“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy, prosperous and healthy 2015

Image result for 2015

The year 2014 is almost over and a new year is coming.

I wish all readers of my blog a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.

Looking back to 2014 the following came into my mind.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Baker in San Carlos

One of the things I am always struggling with since I live here in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan, is bread.

Pinoy bread is sweet and since some time "Pan de Manila" has "sugar free" (white) bread, but it's only edible if you toast it first.

I also have a bread-maker, see this post, but since I used "whole wheat" it is not rising anymore.

If I go to Manila, I usually also visit Mall of Asia (MoA), where they have a French Baker. They make nice French alike bread and Pinoy bread. If you ask one of the shop assistants which bread is sugar free, they don't know. So you have to judge it yourself from the size, shape, smell and color. Usually I am right, I never purchased sweet bread in that shop.

The closest French Baker from our place, according to their website, is in San Fernando, Pampanga. Never been there yet. Even in SM Baguio I couldn't find a non-Pinoy bakery.

Via a doctor I met in San Carlos, Pangasinan, regional hospital, I discovered a small bakery in San Carlos. The owner is from Belgium, and I visited him a few weeks ago to see what he is doing. He is making nice and delicious whole-wheat bread, but only a few a day and on order only. See for contact info the LINKS tab on my site. He seems to have a Facebook page, but I am not a Facebook visitor.

I have ordered already two times two breads. Also my family, who visited us recently, enjoyed this bread. So if you live in Pangasinan, go and visit him, he is looking for more business.

Family visit 2014

In November this year my mother and son visited us in the Philippines.

For my mother it was the third time to be here. I was happily surprised that she made it again after her unlucky accident during her 2nd visit in 2013. See this post.

For my son it was the first time here in the Philippines. He was really surprised that we have a kind of paradise, where you can relax, swim, eat and drink as long and as much as you like.

Besides relaxing we also made some visits to "must see" locations in the area, such as Baguio, Hundred Islands, Manaoag Church (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag), WWII memorial site in Lingayen, Tondaligan beach and a Thai massage salon, shopping malls and restaurants.

In stead of describing their experiences, I have added a photo album, which is available via this post on the following link.

They stayed for only two weeks, so you cannot do a lot besides relaxing. Just before typhoon Ruby hit Manila, we brought them back to NAIA terminal 3 for their KLM flight to Amsterdam on December 6th.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Typhoon 1422: HAGUPIT (Int) or RUBY (Ph)

Courtesy GMANetwork.com, see Reuters' comment 

Comment to this photo:

Strong winds and waves brought by Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) pound the seawall in Legazpi City, Albay, on December 7. The powerful typhoon tore through the Visayas on Sunday, bringing howling winds that toppled trees and power and cut off communications in areas where thousands were killed by a massive storm just over a year ago. Reuters

You might think why this post about typhoon Hagupit (Ruby is the local name) is published so late. Well there are several reasons.

Firstly I had my family here in the Philippines for a couple of weeks while this typhoon developed and I promised them not to write any posts at all in this period.

Secondly the typhoon's track is such that we will have no or minimal impact in our province Pangasinan.

My policy was/is to write a typhoon blog only when we (will) have impact in our province. For this reason typhoon Queeny (international name Sinlaku), which made landfall in Mindanao island is not in my typhoon posts for 2014.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Renewal Dutch Passport with Dual Citizenship

My wife's Dutch passport will expire on November this year, so I decided to start the renewal procedure early enough to be able to manage any problems with the renewal, as she is a Dual Citizenship passport holder.

The Netherlands has a very strict policy on Citizenship and especially discouraging Dual Citizenship. See also my posts Re-acquisition Philippine Citizenship, Dual Citizenship for Filipino's, and Philippines Passport Renewal.

So I was afraid that we would run into problems as we didn't inform the Dutch authorities when we went for the Re-acquisition procedure with the Philippines authorities.

200 posts

This is to notify my readers that I just passed the 200 posts of my blog.

I have still things to share or research to write some 100+ more post. Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to all readers.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

LTO issues new standardized license plates

Courtesy GMA-Network
Yesterday I received finally my new license plates. My car was purchased in January 2014, see my blog posts Mitsubishi Montero and car blessing. So it lasted 8 months to get the plates.

I assume that the long waiting time was caused by the fact that DOTC had decided to renew their license plate policy.

The policy is to renew all existing plates in a 2-3 years time-frame. The plate layout is standardized including the color. Black text on a white background and a black framing edge.

The only text is a 3-letter field followed by a 4-cipher field (the licence code) and under it in smaller capitals the region where the plate was issued. So my plate has REGION 1 on it and my letter field is AAA, easy to remember.

So the theoretical number of vehicles that can be coded is 175.760.000 so ten times more than with the current coding scheme. Given that we have almost 100 million people in this country, every person, including children and the elderly, could have a vehicle coded registration.

The plate is delivered with a sticker with bar-code to be fixed on the windscreen inside top right, and anti-theft screws to fix the plates on the car. The bar-code includes the plate number, the chassis- and motor-numbers and the car color.

It seems that for motorcycles there is a similar policy.

On the LTO site there is no info on the policy, so you have to go to the DOTC site, but even there it is not easy to find anything on this policy.
You better read the following articles: GMA-Network or Philstar.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ontmoetingen met mijn vader's verleden (Deel 4)

Van der Heem en Harry Isbrucker

Ga naar deel 5

Ga naar deel 1

In de oorlog

Er gebeurde meer in de oorlog, dat later van betekenis zou blijken in het licht van mijn vader's carriere en de mijne. In dit deel begin ik met de beproevingen van de Kapitein ter Zee Harry Isbrucker.

Hij was gevangen gezet in het kamp voor officieren in Stanislau, Stalag 371 (Oekraine). Hij ontsnapte tijdens een treintransport naar Neubrandenburg, dat via Berlijn liep.

Hij was vaak in Berlijn geweest voor de oorlog en dacht hier contacten te kunnen leggen om uiteindelijk illegaal naar Nederland terug te kunnen keren.

In Berlijn is hij ontsnapt uit de trein met een mede-gevangene. Via de Zweedse ambassade in Berlijn, die ook Nederland vertegenwoordigde, probeerde hij met zijn mede-vluchteling Zegers (commandant van vliegveld 'De Vlijt' op Texel, na de oorlog opgeklommen tot generaal-majoor.) steun te krijgen voor hun vlucht naar Nederland.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ontmoetingen met mijn vader's verleden (Deel 3)

afbeelding van Schagen van Leeuwen, Jules Jacob Adriaan
Jules Schagen van Leeuwen, (ref. 15)

Signaal en Jules Schagen van Leeuwen

Ga naar Deel 4

Ga naar Deel 1

De Hengelose achtergrond en mijn eigen jeugd aldaar

Signaal werd in de jaren 20 van de vorige eeuw (1922) in Hengelo opgericht onder de naam N.V. Hazemijer's Fabriek van Signaalapparaten. Hengelo was een provincie stadje met een opkomende electrotechnische en machinebouw industrie (ref. 14). Floris Hazemeijer was aanvankelijk de directeur.

Ik herinner mij dat in het midden van de jaren 60 van de vorige eeuw, toen ik zo'n 16 jaar oud was - dezelfde leeftijd die mijn vader had toen de oorlog uitbrak - al fietsend naar school langs diverse grote Hengelose indusrieen kwam. Zoals Stork (machinebouw), Dikkers (industriele kranen/kleppen) en Hazemeijer (industriele schakelaars), afhankelijk van welke route ik nam.

Heemaf (electro-mechanische apparaten) lag buiten de normale route, maar af en toe kwam ik daar ook langs en Hollandse Signaalapparaten lag ook buiten de route, maar dat was op een steenworp afstand van ons tweede huis in Hengelo.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Typhoon 1416: FUNG WONG (Int) or MARIO (Ph)

Sta. Barbara

Sep. 19, 2014 - 08.00 PM

This typhoon was expected not to make landfall in the Philippines. That's why I didn't opened a blog post for it.

But the track was a bit more south than expected, but still in the forecast-ed track range. It made landfall in the utmost north of the country. Hence I opened a blog post and will publish my experiences briefly now and then.

Rain started to come down this afternoon at 3 PM, as a continuous moderate rain. Be aware that this is a combination of the monsoon and impact of the typhoon.

Now it is still raining and I am wondering if the river can manage the water that is coming down, not only here but also in the mountains north-east of Pangasinan, especially because I don't believe that the problems with the river are solved since the previous typhoon and flood earlier this week.

As it is dark I cannot see what is happening around our compound, I have to wait for tomorrow morning daybreak.

So far there is no excessive wind and also the public storm warning system (PSWS) had not issued a warning for Pangasinan.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Typhoon 1415: KALMAEGI (Int) or LUIS (Ph)

Courtesy PAGASA

Sta. Barbara

Sep. 14, 2014 - 10:45 AM

This will be the second typhoon this year making landfall in the Philippines.

It's now rainy weather all morning and sometimes stormy wind. We have signal #1 warning now.

It seems, according to the forecast of the PAGASA, that the center of the typhoon will pass by north of us.

Landfall is expected this evening in province Cagayan or Isabella.

Sep. 14, 2014 - 08:00 PM

Weather is still the same, some heavy torrential rains and alternating with more or less dry periods. Wind force is not really increased. Public warning signal for Pangasinan (our province) has been raised to #2.

Now and then lightening and thunder, distance more than 1 km.

I miss my weather station, which was broken a couple of months ago, as to measure the wind speed & direction, rain fall and atmospheric pressure changes. Hopefully I can restore it again by the end of the year. We still have no flooding around our compound.

Typhoon landfall has been reported to have occurred at 17.00 at the Cagayan-Isabella border. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ontmoetingen met mijn vader's verleden (Deel 2)

Mijn vader - in het midden - op de motor van een DC3 in Indië

Voor en in de oorlog en naar Indië

Ga naar Deel 1

De jaren voor en in de oorlog (WWII)

Mijn vader is geboren in 1923 in Rotterdam en woonde op de Zwijndrechtsestraat. Hij is met zijn familie verhuisd naar Vlaardingen toen hij 11 jaar oud was. Toen de oorlog uitbrak was hij 16 jaar oud.

Theo Muller (ref. 8) zat bij mijn vader op school. In 1941/1942 zaten zij in dezelfde klas van de VMTO (Voorbereidend Middelbaar Technisch Onderwijs) in Rotterdam.

Dit was een avondcursus van de MTS in Rotterdam, die het mogelijk maakte dat leerlingen van de ambachtschool na een examen toegelaten werden op de MTS avond- of dagschool. In latere jaren werd de VMTO gereorganiseerd en dit werd de nieuwe MTS, terwijl de toenmalige MTS werd opgewaardeerd naar HTS, conform de Duitse opleiding (Polytechnische Schule).

Na het eindexamen is mijn vader naar de avond MTS afdeling werktuigbouw gegaan. Theo is toen naar de MTS in Dordrecht gegaan en heeft door de oorlogsomstandigheden 1 jaar school verloren wegens dwangsarbeid in Duitsland. In die tijd hebben zij verder geen kontakt meer gehad..

Zij werden later vrienden en collega's en zouden beiden voor dezelfde werkgever, eerst in Nederland en later in Duitsland gaan werken. Ik ken Theo en zijn vrouw heel goed, daar zij regelmatig bij mijn ouders op bezoek kwamen.

Het feit dat hij boordwerktuigkundige (BWK) wilde worden verbaast mij niet. Het was in die tijd een nieuw beroep, zeer technisch, onder meer mechanica, elektrotechniek, radiotechniek, motortechniek, stromingsleer, instrumenten, regeltechniek, etc. Inmiddels zijn de taken van een BWK in de meeste vliegtuigen overgenomen door computers.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Importing a gift into the Philippines

New Blue LED Tachometer R...
Actually my display is red
For one of my projects - see this blog-post - I wanted to install a RPM (revolutions per minute) display, also called a tacho-meter.

There are simple to install and cheap solutions in the market these days, so I decided to buy 4 pieces at once, as to have some spares for other projects I am intending to do later.

On eBay I found an offer from someone in China for 647.50 pesos each. The ad said it was including shipping cost for delivery at home. So I ordered 4 pieces on July 6, 2014 for a total price of 2,589.98 pesos.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ontmoetingen met mijn vader's verleden (Deel 1)

The last picture of my father and me taken,
2 weeks before he passed away
Laatste foto van mijn vader en mijzelf,
2 weken voor zijn overlijden

KLM en Plesman

Ga naar deel 2


In this blog-post and some subsequent ones, I will survey and research the early working life of my father. The reason for this survey is that I found two interesting memorial books in the heritage of my father, from and about the two companies he worked for, references 1 and 2.

Having read these books recently, I found many facts and circumstances that I was not aware of and I better understand now how he must have experienced his work with these two companies.

There are many interfaces with my own (working) life, so I decided to write a story about it and publish it on my blog.

Especially interesting is what happened just before, during and after World War II. I researched also some persons who played an important role, in these companies and for my father, some of them I met even myself or worked in the same place as I did.

As these books and other material I found on the Internet is all in Dutch, I decided to write this and subsequent posts in Dutch only.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Swimming Pool Re-construction

As a part of our landscaping project, we wanted to make a terrace around the swimming pool.

My suggestion was to add a small children pool as part of the project. It would not be too expensive, as I still had enough tiles for a small pool. Only concrete, steel and plumbing expenses were required.

I will give you some details of the requirements I had, the design, some problems to solve and finally a slide show with photo's that will show you a lot of detail.

The time frame for the reconstruction was from early January until mid May, 2014.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dragon Fruit or Pitaya

When we visited our family in Ilocos Norte province, see my blog-post here, we brought home some dragon fruit plants. This was in August 2013.

We nurtured them in pots, but since we did the back-filling, we planted them behind the bahay-kubo near the fence in our new vegetables garden.

One week ago we could harvest the first piece of fruit, see the picture.

Unfortunately there was only one piece of fruit. but since the rainy season started a month ago, I expect more will be produced the coming months.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Typhoon 1409: RAMMASUN (Int) or GLENDA (Ph)

Tropical Cyclone Track at 17:00 HKT 15 July 2014
Courtesy Hong Kong Observatory

Sta. Barbara

This is the first typhoon this year (2014-01) hitting the Philippines.
It's getting dark already (3.50 PM), so I guess the edge of the typhoon area has reached us now.

It's also starting to rain and I hear the thunder still far away, but approaching.

Landfall is expected this afternoon in Camarines Sur, south Luzon, about 500 km from our place.

In our storage room we have sufficient food to survive for a week.

We have prepared our compound, so we are ready for it, although I don't expect too much problems. Probably we will get some flooding in our area, as they usually open a dam in the river nearby. Since we have done the back filling recently, I don't expect flooding of our area, except the barangay-road in front of our house will become a river.

As we have another car since early this year, with all four wheels having disc-brakes, it's not a problem to drive through the water, so if their is an emergency we can leave by car.

It is now 8.05 PM, the thunder and rain stopped. I am waiting again for the the wind/rain. I will give an update tomorrow morning.


My weather station is broken, so I cannot give any meteorological data about the typhoon when passing this area. Next year I hope to be able put a new weather station in place.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Episode 9: Cohen becomes Coenman

Go to Previous Episode

Go to Introduction, Background, Sources

Izak Cohen/Coenman during the 50 years commemoration
of the liberation of Hengelo (May 1995)

Cohen becomes Coenman

Izak continues the business as a trader of vegetables on his own. While purchasing at the auction he sits regularly near to Levie. But the brothers don't communicate. Sometimes Izak's son Julius joins his father. If he has a chat with his uncle Levie, he gets
chided for it from his father.

The decision of Levie and Rozetta to emigrate in 1970 towards Israel, cools down the relation between the brothers even more. Izak feels betrayed by his brother.

Levie carries on for only one year. The promised land Israel is not what he expected. "They are not waiting for Levie at the citrus auction", is his conclusion. He returns to The Netherlands and apart from other activities, he starts exporting apples to Canada.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Episode 8: Cohen Brothers

Go to Next Episode

Brothers Cohen Hengelo

Cohen Brothers

When the war is over, Izak returns to The Netherlands. Not to Hengelo, but to IJmuiden, where he is assigned to a mine sweeping operation to cleanup the coastal waters from mines. 

The love for his British girl-friend is unchanged. Izak decides to get Mary from Britain and to marry on September 26th, 1946. Ample a year later their first child is born: Gina. The birth takes place in Britain, as the healthcare is better than in The Netherlands and Mary's mother is available to support her.

Not much later the young family returns to The Netherlands and settle in Hengelo, where they have to share the house at Rozenstraat (Roses street) with brother Levie and sister Rini. The rising stress between them becomes more and more manifest, as a result of the different characters of the brothers. Mary doesn't feel comfortable, not understood and locked out.

Episode 7: Enjoying cakes with Queen Wilhelmina

Izak Cohen in Britain

Go to Next Episode

Enjoying cakes with Queen Wilhelmina

Izak gets as well his award the Cross of Merit. Autumn 1943 after arrival in Britain he is assigned as stoker third class in the Dutch "Motor Torpedo Boten Brigade", part of the British navy.

Before he begins his operational duty, he is invited for a cup of tea in London, with the queen of The Netherlands, Wilhelmina. Like all other Dutchmen who are joining the military in Britain, the queen invites them before their active duty. She fled to Britain with her family when the Germans invaded The Netherlands, and will stay in London until the end of the war.

The table is covered with all kind of cakes and other delicacies. Izak, who is not accustomed to see and eat this delights for many months, is keen to get one or more. But the queen proposes to have a walk in the garden. Izak is afraid that he will not anymore be in a position to taste the delights. He is looking outwards and says to the queen: "Your Majesty, I believe it will rain soon. We better stay inside." Wilhelmina agrees. Izak can start filling his starving stomach.

Izak is finally assigned to the Her Majesty Gier, also known as MTB 229 (Motor Torpedo Boat). The ship is taken over from the British navy. The Gier is one of seven similar ships of the MTB-flotilla, which patrols the English Channel. The base from which they operate is Dover.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Episode 6: Curacao

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Levie (sitting middle with beard) after arrival in the USA


By then Levie is already six months in Great Britain. But he didn't have an easy journey as well. In the summer of 1942 he gets a visa for Curacao from the Netherlands vice-consular in Perpignan, south France. This alternative sea route - Caribbean, USA, Britain - has been used in the war by several other refugees to finally arrive in Great Britain.

Levie travels first to Bilbao in Spain,where he gets a stamp from the English authorities, before he sets sail as an allied employee. The Cabo de Hornos sails with flash lights showing the word Espana (Spain), to let submarines know that it's a vessel of a neutral country.

Levie gets a canvas bed in the lowest part of the ship. "You can hear the rats patter. Big ones, yellow bellies", he says later. In Portugal the Cabo de Hornos is loading wine barrels for the US. Levie sits on top of the barrels and because of the evaporated alcohol he is continuously a bit drunk.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Episode 5: Back to The Netherlands

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This picture of concentration-camp Miranda de Ebro
is not included in the original book.
It was copied from another blog site here 

Back to The Netherlands

Recently arrived refugees report that the circumstances in The Netherlands have been worsened in a short period of time. Many Jews have been captured now and it's going on and on. When Izak got this message, he takes a drastic decision. He will get his Jewish fiancee Leentje Frankenhuis from Almelo city and her family into safety. From the vice-consul he gets his permission (and the required papers) to help escape people in The Netherlands.

After a journey by train of a couple of days Izak arrives early August 1942 in The Hague, where he gathers a group of about ten persons. Probably these are mainly family members of his fiancee. Izak collects an amount of 2.500 guilders, which he mainly distributes to his travelling companions. The company travels to Belgium and there it goes wrong already. In Brussels, the capital city, they are confronted with a Jews raid. Izak tries to save his fiancee by drawing her in a porch. But in the panic he catches the wrong girl from the crowd. He will never see his fiancee again. Also the other family members will not survive the war.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Episode 4: Snow and Cold

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Pyrenees covered with snow,
picture is not from the original book

Snow and Cold

Levie and Izak have disguised themselves with a french beret and whiskers. They hope to be seen as Frenchmen, but traveling is still dangerous, especially because their identity card includes a capital "J" showing that they are Jews.

Although they are in unoccupied France, it doesn't mean that there are no dangers. The free French zone is governed by the French-Vichy government under general Petain and prime minister Laval. The latter is well known for his pro-German attitude and the many anti-Jew measures implemented.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Episode 3: "Du bist mein guter Freund!"

This map was not included in the original book,
but may help international readers to understand
the route they traveled.

"Du bist mein guter Freund!"

In Bordeaux, south France, Levie is seeking for optician Dubois, the overnight address provided by Jules Haeck. He is finally able to find the address, using his limited French language capability.
A big disappointment and throw-back hits him. Mr. Dubois is not living there anymore, he is deceased.
The suspicious dweller sends Dubois to the bus station, where the other three are as well.

By "wood-gas" bus - with a trailer with wood fuel - the reunited four are heading to the heavily guarded line of demarcation between occupied and free France. The other passengers are particularly German soldiers. They have brought cases with liquor and some French girls are joining them. They endured two difficult and unpleasant hours in the bus, especially when one of the drunk soldiers suddenly hits Levie's shoulder and shouts: "Du bist mein guter Freund" or translated: "You are my best friend". "I almost had a cardiac arrest", Levie writes later.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Episode 2: French Pilots

Jules Haeck

French Pilots

In the first week of November, 1941 two French pilots are being delivered by a farmer from Denekamp (hamlet) to the house of Jules Haeck at the Berfloweg (street) in Hengelo. Robert David and Renee le Blas are escaped from a prison (POW) camp in the north of Germany. It took them 7 days to come this far, keeping themselves alive with a couple of rations they collected before and to eat from hog troughs along the route they followed. Their faces and legs were scratched everywhere from the barbed wire they didn't see in the dark.

Levie Cohen is visiting Jules Haeck when the pilots arrive and then he realizes that his cherished dream to flee to Great Britain finally is within reach. There are regularly raids to catch Jewish men and boys. Every-time so far Levie just escaped due to warnings of "good" policemen. The situation in The Netherlands is getting too dicey, Levie and his brother Izak want to flee now.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Episode 1: The Family

Go to Next Episode

Go to Introduction, Background, Sources

Izak as a young employee in the green- and fruit-grocery

The Family

Levie and Izak Cohen fled to Great Britain to outrun the Jew-baiting in the Netherlands. Near to the Spanish border their journeys parted and so does their relationship the rest of their lives.

They are the sons of Simon Cohen a greengrocer in Hengelo. The family's nick name was "Cohen van 't breutje" (Cohen from the bread), as he and before his father went around the farmhouses in the area to sell their products. It was tradition that the farmers gave them a small food gift, meat or fat, but as a Jew they resigned kindly for the pork meat. In stead they got a small bread or "breutje".

The family Cohen consists of father Simon, his wife Helena from Germany and the children Levie, Regina and Izak. Helena passes away in 1937 as a result of cancer. Father Simon is managing a green- and fruit-grocer located at the Driener street, where his sons are helping him to manage the business.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Restaurant - "Mang Peping", Dagupan

Rating ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹ ❺ out of

We have visited already 5 or more times this restaurant. It is next to Sidney's Grill, along the Extended Venecia road in Dagupan city.

It's a typical Filipino food restaurant, with quite a large menu, staff is correct and friendly, the food is good and served hot in porcelain bowls with a cover (to protect the food for flies).

Also the plates are from porcelain, as in all Filipino restaurants they give you only a fork and spoon, but no knife. The bahay kubo and the toilets are clean. We have the same bahay kubo at home. The whole place is clean, private parking, nice view from the bahay kubo over the fish pond.

It's not expensive and there is a fan in the kubo. The place is developed by someone with architectural experience, nice plants, flowers and trees and many places with shadow.

Bahay Kubo again

Two months ago we ordered our second bahay kubo in San Carlos, the bamboo city.

We positioned this kubo close to the house, we use it to chat with guests and to eat our food, or children to play in.

Perhaps we will start a mini resort some time, in which case we can rent the bahay kubo to families who want to enjoy an outing with food and swimming. It's the same type (9 seater) as is used in restaurant Mang Peping in Dagupan city.

Below some pictures of the delivery. They are coming from San Carlos, one day later than promised, as they had to paint it first.
A few weeks later they would come back to renew the roof of our old bahay kubo.

As you can see the back filling soil is still bare, but now 2 month later it is green as in the last picture.

Monday, June 9, 2014

AC Drive for my bench drill press

The drill machine as is.
When we emigrated to the Philippines we also moved our household goods and personal effects. One such item was the bench drill press of my late father.

I didn't realize that the electric motor was a 3-phase motor, and I was sure that it would be difficult/expensive to get 3-phase connection to our property in the Philippines. The solution I had in mind was to use our generator - also included in our household - as this one has three phase output.

However, when I tried this out some years ago, it turned out that the generator had not enough power to drive the motor when a large drill was used. So I was planning to replace the motor by a single phase equivalent AC motor, if available.

A couple of weeks ago I did some research on the Internet for a 3-phase solution before buying another motor and found two different solutions on Youtube.

The first one was to feed one coil of a delta configured 3-phase motor with the mains and adding a large capacitor from one of the two connections to the remaining point of the delta, see the sketch.

I tried it out and it worked. You need a capacitor of 8uF per HP of motor power. I didn't try it with heavy load, but it seems to work, although there is some power loss.

The parted journeys of two Jewish brothers in WWII

Brothers Cohen

Goto Episode 1

Introduction and Background

In an earlier post on Jules Haeck, I told you that once I would tell you the story of the father and uncle of my school friend Gina Cohen.

The reason is that the story was published (May 5, 2010) in Dutch only, titled: "Naar Engeland" or translated: "Towards Great Britain", ISBN: 978-90-73850-18-7.

A book with eight stories about men from Hengelo (Netherlands, near to the German border), who fled for the Germans in World War II (WWII) and eventually reached Great Britain.

I discovered this book in 2013, when I visited my mother in Hengelo, and she told me that her neighbor knows also the family Cohen and got the book in 2010.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Excellent services for US orders via MyUS.COM to anywhere

In my recent post a couple of weeks ago, regarding ordering swimming pool items in the US, I told you that I had a bad experience with express post.

One of my readers suggested to check out for MyUS.com. Well I did and I was impressed when I visited their web site. As I wanted to order some more items, this time for my workshop machines project, I decided to try it out. You have to pay a one time fee of 10 USD, you get your suite number and the full address, and you can order immediately, which I did.

You can set several parameters for the processing of items delivered in your suite inbox. I choose for repacking (removing shoe-boxes they call it), and immediately sending via DHL, as they have a processing center near by my location in the Philippines.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Yesterday evening, Mothers day Eve, we had a devastating tornado, as I have not experienced before here in the Philippines.

It seems that on local TV channels, it was reported that in Laguna and Manila area they even had hail, which is very unusual for the Philippines.

Unfortunately my (base station) weather station is not working anymore, so I can not report the wind force and rainfall figures for our site, but it was severe and devastating.

Our swimming pool, was prepared for refilling, and has now a level of 15-20 cm water, I guess from only two hours rainfall.

But more devastating was the wind. While raining, you could see that the rain was coming in almost horizontally from WNW.

So that is the side where we have most of the damage. Three 4-years old (umbrella) trees are broken - one is fully gone, see picture, three are partially broken.

The top of the tree on this picture landed some 25-30 meters further south, probably just missing the bahay kubo and the new light of the swimming pool, as they are both undamaged.

One of the main lights on the entrance fence was broken off the post and thrown 10 meters further south.

The swinging sofa that we have in the west balcony was smashed away and partly broken. Also the banana trees that we have just outside our fenced part of the compound have severe damage.

Here are some more pictures.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Swimming pool items via International Express Mail to the Philippines

For our renewed swimming pool I needed some parts which I was not able to trace down here in the Philippines. So I decided to order them in the US.

The sales rep of the company, in California USA, advised me to make use of USPS express mail packaging, as the items would fit in a small box, for 92 USD, excluding import duties and tax.

I didn't realize that time that this is different from e.g. FedEx or UPS. It is just international mail from one country to another, with all the problems and uncertainties involved.

From USPS I got an email with an Internet address for checking the status. After a couple of days the package was in the Philippines, but where?? See a copy of the status report below. For the US sites it specifies the location, but for the Philippines no indication of the location.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Landscaping: Elevating by Back-filling

As our compound is built on former rice land, which is rather low for this purpose, we decided to elevate the area within the fences (our compound) to get rid of the water in the garden when it's flooding.

Back-filling is a word that I learned here in the Philippines. It is short for the process of elevating a piece of land. The truck drives backwards to the edge of the lower part of the land and then dumps it load. Next it then drives further back over its own load to make it stable for the next dump load.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Strawberry Fields La Trinidad

Our first visit to Baguio this year was on 9 February. One of the things we did that weekend was visiting the strawberry fields in La Trinidad, capital municipality of Benguet province.

La Trinidad's floor elevation is 1300 meters above sea level. That's why the average temperature is much lower than the rest of the Philippines. It ranges on average from 12 in winter to 22 degrees Celsius in summer.

This climate is good for fruits (strawberry, raspberry, tomato) and vegetables (e.g. cabbage, carrot, potato, leeks, lettuce, Baguio beans) originating from more moderate climate areas in other parts of the world. Therefor Benguet is also called the Salad Bowl of the Philippines.

La Trinidad is only a few kilometers north of Baguio, so half an hour drive if traffic is not jamming. Better don't go on Sundays there.

Pick as many as you like
Baguio is situated in the province of Benguet and some people believe that Baguio is therefor part of Benguet, but it is not. It is an independent city in the Philippines geographic / administrative hierarchy. Benguet province is part of CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region).

What makes it such an interesting tourist attraction is that you can pick your own strawberries. One kilo for 200 pesos. If you buy them in the shop along the road or in the supermarket, you get them for 100 pesos the kilo, but you cannot select them yourself.
One basket is roughly 1 kilo

And while picking you can eat them as well, so you might eat one kilo, bring three kilo and pay 600 pesos. And I assure you they are so nice, tasty and juicy. Just try it once in your life.

The picking period is from November to end of March.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dutch Windmill Foods

During our last visit to Baguio March 10th, we also went to SM supermarket, for items we cannot buy in Dagupan.

Just before we finished I discovered a small glass case with typical Dutch products as you see in the Netherlands super markets and butcheries.

Cold cut (sliced) meat of all kind, sausages and different kinds of cheese. The guy who was behind the glass case told us that two Frenchmen had initiated this business. And he said that this was new in Baguio SM since February 2014, but in some other SMs like in Manila MoA and Clark they sell these products already some time.

Starting point for the river cruise
This was a lucky hit, so I ordered all kinds of sliced meat and cheese and a bundle of sausages, as to try it at home to be sure no sugar added as they do here and it is really tastes like what you can buy in Europe. And they have not only Dutch cheese/meat, but also salami, cheese and sausages from Italy, Swiss and Germany.

The brand is Dutch Windmill Foods (Gourmet and Fantastic), click here  to go to their website. I found on their website that the two owners are not Frenchmen, but Dutchmen, as I expected already.

Good business guys, I love it!

Well indeed we enjoyed all products we purchased and today I consumed the last back bacon, the cheese was finished already last week. So it's time to go again to Baguio next week and buy much more.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mitsubishi Montero Sport GTV 2.5L 4x4 A/T

Old van (left) and new car on display
Our van (Hyuandai Starex, 1999) was getting too old to reliably drive around, especially to further destinations like Manila, or the mountains of Baguio. I had quite some problems the last two years, so many repairs and headaches.

I remember that a couple of years ago we would bring my parents in law to the airport in Manila, as they were to emigrate to the USA. In Villasis, only 20 km from here the car's clutch failed and we had to continue by bus, including all the luggage.

Two years ago when I was on my way to Manila airport to pickup my mother, sister and brother in law, bad luck struck again. I remember it was a Sunday morning, after refueling the car on the NLEX near San Fernando, Pampanga, the engine refused to start again. It was a miracle that I could find, with the help of a service station employee, a car engineer who was willing to come and help me. He solved the problem (diesel pump leaking) within an hour and I was just in time at the airport for pickup.

We finally decided early this year to sell the van and buy a new car, although we did it the other way around, as it seems to be quite easy to sell a second hand car. Indeed we could sell it for a much better price than I anticipated, thanks to active marketing of my asawa on Facebook

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Restaurant - "Dagupeña", Calasiao

Rating ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹ out of

Early this month of March, I invited my wife to dine in one of the famous restaurants in Dagupan, called Dagupeña, as we have never been there before

Actually the restaurant is located in Calasiao and not in Dagupan, next to the new Robinsons mall.The restaurant was there already before they built the mall.

I was aware of their high profile which they advertised via their website. However, now I can't find the site anymore. But see TripAdvisor for more details and comments of other visitors.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Landscaping - Bahay Kubo

One of the preparations as part of the landscaping project we started early this year was to move the bahay kubo (see here my earlier post on buying and installing the bahay kubo in 2010) to its final position in our landscaped garden.

The position is closer to the South West corner, as to get some more space for trees and eventually one or two more bahay kubo's. The new position also gives a better view over the garden and swimming pool.

Because the level of the garden will be made higher with 50 to 80 cm after all preparations are completed, we had to make a foundation before we could move the bahay kubo.

See the picture show below of the different steps in the process.

Note: after we created the foundation and moved the bahay kubo, we made an elevated terrace as well. No pictures available yet.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Outbuilding - Phase 2

Spouse and maid in the doorway of the phase 2 bodega
In 2010 when we started building our house and fence, we also built an outbuilding, which they call here a bodega or workshop, alias garage, see my post titled Outbuilding.

This building was only half of what I had in mind and had a temporary roof, trusses made from coco lumber.

As we have started the landscaping of our compound early this year and intended to buy a new car, we decided to complete the bodega, such that we could park the car to protect it against rain, sun and typhoon, and even more important our dogs. They nibble all plastic parts of the car and motor bike when they are released to guard our compound during the night. Especially the puppies/young dogs we have regularly do this.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Restaurant - "Sidney's Grill", Dagupan

Rating ❶ out of

For my birthday last year, I invited my family for a lunch at Sidney's Grill in Dagupan, along the Venecia Extension.

On Internet I read about the restaurant several comments and blogs, saying that it was/is the best restaurant in Dagupan.

Also the location looks right, with bahay kubo's floating on the water and the central building on posts in the water. It looks a bit like restaurant Isdaan in Gerona, Tarlac, but not as big and beautiful as Isdaan.

So we had high hopes, but were disappointed about the food and the service.

Car Blessing

Again we have been to Manaoag church, this time for blessing our newest car.

First on Sunday, but it was too busy there and we decided to come back next day. As I heard later it was Bible Day on Sunday.

So we went again on Monday, this time only a few cars and one motor bike. The priest was willing, but reluctantly, to pose with us for a photo after the blessing.

A few more photo's will follow below.

So in stead on Sunday we went to a well known restaurant in Dagupan. I will tell you about the restaurant in another post shortly.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Filipino Tradition for New Year

The Philippines is known for its many traditions, like other Asian counties.

One of them is to collect 12 (for each month 1) round fruits and display them on New Year's Eve.

Some like we, go for 13, nobody knows why. 

Round shapes represent coins and are thought to symbolize prosperity in the coming year. Therefore, Filipino families display round fruits on New Year's Eve.

Like in Spain, Filipinos eat 12 fruits at midnight. The banana, pineapple and dragon fruit should not be included of course, but the round requirement is not taken seriously anymore.

See this site for other New Year traditions around the world.


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