From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
American Expat “Brother Tom” is Living His Dream in the Philippines
American expats are a rare breed in Guimaras province where I reside with my beautiful asawa, Melinda, and eight other relatives at "The Compound." Been here since July 2009 and have had occasion to only meet one American from Chicago, "Stan the Man," who since has gone to work in Kuwait. We did, however, recently encounter some Peace Corps volunteers at the 2011 Manggahan Festival, and though I have met foreigners from other countries, I haven't met many Americans until my wife and I noticed a man dancing wildly by himself in front of the stage the evening my asawa and I were listening to (and I was watching) a band that featured two hot Filipina band members at the Manggahan Festival.
Brother Tom, we later discovered, is a 52-year-old "Dead Head" from Florida and works in various capacities at the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras and has lived on our rural province for 14 months. A tall, lanky friendly guy, we met up with him after the concert when my asawa and I went to have a couple of San Miguels at the festival. Tom instantly became my new best friend as he bought my asawa and I a couple of San Miguel Pale Pilsens. We exchanged email's and Tom later invited my wife and I to the Monastery for lunch where we would then go to visit his farmhouse in Guimaras that he completely gutted and remodeled. The chair Tom is leaning on is one of the many pieces of beautiful and functional bamboo furniture he has built for his new home. I'll talk more about that visit to the farm in my next post.
Brother Tom has various duties at the Trappist Monastery in Guimaras , home to Our Lady of the Philippines Cistercian Order. The Cistercians were founded in 1098 near Dijon, France, and the local order was founded by the United States region in 1972 and is the only men's monastery of the Order in the Philippines. According to the website for the Trappist Monastery, Cistercian monasticsim is a form of the Benedictine monastic life. Brother Tom is a Benedictine but not a full-fledged monk.
Brother Tom participates in Masses but does not seek to take the monastic vows which would require him to "give up women and beer." He is considered a Oblate. Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian men and women who choose to associate themselves with a Benedictine religious community in order to enrich their Christian way of life.
I fully understand Tom's feelings on not wanting to adapt the even more rigid lifestyle of a monk, but that said, he is a very spiritual and talented person, and aside from his oblate duties, he also serves as the engineer, artist, and marketing consultant for the Order. He is their original "Jack-of-all-trades" and is living his dream in the Philippines at age 52.
What is holding you back from your dream? Your house? Debts? Lack of finances? Afraid of making such a radical change in your lifestyle? Are you willing to take a risk and move to the Philippines? The rewards for such a move can be great. Retiring to the Philippines is one of the smartest things I have ever done in my life, aside from marrying my beautiful Filipina wife. Why not order my eBook, "The Philippines: A Guide to Moving & Living in Paradise!" and start planning your move now?
The guide is currently on sale for only $9.95 for a limited time only. Buy it today, and I'll send you the expanded and updated version which is coming out the end of May absolutely free. It's my way of saying "thank you." (As I noted in an earlier post, those that ordered the book in the past will also be sent the updated version for free, but when the sale is over the price will go back up to $19.95. Thanks to those who have been taking advantage of this bargain. I really appreciate it.)
Brother Tom and I both agreed that the Philippines is a wonderful place to live. I can tell he has a real zest for life and thoroughly enjoys living in Guimaras. He urges anyone thinking of realizing their own personal dream to first get rid of their debt. With the much lower cost-of-living in the Philippines, a person could actually save a bundle of money by moving or retiring here. Being debt free makes the move that much easier. While neither of us is living an extravagant lifestyle, I can assure you that I do not miss my daily commute to my job one iota, and we both are comfortable and well fed. Tom and I both agree that the relaxed, laid back life in the Philippines is much more pleasant than the daily stress and noise we faced in America. What's holding you back from your dream? Come on over and join us. We'll have a chilled bottle of Gold Eagle waiting for you in the fridge!
American Expat Brother Tom’s Farm in Guimaras