American Expat in the Philippines. Iloilo City. Retired. Lazy. Everybody does everything for me. Well, almost everything. I do pee on my own. Living in “paradise.” Getting older. The Black Forest cake from the Red Ribbon bakery at SM City (see next photo) was purchased by my asawa to celebrate my recent 61st birthday. But I don’t mind getting older. I’m one step closer to collecting my Social Security.
While we didn’t have all the bells and whistles that the recent Chinese New Year celebration in Iloilo had, as shown in the next shot, we had a fair amount of merrymaking. Our twin nieces, April and Michelle, and nephew Sharwen and niece Shaina were at the party. Since they live with us, I thought they might as well attend the festivities.
We didn’t take a cruise to celebrate. The following vessel, the Cokaliong, that I always see at the Parola Dock in Iloilo, doesn’t carry passengers. But we are planning a trip to Bacolod, “The City of Smiles,” soon. It’s the most populous city in Western Visayas with 511,000 residents, and my asawa and I have never been there. Should make for a good mini-vacation in the Philippines.
We’ll take a 2GO Travel cruiser from Iloilo like the one depicted below to get to Bacolod, about an hour from Iloilo.
But it was cake and ice cream along with a spaghetti dinner to celebrate my recent birthday. I was happy with that. We don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money on some fancy shindig. Next year, however, is a different story. While we probably won’t be attending the “School of Jesus” in nearby Guimaras (which actually might not be a bad idea), I will be treating everyone to a big birthday bash at Pizza Hut or Shakey’s.
Good thing I’ll have that extra cash from my Social Security then because I’ll need it. Both these pizzeras aren’t cheap. And I’m all about living as frugally as possible in the Philippines but sometimes you have to let loose and have some fun.
And any time spent with my lovely asawa (shown in the photo above) and our crew of relatives that live with us is a good time. But I guess the party really got started after I went to bed (remember, I’m an old geezer that goes to sleep by nine pm and is up between 3 and 4 am. I was sound asleep by the time the following pictures were taken.)
Here’s April on the left standing next to my beautiful asawa, their Tita Daday. Michelle is on the right. The twins are using the classic pose that they think means they’re cute. I call it the “L” for “loser’s” pose.
And the picture above depicts April and Michelle in a posing standoff with tita. I don’t know which twin won. April might weigh a little less than her sister, but she’s still tough. They both can’t keep up with Dad, however. I might be 61 years old but I smoked both of them in a fast-walking competition the other night.
I had gone out to the main gate in our Savannah Subdivision to surprise my asawa and the twins. They had gone out to buy some vegetables and fish at the local market. Nothing was on television and I was getting bored. My other niece and my nephew were at home but they’re about as quiet as a Cistercian monk. Frankly, I might as well be talking to the wall.
The trio approached the gate. They turned a corner and they spotted me. Told them I was bored and decided to help them carry their groceries home. I grabbed one of the heaviest bags that was full of vegetables. Soon April and Michelle passed the old man up. “Go ahead of me,” I said, “you’re both 42 years older than me.” I let them walk ahead of me before I kicked it in.
I soon passed Michelle and edged her off the sidewalk onto the main road. Then I briskly walked past April. It wasn’t long before I was way in front of the crew. My own asawa wisely did not compete. I heard the group making comments in their native Ilonggo, but I paid no attention to the “trash talk.” I ended up five minutes ahead of everyone. Not bad for an old man.
Now that I’ve caught my breath, days later, I’ll close with this last photo. It’s Michelle and Shaina, in one of her lighter moments. This American expat in the Philippines is getting older. And I’m loving it.