10 June 2019

Philippines - Life in the provinces

Life in the Philippines Provinces

The Australian translation would be "life in the bush", although the Philippines provinces are very different to the Australian bush in a number of ways.

By the way, we don't actually live "in the bush" here. I suppose you could say we live in the "suburbs". City, but not "the big city". Not in Manila itself. Not right in the middle of it all with skyscrapers, etc. Manila and the close-to-Manila areas are not what many would expect. This is a country that would fit three times into Queensland (I think), but has 100,000,000 people. So as Aussies you would think people would be stacked 2 - 3 high just so they fit in. No, not so. You get just beyond Metro Manila and you're already out in the boondocks in many ways. Drive along the Aguinaldo Highway, and it all looks cluttered, crowded and busy. Lots of activity and lots of noise. But sometimes you only need to go back 50 metres from the highway and you see mango trees and goats!

From our weekender's front door (a bit of rain)

The Provinces

We have a weekender in the province. A bit less than an hour from home, depending on traffic. I'm a workaholic with my migration practice, and the only way I unwind and take weekends off is to get away from the computer and where everyone can reach me. So we have our little escape. A couple of acres with an array of fruit trees in a sleepy little town.

Different to the Australian bush? Yes, definitely. Main difference is that in Australia there is so much land and so few people. Here in Philippines? Still people around wherever you go.

We had guests coming around on Saturday. So we opened the blue gates up the front (which you can see in the picture) so they could drive in with ease. I'm sitting inside where I could see out the front.

A black chicken struts very purposefully down the road. A chicken on a mission. 

Then a duck walks past....decides to come in and make itself at home....and our azkal (mongrel dog) chases it out. 

Another duck considers coming in, then changes its mind.

Another black chicken heading the same way. Looks remarkably like the other chicken. Suspect a Poultry Convention happening down the road. Note that I wasn't busy, or I would never have had the availability of thought to notice such things.

Mother duck goes past with maybe 10 ducklings. Thought maybe she went "Quack, quack, quack, quack..." and only 10 little ducks came back? Yes, I have small children, and this is what they do to your thought processes.  

So a fairly relaxed and laid-back place. No one in a hurry. Absence of stress!

The locals

The local people are nice! No other word, really. 

I can sit with the gate open, and no one is trying to get in to put the scam on us. No gangs of hoodlums. Just nice folk getting about their daily business.

We had workers there, extending the hollow-block (concrete) wall. The locals would give them chillis or vegetables or calamansi (little limes). Or if there was a party, they'd drop off some food for them. When someone killed their cow, they gave them about 5kg of beef! Any reason? No, that's just what they do. 

And we have a local neighbourhood boy......"Kulit" we nicknamed him. Short for "makulit", which means "cheeky" because he's a very confident boy. 10 years old, I think. He drops around regularly. We give him some odd jobs to do, and he gets a feed or P50.00. He's one of 8 kids, so definitely appreciated. 

And everyone seems to go to bed around 8:00pm! All quiet and peaceful after that. 


  1. I love ready your local life comments.... look forward to more!

  2. Yes this is life I look forward to have had similar experiences in Siquijor island where my wife is from.