Brownout Blues, Drone (In)Decisiveness and Sponsorship Surprises

Brownout Blues
You know, for someone who is supposed to have his shit together when it comes to ‘All Things Philippines,’ I still have a disturbing tendency to screw up.  As Exhibit One, let me present myself sweating out a Sunday, sitting on my bed and typing up this blog entry as a nine hour brownout slowly winds itself down.  It’s three o’clock right now, and the power is scheduled to go back on at five.  Two hours to go until I can enjoy a hot shower and turn on a fan.  Ugh, it seems like forever.  Thankfully, with the measures that I have taken to block the unremitting tropical sun, the house isn’t all that uncomfortable….

Our local power company (NORECO) is very good at announcing upcoming all-day brownouts on their Facebook page, usually at least three or five days ahead of time.  Once-a-month maintenance brownouts are always on Sundays, so I regularly check their page on Thursday or Friday.  Not this time, however.  And although knowledge of a brownout won’t stop it from happening, it’s nice to be able to take a hot shower before the power conks out, charge up my phone, tablet and laptop and make plans for something to do other than sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself.  My plan for the next brownoutI had been to head across the island to Santa Catalina for some photography. (Santa Catalina is just a bit south of Bayawan where I last got some nice photos like the ones seen in this blog entry).  Since nothing was charged, I couldn’t book a hotel online and there were some threatening clouds to the northwest, I just kinda collapsed back into bed, read a bit and later headed off to Gabby’s Bistro to charge up my phone and woof down a quick brunch. 

One nap and a bit of cleanup around the house later, and I am now counting down the last few hours writing this blog entry.  Oh, and I’ll probably mow the lawn in an hour or so.  What an exciting life, eh?

Oh, and since Henry Velez of LifeBeyondtheSea moved from Dumaguete yesterday, I am naming this the Henry Velez Memorial Brownout.

Good luck, Henry!!


Drone (In)Decisiveness
I really want a drone, specifically a DJI Mavic Pro.  I’ve been thinking about for quite a while and my reluctant brain has finally decided that it’s time to get it done. The closest DJI store is in Cebu, and they’ve got the Mavics in stock.  The store does not do Cash on Delive ry, however, so you either have to travel there to purchase it on site or send them a bank transfer and hope that they actually send it to you.  The business that I am dealing with is called Macy’s Camera Shop, and thus far their customer support has been very good.  Now, sending a bank transfer to someone you’ve never met is never a good idea, and even though they’ve got 130,000 likes (yes, 130,000) on their Facebook page and gushingly positive reviews, I am still a bit nervous about sending 67,000 pesos to another person’s account and hope that I get the drone in return.  In speaking with Filipinos, however, I guess this sort of thing is done all the time – they just say to make sure the Facebook page and website are legit and that the account you are sending it to is an actual business account.  In order to send money from one bank to another, you have to actually go to the bank and authorize the third party transfer.  During that process, the teller will note the name on the account and whether or not it is a business.  In this case, the bank rep showed me that the business name on the account is actually “Macy’s Camera Shop and Beauty Salon.”  Hmmmmm…. In that case I just might send a little extra to have my hair done.

Oh yeah, those hair jokes never get old.

Alternatively, I could go there and purchase it directly from the store.  A buddy of mine from the US is actually going to be in Cebu in a couple weeks, so maybe I will just wait until he gets here.  I am going to visit him there in the Queen City of the Philippines, so maybe that’s a better course of action.   Just gonna have to lug it back to Dumageute on the ferry.  Not a biggie.

I used to be indecisive, now I’m not so sure…..

Sponsorship Suprises
I actually got two inquiries on the other day from companies looking to sponsor ads on my website.  Now, even though I have ‘weekly corporate sponsors’ on my Livecasts, I have never had anyone actually offer to sponsor ads.  So, having two in one day was kinda cool.  Oh yeah, baby – the big money should be rolling in anytime now.

Anytime now……

OK, it’s 4 PM and the power just went back on – an hour.  Woo-hoo!  Time to mow the lawn and follow it up with a nice hot shower.  I am planning on heading down to the boulevard a bit later to catch the photography ‘magic hour’ and work on my DSLR portrait skills.  Sunday nights on the boulevard are the best as it is basically ‘family night’ and the one day off that most house help gets a week – the waterfront is usually packed with people who typically don’t mind an eccentric foreigner sticking a camera lens in their face.  Speaking of which, the photo just below was taken on one of those Sunday nights.  It’s a favorite of mine for a number of reasons, the main one being the simple joy that I was able to capture in that moment of time.

Be well, fellow dreamers.


  1. Consider the DJI Spark.
    I’ll be coming back to the PI this nnext month and one of my hobbies is Photography as well.

  2. I’ve met Henry like you around town a few times. Funny how he tries to project the image of some world weary nomadic traveller:) I don’t think he’d ever left South California before he came here. As far as I know he’s lived on Macton (dump), Bohol, walked everywhere & except for the drive down to Negros oriental & a trip to that dump Boracay it’s hard to to to think of the guy as a “seasoned” traveller.

      1. I think what Henry is, is an observer of people and I have found his observations of people helpful because my experience in interacting with different people and their cultures and behaviours as a minefield that I usually have problems with because I am too trusting.
        On the whole I found his videos on Mactan and Bohol extremely helpful in understanding some parts of Filipino culture but I still make mistakes as many Expats do.

  3. Those drones fly themselves talaga. Just make sure you sync it to the satellites properly. When in doubt, RTFM. Or watch hours upon hours of YouTube.

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