October 22, 2021

17 thoughts on “Calbayog Walkabout

  1. Hi JJ! As you may have noticed I haven’t been able to visit for a while. Really don’t know why life has been busy. I tried to catch up by starting with your last trip out of PH in Oct. I noted your continuing problem with Internet connection during brown outs.

    I was back in S. Leyte with frequent road trips to Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay last August and September. Within a couple of days of my arrival I was informed about the existence of “pocket wi-fi”s. In effect, it’s a miniature wireless router available with either Globe or Smart. Of course your PC needs to be wireless capable. You buy the PWF – at that time it was around P2K – it comes with a password so unauthorized user can’t use it. Then you chose your load. For P999 you get unlimited use for a month, or you can load it for as little as it costs to load your cellphone for a day, two days, etc.

    The reason I mentioned this is that as long as the cell signal works, you can access the ‘Net. It’s actually pretty cool because you can take this gadget with you anywhere. I used it all over when I traveled:: on the boat in an overnight sailing to Cebu, inside an Ormoc hospital.. practically anywhere there’s cell reception, just like using a smartphone. Up to 8 computers can hook up to it wirelessly without any noticeable speed lag. In fact the first viable internet cafe by the beach in my sleepy hometown in SLeyte uses pocket-wifi. The owner offered to buy my unit in Tacloban at his next trip. Globe ran out of stock when he was there so he bought a Smart and after approximately half an hour of orientation in its use, I had no problems whatsoever. It worked through brown outs as long as a cell signal was available and the battery in your tablet or laptop was not out of juice. This is where solar-powered chargers are handy. 🙂

    1. Howdy Winda. Yes you don’t seem to visit as much as before, at least I don’t see so many comments. I didn’t realize that you were from Southern Leyte, my wife is also. She is from around the St. Bernard area (actually Tambis 1).
      I’ll check with my local computer guru and see about those pocket wifi’s. I’ll see if it might be something to keep me form going crazy during the brownouts. I don’t really like using the small phone/tablet devices, but I guess if there is nothing else, I would have to. I do have a tablet, but I mainly use that as my camera. For some reason (probably because I’m a bit old school) those smaller devices with all their doo-dads, confuse me.
      Well I hope you will have time to go back to reading the blog on a regular basis. Not only so you will be reading, but also so you won’t be so busy and can be having more time to relax.

  2. UJ just wondering if your there on a balykbian stamp can you use your tricare insurance? and also did open a bank account there? and wondering did you keep a us address for mail?
    Just doing some research for my own future 13A or balykbian…..

    1. Yes I can use my TRICARE, but have yet to have to. There is not TRICARE PRIME here by the way, only Standard and TFL (I believe, because I’m not old enough for that yet). We did open a bank account twice (also putting one of our Filipino cousins on the accout). We do not currently have a Filipino account and I really so no need to have one, but others may disagree. As for a US address, no, we don’t have one really. At first I was told I needed one so I used my Dad’s address. Now anything I need can be sent here, but it does take a lot longer to get here, so be sure to consider that. Instead of like 2 days, it takes more like 2 weeks for a letter to arrive via regular mail.
      If I had to do it all again and actually listened to others that have experience in the matter, I’d get the 13A.

      1. thanks for that info. I’m pretty sure we will get the 13A before our final move. we have a bdo bank dollar account already that we opened here in the states. my retirement pay and all my other funds will continue to go to nfcu then I can just do bank transfer as needed. my wife has a sister in oak harbor washington so she will be our contact here. and send us balykbian boxes a couple times a year.
        HAVE A GREAT DAY GO NAVY!!!!!

        1. Sounds like you have a better grip on things than I did when I first moved here. I wanted to open a bank account in the US at Metro Bank in Houston, but was told that the computers at their bank are not connected to the computers in the PI, so I could not do any banking that way. Also they use to have a Bank of America here in the PI, but last I heard it has been shut down. I was told they were not compatible either. Maybe you should make sure your is. And while you are at it say: GO AIR FORCE!!!

          1. We have a dollar account at BDO and we have deposited money into it . and when we are there we go to the bank and have done withdraws from are account. so we know it works.
            but we are going to check with metro bank when we go to
            uni-mart next weekend because my wife sends money thru them to her sister and would like to get a dollar account with them.
            GO NAVY!!!!!!

          2. We had an account with Metro Bank before and with Coconut Planters Bank. Metro Bank is better of the 2 for sure. We ended up getting our account closed because we had to use our extra money in there for our first trip to Texas. We are seriously thinking of getting another account though. Maybe not use it as much though. We were too dependent on it for my retirement check in my opinion. I hope to still get my money via Xoom and I’m pretty sure we can do that at Metro Bank. So something to check into for me.

  3. thanks for the reply. I’m always looking for articles to read about the philippines because I figure the more you read and research before moving the better prepared you will be. sorsogon city is the main city of sorsogon province the ferry from allen to matnog then about a one hour drive.
    the other blog I read there is the one retiredinsamar hhe also has some great articles and info.
    the guy your talking about in guimaras phillipineplus.com we talk a lot and have sent him a lot of pictures because he is in the process of building a house right now and we just recently finished building our house in sorsogon. your right he is from illinois we only lived about 30 min. apart when he lived here in illinois. so we both know this area of illinois so I can guaranty dave is a good guy because where country folks in the central part of illinois. by the way randy is also from illinois
    did you get a chance to go to philippine expat forum and check out my pictures?
    where are you going in october?
    I to hope we will be able to get together someday. and hey don’t worry about not getting around to do more things your retired and in the philippines . just do things at your own pace as they say
    ” it’s more fun in the philippines ” buy the way if you have a email you would like to share I would be glad to send you some pictures.
    try to keep in touch “GO NAVY”

    1. Oh so you already know both those guys then. I’m on the tail end of this. Hey Randy is a pretty smart guy I think and he keeps up with a lot of the local goings on, so he knows the good stuff to write about. I don’t get out much, as I said, so I’m limited on what I can write. I hope to meet Dave someday, but not sure when that will be. Hopefully we’ll still both be drinking beer when I do. I heard that Randy was actually from Illinois, but you claims Texas and the last stateside place he lived was in Mississippi.
      No I have not been to the Philippine Expat Forum. I’m not even sure I know which one. Do you have a link for it?
      We are not going in October, we are probably coming back in October. We will be leaving in September. We are here in balikbayan status, which means we need to leave once a year for at least 1 day. Right now we are not sure where we are going, but it looks like either Korea or Australia. I’d like to go to Texas again this year, but I don’t think it’s going to be possible unless an unexpected influx of money comes my way.
      Oh I do do things at my own pace, and that pace is never in the ‘hurry’ mode. Looking forward to when you get here, although you’re not exactly going to be next door, we should be able to get together now and then.
      Don’t forget about that link to the expat site you are talking about.
      C ya when I do.
      GO AIR FORCE!!

      1. Yes I reed both there pages along with yours and a couple of other one’s also. as I said reed as much as I can on living in the philippines. so I can plan my move to be as smooth as possible even that we do fly there and visit a couple times a year since we have a house there. when we make are move we will have everything in place. we own a boarding house and rice field and also a small store and eatery there in sorsogon.
        just wondering why don’t you get a 13A visa? also from what I reed with the balykbian visa you can extend it pretty easy to a one year tourist visa that way you would only need to leave every two years. but on that note I do understand why it would bee nice to take a trip once a year.
        not sure if I can paste the web page but if you do a google search for philippine expat forum it will be the first one on the list that comes up it will say http://www.expatforum.com>…>asia hope maybe this will help you locate the page.it is a really good info page for expats and future expats once you sign up to the page you can post questions and comment on questions to pass along good info.
        talk to you later have a great ” NAVY DAY” LOL……..

        1. Yeah I found it although that link did not work for me. No, I’m not in that forum. In fact, I am not in any forum anymore I guess. I already spend too much time on the computer so I guess I won’t be adding anymore forums. Maybe some Space A groups, but I normally don’t have to worry about those. Just join and only use when/if I travel Space A and will be going near one of the areas.

  4. by the way there is another blogger there in samar that I read his articles looks like a trip to samar for me is needed in the future..

    1. You are probably talking about “Retired in Samar”. That is a blog belonging to Randy Landis. He’s a friend of mine here. He’s a pretty smart and a good guy. He is retired Navy also, but I guess we can’t all be perfect. I’m retired Air Force.

  5. nice article and i’m sure there are times you miss Texas but it looks like your adjusting well. to let you know about me & my asawa i’m retired navy and spent 6 years stationed in cubi pt. we have been married for 30 years.. we just recently finished building a house in sorsogon city which is just a short trip across the strait from samar. we also own a boarding house , sari sari store with small eatery, and one hector rice field. my wife sister lives there and takes care of it all. we will be back there to visit again this october. we currently live in illinois and yes it sucks in the winter. if you would like to see pictures of the house I would be glad to share them with you.
    i’m also on philippine expat forum under ( rogdas ) expatforum.com I have some pictures on my album there.
    take care and keep up the good work….

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you liked the article. I’m even more happy that you took the time to leave a comment. I don’t get too many comments on this site these days. I suppose that if I got out more and did more things, I’d have more better things to write about. Maybe I’ll get around to doing that sometime.
      I could have been through Sorsogon City for all I know. Sometimes it hard to determine just exactly where you are when traveling because things are not marked clearly. There is an expat that lives on the island of Guimaras, down by Cebu, that is also from Illinois and he has a blog. His blog name is “Philippines Plus” (http://www.philippinesplus.com). He’s name is Dave DeWall (aka The Kano) and he seems like a pretty decent guy. I have yet to meet him in person though.
      Well thanks again for the comment and I hope to meet you someday. We should be back from our little vacation when you are scheduled to arrive in October, so if you get the time, stop by. I’m easy to find. Just walk out the front door of the Ciriaco Hotel, move to your right about 3 steps and you’ll be looking at my house right across the highway.

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