On our way to Villa Igang, a Philippines resort located on Guimaras, about a 40-minute ride from the Jordan Wharf. While our rural province is known for its sweet mangoes, it is also fast gaining a reputation as the place to visit to check out tropical beach resorts. Murray, my new mate from New Zealand, and his pretty pinay, Irish, along with her son, Ivan, and cousin Sam, had rented a multicab, and my asawa and I were tagging along as we had never visited this particular beach resort. It was an absolutely perfect Sunday and was a welcome break from the bleak rainy days we had been experiencing. We took a tricycle ride from the entrance for P10 each (23 cents, USD.) The trek to the Philippine resort beach area and rooms, where my new Kiwi friend had already reserved a room, was worth the 10 pesos as it was quite a distance from the initial admission area. Really relished the remarkable views from the back of the trike and was looking forward to exploring more of this tropical beach in the Philippines.
No welcoming party greeted us as our driver dropped us off by the main resort complex. We hardly caused a stir. Saw an aggregation of Filipinos in the restaurant area, and as it was past noon, and had been some time since my wife and I had our merienda (snack) of soda from a plastic bag and Jack n Jill brand Nova Multigrain chips, we were all quite famished. Murray placed our order and graciously paid for our food and drinks, as we sat to chat and drink a few San Miguel products. My new mate prefers the San Miguel Light while I went with the Pale Pilsen.
Irish, Murray's Filipina significant other, shown in the following photo, is not at all shy and posed for the chief staff photographer of PhilippinesPlus.com, The Sainted Patient Wife. Murray and I drank our brews as the rest of our party decided to explore this beach resort. I asked Murray if there was much of a difference between the accent of an Australian and a New Zealand native. He advised me there was, and that he could differentiate between the two, but it would be difficult for me to do so.
My kiwi friend served as a pharmacist in the military and told me that he "WISHED HE WOULD HAVE FOUND MY WEBSITE SOONER." Seems my new amigo had the same problem that many expats encounter in the Philippines, and that is some relatives think you have "ATM" stamped on your foreheads and believe you have unlimited funds. That's not the case with Murray or myself. While we both can life a comfortable lifestyle in the Philippines and occasionally enjoy a visit to an alluring Philippine resort such as Villa Igang, we are certainly not in the category of the super-rich by any means.
Allow me to repeat a bit of advice to all future expats out there. It's called the "Three Hour Rule." I STRONGLY recommend that if you plan on moving or retiring the Philippines that you live at least three hours away from the closest relatives (assuming of course you have a Filiplina spouse or girlfriend.) Murray agrees with me on this and is planning a move to Iloilo City in a few months.
While we do not mind helping those in need, we also are on a fixed income. Have to make sure we have enough funds to provide for those in our immediate household. While everyone's situation is different, I encourage keeping this suggestion in mind and giving it a high priority. Once you move to the Philippines and live here for awhile you'll see what I mean. Murray does. Tropical beach resort or not, relatives nearby can cause some problems.
Seems like it was taking forever for our food to arrive (took well over an hour) as Murray and I continued to talk (and drink.) Really enjoyed the chat, and after we were finally served our meal of shrimp, pork and chicken, decided to walk around this beach resort and take some pictures such as the one above of my beautiful asawa, The Sainted Patient Wife. Villa Igang had some gorgeous views, and the place was quite secluded and quiet, very peaceful. My wife and I both preferred the more ample white sand tropical beach resort of Raymen Beach which we believed offered better swimming opportunities for the whole family (in fact, Murray transferred to Raymen later, but more on that later.)
Here's Sam and Ivan on the boardwalk at Villa Igang. I believe everyone had a great time on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon in the Philippines. I know I did. Next post will feature a 60-minute trek to catch a jeepney back home as asawa and I decide to explore the beach resort on foot. At my advanced age of 59, it proved to be somewhat of a strain on my aging muscles, but it was an adventure.