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I dare not buy this.

Hmmm, a rifle shaped umbrella, if I try to bring that home I can picture consecutive life sentences.

A very classy saddle.

Glad I waited.

We both need passport type photos again for Olivia's visa application.
I thought it best to leave them till now rather than do it at home for $16

~$1 here.


Oh dear, sharp object.

I bought this soldering iron at a clearance shop in Legazpi City for P25 (something like $0.70) and the Edison screw lamp holders for about the same amount each, but it dawned on me I may have trouble with the pointy end of the iron in my carry bag. I won't be happy to lose a bargain like that.
So I reversed the point and poked the tip further down the barrel of the iron, fingers crossed I have an easy time now when I return home shortly.

They still exist.

They even used this typewriter for our marriage certificate.
It looks like the lass who drives it is old enough now to find a magnifying glass very useful.

Olivia and Jim.

We tied the knot today, for both of us our first loves had died, and loneliness can hurt.
Signing the certificate.
With Judge and witnesses, sister and brother.
Afterwards a feed with sisters.

But minutes later Olivia had smartened Jim up.

Long pants too, something is happening.

Big day coming up today.

And Jimmy is looking happily excited about it, perhaps just a tiny bit nervous as well, but at least not scared.


Teapot Jim.

Taken just after my teapot imitation, a little while earlier the mobile piggybank had a guard hop out with a gun the size of a bazooka, not being terribly brave I raised my arms (painfully) in classic surrender style, the other guard laughed.
The mall in the background is the major one in Legazpi City, A million people were waiting for it to open at 09:00, so they waited for another million and opened at 10:00. I needed a decent wi-fi dongle for a usable net connection. Thankfully all good now.
Of course with the good comes the bad, my left eye (usually my good eye) has a fog in it today that won't clear up. I suppose I should apply for the blind pension when I get home.

Crossing the road is different here.

There doesn't appear to be any give way rule in the Philippines but traffic does take a bit of extra care not to turn pedestrians into speedbumps on crossings. A positive of their approach is a politeness from pedestrians that is quite lacking in Australia where it is normal to step on a crossing, thus causing all traffic to stop, without so much as a look.


Expired labels, no problem.

I think we have some sort of lingering punishment for crimes like displaying expired labels in Australia, perhaps boiling oil or similar, the Philippines must have a far more benevolent Mikado.

I wonder?

If the owner's first name is Jeremy, there seems a fleet of Clarkson's

Security is tight here.

Dust and light ruined this shot but there's a slowdown point on the road past the military base and they have a need to be fairly alert, as per usual anti-government groups seem to find a ready supply of weapons and going by the news I've seen here, know how to use them. Weapons are now almost unknown to Australians. and our road signs must be very thankful.
Just up the road from here is a jail, which they have enough sense to call a jail. Our prisons long ago lost any wording that might hint at being less than the motel standards they have, "Correction Centre" does have a lovely soft sound as befits the comfort within.

Visiting Padang memorial.

Olivia and Jim complete with a batman like angle due to no tripod for setting the timer.
In 2006 water and muck washed down from Mayon behind us due to heavy rain from cyclone Reming, washing away the village of Padang and 900 or so people, quite sad really but it's a lovely memorial.

Out the window at Avia Inn.

Another place to stay and sadly another that lacks hot water.
Quite a busy road outside, being the junction of the main highway and the Legazpi bypass road. Noise control of vehicles is very similar to North Queensland, I'd say no control. I think most vehicles would never know the quieting touch of a new muffler after the original has corroded away, a major exception being motorcycles where judging by the sound of them have eager owners who splash out on "racing mufflers" which in my belief are just a hollow can devoid of any plumbing that might offer even a hint of quieting. To be fair to them about that, Aussie Harley-Davidson riders must source their mufflers from a similar supplier, perhaps one that has learned how to convert excess energy (and fuel) into additional noise.
At night time things settle down a bit but even the drunk parades get drowned out by whatever occasional vehicles blast past.


Just as well they're catholic here.

After a haircut (P40) I snuck into this place to sip a cold delicious beer (P25) before returning to our new hotel.
I noticed a fancy graven image across the road, but being catholic they have a relaxed attitude to those who seek to drink too much, which I would be doing if not for the quality company I have.
I wonder if San Miguel beer (any variety) is the best in the world, if not it would be in the grand final, something our Cowboys in the NRL are unlikely to achieve this season :(

Daraga graffiti.

I think I've learnt how to draw something, and it probably isn't what you think.

They're good drivers but not perfect.

Outside the Daraga police station. The driver's side is the lesser damaged one so he may not be patay.

More Philippines adventure.

No great reason for this shot but the light was magical so I took a piccie.



The pool at Cagsawa ruins has these odd markings about the rim, 4ft, 5ft, 6ft. Since like every country in the world that at least wants to join in with other nations Philippines are metric, I figured they were a quaint local unit of length, as the 4ft was much shallower than the 6ft.
A rough guess using my short height as a guide makes me think a Philippine ft is about 27cm. Sorry for the cm but mm is too fine in this case.
BTW the water at whatever time of day was always a delightful temperature but the green rather than the more inviting blue tiles for appearance was a let down for Olivia.


Light switches in the Philippines go sideways, unlike Aussie ones that are down for on, or USA ones that are up for on.


This couple had a wedding do beside our cabin last night. For an Aussie it was freakish 300 odd well behaved guests arrived, had a feed and left. No noise, no fights, no waiting till the last of the beer was drained. A very civilised country here in many respects, there's even enough barber shops for nearly every male to be groomed splendidly.


Dimply Jimmy relaxing with Olivia. When I was a junior the dimples embarrassed me big time, many years were spent never smiling for photos, but now I am finally an adult it's nice to have something cute again.
You can't see it but Mayon is behind us.

The miracle of Cagsawa.

I've had a sore foot for a couple of years, making walking a pain, I thought it may be a plantar wart but now think it was a splinter. Olivia Grabbed something the size of a machete and managed somehow to fairly painlessly remove the problem leaving only the hole in centre of pic.
Things like this are why Jimmy wants a tag team partner again.
Wrinkly toes from a pool session.

P10 for entry to Cagsawa ruins.

or about $0.25, cheap enough but maybe not a bargain.
I now think the no-smoking is only for visitors with many of the workers surrounded by a constant cloud of tobacco smoke.

Jesus of Cagsawa.

I asked Olivia if Jesus was born here, she didn't deny it so I think I've found the real birthplace of Jesus. There's certainly enough poverty as evidence.



The turnoff to the Cagsawa ruins on the right.
I wish we had their prices.


Kapok was used a lot in my youth for mattress and pillow stuffing, but not now.
I suppose it's why the terms "pillow biter" and "mattress muncher" are used these days rather than "kapok cruncher"



I never thought I'd ever do this, but the whole Cagsawa ruins area must wish I hadn't, finding a suitable song was too hard for a bloke with the vocal range of Ringo Starr coupled with the deepness of Johnny Cash.
Olivia on the other hand has a talent for it, though having an intermittent wiring fault in the microphone was a real downer, an easy fix but only if you have tools.
Karaoke is actually a Philippine invention.

Same stalls, different environment.

Inside Cagsawa ruins area only a few miscreants foul the air.
Outside the ruins while the shops are operating the air has the foulness quite alike to the zone about 4 metres from the entry to any Aussie shopping centre.

Cagsawa prices

Some prices within the tourist area, I don't have much idea but imagine things are cheaper away from tourist traps.

Cagsawa accommodation

Our unit is the nearest half of this building, it has a lovely bed and air conditioner, is clean and a nice size, but is let down severely by a lavatory that has a non-functioning cistern and a shower that lacks hot water. Also the couch is extremely uncomfortable for Jimmy, being as is common way too low to the ground. The TV isn't a negative despite being a CRT analogue type that all became kerbside collection items years ago in Australia, as only free TV is available here and despite being a better quality of programming than Australia my language skills only allow me to see the picture and understand a very few words, patay being the only one I'm skilled with yet.
I think this unit cost something like P700 per night, somehow I think P1000 is needed for comfort.

Bags are popular here.

Olivia got this delicious feed yesterday, it seems like everything is packed in plastic bags that they tie up. Quite strange to me but it works.


The Kerry Packer syndrome.

This chap has a camera that may have cost a year's pay for mere mortals here, so I suppose that entitled him to smoke a cigarette in Cagsawa tourist area which has a total smoking ban, this of course resulted in Jimmy having to move away for a while before being able to return to have a feed. It reminded me of the uber rich and famous Kerry Packer who was able to smoke in his hospital bed (before the smokes killed him) long after mere mortals would face consecutive life sentences for even thinking about it.

Mayon from Cagsawa.

A sunny morning meant we were able to get a good view of Mayon. The tower is the old bell tower of the ruined church.
It is an active volcano. They don't allow you to go to the top without oxygen, and even then a 20 minute maximum stay.
Another view.



With the weather quite bleak this lovely flower may as well obscure the bell tower at Cagsawa.