Are you sure you really want to

Move to the Philippines?

I highly recommend it for people like me.  You need to be ready for some massive changes though.  Some of them include the most basic things in life.  After getting here, for a few brief moments, I thought to myself what have I done?

All the changes had got to me.  The unpainted buildings.  Most buildings needing repairs.  The homes most Filipino live in are just a few rooms.  Shotgun homes we use to call them in the rural USA.  There are holes in the walls, the floors might be dirt but usually concrete floors.  The nicer homes are usually made of cement blocks though.  Very strong buildings, in part because of the  cyclones that will be coming.  No place for most to run, only the most well off Filipino can take their families deep within Thailand or other Asian countries to avoid the storms.  I worry what if that rare cat 5 storm comes in on me.  I’d like to high tail it out of here but I can’t afford to take all four of us so I would stay too.

Cold Showers In The Philippines

I’ve talked about this before but I thought I’d visit it again now that I have one of these hand held water heaters I’ve been told about.  It was a shocking experience for me!  People that live in the colder climates usually miss this important point, the water here is generally warmer here than on a winter day or even summer day.  Ever in the USA and I suppose most of the western world.  The purpose is to provide water pressure but it also helps to heat the water.

The last few days it has been rainy and cloudy so the water temperature has dropped.  Last night it was really cold and most homes do not have water heaters.  Its even rarer to find a house with a large water heater like I was accustomed too in the states.  I’ve only seen one advertisement that indicated it had full size water heaters..

But we do have a couple of ways of easing this cold.  The first is quite inexpensive at P200 or around $4.00. Every bathroom has a bucket and a pale.  You drop this little water heater in the bucket and it warms the water up in a short time.

Philippine Water Heater

The package that comes with it indicates you should   not test the temperature of the water with the unit still plugged in and in the water.  I figured that was for just an added precaution in case something went wrong and the device became defective.  Wrong answer!

A few days ago I decided to use it for the first time.  We have had it about a month now.  It seemed to be taking forever to get the water warm so I pulled it out of the water and was going to hold my hand near it to see if there was any heat coming off it.  As my hand was approaching, ZAP!  I don’t even touch the dang thing.  Wont have to tell me twice.

So I asked Jessie why the water wasn’t getting hot.  She said, “You’ve got it in the wrong socket, that one barely works!”  Geesh, if that was barely working I’d hate to see what it feels like fully charged!

Common Sense is Still Required In The Philippines

That points out another difference from here and the USA.  In the USA no one would dare sell a product like this.  They would be sued before the product were on the shelf a week.  The law here though seems to expect one to have some common sense.  Sometimes that gets carried to extremes too but we don’t have the ridiculous product warnings here that you see in the US.

Since I got zapped, perhaps the same as saying I was lacking of common sense!  I wasn’t expecting it to reach out and grab me though.

Philippine Water Heater

There is a better or  more expensive.  This option seemed grossly inadequate to me when I first saw it.  I wasn’t to happy with it but then I realized that it works just fine.  Its a device that hangs on the wall near the plumbing of the shower.  It is installed by redirecting the water through it.

water-heater-fixture

These units start at about $100 and go up to $300 for the fancy digital models.  I was quote $300 to buy one  including installation.  I passed.  I don’t’ know how long I’ll live in this home and I hate to pay for it to be installed.  That’s significant money as it is more than a months rent!

So for now, I’ll keep showering the way many Filipino do.  Jessie often used the bucket at room temperature as most Filipino do.  If I’m going to do that, I’ll at least use the water heater but that’s just too much of a pain in the back for me.  I’ll just take a cold shower, it feels good after you get use to it.  Its always a bit of a shock to my system after walking for a mile or two at dusk which is when I usually take a shower or at least my last shower of the day.  It depends on if I go out or not.  I’m a home body and can easily find ways to amuse myself as long as I have an Internet connection.

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Filed under: Living In The Philippines

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