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Life Goes on in my Little “Pocket of Paradise”

No brownouts since last Sunday night. There is some debate among the expat community of Guimaras as to whether or not the undersea cable that was cut last month has been repaired.  I could get off my lazy butt and walk over to our local Guimelco office to find out. But I’ve been busy writing some new books I’m going to hustle on Amazon. So life goes on in my little “pocket of paradise.” And having electricity every day and all day, sure makes life easier.

Filipina cutie from Cherry Blossoms

 

One British expat states that the repairs were not done on the cable and would last until the end of this month or later. Another Brit reported that the Governor, and not a mayor as reported earlier on this website, declared the cable was repaired. It would be nice if the official website for Guimelco or even their Facebook page would keep their customers updated but I supposed I’m living in a fantasy world and asking too much.

Getting ready for a small birthday celebration tonight as our domestic helper, Mera, turns 16. I walked over to the local Sari Sari Bread Shop to pick up some pan de sal for the family and picked up a P590 container of Selecta Rocky Road ice cream. While Mary Joy was packing my ice cream in newspaper for the walk back home, I spied a refrigerator full of cakes, something I had never seen at this outlet before.

They only had small, roll-shaped cakes for P190 but we didn’t need a big one for this party. Only Lolo, my asawa, Mera, niece Shaina and nephew Sharwin,  and yours truly would be in attendance. Well, we do have a special guest, Mera’s sister, who attends the “Mosquito” college here on the island, with Shaina.

I’ve been getting up from 3-4 am to work on my new paperbacks and then take a break at 5 am to take my hour long walk. After a brief breakfast I’m back on the computer. I’m starting work on book three and will make them available on my website as an E-book at a later date.

I did enjoy a very pleasant evening at a local private social club located on the island this past Friday evening. Great food and good friends that I have met at The Shirven Hotel before. But aside from that, everything’s been quiet on the island.

At that gathering I did receive reports that the landscape in San Lorenzo, where enormous windmills are being constructed to provide power, have really ripped up the local roads and made them nearly impassable. I was planning a road trip there in the near future but might wait until we buy our new four-wheel truck in November before I venture out.

Life goes on in my little “pocket of paradise” in the Philippines.

6 Comments

  • papaduck

    Dave,
    Glad the brownouts have stopped for now, but stay tuned. We haven’t gotten any rain in over a week. At least we have a nice cool breeze most of the time. Glad to see you got out and spent some time with expats to shoot the bull. It good to get away from the house. We have some new American Expat friends here from Bellville, Ill. One, Chuck, is retired AF and Defense Contractor. The other, Uncle Bob as he is called, is a 83 year old retired firefighter who is visiting with his 83 year old Filipina wife, which is unusual, for 6 months and are staying with Chuck and his lovely wife. He is from Bellville too. Really good people. The ladies like to get together all the time. The bad news is they are moving to a new house being built in Tarlac, north of Angeles City by the end of Sept. No matter what life is good when you don’t have to go to work in the morning. Did you see the exchange rate is near 44p and has already went over that the last week.

    • Yeah, no rain for us, either, Papa Duck. Pretty dry for the rainy season.

      Belleville, Illinois? That’s right in my neck of the woods, not that far from where I grew up, in South Central Illinois. We had neighbors that would commute to work there every day. Scott AFB is near there and my Dad went to work there after serving in the Air Force during the Korean War. Uncle Bob is about my Dad’s age. Too bad Uncle Bob is moving. Give the guys a “shout out” from Mt. Olive, Illinois, if you think about it. That’s were we grew up. My Grandpa worked in the coal mines for 25 years and helped Mother Jones organize the first coal miner’s union there where he was president.

      Yep, I’ve been following the exchange rate. About 43.98 to 1 right now, hope it climbs back over 44, and higher, for our next exchange. Take care.

  • Lucy

    Dave, you recently posted an article on things an expat must get used to in order live in the Philippines. (Sorry, I can’t seem to find your post). Anyway, one of the things that I had a difficult time with while “living” in the Philippines was being lied to. Some people feel like lying is better than telling the truth to “keep peace.” Well, as an Filipino American, I find that appalling. I can write a book on what I encountered while “living” in Iloilo for a few of months, as it relates to being lied to. For example: I invited some cousins to go bowling (duck pin) on one Friday night, we all agreed on meeting at 7pm on a Friday night at St. Elizabeth’s bowling alley around 7pm. I arrive at 6:50pm to make sure we got a good bowling lanes. By 7:30, no one showed, so I waited, thinking an emergency came up. At 8:30pm, I called my cousin to see what the hold up was- no answer. By 8:15pm, I was worried and pissed at the same time, so I called again. This time my cousin answered the phone. She informed me that she and her sisters were already in bed! * Smoke coming out of my ears, I informed her that I thought we had agreed on meeting for bowling at 8pm. As cool as she can be, she said, “oh I thought we just had a plan.” Effing fumes were coming out of my head. What the F*ck happened, I asked? Why didn’t you call me to let me know you weren’t coming?” All she could say was, “I’m sorry, but we’re sleeping already.” A few days later, I asked another Filipino/American friend what the deal was, about the incident I encountered. She said, “Filipinos are that way. They don’t want to hurt your feelings by turning you down. So, they’d rather just be a now show, than tell you they don’t want to go.” I asked, “you mean they’d rather lie, than hang me up, or tell the truth, so I can make other plans?” To which, she replied, “Yes, I know, that double talk mentality breeds mental illness, but that’s the way people here operate. They’d rater lie, than hurt your feelings.” What!? So, I asked, “people here would rather lie than tell the truth, in order to prevent hurting my feelings? But, what about the time I spent waiting for them, not to mention, they wasting my time?” My friend said, “that’s the way people are here.” OMG, that’s just one of many scenarios involving lying that I encountered while living in Iloilo for 4 months. People in Iloilo have no problems with lying. Even when I call them out on their lies, they just shrug it off, like it’s no big deal. UGH! I hated that! Family members, “friends,” and even strangers, had no problem telling lies, even right to my face, so long as the lies benefitted them. To them lying is justified, if it means lying would benefit them. I’m sure that’s not true for all people in the Philippines or Iloilo, but, my experience living in Iloilo was very frustrating when I imposed my standard ways of living to the Philippine ways of living. What I’m saying is, the moral of the story is, if you want to live in the Philippines successfully, be prepared to live as Filipinos live, not as you live, especially, if you are an American.

    • Lucy, I, too, would have been very upset. I have to rack my feeble brain to think of a similar situation that has happened to me here in the last five years, and I can’t. I do recall asking the owner of a local store if I could hire their truck when we made our move from Iloilo back to Guimaras last year; I never received a firm “yes” or “no” only lots of excuses. From what I have read in the past, it seems to me that not wanting to say “no” is not unique to Filipino culture but applies to Asian culture in general. In order to “save face” and spare someone from possible embarrassment, a person would rather tell a lie instead of saying no.

      I realize this is something difficult for many Americans to comprehend. It is for me. We are usually more direct. I’m also now reminded of a jeenpney dispatcher from Jordan Wharf who used to travel to our house to ask for money. My brother-in-law expressly told me to never tell him “no.” or he would lose face. Always make an excuse but never, ever say “no.”

      But you’re absolutely right: “if you want to live in the Philippines successfully, be prepared to live as Filipinos live, not as you live, especially, if you are an American.”

  • Lucy

    Dave, have you ever heard of drunk driving? Well, looks like my previous post suffered a bit from a drink or two too many. Looks like I just sprinkled in hours, words, and sentences, as my drunk thoughts meandered from my brain to my fingers and onto the screen. But you got the message just the same. Anyway, sorry about that drunk post. I’ll try not to do that again. I only drink during the summer, and summer is about to come to an end, so I’m soaking in the rays and enjoying some Guinness and reading your articles before Labor Day comes. But back to my original comment about people lying; ugh, I really hate that.

    • No problem, Lucy. I thought it was a good comment and touched on a topic that is very relevant here. Enjoy your upcoming Labor Day holiday. Truth be told, I used to look forward to those long weekends but now that I’m retired in “paradise” every day is a holiday. Take care and have a Guinness for me. My British expat friends on Guimaras love them.

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