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Saturday 18th August:
Not having much luck with my ailments at the moment. I woke up this morning with a sore throat, stuffy head and achy all over. So out came the good old aussie “Codrals”. Thanks to Sandy and Brian (Sister and Bro-in-law) who were here in June we are restocked with Codrals, so all good.
At 10:45am I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and cruised past the market for some supplies for the next few days. Back to the cottage for lunch and a bit of a siesta to rest up my weary bones…..
Mid afternoon I made my way to Google IT and posted the blog and check emails etc. On the way home I dropped into Barbarossa for an iced tea and ran into a crowd of thousands.
There was Dave (Canadian), Geoff (Pom) Dude (Yank), Harry and Charmaine (Aussies) and Vern (German). After a chat and a few iced teas it was back home and more Codral.
Sunday 19th August:
Got the flu bug well and truly so into the Codral once again.
The seas were huge and rough this morning as we are under the tail end of Tropical Storm “IGME”. No rain though so all good.
Once the Codrals kicked in, it was time for the Thunder Monster wash. No wax today just a wash.
At 11:30am I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and I made my way to the Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Good crowd once again today.
Home by 3:00pm to watch the MotoGP qualifying at Indianapolis, USA. Sad to see Casey Stoner crash out with an awful high side.
Monday 20th August:
Still got the Flu bug so more drugs (good old Codral’s).
It is Gasan Day or more precisely Kalesayahan Day (means horse and cart fun day). The day consists of the Kalesa (horse and cart) parade and then the Glockenspiel contest where local kids put together a dance routine to drums and xylophones and are judged accordingly.
We missed the Kalesa parade but caught up with them in the park after and had a good old look see at the decorated Kalesa’s.
Back home for lunch and Guy off to Mahjong at 1:00pm. Just after 2:00pm, I made my way back to see the Glockenspiel contest but couldn’t get many pics as it was vert very crowded. My only saving grace was that as I’m so tall, I could at least see some of the contest over the many heads in the crowd.
On the way home a quick detour to Google IT and back home feeling a little tired from the flu thing.
We had Brownouts from 11:00am to 1:15pm (2 ¼ Hours) and then again from 6:15pm to 7.30pm (1 ¼ Hours).
Tuesday 21st August:
Up at 5:00am and all packed for our Manila trip. Ron’s Limo service (Ford Pickup) picked us up at 6:00am and dropped us off at Balanacan Port just before 7:00am on the northern end of the island.
We caught the 8:00am Ro-Ro to Lucena. As it is a long long weekend (Monday & Tuesday Public Holidays) and yesterday was the final day in the Gasan Festival, the Ro-Ro was packed.
The vehicle deck was full and on the passenger deck it was standing room only. We managed to get a seat so all good. The trip took an extra half hour today (3-hours all up) as the poor old Ro-Ro was sitting a little low in the water. The crossing was nice and smooth, which was good for the sea sickness (none today).
With so many people on board we decide to make our way to the front of the boat 45 minutes from docking time. This way we were at the front of the queue disembarking (it’s a bit like a cattle stampede) and were able to get a good seat on the JAC Liner bus to Manila.
We arrived in Manila just on 5:00pm some 11-hours after leaving home. We dumped our stuff at Guy’s sister’s place and headed off to the mall. We had dinner there and did our luxury goodies shopping for the island (Aussie cheese mainly).
Back to Guy’s sister’s for an early ish night as we are off to immigration first thing tomorrow to get my passport stamped for my permanent residency (At long last….).
Wednesday 22nd August:
More drugs for the flu to get me through another day at immigration. Up at 6:00am and left the house by 7:00pm. After a Trike, LRT (Train) and Jeepney ride we arrived at immigration just before 8:00am. We were the first in line so got the paper work underway straight away.
Today I get my permanent Residency VISA stamp in my passport, which will finally make me a Filipino resident. My plastic ID card (The ACR-I Card) will be ready in another week or so. So we went back to our friendly Notary (JP) lady and got an authorization for Jerry (Guy’s brother) to pick up my card when it’s ready so we don’t have to come back again.
Now there is an immigration office in Boac on the island where I pay my yearly fee. So we asked if they would send my ACR-I Card to this office for me to pickup. But alas no go. They will accept my money in the Boac office but won’t send my card there…….
So while waiting (4-6 hour wait for processing) it was across the road to Starbucks and relax in the lounge chairs with a hot Chai.
At 12:00 noon we made our way back to immigration and my passport was finally finally stamped with my permanent residency VISA. WWwooo hhooo….
The final cost for this paper work was P4 ($0.01 cent yes 1 cent). So off we went across the building to the ACR Card window to drop off the paper work so they will print my card, which will be ready in a week or so for Gerry (Guy’s brother) to pick up.
At the ACR Card window they wanted a photocopy of my permanent residency VISA stamp in my passport so while I held my spot in the line Guy went off to get the photocopy.
After about 10 minutes she came back with a funny look on her face. Her purse was gone out of her bag. She figured that she may have left it (after paying the P4) at the ACR VISA card window or it was pick pocketed in the crowd as immigration was packed at this time. It only had a few hundred Pesos in it and no cards so nothing serious.
Once we finished at the ACR Card issuing window we made our back to pay the photocopy lady and got to the toilets before leaving. Guy had one last look in the ACR VISA issuing window and there her purse was behind the glass. She retrieved it and it even still had all her cash in it. Miracles do happen.
As we were all finished by 12:30pm we decided to head for Guy’s sister’s, pack and catch the 6:00pm JAC Liner bus and come home. We made the bus depot by 3:30pm, got a good seat and sat in the air-conditioned bus and waited. The bus left at 5:30pm.
All was good till we were 1-hour out of Lucena (1 ½ hours from the Port) when the air-conditioning broke down. There were no opening windows on the bus so we had to swelter on the hot stuffy bus till we made Lucena and the JAC Liner maintenance depot. I was starting to feel very ill at this stage (motion sickness and still got the flu thing). It didn’t help that we had an erratic bus driver either.
The bus mechanic was able to fix the air-conditioner and we travelled the last 30 minutes to the Ro-Ro Port nice and cool. We just made it and basically drove straight onto the Ro-Ro. We left the bus and made our way up to the top passenger deck of the Ro-Ro, found a plastic bench seat each and laid down (not many passengers on the Ro-Ro) for the count.
The Ro-Ro was a little rough but was actually better than the bus ride with our crazy driver. We both managed to sleep on and off for the whole 3 ¼ hours Ro-Ro ride so I was feeling a little better by the time we arrived on the island.
Another 30 minutes on the crazy bus and we were home. We were so so so glad to get home. After a cup of tea to calm down it was off to bed at 5:30am.
Thursday 23rd August:
We both slept like logs till midday. I still have this stupid flu thing. AAahhhhhh.
The only action today was a trip to the market to get some supplies. The remainder of the day was reading along with a siesta. Relaxing.
OOohh we also heard from Dave (Canadian) and Crissa (Local) from over Mogpog way (An hour from here at the top of the island) who had a baby girl born on Sunday night. They called her Pixie Margaret and mum and daughter are doing very well. Crissa had a home birth and it went extremely well for all concerned.
Friday 24th August:
No walk this morning as I’m still feeling the effects of the flu. But at 9:00am I did ride up to see Gerald for a cup of tea and a chat.
Back home and Cherry arrived for the washing and cleaning as we had altered the day from yesterday to today just for this week. Same with Ailyn who arrived for Guy’s massage today. Next week both ladies are back to our usual Thursday timetable.
A relaxing afternoon with reading and a siesta thrown in for good measure.
We had a short brownout from 2:45pm to 3:45pm (1-hour).
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy