Sunday, 30 September 2007

Sunday 1pm

I couldn't post yesterday as I was picked up from home at 7.30am by a friend. We drove to a place called Sante Rosa which is about 34k south of Manila, it took us over 2 hours to drive there as the roads are not great and there was a lot of traffic.

I was invited there by 2 coaches that I met, they have an Academy there and another in Las Pinas so I visited both. The one in Sante Rosa was unbelievable so much better than anywhere in the UK and this is a 3rd world country. It had 14 high quality courts, great changing rooms, cafe, meeting rooms, hairdressers, it's own school with accommodation and to finish it off you can have your car washed there as well. I met the owner, a rich man and he showed me round... really was impressive it is even better that Badminton Englands HQ in Milton Keynes !!

I was there from 10am til noon then we drove to Las Pinas to have lunch and start coaching at 1 pm. The players here were all under 17's, about 50 players and some were incredibly talented, better than I have at home especially the under 11's, one was a girl of 8, a supberb player and a national champion in her age group, if she was in the UK she would be sponsored by England because of her potential, here she just has to get by but she does have good coaches.

I helped to coach this group for 3 hours til 4pm and they were very grateful and lots of pictures were taken by the parents of me with their children, all very nice. We then had a rest and something to eat. At 6pm there was an adult coaching group so I stayed for that but was asked to play with another group that was there, I enjoyed that it was a lot fun. Everything finished at 8pm and again there was lots of pics taken, I felt like a move star as these young ladies grabbed me to have a pic taken with them......... it's a hard life !!!

Got back quite quick about 9.45pm and had a bite to eat in a restaurent before walking home for a well needed rest.

Was very tired this morning at didn't get ready til 11am, just had a bite to eat before writing this post. The rest of the day will be rest and then play again from 4pm-8pm if my body allows it.

Hope life is good wherever you are in the world

Friday, 28 September 2007

Friday noon

As previously mentioned Thursday was a quiet day for me but enjoyable, for some reason I couldn't get to sleep until about 6am this morning. Will probably have a nap this pm to catch up on my sleep !!

I have a busy weekend ahead so need to be fit and ready to go.

I was having some trousers altered in Glorietta yesterday so while I was waiting I thought I would take in a movie, I saw "No reservations" it was ok but the odd thing was watching a movie in a cinema is the same as in any part of the world, I could have been in the Odeon in Uxbridge for that matter. It was only when the lights went up that reality told me that I was in the Philippines, very odd feeling for a few seconds when you stand up and only see asian faces !!

I mentioned yesterday about texting here, it is like a different lifestyle, they are constantly texting, texts are only 1p to send so they use them rather than call you. With the mobile service that I have I get over 100 free texts each time I reload but have had no use for them until now that is. Friends will just text you to find out what you are doing at that minute, they also have situations where if they are bored they have a text conversation for hours. I've been receiving between 50 and 100 texts per day from friends, while it is nice to have communications with people this can get a bit over the top when you are trying to watch TV or doing something else.

The worst thing I find regarding this text thing is when you have a delayed text, then you can have all sorts of miscommunications, me answering their 2nd text before I have answered their first !!! Can be very confusing !!!

Hope all is well in your world..........

Thursday, 27 September 2007


Since I've been here I have played at least 14 hours of fast tiring badminton each week, I've done loads of walking and perspired just about every minute I've been here, I have eaten half my usual amount of food as the heat seems to make me less hungry and yet........ and yet !!!! I weighed myself today and I have put on 3lbs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is that about.... I feel slimmer and fitter but have gained weight !!! I'm not sure about this fat turning into muscle thing either but this has peed me off !!!

Anyway other than that life is great here I really do enjoy every minute, it's still only the 3rd week so I suppose I am still in the tourist phase but truthfully I don't feel like that at all. Mainly because I know I have another 6 months to go so am relaxed about not having to do this and that to fit it in to the usual 3 week holiday. I've met lots of nice people in just 3 weeks so I guess I will meet lots more over the next 6 months.

It's just great for example; last night I played badminton for 3 hours, had something to eat on the way home in a nice place in greenbelt then had a leisurely walk home. Watched a movie while answering texts from friends ( filipinos and texting is another story to be told) went to sleep about 1 or 2am, woke up around 8 but laid in bed til 10am (shameful I know !) had a late brekkie and am now out in an internet cafe ( still waiting for broadband to be installed) writing this. This pm I have to do some shopping in glorietta's which takes me all day just to find the shop that I want, I'll then eat in a nice restaurent tonight before making my way home for a restful evening as Thursday is a non badminton day.

A lot of people reading this may be thinking why is he just playing badminton all the time as he could do that in the UK. The great thing is it helps me to meet people, through playing I get to meet people and their friends that I wouldn't be able to otherwise. It really breaks the ice as we have a common interest and of course as I am a coach I can help them with playing as well.

The place where I play the most is arranging for me to some coaching clinics, this will expand my social life as I will again meet new people.

til next time.............. y'all take care and don't work too hard........ ;-)

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

My new address

Finally got settled in my condo but it had no hot water.... apparantly it's not a priority here.... the owner had a water heater installed this morning. It's actually quite a nice condo albeit small, but it's clean, in the best building and has a good view over the city.

Met more players last night, 2 that run a junior acadamy about 30 miles away, I am visiting there to help this Saturday, should be interesting.

My full address for the next 6 months plus is;

G. McGuire
18N Greenbelt Parkplace,
112 Carlos Palanca st,
Legaspi village,
Makati city.

If anyone sends any post to me please put on it, " documents" or "paper" +" no financial value" or it may not reach me !!!

Welcome back Anne from the big apple.

Monday, 24 September 2007

2am Tuesday

Well I left my present condo and moved downtown, I finally got the lease on the condo that I wanted as the owner finally gave up on the person she was holding it for. When I got to the building I then find out that there is still someone living there until lunchtime today (Tuesday) so I had to rent a room for one night, I am in this room at the moment and will finally move into a permanent condo later today................ well I hope so anyway.

Now that I'm downtown it is so much better in one way, that is that I am now so near to Greenbelt which is like living in the best part of the west end of London, all the best malls, cinemas, nice bars and restaurents. I had a wonderful meal tonight in a beautiful Italian restaurent, the meal with a bottle of australian merlot cost £17 which is very expensive for here.

It is also a very safe area to walk around in the evening as there are so many armed guards everywhere.

I will still pop back sometimes to where I used to live as there is so much happening there, I have friends there and it is a good place to hang out late at night just watching the world go by.

I will feel more settled once I move into this condo later today.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Sunday 11pm

just a quickie, broker has called me , the owner is giving this other person until lunchtime Monday !!!!!!!!!!! annoying but that's life.

Had to go to town today to get the cash to pay for this condo tomorrow..... if I get it that is, walking around with so much cash in your pockets is interesting as you have to ensure that no-one is following you from the bank...... paranoia..... possibly but people are killed for 1% of what I had on my person today..... better to be safe than sorry !! :-)

I played badminton for 4 hours today, played 12 lost 5.... getting worse !!! Have eaten and am now going to hang about outside the restaurent shooting the breeze and watch the world go by.

Hope you are all well and enjoying life wherever you are.

Anne, hope you are having fun in New York.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

latest news

Saturday 11am

Yesterday I looked at another condo..... yawn..... I have requested it but someone has asked for it to be held for him until Sunday pm so I will know tomorrow night if I am to get it or not, whatever happens I will be leaving this present condo on Monday morning. I am moving into Greenbelt Parkplace though I'm not sure if it will be the condo above or another one that I can rent on a daily basis until something permanent comes up.

I played badminton with another group at a different place last night, it was very large with 16 courts and very busy. Nice group but I didn't leave there til midnight, walking down those poorly lit streets on your own sometimes can make you feel a little uncomfortable, even when you do get a cab you can never be 100% sure of where he is taking you !! Paranoia can set in when you drive slowly down some of these shortcuts they take, is he taking me home or are some of his friends waiting in this street ahead !! Especially when you read of taxis that are stolen to be used as such. Of course it is just fear of the unknown, the unsurity of it all and of course not knowing where the hell you are going in the first place !!!!!! ;-)

On the way home I stopped off to get something to eat even though it was after midnight. A couple of blocks away from me is restaurants and the "entertainment" area, I usually wander home behind small groups or individuals from the States/Europe, they turn right for their little bit of shall we say bar entertainment and I turn left for a pizza !!! ;-)

I got back to my building about 1.30am, the restaurent downstairs where I know them all were having a birthday party for someone, a quiet affair in and outside of the restaurent. Anyway I met the owner for the first time and 3 Americans ended up staying there til 4.30 am.

I am still tired.... yes deservedly so !

Friday, 21 September 2007

Friday a.m.

After Wednesday's exploits, Thursday was a quiet day. I'm still looking for that elusive condo, I've seen lots and tried to get the best one here and there but it looks like I will simply have to take anything that I can get in the building that I want.

I wanted a full 1 bed condo in this particular building for a certain price, turns out now that all 1 bed owners only want to let for a full year...... why not just say that in the first place !! Owners keep letting me down, we agree a time to view their rentals and then 5 mins beforehand I get a phone call from the broker to say can we re-arrange for tomorrow then they do the same thing the next day !!! I give up !! well I can't actually as I really need to find one today or tomorrow ;-)

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

You never think it will happen to you

Tuesday was an uneventful day, just relaxed, saw another condo and stayed at home in the evening.

Wednesday was very different.............................

As I didn't go to bed until 4am I didn't get up til after 10 am, done all the usual things, showering etc, had some lunch and decided to walk downtown at 12.45pm. I walked down Makati Avenue as usual thinking to myself how cool it was and the walk was nice. I got to the main intersection and crossed half way waiting for the traffic to stop so that I could cross the 2nd half. Just at that point I heard a loud bang near me, I thought is that a firework or a gun, 2 more loud bangs and I realised that it was gunshots especially as people around me were screaming and running for cover, the guy next to me dived to the floor, I decided I'd better do something so I kneeled down. In that split second I tried to take stock of what was happening, I looked across to my left about 20 yards away, there was a small pickup vehicle with flashes coming through it, he was driving slowly towards going across my path but then veered to his left as he reached me, he then picked up speed and was heading away from me towards the direction that I was walking.

He drove towards the building that was ahead of me, at the same time more bullets were hitting his back window, I could clearly see the holes appear from the shots, he then drove into the concrete of the building and came to a stop, I looked back to where the shots were coming from but only saw cars starting to drive away fast, it could have been the gunmen or ordinary drivers just getting out of the way. After about 10 seconds or so people began to stand up to see what was happening and so did I, what do you do in that scenario, I certainly didn't know what to do but I was heading south so thought it best just to continue on my journey which took me up to the vehicle, I wasn't being morbid but I was first to reach the vehicle and saw a huge hole in the drivers window, the driver was leaning against his door with blood coming from his head obviously dead.

There was 10 or 12 shots fired but I think most, if not all hit the driver or his vehicle. Normally there are lots of police around these main junctions but I didn't see any at that point, either they kept their distance until it was over or possibly it was them doing the shooting as the police here have been known to take justice into their own hands.

The Mayor of Daveo admits that he has a police group that kills criminals undercover but he says that he does warn them to give up crime before he decides that they should die !!!! Nice eh !

Strange day...... strange world............. sometimes you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time....... 1 stray bullet and I might not be writing this !!!!!

I willl let you know the reason for the killing if it is in tomorrows paper.

UPDATE 12 midnight
It turns out that there were 2 men shot dead. They and 2 others had just picked up 6 million pesos (60,000 pounds) from the bank, 6 robbers demanded the money, they refused so the robbers shot them. The money was returned to the owner that the guards worked for. He got his money but 2 of them lost their lives............. ??

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


Yesterday (Monday) was a lazy afternoon for me, in the evening I played again but it was a bridge too far, I only won 50% of games as I was feeling stiff and tired from the previous day. I did meet a good group of guys though, we went for a meal together afterwards and they helped with lots of local information.

I wish I could drive here... actually I am allowed to but the driving over here is simply unbelievable, worse than any country that I've visited. Road lines mean nothing, in London you have to push out to get into some roads or you would wait for ever but here it is on a completely different scale............. cars from all sides trying to force their way into traffic, I must say though that they are good at it as I haven't seen anyone have a bump yet. Also amazing to me is that no-one gets upset by all this, if you pushed in and cut people up like that in the UK drivers would at the very minimum blow their horn at you and sometimes do a lot worse than that.
Over here it just seems to be a way of life and no-one is bothered by it.

There is so much blowing of horns here in traffic but it is used as a warning system, it's to say I'm overtaking you on this/that side so watch out, or I'm coming through that little space regardless if I can or not etc etc..........

Taxi drivers are a law unto themselves, their vehicles would never get to an MOT station never mind pass the test, so many are just rust buckets and they drive as they know that and don't care, private cars just keep out of their way. When you hail a cab and the traffic is busy they just say to you that they want 100 pesos and no meter, I've tried to be forceful and refuse every time but when you have been refused by every cab and you want to get home, eventually you just give in and agree, the thing is 100 pesos is just over a pound, (normal fare is 50 pesos) nothing I know but you have to at least try to have principals.

I spent an interesting hour or so last night around 1 am drinking a beer outside, there is so much free entertainment here, there was a guy with wheels on his head (and brake lights !) and he was walking upside down on his head, up and down one of the traffic lanes for an hour !!! There were people walking past with carts with mattresses and their children on them, people trying to sell me flowers, so many people doing so many different things and all after 1am. Noticeably no drunks and no bad behaviour, better than Uxbridge on most nights.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Sunday midnight

Well I am quite proud of myself, tonight I managed to play 16 games in this unbearable heat and humidity, it's been over 20 years since I could play so many games in 1 evening so something is working for me. I should have not bothered with the last 2 as before that I had won 12 from 14, I got the weakest player of the 45 there and my legs were giving out on me so lost both, still 12 from 16 isn't too bad.

I had to drink over 4 litres of liquid (not beer) just to keep myself hydrated.

Had to have a big juicy pizza on the way home as I was famished, before that I had only eaten a sandwich so it's not that bad !! ;-)

Still no luck with the condos, but no problem I can always move into an hotel or just stay here.
I don't think Filipinos have the same attitude about fulfilling promises as I do, 3 have said they will ring me back on Friday but never did, mind you there are a lot of Brits like that too.... I've never understood that... if I say I will contact you then I do.... simple isn't it... just do the things that you say you will do !!!!!!! No excuses.

I have taken some photos around Manila, I will add them to this site once I get my own laptop up and running in my new condo...... if it ever happens.

I hope all are well there in the Sunny UK and an special congratulations to Alicia as she was appointed Head girl of St.Andrews'. Paul W please pass this on.. BTW I officially found out via a text. Congrats to Frank also whom is now Head boy. I look forward to seeing them both at the head of Assembly in May.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Sunday 1 am

Well as I have managed to get back online I thought it best to do my update now as it may not work in the morning.

Saturday was a quiet day, was up at 10am, went into Ayala which is a huge mall where I always get lost even though I have a map, they should offer you a SatNav to find your way around. It has 4 sections where each of them lead into yet another mall. I had to buy more shirts, socks and underwear, with this heat you have to shower and change at least twice per day, more often it's 3 times especially on badminton days.

For those of a delicate nature please do not read the following.

CR's (comfort rooms) and I have become very close friends over this past week as I have had the usual dickie stomach. In Ayala finding the CR is like a survival test, when you do eventually find one they never have any TP (you shouldn't have to ask !!).. luckily for me I have experienced this situation before so wasn't caught out.... sensible little me had my own supply in my wallet............. and they thought I was loaded with cash !!!!!!!!!

I then returned home around 5pm, rested then had a couple of beers with a guy I know downstairs............ the beer was downstairs not the guy....well he doesn't live downstairs !!! You know what I mean ;-))))

No luck on the condo front yet, still waiting for owners to get back to me, I am seeing one more on Monday, if the worst comes to the worst I could stay in my present condo but would prefer to move downtown, it's a bit quiet here and not advisable to walk around alone in the evening.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is a badminton day, so I'd better rest as I need every bit of any energy that I have for tomorrow.......... I'll show these young whippersnappers that us old 'uns can still do it on court.... badminton that is !!!

The weekend is here.

I couldn't write this message this morning as I try to do each day, this is a 3rd world country so things like electricity, internet and other utilities don't always work all the time.

Yesterday (Friday) I looked at some more condos, a couple that I liked, I am waiting to hear from the owners.

Played badminton again last night, perspired like a pig as usual but it's good for me... so they say anyway !! Getting to more people which should help for the future. When I was having a shower there were 3 "nice" boys (if you know what I mean) singing karaoke in the changing rooms... not to me I may add..... but it was funny.... it can only happen in the Phils !!!
There are a lot of nice female players that may need my help with some coaching !!! maybe even some badminton too !! ;-)

I didn't get to sleep until 4.30pm this morning but was up and out at 10am, I am getting used to these strange hours. The strange thing is when it's late and you are watching TV or online you forget that you are in a foreign country, you could be in any room in the world.

The one thing that is annoying is the guys that accost me every day as I walk into town, they are the same people that I say NO to every time but they still insist on following me, trainers, watches, sunglasses etc, I always point to MY watch, MY sunglasses or MY trainers and say I HAVE better so GO AWAY. there is one guy that keeps offering me viagra, is it the grey hair that gives it away or what !!!! :-)) I keep telling him I don't need it but every day we go through the same routine.... is it that all of us white guys look the same therefore he doesn't realise that it is me (the same guy) every day !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Rest day

Thursday was a rest day for me, I couldn't exercise like that 2 days running, my legs and arms were a bit stiff but will do 2/3 hours again this evening.

I seen a very good condo yesterday, beautiful luxurious new building and a bright airy flat with big windows looking over the area, it had a big price also but worth it. The only sticking point for me is that I have to pay the full 6 months and 2 months deposit all up front..... nearly 6,000 pounds ( there's no pound sign on this laptop !!!) in cash.............. 1500 is the deposit that can't be returned to me until after 30 days ( waiting time for the utility bills), of course by then I am 7,000 miles away.... so that is a no no for me, I am in discussions with the broker and owners. It may be a deal breaker but that's life, I will just keep looking.

I saw 4 other condos but none that appealed, one had a maids room that the broker thought for me is a must have, it was tempting as it would be nice to have someone washing, cooking and cleaning for me, but I thought it is just so cheap to eat out and the units are small so easy to keep clean, my washing can be picked up and returned the next day cleaned, therefore it wasn't worth it.

During the day is taken up by looking for a condo, doing shopping for anything that I need and just strolling around watching life go by.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Soooooooo tiring !!!

Yesterday (Wed) as I said I didn't get up til 2.30pm, anyway I got list of some clubs and visited the nearest one, I played there from 5.30pm til 8.30pm...... totally knackered.

Remember these players are all between 18-25 and used to the heat and humidity, they watched me play and graded me as a "B" level which is 2nd best only to "A" level in this country, I was hoping D or even E.... hey I'm 53 next month.... 20 years and 20 kilos ago maybe but not these days !!

I really enjoyed it as they were all very friendly but the heat and humidity is just too much for me especially as here when it's your turn to play, you play 2 games back to back !! It was 30* heat and the perspiration was just unbelievable, you would have thought I had just been swimming, my shirt was soaked, my shorts changed colour with the perspiration and my underwear........ well that's probably too much information for most of the visitors to this site !!

I did quite well as I played 8 games only losing 2... not bad for a fat old bloke eh !

This morning at 10.30am I have another condo to view, this is in another building and is much bigger than those that I have seen before, the rental price is much bigger too !! I am in this condo at present until the 24th so have more time to view others.

I will rest tonight and then play again on Friday, resting here isn't as good as at home...... no sky +, I'm ashamed to say but I really miss it, TV here is abysmal. I miss the choice and convenience of sky +, pausing live TV while you make a cuppa or go to the loo, the info you can get before you choose.
Here I have no scheduling, so you have to flick through the channels, I rarely catch the beginning of anything unless I just stay on one channel.

Hope all is well in the UK and from wherever you are viewing from.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

still looking

Tuesday was a busy day for me as I am still looking around condos. I viewed 5 in the building where I would like to live but they were all quite small. The building is really classy and it is in the perfect area but I would like a bit of space, I have put my name with other realtors and am hopeful.

In the evening I ate out and had a pint or two, met a nice guy that was very informative and helpful about the local area.

I am also in contact with 2 groups that want me to do some coaching with them so that should help me to begin to meet people.

I thought that I had done well after the first night to stay awake til late, wich helps to fall into the new sleep pattern, I was wrong as I didn't get to sleep til after 5am this morning but I stayed in bed until 2.30pm today (Wed) so a big part of my day has gone.

Monday, 10 September 2007


Hi just to let everyone that I arrived here in Manila safe and sound.

The main flight from Amsterdam to Manila was very good, due to watching 3 films, 2 TV shows a bit of reading and a lot of eating........... the time passes quickly. I arrived here at 8.45 am... KLM on time as always. I was one of the first off the plane, I was first through immigration and straight through customs, jumped in a cab and was in my condo withing an hour of landing !!

I have managed to keep awake so that I can fit in with my new time zone. It is very hot here although it is the rainy season (with no rain) it is still 30*.

It is now 7pm and I will try to stay awake for another 2 hours, the only problem that I have had is that my laptop won't work in this condo but the owner's does so he has loaned his to me overnight.

Tomorrow I will go downtown which is only 10 mins walk, I must get a sims card to use when I am here and I have to find myself a condo in the building that I want to live in for the next 6/7 months.

Thanx for the message Anne.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

last night at home

I had a great night out with the staff last night, ended the evening going for a meal with 3 of the best looking members of staff !!!! (Debbie, Kate and Rachel ) But please don't ask me how I walked home as I don't remember.... I blame Jamie for that.

It's now 9.15pm, I have now packed my suitcase and cleaned the house, just got to finish off the kitchen then I can go to bed.

I am being picked up at 7.30 am tomorrow morning, my flight to Amsterdam leaves at 10 a.m then I catch my flight to Manila at 2pm, I arrive in Manila at 9am Monday morning. I will try and stay awake until the evening so that I can develop a good sleep pattern and avoid jet lag but I won't count on it.

The adventure begins.....................................................

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Final week.

I only have 1 week to go before I fly out to Manila. This week will be busy as the kids return back to school on Tuesday and there's still some work to do there yet.

I haven't sold my car so that will have to go into storage, I still have much to do before I go but it will all get done I'm sure.... and if it doesn't.... well that's life. Will I worry.... don't think so as I will be 7000 miles away, sitting in the sunshine during the British winter !!