For you newcomers, I’m an American expat from Central Illinois who moved to the Philippines over eight years ago. I’ve been married to a loyal, loving Filipina for almost 18 years now. “EXPAT Safety & Security: PHILIPPINES” has never been more important.
Years ago when I worked for AT&T back in Central Illinois, I would kick start my mornings with an icy cold can of Diet Coke. There was a drive-up coffee shop on Sixth Street in Springfield only a few blocks from my work. But I didn’t want to miss out on my free parking spot on the street. There were no parking meters five blocks from my job, so I never stopped for a cup of “Joe.” I wasn’t about to pay 30 bucks a month for a parking spot on a lot. Plus, a coffee would have cost me about two or three bucks back then, too lavish for my tight-fisted ways.
“In Spite of Travel Warnings, is it Still Safe to Move to the Philippines? “ Thirty-seven people were killed in a Manila casino this past Friday. A lone masked gunman walked straight into the building, past a lone security guard who panicked when she saw the suspect’s assault rifle. The victims are thought to have died of smoke inhalation. None of them appear to have been shot.
“Philippines: My Top Ten Favorite TV Shows.” I retired to the Philippines with my lovely Filipina wife almost eight years now. During that time I’ve logged in countless hours of “boob tube” time scouring the vast TV wasteland. Researchers at Oregon State University did a study years ago which revealed what any red-blooded, beer-bellied American guy already knows: men are more likely to dominate use of the remote control, more likely to annoy their partners with its use, and more likely to “channel surf” – skipping from channel to channel in the endless pursuit of perfect television. I plead “nolo contender“ to all of the above.
I couldn’t believe my nieces and nephews in Guimaras have another holiday coming up. But I instantly guessed the reason for it. Another “Snow Day” in the Philippines.
I’ve been writing a blog for almost seven years now. Over in Guimaras, the island province we call home, there is nothing that even remotely resembles a large super mall. We do have the Chavez Building. You could call that place a strip mall if you’ve consumed too many bottles of Red Horse.
“The Dimple Star Road Trip from Hell: Guimaras to Manila, Part Two.” The madness continues. Why would any sweaty, overweight American expat in the Philippines subject himself to such torture? After seven years of living in this Southeast Asian archipelago, you’d think I’d have better sense than to board a bus without air con.
I was quite surprised to see such a large presence for RC, Royal Crown Cola, when we were visiting U.S. friends in Cebu recently. Coke products and Coke-sponsored signs for local businesses is the norm in nearby Iloilo and Guimaras, the island province we call home. When I saw so many local sari sari stores advertising the popular soft drinks that I used to consume back in Central Illinois, a wave of nostalgia passed over me.
We kicked off the Chinese New Year with a celebration at the Mango Terrace in Guimaras. The Mango Terrace Pension Hotel, the former Shirven Hotel, is under new ownership and management. The establishment featured an all-you-can-eat buffet at 400 pesos a head, 8.50 U.S. Dollars, this past Monday evening to ring in the Year of the Monkey.