Saturday, December 16th, 2017

We’re building our house in the Philippines.  We build a carport as part of our Philippine house building project. A carport was a part of our original plans and permits, but we only decided to really commit to building it when our small crew started to run out of work while waiting for the house roof to be finished.  After the house roof is done, then there’s the floor to pour and finishing of the interior and exterior walls. In the meantime we could use our crew to build the carport.  Also we had over- ordered 16mm rebar …

A ponke in action Building our house in the Philippines.  Ensuring concrete quality.  This photos shows the workers adding material to the cement mixer using a “ponke”.  The ponke is a wooden box with handles.  The inside dimensions of the ponke are 40cm x 40cm x 40cm.  The ponke is sized to hold one sack of cement.  I asked that the ponkes be built and used as a means of controlling the concrete mixture. After research,  we decided on a mixture of one part cement, two parts sand and three parts gravel …

We build a “bahay kubo” bamboo guest house.  We’re planning on building our conventional concrete house in early 2010.  The plans are just about complete.  More on that later. We decided we’d build one of the pretty native houses, a “bahay kubo”  as a first step.  We selected the above photo of a Panay…

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…

Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu City There are many excellent doctors in the Philippines and some not so good.  It can be hard to tell which is which. Our suggestion — go to one of the top Philippine hospitals; St. Luke’s or Asian Hospital in Manila or Chong Hua in Cebu City.  These hospitals have web sites which list doctors by specialty…

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 …

These are some on-line posts, as chronological as we can make them, of an American, Mike Mikesell, who came to live in the Philippines, who engaged himself in the culture and in extraordinary good works, who became disillusioned and finally was killed or committed suicide.  We’re not sure what moral or lesson can be drawn, but there’s much food for thought for expats and aspiring Philippine expats. 7-15-06 Very nice job, Tom. To reinforce some of Tom’s post I will add a couple of sentences on my own satisfaction with life in RP. Finding a happy location to live in was true for us… moved a few times, finally buying, building and matching our desires with our income. Though there are 3 expats in our city of 51 barangays, we seldom see each other (except at joint Rotary Club meetings), and I have more to say to my barkada (close group of Filipino men my age who have taken me in lock-stock and barrel). I sit with them 2 or 3 nights a week and drink beer and eat pulutan. I work at a university with one, play tennis with another, take small trips …

This was my response to a post from an American who claimed that Philippine women are “better” than American Women:  Let me offer my perspective.  Please feel free to disagree! I’ve only been married to one American woman and one Filipina but, like everyone else, have…