Week 17: The last weekly report of the year

December 30, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

Ok so I know I’m a couple of days late with this week’s post, but we’ve been busy. I’m not really sure doing what, but with it being the holidays and all, I think I have a pretty good excuse to be a few days behind. Besides, we already kind of gave you the highlights of this week in our Philippines Christmas Recap post.

This week brings us up to almost 4 months in the Philippines, and in doing so, means our visas were also set to expire. On Monday we headed into town to pick up a few groceries to see us through the holidays, and figured we’d stop in at the immigration office and check their hours over the next few days. Last time we renewed our visa we were in-and-out in less than 30 minutes so we figured this time would be much the same. Boy were we wrong. It seems that every other foreigner in town also chose that day, to renew their visas as well.

There were about 40 or so people, all crowded into the tiny office, some sitting, some standing, all just kind of milling about. There was no sense of order or queue, and after a couple of minutes of standing around trying to determine who was next to be helped we just sort of pushed our way through and asked for some renewal forms. Since we’d already been through this once before, we knew the process, and figured if we sat around waiting like polite little Canadian’s we’d never be helped. We filled out our paper work, got our photocopies and handed over 1830 Pesos each (apx. $47 CAD, less than half of what we paid last time) and waited eagerly. After about 20 mins the woman looked at us and said we could come back in the afternoon to pick them up if we wanted. Taking this as a cue that it was going to take awhile we decided to go have some lunch and come back later.

Dumaguete Immigration Office

We returned in the afternoon, to find 30 new people standing around, and that our passports still weren’t ready. We sat and waited as more and more people pilled into the tiny office, all just as shocked as us to see how busy it was. Two hours later and the better part of the day wasted, we finally had our extensions approved.

The next few days were mostly spent eating and drinking, as one tends to do over the holidays, and by the time Christmas had passed we were thoroughly exhausted. We spent a couple of days chilling, watching movies and relaxing. The only thing missing was the comfy duvet to curl up under.

On Saturday we headed down the beach to Atlantis, to meet up with a couple of dive instructors who found our website and realized we lived just down the beach from them. Matt (British) and Ulrika (Swedish), have been in Dauin for about a year now, and like us, are always looking to meet like minded people. I know we’ve mentioned this before, but there is a definite lack of english speaking people our age in this country. We talked for a couple of hours over a few beers, before they had to head home, but I was definitely glad we finally got around to meeting up.

We returned home that evening to find the police and about 10 people standing around outside our house. Apparently our neighbors had their laptop stolen and the police were there filling out a report. We still haven’t gotten the whole story of what exactly happened, but we’ve been being extra careful with our gear. (Don’t worry Mom, we were already being very careful, we’re now just being ‘extra’ careful).

That night we met up with Andy and Chantal, for some drinks in town at what’s quickly becoming our favorite bar, ‘Hayahay’. It was packed as usual, even more so with so many people in town visiting family, that we could barely get a seat. But we managed to squeeze in and had a great evening of live music and drinks. Sunday was spent recovering, and getting some much needed rest in preparation for New Year’s Eve.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe NYE!

Hayahay Dumaguete

Posted by: Kelly

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