Sabbatical {4}


This coming August I’ll have lived in the Philippines for two years. The time has gone fast. I’ve had many new experiences – some good, some bad and many in-between. For a variety of reasons the time has come. I’m going on a sabbatical.

According to the dictionary that term may not be technically correct. Maybe a more accurate description would be “I’m taking a break.” The impetuous for my break wasn’t actually my frustration level with living here, but the timing in that regard is good. At least it appears that way.

Davao City’s Organic Farm {0}

Davao City’s Organic Farm

I realized that though I’ve been going to Wynward Organic Vegetable Garden for a few months now, I’d never gotten around to writing about it. That’s unfortunate, because this is really a gem for Davao.

There are other organic farms in the region, but this one is right in Davao City. It’s located in the Regina Compound right behind Abreeza. It’s not easy to find, follow the link above and check out the map. It’s a short distance down the first right (where the tricycles are) as you enter the compound. If you are into organic herbs and vegetables, it’s worth the effort to find it.

Bankerohan Bridge Work {2}

Bankerohan Bridge Work

Those traveling across town in Davao would be wise to consider alternative routes as reconstruction of the Bankerohan Bridge (Governor Generoso Bridge II) was finally started a couple of weeks ago. I had the unfortunate experience of crossing it on the day the rehab started. Traffic was so congested that day that I got off the jeepney, just past Matina Town Square, and walked past Bankerohan to catch another jeepney. On a positive note, the walk wasn’t that difficult. Somewhat enjoyable, other than the fact the I was upset for sitting on the jeepney for about an hour to get from NCCC Mall to just past MTS.

Since the work has begun the situation varies from very congested to not really noticeable. It appears they are closing the rehabbed side completely on some days, but only partially on others.

Do You Really Want To Live In Mindanao? {24}

Do You Really Want To Live In Mindanao?

If you have your heart set on living in the Philippines, Mindanao in particular, are you sure Mindanao is where you want to be? No, I’m not referring to the notion that it’s dangerous here; all the (rare) activities that make the news – bombings, kidnappings, political killings, etc. I’m referring to the infrastructure.

Specifically I’m referring to the power supply issues, though the congested roads and flooding issues due to development are real problems, too.

Why Litter? {4}

Why Litter?

I remember two national campaigns that were popular when I was a kid. One was the Smokey the Bear “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” and the other was the anti littering campaign “Every Litter Bit Hurts”, among other themes from Keep America Beautiful. Possibly it was my impressionable age, but those have always stuck with me. Particularly being a litterbug. It really bothers me.

There isn’t the same feeling of guilt displayed here for littering. No, it’s common place and as far as one can tell there is no thought given it whatsoever. Trash is thrown anywhere and everywhere. That’s not to say that some of it doesn’t get cleaned up. I think in many cases here in Davao, in particular areas, they do a decent job of cleaning up the trash (basura).

Sikwate {6}


The local drink made from native cacao has many names. I often use sikwate, but you will hear it called native chocolate, tsokolate, tskolate, tabelya, etc. Tableya is really the tablets before the drink is made, but some still refer to the drink in that manner. Regardless of the name used, it’s a treat.

When I first moved here I was making sikwate every morning. I found that to be a little too much, and have since resisted making it at home. I reserve my consumption for when I’m out and about, for the most part. Thankfully I’ve found a few places that make it.

The Moppers {2}

The Moppers

This one I understand. At least I understand the reason they exist. It’s not for cleanliness, as one might assume, it’s the creation of a job.

Moppers are everywhere. They can be incredibly frustrating at times, as they seem to hang out in the same place and can make it extremely difficult to maneuver around. Many times they don’t care. They’ve probably been in that spot for hours, and whether you need to pass isn’t a big concern to them. At least that is the impression I’m left with.

Davao Scheduled Brownouts {9}

Davao Scheduled Brownouts

Brownouts are part of life here in the Philippines. Those of us that live in, or near, the bigger cities are generally spared the frequency that those in the outer areas experience them. That’s recently changed for us in the Davao area.

It seems we’ve been put on a scheduled rotation with daily brownouts. The terms brownout and blackout are used interchangeably here, and I’ve heard various opinions in regards to the terms, but what I’m going to use for now is – brownout = scheduled, blackout = unscheduled. Regardless of the term you are fond of, we’ll be without electricity, and therefore water after 30 minutes, for 1-2 hours daily. For how long? That hasn’t been stated specifically, but potentially until the next power plant comes on board.