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Saturday 30th January:
Had a lady come into the shop today in a real panic. She had locked her 2 year old boy in his baby seat in a BMW SUV along with the keys.
While one of our staff rang the police Craig (Boss) and I ran across the road to see what could be done in the mean time. After several minutes (It was very hot) it was evident that the boy was stressing and getting very hot.
She asked us to smash a small rear window opposite the baby so we could get to the door handles. I used the “Car Emergency Safety Hammer” to break the window quickly and efficiently (NO spraying the cabin with glass) which I carry with me and have done for a long time. We then discovered that even accessing the door handles wasn’t any good as the car was in deadlock and only using the button on the key releases the doors. We were all ready to then break the passenger side window to get the keys and the NRMA man turned up with the Police. He was able to retrieve the keys with his “special” tools and all ended well. The boy was hot and sweaty but fine. I can’t recommend highly enough the Safety Hammer tool. Very cheap and works as advertised.
Friday 5th February:
All packed and off to the airport for our 12:30pm flight to Manila. Arrived in plenty of time which was just as well as the terminal was packed.
Nice smooth 8-hour direct flight. I watched three movies (Spectra (James Bond), Everest & The Martian. All good movies.
Arrived on time and then spent 2.5 hours in a cab on a Friday night in Manila traffic. Any other time the trip would have been less than 30 minutes.
Dumped our luggage at our hotel in Makati and caught up with Guy’s family for dinner.
It just so happens that her sisters from Queensland (Australia) and New Zealand are also here so worked out well.
Saturday 6th February:
We caught up with some of Guy’s old college girl friends for lunch at the Simply Thai restaurant. After lunch we moved next door to a coffee shop for tea.
While the girls caught up I wandered round the three malls browsing. I came back 4 hours later and they were still chatting.
7:30pm ish they all departed for home. Guy and I found a great little gourmet bugger restaurant for an awesome burger with fries. One of the best “real” burgers we have had in a long time.
Sunday 7th February:
Was picked up by Beth (Guy’s sister) and her brother Boying and off on a road trip down south of Manila.
It was Guy’s best friend Aura’s mum’s 86th birthday party. The food was awesome with all my favorite Filipino dishes which were on hand so a large amount of food was eaten.
Needless to say there was no need for dinner that night.
After we got back we went for a stroll in the mall and returned to our room only to find that our key cards didn’t work on the door. A trip back to reception to confirm our key cards were okay and it was likely to be a flat battery in our door.
Maintenance was called and sure enough we had a flat battery in our door. Rather funny me working for Battery World and coming half round the world to have a flat battery.
Monday 8th February:
Rest day today. After a bit of a sleep-in we wandered over to the mall for breakfast. I must say that it is impossible to get a good cup of tea here.
We hit Shakey’s for lunch for some MoJo’s (Fried flat potatoes with dips). They are the best.
A bit more wandering and Guy did some shopping. I visited every watch store I found but didn’t find anything that I liked (Even the high end stores).
Early night as it is an early start tomorrow morning (5:00am).
Tuesday 9th February:
After a half hour in a cab, 5.5 hour bus, 3 hours on the RoRo (Ferry) and 1 hour in a Jeepney we arrive in Gasan and our little piece of paradise.
We are staying at Mina’s (She is retired) house. She is a friend of Guy who spends her time between Vegas (USA) and Gasan. She built a beautiful new house last year so we do feel a little special staying here. Oooohhh and the housekeeper is included.
The house also comes with a very friendly dog called “Botsoy”. I miss having a dog…..
Wednesday 10th February:
John (The Pom) and Patnalin (Thai partner) dropped in for a catch up. John was married to Yolanda (Local) who died tragically in a motorcycle accident a few years ago. Yolanda was our landlord while we were here last.
John also lent me a motorcycle (An old Thunder Monster) so went and picked that up.
Ron (The Yank) also dropped in for a catch up. He currently has a busted shoulder so can’t drive. He is famous for his “Trips round the island” for visitors.
He also had a pacemaker fitted since we’re last here. Hasn’t slowed him down at all. Those of you who have been here will know what I’m talking about.
I spent the afternoon cruising the coast. I dropped in to see our old cottage where we stayed for three years. Sadly it has fallen into a state of disrepair.
Also called in to see our block of land. All good although very overgrown. The Nipa hut we built on the block (5 years ago) is still standing fine. It has weathered all the Typhoons and fallen trees.
Thursday 11th February:
Spent a very interesting morning with Gil the artist (Sandy & Brian the graphite pen man). Gil spent many years living in the USA and found himself on the wrong side of the law, which led to him “doing time”.
He has turned his life round and is utilizing his “forgery” skill to now carving Ostrich eggs which all tell a story of a part of his prison life. These masterpieces are sent to the USA and sold through a gallery. The going price is $14,000 USD per egg. Each egg can take over 100 hours to carve.
They are awesome masterpieces with such intricate artwork and to have Gil tell me the story of the two eggs he has currently completed made my visit even more special.
Guy and I then made our way to John the Pom’s place for a late lunch. Ivan (Fellow Aussie) was also there so good to catch up with him as well.
Finished the day at the Cathedral on the hill over looking Gasan and the sunset over the sea.
Friday 12th February:
Had my first ever pedicure and manicure this morning. It did take a while for the lady to clean up my crusty old toe and fingernails. But she did an awesome job. They feel and look like new and all for $3.00.
Then it was on the Thunder Monster and off to Buenavista (30mins away) to check that our “council rates” were in order for our block. It transpires that we still have two more years to go before they are due as we paid five years in advance when we left in 2013. We thought it was only three.
Mind you at $1.00 (yes $1.00) a year for 3,000 square meters of land on the beach, it is acceptable.
On the way home we called into our block, as Guy wanted to have a look. As luck happens the new owners of the Japanese house were there. They are from Canada (She is Filipino and he is French Canadian).
Had a good chat to them and looking forward to having them as neighbors in a few years.
Oooohhhhh and we had our first brownout today. Only lasted 20 minutes ish so not too bad.
Saturday 13th February:
Leisurely morning as we rode to Boac (Capital and 30 minute ride) where Guy had a foot spa and I wandered round the township.
It was interesting to see the market area. Three years ago it was made of a random selection of huts but it worked. They have now built a new market out of concrete and steel that is two storeys high.
The new market was all closed and the old market has just moved out the back of the new one. So not much has changed market wise.
Finished the day with a 2 hour massage from our massage lady (Cost $8.00).
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy