We are now official residents of the Philippines!
In the photo above, you can see our new barangay (neighborhood) resident ID cards.
After living in the Motag barangay for six months we qualify for resident status. The cards will help us travel in the province of Aklan – especially to Boracay Island. Instead of having to show passports, visa papers, health certificates, etc., we can just present the card.
Malaynons (residents of Malay)
We applied for the cards (mom Diane, too) last week at the Motag barangay hall complex. We filled out the paperwork, submitted extra passport photos that we always carry, and paid 550 pesos ($11) each. A few working days later we got the cards.
According to the barangay officials we join about 1,000 other residents of Motag.
If you are curious, our province (state) of Aklan has about 535,000 total population. Our municipality (county) of Malay has 52,000. Well over half of that total live on Boracay. The mainland, where we live, is quite rural/low density.
Getting more comfortable
To celebrate our new residential status here, we’ve decided to make things a little more ‘livable’. Sure, our spacious, modern, apartment at the Hangout Resort is great, but since it appears we will be here for many more months as the global pandemic plays out, we’re splurging a little.
First, our host, Yolly, and her staff gave our unit a thorough deep cleaning while we spent a few days on Boracay. When we returned, I procured two heavy-duty deck chairs. Of course, we already have table and balcony and couch seating – but something with arm rests and a slanted back will be nice. Total cost $12.
To ‘soften up’ the plastic surfaces I bought some foam insulation material for a few bucks. Ellie prefers a bed pillow and towel. But either way, we love the chairs and Ellie has already restarted her creative writing while sitting more comfortably in front of the fans.
Ellie also wanted bicycle. I have had a clunky, ‘reclaimed’, folding bike that I’ve used for months – but now, for $50, we have an easy-to-ride used mountain bike. We took our first ride together yesterday. The new bike needs a little TLC but it will be perfect for our continuing stay.
Still to come; we plan to purchase a new ‘teflon’ frying pan and and spatula, more ice cube trays, a new string of Christmas lights (the old ones recently died), a laundry basket, some more cleaning supplies, and more bug spray. Yes, the battle with ants continues endlessly.
Negative neighborhood news
Some sad news from our Motag home. Wiggles the pig, who lived in a pen behind our property and whom I fed food scraps to for months, is no more. The big beast was butchered a few weeks ago.
Also, my adopted ‘pet’ Cranky the land crab has apparently moved on. Actually, his ‘living area’ below our apartment is now busy much of the time with humans working on boats and motors and building projects and such. Cranky was wise to find more serene surroundings. But I’ll miss throwing bits of food down into his craws, too.
Lastly, we had a 10-hour power outage at our residence the other day. Probably the longest ever. Authorities are investigating the cause of the problem that affected much of Aklan province.
Ati power update
Speaking of electricity, we continue to wait for the power company to complete the connections for the nearby indigenous Ati tribe.
As we’ve reported over past months, with the help of overseas donors, we’ve helped prepare nearly 20 small Ati huts for electric service. AKELCO, the power company, has consulted recently and delivered some power poles. But I visited several times this week, and no more progress to report.
Perhaps they’ve been busy with the wider-scale outage issue. We will keep waiting for the hook-up work to be done.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Malay resident cards, getting comfortable, Ati update.”
Ellen and Tedly were in the Philippines when Tedly’s mom Diane came to visit for the winter. The pandemic shut down borders in March 2020, and the three of them decided to ride out the crisis on Panay Island, Aklan Province, Malay Municipality, in the Philippines. Read the first post from their ‘pandemic bunker’.
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