A FOREIGNERS BARANGAY (VILLAGE) LIFE STYLE DULAG LEYTE PHILIPPINES
Foreigners may wonder what is like to live in a barangay (village) setting in a province of the Philippines. I can only comment on my experience here in the Dulag area not too far from Tacloban City. It is a life style that will be suited to some but not others. My purpose here is to express my feelings and the plus and minus aspects of this type of life! I have now been living here permanently for three consecutive years.
The daily life of the local people appears normal and routine in this village. It is very quiet through the night but around 5.30am you will start to hear motor bikes as we are living on the main road. Some people will travel to Dulag, Tolosa, or right into Tacloban City for work. Many in this village are involved with rice farming. You have land owners and you have laborers. Labourers will help with crop preparation and harvest but you also have maintenance workers who spray the rice crops plus other duties. Rice farming appears to be hard work but it is a main source of employment in this area.
RICE FARMING CAN BE HARD WORK
There are a few welding repair businesses and a number of different tradesmen. You will see a few sari sari stores and other types of small business. Bread buns appear popular for locals mainly in the morning for breakfast. T around 8am you will see the mothers get their children off to school. One thing I have observed is families even if they are poor dress the children the best they can. But they are always clean and tidy. Here in the Philippines there is a high emphasis on education.
CHILDREN OFF TO SCHOOL
DIET AND FOOD FOR A FOREIGNER
In the province you will find people cook and serve very simple meals. For an example fish, chicken or pork with plain rice appears to be the normal meal. In western culture a simple meal will have meat and vegetables but does not necessary happen here! My wife has told me she is not that keen on vegetables as she has gone without most of her life. In the main supermarkets in Tacloban you will see green vegetables for around 120 peso /kg. In the local Dulag markets you can get mixed green vegetable with pumpkin for around and sometimes less than 30 peso per/kg. Fruit at times can be expensive but more due to supply and demand.
The supermarket meat department at Robinsons in Tacloban is basic but a reasonable selection. Pork, chicken and beef are the basics. The beef can be ok at times but not the same quality you would expect in Australia or the US. At times you will a freezer with imported beef at lamb but at what you may consider a higher price than you may expect.
I have a crock pot (slow cooker) which helps to compensate for the lack of quality of meat products. You just have to use a bit of imagination. Also there are many slow cooker recipes on the internet.
All in all living here you will tend to eat for fish and white meat which as they say is good for your health!
For local people weekends are pretty well laid back. The Pacific Ocean is only 4km away but it is a cost to get there and a fee to rent a beach side cottage. So you see many children playing on the side of the road which worries me a bit for safety. When driving home I always slow down as children are children playing and you have to be aware. But all in all people and children appear content and happy.
The majority of the people are Catholic and a high percentage appears to attend church on Sundays. There are also a number of other churches and religions in the area.
CATHOLIC CHURCH DULAG
So life is very basic but this village feels very safe and I am happy with the life style here. If you feel like a beer on the weekend, there are a few sari sari stores sell cold beer. One thing I wanted here was a nice front yard with a Gazebo and if not at the beach then this is my place to relax. I don’t drink that many these days but here beer is still affordable. In Australia I believe it is around 200 peso or around $5 for a 700ml bottle. Locally I can purchase a 1 litre (1000ml) bottle of San Muguiel Pilsen for 70 peso or $1.70Au.
Pic of gazebo in front yard
I like being by the sea and find in very relaxing. Here in the Dulag and Tacloban area the beach sand is not white but dark in colour. This does not detract from the beauty of the area.
DARK SAND BUT VERY BEAUTIFUL
As mentioned in previous blogs my favourite place in this area is called Haripitan a small beach resort in the barangay of Luan in the municipality of Dulag. They only rent out beach cottages and do not sell drinks and food so you must bring yourself. Beach side cottages range in price from 100 peso to 250 peso which is for the day and considered a reasonable cost.
HARAPITAN BARANGAY LUAN DULAG LEYTE
VISITING TACLOBAN CITY
We are about 35km from Tacloban City and have an SUV so travel there at least twice a week for shopping and eating out. We have trouble with internet signal so we usually make a visit to Leyte Park resort and use their internet there.
If we need to overnightg in Tacloban City we stay at Leyte Park resort. The hotel is not its former self but the rooms are ok and you get such a great view. Across the bay is the province of Samar. The location is down town and not far from the markets and there are a number of good restaurants around the city. The prices are round 2500 peso for rooms overlooking the bay with breakfast for two. There are other hotels in down town Tacloban but for me this is just my choice.
ROOM VIEW FROM LEYTE PARK RESORT
This is a brief summary of my life in the Dulag area not too far from Tacloban City. For a foreigner it may or may not be the life style you are looking for. There is not the night life or other attractions you would encounter in Manila or other major cities in the Philippines. We are all individuals and have different likes and views on life.
If you require or want additional information about this part of the Philippines , please feel free to contact me.
Have a nice day from
Robbie in and around Tacloban.
Follow me on Twitter @robertmva