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  1. #1
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    The Adventures of Harry

    As most of you know, i have just been over in Phills for the past 3 months, and its fair to say, i covered a fair bit of ground while i was over there, I began in Quezon City for a few days to sort out some business, then it was down to Mindanao for a few weeks namely Valencia City in Bukidnon, then it was back up to Manila to meet a friend over from the UK, who was having his first ever visit to Phills, and he loved it, but it was Christmas week, and to say that week was hectic was an understatement, we went up to Subic, and took in Angeles on the way back to QC, then there was a visit to Taytay, we also did a visit to some Mountain place overlooking QC, i took a day off, while he went with friends to some other resort, i was basically just giving him moral support, or maybe immoral support in Angeles . He absolutely loved being in Phills, but wasnt impressed with the Commonwealth Market, he thought the hygene left a lot to be desired , he is a bit of an extrovert, and loved all the attention he was getting, the one night we were walking around the locality, and came across a group of filipinos celebrating one of the groups Birthday, and they insisted we join them, and have pics taken with us, by the time we left them we were a little unsteady on our feet, having tasted a few shots of Red Horse, i am not a Drinker so it doesnt take much to get me intoxicated Hahaha, to be honest i cannot remember all the places we visited because i didnt really want to be there, physically i was there but mentally i wanted to be in Mindanao, anyways when the time came for him to leave we all went to NAIA where he left for the UK, and i went to Davao, and onto Bukidnon, this was New Years eve, and i got back to La Roxas just in time for the fireworks
    Then from the 2nd week in January me and my (Fiancee by then) went on our pre arranged tour to Cebu for the Sinulog, then down to Oslob to see the Whale sharks, before going to Santander, and over to Dumaguete, i Loved Dumaguete such a laid back City, the only disappointment we had was we planned to have 2 days on Siquijor, but due to the weather "Typhoon" the Planes & Boats Ferries were all cancelled so we had to give Siquijor a miss, but its on my to do list , we travelled by Bus up to Bacolod, where we took another ferry over to iloilo City to meet up with my Fiancees Auntie Gina & Stanley her hubby, from there we took a flight over to Palawan, and the first port of call by Motorcycle was Sabang, and The Underground river which we both loved, again Sabang was a little disappointing because the seas were really to rough to have a swim, neither of us are great swimmers , but we did visit some caves, i needed to go back to Puerto to extend my Visa, but on the way back we took in a resort, here i showed my age because when we got there i realised i had left my Glasses behind in Sabang, so i left my Fiancee to enjoy the resort while i rode back to Sabang for my Glasses ( A 3 hour round trip) in the searing Heat of Palawan. Once i had renewed my visa, it was up to El Nido by van and a spot of Island Hopping, my Fiancee to be truthful was a little disappointed with El Nido, maybe our Boat breaking down had something to do with it , then back to Puerto for our last couple of days on Palawan, we decided on my suggestion to go Island Hopping again, this time around Honda Bay rather than a City Tour, we both enjoyed Honda Bay & the Snorkelling much more than El Nido, maybe because the Boat didnt breakdown this time Hahaha.
    Then it was time to go back to Mindanao via iloilo, and Cagayan, then by Bus to Bukidnon, and a well earned rest for the last 3 weeks of my stay, where i really relaxed, and met and got to know the family; Ma Ballongay, Janices (my Fiancee) Sister Jennifer, Brother Jessie & his wife, Jessie is just recovering from Cancer, younger Brother Jeffrey & his wife EJ, Kids Ethan, and baby Si, To say there is a Big family is an understatement, including Ma there are 9 of them 3 Aunties, and 6 Uncles, i can remember Uncle Boy, Uncle Iboy, then there is the Uncle who has a Pig Farm, another who is a Jeepney Driver, Auntie Lolly, then there is Grandma who is 84 years young, and she is still as sprightly as a spring chicken, would you believe i actually saw her run for the jeepney YES 84 & she can still run, and still has her toenails painted a truly amazing woman... anyways The Mountain ranges of Bukidnon are great, strolling around the village stopping to chat at the various sari sari stores, taking a close look at the Paddy fields, the Coffee Plantations, not to mention the Sugar Cane fields, and nosing in the Mill which Mills Rice, Coffee, and Corn, meeting with more family, and The Captain everyone made me feel really welcome, of course everyone was curious to know a certain question i always replied you had best ask Janice she is still a little shy with me around the village mostly because the Villagers usually had the same two questions, wedding, and babies Hahaha, the climate is great just like our summer it only gets really Hot when we go down to Maramag or Valencia, anyways thats a brief round up of my 3 months, which i can honestly say exceeded my expectations, and opened my eyes to life in Bukidnon, Yeah the Touring was okay but that was mostly for Janices benefit, as for me I prefer the more sedate lifestyle these days.Thats enough for now, i will continue with Part two another time Hahaha.



  2. #2
    Trusted Member stevewool's Avatar
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    Fantastic Harry, I was knackered reading it, you did so much in such a short time,
    Did you come back to England for a rest.
    So when are you going back


  3. #3
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    Very enjoyable read Harry. Thankyou.

    So glad you had such a memorable and eventful time here.

    I've travelled around Bukidnon quite a bit over the years and yes the mountains are wonderful.
    During your time in Valancia City did you visit to Lake Apo ?

    I remember we managed so many beautiful places in Bukidnon. One place was up a pretty scary mountain path then down to a river leading to some cave. The water was quite blue on the day we went and was extremely cold. I dipped but did not stay in for long.
    It's actual only a couple of miles from Maramag.

    You certainly visited some great places before getting some R&R in the Baguio of Mindanao

    Bet you can't wait to go back


  4. #4
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Yeah I cam e back to the UK for a rest, and to recover Steve . Yes Peter Lake Apo was another place they took me to after all its on the Doorstep it would be stupid of me to miss out on that, we went with the Family, Sister Jennifer, and Brother Jeffrey who is the Chaffeur, EJ and the Kids Ethan & Baby Si, it was one heck of a Road (Dirt Track) leading to it , No we havent visited that particular Cave, i will have to ask Janice where it is.
    Yes you are exactly right Peter its the Baguio of Mindanao, i havent been to Baguio but Im told its a similar climate to the Mountains of Bukidnon.
    The plans are first to get Janice over here for a visit UKBA permitting, then we will go back together, hopefully then certain plans may be in the process of being made it certainly wont be as lavish as SSibs recent happy occasion , but Im sure we will be just as happy. Meanwhile Iv told the family to go ahead with certain Business Plans that we have discussed, example that Mill turns over 100.000 php per month, and there is scope for another Mill, I was going to purchase a Sugar Cane Truck, but Uncle Iboy suggested for minimal Capital we can set up a Mill, i said to the close family we were all in the discussion to go ahead and do what they think best, so the costings for the Mill project are being done. I have told them i wont be around forever, and when my time comes i want them to be be financially okay, all we are aiming for over the next three years is to use my capital to setup some income streams for them, not so that they will be Rich, but enough so that We/They will be secure, and this Income will be in addition to my Pension, so should be enough to live comfortably and hopefully three years down the line we will have enough to build a small House in the Village, Ma has already told Janice she has some Land that we can have. So as you can see, Despite all that Travelling we still had plenty of time to discuss future plans, and i can Honestly say neither Janice or any of the Family asked me for a single Peso.. Janice has already said she will add me as her Benefactor to her Phil Health, so that will be a help for any future concerns. I can honestly say i have not been so settled within myself for a good few years, and as you can see my mind is pretty much made up with where we want to be, unless Janice decides she prefers the UK if she gets that visit visa , but i think i know her well enough to know she is a pretty laid back woman, and not overly materialistic, like any Woman she likes the nice things, but so long as she has her Internet, and can listen to her Music (there is hardly a song she doesnt know the Lyrics to) she is amazing for picking up lyrics, and is a pretty good mover to though she says not.There is one thing for sure that i will be putting in Ma,s house i havent told them yet, but they will be getting a Hot Shower those Buckets of cold water on a cool morning certainly wake me up, I can well do without them Hahaha. For those that wish to know the Water Bills are about 25 pesos per month, and the Electric Bill averages out at about 5/600 pesos per month, absolutely no need for aircon, up in La Roxas .
    I like Maramag, and Malabalay, but Im not so keen on Valencia i dont know why, but it doesnt do anything for me, same as Cagayan i much prefer Davao to CDO.


  5. #5
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    When we lived in Davao our water was from Dumoy Water Supply System
    Supposed to be the cleanest in Philippines (but I didn't drink it)
    What I can say is that it's the coldest water I've ever encountered. Personally i never used a hot water shower as I enjoyed the cold water experience, but all our visitors wanted hot showers

    We have a shower heater here in Marikina but I've never used it.

    Is there enough water pressure for a shower heater Harry?


  6. #6
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Peter, i will have to invest in a water pump to give us the required pressure, Im assuming they can be brought from the General Merchants down in Maramag.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry T View Post
    Peter, i will have to invest in a water pump to give us the required pressure, Im assuming they can be brought from the General Merchants down in Maramag.
    Probably a small tank and pump.
    Should be easily available as a matched set.

    BTW good luck with the mill venture.
    It's a decent idea


  8. #8
    Trusted Member stevewool's Avatar
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    As a friend to all on the forum except _ _ _ ?.
    Please be careful Harry.
    When we was making our plans to do this and do that with the family it was going great, then something happened, and loads went wrong, then it took a long time to sort it out again.
    I think it's all worked out well for us , but I am warry these days.
    I must add this is my own experience .


  9. #9
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Thanks for those wise words Steve.


  10. #10
    Trusted Member stevewool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry T View Post
    Thanks for those wise words Steve.
    It's hard sometimes to write this down, some folks can take things like this the wrong way.
    But it can help a few


  11. #11
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Thank you for the Rep Arthur, Im slowly edging up towards that Century


  12. #12
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Some of you may recall that my Fiancee had her planned visa application delayed due to the following, she had just got all her documents together while i was there, she only had to get a certain size pic, and some documents copied onto A4, seems thats not commonly used in Maramag , the rest of the documents she already had, and the appointment to visit the Passport office in Cagayan was already booked, when if you recall me saying some kind soul decided to steal her Wallet/Purse from her handbag, all her ID documents were in that Purse, and Jan was in Tears when she had to cancel the appointment with the Passport office, however Im pleased to say she has managed to get the required Documents together and rebooked her appointment 2 days ago, so on 6th April one month later than originally planned she can make her required personal visit in Cagayan, then its 20 days to wait for her Passport, and only then can we proceed with her Visit Visa application (we need her Passport No) before we can continue with the next stage of the application.. .


  13. #13
    Trusted Member stevewool's Avatar
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    Onward and upwards Harry, its all going to plan like you said a little later then you would like , but its moving the right way.


  14. #14
    Respected Member Ako Si Jamie's Avatar
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    Interesting read, Harry.

    I too, like Dumaguete. It's my favourite city in the Phils, and Siquijor is my favourite island along with Kalanggaman.

    Our boat in El Nido broke down too.
    The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat (Lily Tomlin)


  15. #15
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Thanks Jamie, just to update folks, Jan had her appointment on June 5th in Cebu, so now we are going through more agonising waiting until the decision, hopefully within the next 10 days or so we will know our fate


  16. #16
    Trusted Member grahamw48's Avatar
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    Good luck to you both Harry !


  17. #17
    Respected Member Michael Parnham's Avatar
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    Great stuff Harry, good luck for the future, don't know how I missed this thread, great story, also Dumaguete and Siquijor are my favourite places. Please keep us posted on future events.


  18. #18
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    Good luck Harry!


  19. #19
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    A decision has been made on your application and your documents are being returned to the Visa Application Centre (VAC). You will be contacted again by the VAC once these documents have been received and they are ready for you to collect. If you have chosen to have your documents couriered to you, these will be despatched by the VAC once they have.


  20. #20
    Trusted Member grahamw48's Avatar
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    Oooh .... fingers crossed mate !


  21. #21
    Respected Member sally sanchez's Avatar
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    hi harry, don't know if that is good or what but here is the email i received when my visa got approved: "Your visa will be despatched shortly. Passports can normally be collected from the Visa Application Centre after 3 days. Applicants in Australia and New Zealand should allow 3 days before tracking their documents via the local post. UKBA-Manila Visa Hub." hoping the best for you and jan....


  22. #22
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyones good wishes; Tracking is up and running, its in CDO now, everythings crossed, Jan is a bit nervous , i wasnt until now Hahaha.


  23. #23
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Tracking is up and running, its in CDO now, everythings crossed, Jan is a bit nervous , i wasnt until now Hahaha.


  24. #24
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Todays update, we finally managed to contact 2go in CDO, they will deliver for Jan to collect in Valencia which is much easier for her to get to than CDO, its only a 3 hour round trip for her rather than a 10 hour round trip to CDO, the 10 the hours is made up of 1 hour from her village to Maramag Terminal, Bus from Maramag to CDO is 4 hours travelling, then she has to get to the 2go warehouse in CDO and back to Agora Terminal in CDO, which i havent counted in the 10 hours, so its 10+ hours probably another hour or so on top.
    Thats not even counting the waiting in the Maramag terminal there and back, and i know for sure going back to her village from Maramag is more than 1 hour, because the jeepney drives around various stores in Maramag, collecting various Goods, and foodstuffs from around Maramag, the last trip i had on the jeepney, we had to wait while they loaded a load of 150 hollow blocks on while we roasted inside the jeepney, then when we get to the village the jeepney tours around the various houses doing its door to door drops, remember this is how the sari sari stores get there various supplies, so when i say 1 hour yes thats to Maramag, but coming back to the village its probably closer to 3 hours depending on the pickups, and drop offs.
    Anyways back to the visa, she will have to pick up now from Valencia City on Tuesday, to late to get transported today, tomorrow they cant do, then Monday is a public holiday in Phills, so Tuesday it is.


  25. #25
    Trusted Member grahamw48's Avatar
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    Tough life out there mate.

    Anyway, progress !


  26. #26
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    6/22/2017 2:41:25 PM ARRIVAL CAGAYAN DE ORO
    6/26/2017 8:00:00 AM IN-TRANSIT
    6/26/2017 8:05:51 AM ARRIVAL VAL

    Well tomorrows the day that all will be revealed, Jeez this waiting is aweful


  27. #27
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    Refused


  28. #28
    Respected Member SimonH's Avatar
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    Sorry to read Harry


  29. #29
    Respected Member Tawi2's Avatar
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    I know a Filipina who was married in London a month or so back,she has been here illegally maybe 4-5 years,came in as a bogus student and just never bothered going home,but your girlfriend wanted to come here as a legitimate tourist and is refused,i think those who give the yay or the nay have a hard job sorting out legit from bogus,do they give a reason with the refusal?



    Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again. But life goes on.
    The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the passion that she shows to the outside world.


  30. #30
    Respected Member Harry T's Avatar
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    I didnt ask her, i was up in Derby until lunchtime, and didnt chat with her until late in the day, of course when i knew the decision i was a little down, but hey tomorrows another day.. we will have a chat about things then decide where to go from here.


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