Advisory For Expats In the Philippines Who Have RH Negative Blood

Advisory For RH Negative Expats Living In The Philippines

In making your plans to relocate to the Philippines I doubt the subject of donor blood availability ever came up. It never crossed my mind. But it may be a factor for you to consider if you happen to be part of the 6% of the people on earth who have RH negative blood.

RH negative % of world population & Philippines population
click image for larger view

You may hear that 15% of the population are RH negative. That figure is generally for Western nations. The RH negative blood type represents about 1% of the population within Asia and less than 6% of the populations of most countries on the African continent. Therefore, only about 6% of the total world population are RH negative.

Only .33% of the Philippines’ population are RH negative. That figure equates to about 342,546 people. Persons having the AB- blood type can receive blood from all of them. 

The table below details who you can donate blood to or receive blood from based upon blood type:

click image for larger view

The figures below represent the number of people in the Philippines who can potentially donate blood to you given your RH negative status:

O-: 103,802 potential donors
A-: 207,603 potential donors
B-: 207,603 potential donors
AB-: 342,546 potential donors

The data in this article for RH negative statistics was taken from a wikipedia article on blood type distribution. There are some issues with the data that are pointed out within the article. It is likely that the proportion of RH negative distribution is lower than described, as missing data is from populations that have lower proportions of RH negative individuals than the 6% figure stated.

A hundred thousand potential donors may sound like a lot, but that is across the entire population of the Philippines. Even RH positive individuals may experience difficulties in obtaining suitable donor blood and as an RH negative person you have a fraction of their options available to you.
If you are RH negative and you do decide to relocate to the Philippines, then there are some steps that you might want to take just in case you ever need a blood transfusion:

Pillsbury Pancake Warning!

Pillsbury Pancake Warning!

view our home-made pancakes from scratch recipe

I really love Pillsbury pancakes. They taste almost home made. That is, until the day they broke my heart. Do you see those pancakes in the photo above? I actually ate them. They were not bad tasting. They just look bad and they made a big sticky mess in the pan.

This had never happened before. I asked my wife what happened and she didn't know either. She just followed the directions.

And therein lies the problem.

This particular batch of pancakes, or whatever you want to call them, is the One-Step variety:

Little did we know that the supermarket had switched out the old reliable Original variety:

If you are not paying attention it is easy to confuse these two boxes.

The key to what went wrong lies in the instructions for what to add.

The original requires three additional ingredients:

milk/water, oil and an egg.

The One-Step only requires the addition of water or milk:

It does not matter if you use a nonstick pan coated in oil, because without the oil and egg in the mix those pancakes will still stick hard to the pan.

If you want to make a decent pancake you have to break a few eggs.

I know that we are not the only ones having this problem because every time we go back to the store there are fewer boxes of Original and more boxes of One-Step. And now we have been back several times and all they have is the One Step. 

No one wants to buy it because they bought it once and this happened:


We did try mixing egg and oil into the One-Step. It did not help a lot. Still way too sticky. something about the mix itself is different.

There are hidden messages in this post of great interest to foreign intelligence, but they will never find them because I am far too clever! 


Philippines Cost of Living: Market Day

Philippines Cost of Living: Market Day


I wanted to share our recent market day haul in order to provide another facet of the cost of living in the Philippines. Market Day is a common practice throughout the Philippines where once and possibly twice per week all of the produce farmers around a municipality will gather at the local designated market facility to sell their fruits, vegetables, meats and other various products and wares. Generally speaking, the market is open every day of the week, but there are many items that can only be found there on Market Day and the variety is also much greater. Produce is also typically of a better quality on Market Day.

The assortment that you see above cost us a grand total of 1700 PHP or about $33 at the current exchange rate with the US dollar.

You will note that the list above shows rice sold by "ganta." The ganta is a unit of volume and not weight and it is equal to three liters. They measure it out sometimes by using one of the large  pineapple juice cans and they give you two level canfuls of rice, which equals three liters. At this time rice is selling for 85 PHP per ganta, but out of season it may go to 110 PHP or higher for a ganta. A ganta of rice will weigh approximately five pounds and will vary based upon water content and other factors. We have found brown rice on rare occasions and it runs about 150PHP per ganta.

The little purple onions cost three times as much as the big Spanish onions. I cannot understand why we still buy them.

The ripe banana is typically cooked, whereas the sweet banana is like the kind you are used to eating in the US. Sweet bananas are also more expensive.

A few different kinds of papaya are available to us here. The bigger ones tend to be "hybrid" varieties. The smaller ones are called "native" around these parts. The bigger ones are less sweet and less tender. The small native papayas are very sweet and taste similar to a mango IMO. We have lots of papaya trees, but none of them have ripe fruit right now. Same goes for mangoes. In season we go through a three gallon bucket of mangoes each day and they are all free because they come from our own trees. Our mango trees are a different variety from the ones at the market, hence the reason they are not producing at this time.