Customs and Culture

Philippines and Anti-Begging Laws

Anti-Begging Laws In a country that boasts a population of over 101 million people, of which over 25% of the population lives below the poverty line (based upon a monthly per capita income of P10,534), it is not a big surprise to see beggars in the streets of nearly all cities and villages throughout the […]

A Visit to a Blacksmith Shop in the Philippines

Blacksmiths in the Philippines. Alive and well. Today, we took a drive into town as the wife had some errands to run. While parked and waiting, the noise of banging hammers coaxed me over to this blacksmith shop where they were busy making bolos or knives of some kind. Standing there and watching these guys […]

Happy New Year From Samar

Sleepless in the Philippines. Welcome to 2016, and a New Year!  While the planet we live on has successfully navigated yet another trip around the Sun, everything in the heavens appear to remain unchanged. Here on Earth, not so much. There are new calendars, new outlooks, new budgets and new resolutions. There are hangovers a […]

Typhoon, Christmas Carolers, Pesos, and a Twister!

A Storm, Songs, and Some Pesos. Last week we experienced a Typhoon-For-a-Day here in Calbayog City (see my last post Christmas Season Typhoon), and just a day after the storm passed, the Christmas caroling season began. In the Philippines, usually beginning on the 16th of December, and for 8 days, children, teens, and even some […]

Security Issues in the Philippines

Living With Guns in the Philippines. When I first came to the Philippines in 1983, one thing I readily noticed was the numbers of guys standing around with guns. They seemed to be everywhere. They could be packing anything, from a .38 cal pistol to a .45 cal semi-automatic, to an AR-15 style assault rifle […]

News…What News?

Not Much News Here! After sitting down with one of our nephews the other day, I jokingly asked him if he would be interested in becoming a mercenary and joining the Peshmerga special forces to fight ISIS. While he seemed interested, I asked him if he wouldn’t be scared to fight against ISIS. “No uncle, […]

All Saints, Souls and Undas

A Celebration! Because the Philippines is the largest Christian country in Asia, and the world’s third largest Catholic Nation (behind Brazil and Mexico), after Christmas and Holy Week, the holiday of Undas (All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day combined), is the most important religious period observed by the faithful. All Saints’ Day is a […]

Life in the Philippines – It’s All a Big Misunderstanding!

Things That Even Filipinos Misunderstand There are many things that we as foreigners misunderstand about Filipino culture and way of life in the Philippines. Some of us figure it out and go with the flow, and some foreigners never come to grips with all the confusion. Then there many things that even Filipinos themselves misunderstand, […]

Philippines – Street Foods 101

Are You Hungry for BBQ? I was recently asked by Denise at the Gourmet Society – Philippines to share some information concerning street foods found in the Philippines. The Gourmet Society is a blog that discusses Filipino flavor and cuisine and other international flavors and etiquettes. For many travellers and newcomers to the Philippines, the […]