Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

As Ging and I approach our fifth wedding anniversary here are a selection of photos from the early days. The rest as they say is history

Having completed the new dog cages last month brother-in-law Nelson has been busy the past few weeks constructing a trellis cover at one end of our pool area. I assisted with some of the painting but he has single-handedly completed all the welding. He’s quite an expert now I would say. Planned every centimetre of the construction and ordered exactly the right quantity of materials. Most impressive.The two new cages are twice the size of the one we already have for our largest dog, Dixie. She will take over one of the new cages and the other will be occupied by our young but steadily growing German Shepherd Dog, Whizzer. Nelson must have a good sense of balance as he spurned my offer…

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 )…

Our Philippine House building project.  The accidental bodega and laundry.  First of all, in the Philippines a “bodega” refers to a warehouse or storage area.  We built our carport using …

After lunch we drove out with Gina’s sister to visit the construction site. The project engineer had just arrived back from a another wasted day at City Hall waiting for the City Engineer to approve the payment for and release of the building permits we applied for on 25th November. This time the excuse was […]

My nephew Doug Grant, a serious biker, is full of praise for the bicycle shops and mechanics of Iloilo City.  He says, “the best bikes shops in Iloilo are invisible to Google on not on Yellow Pages etc.  They are found only thru social contact riding with Filipinos. These are GREAT bike shops, very impressive and bike-tech savvy owners. They can build custom mtn bikes of high professional

Will you delegate your maid to live in a closet? If you accept a pre-designed home in the Philippines then probably yes. Most higher end homes in the Philippines come with a designated maid’s room. The designers of these homes have tried to fit a room (can we call it a room?) into whatever nook […]

In a follow up to an earlier post Living Local, I wanted to delve deeper into what you can do to “Live Local” and save tons of money on your next trip to the Philippines. Inevitably in your lead up to moving / retiring in the Philippines you will make several if not many trips […]

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 …

When it comes to choosing an Architect for building a custom home in the Philippines the process is a bit more involved than in the US. Architects in the states design / draft the plans so that a builder or general contractor can then take said plans and build the structure. The builder / general […]