Day 827 of retirement

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The first installment of the Lucban Pahiyas Festival pics are in this weeks blog. The rest will be posted next week.

Hi All

Saturday 12th May:

Quiet morning. At 10:30am I walked into the Google IT café to post the blog and catch up on emails. There was steady rain on the walk in but my trusty umbrella kept me dry.

Guy headed off to Mahjong at 11:00am via a Jeepney.

At 1:30pm I walked back home and once again for half the trip it was steady rain. Then the rain stopped and out came the sun. It was then like walking in a sauna.

A cool refreshing shower was had once I got home and it was very very nice indeed.

Guy arrived home with a nice Mahjong win so a good day all around.

Sunday 13th May:

The Thunder Monster got her usual wipe over this morning, as she hasn’t been ridden in any rain yet.

At 10:30am Guy headed off to Mahjong. At 11:30am I did a quick side trip to the Google IT café for some Wi-Fi before making my way to the “canteen” for the expat gathering.

Our old watering hole (The Barbarossa) is reopening this coming week so we will be back there next Sunday. Will see what the new management has waiting for us.

There was no serving staff at the “canteen” today so it was a bit of a help yourself and keep track of what you spend. John (Pom) spied Naomi (one of the waitresses from Barbarossa) and we got her to serve us for a few hours. We paid her for her services and she was happy with that as she was heading off to a party late in the afternoon.

For food John (Pom) brought in some chicken and ice cream for desert in an esky. So we didn’t go hungry.

Guy had another win at Mahjong today so very pleased with herself.

Monday 14th May:

Up at 5:00am with Ron picking us up at 6:00am and off to Balanacan Port (1-hour away). We caught the 8:00am Ro-Ro to Lucena (3-hour Ro-Ro ride). We caught a trike to the SM Mall and had a wander around including lunch. This is a smaller version of the Manila malls.

We were going to stay just round the corner but the hotel was going to charge us P3,000 ($72.00 AUS) so we said no thanks. We will try elsewhere.

We caught a Jeepney into the Lucena town centre where we went to four different drugs stores trying to get Ron some blood pressure medication. No luck with getting Ron’s pills.

We came across the Emperor Hotel downtown and they had a large air-conditioned room, cable TV, hot water and a flush toilet for P900 ($21.50 AUS) per night. So we took it.

After a siesta we made our way via a Jeepney to the Pacific Mall on the other side of town for dinner. We finally found some ice cube trays so a successful afternoon.

Tomorrow morning we head off to Lucban for the Pahiyas festival and to see Guy’s niece who lives there.

Tuesday 15th May:

Up at 7:00am and caught a Jeepney to the SM Mall where we boarded a mini van for the 1-hour trip to Lucban. We arrived at 9:30am and headed off to explore the township and the fancy decorated houses.

Lucban has the Pahiyas festival and feast of San Isidro Labrador each year at this time. Locals cover their houses in fruit, vegetables and wildly elaborate decorations called “Kiping”. Giant papier-mâché effigies are marched through the streets to the town church in the afternoon parade.

At 11:00am we caught up with Guy’s niece (Annajoy), her husband and two kids. They live on the edge of Lucban (walking distance from downtown) so we had a pleasant stroll to their place.

They gave us lunch consisting of some of the local delicacies, which are embutido (A sausage role type filling that is chilled and then cooked without the pastry) and Longanisa (Small sausages similar to the ones we get on the island). Lucban is famous for its Longanisa and they are pretty dam good.

After lunch, Guy and I went for a walk and had some mango smoothies while waiting for the parade at 3:00pm. We wandered off to explore another street of decorated houses and as we sat down to rest I went for my wallet to give Guy some cash and it was gone……

I had been pick pocketed and didn’t feel a thing. I went back to the café just incase I had dropped it there but no they hadn’t seen it and I am 99.99% sure I had it when we left. Looking back I can pretty much remember when I was hit in a crowded part of the town.

Luckily all they got was an old wallet with a small amount of cash in it. The ATM card, license and most of our cash was safely stored elsewhere. I purposely have a decoy wallet when we travel so if I get pick pocketed / held up all they get is the decoy with a small amount of cash in it.

Anyway, back to the parade after that little diversion and it was great. It was quite hard to get any good pics of the parade and decorated houses because of wall-to-wall crowds. But I did manage to get a few photographs.

After the parade we caught a mini van back to the Lucena SM Mall (arrived at 6:00pm) and hung out there till 8:30pm. We then made our way to the port via a trike to catch the midnight Ro-Ro back to the island.

Wednesday 16th May:

The Ro-Ro left on time and was quite crowded. We managed to get a bench seat with a fixed table in front of it. A first for us as we thought it would be better to lay our heads on our arms for sleeping.

Well, let me tell you that resting your hard head on your bony forearms is not comfortable when doing it for 3-hours. We both managed to get some sleep so not too bad. Stretching out on a hard plastic bench seat isn’t so bad after all.

Arrived at Cawit Port just after 3:00am and caught a Jeepney back to the cottage and we arrived home at 4:00pm. A cup of tea, a shower and off to bed. We slept till 12:00 noon.

A trip into the market for some supplies and a restful afternoon was the order of the day. Whilst in town we had a chat to Geoff (Pom) and Gil (Filipino American) about Gil’s new restaurant opening on Friday. His menu will cater to both Filipinos and westerners, so should be good.

Oohhhh and he has Wi-Fi.

Thursday 17th May:

Up and off to Gerald’s for our early morning walk as he is busy tomorrow. With a couple of millimeters of rain last night the humidity was pretty high this morning.

We worked up quite a sweat on our 2.5-hour walk up to Bilog (up and over the ridge line behind Gerald’s) and back.

Back home just after 9:00am and Ailyn was here giving Guy her 2-hour massage. After an early ish lunch Guy headed off to Mahjong at midday and I made my way to the Google IT café to for some Wi-Fi. It was nice and quick today so got all the blog photos loaded up ready for posting Saturday.

I was then going to go to the Barbarossa as it was supposed to re-open today. I meet Geoff (Pom) and he informed me that the opening has been postponed till Saturday. They are still completing the renovations.

So back home for a quiet afternoon of reading under the fan.

Friday 18th May:

No walk this morning as we walked yesterday. It was a leisurely morning with Cherry here for the washing and cleaning.

At 12:30pm we made our way to Boac for lunch and some Wi-Fi at the Boac Hotel. After lunch we had a few supplies we had to get whilst there (including a new wallet for me).

Being without a wallet for 4-days I felt quite naked. Like I had lost a limb. All fixed now with a new wallet from the market for P75 ($1.80 AUS). No expense was spared……

We cruised home along the coast and dropped into the Gasan market for some goodies for dinner. We arrived at 3:30pm for a rest before dinner and American Idol.

Filipinos should be happy as one of the finalists for this season’s American Idol is a Filipina/American, Jessica Sanchez, who stands a good chance of winning….. We’ll know next week….

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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