Samal Households Receive Solar Power {4}

Samal Households Receive Solar Power

Some of you long time readers may remember some of my early articles referencing my desire to use solar power when I got a house built on Samal. I still have a lot of interest in solar power in the Philippines, but have done next to nothing in regards to doing anything about it. Partially because it will be so far off, but also because I was not having much luck with finding solutions that would work there.

The DOE (Department of Energy) didn’t wait for me to get my act together, they have already implemented solar power for some homes on Samal Island.

HDTV Davao Region {2}

HDTV Davao Region

I don’t watch a lot of television. Some sports, an occasional movie, but mostly not very much. So what’s available in that regard there in the Davao region has never been a major concern of mine. That doesn’t mean I haven’t looked into it though.

When I do watch TV, I only watch High Def channels. One might say I’m spoiled. I’m not going to argue the fact, but after watching HDTV for the last 7 years or so, it actually gives me a headache to watch standard definition for any length of time. That’s why I found it encouraging to see that HDTV is available in Davao, and to some degree possibly Samal now.

Recycle Philippines Style {4}

Recycle Philippines Style

It’s probably a matter of economics versus any environmental concerns, but I’m really impressed with the amount of recycling done in the Philippines. No, I’m not referring to trash, though I understand that may have recently become more prominent, also.

The recycling I’m referring to has to do with items that in my lifetime have become increasingly disposable here in the United States.

ATM in the Philippines {5}

ATM in the Philippines

I’ve always been able to use my debit or credit card during my visits to the Philippines. Though it has always been a struggle to use an ATM, sometimes bordering on panic, when it appears that I may have been blocked out of using my cards.

Let me just say that the problems I encounter are, for the most part, due to not having lived in the regions that I’m visiting, and not yet experiencing what works and what doesn’t. I am sure that most expats have found reliable ATMs for their transactions on their US based cards. They have also learned the available limits and the required fees. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help the visiting tourist who doesn’t know these things. Even after many visits to the Philippines I still find myself in this later category.

Free Messaging to the Philippines from the US {0}

Free Messaging to the Philippines from the US

The Philippines has always been ahead of the curve, especially compared to the United States, in regards to text messaging. I don’t know if they still hold the title, but they are known as the texting capital of the world. We are rapidly catching up though. Just check with any teenager here. There is a good chance you will get no response on a phone call to their cell, but a text almost always returns a quick reply.

It can be pretty expensive to send an international text from the US. Some plans are better than others, but I believe my AT&T plan charges me 15 cents each way. Thankfully there are many other options now.

Power Mac Center Abreeza Mall Davao {19}

Power Mac Center Abreeza Mall Davao

As everyone in the Davao region knows already the highly anticipated Abreeza Mall had a soft opening recently. Soft as in many of the stores are not yet ready for business, but a surprising number of companies were ready. Abreeza Mall is highly anticipated in part because of the large number of “new to Davao” shops that will be tenants there.

I’ve mentioned Starbucks before, and I understand that they are open for business, marking the the first location in Davao for this famous coffee retailer. Starbucks will have some competition from the locals and from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, another well known international company which also opens it’s first Davao store in the Abreeza Mall.

Electric Home Shower {4}

Electric Home Shower

One of the many things I have not yet adapted to in regards to my potential retirement in the Philippines is the lack of hot water in many places. For sure it isn’t nearly as necessary there as it is here. It is really more of a comfort level that I probably need to get over. The main area that the lack of hot water seems to affect me is in the shower.

Since I’ve stayed at numerous different cities, and all sorts of different kinds of accommodations, I’ve encountered both instances of hot showers and cold only showers. I still MUCH prefer the hot shower, even in the hot humid climate of the Philippines. It may be something I could probably adapt to after a period of adjustment, but during my short visits there I find myself seeking out a hot shower if I had stayed too long at a lodging that didn’t have one.

Our Menu Has Recently Changed {0}

Our Menu Has Recently Changed

I’m not sure I’ve ever called a company that has an automated message system that hasn’t had their menu change recently. Must be difficult to keep the menu the same, because no one, I mean NO ONE, can do it.

I’m no fan of these automated systems in the first place. They go under the guise of being a service for the customer, when if fact they are nothing but a convenience for the company you are calling. They are supposed to get you the information you are looking for, or to the department that can get you that information, but more often than not they are just delaying your trip to a “live” person.