American expat in the Philippines. A Simple Man. A Simple Life. No one has threatened to kill me recently. I’ve only had to yell at one jeepney operator blocking our main street in downtown San Miguel, Guimaras, the other day. No trips to nearby Iloilo City in about a month. I wish I could report more exciting events but I can’t.
I was taking my afternoon siesta. The crusty old expat needs his “beauty sleep.” The sound of our eight dogs furiously yapping woke me up. An Aussie friend and his asawa swung their Ford Expedition into our driveway. Our good neighbors were there to inform us of a bomb scare in our home province of Guimaras.
My friends in the United States recently finished celebrating Labor Day. I used to look forward to the three day holiday when I worked at AT&T. Now, I enjoy unlimited 3-day weekends in the Philippines. In fact, every day is now a holiday for this crusty old American expat.
A Good Man in Guimaras is laid to rest. Our worker, Melchor Tacaisan, 42, was laid to rest this past Sunday afternoon, at St. Michael the ArchAngel’s Church in San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras. Melchor is survived by his wife and five children, ranging in age from two months to a daughter in her first year of high school.
Decades ago I was in the United States Air Force military police. Maybe that’s why I always make it a point to be sociable to peace officers no matter where I’m at but especially in the Philippines. I’ve met quite a few friendly police men and security guards in nearby Iloilo on Panay Island and on our own island province. So I guess it shouldn’t come as a complete shock to my readers when I post a title such as the one above: “I Join the Guimaras SWAT Team at Manggahan.”
My asawa has borne the brunt of the stress associated with the building of our new home in the Philippines. My spouse handles the ordering of materials and takes care of the payroll and makes sure all of our workers have an ample snack supply on hand for their daily merienda. Regular readers know that I don’t do much of anything and excel in that function. But the other day, I had gotten fed up with the excuses of our roofers, and thus the “ugly american” found it necessary to make an appearance at our new construction site.
I’m a simple man. I like my beer cold. And I like to drink in pleasant surroundings with a fan blowing a cool breeze on my fat face. I can have all of that and more, at the brand new Shirven Hotel in Guimaras, our mango island home province.
Recently did some island island hopping around Guimaras, our island province home in Western Visayas, the heartland of the Philippines. After spending a pleasant day quaffing a few San Miguel Pale Pilsens with our relatives, at the Sto. Nino Island Resort, we paid an extra 500 pesos. 11 bucks, to check out some nearby islands. It costs 100 pesos, $2.25 US dollars anyway, to take the boat back to the main island, so why not avail of the complete tour package for a few extra pesos?
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.
Guimaras used to be the least crime free province in the Western Visayas. The mango province only posted a crime volume of 128 and average monthly crime rate of 10.63 for the period January to July 2013, which were considered the lowest in Western Visayas. But current crime capers now chow down on Mango Land, Guimaras. Attempted murders, strong-armed robberies and burglaries now litter the landscape of this once peaceful province, where my asawa and I moved to over five years ago. We’ve also spent two years on nearby Panay Island, where we do the bulk of our shopping in Illoilo City, a metropolis of over 400,000 people with an understandably higher crime rate than our island province which has approximately 163,000 residents and 100 times the number of dogs, lizards, chickens and roosters.