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Announcing Captain Tom’s Triumphant Philippines’ Return

captain tom and barangay captain

Because of the coronavirus quarantine, I’m enjoying the upbeat benefits of the current lockdown. Our province’s ban on mass meetings such as fiestas, for instance. While I’ve opined on this topic earlier, please bear with me. I don’t get out of the house much now (not that I bore any resemblance to a social butterfly … Read more

Top 10 New Reasons for Retiring to the Philippines

Seems like after living here for over 10 years, I wouldn’t have 10 new reasons for retiring to the Philippines. Because every day can be a fresh adventure in the archipelago, new reasons for moving to the Philippines to spend your “Golden Years” often crop up. Hence, today’s post: “Top 10 New Reasons for Retiring … Read more

I Award the Barangay Queen Her Trophy at Local Barangay Fiesta

The Royal Court

Celebrity status in the Philippines is a phenomenon many foreigners will encounter in the archipelago. Some expats, like Tom Ramberg over in Gen San, is often the recipient of wolf whistles from appreciative Filipinas whenever he steps out in public.  I’ve been chased and screamed at by pretty pinays as I sat in the rear of a jeepney or tricycle in Guimaras, my island province home. Every time this event occurs I check my barn door to make sure it’s closed. It always is so I can only assume that the young ladies were either stoned on shabu or flirtatious Filipinas from the local KTV bars.

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Current Crime Capers Clamp Down on Mango Land

mango land guimaras

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.

Big mango at Jordan Wharf Visitor's Center in Guimaras

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Manggahan Festival Adventures with the Tom Cat

No series of articles about the Manggahan Festival, held last April in Guimaras, the sweet mango province, would be complete without a post that featured my American expat friend, The Tom Cat, aka “Brother Tom.”  Tom, a bona fide Renaissance Man,    is dating LenLen,  one of my asawa’s countless relatives in the Philippines. 

San Miguel Pale Pilsen

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A San Miguel Afternoon on a Philippines Resort, Cabaling Beach


Cousin Emma and her husband, Danett, along with their crew,  consisting of their son and daughter and the staff from the Jade Market that she owns in Guimaras,  had arrived at  Cabaling Beach in Guimaras, a Philippines resort where we celebrating some birthdays this past Sunday.  Oh, their pooch was there, too, but of equal importance was the fact that our supply of San Miguel beverages had also made their appearance at this Philippines resort.  It was almost two pm, and I was thirsty.  Danett quickly popped the top of my mucho bottle of Gold Eagle with the cap of his San Miguel Light.  I poured a cupful for my brother-in-law Joery and myself as I asked my Filipino amigo how he managed to open that bottle of Gold Eagle using his bottle of Light as the opener. DSC

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Expats Land on the Moon in Iloilo


We landed on the moon around 11:30 am. The Moon Cafe. Next to SM City in Iloilo. A Mexican-inspired restaurant. Our driver, Naldo, had successfully navigated through the city streets clogged with jeepneys, taxis, pedicabs and pedestrians. Brother Tom and I kicked back and enjoyed the comfort of the air con in Paul from Iloilo’s SUV. Welcome change from the stifling heat of a cramped PUV (Public Utility Vehicle.) We were as happy as a tornado in a trailer park.DSC

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Kicking Back With American Expat Brother Tom


My American expat friend, Brother Tom, sent me a text message Wednesday morning. He was supervising the rice harvest at his farm and wanted me to come over. He was going to take some pictures of me in action. That sounded dangerously close to work so I replied that I would  pass on that “opportunity” but would be happy to meet him later that evening for a round of San Miguels at our favorite hangout, The Shirven Hotel. It was my turn to buy. A bottle of Pale Pilsen costs 30 pesos (69 cents) as opposed to P13 (30 cents) for a bottle of Gold Eagle if purchased by the case, but since my expat friend was leaving to return to the States for six months, I threw caution to the wind, and advised The Sainted Patient Wife I would be meeting my amigo later. My asawa did not protest, happy, I’m sure to get me out of “The Compound” for a couple of hours. DSC

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