Four years ago, when we first moved to the city from the farm, that was the burning question. Who let the dogs out? It was about 10pm one evening when we returned home from Chicken Alley, listening to live bands, when we noticed our front gate was open. Our 2 dogs were missing. One dog was a Doberman and the other was a Gamboa, which is mixed St Bernard. We went immediately … [Read more...]
Winds of Change
On Saturday, June 6th, I woke up and discovered I live in a different Region of the Philippines. Without actually moving, I now live in the NIR. Negros Island Region. I went to sleep Friday night living in the Western Visayas but woke up Saturday morning living in the NIR. Imagine that. President Aquino used his pen and by executive order, he created the new Negros Island … [Read more...]
Adjustment To Life In The Philippines
There are indeed adjustments to be made to Life in the Philippines. Depending on location and personal attitudes, it may not be a walk in the park for some. The transition was easy for me. After being away for so many years and living abroad, even some returning Filipinos cannot make the transition. They are still looking for the things here like where they lived many years … [Read more...]
Beat Of My Own Drum
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 … [Read more...]
Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned
Based on some personal conversations lately, several expats think they have a voice in Philippine politics and believe that the laws of the country should be geared toward them and not the Philippine citizens. That is not happening. Many Filipinos do not take it kindly when foreigners poke fun or say inappropriate remarks about the people, their country and the Filipino … [Read more...]
How Life Really Works
I've already heard a few grumbles from some foreigners about what they will spend in the Philippines this holiday season. With that attitude, they may as well not spend anything. My wife has a large family but I am not expected to buy 1,000 gifts or feed 1,000 people. However, I enjoy giving and I always have. I don't give because I have to or because I am expected to. I only … [Read more...]
On The Road With Gary
You can drive all the way from Luzon to Mindanao, although I have never tried it and never plan to! Much of your trip will be with your vehicle on a RoRo upon the seas of the Philippines. I have been on a RoRo from Bacolod to Dumangas, Iloilo with our family vehicle, along with the San Miguel Beer delivery truck, the Gardenia Bread delivery truck and an assortment of other … [Read more...]
Say It Ain’t So, Gary!
"It ain't so, Gary!" There, I said it. I communicate with more than 50 foreigners most days, every week in email, in my article comments, on the RTTP Forum and in personal consulting. It never ceases to amaze me about some of the things that foreigners have been told about the Philippines...by other foreigners! There is a lot of misinformation going around and a lot of it is … [Read more...]
The Art Of Making Noise!
"Let's Get Loud" is one of one of our cousins' favorite songs and she sings it exactly like the original artist. I also enjoy the song and I think that could be one of the theme songs of the Philippines. Yes, amigos, there is noise here and it isn't going away because it has been around the last 28 years that I know about. I am sure the noise was here long before I arrived on … [Read more...]
Prepare For A Long Wake
My father in law passed away on June 8 at age 84 after an extended illness. With relatives spread out in Manila, Zambales, Guimaras and in both southern and northern Negros Occidental, the funeral is not until Saturday, June 21. I was asked to be one of the speakers at the funeral service. It is a sad time but for me, I am happy that Tatay is no longer suffering and wasting … [Read more...]
Lift Up Every Stone!
As I have often related, there are more Filipinas than some may realize who do not have any interest whatsoever to living in the USA, not even for 5 years to qualify for her American husband's Social Security benefits. No, not for any amount of money, as they are perfectly happy living in the Philippines! My wife told me early on, as our relationship blossomed for 20 months … [Read more...]
Crossing Muddy Waters
There are a number of taboos in the Filipino culture that are best avoided at all costs. Most Filipinos are very friendly, loving and hospitable people but there are some actions exhibited by both expats and Filipinos alike that can put you on the wrong side of a gun in a heartbeat! I have found that most Filipinos are more tolerable toward expats than they are toward their … [Read more...]