Ever since I was a little boy, I have always been a dreamer! Back in those days, in the 1960s, my dreams were not actually realistic and were child-like in some respects. As a teenager, a young adult and as a middle age adult, I still had dreams and the dreams became more realistic with time. I think everyone should have a dream because dreams have a way of making life more exciting. A prophet once said, “Without dreams, the people perish.” Luis B. Couto once said, “Without Dreams, there is no reality!”
Dreams are also a vision. Vision is also something we should all hold, as we map out our lives. Certain events sometimes change our course but it is up to us to get back on track or else change directions. It is all part of our overall vision! Some people do not
believe in fate and destiny but as I look back as to what led me to the Philippines, I can see where both have played a large role in my life!
I still recall back in 1986 when I decided to move to the Philippines for academic purposes. My dad was so angry when I told him and while he had never beaten me in my life, I thought he would that day! No, he didn’t beat me but he sure gave me a heated lecture! I was resigning from a State job with a pension and I had 11 years in at that time. My dad told me that people just don’t walk away from that but I did. I moved to the Philippines with only several pieces of luggage, as I had sold everything, except my Chevy, which I left with my brother for safe keeping. For the next year, I was immersed in the Filipino culture, as I lived with a Filipino family and I took academic courses at the University of the Philippines. I was also getting an education in life, seeing how Filipinos live day in and day out. I was hooked..for life! And as they say, the rest is history.
Once I returned to the States, I actually landed a better job than the one I walked away from because I had a higher degree. Things worked out perfectly. I met fate and destiny in 1986 and from that time forward, Filipinos and the Philippines have been a daily important part of my life. I not only got to vacation in the Philippines every year during breaks from my employment, I was doing it for almost free much of the time! My supervisor was a Psychiatrist from the Philippines and he handed me the keys to one of his condos every work vacation, refusing to accept rental money for my staying there. Other visits to the Philippines, a Florida businessman sent me to the Islands to buy items for his import-export business. It was fun traveling all around while searching for the unique items on his want list. All expenses paid!
I met my beautiful and lovely future wife in Hong Kong in 2002 and she is from the Bacolod Area of the Philippines. I was following another dream I had at that time and that was teaching English in China. We married on Christmas Day in 2003 and we began working together to fulfill my long time dream of retiring to the Philippines at an early age. In 2009, my dream became reality! Since I was married and we had a son, we had a lot more to move to the Philippines. We made a trip 6 months before our actual move and brought many things with us, since the 3 of us had luggage allowances. The rest of our belongings, we shipped via Balikbayan Box style. The Balikbayan Box is shipped according to box size and not by weight, so it is the cheapest way to ship. Even today, one can ship a Balikbayan Box from anywhere for about $100 USD.
If I had listened to friends and family, none of my dreams would have become reality because I would have stopped following them. However, I kept on following my dreams! There was no stopping me from fulfilling my dream.
I personally know several guys who keep pushing their dream back another year when they could make it happen today! They are letting life pass them by. While it is not nice to think about or nice to say to someone, they are actually just sitting around, waiting around to die!
Their move to the Philippines would add zest to their lives and most likely, also add years to their life. Personally, I think it is time for them to do a Steve McQueen and make the Great Escape..to the Philippines. Where everyday is a weekend and you will never see snow and ice again! How does that sound to you?