Terror-stricken denizens throughout the central Philippines, from Eastern Samar to Cebu City to our own island province of Guimaras, emptied the shelves of local grocery and sari sari stores Super Typhoon Hagupit (called “Ruby” in the Philippines,) rapidly approached the island country, renewing terrible memories of complete devastation created by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) a year ago. Philippine Super Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby): getting ready is key.
Along with my Filipina spouse, I’ve lived in the Philippines over five years now. One of the things that I’ve learned to adjust to (aside from guys peeing in public on the streets) is the lack of mail delivery service that we had back in the States. Disparage the USPS all you want. If you have never lived overseas, you have nothing to compare it to. And guess what? Mail service in the Philippines makes the United States Postal Service look better than all the girls at closing time (with apologies to Mickey Gilley.) Now a new PhilPost office opens in mango land, Guimaras, but should I send my mail from the States there?
Here’s the latest nipa hut progress on our new property in the Philippines. For few weeks now, our brother-in-law Joery, Cousin Doening (whose daughter Mera works for as a domestic helper), caretaker Gerry and Joery’s neighbor Jon, have been busy constructing a new domicile for my father-in-law, Lolo, who is afflicted with dementia and loves to converse with dead relatives and belt out silly songs all hours of the night. Yes, I know that the poor guy, who recently socked me in they eye and gave me a shiner that lasted three weeks, cannot help himself. But have you ever lived 24/7 with someone that has dementia? The fact that he cannot control his actions doesn’t make his behavior any less annoying.
Certain passenger trucks in the Philippines, such as Dodge Rams, can be difficult to find. But we narrow our search for a new vehicle and after visiting the local Chevrolet, Toyota and Foton dealerships in Iloilo City, we’ve gotten the best deal from Isuzu. We’ve ruled out the Nissan Navara (ugly), Mitsubishi Strada (short truck bed), Mazda BT-50 (price) and Tata Xenon (no automatic transmission and untested new truck from India), Ford Ranger (I’m a Chevy man from way back but the Chevy Colorado only comes in a 4×4 automatic model and is 400,000 pesos more expensive than the 4×2 AT Isuzu we looked at.)
Photo source: Isuzu Philippines
My 83-year-old father-in-law, Lolo (Grandpa), has dementia. From early morning to night he carries on a running conversation with dead relatives, particularly Fernando Gange, and sings gibberish songs that make Justin Bieber look like a genius. He can be extremely violent at times. The other morning he punches me in the face! The lead photograph shows the shiner he gave me. I haven’t had a good fight in decades. At 62 years of age I’m too old for that crap. And unlike Kim Kardashian’s fat ass, my shiner has not be Phot0shopped.
Since retiring to the Philippines over five years ago, I’ve had three major kidney stone attacks. The archipelago’s tropical climate puts a person at greater risk for kidney stone formation due to the way our bodies manage water in a tropical setting. Perspiration becomes the customary way of how the body excretes water in tropical climates. Urination may slightly decrease due to urine being stored longer in the urinary tract. I wasn’t keeping myself hydrated enough before my attacks but now drink 2-3 liters of water daily. My latest ultrasound in the Philippines now reveals no more kidney stones and, as an added bonus, a healthy liver. I had been previously diagnosed with fatty liver disease back in July.
BDO, Banco de Oro, is the largest bank in the Philippines. It belongs to the SM Group owned by billionaire Henry Sy. In previous comments to a post regarding a dollar account my asawa and I were trying to open with Banco de Oro, I had threatened to close our account with the banking giant and go to BPI, Bank of the Philippines. But there’s a possibility that BDO has fixed our dollar account in the Philippines. Maybe. How? Let me tell you the story, O True Believer (as I borrow heavily from Stan Lee.)
Hanging out with Metrobank guards. I’ve never hung out with BDO security yet.
My asawa and I have had a peso savings account with BDO, Banco de Oro, for a couple of years. We established it when my ATM debit card from our bank in the United States expired. At the time we needed to open an account so my sister-in-law from Kuwait, Marjorie, an OFW, Overseas Filipino Worker, could easily send remittances to us. We care for her two children, Shaina and Sherwin. Here’s the story of how BDO screwed up our dollar account in the Philippines.
Death. We all eventually face it. If you’re a Christian and have followed the straight and narrow path, chances are you’ve got a good chance of meeting Jesus. If you’re Shirley MacLaine you might be reincarnated and come back as a beautiful bluebird, happily chirping away or you could return as a festering pimple on some old geezer’s flabby fat ass. I’ll opt for the bluebird. If you’re a Catholic you’ll be twiddling your thumbs in purgatory hoping someone will light enough candles and recite enough prayers for you to escape. If you’re a professed atheist, you’re finished. You don’t believe in anything so I guess you’ll end up as a pile of nothingness as you hum “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas for eternity. I’ve known of three people that have developed cirrhosis of the liver since moving to the Philippines over five years ago. Two of them died. Now the third, our Filipino trike driver, is holed up at the local Guimaras provincial hospital for the past few weeks and is diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. It’s a grim disease, often fatal.