Day 995 of retirement

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Hi All

Saturday 27th October:

Today is Adric’s (Rik) and Jason’s big 30th Birthday. Rik is in Sydney with friends and Jas is here with us along with Mike.

We had a leisurely start to the day and made our way to Gil’s restaurant for a western birthday breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. And very nice it was.

We still don’t have any power at the cottage so we plugged into Gil’s power to charge our phones, laptops and camera batteries while we ate.

After brunch we made our way to Google IT but they were closed, so Barbarossa was our next stop for a cold iced tea and Coke and a plate of fries.

I managed to get the blog posted using my USB Broadband… Just…

On the way home we swung past Gasan Port where the Rice boat was in from Mindoro and they were unloading all the produce including one large pig. It’s good to watch as the boat has to stay a 100m offshore and everything (mainly produce consisting of fruit, vegetables and rice and a few passengers) is lowered into small bangkas and transported to the steps on the wharf. With lots of shouting they all get unloaded and disappear on Trikes and Jeepneys.

Back to the cottage to ride out the hottest, most humid part of the day in the Nipa Hut. We did notice that they were working on our downed power lines so hopefully we should have power within the next 24-hours.

At 4:30pm ish Jas and I went for a walk back into the rice paddies behind the cottage for a bit of a photo shoot. We only wore our thongs, as we knew it would be rather muddy after all the rain.

We had a good old wander and our legs were filthy by the time we got home. After a quick wash off of the worst of the mud I went to the well hand pump, filled up a bucket and had a very nice refreshing scoop shower.

Still no power tonight at 68 hours and counting. Kind of slashes our previous record of 31 hours powerless.

Sunday 28th October:

The boys need a good fast Wi-Fi fix after the last few days so we caught a Jeepney into Google IT in Gasan hoping they would be open today. If they weren’t we would continue onto Boac.

Google IT was open for business so a couple of hours of serious Wi-Fi was the order of the day for Jas, Mike and I. Guy was off to Mahjong at midday.

After some Wi-Fi we made our way to Barbarossa for lunch. The boys also got to meet some of the expats at their normal Sunday gathering.

We arrive back at the cottage just after 2:00pm and the power was back on. After 3-days 11-hours (83 hours) the power was back on and it felt like Xmas. I quickly turn on the TV but I was too late for the MotoGP at Philip Island in AUS. But at least Mike was able to watch the F1 qualifying and the live race.

All electronic devices were plugged in to recharge. Scary how many devices came out of the woodwork to be charged up.

I immediately got the fridge restarted and threw out anything that still looked suspect. Then it was time to fill all our water containers. We were down to our last 1/3 of our supplies, so well timed.

The final chore was to burn up the rubbish followed by a nice looonnggg refreshing cool shower.

At 9:00pm they replayed the MotoGP at Philip Island in AUS so was good to see the race and Casey Stoner win his last race at the island.

I finished reading my 68th book of the year “Prey” by Michael Crichton (Kindle Book). A really good read about nanotechnology and what could happen if we lose control of it.

Monday 29th October:

Leisurely morning as we made ready to head to the Sulfur Springs down Buenavista way. It is just down the road from the Hot Springs, which we have been to on numerous occasions before.

To get to the Sulfur Springs you have to cross a creek, which usually meant hopping across stepping stones. But after 300mm of rain from the Typhoon last week the creek was a river so we abandoned that idea and headed for the Hot Springs.

The Hot Springs is also by the river and they lost their walkway to the front gate from the car park by the rain and raging river last week. The hot spring pools and park were fine as they are back on up the hill from the river.

We had a nice dip there in some hot clean spring water as they were in the process of re-filling the main pool.

Early afternoon we Triked it back to “Curba Bar & Grill” for a long leisurely yummy lunch. Late afternoon and we walked into Buenavista and then caught a Jeepney back home for a quiet evening.

I did a run into Gasan for some barbeque pork from the roadside vendor for dinner. We had barbeque pork bun burgers (with cheese and tomato in Pandesal buns) for dinner and very nice they were.

Tuesday 30th October:

Up and down on the road by 9:00am where we met Ron and his pick up truck for our day out over Torrijos way (Eastern side of the island).

When we hit Torrijos Ron took us for a drive on a new road he has just discovered that goes back into the interior. It is a nice drive as you wind your way back up into the mountains. Once we hit the end of the concrete road (9km outside of Torrijos) we turned back. I will come back on the Thunder Monster another day and see where the road goes.

From there we made our way to the weaver’s cooperative 10km north of Torrijos. There were a few ladies there today on their old wooden looms preparing an order of place mats for the big SM chain of department stores in the SM Malls. The place mats are made from local bamboo and plant fibre that they cook up and colour themselves.

I love watching the ladies as they work on these old looms and the fantastic product they produce.

From there it was back to White Beach just outside of Torrijos for a swim, some lunch and to relax. The “sand” on White Beach is crushed coral (Not like fine aussie sand) and is a little rough on the feet. But it is “sand” never the less.

At 3:00pm ish we packed and made our way back home. As Jas, Mike and I were wet after our last swim we sat in the back of the pick up for the 1-hour trip home.

It was very nice sitting in the back as we made our way through the mountains on the way to the cottage. Back home at 4:00pm for a nice hot cup of tea and showers all round.

Wednesday 31st October:

Guy and I did a quick early morning run to the market for some fresh fish as Guy is doing a fish curry today.

Ailyn arrived at 9:00am for a 1-hour massage each for Jas, Mike and myself today. After massages all round and a very yummy curry fish for lunch we made our way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi.

Guy dropped past the Lansones lady for some fresh ones that had just come in. She also got a photocopy of our Tax returns for 2011-12 as we are sending them back with Jas and Mike to post back in AUS for us.

After some Wi-Fi we walked past the Gasan cemetery for a look, as it is day of the dead tomorrow. Sadly Jas and Mike leave the island tomorrow at 1:30pm so they will miss the night’s activities when the cemetery is all lit up by candles.

Thursday 1st November:

Well it is the boys’ last day on the island. The last 10 days has just flown by. After a leisurely morning of packing we headed into Gil’s restaurant at 10:30am for brunch consisting of yummy omelets cooked by Joel (Gil’s nephew and chef).

At 12:00 noon we all headed for the airport hoping the plane would be on time ish. They were only about a half hour late so all good. It has been great having them here once again (Their second visit).

We got a text later in the afternoon that they arrived safe and sound in Manila. They leave the Philippines on Saturday so some serious shopping to be had tomorrow.

At 5:30pm we made our way to the Gasan cemetery for the “Day of the Dead”. All the relatives come to the cemetery and pay homage to their departed ones with flowers, candles, food and drink. Once the sun sets it is quite beautiful with the cemetery all lit up with the candles.

Friday 2nd November:

Awoke to a brownout at 9:00am. At 9:30am I made my way to the Boac Municipal Pulis station up by Boac and met with Edna (Pulis woman who works in intelligence) to have a chat about a couple of IT requirements they want to implement.

On the way I ran into Francis (Local architect, building / roofing contractor) whom we met when we first arrived on the island and were looking at building a house. He has provided us with some good advice on building here on the island.

He introduced me to a Dutchman who is building a rest house (accommodation, restaurant and karaoke bar) here up by Boac. I had a chat to him then caught up with Edna at the Pulis station.

Edna is after two things. A web page / blog to disseminate information to the island residents and to set up a database to track the criminals on the island.

The database is right up Gerald’s path so she will talk to him re that one. I showed her my blog and they want something similar.

So I have a job (unpaid of course…..). I am going to help them setup their blog and then train them to maintain it. I’m looking at having it all done by the time we leave for Australia in mid December.

I did a quick trip into Boac and purchased a few supplies and got cashed up. The first two ATMs were offline but the third one was working.

Back home at 11:30am and the power was back on. Guy had already left for Mahjong.

After lunch it was a market run for some supplies and then a visit to see Gerald for a chat on my visit with the Pulis this morning.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Other Stuff:

During the Typhoon I kept a track of the water the four of us consumed out of interest.

When all our water containers are full I have 300 litres of washing water and 80 litres of drinking water stored.

During the brownout:

  • We all had one scoop shower per day
  • We cooked once a day
  • We washed dishes twice a day
  • We drank normally (water, tea, coffee and a little warm iced tea)
  • The toilet was only flushed with 2/3 of water volume for number 2s
  • The toilet was flushed with a scoop of water for number 1s
  • Misc water was used for washing hands, cleaning teeth, rinsing cups, etc.

We averaged about 100 litres per day usage per 4 of us, which equals 25 litres per person.

We only had to pump water from the hand pump at the well once to refill all our containers. With three of us on the pump and a bucket brigade it didn’t take long at all.

Just goes to show how much we rely on good clean water and we were careful on our usage.


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