino bank ATM cards and worked a treat. Means we don’t have to go to Boac to get cash out now (well while it is working anyway).

Back home to the brownout but an hour or so later on came the power so all good till another outage later in the evening.

I must say that for the first time in my life, I am crook and I can actually rest for as long as I like and not have to worry about going back to work to a full email box and voice mail box. This is a fantastic feeling………

Thursday 31st March:

Slow start, but we were woken up “early” (8:30am) by John (the pom) who dropped in on his way through to Gerald’s. Had a quick catch up on the happenings while we were away.

Still got this flu thing so a quiet morning with a leisurely breakfast watching the world go by. I rounded up some dried coconut palms for the incinerator, fixed one of the taps and did a quick rubbish pickup on the beach (we get very little rubbish on our beach).

Also wandered down to the road where the watermelon people have set up. It is watermelon season here at present. The locals have grown their melons in the rice paddy fields and to sell them they build a bamboo stall by the roadside and sell them to the passing folks. We bought one of the “good ones” or so the lady told us for P40($1.00 AUS).

Guy off to Mahjong with Vicki as I headed into Gasan to get some fresh Mangoes (along with a few other things) as it is also coming into mango season as well. They are very soft and sweet at the moment and great flu food.

Had a siesta followed by a wander down to the “shops” to replenish my Coke supplies. Wandered back along the beach in the cool of the afternoon.

Guy arrived home at 5:00pm ish and we distributed some more baby clothes to a couple of the locals.

Feeling a bit better this afternoon so hopefully I have broken the back of the flu thing.

Friday 1st April:

Gerald dropped in for a chat at 8:00am with a huge piece of sweet Jackfruit from his garden. We had a good old catch up for a couple of hours and I caught up on the happenings on the island. Guy did a market run and upon her return made a big pot of very yummy Pork Sinigang, which will last for the next couple of days.

Cherry also arrived to do our washing as we were running out of clothes after the Australia trip (we don’t have many clothes anymore). As she is expecting a new baby in May ish we gave her some of the baby clothes we brought back with us.

After lunch (and a 1-hour brownout) a siesta was in order. I am feeling a little better today from the flu thing and the afternoon siestas certainly help.

At 3:00pm we headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi and email catch up. I ducked into Boac to get some pics printed to be handed out and also get a couple of keys cut for the cottage while Guy caught up on emails. We arrived home at 5:00pm and wandered down to the watermelon sellers on the road and I gave each of them a couple copies of the pics of them selling their wares. They loved the pics and gave us a watermelon in appreciation.

I discovered that both keys I had cut don’t work. When you look closely you can see they have cut them way too deep. Ooohhh well back tomorrow for another set.

Saturday 2nd April:

Leisurely morning as I have had a bit of a relapse with this cold thing. After an early lunch we headed to Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some more Wi-Fi and Guy had also had a pedicure and manicure booked for 1:30pm.

I headed back into Boac to get the keys re-cut from yesterday. Back home at 4:00pm ish and yep, the keys didn’t work once again. Think I can see what the issue is so will have a go with a file tomorrow and see if I can get them to work.

We finished up the day with a very nice slow stroll up the beach on dusk.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy