Monday, December 18th, 2017

We had to buy a cook stove for our new Philippine house.  Here’s our experience buying an Italian BOMPANI range. Bompani 90×60 "giant oven" stove Carol is a fantastic cook.  One of her dreams was to have a decent kitchen stove.  Typically kitchen stoves in the Philippines are 50 or 60 centimeters wide — 20″ to 24″.  While these may have four burners they are very cramped for serious cooking.  We decided we wanted a 90cm (36″) wide stove.  The major brands in the Philippines are La Germania and Elba.  A 90cm range costs about P70,000.  This was just more than we wanted to pay.  The Citi Hardware chain is marketing a smaller Italian brand — Bompani ( www.bompani.it )…

Earthquakes When we hired the engineer to design our house we were aware that the Philippines was included in the “ring of fire” earthquake zone and that our part of Panay Island had experienced a magnitude 8.2 earthquake in 1948.  In 1948 the island was much less developed.  Doubtless all or almost all the hollow block buildings on the island were built after 1948.  The 1948 quake damaged or destroyed. …

Philippine House Design.  Building our house in the Philippines. How the design for our Philippine retirement home evolved.  The original inspiration for our house was a residence we saw in Lucban, Quezon Province.  It was a new house but had a traditional Filipino and Spanish Colonial flair.  Bob worked in the field of hertiage preservation for almost 25 years and has an affection for traditional design. Excellent new construction on plaza in Lucban, Quezon Province, Philippines When we added some elements we wanted like a second floor verandah, this is what we got: Perspective Drawing for our Tigbauan House But we reluctantly abandoned these plans for a rather basic one story design similar to to a plan we had seen at SOS Children’s Village in Zarraga, Iloilo: Cottage – SOS Children's Village, Iloilo Here’s what we…

Prolapse of Orbital Fat – Iloilo City, Philippines. We share this medical tidbit to help expats considering life in the Philippines, but who are concerned about the quality of Philippine medical care. This is not a conclusion but rather an anecdote given for whatever help it may be to others. My wife’s sister returned from work in Kuwait with a scary looking growth in one of her eyes.  We were very afraid it was a tumor.  We took her to one Iloilo ophthalmologist who recommended a biopsy which could be done at a lab in the same building. We wanted a second opinion so we took her to ophthalmologist, Dr. Karen Francia who had been highly recommended to us by other Iloilo expats. It was a good recommendation. Dr. Francia felt that the problem was a prolapse of the orbital fat in her eye. …

Experiences of a foreigner getting a driver’s license in Iloilo City.  With one hiccup, I …

I am a US citizen.  Here’s my experience voting in 2008 US elections by absentee ballot. I tried out the free FedEx shipping for absentee ballots this morning.  The FedEx program is called “Express your Vote”. I went to the FedEx office on the main floor of the Gaisano City mall in La Paz, Iloilo City,  across the river from the Atrium.  The office is at the end of the mall away from the river. There are also FedEx offices at the…

My wife and I feel very safe living in the Philippines.  We live in an unusually secure private compound in Iloilo City.  We don’t even have to consider security.  We can leave our doors open if we want to.  We have ridden jeepneys everywhere.  I have literally walked more than a thousand of mile on the streets of Iloilo City and rural paths in the country.  I have never had the slightest problem.  No one has robbed me or threatened me or tried to pick my pocket or done anything …