Day 456 of retirement

Hi All

Saturday 7th May:

A rest day today. Guy spent the morning reading and I did a bit of a clean up in the yard of the fallen coconut palms and even watched a bit of TV while dozing on the couch.

After lunch we headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart to post the blog and catch up on emails. Access was a bit sketchy today with it being slow and dropping out but managed to get done what we wanted.

Made it home before the drizzly rain hit. And then at 7:00pm a brownout hit. It lasted till 9:30pm

Sunday 8th May:

Well at about 3:00am this morning tropical storm “Bebeng” hit us on the island. Strong winds, horizontal rain and very rough seas. The power was cut at 7:00am just as we got up. So cranked up the gas stove for a hot cuppa.

Pretty much house bound as the storm rages outside. It has been labeled a Typhoon signal no. 1 for Marinduque (30-60pkh winds).

Lots of coconut palms coming down outside and only one small leak in the roof so all good.

But in the midst of all this Guy did manage to get to Mahjong at midday. Vicki drove up to the gate and Guy made a dash for the car. She is a bit like the US Postal service with her Mahjong (no weather conditions will stop her…..).

The wind dropped and the rain eased late in the afternoon so I had a look see but everything around the cottage is fine. No power by dinner so cooked up some rice to go with smoked eggs and tomato and consumed by “head light”.

Power finally came back on at 11:00pm (16 hour brownout).

Monday 9th May:

The tropical storm is still with us but the rain has reduced to showers and the wind has abated a bit. After a trip to the market we weighted our options for traveling to Manila.

We are trying to get to Manila today and were going to catch the 4:00pm Ro-Ro at Balanacan Port but canned that and aimed for the 8:00pm at Cawit Port, hoping that the wind and rough seas will settle down a bit at night.

Well we arrived at Cawit at 6:30pm just to be informed that the Ro-Ro was cancelled due to the rough seas. So then the mad panic began as everybody was told that the 10:30pm Ro-Ro from Balanacan was a goer.

There were Jeepneys, Trikes Mini Vans and the JAC liner bus all scrambling to get all the passengers on board for the trip to Balanacan. Organized chaos.

Guy and I climbed aboard a Jeepney and at 8:00pm we arrived at Balanacan with the masses. The terminal is full to over flowing for the wait. And wouldn’t you know it the Ro-Ro was late arriving which meant we didn’t leave till 11:45pm. The Ro-Ro was absolutely packed out. On our bench seat which usually holds four adults, we had four adults and three kids so things were a little cramped.

But the one good thing was that by leaving so late the wind had dropped and the seas were quite calm. Due to the tropical storm I was having visions of me once again heaving up my innards over the side of the boat. But I made it to Lucena fit and well.

We arrived at Lucena at 2:00am and hit the bus to Kamias (where Guy’s Mum and sister live), which was also full. And to liven up things the air conditioner in this bus was freezing. We used the window curtains to block off the vents and had a couple of “air line blankets” (thanks to Jordan & Jo’s last trip here) to try and keep warm ish. The crazy thing was that outside the bus it was hot and humid. One of the joys of Filipino bus travel I guess.

Four hours later (6:00am) we arrived at Beth’s place (Guy’s sister) and crashed till 10:00am. We slept very well as we didn’t get much sleep on the Ro-Ro or bus. I managed to get a little more than Guy as I can sleep pretty much anywhere anytime (a handy trick from my Adventure Racing and Mountain Climbing days).

Tuesday 10th May:

After breakfast with Guy’s Mum (who lives next door) we caught a cab to Sto Domingo to pick up my new toy (Fuji X100 camera).

We arrived at YKL (the Philippines Fuji distributor) and caught up with Paulo (pronounced Puw-lo) who I have been dealing with for some months now waiting for the camera to arrive. I must say that Paulo’s service has been outstanding. He has kept me informed via email and text and answers any questions within hours.  And as it turned out, his wife is from Marinduque.

Picked up the new Fuji X100 camera after Paulo made sure everything was in the box and camera was working. From here we took a short walk down the road to the huge Sto Domingo Catholic Cathedral for a look-see. A very impressive structure.

From here it was time to hit the Mall so off we went in a Jeepney this time. We arrived for lunch at Shakey’s and enjoyed some Mojos (potato thingies and dip) and the best pizza in town.

Spent the afternoon enjoying a Chai Latte while on Wi-Fi and playing with the X100 (I had a screen protector fitted to it as well).

Did our “island” shopping just before we left to come back to Beth’s so we now have our little luxuries to take back to Marinduque with us.

Guy’s Mum cooked up a nice big pot of Sinigang (my favorite) so a very pleasant finish to the day.

Wednesday 11th May:

Good night’s sleep last night and a leisurely breakfast with Guy’s Mum. Midday ish we headed for Greenhills Mall. I was after a new camera bag and spare lens cap for the new X100 camera.

Found exactly what I needed and we had a light long lunch in the food court. Another cab to the Mall of Asia (MOA) across town arriving at 2:00pm ish as we are having dinner there with a group of Guy’s friends at 6:30pm.

We set up at good old Starbucks with Chai Latte’s and Wi-Fi. We used this as our base taking turns to wander round the Mall. Well I did most of the wandering and Guy was on the Nintendo.

Just on 6:00pm we headed for Max’s restaurant the long way round the Mall. Caught up with all for dinner and there was lots of food and chatter.

Gigi (one of Guy’s friends) gave us a ride part way home and then we attempted to hail a cab. 10:00pm at night and the traffic was still gridlocked and no cabs. Eventually after about 20 minutes we were able to beat all the other cab hailers and commandeered a cab for home (thanks to the help of a young man who goes in the middle of the road to hail a cab for you in exchange for small change).

Thursday 12th May:

Up at 5:15am and off to the JAC liner bus depot a couple of blocks away. Made the 6:00pm bus for Lucena Port and some 4-hours later we arrived. Caught the 12:00 noon Ro-Ro back to the island and the sea was mirror calm thank goodness. As the Ro-Ro wasn’t full we had a nice soft bench seat all to ourselves. I was able to lie down and get a nice little nap. We arrived at Balanacan at 2:15pm and Ron (our limo service) was there waiting for us. Off we went to the Barbarossa (Gasan) for cheeseburgers and fries. Made it to the cottage at 4:00pm and man it is ssssooooo good to be home. Hot but a nice afternoon sea breeze greeted us along with a refreshing cool shower and hot cup of tea.

Friday 13th May:

Leah here for the washing and cleaning today. Just as well as it has been 2-weeks since our last wash due to the tropical storm and the Manila trip. Also had to turn my jocks inside out to use again………

Quick trip into the market for some supplies. Bought a nice big fresh fish which was filleted for us and I also de-boned the fillets before cooking, just to be sure. I hate fish bones in my food by the way. Turned out very nice if I say so myself. We kept the fish carcass and gave it to Leah as she will make a nice big fish soup out of it. I’m not a fish soup person, as I just don’t like the bones.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday with Vicki. Once Leah finished up I headed for the Marelco office (the power cooperative for the island) to get the usage figures for the last six months for the cottage as we are re-negotiating the rent with Yolanda at present. The power cost has gone up so need to establish what our usage is and what Yolanda’s is for the other buildings she has here.

P50 and half-hour later I have my printout (they actually had the info on a computer surprise surprise) so time to do some number crunching in good old Excel. Just me being anally retentive … again….

Guy back from Mahjong (lost again) and we enjoyed some more Adobo Fish with rice.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


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