Update: I have back-posted 3 more posts in December, so make sure you scroll down, if you haven't visited in awhile.
We had a pretty low-key New Years. The marina threw a party for the workers on Dec 30, and they invited us to participate.
No Filipino party is complete without "Lechon"--the big roasted pig. Ours came wrapped in cardboard from somewhere else on Samal. And of course no Filipino party is complete without "selfies" of everyone and everything.
They let the workers quit early and started partying about 3pm. After a number of drinks, lots of socializing, and some dancing, we staggered home (back to the boat) at about 8pm.
I am fighting a cold, so have not been much in the party mood. We ended up skipping any socializing last night, New Years Eve. We watching a movie on the computer--something we haven't done in months--and got to bed at a reasonable time.
To follow up on the last post about our passports--I did finally get the call from Air 21, and took a taxi out to drop our passports off at the Cargo Terminal at the Davao Airport. The fee for "2 day" delivery was only about $5, and I got a tracking number that confirmed that our passports arrived at the Embassy on Dec 1. Then complete silence. I had expected to get an email or something with progress reports "received passport renewal application" etc. But didn't get anything.
Around Christmas, not hearing anything, I was starting to get worried. So on the Monday after Christmas, I started trying to contact the Embassy Consular Services Section. They only take phone calls 3 days a week for a 2 hr period and they say the line is always busy on those days (I got the recording). So I emailed them with an inquiry at the suggested email address. I never got any response to the email, but our passports showed up a few days later, so I guess they were on top of it. Out of the blue, we got a call from Air21 that our package was at the airport and we could come pick it up. It took about 4 weeks without "rush priority". And now we are good for another 10 years!
I spent half a day scanning the new passport pages for our boat papers file, and updating our crew list with the new passport number and expiration dates. I also made new "Passport ID cards"--print the main passport page on a piece of cardboard and laminate to carry with us. Plus I loaded digital copies of the passport page on our cell phones, so we have them always handy.
Now we can start working on our Indonesian visas.