Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Our trials and tribulations with finding and installing granite on our Philippines kitchen and bathroom counters.  Today it’s over — the granite installers are done and gone. We must have looked at every piece of granite in Iloilo City ten times.  We looked at Moostbrand,  AM Builders, Citi Hardware and Merit Marble.  Merit had some lovely Italian granite, but the price was a bit too high for our budget.  Much of the other granite was saw was just too bland for us.  Finally we found what we were looking for at AM Builders, Tanza. The granite we selected Here’s what it looks like installed: Granite installed This “Jun Li” granite is from China, as is most granite for sale in the Philippines.  The pattern is called “weave white”.  The price per 60cm by 220cm slab was P3,990.  We required four slabs to do our kitchen and a small counter in our bathroom for a total of P15,960.  After some haggling we paid P13,866 including delivery to Tigbauan.  AM Builder’s Depot recommended an installer.  After negotiation, we hired the recommended …

Our Philippine house building project, kitchen cabinets.  We decided to follow the usual provincial Philippine method of building our kitchen cabinets.  This Philippine system for kitchen cabinets is radically different from that we’re familiar with in the U.S.  Generally, U.S. kitchens use a wood base, prefabricated cabinets which are of wood or particle board clad with a laminate or other protective finish and topped with various counter materials.  These cabinet systems are available in the bigger Philippine cities, but are expensive.  Most importantly we wonder about their durability, especially that of base cabinets, in the hot, wet, bug/fungus-infested Philippine conditions. Kitchen Counter Bases The Philippine system is a concrete skeleton; base, end panels and under counter.  In basic homes, the countertop may be tiled and the bare concrete painted…

We’re not “Consumer Reports” but we would like to share our very positive experiences with our Electrolux refrigerator as a way of giving the manufacturer a pat on the back for a good product and providing some guidance to other expats shopping for appliances. A Sharp refrigerator came with our first apartment. While I have an inclination to think of Japanese products as good quality, the Sharp refrigerator was really lousy.  Its cooling power was low, so food was not kept cold except under the best conditions.  Plastic parts were flimsy and broke easily. Once we bought property and knew we were going to build a house, we started paying more attention to kitchen appliances.  Despite our experiences with the Sharp, we still preferred Asian brands; Panasonic, LG, Samsung and so forth.  We saw Electrolux refrigerators in the showrooms, but really did not consider them.  Electrolux (other than my mom’s ancient vacuum cleaner) was not a major brand in …

Building our house in the Philippines. Buying our construction equipment in Iloilo.  Delivered, premixed concrete is rarely used in residential construction in the Philippine provinces.  In fact, many houses are built without even a cement mixer.  The concrete is mixed on the ground by workers with shovels. When we were considering a two story house, we were certain a gas powered mixer would be a good investment in the quality of the concrete and the safety of our house and ourselves.  This is…

This is an opportunity to own your own tropical beach front property in fantastic Antique Province, Philippines for a very low price – 2838 SQM (7/10 of an acre) for only 1,496,000 Philippine pesos or about $32,500 (US).   The property is located in Tobias Fornier, Antique Province, Panay Island, Philippines.  It’s about a two hour drive the Iloilo City airport and about the same to world famous Boracay Island. The immediate neighboorhood National Highway to the right To the beach….. Beach front FRONT THE NATIONAL ROAD TO THE EAST NEXT TO RAPSAG BEACH RESORT TO THE SOUTH NEXT TO CUYO EAST PASS (OCEAN) TO THE WEST NEXT TO CABANGTUHAN RIVER TO …

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…

This Taoist temple on Rizal Street in Iloilo City appears to honor Yaochi Jinmu , the Queen Mother of the West.  General information

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…

Locally grown organic rice is available in Tigbauan.  Stop by the Sol y Mar Resort to purchase. We paid P40 per kilo.  Our standard rice has been the excellent Dinorado which we have been buying in 10 kilo bags at Robinson’s Supermarket in Iloilo City but we like the fresh taste of the Zayco Natural Farm rice.

Gay and Straight Bar on J.M. Basa Street, Iloilo City Related link: http://scrimgeour.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/who-killed-epi-ramos/