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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Is this the END ?


for now I will stop writing new posts on this blog.

You might want to know why?

Well I want to pay much more attention to my family, I have many other things to do and it's time to hide for what is going on these times here and now.

It's not the time to speak out and give an opinion, so I shut my mouth and suspend my blog. That is to say I will not write new posts for a while or may be never again, but the blog will not be removed, so whoever is seeking info he or she is looking for on my blog can still do so.

Comments and requests via the email interface on this blog will not be processed / answered from now on!

Perhaps there comes a time that I will continue this blog or start another one with other subjects than I choose before. More likely it will then be a more specialised blog for nerds or geeks or a non-public blog for my family.

Thanks for your attention the past few years and have a merry Christmas and New Year!

You might want to enjoy the song from "The Doors" with the title "The End"  here. This song was released in 1967, the time of my youth, now almost 50 years ago.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Renewal ACR I-card and Change of Address

Image result for BIR intramuros
Yesterday I went to Manila to renew my ACR I-card. This card is required by foreigners staying or living in the Philippines temporarily or permanently.

The validity period for permanent cards is 5 years, as in my case. It's the first time I had to renew it, since I got my permanent card in 2011.

As we were moved in this period from our temporary house, actually of my parents in law, to our own built house not far away, we had a change of address. The rule for the ACR card is that you have to inform them. Read below when.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

TY 1621 Int: SARIKA - Ph: KAREN

Courtesy PAGASA
Landfall of 1621 was early morning today in Baler, Aurora province.

Meanwhile the eye has past already our place, just before lunch time. The heavy rains and wind gusts are less now, compared to this early morning.

The center of the typhoon was closer than ever to our place, see map below, since we are living here in Pangasinan, as of 2010.

Damage is limited, some trees lost branches and flower plants are flat. And a lot of water, swimming pool level high, but no flooding up to now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Congenital toe anomalies

Today we went to a glass & aluminum shop in Dagupan, to inspect a possible solution for our kitchen cabinet doors.
An extra minimus to his right foot

While waiting for one of the managers to help us, an old guy - I guess in his seventies - came in for a small order. It struck me that he had an extra pink toe (minimus) to his right foot.

Right foot, six toes

Monday, October 3, 2016

Milestone 100.000 page hits

Today was a milestone for my blog, as there were 100.000 + page hits measured today since the go-live of the site in 2012.

For the period January 2012 to September 2016 (ca. 57 months) this means on average 1754 hits per month or 58 per day.

The postings with a date before January 2012 are imported from previous blogs or old stories that I included and labeled them with the original date.

Earthquake Pangasinan - magnitude 5.7

Yesterday @ 9.40 PM I experienced for the first time an earthquake, since I am living in the Philippines (2010).

I was working in my office on my computer, when I felt the chair was shaking a bit and the wine in my glass was moving as well.

It was only a few seconds, but anyway I shut off the computer and went downstairs to my family, just in case there would be some more and stronger quakes to come. At the epicenter the magnitude was measured as 5.7. We are living at a distance of ca. 80 kms from the epicenter, the blue spot on the map.

My wife didn't feel anything as she was busy doing something in the bedroom. After a couple of minutes she confirmed that there was a message in facebook about the quake.

Anyway I am insured for damage from an earthquake, just in case. There are not so many private people insured I learned from my insurance company.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Restaurant - "Don Armando's", Calasiao

Opposite of Robinsons Mall Pangasinan
Rating ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹  out of

Just opposite of Robinsons Mall Pangasinan in Calasiao there is a restaurant, which was probably built the same period as they did Robinsons mall.

A while ago we decided to try this restaurant, as in the mall itself the choice of restaurants is quite limited and fast food oriented.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Returning surplus unused hardware materials

Courtesy Google Maps Streetview
Do you also have the experience that when you do a DIY project with a global design/idea of the project only and a rough list of materials required as your shopping list, that in the course of the project you change your mind and decide to change the design a bit or even drastically, make an additional shopping list but keep the materials that you purchased before. Because you never know, you might need them later on.

After having done a couple of this kind of projects and making several changes in the course of the projects, you end up with quite some materials that you never used.

I am such a type of DIY guy. And sometimes I have indeed a lot of materials that I will not use anymore, or at the least the next months or years. Not a big investment usually, but anyway you don't need them and the materials take up space in your storage room, cabinet, shelves or wherever you put the materials.

Philippines Cinema Sound Volume

This is the way I watch the movie
Since we have Robinsons Mall Pangasinan in Calasiao for a couple of years we are regular visitors of one of the four cinema's they run there. The latest movies are shown, including children movies / animations.

The cinema's are well designed, have a big and bright screen, with usually free seating and most movies are operated with english spoken sound. The entrance prices are low compared to my experience in Europe. About 150 - 190 pesos, so 3-4 euro.

It seems that the movie operators believe that they are operating a karaoke machine (locally called a videoke). As is the case with karaoke in the Philippines, where the sound volume control has only one position being "full throttle", the same goes for the cinema. The sound is so loud that if you have no ear protectors, you will be deaf after a few visits to the cinema.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Kickstarter logoRecently I joined kickstarter community and pledged for two different projects/products.

In some other blog posts the coming weeks, I will publish more details, just to help folks who are interested in understanding this fenomenum.

It's all about financial commitments, taking risks regarding new, to be developed, products. So the question is now what is Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website that supports people, companies or startups in trying to get financial funding for the development, creation, production of products or prototypes based on ideas of all kinds, covering arts, culture and technology. As they say it" "From concepts to reality".

The Kickstarter community brings together the people with ideas looking for funding to develop them to real things and those people who are interested and willing to pledge some money to make this possible.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Restaurant - "Sigay Fiestahan", Binmaley

Rating ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹ ❺ out of

Yesterday morning we had a meeting in Lingayen, the provincial capitol, less than an hour from our place.

We passed by a restaurant in Binmaley of which my asawa had seen recently many times, on Facebook, feedback from guests, who were mostly positive.

And thus she was curious to try it out as well.
Later on I found out why she wanted to do this now, it was because of her upcoming birthday soon and it would be an option to invite her friends in this restaurant.

Location along the road from Dagupan to Binmaley at the crossing to San Carlos and Labrador
I suggested that after our meeting, we would drop by and have a look. So we did and decided - unanimously - to try it out. It was a quarter to noon and not yet full with guests, but after 30 minutes lots of people entered the restaurant.

Monday, July 25, 2016


It's a while since my latest blog.

There are many reasons, personal and practical, but let's say one of the reasons was that I was reading Gregory David Roberts' novel, titled SHANTARAM. A novel of almost 1000 pages.

It was my daughter who convinced me to buy the book, back in August 2015, when I visited my family. It turned out to be the most impressive book I ever read.

I started to read the book when our child went to summer school in May this year, and I took the book with me to read a few pages every day while drinking coffee and waiting in the mall, to pick up her again after a few hours. Although the start was a bit difficult, it ended up to be a page turner. I couldn't stop reading and couldn't stop thinking about what was to happen next.

It really governed my life for a while, until I finished a week ago. It's really a marvelous book and story, partly an autbiography, sometimes unbelievable, now and then heartbreaking and emotional.

It's really a book with a plot for a movie and there were many plans since the book was published, but so far none of the plans resulted in a completed movie.
If you check the media database IMDb, you will find that the movie is still of the category in "development".

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dagupan Village Hotel

Executive suite, similar to matrimonial suite
For Saturday, June 4th, we made an appointment to enjoy our free stay for 2 persons, including breakfast, as part of the reception party package we had in May last for 100+ servings.

Although I was not in favor to make use of this free stay, I finally agreed. and to be honest I regretted it and made suggestions to cancel and go home.

But, to avoid war and keep the peace, I didn't do it. I found out that we had got the matrimonial suite in the old part of the hotel, which had a promo price of 2240 from 3300+ pesos. It is quite a big room but outdated, compared to today's standards.

The list of things that made me sad and angry will follow.

Heineken DraughtKeg

As my mother and brother-in-law were visiting us in May last, I thought to try the Heineken draughtkeg that is available in the Philippines.

For those who are not familiar with Heineken or a draughtkeg, here follows a clarification.

Heineken is one of the largest global beer producers and sellers. It is originally a Dutch company and still is. In the Netherlands it is one of the many local beer producers, and has a large market share.

A draughtkeg is a beer container with a CO2 capsule inside the keg, that produces the gas that is required for the foam on top of the bear. It is usually much better than beer from the bottle, and based on the beer tap technology used in many beer bars/cafes.

You have to put the beer container in the refrigerator for about 24 hours, before you pour the beer in your glass, by pushing the tap on top of the container.

Our experience was not really positive.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Red Cabbage a traditional Dutch meal

This is the cabbage, red to purple colored leaves
These days you find in most large super-markets like SM, Robinsons and Pure Gold and the like "Red Cabbage".

I am not sure if Filipino buy this cabbage or only foreigners, anyway I have never seen anyone buying this kind of cabbage.

Being a foreigner with a Dutch background, I am one of the few who, now and then, will buy a red cabbage or in Dutch "Rode Kool".

The following description is from Wikipedia:
The red cabbage is a kind of cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, red kraut, or blue kraut after preparation. Its leaves are colored dark red/purple. Wikipedia

This vegetable is a classic tradition in the Netherlands and Germany, however these days most Dutch people don't prepare red cabbage anymore. If they like to eat it, they will buy it in a jar, then it's cooked already and just put it in the micro-wave, add some potato's and meat or sausage.

Yesterday I made it again. Here is the recipe that I used.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Safety light timers

A couple of weeks ago I decided, as part of a still ongoing project to replace our safety lights, to install timer switches, as to automate the scheduled on and off times of these lights.

It took me some time to make a design that would have minimal impact on the existing electrical and physical installation.

The security lights are arranged in two groups, called East- and West-fence for the electrical wiring in the fences, as part of four groupings in total for all lights including the house ground- and first-floor. In case of a brownout or blackout, these groups are switched to the on-site generator.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter egg hunt is a European and American tradition, although egg hunt in general is also done with other occasions, such as spring birthdays.

The eggs are usually hard-boiled, decorated with paint and sometimes mixed with chocolate eggs. The eggs are then hided, usually outdoors, and hence it's up to the children to hunt for the eggs.

This year we did not invite other children as before. View the pics below for an impression of this classic European Easter tradition in the Philippines.

Mango time!

21 kilo
Due to El Niño, it's very dry these days in the Philippines. Since Christmas last year it didn't rain at all, at least in our place. That's probably the reason that the mango (mangga in Filipino) is late and expensive.

The regular season for flowering is from November to February, harvesting from March to June.

The regular season for mango is flowering from November to February and harvest from March to June. - See more at: http://www.themangofactory.com/growing-mangoes/organic-mangoes/growing-organic-mangoes-in-the-philippines/#sthash.ABKWvqRz.dpuf
My wife purchased today in the market a whole basket with 21 kilo ripe golden mangoes, for 80 pesos the kilo, see the picture.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March 14th (3.14) was Pi-Day or π-Day celebration

It's a tradition in the USA since 2009 that March 14th is celebrated as "Pi Day". Remember that this date is written in US date format as 3/14, which resembles as 3.14 in decimal format, the first three digits of the mathematical constant π or Pi.

See the Pi symbol on the right for much more digits of Pi. As a matter of fact, the number of digits after the decimal point is infinite and never repeating.

Here is an abstract from Wikipedia on the characteristics of Pi.
Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction (equivalently, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern). Still, fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. The digits appear to be randomly distributed; however, to date, no proof of this has been discovered. Also, π is a transcendental number – a number that is not the root of any non-zero polynomial having rational coefficients. This transcendence of π implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle with a compass and straightedge.

Repairing our electrical compound connection

This part of the wires were the cause of the problem,
I used my car to pull out the wires from the conduit
Sometimes in your life you make a big mistake, as I did five years ago.

Being an electronics engineer (NOT electrical engineer), I miscalculated what could go wrong if you put a set of electrical wires in a too narrow conduit pipe. This kind of subjects is never taught to electronics engineers.

I used a 3/4" PVC conduit pipe for two AWG #6 wires, which were rated for use until 60 degrees Celsius. The ampacity was about 60 amperes. The pipe was put in the concrete of the fence, running from the point where a split was made for a 100 amperes connection to the house and a 60 amperes connection to my workshop and garage, we call it bodega.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Our Kalachuchi or Plumeria or Frangipani plants are flowering now

Frequent readers of this blog know that in april 2014 we elevated our compound as to make it level with the house, swimming pool and bodega, and to become our future garden, see this post.

One of the plants that we planted that year, especially around the swimming pool, look like dead wooden sticks.

We got them from friends, and you just stick them into the ground. I was skeptical if it would work, but since this week and for the first time, they started flowering, despite the very dry weather this early 2016. We almost didn't give them water at all.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rat Pest Nuisance

Courtesy Wikipedia
As we live in a rural area, there are many rats here, at least I guess more than in residential areas, although many rats love residential areas as there are usually more food residues to find. So maybe it does not matter where you live.

Since we live here for five years, I had four to five times a rat nuisance. I will share them with you.

Last week I had a problem again with a rat, this time she built a nest in my drill press. And it's not the first time in this machine. In 2015 I also removed a nest with 5 or so pups. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's lunch the Filipino way (Boodle fight)

For Valentine day my wife prepared a special lunch for our family, the two house maids and some friends.

It seems this is the way they traditionally like to enjoy their food together. The food is presented on some banana leaves and you eat with your hands. No plates, no cutlery.

The official name for such a festivity is "Boodle fight". It is copied from the American army. This is what google says:

Boodle fight is a military style of eating where long tables are prepared and food are on top of the table. Viands and rice ready to eat using your bare hands, jugs of water are prepared on the side to wash hands before the "eating combat".

So enjoy the pictures, there is not more to say.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Our wedding anniversary in Hotel Mansion Garden (Subic Bay Freeport Zone)

For our 10th wedding anniversary we went this year to an area in the Philippines, which we didn't visit before.
It was partly inspired by the experience of a good friend/cousin of us, who went there recently.
It's only a 2.5 hours drive from our place (almost 200 km), thanks to the new TPLEx expressway.

The week before our anniversary date, we started to book a hotel for the weekend.

Unfortunately many hotels were already fully booked, we should have done this a month earlier. So we ended up in a hotel which was a bit more expensive than we had in mind and not at the beach, but anyway it was a good choice. We went for a King Suite, with a king size bed, sufficient for us and our child.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Geographic Comparison of the Philippines and the Netherlands

Courtesy: ifitweremyhome.com
Many people in the Netherlands have no idea about the geographical shape and size of the Philippines. The same goes for Filipino's about the Netherlands and Europe.

Especially when I get visitors from abroad here in the Philippines they want to go around and visit as many places as possible. I always say: impossible, or you should spend a couple of months here. They don't realize how big this country is and how small the Netherlands compared to the Philippines. Indeed you can do the Netherlands in a week or so, but the Philippines forget it.

Just recently I found a website that helps you to make comparisons between countries, not only geographically, but also in terms of income, life expectancy, chance of being murdered, etc. I am not really interested in that kind of comparisons, but I am in geographic's.

The following site gives you all the details:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Restaurant - "halo halo de iloko", San Fernando LU

Rating: ❶ ❷ ❸ out of

 January 1st, 2016, we went to San Fernando City (La Union), to check-out a very special restaurant, that my asawa (spouse) discovered on Facebook.

It was advertised by people who visited the restaurant, as being very special and having an Ilocano style kitchen.

It was said as well that it is open every day of the year.

Closed door
So it took us a two hours plus drive to go there and luckily I have a navigator, otherwise we had never found it. We even passed the restaurant, without seeing it, no signs at all. It is situated near to the provincial house in a hilly area in San Fernando, not far from the city center.

The address is:
12 Zandueta St., San Fernando City, La UnionLuzon 2500Philippines

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Restaurant - "Fortune (Hong Kong) Seafood Restaurant", Dagupan

Rating ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹ ❺ out of

December 2011
This Chinese food restaurant opened a couple of years ago in Dagupan. To my opinion it is one of the best restaurants in Dagupan.

We have been there at least five times. The first time was with my mother and sister in 2011 and the last time last week, see photo.

The menu is comprehensive and the food excellent as well as their service. This is the first restaurant I have seen in the Philippines where they have lobster on the menu.

The address is A.B. Fernandez Avenue at the Metro Plazza, next to the fish market. They serve not only fish, but other chinese food as well.


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