[Diary] Earthquake, Monkeys, Laundry – Aug. 2012

Month of AUGUST – 2012

Every so often I feel like sharing some short item I have on my mind but it’s not enough to write an entire article about.  So, I decided to create a ‘stream-of-thought’ online diary, one page per month.  I’ll toss in some photos & video links as needed for emphasis so.. no telling what you’ll encounter here.  Oh, subscribe using the E-mail box along the right-side of the site to know when I update with a new entry.  My mind is always spinning so.. try not to take anything I write here ‘too’ seriously.  And if (when) I happen to post here while somewhat intoxicated.. pay even less attention.  — Henry V.

(in reverse chronological order.. that means, most recent stuff is here on top.)

[08/31/2012] — So, tonight (8:49pm) I’m waiting for my order of spicy, rotisserie Chicken (manok) with rice at a place in the mall when I notice the lampshades are vibrating.  I know what this means.  Soon the ground is swaying and everything not nailed down starts moving around to a dull rhythm.  Yep, it’s an earthquake all right.  And a fairly big one.  7.6 is the official tally.  I look into the mall from the restaurant I’m in and people are making a slow but deliberate move for the main exit.  In seconds over 200 people are congregated outside.  Me, I’m still sitting.. waiting for my chicken even though all but the Manager and a cook are left in the restaurant with me.  They were trying to stay calm.  All the customers bailed on us.  Me, I was just watching it all. Obviously, these people are NOT from California.  In CA, we have earthquakes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight snack.

The first 4 seconds were no big deal.  It’s when it kept going past 7 seconds that I knew these concrete slabs couldn’t take much more of this swaying crap.  The cook came rushing by, with my order of chicken, as he bolted for the door. (Very professional of him, I thought.  He even took time to bag it.)   Now that I had my dinner, I made my way to the exit only ten feet from where I sat.  A blue moon overhead and a decent sized earthquake on the same night.  Loving it.  Made my way home and it’s amazing that despite the epicenter being on the other side of a decent-sized island with two bodies of water between us.. the earthquake had a good, strong force all the way over to Mactan where my delicious chicken was being prepared.  There’s a tsunami warning out, but it won’t hit my island.   The people in Hinunangan should start making tracks for the high ground though.  I hope they got word.  Cell phone lines immediately locked up.  All we needed was Godzilla rising up from the deep and we’d have a full-fledged feature on our hands.

As for the spicy-chicken.. very tasty.  Came with a big rice-ball wrapped neatly in a banana leaf.  Ahh, an earthquake.. just like home.  🙂

[08/29/2012] — I’m well into my 7th week living here now.  Amazing how much can change so quickly and effortlessly.  ‘Back home’ is like a strong dream from the night before.  Clear in many ways, yet so distant in reality.  Some people thought I’d be homesick right away, but those people don’t know me very well.  I’ve been ‘on the move‘ since I was born.  My Dad was in the Air Force and used it as an excuse to move EVERY year to a new city.  Sometimes we’d move twice a year.  Once we even moved just five blocks away.  But usually it was to some other part of California, different counties.  For me this meant being “the new kid” every single year until I was 13 years old.  For me, packing up.. moving, being the outsider who had to adjust is ‘normal’.  Maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated with the idea that my Mom finally left my Dad, remarried and stayed in the same home now for over 40 years.  Same phone number.  Same address.  Wow.. to me that’s just, amazing.

The only reason I’m not stuffing a backpack and on a plane for Thailand and Kuala Lumpur to check out each of their Monkey Temples right now is money.  Technically I have the money, but I like to have a ‘cushion’ in the bank in case of emergencies.   But lack of funds won’t keep me constrained to my nice, little studio on Mactan.  I’ll still round up some pesos to go ‘out’ and see what I can see locally.  Which, technically, isn’t local to me at all.  For me.. it’s all new.

Today I’m jumping in a cab to cross over to the island of Cebu for a movie-date with my girlfriend.  After that I’ll take a look around this ‘Mango Square‘ area I’ve heard so much about.  Not planning on staying for the night life, it’s only Wednesday.  I just want to do some recon footwork, get the lay of the land so I’m not totally lost next time I show up on a Friday or Saturday night.  I’m all for spontaneity, but a little research ahead of time never hurts.

Swinging in a hammock at night, listening to the thunder roll in from off the coast, staring lazily up into the dense trees overhead while my Stones are playing on low from my window.. yah, I could get used to this.


[08/26/2012] — Sunday afternoon here, still on the tail end of a minor flu-bug.  I’m thinking breathing in random rooster feathers might not be good for my sore throat so, no cock-fights today.  🙁  I still might make a trip to the marketplace though for a walk, or maybe visit Ayala mall where I hear it’s pretty nice and lots of free air-con.  Always lots of cute women at the malls as well.  Kinda like watching fish in an aquarium for me though.  Nice to look at, but that’s about it.  For one thing, I have a girlfriend.  For another.. way too much hassle with most of these girls who are so easy to ‘catch’.  The good girls are interested in courting and marriage.  These ‘quickie’ girls want money.. now and more later if they can pester you enough for it.  So I heard.  Through a friend.

Anyways..   maybe catch a movie and get some dinner there.  Meanwhile.. gotta find/choose a good ‘proxy’ to make it seem like I’m surfing from the US.  Logging in from overseas is making for some minor hassles every now and then.  Mostly with Craigslist.  Hey.. news flash you hippie-success-story… not everyone logging in to sell things from overseas is some Nigerian or Russian identity-thief, okay?  Quit making my life on Craigslist a pain in the ass.  Geez.

But first I should tap out my weekly article for Mindenao Bob’s site over at LiveInThePhilippines.com.  1:26pm and the only thing I’ve accomplished is a shower.  Well, I’m kinda sick so, ‘get rest’ they said.  Some breakfast would be nice.  This is when I wish I had a live-in maid.  I had a maid coming in 3 days a month, very sweet and nice older woman.  A good, decent soul.  Problem is she kept stretching the crap outta my shirts with all the obsessive-compulsive scrubbing she did on every square inch of my shirts with this stiff brush of hers.  I asked her twice to not do that, it wasn’t necessary.  Just wash the clothes in a basin, rinse and hang to dry.  That’s all I wanted.  Several washes/weeks later my shirts are getting all wango’d out along the collar like some five year old was hanging from it.  She had to go so.. my girlfriend is gonna tell her.  I would have but the maid might have taken the news a bit harder coming from me.

The day after firing her I was complaining about how it cost $5 to do half a load of laundry down the street.  For less than that I could have done it myself at a laundromat.  Problem is.. no laundromats here.  A new (Filipino) friend of mine was there with me at the mall food court as I reviewed my laundry bill and said, “I could do this for you, Sir.  This would be good income for me.”  I responded, “It’s only 3 times a month.  Sweep the studio, do the dishes and mainly, clean my laundry.  300 Pesos per visit, you OK with that?“.  Do I refer to him/her as a he?  I suppose so.  Did I mention he’s a Kahoey/Ladyboy?  No?  Slipped my mind.   So, ‘Angel’, responds.. “I can do this.  Please, Sir, it would mean extra income for me!”  “OK, but only 3 times a month.  Not more than that.  I can pick up my laundry here at the mall.”  Laundry issue solved.   Probably won’t do much for my ‘rep’ around town.  But maybe that’s a good thing, the young women around here won’t think I’m ‘available’.. that makes for less possible drama with my girlfriend.  Two problems solved in one day.  Damn, I’m good.

Author: V. Reekay

About Me.. In 2011 I made the decision to move to the Philippines within a year. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling and sharing the information with you needed to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia.
— Reekay


  1. hi henry, well congrats on making the move to philippines. myself I shall be doing it next year. I'm married to a filipina and loving every minute, apart from TAMPO time which occasionally occurs, anyway I digress. I shall be moving to iloilo which have visited and come to love but I shall be leaving 3 boys in the uk ages from 13-11 I have twins. I want to be able to set up an online diary for them to be able to follow and for me to be able to add video too. any advise on being able to do this would be well appreciated.x.

    1. I would suggest http://www.wordpress.com . It is a free blog system, online, that makes it easy to do a daily diary, photos, videos and costs nothing. The only limitation is that you cannot place advertisements on it, but it doesn’t sound like you plan on doing that anyway. Just set up a username and there are lots of tutorial on youtube, although WordPress is very easy to use.

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