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Adventures in purchasing some plywood Dec 03

So, the other night I went to a friend’s house to help him set up a bed frame.

(He and I had made a trade. I gave him the bed frame for his spare Oppo F7 phone, which I gave to my girlfriend as a birthday present. The phone was practically brand new and barely used.)

We used a tape measure to get some measurements so we could buy a piece of plywood that would lay on top of the slats and under the mattress. The idea is that the plywood would more evenly distribute his weight across the slats and it would also prevent the slats from digging into his back through the mattress.

He wrote the measurements down on a piece of paper.

74 3/4″ x 5 feet.

So, now he has these numbers written on a piece of scrap of paper along with a bunch of other scribbles and notes. As a result, trying to read it was not exactly easy.

A day or two passes and we go to the hardware store across the street from our subdivision.

Well, they have the wood, but they did not have a saw to cut it. A HARDWARE STORE WITH NO SAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Before we learned about the saw, I watched him try to explain the measurements to the girl who works there. Now, I have dealt with this girl before and she is pretty sharp. However, it was still a struggle, because of the way it was written on the paper. One figure in inches and the other in feet. You could imagine the confusion that ensued.

Anyway, since they could not cut the wood for us, we took a walk to another hardware store down the street. They had the wood and they agreed to cut it for us.

So, I watched as he tried to explain these measurements AGAIN. Of course, confusion was the result again. So, I interjected myself and tried to get him to just say to them,

“74 by 60”

In other words, make life easy. seventy-four inches by sixty inches. Then, I changed it to

“Six feet by five feet.”

Seventy-two inches by 60 inches. Who cares if it is a little short. There is not much weight by his feet, so it is not a big deal if there are a couple of missing inches at the foot of the bed. Right?

So, let’s jump ahead a bit. He finally gets the measurement fiasco sorted out and chooses the type of plywood that he wants. We mill around a bit watching Heckle and Jeckle (the two Filipino store workers) try to cut this piece of plywood with a hacksaw. That did not work out too well, so one of them wises up and realizes that was the wrong tool. More accurately he realized that it was not working too well. So, he goes up to the counter and has his boss hand him the “well-used” rip saw from behind the counter.

They finally get it done and he and I set off to carry this large piece of wood back to his house. First of all, this was none too bright of an idea. We should have taken a minibus, instead, but neither of us thought of it. So, here we are trying to cross this busy street with this giant piece of wood that catches the wind like a kite.


We get it across the street without incident (sort of) and continue up the street dodging signs and parked cars and collapsed sidewalks and tires and this and that. I felt like I was navigating a war zone.

We get the wood back to his house, after a few short breaks to rest. It’s not that the wood was heavy. It was just awkward to carry and it put strain on our hands.

Getting back on track here. We get back to his house, get it inside and attempt to maneuver the wood up the stairs. With the first turn made we try to make the second turn. I get it into position and Ron slips himself into the bathroom to get a better angle on wood. This is when I realize and say,

“We should have had them cut it in half, instead.”

He just looks at me. HA HA HA HA HA

After some fancy maneuvering, we finally come to the conclusion that this was not going to happen. There just was not enough space and the wood was just too big. So, we get the wood back down the stairs and back outside.

One of us gets the idea that we can probably push it up to the second floor balcony and then haul it up and in through that door.


Well, success, but not without more fun and games.

I went inside the house and stood on the balcony. Ron lifts the wood and pushes it up to me. I grab it and pull it up. I saw the little ledge (formed by the balcony floor jutting out from under the  balcony wall. I figured I could rest the wood on that ledge while I waited for Ron to come inside and upstairs to help me get the wood over the wall, through the door and into the house. Unfortunately, I kept missing the ledge and my grip on the wood was becoming tenuous. Ron told me to lift it two inches higher and I did and found the ledge.

He heads inside and comes upstairs and helps me lift the wood over the wall, through the door and into the house. We maneuver the wood through the front room, through the hallway and into the bedroom.

Now, you would think we are home free from this point, right? LOL LOL LOL You’re a funny little optimist, aren’t you?

First, I had to wait for him to move some pillows, which was no big deal. However, you’d think that he would have had the area cleared in advance.

So, once he gets that one, we had to maneuver the plywood into position, which was easy enough. We get the mattress in place and he lays down to test it out. He gets comfortable and when he lifts himself to adjust his position we hear a cracking sound. He gets up (quickly) and we had to remove the mattress and the plywood to add a few more slats to strengthen it all up.

We put the plywood back down and the mattress and all was good from that point. Well, sort of. I still have to get the center line support (wood) pieces cut for him.

I guess it is working out fine, so far, without the center support. I am finishing up this article on December 3rd and we did all of that on November 30th. I have not heard any complaints from him since.


Month long intermittent PLDT DSL connection Jun 26
PLDT Home logo
I have been having trouble with my PLDT DSL and phone connections for about a month now. The repairman was here yesterday and said he fixed the problem. I asked him for a new modem, but he never came back (yesterday).
This morning, at about 9:15, my landline rings. I answer it, but there is nobody there, but I can hear someone outside saying, “Hello.” .I figured it was the repairman, so I run downstairs to look. I see nobody outside, and start to run back upstairs, but then I hear the guy calling my name. I stop in mid-step and open the door and let him in. Sure enough he has my new modem.
We go upstairs (where my modem is) and I pick up the phone and hand it to him. There is no dial tone again, despite his having fixed it yesterday, supposedly. He acknowledges that there is no dial tone.
He changes out my modem, phone lines and DSL filter and the phone works again and is clear (no static). However, the new modem is not connecting and has a steady red light. He calls the PLDT office to get assistance. I guess they remotely reset the modem or connection. He coordinates with them for ten minutes and they still couldn’t get it to work.
I had to work, so I could not hang around. My girlfriend is in there (with him) now. I will post an update when I get a break.
For now, and for the last week, I have been using my phone as a hot spot. I am using Globe’s 4G.


Well, I finished my first class and used my five minute break to find out what happened. Apparently, the technician was able to get it to work. So, I switched over to the modem using the network cable and we’ll see how it goes.
Luckily, I finally got the technician’s cell number and I can contact him directly if I need him. It is usually the same guy, so I guess they are assigned areas.


Well, I am able to work and browse, but I was curious to see if the speed was stable. So, I ran a speedtest. I never use Philippines servers, but I wanted to get a baseline. said that PLDT’s Manila server was my optimal server, so I used that and ran a test.  I was shocked to see a 1.5MbpS download speed. I figured maybe it was bad test, so I ran it again. Let’s just say I went from content to irate in .054 seconds. LOL I was getting a steady 1.5MbpS down. This is utterly ridiculous!!!

So, at around 10:30 AM, I texted Nico (the PLDT tech) and let him know what is going on. He called me back a couple of minutes later (on the landline). I confirmed what I texted him and he promised to go to the equipment cabinet on the street and adjust the speed. So, I am just waiting on that now.
I should have told him that the landline still had some static, but that could be the phone itself causing the problem. I would have him replace it, but that would just be an inconvenience to me, because it means I have to take time to let him in and wait for him to do the work. Considering I almost never use the phone, I don’t see the upside to having him come back and replace it. In addition, I just ordered a new cordless phone from Lazada and I am expecting that to be here in a day or two. If the static persists with the new phone, I will just call PLDT, then, to come in and fix the issue.


At about 12 PM (noon), I completely lost internet again. Either he is at the equipment cabinet adjusting my speed or the problem was not fixed. So, I sent him a text and he called back within a minute. He is at the equipment cabinet. Unfortunately, my DSL light is blinking (supposed to be steady) and the Internet light is off (supposed to be on and blinking). So, there is definitely an issue here because he said he would call back. Judging by the tone of his voice, I would say that’s not what he expected to hear.
With that being said, I was running a speed test when I discovered the connection was dead. So, I switched to using my Globe LTE data connection via my phone configured as a hot spot. Once that connected, the speed test automatically ran. Look at these speeds.


So, he comes back and climbs the telephone pole, on the corner, two houses down.  He says something about replacing my secondary wire. Then he gets in his truck and leaves, I assumed to the equipment cabinet outside my subdivision. Then, he returns, at around 1:15 PM, and climbs the telephone pole again. He comes inside to check the modem and all seemed fine. So, I ran a speed test.

 That’s what I’m talking about!!! That’s a lot better than I had before. I used to top out at 7-8 MbpS down and .6 or .7 MbpS up. So, this is a hell of an improvement.
However, the real test, for me, is a Hong Kong Server. The first run was pathetic at 2.6 MbpS down and .58 MbpS up. The second run was better, though.

Obviously, these speeds are not very good, but they are acceptable for my job.

Potentially Stellar News

Nico, the PLDT technician, asked me if I wanted fiber. OF COURSE I DO!!! So, I told him that and he asks if I applied. I told him that I went to the PLDT office in Imus and they said that not only is it NOT available in my subdivision, but they have no plans to wire it up.

Nico said he would try to get it for me and I told him that if he did then there would be a big “secret tip” in it for him. Of course, this brought a huge smile to his face.

He also told me that PLDT does have fiber right up to my subdivision’s gate. This means all Nico would have to do is run a line from the gate to the telephone pole, I assume install some equipment and then run a line to my house.

I don’t have very high hopes for him being able to pull this off, but if he was able to, I’d be ecstatic.


A colleague suggested trying the STC Hong Kong server.

More updates to come
Cell Phone Feature Wish Dec 30

I was talking to a Filipino I used to work with and she told me that she wished her cell phone / mobile phone had a feature that let her send a voice message to someone because she was sometimes too lazy to type an SMS text message.

When she said this I started to laugh and then I asked her,

“Well, why don’t you just dial the number of the person you want to message and talk to them?”

I guess this had never occurred to her because she says to me,

” Yeah. I guess I could.  Couldn’t I?”

At this I had to laugh some more.  My first instinct was to think she was a moron or just absent minded but in actuality she’s a very smart girl. Obviously, living in the Philippines gives a person a much better understanding of Filipinos and how things are done here.

Filipinos will send texts (SMS text messages) a lot more often than they will make a phone call where as in the US and other countries we prefer to talk directly to the person opposed to taking the extra time and effort to send a text.

Why do they do this? Why do things the hard way? Well, usually I would say that’s their logic system but in this case there is  very good reason for it.  Simply put text messages are cheaper.

However, things are starting to change and that trend is starting to reverse itself but it’s slow going. With the advent of the unli-plans Filipinos are changing the way they use their phones.

What’s an unli-plan you ask? An unli-plan is when you pay a flat rate to either send an unlimited number of texts in a 24 hour period or you can make an unlimited number of calls in a 24 hour period.

Typhoon Washi – Typhoon Sendong Dec 20

As of the time I wrote this there are close to 1000 dead or missing people in the wake of Typhoon Washi, or as the Filipinos have named it: Typhoon Sendong. (Yes, the Philippines is in the habit of choosing their own name for typhoons despite what the rest of the world calls them and no, I do not know why.)

At any rate it wasn’t the storm that killed people but rather the flood waters and the landslides that followed that did the damage to life and property alike. The last I heard there were some parts of Mindanao that were under 18 feet of water.


It’s always amazed me how destructive and powerful water is and when I heard this I shook my head because it seems like every Typhoon there are just certain parts of the country that get hammered. I live in Cavite about 3 miles from the coast and we only got a bit of hard rain for about a day but it was nothing major.

So here is what I don’t get. All throughout history when people were in danger where they lived or if the place they lived was unable to sustain them they would move on in search of a better place to live. So why do people nowadays live in dangerous places and stay there long after they know it’s dangerous? I mean Japan/California with the  earthquakes would be an excellent example. But here in the Philippines there are just certain places that everytime it rains hard there is a tragedy because the people stay living in a place they know will either flood or there will be mud slides. Then they blame the government or logging companies for deforestation.


Cagayan de Oro can’t use that excuse because the city is situated at sea level. The city sits at the mouth of the Cagayan deo Oro river so when there is a Typhoon the river overflows its banks and floods the city. WELL, THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE PEOPLE! This is common sense. You don’t live in a flood zone and if you do you don’t stay there!

I am not stupid. I realize you can not just abandon a city so they should take steps to build some kind of a defense against flooding. If they built flood defenses and if they’re not adequate then they either have to build more or redirect the river or SOMETHING!

I know this is a poor country and all that but this is also a very poor country and a project like that would put a lot of people to work. I think it would be an excellent infrastructure project that would definite the local and national economy. Not to mention the fact that it would save lives.

OK, so the next argument would be where would the money come from? Well, let’s see. There is millions and millions of dollars that floods into the Philippines every year from the IMF and other world organizations. We know that money isn’t being used to improve education because the public schools in the Philippines are a joke at best.  We know the money isn’t being used for public hospitals because public hospitals in the Philippines are an even bigger joke. So there is obviously money floating around in this country somewhere and it’s not being used for the public good.


Well, I am not being negative. I am being realistic. Also, I am not a spokesperson for the Philippines. I am not trying to convince anyone to move to the Philippines so I am not going to sugar coat things in an effort to make the Philippines sound like a wonderful place to live. Don’t get me wrong. I love living here….most of the time….but as with anywhere else there are drawbacks to living here. It’s not a paradise despite what the brochures say. But by that same token Hawaii is not the paradise people think it is either. Neither is Thailand, Bali, or anyplace else that has gorgeous beaches and stunning women.

Real Life Philippines Launch Dec 08

Welcome to Real Life Philippines. This site is dedicated to providing various types of information about moving to or living in the Philippines.