The house

Ok. This is my time to write something and I hope it will be enjoyed by the readers who read this.

I guess that I should get back to my place in Talisay and finish what I was doing before I got side tracked in the mountains getting stuck. The house I built is on the outskirts of town. So it is a 10 minute walk to the Barangay Hall and another 5 minutes to the public school.

The house is located on about 460 sq. meter of land about 40 meters from the highway. We are surrounded by the Gingoog Bay on two sides. At high tide the water is on 3 side of the property and at low tide there is no water in sight just the mangroves so we cannot see anything beyond the trees. So, at low tide I can walk to the open water of the bay it is about 30 meters from the dry land behind the house. From there you can see the mountains in the west and Camiguin Island; it’s about 50 -60 kilometers N by NW from where I live. It’s a nice view on a clear day!

Me and a very  long diwit fish
Me and a very long diwit fish

Ok back to the house again, it is a cement block house and a tin roof unpainted. It measure 10×15 meters with 7 rooms. Kitchen and living combo, 2 cr’s.  No running water yet, and one room for the wardrobes. 3 bedrooms are entered thru this room too and a pantry area that isn’t finished yet.

I have made several changes since I moved here. The first major change was moving the front door. As in all construction projects a lot of things need to be done before you do what you were planning on doing. Cause when I got here we had 2 bedrooms and one was mine and the other was for everyone else – 4 kids and a househelper all sleep on the floor on mats. We had 2 wardrobes that separated the kitchen from their sleeping area. They had one little window and it was hot in their room even with a fan on. So in the old living room I made 2 bedrooms, one for the boys and one for the girls. Made the their bedroom in to a living room and then I could move the door over to the new living area, and I put the window were we removed the door and in the old dining area I put the 2 wardrobes.

Kitchen area was made smaller and I put in a counter top which separates the kitchen area from the living area.

Her dad, a helper and an Uncle did most of the work. I supplied the materials, food and Tanduay. It took about 2 weeks to do everything so far and I was pleased with the work done.

The next project, which I did myself, was moving the kitchen door to the back of the house as it was it was on the south side and I wanted it on the back so we didn’t have to walk around the house to do the washing. I had to remove 3 ft. of counter. The counter was made of concrete and about 5 inches thick..So I got out my hammer and chisel and started to cut out a chunk of the countertop where  I was going to put the door. This countertop was really hard and had rebar in it so it took me all day to do it, well about 4 hours and I took breaks too,  remember I am retired too. No hurry.

When that was done I then removed the wall area and moved the door frame from the side and put it in rehung the door and it looks good. In all it took me about 3 days to do it start to finish including cleaning up the concrete dust and washing the floor, now we can go from the house to the washing area without walking around the house.

Ok I’ll stop here cause it still have to cement and cover the wash area, build a manok house , baboy pens ,water drains, dig a well, install electric water pump, plumbing and put in a garden.

All this is yet to come oh and put up a fence.

Thank you for reading this episode hope you enjoyed it….Phil

Post Author: PhilR (9 Posts)

Being of sound mind (some people would give you a good argument on that, I’m sure, hee hee) and good moral person. (Only god knows for sure) I come from a long line of Irish. I was born and raised in Crossingville Pa.USA... went to school and until 1970 was drafted in 71 served 3 years in army ,stationed in Virginia beach, Virginia at Fort story Va. the post is on the beach half in the Atlantic and half in Chesapeake bay discharged in 74 then I bummed around for a couple years . I got a job doing construction work, joined the carpenters Union in 1999 and did it until 2009 when the economy went to hell in a handbag I retired and moved to the Philippines I meet Jessica in Aug. of 2005 on the internet visited her 2 times before I moved here. She had a house built in the winter of 2006-2007 started in Oct. and we were in it in Feb. 14- 07... I sold my organic farm in the states and moved here for good in June 2009 and been here ever since...So far so good... Nice weather and no snow too.

49 Ways to Make a Living without a Job


  1. RandyL says

    Hey PhilR, sounds like you have no trouble keeping yourself busy. Like you we are building our home in Samar Province, just a 100 meters from the ocean. Our house is on a 200sm lot with about 135sm of house. My brother in law is the contract overseer and lives 2 houses down from our lot. He purchases all the materials as we direct him and he subs out most of the labor. We are about 80% complete and are plugging along at a carabao’s pace at the moment. We made a trip to inspect the house in April and outlined some minor changes (as you so accurately indicated) and overall, were pleased with the progress that has been made so far. I am currently painting our home here in the USA, preparing it for market and once we get it sold, we will make our move and finish our home there. Then I will continue my employment as the Empress’ own court jester. My first assignment will be as the compound carpenter, and I will be directed to create and build the outdoor living area and amenities (and anything the Empress sees fit for me to do). I will live out my days ‘under Bisaya’ and will be compensated well with a sustenance of food and brew, sunshine and warm temperatures. I may also get lucky and find time for some fishing.

  2. Scott Fortune says

    Phil, it sounds like you’re pretty early on in your construction projects, with many more articles to come. I look forward to reading about your progress.

  3. says

    You’re fortunate you know how to construct things. I bought a towel rack five years ago, still haven’t tackled installing it yet. Being able to do your own cement and structures is admirable, and a real money-saver. My g/f and I have spent quite a bit getting 15 piggy pens built, plus a small Nipa-hut. Looks like you’ve found your bliss!! Enjoy! :)

    • PhilR. says

      i work in the mornings when it is cool then have a beer when it is hot .. I do most of the work myself and some times the 2 boys will help ..

  4. PalawanBob says

    Personally, I am not doing any work around the house because I have the bad habit of injuring myself whenever I do it. Besides, the wages are so low here that I almost feel guilty doing anything myself.

    Soon (less than one year) I will have a big and unusual project starting.
    The underground doomsday bunker… no, I am not joking.
    In about two years time I will post the photos for the non-believers.
    By that time, most of you will also understand me.

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      If you are right in your prediction, mankind as we know it may not be around to enjoy the photos you will be posting in about two years from now, Robert. You alone will have to bear the awesome responsibility of replicating life on this planet all over again. :(

      • Papa Duck says

        Have you been watching Doomsday Preppers on TV to a good idea of what you want in a bunker? I guess i will just ride it out.

        • Florida Boy says

          I think its wise to be in the Philippines if you are going to be a doomsdayer. My brother was a serious doomsdayer here in Florida and he was all set up for the apocalypse. Unfortunately his family had him hauled off to the loony bin. I hear now after their treatments on him he is probably never getting out. I know this sounds like a movie script, but sometimes real life is tough to take.
          I looked into Alaska to live out my older years and feel like a free man, but my wife hates the cold weather and she is from the Philippines. So i guess thats my next choice.

  5. Robert J. says

    Hi Phil,
    I don’t believe boredom will be a problem for you in the Philippines. By the way, you look a little like Harrison Ford posing with that fish.

  6. Papa Duck says

    You make me tired just reading about all the work you have done to your house. Good luck on finishing it up. Have a nice day.

  7. Mark G. says

    Thanks Phil,
    As I haven’t migrated there yet the posts of the folks here on LIP keep me connected to the Philippines on a daily basis. It’s nice to read about what kind of things occur in everybodies life over there. Keep writing I’ll keep reading!

  8. Philip says

    Hey good article and with a name like Phil how can you go wrong, LOL it sounds like you have been very busy I am not sure of where you live but it sounds a great place my brother he is over there in Cebu and he has found some nice places as well he is a beach person like me although we had a mixture of bush and beach so like them both. I hope your house is going great and it sounds like you are having fun doing it what is that animal you have with you it has a head like an emu which we have here, also how safe is it there where you are living compared to USA or Australia or other countries Phil?? Anyway good luck with all good article keep writing and informing everyone of how the house is going did you have to buy the land and put the title in your wifes name or what is the go there Phil and how much does it cost to build a house there ???? just making an enquiry take care there

    • PhilR. says

      I’m living in northern Mindanao,east of Cagayan de oro , in Gingoog city ,brangay of talisay …it is pretty safe been here 3 years so far ..

  9. Philip says

    Ah sorry Phil I read the fine print sorry again it is a fish over here we call them Long Toms they have sharp teeth or Moray EELS are similar if you catch one though it is bets to let them go from a safe distance if you want to be able to hold your asawa’s hand that night great article

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