Life in Roxas City

Retired & Raising my son in Roxas City


7 Comments

Day 150

019Yes if you are looking at the exterior view of our retirement home and comparing to day 133 there appears to be little change. However we are very happy to bring you this update. There actually has been quite a change to the exterior of our home but the main accomplishments have taken place inside.

Our apartment building located on the beach here in Roxas City has been sold. The effective date is Oct 1st and on that date construction will start here renovating the building. It is going to be a messy situation. Therefore we have instructed our foreman to concentrate his and the crew’s efforts on the interior. We will then be able to transfer and allow them to finish the exterior once we are in our house. We are currently looking at Oct 12 for a move in date. And yes Eden is very happy! Having a 21 months old dictates we need more room. In addition there are many household goods  packed away in which she is looking forward to as there just is not enough room in the apartment to unpack all the boxes.

With that said an update on construction is warranted. The exterior is actually coming along nicely. About two thirds of the exterior is painted. The tiles on the rear service area, lanai and front porch are installed. The carport will be installed later. The rock cladding covering the from porch planters is almost complete. 021

016

008Tri Star Glass has been working for a couple of weeks installing our windows, screens and today installed the sliding door next to the lanai. It took a couple of weeks to manufacture as we ordered tempered glass and it is only available in Manila many islands away. Therefore as of tonight we only have one window left to be installed and then screens. We have made the decision to order a screen door for the service area and shower doors from Tri Star also.

005

This leads us inside where we are pleased with the progress in the last two weeks. The tiles in both CRs (comfort rooms) have been completed. They do lack grout as does the entire house and this will be accomplished soon. The entire interior has been painted however it will get on last coat on the walls and ceilings as the doors and moldings are painted.  All interior electrical has been installed and is functioning. This includes light, power sockets and switches and ceiling fans.

009

014

015

012Eden’s focus has always been on the kitchen. We are happy to say it is coming along nicely. This house will have more cabinets and counter space then our previous two homes together. A nice addition will be a breakfast bar and stools. We will finally have the granite counter tops we have always desired. It is going to be an enjoyable kitchen to prepare meals together and now we will have the space needed without getting in each others way…lol.

010

011The kitchen still has a way to go and the plumbing fixtures must be installed throughout the house. Doors will be hung and touch ups made and then Jehovah willing we can move in. Hopefully the next update will have us on the verge of moving in to our retirement home in Roxas City.


6 Comments

Day 133

I know I know I know it has been some time since I updated the progress of the construction of our retirement home. But I have a great excuse. I am the engineer, the contractor, the bargain hunter, the delivery man and the overseer. Man that is a lot of titles but it does keep me rather busy. Thus after arriving home rescuing Eden from Reez and wrestling with him I am normally to wore out to work on the blog.

9-5-13

We have made great strides since our last visit. We are happy to say the roof is completely installed, adjusted, insulated and touched up. I am happy with the light almond color and the double sided fiberglass insulation as it is really cool under the roof. Our original roof design was lacking gutters however with the change I decided to include gutters and I think when it really rains I will be happy with that decision.

005 (22)

As of today the granite tiles are completely installed. These tiles are laying on the floor of the sala (living room), kitchen/dining and both bedrooms. As I left the house this afternoon work was beginning on the tile installation in the master cr (bathroom). These are ceramic tiles and will cover the floor and most of the walls and shower with a different pattern. I assume the common cr will be started tomorrow by the other tile setter.

002 (28)

The ceilings are coming along nicely. The sala and both bedrooms are hung including the recesses and are being prepped for paint. The kitchen will most likely be started tomorrow as the tiles setter has now vacated that area.

The foreman and electrician are stringing wire at a rapid pace. We have numerous outlets, switches, fans and lights to be powered. In fact I believe the house has over thirty recessed pin lights alone.

The fencing has come along also. The rear is completed except painting and some security spikes to be welded on the top. The front concrete work is pretty much complete with the exception of paint. Metal and gates will be added later.

There is still much remaining such as plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, paint etc but it is really nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We hope you are enjoying our insight into Life in Roxas City.


3 Comments

WOW! What a trip.

ImageWe took a wonderful trip this past weekend. It involved an inter island jaunt here in the land of 7,107 islands. Our destination was Cebu the second largest city in the Philippines. It was certainly a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience. The occasion was our first Circuit Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Traveling here in the Philippines can be quite the adventure. Our destination as I mentioned was the city of Cebu on the island of Cebu. Cebu is perhaps only 300 kilometers give or take from our home in Roxas City. Our apartment (current home) is only 3 kilometers from the airport however there are no direct flights from Roxas City to Cebu. We therefore had to take a bus ride to the airport in Iloilo City. It is a short distance of 100 kilometers or one third the overall distance we needed to travel. We have taken this bus route many times over the years when visiting family.

Since arriving here in January I have made the round trip once and Eden quite a few times visiting her parents in Legennes outside Iloilo. We had yet to take Reez on the trip as it is a little different than a 100 kilometer bus trip in the States. The ride is always an adventure. Experiences include a 3 to 3 1/2 hours jouney to cover 100 kilometes (62 miles). Add bus breakdowns, flooded roads, the never ending road repairs (needed or not), non stop rain and the various slow moving transportation methods used locally and you have quite the adventure.

Well this was Reez’s first trip and he and the bus performed admirably. No breakdowns, rain or floods. Of course the road repairs and interesting road traffic including cows, chickens, dogs and goats kept the trip at 3 hours. As for Reez he really enjoyed the trip. He was so well behaved and really enjoyed watching the country side roll by and all the interesting people.

Next was the cab ride from the bus terminal to the airport. Reez loves to ride in cars as he sits in his dad’s lap and puts his forehead against the window gazing at the sights. By the way the cab ride to the airport from the terminal to the airport cost twice the bus fair.

Once we arrived at the airport check in was a breeze and we enjoyed lunch. A short wait and we boarded our plane after a good shock to my system. Now I have flown since I was about 4 or 5 years old except for about a 10 or 15 year period where I refused to fly because i was deathly scared of flying. To set matters straight I am still scared to death of flying but the love of my life caused me to face my fears and now I am flying when the need arises. Back to the story, we walk down the stairs at the boarding gate, walk out on the tarmac to the plane which by the way is a normal routine around these parts and lo and behold what is waiting for us but a prop plane. Yeah a plane with two propellers. Something I have not set foot in since probably  the sixties and it was small by today’s standards anyway. Well after calming my fears once again we had an uneventful flight and landed in Cebu 35 minutes after takeoff. Remember now the first third of the trip took 3 hours and now the last two thirds of the trip lasted 35 minutes. You gotta love traveling in the Philippines.

We stayed at a nice hotel and had some good food. Sure was nice not to cook and clean for a few days. We all enjoyed the break and spending time together without the normal household chores.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

However the highlight of the journey that I spent so much time detailing was the spiritual food that Jehovah provided at the 2013 Circuit Assembly. The spiritual food was based on the theme “Safeguard your mind”. As always our God knows exactly what we need at the right time and this assembly was no exception. We just recently switched from the local language congregation to the English group and it was certainly so uplifting to hear so many talks in english. It really is true we learn and understand so much better when it is our own language. I think Eden really enjoyed it also as her dialect is different from our local dialect.

Now for those that are interested being in the English Group  in this branch is different then being in a foreign language congregation in the States. Here we are labeled as english but we serve as the Foreign Language group. We are currently preaching and teaching all the speak english including Americans, Canadians, Germans, Australians, Dutch and any other english speaking individual. Then we are conversing with Koreans, Chinese (mandarin) and Punjabi (Indian). As there are no groups for these ones the responsibility is ours to distribute written material to them in their language. In fact a recent Bible study was started by a Filipino member of our group with a Punjabi. It should prove to be interesting. We are certainly excited about the work ahead.

We attended the assembly with our friends the Azarraga family. Ely is one of two elders in our English Group. He has become a friend and we really enjoyed spending time with them including our ride home together from Iloilo forgoing the bus adventure this time. He really has his hands full as one of only two elders in our group, a wife whose kidneys do not work and a daughter born without sight. But what a happy family.  The other family and five single brothers and sisters in our group were unable to attend most likely due to financial constraints.

038


7 Comments

Day 114

 

Here we are Day 114. As you see in the following picture the steel framing for the roof is well on its way. ImageIt has been quite the journey as it has entailed many trips to the supply house, the painting of the metal to prevent rust from the ocean air and then of course the layout, cutting and welding. We are just a few days away from installing the roof panels that will keep us nice and dry.

Most other work by our regular crew has been taken place outside of the house due to saftey concerns with the roofers above. However quite a bit of preparation has been accomplished on the walls getting them ready for paint. In addition the rear wall (fence) has been constructed safely away from the welding.

It is interesting that as we get deeper into the construction that we are now managing how many changes we would like to make to the design from  which we started. Such things as tile, roof and window selections.

With that in mind we will see what we end up with here in Roxas City.


2 Comments

Day 105

8-8-13Finally! Finally! Finally! Day 105.

Yes it has been twenty-two long days since our last update on the construction of our retirement (if you consider raising a two year old boy retirement) home here in Roxas City. But with day 105 comes some good news. All of the concrete work with the exception of a few feet of remaining driveway and the fence to surround the house is complete. This entails all of the foundation, floors, walls, carport cover and septic system. It has been a long haul for many reasons. Some of which has been discussed here and even more which we will leave for another day.

With the completion of the concrete we are now prepared to install the roof. In fact this week my new roofing contractor has started painting and assembling the metal trusses that will form the structural steel components of the roof. Here on the island we use primed and painted metal as opposed to wood as the termites would have the roof falling on top of your heads during your favorite TV hour in no time. The aluminium and zinc coated roof panels will arrive next week ready for installation.

During our twenty-day roller coaster ride we discovered why our good crew was slowing down with the pace of work thus delaying results. The contractor from Cebu was either slowing paying the crew many of which are his relatives or not paying them at all. Therefore their attitude was why work hard if we might not get paid this week. It then came to light that he was not paying suppliers thus slowing the material deliveries.

Finally after many weeks of inquires it came to light that he was in the middle of committing ESTAFA deception and fraud of five clients, numerous suppliers, investors and employees. Basically he stole a lot of money.

Therefore there is a new contractor in town…ME! So much for retirement at least for a couple of months. After a two week test with the crew from Cebu that has been working on our home we have retained them to finish the work. It is amazing how much work can be accomplished by a motivated and properly paid crew. We have full confidence that they will finish the project by the mid October deadline. In fact the foreman is traveling to Cebu this weekend to return with two painters, a carpenter and electrician bringing the crew’s number to twelve.

So here we are. The concrete is finished and now being prepared for painting. The roof is being constructed and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off (no offense to all animal lovers) locating supplies, pricing and purchasing in a foreign land. Actually I am enjoying it challenging as it may be.

Until next time take care and thanks for visiting us here as we live Life in Roxas City.


3 Comments

Day 83

ImageThe number 83. I always have associated this number with my short high school football career. The remaining two things I remember are I was to small and I disliked the violence associated with playing the game. However now that I am off the field I still yell ROLL TIDE!

As the title of this post suggests we are at day 83 of our construction. I must say a large amount has been accomplished since the last time we checked in. As you can see from the above photo things are really going up.

The entire second lift of AWS panels have been installed with the exception of the front left which has been waiting on the cladding or rock to be installed on the columns. I am happy to say the product is here and is being installed as you can see  in the photo.

I would say about one third of the second lift has been filled with cement and that work continues each and every day. The top half of the septic tank that has been sitting in the living room for a couple of weeks was installed this week. The covers will be fashioned another day.

So after 83 days, many delays due to supplies or elections and rain we can certainly see good progress being made. We are slowly getting excited about moving and living in our own house here in Roxas City.


2 Comments

Day 77

Wow I have missed you. True it has been 17 days since I saw you. It has been so long I had to retreat and reread my last entry to refresh myself on our relationship. Of course I am talking about my blog series concerning the construction of our house here in Roxas City.

When we last visited the crew was hard at work installing the first lift of absolute wall panels. Everything was going quite well until our same ole problem raised its ugly head again. You guessed it supplies. It seems the rough plumbing materials sent with the beginning of the project lacked some much needed compliments.  After numerous attempts to secure the parts our foreman made a boat trip back to Cebu securing the much needed supplies and having a heart to heart with the person in charge of material acquisition.

Whoa!!! Wait a minute! Less I forget! I admit I cannot blame the entire delay on the supplies. There was one BIG THING that caused a one day delay. The storm. A tropical storm that rolled through a couple of islands over but caused quite a sustained wind here for about an hour and a lot of rain. The storm came on a Saturday which happens to be the crew’s rest day. I did not visit the site after the storm blew through. In fact I did not even think about the camp except to mention to Eden I felt bad for those guys spending their off day in the rain. I will defend my selfishness with the simple excuse that our kitchen window which is located beach side and for those that are not aware it is only thirty feet from the beach will not close. Therefore the storm brought with it sixty mile an hour winds and about three inches of rain deposited on the floor, appliances and anything else it could find. With this in mind I forgot about the site and camp and spent about four hours cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. Oh and mopping…LOL.

Now with the excuse made let’s get to the site. It is amazing how fast we put the past behind us. By the next morning I show up at the site to see what work was happening that day. What a dummy. As I came around the corner looking for signs of work I was greeted by destruction. Not the house as it is solid concrete but the camp and storage area were destroyed. I did not have my camera with me that morning as I take pictures in the evening therefore I can not show the destruction but I do have pictures of the bunkhouse before and now. Needless to say there was a large amount of work going on just not the kind I expected. I guess the RBC side of me kicked in and we spent the rest of the day reconstructing the camp. I am sure this camp can take quite a storm. Maybe not a typhoon but a good storm. With his crew snug as a bug in a rug the next morning the foreman left for Cebu.

003 (6) 007 (6) 011 011 (8) 013 (8)

Upon his return we had a large supply of crushed rock, sand and cement delivered. Along with the needed roughing in supplies work has once again moved at a great pace. Of course the crew had many sides projects to work on while the materials saga took place and that work would have had to been completed some time so no problem. This included pouring the carport, preparing the lanai for the concrete pavers and setting the septic tank.

014 (5)012 (8) 014 (4) 017 (6) 024 (4) 022 (5)

Since the foreman returned all of the rough plumbing and electrical has been competed and the first lift of walls have been completely installed with the exception of a small portion behind the decorative columns. Again we are waiting on material. In this case the rock work that will adorn the columns, planters and fence columns. The rear of the columns must have the rock installed before the wall can be placed as there is not enough room to work behind them.

012 (7)6-26-13

With that completed this week the crew has started installing the second lift of panels. What a difference that has made. The house is gaining  height. In fact Reez’s room has all the walls extended to the second lift. It looks like a real room! This takes the height of the rooms to eight feet however there is a third lift of walls to be installed that will bring the over all height of the ceilings to 2.8 meters. That height is inside the recessed ceilings in the sala (living room) and two bedrooms.

0017-11-13

This process of installing the second lift which includes electrical rough in, rebar setting, along with the normal measuring and aligning plus the pouring of concrete inside the panels is going to take a couple of weeks to complete. This needs to move along as the roofing company called this week and wants to install the roof the first week of August. That sounds great to us but I kinda doubt it will happen then. It would be nice because the contract states the entire home will be completed the third week of August but we all know that is not going to happen…LOL.