When I was still a young adult I quickly realized that I was not guaranteed that tomorrow will still be there for me. I did not follow the main crowd in high school. Peer acceptance and social acceptance did not mean much to me, although I was never a law breaker and I was not anti-social. I simply saw things differently and what was important to others did not mean squat to me.
Relatives and friends with good intentions often gave me advice, even when I did not ask. I often cut against the grain and did not allow others to hold me back from my goals and objectives in life. Those were my goals and objectives, not other's. I had no intentions of working until I was age 65 and hopefully living long enough to enjoy at least a good 10-15 years or so of the rest of my life. That did not sound good to me at all. I am going to be happy the last 10-15 years or so of my life. I was not with that program.
My Son Has Gone Asiatic
I remember in 1986 when I resigned my State Government job of 11 years to go live in the Philippines. I was 31 at the time and I thought my dad was going to kick my butt when I told him. No, he didn't but he used on old US Navy term, referring to a sailor who quit the Navy and went native in Asia. My dear dad told everyone that his son had gone Asiatic. I had gone over the top, never to return. I did return to the States in 1987, working until the year 2000. At that time, I indeed went over the top, never to return. Never to return to the American lifestyle again.
American Lifestyle Is An Unhealthy Lifestyle
It is difficult not to get wrapped up in the American lifestyle when living in the States. It is difficult to escape the stress of a job and trying to get ahead financially. My friends, still in the daily grind in the States, tell me it is even worse now than when I was still in the rat race. They all agree, without exception, that I got out at the right time. I worked 36 years, so my Social Security benefits have long been vested. I plan to apply for early Social Security in 2016. There it is again. Some told me to wait until I am age 65 or 70 and I will receive a lot more. No way, Jose.
I live a stress-free life in the Philippines. With the abundance of very affordable tropical fruits and vegetables, I am eating healthier. Even though fast food is becoming more available and popular in the Philippines, I don't eat it very often. Actually rarely. My wife and I prefer preparing our own menu at home. We dine out a couple of times every week but it is not at McDonald's or KFC.
Western doctors agree that a stressful life, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise leads to obesity and high blood pressure. They agree that blood pressure is the silent killer. Overall, Western lifestyles are not healthy.
About 29 years ago, I learned the meaning in the Philippines of bahala na. It actually has several meanings and it has evolved over the years. Back in the day, it usually meant that the Filipino was not going to worry and God would take care of them. Some foreigners have long been critical of the bahala na mentality of Filipinos, however, I made a discovery in 1986. I have exactly the same attitude, and have done for most of my life. My dear mom used to tell others, “Gary doesn't worry about anything”… and I didn't.
While living in the Philippines, bahala na has a very personal meaning to me. I took what I perceived as a low risk by moving here. I embraced the challenge. My belief is, I am sorry, but this is what I want to do in my life. I also believe that God will take care of me and I still never worry.
Every day still unfolds a new adventure for me in the Philippines and I am enjoying life to the fullest. Every single moment.