The Beach, Alcohol Ban, and a New Philippines President!

It’s been an interesting few days… coming into and out of the elections here in the Philippines. On Saturday morning (may 7th) I reminded my wife of the upcoming alcohol ban beginning election eve and lasting through election day (8th & 9th of May), and suggested to her that she pick up some beer at the bodega on her trip to town because we would not be able to buy it at the beach. It wasn’t until she arrived back home that I discovered that not only could you not buy alcohol on election eve, you could not serve, transport, carry, take alcohol anywhere in the Philippines, and that included the beach. We had already planned a Mother’s Day outing day at the beach with friends and now it looked like it was going to be an alcohol free day. Although there are some alcohol purchase and consumption exemptions for foreigners in COMELEC certified tourist areas and resorts, this particular beach was not one of them. I’d contacted my friend and after we both reviewed the penalties for violating the alcohol ban (1-6 years in jail, and automatic deportation for foreigners if convicted), we decided it would not be worth the risk. We could just eat, swim, and relax and come home later and enjoy a cold one if need be.

Election No-no's
Election No-no’s

The night before, Teri and our three nieces and a nephew all pitched in and helped prepare enough food for the following day and, under my direct supervision,  they even made my famous potato salad (it’s not really famous, but now that they know my recipe, they think it is). While macaroni salad with pineapple as an ingredient is a fairly common dish here, potato salad isn’t so much. So the plan was to bring plenty of food, soda, and water.  After all the food was prepared, everything was cleaned up and we all sat down for a friendly 6-hand game of dominoes before eating dinner.

The making of Potato Salad!
The making of Potato Salad!

Sunday morning, we packed everything into the car, and when the car was full, I carried three of us Filipino style on the motorcycle, and we all headed down the road to a local beach. Once there, we quickly settled in and began eating. When you begin eating lunch at 9am, and again at noon, it is called a “weight-gain plan!” Around noon, I noticed that their was a table two cottages over that was displaying a half empty bottle of Emperador Brandy. Shortly thereafter, someone walked by with a liter bottle of Red Horse. At this point my friend and I couldn’t help but think about the beer we did not bring. We were being such obedient foreigners. Then came a young boy past our cottage with a full case of empty liter bottles, only to return with a full case of cold ones! To say we were just a little bedazzled is a sobering understatement. I asked Teri to walk over to the little sari-sari store down the beach to see what was happening. They were selling, and people were buying, and everyone was having a splendid time. Except for us. And it is at this point that my narrative ends, as I can neither confirm nor deny anything hereafter. But we did enjoy ourselves at the beach this day, like we always do!  It’s a good thing we brought along the frisbee!  

It just goes to prove that the enjoyment of daily life here (Samar) in the Philippines commands the highest of all priorities. And there are no laws or some annoying little national alcohol ban is going to get in the way of that!

Until now… there is a new sheriff in charge!

Made in the shade!
A friendly game of Dominoes!
A friendly game of Dominoes!


16 thoughts on “The Beach, Alcohol Ban, and a New Philippines President!

  1. First of all those are double 9 dominoes, so that is not ‘real’ dominoes. Just FYI. Yes that sounds like an interesting day at the beach. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. Since I am “the friend”, I can say that the potato salad was good and I ate a big pile of it along with some barbeque chicken and some chicken dynamite sticks. It was one of the better days for me recently as I actually got out and did something. I hope we are able to have more of those days even with the new sheriff around.

  2. HAHHAHAHHA The alcohol ban wouldn’t have worried me 😉

    Crappy weather here now 🙁 Windy, rainy, cold.

  3. Double-six dominoes are traditional. I never said I was anything that resembled traditional (or normal). But it is kinda hard to play with more than four players with only double-six dominoes. I have them sort of days often. I’m sorry if you don’t! he he

  4. From what I’ve noticed there are a lot of Philippine laws that don’t seem to apply in the far away provinces. Have to see how it all plays out with the new sheriff at the helm.

  5. Randy when you arrived in the Philippines with your 13a paperwork did they stamp your passport with a 13a visa at the airport on your arrival?
    Did you turn your paperwork into immigration in Manila or did you do it after arriving in Samar.
    Just trying to find out how things work once we arrive there since I will probally be traveling with are dog.

  6. Your 13A Visa will be inserted into your passport by the Philippine Consulate where you apply. Once you get here, immigration at the airport will just stamp your passport with an ordinary arrival stamp. When we arrived, we went straight to Samar because we had the animals. Then turned around a week later and went back to Manila to apply for my ACR-I card (cannot do that in Samar). First though I had to clear the Bureau of Qarantine with my medical papers, x-rays, etc. They poked, prodded and took blood (about P1,200 if I remember correctly), then I went to the BI to get things done there. My ACR card was sent to the local BI office about 6 weeks later.

  7. Thanks randy at least I will be able to take the dog to the house first.

  8. Hi, Randy. Been following your blog in this site eversince I saw your post concerning Tricare coverage in the Philippines. Just like you, I have Tricare but we are in the dark closing all the loops to be enjoying our medical coverage. We have Tricare for Life in states, I understand in Tricare Overseas we are downgraded to Tricare Standard. But our problem is how to get reimburse for the copays made. Thank you very much, Randy. Continue to loving the Philippines, it will love you back. Noel

  9. Like you, I have little knowledge of the TriCare reimbursement process. From what I understand, it is cumbersome and time consuming and rarely do members get reimbursed in a timely fashion, but only after filing errors and multiple submissions. The cure for this is to attend a TriCare approved hospital (Like Baypoint at the SBMA) in Olongapo, where the hospital takes care of the filing for you. To date (knocking on wood) we have not had to avail anything other than small clinic visits for minor things which we have just paid out of pocket. So I’m still with you! The best place to visit for good info is the “Retired U.S. Military Personnel in the Philippines” (RUMP) fb page.

  10. Wow! Thanks so much, Randy. You are a breath of fresh air. Will keep on trying. Will check on RUMP to see what we can learn. For the meantime, enjoy your post retirement years. God bless

  11. Randy, did you retire from the military? Is TriCare available for anyone, including Filipinos?

  12. TRICARE is available to all U.S. military etirees, even Filipinos. There are other reasonable insurance options also availble in country here.

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