Merry Christmas and a Way to Help Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Victims

First of all, I would like to say Merry Christmas to my family, friends, and other readers of this website. This year has had some wonderful happenings and a few tragedies along the way but we are doing fine. One wonderful thing is the fact that I am working towards a Masters degree in elementary education while teaching part time here in the States. Soon, I will be be receiving my degree and begin teaching full time with the ultimate goal of teaching in the Philippines.

On a sad note, as many of you know, on November 8th Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda struck in the Philippines. More than 6,000 people died and many many more still remain missing. Along with the deaths, 16 million homes were destroyed and it will take years to mend the damage. My good friend Nickolaus Cabcabin will soon be traveling to the Philippines to help with the rebuilding of some of the areas damaged during this typhoon. Please watch the video below to see how you can help and to follow his video blog while he is there. I have decided to donate a portion of the profits from this and my sister site Retire in the Philippines Now to this cause throughout the year. If you’d like to directly help you may visit Nick’s site here: Saving Guian Tacloban.

Consumer’s Vote Agrees with Moving to Philippines

In a post I wrote awhile back entitled U.S. Airlines Have Something to Learn In Asia and also in a followup I wrote about the differences between flight attendants in the U.S. airlines and the Asian airlines. Now the website Broken News Daily has highlighted a poll by SkyScanner.com which ranks the rudest U.S. flight attendants. Guess what? The airlines voted 1,2, and 3 are American, United, and Delta, all airlines that I have experienced substandard customer service from the flight attendants. And American Airlines is our least favorite due to attitude and flight delays. Anyway I’ve left a link to my original post and the latest poll at the bottom of this post. Until next time take care and Salamat Po.

I Love Flying Philippine Airlines

Which Airline Has the Worst ‘Tude?

Travelocity Information about  Asia_Manila, Philippines

Bahay Kubo A New Addition to the Family Compound in Pangasinan


Bahay Kubo also known as a Nipa Hut used to be found all over the country but now that there are more modern houses being built this iconic structure can be found mostly in the Philippines countryside. According to Wikipilipinas “It is constructed of indigenous materials that can easily be found in their local surroundings – wood, planks, grass, bamboo and large logs. Normally cubic in shape, this shelter is raised on stilts or posts of one to two meters depending on the area where the said shelter is constructed” The new modern version is usually used as a beach house where you can relax take a nap or a cold beer after a swim. This is the version that recently was built on the family compound in Pangasinan overlooking Hundred Islands. I envision soon enjoying a cold beverage and a board game in this new structure. See pictures below”

 

Some Things to Consider Before Moving to the Philippines

So you are an American who has decided to move to the Philippines because ____________. You have your reasons which could be you like the Filipino life, the beauty of the Philippines, or you are on the run from the police, IRS, or an ex wife (just kidding on the last ones).

In any case you sell most of your household goods, pack up the rest for shipping, and you move to spend the rest of your life in paradise with your wife or girlfriend. So easy isn’t it, you just do it because this is the kind of person you are. You just pick up and leave when you feel like it. Let me tell you fellow it is not that easy and if you are a reader of my friend Bob Martin’s website you know you should do some preparation.

Now I’m not going to go into the many things such as visas, paperwork, and other things I’ll leave that today to Bob’s website Live in the Philippines. The thing I’m talking about is one of the most important things to take and that is a good attitude.

First off even though you may spend the rest of your life in the Philippines you are not a citizen, or not even a Filipino but you will generally be accepted as a unique part of your Filipino family. Even though your are not a Filipino and are still a visitor. As a visitor you will be treated differently, you will stand out and yes many will be watching how you act and react in certain situations. That means you must be on your best behavior when out in public especially. If you don’t understand the way things work you should observe and learn for the first months, years or however long you can, but still you will be watched. If you can’t handle that it may be the first sign that you probably shouldn’t have moved here.

Many of the Americans living in the Philippines successfully have said you need to spend some time living like a Filipino. This means to only get your food from the sources that the Filipinos do like the market. You should also spend more time visiting places Filipinos go rather than the touristy places. There are so many thing you need to learn about the Philippines hopefully before you move there for good.

One of the things I think you should have is an escape plan. What I mean is a way to get back home (yes the United States is still your homeland) if this move doesn’t work out. This could include:

  • Enough money for a return ticket
  • A credit card to use in an emergency
  • Someone in the States who will promise to buy you a ticket

Like I said I don’t want to elaborate too much today, I’ll leave that to the many experts on their websites but I am just stating the important aspect of a good attitude needed with your move to the Philippines. Also I must add that this blog post does not call any individual or individuals out personally, it is just from my observations of many people in this situation. Salamat Po

School Safety and the Shooting in Sandy Hook School in Newtown Connecticut

I’m sure most everyone has heard of the tragedy in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut. Somewhere around 20 children from 5-6 years old were killed as well as six adults. It seems that the shooter was a 20 year old man who has been diagnosed as mentally disturbed for most of his life.

Although we will mourn these individuals we must think of the future and how we can protect our children from these type of things and let them grow up healthy, happy, and with minimum worries. People in the United States as well as the Philippines should not have to worry about taking their children to school and not ever seeing them alive again. Children’s safety should be one of the most important issues for any country. But alas many children are harmed in many different ways worldwide daily.

Let us pray today for the families of the deceased and our own children, grandchildren, or other others close to us for comfort. Also, give that special child in your life a big hug and tell them you love them and thank God that you have another day with them.

Where are the Sunny Beaches of the Philippines

Just Bought Some New Philippines Transportation


You know that Philippines transportation can be a variety of things from a water buffalo to an air conditioned Philippines Rabbit bus. Our family has recently purchased one of the things in between these two extremes. Although it is not new per say but new to us and I don’t expect it to travel more than fifty miles from it’s current location. The purchase was what I call a jeep but is more a combination of many different parts of different manufacturers. There are parts that say Honda, Isuzu and many more.

This new transportation will suffice to takes us to places we can’t walk to like beaches that are not local, site seeing areas and the bayan of Anda. It will save on rental fees and my sister in law can use it to get supplies for her Sari Sari store. I think it is a good investment.

See More Pics Here

Weathering Hurricane Sandy and Remembering Philippine Storms of the Past


If you ever spent any time living in the Philippines you can relate to riding out storms. Every year there is at least two or three times when you feel your house or the building in which you are in is not going to be standing much longer. The high winds and driving rains sometimes makes you pray that you yourself will survive against mother nature.

That is probably how many of the people along the Eastern Coast of the United States are feeling now. So many of us, Foreign and Filipino that live in the Philippines dread the months known as the rainy season. I prefer to call those months typhoon season. To me rain. is the least of the worries.

Some memorable storms in the Philippines come to mind when I think about it. The storm where my daughter was sick in the hospital and there was no power and she was treated by candlelight I remember wearing flip flops and prodding through the dark streets of Olongapo trying to find this small hospital she was taken to while I was at work. I also remember a storm that forced my ship, the USS Midway into pulling out to sea leaving hundreds if not thousands of sailors behind to enjoy spending the night with no place to sleep (yea right). Anyway, on that one I made it to the ship so I rode it out at sea which is also not a good choice. Other than that I was once in a pretty decent size house during a typhoon and could feel it swaying back and forth. Well that is a small sampling of some storms I experienced during my early years in the Philippines but I know I will be experiencing more after my move to the Philippines.

How about you my readers? Comment and let me know your experiences with the storms of the Philippines. Prayers to the folks on the US East Coast.

One of My Favorite Pics From the Philippines

It’s Christmas Time


Well it’s not officially Christmas time in the United States but if you plan on moving to the Philippines you might be surprised to know that September 1 is the start of the Christmas season in the Philippines. When the months that end in ber (September, October, November, and December) begin so does the Christmas music in the mall and on the radio stations.

Now my wife likes this time of year because Christmas music is one of her favorite music genres. As for me, the time starting after Thanksgiving until January 2, which is how the US does it, is more than enough for me. I mean how many times can you play the same song over and over without getting tired of it? There hasn’t been a new good Christmas song written in the last 30 years.

So if you are not a fan of Christmas music, it would be good for you to stay home or buy some earplugs because you will get your fill for the next four months.