Little Muffin!

December 22, 2008 - Filed under General

Mason (and Foster)

Meet Mason (and Foster)… my new nephew!  Born Dec. 17th at 1:00pm. I’m so absolutely in love with him and I haven’t even met him yet! Missing events like this is one of the hardest things about being oceans away from the ones you love. 

As soon as I found out Kelly (yes my brother’s wife and I have the same name) was preggers, I knew I wanted to make something for the baby. It wasn’t until we got settled in the Philippines that I realized it might be a little harder than I originally thought. 
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Posted by: Kelly

Random Factoid: Bring earplugs when traveling to the Philippines.

December 20, 2008 - Filed under Random Factoid

I’ve heard that there may be as many as 15 million roosters per year used for cockfighting. No, I can’t confirm these number by anything other than estimating the cacophony of cock-a-doodling at dawn each morning.

Thankfully, we’re not in a rural farming district and we’re also not in an urban center which is surprisingly louder. Still, we have neighbours we can’t convince to make chicken soup.

Posted by: Shim

It takes a village…

December 16, 2008 - Filed under General

We live right next to a tiny fishing village. Every night, just before sunset all the people from the village gather to catch the evening fish. After weeks of watching from our patio, last night I decided to head down to the beach for a closer look.

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Posted by: Kelly

Dumaguete and Dauin Online Resources

December 16, 2008 - Filed under General, Planning, Scuba Diving, Stuff to do

We’re becoming a bit more familiar with the area now that we’re settled in and starting to explore the surrounding areas a bit further. Our friends back home in Canada and some of our newer readers have asked for more information about visiting the Dauin and Dumaguete area. Rather than try to rewrite all the great information already available online, I thought I would compile a list of some of the resources we’ve come across and found useful. Sure, it’s a little biased towards scuba divers, but there’s lots of great accomodations and general information too. We’ve found the forums particularly helpful. Feel free to post in the comments section if you have any specific questions about the area that we might be able to help you with, or suggest a resource we might have missed! Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 15: Tis’ the season

December 15, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

December 15th… Only 10 more days till Christmas, and it couldn’t feel less like the holidays. Despite the fact that this country is a little obsessive about decorations, and lights and especially carols, I’m still not really in the ‘holiday spirit’. Perhaps it’s partly because I’ve been hearing Christmas carols on the radio and in stores since we arrived, and that decorations started to pop up in early September. Yes that’s right…. September.

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Posted by: Kelly

Broadband Internet availability in the Philippines (on the beach)

December 12, 2008 - Filed under General, Planning

Yup, we’re nerdy. We’re traveling with the condition of having internet connectivity wherever we are. And not just an internet cafe or dialup connection. If we’re spending any length of time in one place, we need broadband. For many people an internet cafe will suffice for checking email and logging into Facebook, but when we’re in work mode the volume and size of files we’re dealing with requires a fast connection. Before coming to the Philippines the availability and cost of broadband service was a huge concern of ours. Not wanting to live in a city, was it even possible to get fast internet on a beach?

We spent a lot of time looking for an ISP in the Philippines. There are plenty. Unfortunately, the majority of them are dialup service providers with the few offering broadband service located in major metropolitan areas like Manilla, Cebu, and Bacolod. Even then, service can be questionable depending on the quality of the telephone lines in your neighbourhood. A few service providers offer dedicated lines, but the urban location didn’t make this a viable option for us. We decided to just up and go. Maybe we’d have to resort to satellite internet service? Not out of the question, but expensive. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Cebu Pacific announces new flights

December 11, 2008 - Filed under Travel

Good news for anyone thinking of visiting us, or traveling in the Philippines. Cebu Pacific, the Philippines largest domestic carrier, has just announced that as of January 2009 they are expanding their service.  As well as adding flights on some of their already existing routes they will be adding service to four new destinations:

  • Cebu to Legaspi
  • Cebu to Cotabato
  • Cebu to Siargao
  • Cebu to Dumaguete

The Cebu to Dumaguete flight is the one we are most interested in, as it opens up some easier options for getting around. Previously our only option was to fly to Manila. Just last week we went to Cebu by ferry, which takes 4.5 hours. The trip isn’t too bad, but given the choice we’d definitely opt for a 1 hour flight instead. 

Official Press Release
Cebu Pacific Route Map

Posted by: Kelly

Week 14: Diving, diving, and more diving

December 9, 2008 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Weekly Report

This week was all about the diving. We had a bit of a break from the work side of things and decided to take advantage of it while we could.  At the beginning of the week we did a couple of dives around Dauin. One at the Pier, which was a little bit busy for our liking, and then one by ourselves on the House Reef, which we’ve become quite fond of. There are a few schools of larger fish and a resident turtle who’s there pretty much every day.  Also a few weeks ago the boys from the dive shop relocated their old speedboat which sank a few years ago, to just inside the reef. It’s become home to a bunch of groupers and a few bat fish already. The added benefit of the house reef is that we can dive it whenever we want, since we don’t need a boat to take us there, which means we’re usually the only ones on it.

Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

A post for the ladies: Tampons in the Philippines

December 9, 2008 - Filed under General

Before we moved to the Philippines, I hadn’t really considered not being able to find tampons. I’ve traveled in Asia before, as well as South & Central America, even in Egypt and never had a problem finding tampons. It wasn’t until I went looking for them here that I became aware of not only how rare they are, but also how controversial they are in this country.  Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Getting Around in the Philippines

December 3, 2008 - Filed under Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles, Planning, Travel

Transportation in the Philippines can seem a little daunting at first. Unlike many other South East Asian countries, there isn’t really an established “backpacker trail” and getting from place to place can take a bit of time. That being said, there is usually more than one option to get you where you want to go and depending on your budget there’s sure to be something to suit your needs. So whether you choose to travel by air, land, or sea, remember that getting there is sometimes half the fun.


Domestic air travel in the Philippines is relatively affordable, and of course the quickest way to get around. The ferry from Manila to Puerto Princessa is a grueling 22 hours (if everything runs on time) where as the flight will take you a little over an hour. Read More…

Posted by: Shim