My asawa and I had just returned from another trip to Cebu City with our little niece and nephew from Guimaras in tow. We only had a couple of days before we would attend what I like to call “The Neon Blue Jesus Wedding.” My spouse and I were approached a couple of months ago by some distant relatives and asked to be sponsors for the big event.
I'm an American expat from Central Illinois that worked at telecommunications giant AT&T for almost 30 years. I married a lovely Filipina over 13 years ago. We sold our home in Central Illinois in less than 30 days and moved to the Philippines over four years ago. My wife spent nine years with me in the States before my retirement from AT&T. We've been living in “paradise” ever since.
Who doesn't want to have more fun? Outside of Lance the Canadian, one of my faithful supporters who has more fun than he probably can already handle, I don't think most of us would object to enjoying life more. I personally wouldn't. So when I read the news about the new tourism campaign for the Philippines, I was impressed. The Department of Tourism (DOT) last Friday unveiled the country’s new slogan—“It’s more fun in the Philippines.” Sure beats the last campaign rolled out: "Pilipinas Kay Ganda” in 2010. How many potential tourists knew that meant "Philippines So Beautiful?" I suspect that the former effort, which resulted in a new tourism secretary, may have been hatched after way too many Red Horse sessions.
We landed on the moon around 11:30 am. The Moon Cafe. Next to SM City in Iloilo. A Mexican-inspired restaurant. Our driver, Naldo, had successfully navigated through the city streets clogged with jeepneys, taxis, pedicabs and pedestrians. Brother Tom and I kicked back and enjoyed the comfort of the air con in Paul from Iloilo’s SUV. Welcome change from the stifling heat of a cramped PUV (Public Utility Vehicle.) We were as happy as a tornado in a trailer park.
Paul from Iloilo. Brother Tom. “Krazy Kano” Jeff. “The Kano,” Dave. Now immortalized in the annals of American expat history forever. Two “Joe's” from Guimaras. Two from Iloilo. Ex-military. Living in the Philippines and loving it. Who would have ever imagined that these four guys from scattered points in the States, New Jersey, Florida, Indiana and Illinois, respectively, would have ended up in the Philippines and gotten together 7,000 miles from home? And go to the moon, to boot!
(Who says I don't publish unflattering photos of myself? Tom on the left, Paul, and yours truly on the right. I look like I've already had a couple of cases of Red Horse.)
As I left off yesterday, I'm being pampered by a beautiful young Filipina that is massaging both my feet in Cebu, Queen City of the South. Two cute Filipinas have just entered the darkened room and ask me what I would like.