Monday, December 18th, 2017

Being your own contractor in the Philippines.  Our Philippine house building project is almost  complete.  After our unhappy experiences with hiring an architect to build our perimeter fence (see _____)  we decided to hire our own crew to build our house.  We hired an architect to do the plans and to come for site visits on an as-needed basis.  We shopped for our own materials and supervised the work with help from a foreman. Was this a success?  It looks like it’s going to cost us about 2.5 million pesos for our 150 square meter house or about P16,500 per square meter.  Houses can be built for that amount or less, but we tried to use top quality materials, so we feel as though we have gotten a…

We could not resist starting to plant trees and shrubs on our lot even though a final site plan has not been done or even the final amount of filling determined.  This is because we pass through Villa, Iloilo every time we travel from Iloilo City to Tigbauan and Villa is the garden of Iloilo.  Villa is blessed with superb soil.  This has resulted in  thriving, pervasive plant, shrub and tree growing vendors practically everywhere in Villa.  How can one drive past all these beautiful flowering plants and not want to take some home?  We could not.  Here’s a tally of what we’ve planted so far. Manila (Christmas) palms Royal palms Bougainvillea (lots!) Batuan http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/fresh-batuan Allmanda aka Golden Trumpet, Yellow Bells Indian Mango (from a pit left by workers) Carabao Mango Flame Tree (Delonix regia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Poinciana  Ours is tiny.  We are sad to note that most of the beautiful flame trees which graced General Luna Street in Iloilo City have been cut down to make way for a “flyover”. Malunggay (Moringa oleifera) http…

Chinese Cemetery in Molo Iloilo City. Molo is reported to be the “Parian” of Iloilo — the Chinese district. Under

This beautiful temple is located on Rizal Street in…

The Bahay Tsinoy Museum is a don’t-miss stop for history-minded visitors to Manila and for those of Chinese heritage. Bahay Tsinoy is a museum which presents the story of the Chinese in Philippine history.  The Bahay Tsinoy is located in the historic walled Intramuros area of Manila on Anda Street, making it easy to combine a visit to this museum with several other Intramuros attractions and amenities. Bahay Tsinoy Museum, Intramuros, Manila While China’s rising  importance is in today’s news, China has always been a giant looming over every aspect of Philippine life.  The Spanish colonized the Philippines mostly because they hoped to use it as a stepping stone to missionary work in China. The U.S. decided to keep the Philippines as a colony for much the same reason except the aim was trade rather than proselytizing. Even before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, there were vigorous trade and …

Lunar New Year Celebration, China Bank Mabini Branch, Iloilo City. At smaller branches…

Chinese heritage of Iloilo City and the Philippines. Anyone interested in this subject should rush to obtain a copy of Edgar Wickberg’s most enjoyable “The Chinese in Philippine Life 1850-1898″. This is the classic, a highly readable, well foot-noted standard work originally published by Yale University Press, which fortunately has been reprinted by the Ateneo de Manila Press . If you live in the Philippines they’ll ship it to you. You may also buy it from Amazon using this link Chinese in Philippine Life, 1850-1898 Chinese settlement in the Philippines almost always followed Spanish settlements. In the vicinity of their settlements, the Spanish provided the Chinese with commercial opportunities and some level of security of…

Miagao, Iloilo Province. In our opinion, Miagao should be a top pick retirement destination for those who are looking …

Catálogo Alfabético de Apellidos of 1849 (Reprinted by the National Archives in Manila in 1973. Publication no. D-3.) During my visit to the majority of the provinces of these islands, I observed that the natives in general lack individual surnames, which distinguished them by families. They arbitrarily adopt the names of saints and this practice has resulted in the existence of thousands of individuals having the same surname. Likewise, I saw the resultant confusion with regard to the administration of justice, government, finance, and public order, and the far-reaching moral, civil and religious consequences to which this might lead, because the family names are not transmitted from the parents to their children, so that it is sometimes impossible to prove the degrees …

Morning Glory Bush (Ipomoea carnea), San Juan Street, Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines. Thanks to Wendy for the ID! Peacock Flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), San Juan Street, Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines Peacock Flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), San Juan Street, Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines Flame Tree (Delonix regia) San Juan Street, Iloilo City Philippines Flame Tree (Delonix regia) San Juan Street, Iloilo City Philippines Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula) Silay, Negros Occidental, Philippines Guava, San Miguel, Iloilo, Philippines Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalenis), Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines Giant Balete Tree on Nogas Island.  Also called Ficus or Banyan tree – Lunok in Ilonggo. Continue walking beyond the Nogas Island lighthouse and you’ll come to this tree. This tree is thought by many Filipinos to be a home to various spirit beings…