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Saturday 26th January:
Happy Australia Day to all you Aussies.
After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong for a late one (Playing till midnight). I walked into Gasan and Google IT to post the blog.
I spend some time exploring the Philippines’ immigration website re: what will happen to my Residency (ACR Card) if I’m out of the country for longer than twelve months. It looks like I will loose it and will have to reapply for ACR when we come back in a few years. It should be easier next time as they now have all my details.
I walked back home as well (12km walk all up) as I didn’t do much walking back in AUS so need to get some fitness back.
Guy arrived home just after midnight from her Mahjong game.
Sunday 27th January:
Leisurely morning. No Thunder wash today as she is still good after her holiday in the cottage.
At 11:15am I dropped Guy off at the Mahjong house and made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. At midday I hit the Barbarossa for the expat gathering and told them the news we were leaving.
Back home at 4:00pm and rang my Mum who turned 90 years old today. I had a chat to her about our new adventure coming back to AUS as well.
Guy arrived home at 11:30pm after another late Mahjong game.
Monday 28th January:
Off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. We had two visitors with us today. Joseph and his daughter Mira (American Filipinos from Seattle) are here visiting family up Boac way. They found my blog some time ago and loved the look of the interior photos so contacted me about hiking here.
Gerald looked after them while I was in AUS and took them on a couple of walks. It was good to catch up with them today and take them to Meadow Peak for a look over the southwestern side of the island.
Tomorrow we are taking them up the Dawis River to Maapoy, the gas fields where the gas seeps out the ground and you can light it. They leave the island on Thursday on their way home to Seattle.
After lunch and a siesta Guy and I made our way to Google IT to Skype the gang in Canberra and see the rapidly growing Zali. We also Skyped our good friend Lisa P (Sydney) who is helping us get some things in order re: work stuff.
Tuesday 29th January:
I headed out the door at 6:15am and walked to the Dawis River bridge (2.5km away) to meet Gerald, Joseph and Mira for a walk up the river to Tabionan (7.5km & village back in the mountains), then on to Maapoy (5.0km further on and quite remote when you get there) to see the fire alight by the gas coming out of the ground in a hollow bamboo.
Then back to Tabionan (5.0km) and back home via the road (7.6km) giving a grand total of 27.6km for the day. Must admit I am feeling it a bit.
Joseph and Mari loved the walk up the river and especially the gas field (complete with fire out of a hollow bamboo). The walk out on the road was a bit of a drag but we all put our heads down and we were back at the main road in no time.
They have really enjoyed the walks they have done with Gerald and I and have seen parts of the island that “tourists” don’t see.
I arrived home at 3:00pm only to find a brownout. It came back on at 5:00pm (2-hour brownout)
Guy had been to the market in the morning and left me a very nice pot of cooked Pork spare ribs (One of my favorites). She then made her way to Mahjong at midday and arrived back home at 1:00am (A long night game).
Wednesday 30th January:
Up this morning and we were greeted by a brownout at 9:00am. The power was out all day and only came back on at 3:00pm (6-hour brownout)
John (Pom) called in for a chat and to pay me for the Thunder Monster even though we will be riding it for a month or two yet before we leave. John has been very generous to do this for us.
Then we all headed for Terry’s (Welshman) place just down the road for another gathering of the Marinduque Bridge Club. Guy and I were the champions today with a bit of skill and a lot of luck.
Back home for lunch and then off to Boac for some business. First stop was the Immigration office to pay my annual fee of P310 ($7.60 AUS). We also enquired about how long I can be out of the country before I lose my residency status.
It appears that if I pay my annual fee (We could arrange for Guy’s brother to do this for me) my residency will be active until it expires in 2017. We will check this with the Immigration Office in Manila just to be sure.
We were going to register the Thunder Monster but had to leave that due to no power in Boac as well.
And Guy was going to see the Dentist but had to also cancel due to no power.
Just after we arrived back home the power came back on….. Ohhhh well will go back Friday (Power willing….) and complete our business.
Tonight I broke out the slide and negative scanner I bought while in AUS. I purchased a Plustek OpticFilm 8100 so I can scan all my old slides and negatives dating back some 40 years.
I have had them all stored in AUS and brought back with me my oldest slides and have placed the rest in the Door to Door box we sent from Canberra. Once this box arrives in Manila we will send it straight back to AUS so I can complete the scanning there.
I started on my old slide tonight and got through 50ish as I learnt to use the software with the scanner to correct many years of deterioration on the slides. I’m getting about an 85% success rate of good scans so that’s not bad.
Even the other 15% are still good enough to show the memories of the day. I’m seeing some very interesting pics of my younger years (When I was 18 +).
Thursday 31st January:
Cherry here at 8:00am for the washing and cleaning day. Boy are we going to miss her when we return to AUS.
Ailyn was supposed to be here at 10:00am for my massage but had some church business to do this morning so asked if she could come at 3:00pm. No problem with me to alter my busy schedule……..
After lunch I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and I hit Google IT for some research on stuff for our return. The whole process is happening surprisingly smooth so far. I’m sure there will be a few challenges to come yet.
I arrived back at the cottage at 2:00pm for a shower to wash off the dust and sweat before Ailyn arrived. We now have 1km of road between here and Gasan ripped up and being replaced with concrete. And with it being the dry season at the moment it is a dust hole.
Ailyn arrived at 3:00pm and I enjoyed my 2-hour massage. It’s been 7 weeks since my last one so all extremely good.
Friday 1st February:
Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. I met Manny at Gerald’s and the three of us did a road stroll down to meet the new proprietor of a Dive Shop that has open up along the coast.
The owner is Freedom D Dellosa Jr and he is the guy who also is developing the Freedom Park Resort that I spoke of in the blog dated Thursday 27th September 2012. This is the place with a big pool for dive trainings, a Zip line and climbing wall.
Freedom also owns a Dive Shop in Lucena (Coral Divers Den) and along with his Freedom Resort up Boac way wants to get some of the divers from Lucena onto the island for extended diving trips and training in open water diving.
He wants to work with the locals in protecting the dive sites in the Tres Reyes Islands which are the islands just off the coast of us (A 20 minute Bangka ride). Apparently there are still some great Coral dives to be had there.
Back home, showered and off to Boac (22km away) for a busy day. First stop was the Immigration office to drop off a copy of my ACR card after paying my annual fee on Wednesday.
Then off to the Land Transport Office (LTO) to register the Thunder Monster. Basically you have to visit an emission testing centre and have your exhaust gases analyzed, pay for 3rd party insurance (P100,000 coverage ($2,500 AUS)) which is provided next to the emission testing centre then back to the LTO for your rego.
P1,450 ($36.00 AUS) and 2-hours later and all done.
Back into Boac to pay our Phil Health (Private Health Ins) for the first quarter this year (Till we go). Total cost here was P450 ($11.00 AUS).
Then off to get phone cards, Satellite TV recharge and some choc nut (Peanut sweets) for our desert treats. Lunch was at Good Chow and then back to Google IT in Gasan where we were able to Skype Jo and Zali for a good chat and do email stuff.
Back home at 4:00pm and a lovely brownout greeted us at 4:30pm. The power was back on at 5:30pm in time for dinner so all good.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy