Monday, 25 February 2008

Monday 9.30pm

Went and got my ticket today for my flight to Mindanao, I leave my condo tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 8am. The flight is at 10am. I may not be able to post much for about a week as some of the places that I am visiting are remote and don't have internet.
But no need to worry at all as it completely safe. I will still have my mobile with me so you can always contact me via that if it is necessary.

I am visiting a childrens home in a place called Talakag, it is a very quiet place I believe. Below is a pic of the bustling town centre !!

Doesn't look like there is lots to do there !!!!!

I will post if and when possible.

I hope you all have a great week

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Sunday 10pm

Not much to report I'm afraid as I have been a couch potato recently, I watched the Australia v India game today which was quite good.

I'm hoping to get away some time this week, I have emailed the childrens home in Mindanao to see if I can visit there and see the place, it would be nice to see how they are doing things there and help out wherever I can... financially only I'm afraid as I don't have the time to be hands on.

The weather here over the last few weeks has been really nice, a bit like a British summer, just in the late 70*s.... very comfortable.... although today when I went for a walk I did notice the higher temperature, the summer here is about to start shortly where it will be unbearable for me.

Hope you all had a great weekend.... don't know what's happened to my Canadian contingent... haven't heard from them recently... Mary is 64 !!! maybe she is in hiding somewhere in Florida to get over it !!!!!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Sunday 12.10am

Didn't do very much on Saturday, I just watched the cricket which England lost.

Happy birthday to Mary if she reads it 60 ??

Australia are playing India tomorrow I will end up watching that although I should really get out and about.

The pendulam in my mindset is changing from the Phils to the UK...... reluctantly but time forces the issue.

hope you are all enjoying your weekend

Saturday 8.30am

Well it's Saturday morning and I am up about to watch the deciding match in the series between England and N.Z. Alas Collingwood lost the toss yet again.

Happy birthday today to my sister in law in Skegness Jan, I believe she is 51/52 today.... so she says anyway... I reckon she is a year older than me but wont admit it !! ;-)

Also happy birthday to my brother Paul who was 52 on Thursday. My oh my we are all getting old !!

Hope you all have a nice weekend.

Thursday, 21 February 2008


I went out for a walk but I didn't get very far before I felt tired, I ended up in the mall of asia and just had a look around for a while, I then had a meal there before I came home for the evening.

I've been reading a lot about how the credit/property/pension markets in the UK are looking bad, because of the sub prime mortgages "frauds" that have happened in the US and the UK, things don't look bright for the forseeable future. Pensions which is my main interest will be affected by all this, I don't expect to get any good news when I inquire about how much I would get if I retired early.

So it looks like I will have to work a few years more yet, to make matters worse the Philippine pesos has risen sharply against the dollar and the pound. When I first arrived here to get 10,000 pesos from my ATM cost me just over £100 to do it today costs me over £125 !! doesn't sound too much but basically thats around 25% less value my spending power now has.... thats a huge percentage.

For example the condo that I live in now, I was thinking about buying one in this building, it would cost me £40,000 then, now it would cost me £50,000 simply because of the exchange rate.

Enjoy your Thursday and tomorrow another weekend begins

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


I was early today for the cricket, I watched Englands innings and really enjoyed it but didn't enjoy New Zealands reply. I stopped watching with about 5 overs to go as I thought that there was no way that N.Z could fail to get the runs..... lo and behold it finishes in a tie... unbelievable and I didn't see it.

I must get up and out tomorrow and get some walking done. I only have 7 weeks before I fly back to the UK !!!!!!!!!!!........... ohhhhhh nooooooo !!

Once back in the UK I will have to get up early in the morning again to work !!! How will I cope !!

I hope you all have a good Thursday.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


Well it's actually 5,30am Wednesday (9.30pm Tues UK), I'm up early to watch England V New Zealand which starts at 6am. I have to watch it online and under difficult conditions as the signal disconnects frequently sometimes I only get 2 secs viewing then I have to reboot everything but if I can see most of the match.... I'm happy.
England have to win again today to keep the series alive... should be fun although they lost the toss and have to bat, every other match so far the side batting 2nd have won.

Tuesday was a quiet day, went to the see the specialist again, she said that I have an infection in my blood an urine so am not out of the woods yet.....more tablets. I have to see her again... I feel fine.

Hope you all have a great day with whatever you are doing

Monday, 18 February 2008

Just the very best news.........Makati taxis

I am feeling stronger but am still resting for a few days to make sure.

I have been out today for some food shopping, I was even tired after that and had to have a nap, on the way back I received a phone call from a friend in the UK which is always nice to have.

I read my paper whilst having a cup of coffee in the mall..... I wanted to jump for joy on reading one article...... 19 (not 17) Makati taxi drivers were arrested, they had their licenses suspended and were fined 1000 pesos.... what for ?........ for the very practices that I have complained about many times on this web page.

Makati police started an undercover sting called "snobbish drivers" and caught these 19..... (1)refusing to take some customers...... (2)refusing to use the meter and asking for a fixed price (higher of course)instead, (3)for insisting on an additional amount to be added to the meter price..........
I have experienced all those 3 bad practices and it is so annoying... so reading this article made me very happy. I know it won't last for long but for the time being these annoying drivers will be wary and may do a better job for a while.

I have to return to the hospital tomorrow to see my specialist again.... I might even take a taxi !!!!!

Not much else happening, just having a quiet life and waiting for Wednesday mornings must win cricket match between England and New Zealand.

If you an avid reader of this blog you will know that I wanted to visit China, Hong Kong and Macao, but because of the extreme weather they have had that is now out of the question.
I have a window of 10 days when there is no cricket.... sad I know !!.... so I am thinking maybe of just visiting other areas of the Philippines probably heading North.

I hope you all had a great weekend, I see that the property downturn has started in the UK, I have been advocating this for the past 2 years and it will only get worse now over the next 5/6 years, if I am still living there I may buy again round about 2012.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sunday 11.40pm

Just had a complete day at home so obviously nothing to report.

I am feeling stronger every day and am looking forward to having a long walk in the next day or two.

Unfortunately I will have to see a dentist again as some teeth feel sensitive and may need fill ins to be repaired.

With having so little to do over the past week or so I have been thinking about my time here so far, would I like to retire here and if I did what would I need.. not just finance which is quite high... if I want to live in Makati of course it would be close to £1000 per month to live the good live. Of course much less if I could live in the less salubrious areas which I don't think I could unless I met someone that lived there, even then I would find it difficult as I do like the good life.

In some ways the question isn't can I afford to live in the Phils but more so could I afford to retire in the UK, my money wouldn't go far, the winters are cold and wet, crime is very high, street behaviour is extremely poor, retirees are looked down upon in general and there is no respect from youth in the main. Here in the Phils the opposite is true, mature people are valued and respected by all, street behaviour is generally vastly superior to the UK, in saying that the one difference is that if you do meet the bad guys here then it could be at gunpoint.

In the UK when I get too old to look after myself I will have to go into some type of nursing home, it won't be a private one as I couldn't afford it so it would have to be a public one which never brings up good images.
Here in the Phils on my state pension I could, if I lived alone, afford 24hour nursing care, if I was married then I could easily depend on my "family" to look after me until the day comes. The family here is the most important part of life for all, NOTHING comes before family.. NOTHING !!!!! Trust me I see it constantly, some is very positive...i.e. taking care of each other, some of it in my opinion is negative, i.e. family is so important that you could be taken advantage of to help the family. So it's a double edged sword but when it works well it is a great social strength.

Getting tired again so time for my bed.

Hope you all had a great weekend

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Saturday 9pm

Well I got up from bed today as I felt stronger, had my first shower for a week !!!! yes I know..... was too weak and couldn't take any chances of more infections with my foot. I also think I should change my bedsheets today!! before they get up and walk out the door in disgust !! I have had no help during this time.

I decided to have a walk as my foot felt better, I managed to walk to Glorietta but tired very quickly and my headache was still there. I just stayed and had my first meal for a week... just a chicken salad with 2 bottles of water.. thats all I've had today other than cereal. I then had to return home to rest more.

Obviously there isn't much to report as I haven't been doing anything of interest.

I did manage to watch England beat N.Z. yesterday in bed which cheered me up somewhat.

So it's yet another weekend, I hope you are having a nice one wherever you are.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Friday 15th Feb

It's now 7am Friday and I am feeling well enough to be out of bed and typing on my laptop.

A few more days of rest should see me through til my next appointment with the specialist.

Obviously I still can't do very much but it is nice to be out of bed even if just for an hour or two.

As I mentioned previously they are having a 4 quarter tourney in my name here, the tourney is spread over a year, we should have at least 400 entrants, the entrance fee is very high for here so we shall see.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

wednesday 6pm

this may be last post for a few days as I am really struggling. I have been in bed since 8pm last night, I have just managed to get up to write this but am going back straight after. I was supposed to return to the hospital today as that was part of the deal so that I could come home, but I have been far too weak to go anywhere, I will try tomorrow.

The spots have turned into big blotches now all over my body... I hope thats a good sign.

As Gary said in one of his posts it's the headaches that are the worst, I have had one since returning home last night and it as been with me every minute of the past 24 hours and is driving me insane... it's difficult to sleep and impossible to eat (Good!)
any light at all TV/Laptop screen makes things worse thats why I'm wearing sunglasses in bed.

sleep is my only relief.... of course there is a good side to this..... if I was ever to live here I would have to consider these situations in any plans that I make.

If this continues I may not post over the next few days, I will just be resting as much as possible.

in case i don't reply for a while, anyone can text me on (from UK) 0063 919 490 2955, my phone is beside my bed. if i dont reply to a txt then thats when you should start worrying ;-)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

hospital today

I have had a bad infection in my foot which doesn't allow me to walk much and also a high fever with all the nice add ons that they bring.
I have to have the blinds down or were sunglasses indoors, I prefer to wear the glasses as I like my view.

Today I saw a bad rash on my body and thought it's time to visit the hospital for sure now !!!
I went to Makati Medical, saw a GP that I guess had no idea what I had, he even thought I could be diabetic (not sure about the connection) so he gave me the pin prick test and charged me for it of course. He simply referred me to a skin specialist in another room who seemed to know her stuff (I might be being unfair here but it always seems to me that there is money involved somewhere along the line but he came with me to the other docs surgery which I thought was unusual) anyway I had 2 blood and a urine test done, as I am a private patient I have to pay at each point of contact.

I paid the GP 1000 pesos and 500p for the pin test, I then had to pay at the cashiers for the blood/urine tests before they do them.. another 2000p. The specialists secretary gave me 2 of the medicines that I needed another 1500p then as I still needed another 3 from the Pharmacy I had to pay another 2600p.... and I still haven't paid the specialist yet... what that will be could be anyones guess.... don't forget I am a "rich" foreigner.

When the girl was trying to take blood she tried first with the elbow crease of my left arm then decided maybe the right was better then went back to the left then finally decided that she would have a go on my right..... sticks the needle in and after a min or 2 says sorry no blood there. She then looks at the back of my right hand, then the left then decides on the right... she gets her blood this time and I leave like a used dartboard !!! slight exaggeration I know !!

I'm still very weak and tired so I will stop here and go to bed,

hope you're all are having a better time of it that I.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Monday 11.30pm

still not good but am resting a lot, england play another ODI tomorrrow so hopefully that will keep me awake.

Take care all

Saturday, 9 February 2008


im not too good today especially as england got whipped.

im just to bed so no real post tonight.

Friday, 8 February 2008


Well it's 9pm and I am going to bed as I have a fever and fon't feel good.

I saw my American friend today and felt well and it was an interesting lunch.

I tried to visit the other clinic in Mandaluyong but simply couldn't find it. Filipinos are simply the worst nation in the world for giving directions, I say.. "do you know where so and so is"... they will point and say.... "over there"... you look to where they are pointing and all you can see is lots of streets and buildings.... "could you be more explicit"..... " yes just over there...see it".... "no actually I don't"... ... one guy actually used the words above to me the other day.... the building that he said was "over there" was over there after walking down 3 or 4 streets and turning corners a couple of times. It's like pointing west and saying " yes london is over there".

Even though I still love them !!

Got to rest goodnight as the cricket is on at 9am tomorrow morning and I want to be fit and raring to go.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

still grumpy.......... Thursday

Well today has been even worse for me, I seem to have a foot infection, not too bad but I decide to pop along to Makati medical centre to ask a GP to look at it.

Now whenever I go in anywhere that is going to cost me money I always get them to give me the cost before I go ahead or the final bill could be anything.

So in I go prepared..... ME I just want to see a GP..... THEM... just go into see this lady and give your details... ok no problem so far... I goes in, this lady is dressed as a nurse and wants to check my vital signs... I say... no it's ok I just want to see a GP.... HER. Sir this is what we have to do... ME... knowing that anything like this although unnecessary is going to cost me money says no I just want a GP.... SHE... but sir ..... OK I say before you do anything what is this going to cost.... (remember I just want to see a GP)SHE... 600 pesos sir.... is that the full cost, there's no extra charge to see the GP... SHE... no, unless you have to have an x ray or something like that.... ME... ok then that’s fine. So she simply takes my blood pressure(which was fine) and my temperature which was ok also and that’s all she done.... then I'm given to a receptionist to take down my details then I'm passed onto a nurse in the primary treatment area. A few mins later I see a female doc, she looks and says that she will give me a cream and some antibiotics that I requested... ok things are going ok. She returns in 5 more mins and says that I just need the cream and can do without the antibiotics... ok if you say so and she is saving me money.
I'm then directed to the cashier to pay, I'm told the docs fee is 400 pesos (£5) that’s fair...then he says but the total is 1000 pesos ( £12.50)... ME WHAT !! what's the other 600 p for.... CASHIER.. for hospital admin... but the first "nurse" said a max of 600.... so I am well peeved... after a few words along the lines of typical Philippine incompetence.... I pay and walk out an angry man, Yes I know it's not much but if you faced this sort of incompetence and everyone trying to get their hands on your money... you would understand better.

I goes home to watch the cricket, it goes very well and England thrash New Zealand but I begin to feel a lot more pain in my foot... my toes look like I have 5 big toes, they and my foot has swollen so much in the past few hours. It is now 9pm and I will have to go to another doc tomorrow just to get some antibiotics. I'm not sure if I will be able to even get my shoe on to go see him.

I must admit it's at times like these that you realise how alone you are in the world, luckily someone I know here has directed me to another surgery in Mandaluyong.

Tomorrow (Friday) I am meeting an American that I know online, he's the one that I visited Nha Trang for, we are meeting for lunch, he is ex USAF and I think he will have an interesting story to tell. He is getting old now, I would guess he is in his late 60's at least, he has a huge memory problem so much so that he has to keep records of people he has met and anything he is going to do because of it being so bad. Each email I send him, he has to re-read the previous one to remember who I am !!
It should be interesting.

I hope you have a great Thursday.... for once mine is going to be a painful one.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Makati.... Wednesday evening

Well today was a bad day for me, it was one of those days that I guess we all have now and then. Everything seemed to go against me and the more and more grumpier I got.

It started as soon as I left my building, people were strolling down the pavement 4 deep and walking as fast as a snail on a go-slow....I just find that so annoying...why aren't they aware of their surroundings and make way for people to pass.... of course this just began my irritation.....I was in a store with 1 queue only and I am 2nd in it, of course they opened another and before I noticed all those behind me jumped forward to it.... and as you can guess the person in front of me was buying the store, all those in the other queue got served and I was still waiting !!!

During my walk I got thirsty so I went into a shakeys (pizza parlour) to buy a milk shake as I really fancied one, as usual they say sit down sir while you wait..... I say no thanks as I just want a shake to take away.... the truth is they always want you to sit down so they can give you the change in one of those wallets so they can get a tip..... for a milk shake forget it !!
Anyway the server says medium or large... I says large as I'm thirsty.... I wait.... about 10 mins later ( how long does it take!!) the guy brings it out from the back.... not 1 large shake but 2 small ones and confidently he says.... here is your large shake sir.... I'm not a happy bunny anyway at this point and this poor guy doesn't know it.....ME... is this a LARGE milk shake... HIM.. sorry sir we have no large containers.... I'm thinking .... just keep cool which I did... I just said don't be stupid I'm not walking along the road carrying 2 containers when I already have a bag in one hand.... just give me back my money which they did.. while looking at me unsure what to do.... I just shook my head and walked out.... I really wanted that shake !!! no-one else sells them so I lost out there.

I won't bore you anymore but my day just continued like that... obviously it was just really me that was testy at the start of the day and things just conspired to make me get more and more grumpy, it wasn't until 5pm that I realised that I hadn't eaten since 8am, I don't suppose that helped.

On a completely different subject....or as Monty Python would say.... and now for something completely different..... there were 2 bank robberies yesterday in Manila.
In the uk and elsewhere the norm is that 3 or 4 gunman run into the band and hold it up... in the Phils it's between 15 and 20 gunmen that rob banks.... do they hire a bus to get them there.... in the first raid it was reported that over 15 gunmen robbed the bank of £6000... that's only £400 a piece, in the 2nd raid it was reported that it was robbed by over 20 gunmen that blitzed the bank, shot dead the guard and got away with £1000 that's £50 each !!! Both these raids were in Quezon city where I went for a walk the other day if you read my post.

Tuesday was a good day as England beat New Zealand at cricket, I watched it online... just about as it was buffering after every 2 seconds of viewing which was difficult at times... the next game is tomorrow which I am looking forward to.

A big welcome to the world of the internet to my sister Helen, she even managed to leave a comment on my last post (which I replied take a look Helen). Finally she has come to her senses to discover this wonderful world of information and fast communication.
What I want to know is... who really did make that post ????????

Monday, 4 February 2008

Monday 9pm

I've been a bit lazy the past couple of days, I've been trying to edit some video and photos, I completed one edit which took me all day but when I uploaded it to the net it got corrupted and wasn't saved, so all my work was a waste of time.

I'm thinking of returning to Mindanao to visit a childrens home that needs some support, I actually was within a couple of hours drive the last time I was there but didn't know it.
It's about a 2 hour drive south of Cagayan de oro so I may go again.

Time seems to pass so quickly, it feels like the 2nd week of a fortnight holiday, the first week you enjoy but in the 2nd week your mind seems to focus on the end of your holiday...... and I think the expression is that it sux !!

The highlight of my weeks starts tomorrow, that is the cricket between England and New Zealand, the match tomorrow is a 20/20, it starts at 2pm my time which is a nice time for me, I have to watch it online and it costs me £25 for all the matches which is a good deal. I can hear Anne saying oh nooooo I hear enough about this at home. It's your fault really Anne,if you hadn't met Keith then I would probably have just been an ignorant football fan.... instead at least I watch an intellectual game.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Quezon city

I visited Quezon (Ke-zon) city yesterday (Friday), it's in the north of Manila, just had a walk around to see what it's like there. There wasn't much really there to see.

I did see these public toilets for men only, they just consisted of a privacy surround and a pipe discharged to a hole in the ground, they are in busy roads and they just feel strange as you can still see people as they pass you, from the outside it is very clear what you are doing... they may be basic but they work !!

I find some of the toilet facilities strange especially in the provinces, the toilets there are quite gruesome, one at the bus terminal in Cagayan was disgusting and they even charged you for the privilege of using it, 2 girls just sit there all day collecting the few pesos entrance fee.... nice job !!

Below is the sign before entry, now what I would like to know is, how would they know if you only paid the 1 pesos but used both facilities...... ??

CR.... is Comfort Room, that's what it's called here in the Phils.
Would anyone be honest and give the girls the 2 pesos, you might as well raise a banner saying to all " I'm just about to.....dispose" !!!!! Charming !!