Day 1,045 of retirement

April 27, 2020

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Hi All

Saturday 15th February 2020:

Up early (5:15am) to catch the plane (7:30am) to Manila. Left Emma at Ron and Vicky’s and they drove us to the airport.

Here till Wednesday. Guy catching up with old school friends and also commencing my residency application which is known as an ACR.

I did have an ACR but I let it expire and immigration will not renew it so have to do the whole application process again.

Sunday 16th & Monday 17th February 2020:

Guy caught up with family and old school/college friends.

Tuesday 18th February:

Up early (4:30am) and off to the NBI offices for my security clearance for my residency ACR card.

Arrived at 5:20am and there were still 20 ish people in front of us.

Got the paper work done and will be back in two weeks to pick up my clearance.

Spent a few hours at the Mall of Asia purchasing some luxury goodies to take back to the island.

Wednesday 19th February 2020:

Up at 4:45am and off to terminal 4 at the airport for our 5:30am flight back to Marinduque. It is a nice short 45-minute flight so all good for my motion sickness.

Ron and Vicky picked us up at the airport in Emma. We dropped them back at their place (4km up the road from us and made our way home. Sssooooo good to be home again at OUR place.

Wednesday 4th March 2020:

Up early (5:15am) to catch the 7:30am flight to Manila. The task at hand is to get all the paper work lodged for my ACR (to become a Philippine resident).
First stop was the NBI to collect my security clearance papers (like a Police background check). Then off to immigration.
Spent the whole day at immigration going from window to widow, floor to floor (3 floors) getting the correct documents signed and authenticated. At midday the only working lift broke so had to use the stairs for lots of trips up and down the floors.
So, after submitting all my paper work, having an interview with an attorney, having my biometrics collected (face and finger prints) and paying P13,000 ($410 AUS) the application process is completed.
My ACR card will be available in 6 weeks ish.
Going to sleep well tonight.

Thursday 5th March 2020:

Early start again at 5:15am and off to St Luke’s Medical Center for a Golden Health Screening Package. It is aimed at older people (50+ like us) to give them a complete health check.

From 7:00am till midday we were pricked, prodded, had blood extracted (for a battery of tests), peed into a jar (also for a number of tests), x-rayed (chest), ultra-sounded (Bladder, Liver, Kidney, Prostrate etc.) stress tested on a treadmill (for the heart), ears and eyes tested and asked a thousand questions.

Will get all the results in 3-5 days.

Initial results are that we are both fighting fit but will reserve judgement till the official results are in.

The service was outstanding. Lots of professional staff and very friendly and helpful.

Cost for Guy was P24,787 ($775.00 AUS) and mine was P28,961 ($905.00 AUS).

Friday 6th March 2020:

Leisurely day today after the last two hectic days.

After a sleep-in it was off to see Guy’s mum and family.

Next stop was The Mall of Asia (MOA) for some luxury item to take back to the island (Cheese, nuts, etc).

Saturday 7th March 2020:

Up at 3:25am and made our way to the airport to catch the 5:30am flight back home to Marinduque. Nice smooth 40-minute flight so all good.

So nice to get back home again and relax.

Thursday 12th March 2020:

Up at 3:30am to hand over Emma’s (Toyota SUV) keys to our part time driver Willie. Emma needs a 10,00km service at the Toyota service centre on the mainland.

To get there, Willie drove for an hour to get to the port. Then 3 hours on the Ro Ro. Finally, a 2-hour drive to the San Pablo Toyota service centre.

All done and he arrived back at the Castle at 10:00pm.

Friday 13th March 2020:

Awoke to the news that Metro Manila will be shut down March 15 to April 14 with the military and police keeping everyone inside their homes. Very limited air, sea or land travel permitted to and from Manila.

Later in the day we also heard that Santa Cruz (opposite side of the island to us) was going into lockdown same as Manila.

We are okay on the island. We reviewed our typhoon survival kit and added a few things, all good.

Some shelves in the Gasan supermarket are now bare as locals start to panic buy, but mostly limited to essential stuff like 2-minute noodles and canned milk.

Better stock up on “toilet” paper.

Saturday 14th March 2020:

First report of a person being monitored for the virus on the island. He travelled from overseas, so a potential virus carrier.

Sunday 15th March 2020:

Marinduque is now under complete quarantine, except that food, supplies, & medical personnel can come from the mainland. Everyone else is to self-quarantine.
We will just have to sit on the front veranda and watch the world go by for a while.

Friday 20th March 2020:

Just tried to get to our local market (Buenavista 4km away) and were informed we would need a permit. Permit obtained from checkpoint near us, so all good. We can only travel within our local area.
To go to Boac some 30km away there are only 10 permits per day available and they have over 200 requests for today.
We are fine travelling on our permit. Can get everything we need locally.

Friday 27th March 2020:

Our local Barangay (like a suburb) is allowing people to go to the local town (at the moment) of Buenavista (4km away) to get restocked with food.

You need a pass which can be obtained from a checkpoint 200m up the road from the Castle. This enables the number of people that are in the township at any one time to be controlled.

Once in town you need to show this card at some shops to get served. Once you are on the way home you have to drop off the pass and get signed out.

We drove in and I stayed in the car while Guy shopped. Shopping was pretty quick as there was nobody about. There was a reasonable selection of food available, about 50% of veggies that we normally have. Groceries are also still in plentiful supply, but stock like eggs and chicken are being held at the port due to bird (?) flu…. same thing for fruits coming from the mainland are not coming as often as everyone like, 2 of the 3 fruit stalls that we normally go to are closed today.

We are both doing fine and taking in the serenity.

Saturday 4th April 2020:
When your locked down, you need to utilise all of the fruit you can. This includes the Watermelon rind. Guy found a recipe to turn it into yummy candy. It really is very nice.

Check out this web site. www.myheartbeets.com
Search for – Watermelon rind > 10 Ways to Eat Watermelon Rind > 10. Candied Rind
Happy cooking….

Tuesday 7th April 2020:

Shopping day today. Down to our trusty checkpoint and got our permit to go to Gasan. Plenty of fresh fruit, veggies and meat available.
On the way home we bought a bag of fresh treats from the bakery for the good folk manning the checkpoint. They are there day in, day out and do an awesome job in controlling travel on the island.

Wednesday 15th April 2020:

4 weeks today we entered lockdown on Marinduque. We have been out 4 times (with a permit) during that time to get fresh food.
The lockdown has been extended to 30th April so 2 weeks to go. Hopefully at this time the lockdown will be scaled back gradually.
During the 4 weeks we had 4 virus infections on the island. They were quarantined and made a full recovery. The island is currently virus free.
We are very lucky to be in our own home on a large block (2,908 square meters) so we can wander about. Being on the beach helps as well.
I hope you are all well and here’s to getting back to the NEW normal.

Our lockdown is meant to end on this Thursday 30th April after a 6-week stint.

Saturday 25th April 2020:

As of an update by the government from yesterday, a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is supposed to end on April 30 but was extended in some areas for an additional 2 weeks, including Metro Manila and other areas of the country with virus hot spots.

Areas under a general community quarantine (GCQ) (this includes Marinduque) will be allowed to reopen manufacturing, electronics and exports, e-commerce, repair and maintenance services, and housing and office services.

The island is still virus free so all air and Ro Ro access is for freight, food and authorised people only. Hopefully the permit for local travel will be eased so we can catchup with friends and Guy can play Mahjong again.

So, here is to recovering to the new “Normal”.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 971 of retirement

February 11, 2020

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Hi All

Monday 27th January 2020:

Back on the road today with 13.5 people (0.5 is Ysabelle a 3-year-old) in the 15-seater Toyota van. It is a bit of a tight fit with us and all our luggage. Including Guy’s mum’s wheelchair.

After a 5-hour drive, we arrived at Plaridel (down south on the mainland) for the night.

Tuesday 28th January 2020:

Off to Tabgon, Caramoan, in the middle of nowhere. One road in and same road back out. 8.5 hours with the last 3 being a bit of a goat track in the mountains to Tabgon.

At one stage I had to scout the track on foot with a torch to make sure we were on the right track. We were.

Very basic accommodation. No hot water or flush toilet. Do have air-conditioning though.

Wednesday 29th January 2020:

Back out the goat track we came in on (1.5-hour journey) then off to Legazpi for 2 nights. Drive time today was 6-hours.

Due to a combination of bad roads, dubious accommodation (bad Airbnb experience), sick kids and our wheelchair bound mother, we decided to go 5 star for our last two nights on our road trip to see Mayon Volcano. We all realised that not having hot water for showers, flushing toilets, towels and soap is not fun anymore.

Thursday 30th January 2020:

Out sightseeing today round the Mayon Volcano. Visited some ruins of old stone churches, the famous Cagsawa Church which was destroyed when the volcano erupted in 1814.

In the afternoon the adults rested up and the kids went ATV (4-wheeler motorbikes) riding out in the river bed.

Friday 31st January 2020:

Early start today as we head home. Guy and I are being dropped off at Lucena to catch the Ro Ro back home. The others are headed for Manila.

After a 10-hour van ride, 3 hour Ro Ro crossing and 1 hour in Emma we made it home at 10:30pm. Time for a cup of tea and a lay down.

Saturday 1st February 2020:

No chance to sleep in as Cherry the maid is here to clean and wash. At 8:30am our carpenter arrived with our last wardrobe for the guest bedroom.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 955 of retirement

January 26, 2020

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Hi All

Sunday 12th January 2020:

What’s the world coming tooooo? The Taal volcano on the mainland is erupting. Forced evacuations of surrounding areas. Won’t directly affect us at this time.

Monday 13th January 2020:

All flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila) are on hold after Taal Volcano spewed ash to 55,000 feet.

Just went out to the car, there is some very fine ash on it. It has reached us.

Tuesday 14th January 2020:

The Taal volcano has quietened down after Monday’s eruption. It is till venting huge clouds of ash though.
The airport has partially opened. Flights depend on the ash density and direction.
The huge ash clean-up has started adjacent Taal. Ash up to 1 meter deep in places. Has also rained and this has led to huge patches of mud.
Today, creaks have started to appear in the ground adjacent Taal. Could herald another eruption. Time will tell.

Saturday 18th January 2020:

Left Marinduque by plane for Manila. Having an overnight stop over and catching the plane flight to El Nido in Palawan tomorrow.

Sunday 19th January 2020:

A later departure (only 30 minutes) for our 1.5-hour flight to El Nido.

We are in a 4-bedroom three-bathroom house as we are sharing with Guy’s three sisters (from Philippines, Australia and NZ) and 3 nieces and nephews who are visiting.

All settled in and a very nice dinner at the Art Café by the beach.

Monday 20th January 2010:

Off island hopping for the day. Today is one of the top 5 worst excursions we have encountered.

We had our crew man at the house at 8:45am having us hurry along (a 10-minute walk) for a 9:00am start. We arrived at 9:00am and finally left the beach at 10:30am.

Our Bangka was the oldest, slowest and grottiest one in the whole fleet. It also belched diesel fumes into the cabin from time to time.

Guy noticed that the Bangka was rated for 15 people. There were 17 people on the boat. When queried about the over limit passenger they said it was now rated for 17 people.

After stop 1 of 5 islands, the wind picked up and it got very rough and lasted all day. Of course, that set my seasickness off. I was crook for the rest of the day.

At one stage the Bangka was meters from crashing into the cliff (at stop 2) as the wind was stronger than the old Bangka’s propulsion. The Bangka next to us threw a line across and pulled us away from the cliff.

So, all in all not a good day all round.

Tuesday 21st January 2020:

Went beach hopping today in a van. Visited three beaches and a great day was had by all.

Wednesday 22nd January 2020:

A rest day for Guy and I exploring El Nido as the rest of the gang are back island hopping for the day. On a new boat today after the clunker from Monday.

Thursday 23rd January 2020:

All piled into a van for the 260km trip down to Puerto Princesa.

Followed the coast most of the way but it was a very up and down windy road. Took us 5-hours to get here.

Rested up ready for the underground river tour tomorrow.

Friday 24th January 2020:

Off to the underground river from Puerto Princesa. A 1h 45m van ride, 20-minute bangka ride and then a 45-minute tour of the river. Plus, lots of waiting round to get onto the bangka and river tour boat.

A very spectacular cruise up the river. We each had an audio system that gave us the history of the river and location of where we were on the river.

Saturday 25th January 2020:

Our van man picked us up at 11:00am and took us to the local mall for lunch. Then some sightseeing round Puerto Princesa. He dropped us off at the airport at 3:00pm for our 7:00pm flight back to Manila.

Guy went and checked with the airline and they could fit all 8 of us on the 4:00pm flight. So, a dash to the gate and we all made the earlier 4:00pm flight.

We walked from terminal 3 to our accommodation on the sky walkway. A 20-minute walk and we were at our accommodation for the night.

Sunday 26th January 2020:

Rest day today.

The 6 others all went to the Mall of Asia for the day while Guy and I went to the St Luke’s hospital to check out an Executive Health check-up.

They do a full check of you over 1 day and then provide you with the results online. Looking at getting it done in February.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 906 of retirement

December 8, 2019

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Hi All

Tuesday 5th November 2019:
Emma (Toyota Rush) was due for her 5,000km service at the “local” Toyota dealership in San Pablo on the mainland. To get there it is a 1 hour drive to the port, a 3 hour Ro Ro (Ferry) ride and a 2 hour drive to San Pablo.
As Guy and I are not comfortable driving on the main land yet we hired Willie, our part time drive, to take the vehicle to San Pablo and back for the service.
He picked up Emma at 4:00am and delivered her back to us at 7:30pm all serviced. A long 15.5 hour day for Willie.
His cost was P3,000 ($86.00 AUS).
Awesome service, Willie.

Wednesday 6th November 2019:

A wild and woolie day as tropical depression Quiel hits us with wind, rain and rough seas. It’s moving away from us, so all good.
Got food and movies. What more could you want?

Thursday 7th November 2019:

The wild and woolie weather is still with us. Tropical depression Quiel could turn into a typhoon as per the weather forecast. Will know by tomorrow.
Today is the wettest day so far this year (2019) according to Gerald (Pom) who keeps meticulous rainfall records.
The power is on and off all day as well.

Saturday 9th November 2019:

The weather is almost back to normal this morning. Typhoon Quiel has left the building and headed towards Vietnam, weakening as it goes.
Clean up time.

Wednesday 13th November 2019:

Tropical storm “Ramon” is skirting up the east coast of the Philippines. Looks like we will get some heavy rain over the next few days.

Thursday 14th November 2019:
Scheduled brownout today 8:00am to 5:30pm. Same this Saturday. Also raining due to tropical depression Ramon skirting us by, so nice and cool. Movies on the laptop time after a siesta.

Guy at Mahjong.

Saturday 16th November 2019:

No power for the day due to a scheduled brownout (8:30am to 5:30pm).

Guy off to Mahjong in Gasan (they had power) and I got into cleaning mode. Washed all the windows (salt spray), sorted all the rubbish and lubed all the door handles/locks.

Sunday 17th November 2019:

Pamper day today. After a sleep in it was off to the hairdresser for a cut for me and a cut and style for Guy. Total cost: P150 ($4.30 AUS).

Then lunch of home-made burgers, fries and drink. Total cost: P150 ($4.30 AUS).

Finally, a manicure and pedicure for us both. Total cost: P300 ($8.60 AUS).

Emma also got a wash and detail. Cost: P250 ($7,20 AUS).

Monday 18th November 2019:

This morning at 7:00am the power went off at the Castle. I contacted Gerald (Pom) who lives just up the road and he had power as did our neighbour.
So I did the usual and checked all the fuses and still nothing.
So we drove into Buenavista to Marelco, the power supply company at 8:00am. They would have a crew to the house within the hour.
The Marelco crew arrived and determined that the issue was at the breaker switch just after the meter which is our responsibility.
So a call to our electrical contractor who did the house wiring and he came straight out with an electrician.
They replaced the faulty breaker switch and we have power back within the hour.
Cost: Breaker switch P1,300 ($37 AUS) and installation P200 ($6 AUS). Awesome service by all once again.

Monday 25th November 2019:

In Lucena (on the mainland) for the day, shopping.
After 1-hour drive to the port, 2.5-hour Ro Ro crossing and 15 m drive to mall we have arrived.

Real cheese, top of the shopping list. Mmmmmm cheese. Managed to get everything on the list.
Back to Marinduque on the 4:30pm Ro Ro. Arrived home at 9:00pm.

Wednesday 27th November 2019:

Got the plumber back today to replace my shower water heater. Unbeknownst to us the original ones we bought don’t operate correctly with our low flow water supply from our well and pressurised water tank.

Guy’s works sometimes and mine has stopped all together. Once the plumber installed my new low flow heater it worked fine. Will replace Guy’s on our next trip to the mainland (Lucena).

Plumber cost to install the new water heater P500 ($14.00AUS).

Tuesday 3rd December 2019:

Well that was interesting. Typhoon Tisoy a Cat 3 typhoon 120 – 170kph winds (only 4 Cats in total) hit us with a vengeance this morning. The worst of it lasted for 6 hours as the eye passed us close by.

There was torrential rain combined with gale force winds which was scary and exhilarating all at the same. The wind gusts would sound like a freight train and then hit with a vengeance. It is the scariest storm I have ever been in.

The yard outside the house is trashed. Trees stripped bare, bent and broken. The Castle is covered in shredded leaves. Looks like a camouflage pattern on the walls.

But I must say that the Castle came through with flying colours. We were perfectly safe tucked up inside.

After the stormed passed it was chaos. Our track into the Castle was completely blocked with fallen trees which also bought down the power lines to us and our two neighbours. The main road was blocked in both directions from our gate with big trees down. One of the people across the road was wading waist deep in water outside his house.

Our neighbours rallied and over a period of 4 hours they had cleared the road, got the power lines back up on posts and then helped me clear the Castle yard. A real community effort. Awesome team work, guys.

Also discovered we have a swimming pool with waterfall on the Castle. During the torrential downpours, the roof drains were overwhelmed so once several inches of water collected on the roof it would cascade down the stairs (it was designed that way) like waterfalls. As you can imagine the torrential downpour dumped a LOT of water so it was quite spectacular at times.

All in all, very happy with the Castle and how she performed in such a nasty Typhoon.

Thursday 5th December 2019:

Getting internet and phone signal involves a 60km round trip to Boac the capital. The drive gives us the opportunity to charge our phones and power block so it not a complete loss.
Started the clean up this morning. Had the chainsaw man in to cut a huge tree that had fallen across our power line. The cable is fine and all clear now. Power restoration is looking like 4-6 weeks. Lots of power poles snapped like match sticks.
Guy and I cleared the roof of all the vegetation. Started to clean the walls and verandas. Weeks of cleaning up to come.
Saturday 7th December 2019:

Enjoying a bit of luxury. Flushing toilet, running water, hot shower, power & internet. In Manila till Monday for Guy’s high school batch Xmas gathering. Then back to none of the above.

Going to check out generators tomorrow while we are here.

Life is good.

 

Trevor & Guy.

 


Day 808 of retirement

September 1, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 12thAugust 2019:
A nice fine day so, clean up time. Hosed off the front veranda and cleaned all the windows.

Also got Emma to the carwash for a scrub clean.

Tuesday 13thAugust 2019:

The Habagat is back again. The fine weather only lasted a day. Only a mild Habagat at present, so all good.

Ruby got her wash and clean today. Took her for a good run as well, as she is feeling a little neglected over these last few weeks of rough weather.

Friday 16thAugust 2019:

Started the day with our two-hour massage each.

Cherry the maid was here to clean as well.

I spent the afternoon cleaning up the beach. Firstly, I picked up all the trash (man-made) and got a fire going and burnt up the trash.

All the vegetation trash is still on the beach as there is just too much to gather up and burn in one go. Estimating a week’s work for me to clean up.

Saturday 17thAugust 2019:

The maid was here for cloths washing day.

I took Emma to the car wash for her weekly wash and shine.

After lunch, Guy was off to Mahjong and I caught up with Ron (American) for several hours.

Sunday 18thAugust 2019:

Off to the market for some supplies for lunch.

Came to Guy’s Mahjong house for my manicure/pedicure.

The Habagat has dissipated, so nice and calm, hot and humid. So time for a nice afternoon siesta.

Monday 19thAugust 2019:

Last night whilst cleaning my teeth I finished up with a whole filling with some tooth fragment in my hand and a hole in my top gum.

First thing this morning we called a dentist in Boac who we saw 7 years ago when we lived here. She said come on up (45-minute drive) and she would fit me in straight away.

45 minutes after arriving she had cleaned up the remaining tooth and filled it all up back to new. Will need to have an x-ray in the future to see what tooth I have left but all good for now.

Awesome service once again.

Total cost was P700 ($20.00 AUS).

Wednesday 21stAugust 2019:

Went for a walk round the beach today while it is overcast and a little cooler.

Tropical Storm “INENG” is sliding north of us. Shouldn’t affect us too much.

Thursday 22ndAugust 2019:

Started the day with a 2-hour massage each.

In the afternoon the local school kids cleaned up the beach as part of their science course on keeping our environment clean. They did a great job.

Friday 23rdAugust 2019:

After yesterday’s great effort by the local school kids to pile up the coconut, bamboo and banana vegetation, we had the local council workers come along and burn up the piles today.

As this vegetation had been submerged in sea water it is very hard to burn. But with lots of poking the fires, 95% of the vegetation burnt up to give us our beach back.

Tuesday 27thAugust 2019:

Massages, pedicure/manicure, Mahjong, pottering round the Castle and cruising on Ruby have consumed the last 5 days.

Off to Manila tomorrow till Saturday. Visiting Guy’s family especially her sister visiting from Queensland, Australia.

Flying over and back as the airport is now open once again. Only a 45 minute flight which beats the Ro Ro and bus (10 hours ish).

Wednesday 28thAugust 2019:

In Manila for a few days. Only took 2 hours from home to hotel as we flew (the airport on the island is now open). So rather than 10 hours (bus, Ro Ro) a very pleasant 2 hours is grand.

I love shopping at the malls here in Manila. When you walk in you are met by numerous staff who are there to help you. If they can’t help you, they will direct you to somebody who can.

Awesome customer service.

Thursday 29thAugust 2019:

A very successful day as we got everything done, we had to.

Managed to do some shopping for small stuff at the mall. Restricted to 20kg each on the flight home so have to watch what we buy.

Friday 30thAugust 2019:

Busy day doing some shopping and catching up with Guy’s family especially her sister Nida visiting from Brisbane in Aus.

Saturday 31stAugust 2019:

Up at 2:30am to get to the airport for our 5:45am flight home to the island. This afternoon’s siesta is looking good.

Back home to the Castle after a slight delay at the airport. Now sitting on the front veranda with warm buns from the bakery with vegemite and a cup of tea/coffee. Mmmmmmm. Vegemite courtesy of Guys sister from Brisbane (AUS) who is visiting Manila.

Sunday 1stSeptember 2019:

Huge happy birthday to my beautiful wife. It’s been an awesome adventure so far and looking forward to many more awesome years ahead. Love my Guy. Xxxooo

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 752 of retirement

July 7, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 24thJune 2019:
Leisurely morning. After dropping Guy off at Mahjong I caught up with Gerald (Pom) and later in the afternoon John (Pom).

Tuesday 25thJune 2019:

Cherry the maid back again today and worked her magic.

Wednesday 26thJune 2019:

Leisurely morning with Guy off to Mahjong after lunch. I spent the afternoon clearing away regrowth jungle from the back of our block.

At 4:45pm a monsoon storm hit and dumped a heap of rain. All good as we need it.

Marinduque roughly get 1.8m of rain over 12 months. According to records that Gerald keep we have only had 0.8m of rain in the last 18 months. So, it is badly needed.

Remembering that it is the tropics and you can have all that rain in one typhoon.

Thursday 27thJune 2019:

Started the day with a 2-hour massage each. Cherry our maid was back as well.

Heavy rain monsoon shower hit and dumped 12mm of rain in one shower.

Friday 28thJune 2019:

Off to the market first thing for some supplies for the next few days. After lunch I dropped Guy off at Mahjong in Gasan (11km away).

Emma (Toyota Rush) got her first carwash today. Went down to the local carwash and had one of the boys wash and vacuum clean Emma (all by hand).
Now I am a bit particular with the high standard of washing/cleaning of my motor vehicles. But I must say that my washer man did an excellent job. Nothing left for me to clean.
And all for P200 ($5.60 AUS). Will definitely be going back for all my washes and vacuum cleans.

Saturday 29thJune 2019:

Leisurely morning. After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I spent the afternoon doing a rubbish run on the beach, some weeding in the garden and hacking back the jungle in the back yard.

Sunday 30thJune 1029:

Off to the Buenavista market as it is market day. Topped up on fresh supplies for the next few days.

After lunch into Gasan to Guy’s Mahjong house for my pedicure/manicure.

Monday 1stJuly 2019:

Tropical Depression “Egay” has hit well and truly today. Strong winds, rain and high rough seas. The tide is coming in and being pushed up by a southerly wind.
Local fishing village came awful close to being flooded. But all good here.

PS: And the house is singing.

Tuesday 2ndJuly 2019:

Tropical Depression “Egay” eased overnight. The tide is back to normal and the wind has dropped.

Another couple of days and should be back to normal.

Wednesday 3rdJuly 2019:

Tropical Depression “Egay” has gone. Beautiful day today with bright blue skies and brilliant sunset.

One of the downfalls of having lots of glass doors/windows facing the beach is that after a storm they need cleaning from all the salt spray in the air. Ooohhh well that was my afternoon job sorted while Guy was at Mahjong.

Friday 5thJuly 2019:

Busy day.

Up at 3:30am to meet Willie (our driver) at The Castle to pick up Emma and head for the Toyota service centre on the mainland (San Pablo) for her first service (1-hour drive, 3.0 hours Ro Ro, 2-hour drive and the same on the way back).

Back to bed then up at 7:30am for Ailyn and a 2-hour massage each.

During my massage some friends from Guy’s Mahjong group arrived to salvage some of our coco lumber. Great to see it being recycled.

Willie arrived back at 11:00pm so a long day for him (19 hours). Once again awesome service for P2,400 ($69.00 AUS).

Saturday 6thJuly 2019:

Cherry the awesome maid waved her magic once again.

The coco lumber recyclers were back for load two today. Slowly getting the heap down.

After lunch dropped Guy off at Mahjong and got Emma washed at the local carwash.

Sunday 7thJuly 2019:

Market day in Buenavista (5km away) so off to the market this morning for some fresh supplies.

Our usual market breakfast of deep-fried bananas. Very yummy.

Off to the Mahjong house at midday for our pedicure/manicure.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 710 of retirement

May 26, 2019

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Hi All

Tuesday 21stMay 2019:
The door to door van (10-seater van) picked us in Manila and some 14 hours later (3:30am) delivered us to our front door on the island.

The trip included:

~ 6 hour Van ride to the port

~ 3 hour wait at the port for the Ro Ro (Ferry)

~ 3 hour Ro Ro crossing to Marinduque

~ 2 hours van ride to home

The door to door van is excellent in they will pick you up in Manila/Marinduque and deliver you to your front door at the other end. Great if you have lots of stuff/luggage.

And the van only had 6 passengers for the trip so we were able to spread out.

Wednesday 22ndMay 2019:

After a nice cool shower, it was off to bed for 3 hours as the power was due to go off again at 8:00am. It went off at 7:30am. It came back on a midday for a few hours but then off and on for the afternoon. We went to the Marelco office (power supplier) in Buenavista (4km away) and they informed us that repairs should be completed by tomorrow (Thursday) night. Fingers and toes crossed.

Awesome sunset again tonight.

Thursday 23rdMay 2019:

Power was on all day today then went off at 5:00pm. Off till 2:00am tomorrow morning then on till 8:00am.

I have the new schedule of brownouts that goes to Saturday. We shall see what happens after Saturday.

Friday 24thMay 2019:

Nothing like a two-hour massage on our new massage table (bought in Manila) on the veranda in the cool sea breeze as a thunder storm rages in the distance (great lightning show).
New power brownout schedule for the next two days is out. Currently not being followed at all. Power is on when it is on and off when it is off. All good though as we are prepared.

Did manage to get the washing done and give Ruby a service, wash and shine.

Saturday 25thMay 2019:

Got the washing down and down it came. The rainy season has arrived after weeks of build-up. Rained on and off all day. We received 27mm in our area (Gerald the Pom measures it).

Settled the dust very nicely and gave the washing a great rinse.

Sunday 26thMay 2019:

Off to our local market in Buenavista (5km away) this morning for the first time. Sunday is their market day. It isn’t as big as the Gasan market but has pretty much all we need.

Into Gasan at 11:00am for lunch at a canteen. Unfortunately, we got caught in a thunderstorm and I got soaked but Guy wasn’t too bad. After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong and I came along and had my usual weekly manicure/pedicure at the Mahjong house.

Later in the afternoon I caught up with John (Pom) who is back from a 2-month holiday in Thailand.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 704 of retirement

May 20, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 13thMay 2019:
Back to the block and started sorting some of the stuff we have transported. I had a play with the 250 ish satellite TV channels. A pretty good selection of channels I must say.

Back for lunch and Guy off to Mahjong. After my siesta I went shopping at the market for a few kitchen items.

Tuesday 14thMay 2019:

Back to the block at 8:00am as we met the plumber there to fix a water leak on the guest toilet. Took a while as he had to dismantle the whole system but all fixed.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I packed up the apartment ready for the big move tomorrow.

It is amazing how much stuff we have accumulated although in all fairness we have had to outfit a whole house starting from nothing.

Soooooooo looking forward to tomorrow. Finally, our own little piece of paradise to do what we want when we want.

Wednesday 15thMay 2019:

Our first evening at The Castle with a fantastic welcome sunset from the front veranda.
All moved in today. One slight issue with the water heater in the guest bathroom. A call to the plumber and he was here in 20 minutes. He needed the electrician so 20 minutes later the electrician was also here. All fixed. Awesome service from the tradies.

Thursday 16thMay 2019:

The weather is foul at the moment. Mid to high 30C with 90% humidity. And no storms in the immediate future.

Quick trip into Buenavista (4km) away which is now our local township. Checked out one of the canteens for food. Bought some very yummy selections for lunch.

After lunch we headed for Boac (now a 60km round trip from home) to get some cash from the bank and a few things for the house. No Mahjong for Guy today.

Friday 17thMay 2019:

Started the day with a two-hour massage each from our masseuse Ailyn. She is quite happy to come to us from Gasan and do our massages. Have locked her in for 7:30am each Friday.

Tried out the “new” washing machine today. It is an old fashioned twin tubs like my mum used to use.
You bucket water into the wash tub from the well, wash the clothes, rinse them in a laundry tub, spin dry them in the spin dryer and then hang them on a clothesline erected between two trees.
Repeat as many times as required using the original wash/rinse water. Very efficient.
Just like my mum used to do many years ago. My mum would be proud of our efforts.

Saturday 18thMay 2019:

After a 1.5-hour Jeepney ride, a 3-hour Ro Ro (ferry) trip and 6 hours on the bus we arrived in Manila. Here for a few days sorting stuff.

Sunday 19thMay 2019:

Up and off to see Guy’s family and meet up with two of our island workers.

You see Guy has three apartments in Quezon City where her mum lives in one, sister (and family) in another and rents out the third. As it is vacant at the moment, we decided to renovate it.

And as it is so hard to find workers in Manila, we are using some of our boys from the island. Two of them came to Manila overnight and assessed the job.

They can do the work and left us with a list of materials to get. More work for a great bunch of workers.

We were then off to the hardware shop to get the tiles and toilet and have them delivered at the end of the week ready for the boys who will be back in a couple of weeks to do the work.

We bought a few things from the mall for us as well.

Also switched mobile phone carriers as our new supplier has coverage at our house on the island. So might get my internet back. Wednesday will tell.

Monday 20thMay 2019:

Very hot and humid in Manila. Fortunately, we spent most of the day in the mall getting lots of little things for the house.

Had a quick trip up the road to a huge Home Depot warehouse for some plumbing supplies.

Going home tomorrow night to rolling brown outs on Marinduque. One of the island generators has failed so no power for 6-8-hour periods at a time. Will be interesting.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

 


Day 689 of retirement

May 6, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 29thApril 2019:
After a quick trip to the block it was off to Boac (40km round trip) to see PLDT (Telecom provider) on what services, if any, we have in our area.
We were told that there are 10 DSL connections in our area and they are all taken. There are no plans to expand DSL in the near future.
So this means that we will not have any internet at our house which we knew anyway. Only thing we did was put our name down so if any of the 10 existing services come up we can take it over.
Back to the block after lunch (Guy off to Mahjong) and we now have all three bedrooms air-conditioned.
The aim of only doing the bedrooms is that you can cool down the room for getting a comfortable sleep. The lounge/kitchen is a large area and very open and picks up the nice sea breeze so we decided not to put one there.

Tuesday 30thApril 2019:

Up early as we are meeting John’s (Pom) brother in-law Ed, at John’s place (he is away) to retrieve 3 barrels of stuff we left there when we went back to Australia in 2013. Ed has a tricycle, so he transported the barrels to the block for us. They mainly have pots and pans in them and a thousand coat hangers (maybe not a thousand but heaps). The things we keep.

They are in storage at the block now till we move in in a couple of weeks.

Then into Buenavista (4km away and our new local town) to organise a gas cylinder, regulator, hose and installation of our gas stove. All up the total cost came to P2,935 ($80 AUS).

We now have an operational gas stove.

Back to Gasan and a quick visit to our curtain guy as he is making some door stop sandbags for us. Will have a sample for us tomorrow.

Lunch and Guy off to Mahjong and after an afternoon visit to the block, I had my siesta.

Wednesday 1stMay 2019:

Usual block visit to see the painters. Also called in to see our cushion/curtain man for an update.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I had my siesta followed by an afternoon visit back to the block.

Thursday 2ndMay 2019:

Off to Boac (40km round trip) to make the final payment to the aluminium window/door man. They finished all the sealing and cleaning of all windows and doors yesterday.
Did some further exploring at the Boac market for curtain and cushion material and pillows. Found some promising material and bought 4 light pillows. Once we are living in the house, we will explore these further.
Had lunch in Boac. Guy off to Mahjong at midday. I caught up with Gerald (Pom) and dropped into the block. Painting is scheduled to be completed on Saturday.

Friday 3rdMay 2019:

Off to Buenavista to meet up a group of locals who are going to supply all the food and drink for the workers’ party we are throwing on Sunday. All our workers and contractors are invited to the local sulphur springs for some food, drink and a swim in the springs.

Our way of saying thank you for all their awesome service.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I caught up with Ron (Yank) for a chin wag.

Saturday 4thMay 2019:

Yea the painting has finished, all the scaffolding removed and rubbish cleaned up. Still got a few things to finish up inside but our move in date of 15th May is looking good. The house looks very “pretty” all painted up.

Finished the day with our usual two hour massage each.

Sunday 5thMay 2019:

Today we threw a party for all our workers, contractors, tradies and suppliers along with their partners and kids to celebrate a job well done in building our house for us (70 attendees).

We hired a large covered area at the local sulphur springs. On one side was a sulphur pool for the kids to swim and on the other side a couple of nipa huts for the boys to enjoy a drink or two.

We got a local caterer in to cook all the food and also had a 36-kilo pig roasted on the spit (Lechon). All the food was awesome and the drink flowed freely. A great time was had by all. We also printed off and gave each one of them the pic we took on the last day at the block.

Did I tell you that these guys were awesome?

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 682 of retirement

April 28, 2019

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Hi All

Monday 22ndApril 2019:
Had our start of week meeting at the site this morning (painter, plumber, electrician & foreman). Set for the rest of the week all be it with a much smaller crew.
After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I made a mid-afternoon visit back to the block.

At 5:00pm ish we had an earthquake. The building swayed as it lasted for a minute ish. A very weird feeling watching and feeling your surroundings swaying.

Tuesday 23rdApril 2019:

Family and friends, we are all okay following yesterday’s earthquake. The quake was well north of us but we did feel it. No damage here on the island.

Sweltered in our apartment today. Work was being carried out on some rewiring in the building which meant disconnecting from the mains and no generator. No power from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

I opened up the windows and the door and at least there was a breeze 3 floors up.

Guy was off to Mahjong after lunch.

Thursday 25th April 2019:

We have the well water pressure pump/tank setup and pumping. The plumber has setup 4 separate lines off the pump so we can isolate the outside taps, the master bathroom, the kitchen/laundry and the second bedroom. Also, some more isolation valves in these lines so part sections can be shut down.

If we do have any issues in any part of the house, we can shut it down and not affect the rest of the house.

Slight issue with the 3 air conditioners. The holes we left are the right size but nobody told us the unit sits in a rack so needs a further 2” clearance. The installer was prepared and has a diamond concrete cutter so can fix it. Just one of those things where one little piece of information not conveyed means more work.

Just one of those things that happen on a new house build.

Friday 26thApril 2019:

After an early block visit it was off to Boac the capital (40km round trip on Ruby). First stop, the bank to get some cash for the payroll tomorrow.
Then curtain/cushion material shopping. Found some material and will drop them off to our curtain man tomorrow for sewing.
Back at the block late afternoon to see how the airconditioner boys were doing. They had to expand each of the three mounting holes by 2″ on the bottom and on the side.
Our nice clean finished bedrooms are now a mess again. But all good and they will have it all fixed in a day ish.

Saturday 27thApril 2019:

Another sad day today as we said goodbye to our foreman and the last of our original boys. The boys did an excellent job of finishing all their work and cleaning up round the house.

At 3:00pm the boys retrieved our bamboo bed, foot locker and couch from the Italian house and placed it in our house. They also placed the dining room table and chairs along with the coffee table in the lounge room. It is starting to look and feel like a house.

Tomorrow we have the fridge, gas stove, fans, etc. arriving.

The only people left are the painters (contractors who are awesome to work with) who will be there for another week to finish off some inside and outside painting.

Still some minor things to be finished off by the plumber and these should be done in the next weeks as well (shower curtains, stainless steel fittings).

We are now looking at a moving in date of May 15thall things being equal.

Sunday 28thApril 2019:

Out to the block at 8:00am as we have a major delivery happening this morning.

We had delivered:

~ Our master bed mattress

~ Samsung TV

~ Bed and base for guest room two

~ 4 x electric fans

~ Rice cooker

~ Electric kettle

~ Samsung Fridge

~ Gas stove

~ Plastic picnic table and 2 x chairs

We bought everything locally as they gave us a good deal, delivery was free, they unpacked everything, set it all up, tested it and took away all the packaging. These are the same folks we bought the 3 aircons off as well. They are in the process of installing the aircons as we speak. Awesome service.

So slowly but surely the house is coming together. Just need the painting to finish and move in time (2 weeks ish).

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I had a lovely siesta as it is pretty hot and humid here at the moment. We need rain as it is very dry.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy