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Halloween here in the Philippines is a bit different than in the United States. There, it’s all about dressing up like zombies, hobos, and Hello Kitty and strong arming loads of sugary comestibles off of you neighbors. Here, they really don’t do all that. Instead, it’s All Saints, where Filipinos from all over the country travel to cemeteries to pay their respects to family and loved ones. It’s a big thing – logistically and travel wise, it’s a HUGE thing, and the Philippines developing transportation system is put to the test.
Michell and I were invited to our friends, Ron and Lucy’s home in nearby Sibulan for a little get together to share food and good company. The ladies were asked to dress up a bit, but – perhaps knowing us – the guys were told just to show up. (It’s hard enough for us to sling on shorts and t-shirts in the morning – forget the formalities involved in donning a costume….).
Ron and Lucy purchased the land for their home back in 2008 and built it in 2012. Ron is a retired construction contractor, so the house was built according to his specifications. It’s hollow block, but a bit more rigid than most, and boasts a wide open kitchen/dining/living area, two spacious bedrooms, two baths (CR’s) and two other rooms that they use for storage. The kitchen is nice as they have Western counter tops and actually have a stove! And I know the stove works like a charm as I had quite a few pieces of Ate Luch’s homemade apple pie. Dang, I haven’t had real pie for quite some time. Super-delish. Ron also had Western-type insulated windows installed which helps a lot in keeping the house cool. Most importantly, he made sure that the roof was painted a light color to reflect most of the heat and adequately vented, which is something we don’t have at Pink House. /sad face……
A good number of folks showed up (Michell’s brother among them) and once the mandatory Facebook photo sessions were completed, everyone dug in. It was pot luck and there was more than enough food to go around. Following the feasting, folks broke off to chat, indulge in karaoke and dance. It was quite nice, and thanks again to Lucy and Ron for inviting us over!!!
People often ask about building homes and buying property in the Philippines. Please remember that as of this time, a foreigner still cannot own land in the Philippines, so it has to go in his wife’s name. Expats kvetch about this a lot, but if just anyone could buy land in the Republic, vast swathes of it would soon be snatched up by foreign investors. Building labor costs are low here, but since Ron built it extra heavy duty and up to spec with his electrical, windows, doors and reinforced walls, he paid about $50,000 USD putting it together. The one downside is that the backfill used to raise the lot is mostly sand and gravel, so it’s gonna take a bit more work to get things green and pretty all around the lot.
But, hey, that’s what retirement is for, right? Giving yourself something to do.
## Thought of giving it all up, taking that retirement or pension money and moving to a tropical paradise? Get the good and the bad on making such a move over here at myphilippinedreams!##