One of my favorite singers, Neil Young, learned in the 1970s that he must constantly shift the artistic direction of his music to prevent becoming stagnant and rusting away. You and I also must keep moving forward to stay ahead of the continuous onslaught of time and age! Taking care of our bodies and remaining rust free is something some people have neglected earlier in their lives, however, more and more people are becoming aware of their health as they are growing older. There are still things we can do!
I am not taking any Rx meds for anything. for which I am very thankful everyday. Amen to that! I have been into the Holistic Alternative approach for my health since 1985 and it has paid off!
Where's The Medicine Man?
If you are referring to the local pharmacist, I would like to recommend Mercury Drug Store and Grace Pharmacy. If you are taking prescriptive medication back home, these two pharmacies in the Philippines will most likely have your meds but it is best to check them out in advance before you actually move here. Mercury Drugs has a nice website where you can search the availability of your meds. However, in a number of instances, it will be the generic form rather than the brand name you are accustomed to.
If you are like me and are into 100% natural herbal medications, the Philippines is a great place to be! Hua Kong Chinese Pharmacy has been in Bacolod City since 1949 and they now have branches in every mall in Bacolod! I keep 4 herbal medications on hand at home. Saplingtan Powder for reducing fever, Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, made in Hong Kong, for cough due to colds and allergies, 999 PinYan Ping Ointment for itchy skin and skin rashes and Tiger Balm for muscle and joint pain and for nasal congestion. Thank Goodness, those 4 natural herbal medications are all I have needed in some time and I don't need those often. Well, Tiger Balm is the exception, as I do have muscle and joint pains from time to time, more frequently with age and time!
Bacolod, Cebu City and Manila have a large Chinese and Chinoy Community, so finding a Chinese pharmacy will not be a problem.
Things You Can Do At Home
You can eat right and still eat enjoyable food! The Philippines is a Paradise with fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood. All these are good for your health and are not expensive, when compared to prices in the USA. Avocado, pineapple and mango are my 3 favorite fruits and they are available year round. I can buy a kilo of mango for the price of two single mangoes in Florida! I could not even buy one avocado in Florida for the price of one full kilo in Bacolod. There are plenty of green leafy veggies grown in our area and for a little more than $1, you can have several bunches of each.
I enjoy crabs, prawns, sea fish, scallops mussels, oysters and clams, as often as possible. However, there is one simple fish that I eat several times every week for my health. Sardines! They are loaded with Omega3 and since sardines are a staple in the Philippines, there are probably 50 different local brands! Victorias Sardines are canned about 1 hour outside Bacolod. Yes, I eat sardines several times every week but not with rice. I like them with Ritz or Fita Crackers and Louisiana Hot Sauce. I also make Sardine De Pasta, spaghetti with a tin of sardines in tomato sauce as the sauce. Not exactly pasta with clam sauce but I really like it.
I am not advocating drinking but many Western cold and cough elixirs have alcohol in them. In the Philippines, you can mix a shot of White Castle 69 Whisky with honey and either lemon juice or kalamansi juice, heat this either in a microwave or in a small sauce pan on the burner and you have a good cold elixir. Drink right before bed time. Good as Nyquil and without the chemical analgesic & antihistamine. For bad colds, mix 2 shots of White Castle!
Many think that consuming raw eggs is a health hazard, so if you believe it, do not do it! However, an old Helot from Pangasinan way back in 1987 told me that if you are feeling run down or feel something coming on, pour up San Miguel Pilsen in a glass and stir in a *fresh* raw egg. Drink it down. Yes, I tried it and lived to tell about it. It did pick me up very quickly.
One of the hottest products that expats in the Philippines are buying for their health is Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar! Going back in time to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, he used organic apple cider vinegar for its amazing health qualities. SM Supermarket in Bacolod has both sizes of Bragg's bottles and it is in 2 different aisle locations in their store, so you can't miss it!
There are many excellent hospitals and Medical Doctors in the Philippines in the 3 major Regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. There are also Alternative Medicine Wellness Centers and Acupuncture Clinics. Many locals visit helots and quack doctors and while I do not recommend them for serious illness, some have been healed when they turned to them as a last resort. In 1987 while in Manila, I had a terrible case of the Black Measles. The tetracycline was not doing me a bit of good and the Filipino family I was living with was very concerned. They called for the most famous helot they knew to come to their home and treat me. She blew some powder on my body and gave me a healing massage to get rid of the illness. She then had me drink herbal tea. Hey, by nightfall, I was drinking a few cold ones and enjoying the BBQ that the family had in celebration for my recovery!
Rust never sleeps, so stay healthy!