Winning a Consolation Prize

Winning a consolation prize

I rarely win any type of grand prize or even a consolation prize. Regardless of how many entries I put in or the even if the odds are high, I will pretty much be the last entry picked. I have resigned myself to this fate for my life. But all that changed when I entered a contest that was being run by one of the channels on YouTube. The YouTube channel is called the Gadget Addict. It is run by this dude from the United Kingdom who is living in Manila. He truly is a gadget addict, I thought I had an addiction to gadgets but he is way ahead of me.
During this contest I was hoping to win the grand prize as there was five of them but my usual luck held up. But I did win the consolation prize !!
Let me explain how the rules for contest worked. The requirements were that you had to have a YouTube channel with a couple of videos uploaded on it as the contest was centered on prizes that were things that a vlogger would like to have. The five grand prizes were Chinese-made go pro type cameras, along with selfie sticks, camera lights and memory cards, really a great prize. I really wanted to win one of those grand prizes but with so many people entering my chances decreased by the day.
Now some people really were not into vlogging and just setup a channel and threw a few videos up just so they could qualify for the contest but that is just how some people are. Even the channel mentioned how some did this yet they were still able to enter. Check out the channel that was hosting the contest on YouTube, its called the Gadget Addict. Since I run a small YouTube channel, I thought it would be an interesting video if I filmed me opening the box. Now let me start off by saying I had no idea what I had won, only clue that was given was he stated he thought I would really like it. My goal was to try to capture my surprise by filming me opening up the box. I figured that I could just find an empty table at the food court and open the package but it turned out a lot harder to do than I expected.
I had no idea how hard of a task this would be. It was Sunday and the Robinson Mall was packed with a full crowd. Even the food court was filled and it was way past lunch time. So I got this idea to head so I outside the mall but the wind was blowing too hard, which as you know always makes for bad for the audio. Having failed in that I head back into the mall to look for a quiet corner where I could open the box. I finally found a corner of the mall where a store is closed. Naturally there was no chairs nearby so I has to basically sit my butt down on the floor and begin opening my consolation prize. As I am struggling and I mean struggling to open this very well taped up box, a crowd begins to gather as the Philippine vlogger struggles to open a well taped, styrofoam box.
Check out the video, you can see me acknowledging the crowd as it gets bigger.

Casio G Shock

I finally got a Casio g shock watch ! If you have watched any of the videos from the Philippine vlogger channel on Youtube < here > then you will know of the struggle I went through trying to obtain a casio g shock watch. I tried going the counterfeit way and buy a cheap Chinese imitation which looked okay enough. But a lot of the functionality did not work, of course it wasn’t shock resistant nor was it waterproof, what it was was basically junk. I did get suckered twice into buying them, the first one died within two days and the second lived longer but was off by ten minutes a day.
I started saving up my money with the goal of buying an official casio g shock watch.

Its funny because I was surfing the internet and looking at all the different models. It seems sites were spelling the g shock watch many different ways. Some examples of how it was spelled on websites was g shock, g schock, g chock, g shock, or even the word shockwatch was used. I guess a lot of these websites were setup in different countries where english is not the primary language but I was amazed that google recognized these words as words for a casio g shock watch.

Which One to Get ?

Now if I really wanted a basic g shock watch I could have gone to the local mall, either the Robinson or the SM Bacolod and picked one up.  My issue with that was they lacked the variety of colors and models that a site such as Amazon has. Most of the models in the mall were ones with black bands and black face plates. There was a few with a color like red or white but that was about all the choices you had. Me, I was looking for a particular one with a certain color in it which was green.
Now you may ask, Philippine vlogger why green? Well for several reasons, one its my favorite color, two it my lucky color according to Chinese zodiac sigs ( I was born in the year of the dog) and three the color is unique enough that not to many people have a green G shock watch. I choose this one:

 

Pretty cool right? They did have an all green watch but I liked the shinny white band and with the with highlights on the faceplate I think it made it stand out a little more. I was lucky that one of the viewers on my channel send in a small donation. Which literally covered half the cost so combining that with my savings and I was able to order the watch. Here is the video of my unboxing.

Its a great watch and I am pretty proud to wear it around.

Real is Better !

Believe me it is far better to get the real thing than to walk around with some cheap counterfeit that can be spotted a mile away. Plus with the counerfeit g shock you can even get it wet for fear it will stop working. The Casio Men’s G Shock watch is water resistant up to 200 meters – now that a water resistant watch and don’t forget the g shock watch comes with a one year warranty.
Casio does make a shock watch for women and they call it the baby g. It has the same great features as the men’s g shock but the band and the watch face is a little smaller. Color wise they had a more variety of baby g than the regular g shock. I am very pleased with my selection.

Kitchen Remodel

kitchen remodel

We Need a Bigger Kitchen

Our kitchen remodel is now in progress. As many of you know, we run a small home restaurant and what originally started out as a functional kitchen design has now become a log jam.  When things get busy, as workers we struggle to get our tasks done because we are in each other’s way.  Almost from the beginning we began to see how important it is to have a proper and functional kitchen design. A good kitchen design  will allow us to serve food to our customers in the fastest way possible. One of the hurdles with our kitchen remodel is that we are in the middle of the rainy season. Our construction progress is based on dry and rainy days. Dry day we build and rain days we stop until the rain stops. Once the roof is complete the weather will no longer be a factor.

Another issue we have is that we have outgrown our current kitchen and need a bigger more efficient one. There are many advantages to having a bigger more efficient kitchen.  With a bigger kitchen we will not only improve our service but it will allow us to expand the menu to offer more variety of foods. In this video, the Philippine vlogger walks you through the progress of preparing the roofing structure. We go over the  reason why it is important to have a high ceilings in the Philippines as a way to keep the place cool  Another important tool to keeping the place cool is the need to install form insulation which will reflect the heat coming off the galvanized roofing.
Check out the video:

Superwoman

77 Year old Superwoman

The other day I found a Superwoman of the Philippines. I was walking up my street in my Philippine subdivision when I saw this elderly looking woman. She was using a hand made tool to dig what appeared to be fence post holes for a bamboo fence. I asked her age only to find out that she is 77 years old.  What was really unique was this superwoman of the Philippines started working around 7 am and did not stop unit about 5 pm. I was amazed at her energy level wondering if there was some way I could bottle it.
This is just one of many things I have notice about the superwoman of the Philippines. That a lot of them possess a strong drive and a willingness to do just about anything in order to get a job done.

Lots of Superwoman in the Philippines

If anybody has stayed in the Philippines for any length of time, one can easily find a superwoman of the Philippines. Just go to any town or village to find them. All over the islands there are women doing men’s tasks and at times doing just at good if not better.

Check out the video to get a better idea of just what I mean. https://youtu.be/SKB4e341i5o

Every since I have been a Philippine vlogger, I have witnessed both men and women in the roles of superman or superwoman, doing whatever it takes to get the job done to either earn money for the family or put food on the table. I am not sure of the statistics but I believe that the employment rate is a little higher than that of the men. Many of the government jobs around my home are filled by more women than men.

Subdivision

philippines subdivision

With the opening of phase three of our subdivision, I decided to check it. Phase three of the Pueblo San Antonio subdivision is only a short bike ride away so I hopped on the bike and pedaled over to it. Unfortunately it was a windy day so it really made filming with audio nearly impossible. Check out the video I made. I felt a sense of deja vu being reminded of the time Remy and I started building our first house in phase 2. I believe we were the third family to start building and the first family to complete our home and live in it.

What’s It Take to Build

While there are some subdivisions in the Philippines that sell house and lot together, our subdivision worked like this. You found the lots that were available, you put down a down payment ( about five thousand pesos).  You either paid off the note or made mostly payments for up to five years. Once you have paid off about 70 percent, the developer would issue you a certificate for a right to build. You take that certificate and head over the engineering department of you town to apply for a building permit.  A lot of people try to get around the law but if you are caught building without a building permit, the engineering department will shut you down.
In the video, you can see that there is no security in the subdivision and no street lights. For those being the first ones to build, they quickly get a sense they are on their own.
If they in the process of building, they need to hire somebody to watch over their building supplies at night. Otherwise looters will take the extra building supplies. All of these subdivisions are build on old sugar cane fields so the outside boundary surrounding the subdivision is filled with squatters and individuals who wouldn’t think twice about taking what is not theirs. When we were building we had somebody onsite 24 hours a day to watch the property and supplies.

Cost of living in Philippines-Part Two

cost-of-living-in-Philippines

In this post we go over the cost of living in Philippines for a family of five for the month of March 2016. In the prior post I mentioned that while these are our actual figures of money we spent that month, one should look at this as a guide rather than the law. Each person’s cost of living in the Philippines will be unique to them and nobody has the exact same budget which is why the amount spent varies with each Philippine expat.
If you are still trying to figure out your own amount for the cost of living in Philippines and you haven’t seen our explanation video, then check out the posting here
Now that we got that out of the way let’s go over our numbers for March.

Cost-of-living-in philppines
What is the cost of living in the Philippines?

Item one is water, we paid out 688 pesos for city water which is used for cooking, bathing and washing clothes. We do not normally drink the water unless the process involves boiling such as coffee or soup. We get our drinking water from our water business that we have going, in a true sense we basically drink the profits. The next item is my personal pain in the butt expense and that is electric. My problem with this utility is not only is it hard to estimate but it is not very reliable either. Brownouts can occur at any moment and without explanation plus the utility is free to set the cost per watt to whatever they feel like without any explanation. We had some visitors here for a month in March and along with them came a toddler, so naturally the aircon in the apartment ran 24/7. With this increase in electricity we say a jump in our March bill to 8500 pesos.
Our internet bill is somewhat consistent each month, although not as reliable as it should be, but without complaining I will say our bill was 1500 pesos. Following that is our estimated food bill for March, while I can’t say it exact, it is pretty close to what we are budgeting for so for a family of five we spent 15000 pesos on food. Keep in mind we do not eat out very often and this diet is a Filipino diet of fish, chicken, pork, rice and a little beef. If you want to eat more of an American style diet, then you should add additional money to purchase the imported foods. As part of our food budget but listed separately is the cost of 50 keg of rice which last us about a month and half and that cost 1700 pesos. I really don’t think we save that much on getting the larger size sack but it saves on having to go out and purchase more. The family members really eat the rice, three times a day, even if we have spaghetti, they will still have rice on the side. A
As far as cell phones are concerned we pay about 600 pesos a month for both Remy and my cell phone. Honestly nobody really calls me but I need the data and Remy gets the calls but rarely uses internet data. Another consistent cost each month is the cost of tuition for the youngest, 4000 pesos along with his bayad, 2000 pesos which allows for transportation and snack cost.
So how do we pay for all of this? Check out the video and not only do I go over our cost of living in Philippines for the month of March but I also go over our income for that month. I know not many expats explain where their money is coming from but I do because I want to show that it is possible to create a living in Philippines.