An Englishman In Isabela Blog #92 – A Blog For Expats

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blogs can serve many purposes but this one has a very simple objective and that is to record the experiences of a retired British expat settling into a very different culture and making a new home in the Philippines. I have therefore added it to other expat directories so that hopefully both those already here and those considering such a move will find it interesting to read. Members of my family in the UK, Australia and Canada as well as those friends in New Zealand, Hong Kong and elsewhere may also be interested to see how we are getting on but it’s the expat community this blog really talks to in words and pictures.
I welcome visitors to my blog to leave comments, questions and share experiences. Hopefully it’s informative for all expats regardless of your country of origin. However, subjects such as residence visas, health insurance etc are best left to expats from your own country as I can only really give a UK perspective on these.
Photographs are a powerful medium of communication so this blog attempts to capture as many colourful examples of life here as possible. Presently the construction of our new home dominates but there are blogs about visits to other places and normal life here. Day to day I use a Nikon Coolpix S700 12.1 megapixel compact camera as it fits in my pocket easily and covers both still and movie formats. For special subjects like planting and harvesting I switch to a digital SLR, a Nikon D300, so I can use a variety of lenses. My favourite is the wide angle lens as it can give enormous depth and context to a picture. Back at home I review the results on my pc using Nikon Capture NX and fix any deficiencies, just as one would in the old dark room. Common problems are too much backlight confusing the exposure meter but I use filler flash if possible when that occurs. Capture NX allows a huge range of adjustments to be made. It will even straighten extremely wide shots taken with the fisheye.
This blog is set in the ricebowl of Isabela so will not show white sand beaches and ocean unless we visit those places, as we did in 2008 when we spent a few days in the Hundred Islands area of Pangasinan, so I must see if I can locate those photographs and feature them some time.
Some visitors to my blog  are I know still considering a move to the Philippines. It is a very personal decision but even if you don’t make the move at least you can share our victories and struggles via the internet.