Out and About Around Iloilo

February 2019 (click on the gallery images to open the full-size photo) It's finally summer here in Iloilo.  I say "summer" with a big LOL after the word because it's ALWAYS summer here for somebody like me, a former denizen of the Bitter North in the USA.  My relatives are currently under a foot of snow and freezing their tushes off.  Half an hour ago I walked to the mall in short sleeves.  Yeehaw.  [...]

2019-04-01T09:30:03+00:00By |Philippines|Comments Off on Out and About Around Iloilo

The Tacloban Diary

April 2018 (See the Links page for additional resources used for this post.) Less than a week after my arrival in the Philippines (hereafter PH) in June of 2017 I travelled to Tacloban to see the main festival there, the "Pintados."   It was to be my introduction to the wild and wonderful world of fiestas in PH, which all the brochures and the TV ads show as incredibly colorful and rollicking good fun with street [...]

2019-01-17T23:22:32+00:00By |Philippines|Comments Off on The Tacloban Diary

The Fuerza de San Pedro in Cebu

October 2018 During a recent trip to Cebu I revisited my favorite tourist spot there, the Fuerza de San Pedro (Wikipedia page here).  With a few more photos now in the gallery, I'm ready to do a post on it.  To be honest, Cebu is not chock-a-block with historical sites despite having been squarely in the picture when the Spanish first arrived lo these many years ago.  Ferdinand Magellan met his end in 1521 [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:08+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Driving in the Philippines: Lessons Learned

August 2018 In the interest of forestalling the onset of agoraphobia or eruptions of road rage in newbie expats who may not yet have come to terms with driving in the Philippines (hereafter PH), I offer a few hard-won insights I've gained over the past year.  There's no smile on my lips nor any song in my heart as I write this, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed, so onward we go.  Seatbelt [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:10+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Why the Philippines Will Always Be Poor

July 2018 Having lived for just over a year in the Philippines (PH) certain awarenesses appear to have taken up permanent residence.  I suppose that's inevitable with the frequent repetition of certain experiences and perceptions, they eventually make a habit of themselves.  It's the way of human beings to become inured to things they encounter often -- do I see some spouses raising hands? -- so I'm surprised by the continued sensitivity I have to [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:10+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

A Celebration of Flowers in the Philippines

May 2018 (Click on the gallery pics to open the full-sized image.) When I considered the Philippines (PH for short) as a retirement destination for the longer term, the prospect of having tropical flowers all year round served as one of the most powerful attractors.  Next month I come up on my one-year anniversary as a resident of the isles and I'd like to offer a tribute to the plants that have brought such [...]

2019-03-21T08:52:20+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Philippine Bureaucrazy and Lessons Learned

May 2018 No, there's no misspelling in the title.  It's a witty neologism that suits the circumstances I've encountered perfectly.  Ask any Filipino about government bureaucracy and services and their eyes will immediately roll back in their heads.  There's good reason for that, and in this blog post I want to give an overview of those reasons.  This isn't a rant, mind you -- I've done my deep breathing and put my mind in Zen space.  [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:41+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Miagao Without the Wow

May 2018 Miagao Facade There it is in all its glory, the UNESCO World Heritage Site church in Miagao.  For those of you not in the know, Miagao is a small town 47 km (29 miles) west of Iloilo city on the island of Panay.  Miagao is the only historical church in all the Philippines outside Luzon to carry the UNESCO site designation, so it is arguably and justifiably a Big Deal. [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:41+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Camiguin: A Taste of the South Seas in the Philippines

May 2018 View of Camiguin The islands of the Philippines offer such diversity of topography and landscape that travel within the country can keep your bucket list filled up for quite a while.  The large islands such as Luzon and Mindanao are like small countries in themselves, with all the diversity of landscape and culture one could wish for.  Even the smaller main islands such as Panay and Negros have that same variety [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:41+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Cotswolds With Coconuts: Damires Hills, Janijuay, Iloilo

April 2018 Landscape, Damires Hills, Janijuay You may think I'm having another of my senior moments when you read the title for this piece, but I swear, if you go there you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  Don't ask me how someplace in the boondocks of Panay Island in the Philippines calls up such strong associations with the Cotswolds, I have no answers for you.  I'm just reporting the facts, Bridget, so [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:41+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Bucari: In the Alps of Iloilo

April 2018 Mountains near Bucari I will own it: there may be a degree of hyperbole in the title for this post.  There are no Matterhorns on display, no eternal snows (thank heavens!), nothing that a hiker with a good pair of boots and a few hours to spare can't conquer, so yes, "Alps" may be overstating the case a bit.  But if like me you spend most of your time in [...]

2018-12-27T21:57:42+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

A Piece of Thailand in San Joaquin: Assemblage Point

March  2018 One of the great pleasures of travel is coming across something unexpected that brings a frisson of pleasure at the discovery. The usual Western approach, of course, is to plan one's delights carefully so they occur in  measured progression over the allotted period of travel. When you're spending a king's ransom on a trip, such methods are perfectly justifiable. It would hardly do to leave things to chance because chance is notoriously disinterested [...]

2018-12-27T21:58:05+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

Big Piss Up in the Sky: Rain in the Tropics

March 2018 You can hardly expect someone who has spent the previous five years of his life living in the Middle East to be particularly thoughtful on the subject of rain.  If I were to relate the sum total of my experience of the phenomenon from all five years in Saudi Arabia, it would take about ten minutes and there would only be one juicy story from first hand. All the others would be hearsay [...]

2018-12-27T21:58:05+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments

The Philippines for the First Time

March 2018 Street in Kasambagan, Cebu I came to the Philippines in the manner of a last resort, which is not to say I considered my arrival in Cebu any less important than first arrival anywhere else.  As a new retiree the matter of finding out where to be on the Planet can throw a few curve balls one's way and time spent in Thailand had shown me that my adaptability level [...]

2018-12-27T21:58:06+00:00By |Philippines|0 Comments