Wednesday, July 26th, 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…

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Plumbing in the Philippines. We build our Philippine house. Interior plumbing We will only have “cold” water plumbing so our water supply plumbing is quite simple.  We are trying to avoid running pipes in tiled walls or tiled floors to avoid having to tear out tiling to make repairs.  In this photo the blue pipes are supply lines to a bathroom on the opposite side of the wall.  That way, if there’s a leak, we can make repairs from the untiled wall in this bedroom. Plumbing outside This photo shows three elements of the plumbing system.  The horizontal blue pipe is a 1″ water supply line which encircles the building outside.  Repairs and changes to these outside pipes will be simple. The vertical blue pipes are 1/2&#…

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 …

Chicken Tinola – a classic Filipino dish Generally speaking, the best food in Iloilo is Filipino cuisine.  There are those who denigrate Filipino cooking as beneath notice when compared to the world’s great cuisines. We disagree.  There is good Filipino cooking and, when well done, it usually outshines local efforts to imitate European cuisine. Naturally,  Filipino cuisine has very strong Chinese and Spanish influences.  This can be seen in a list of some of my favorite dishes:  lumpia (egg rolls), arroz caldo (chicken rice stew), apritada, (a stew with tomatoes and pimentos), sinigang (a pork or seafood sour soup flavored with fresh tamarind), the many variations of pancit noodles such as mami, kalderetta (beef or goat stew), lengua (tongue stew), empanadas (pastry filled with vegetables and meat), bibingka (a coconut baked-good), guisadong mongo (a stew based on mung beans) and so forth. All of these can be wonderful if …