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Saturday 14th July:
Feeling 95% today after the bug I had during the week. At 10:00am I walked into Gasan and Google IT to post the blog. Felt good to be back walking again.
Guy left for Mahjong at midday.
I walked back home at 2:00pm after a big afternoon rainstorm. I made it before it got too humid.
Sunday 15th July:
Leisurely morning. The Thunder Monster just got a wipe over today.
At 10:00am Guy was off to Mahjong. At 11:30am I dropped into Goggle IT for some Wi-Fi before hitting the expat gathering at midday.
Back home to watch the Italian MotoGP at Mugello. Casey Stoner struggled all weekend and after running off the track (but got back on) he came in 8th. Not so good for the world championship points.
Monday 16th July:
Was going to walk this morning but it was raining at 5:30am so texted Gerald and cancelled.
Mid morning Guy and I made our way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. A quick visit to the market across the road and back home for lunch.
Mid afternoon I made my way into Gasan to fuel up the Thunder Monster and get some cash from the ATM. Gas all sorted but the ATM was out of cash so no luck there. Ooohhh well 1 out of 2 isn’t tooooo bad.
I dropped by Gerald’s for a chat and a cup of tea. He wants a muzzle (as we are in Manila latter this week I’ll get him one) for his young Labrador pup “Hermione” so we tried to measure her snout. I eventually got what I needed but it was a challenge as she thought it was a big game.
I finished reading my 50th book of the year “Compromised” by Derek Keyte (Kindle Book). A good fiction read about a British soldier captured and tortured by the IRA and his final revenge.
Tuesday 17th July:
No market this morning as we leave for Manila tomorrow so eating the last few bits of leftovers in the fridge.
I gave the Thunder Monster a good wash and wax as she will be tucked up alone in the cottage for the next 5-days while we are away.
At midday I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and I caught some Wi-Fi at Google IT. I also hit the ATM for some cash as it was stocked up today after running out yesterday.
Home mid afternoon, and started going through all our paperwork to take to Manila with us to finalize my residency.
Wednesday 18th July:
Up at 5:00am and Ron picked us up at 6:00am and off to Balanacan port we went (1-hour trip). We arrived at 7:00am and purchased our tickets for the Ro-Ro and waited for the 8:00am departure.
The Ro-Ro left just after 8:00am and though it was crowded, Guy and I had a 4-person padded bench seat to ourselves, which meant we could lay down and snooze. The 3-hour crossing was nice and smooth as we arrived at Lucena Port at 11:00am.
It was straight onto the JAC Liner bus and off to Manila. 5-hours later we arrived at Guy’s sister’s and Mum’s house round the corner from the bus depot. After 10-hours traveling it was good to arrive.
We dumped our gear and headed straight for the Mall and a Chai Latte. We sorted out our shopping list while sipping a Chai and managed to get our few little luxuries (Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, etc.) to take back to the island.
We arrived back at Guy’s mum’s place for dinner at 7:00pm where she cooked a very very nice Pork sinigang (My favorite).
An early night as we have a busy day tomorrow at the immigration office finalizing my residency.
Thursday 19th July:
Up and out the door at 7:00am on our way to immigration across the other side of the city. After a Trike, LRT (Train) and Jeepney ride we arrived right on 8:00am as they opened up for business.
We gathered all the paper work (Some in triplicate) and then had to get it “Notarised” (witnessed by a JP like back in AUS). Now the immigration usually does this in house for free but all the notary staff today were away doing an exam.
So we had to go outside the building and get swamped by people “selling” us their notary services. We chose this one lady who then lead us down the road, through a tiny car park and alley way into a lean-to behind an old building.
There, we were looked after by this great young lady and this old guy on a really old PC with an equally old printer who printed out the form letter we required and they stamped and witnessed them all. Absolutely great service and all accepted by immigration.
Back to immigration and we presented all the paper work and had it all accepted by 10:00am. Then we got the bad news.
We were told that we had to come back in 5 or 10 days for an interview and to collect my biometrics (finger prints and face recognition photo). Then back again some weeks after that to pick up my ID card.
In checking with various staff we learnt that if we get a notarized letter asking to move the interview and biometrics to ASAP (Because we live far away from Manila on an island) and paying P1,000 ($24,00 AUS) we may get it done today. So our great notary lady did another letter for us and we paid the P1,000 to the immigration cashier and we waited and waited.
We spent most of the waiting time across the road from immigration at Starbucks and to add insult to injury I spilt a ¼ cup of hot Chai Latte down my front into my lap when the lid came adrift. AAaaahhhhhhh.
Finally at 2:00pm we were asked to go up stairs as our letter had been accepted. On arrival we were informed that this practice is an old one that they no long support. So Guy with some gentle persuasion (She was very good) convinced them that we really need to do it today.
We meet the attorney for our interview which took all of 2-minutes and then proceeded to the Biometric collection window. Here we had a pleasant discovery as I had done my Biometrics 12-months ago for my temporary card I wouldn’t need to do it again. So at 3:00pm we were done, some 7-hours (And P10,350 ($250.00 AUS)) after starting the process.
In 3-5 weeks time once my Biometrics ID card is ready we will need to return to pick it up and get my passport stamped that I am a permanent resident.
On the way home we dropped into the Mega Mall to pick up a few last minute things. There was the annual gun & defense (Home defense) show on in the mall so I had a look at that while Guy wandered. It was amazing to see what weapons you can buy here for “home” defense.
Back to Beth’s (Guy’s sister) for an early night (it was an exhausting day) as we are up at 5:30am tomorrow to make our way back to the island.
Friday 20th July:
Up and off to the JAC Liner bus depot arriving at 6:15am. Within two minutes of boarding the bus, we were off to Lucena, so good timing.
Well, as it turned out we should have caught the next bus as this bus driver was the worst one we have had yet. He would speed up and stop very quickly and he was weaving in and out of traffic like there was no tomorrow. The bus was all over the place, which made snoozing almost impossible.
And for the first time ever on the bus an elderly lady and a young child threw up (Vomited). The lady managed to catch hers in a shopping bag but the kid deposited his load on the floor. Guy and I were okay, thank goodness.
We arrived at Lucena port at 11:15am and caught the midday Ro-Ro to Balancan Port on the island. The trip over was rougher than usual but I had taken a pill and was also able to lie down (not many passengers) so I was fine.
Ron picked us up from the port and we made our way home (1-hour trip) in the pickup limo. A quick stop at the market for a few supplies and home sweet home at last with us both feeling quite exhausted. But ooohhhh so glad to be home.
Saturday 21st July:
It was going to be a leisurely morning but Guy got a text that her Mahjong game starts at 9:30am. I dropped her off and made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Didn’t post the blog as I’m not quite ready after our trip away so tomorrow.
Back home for lunch and caught up with Yolanda our landlord for a chat and to give her back all the cushions and bedding we borrowed when Sandy and Brian were here.
A little siesta after lunch, and a quick trip to the market for a few supplies for dinner, as I’m cooking (Pork Spare Ribs with Beans and Rice).
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy