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.
That’s my sister-in-law Alida, who as Director of the Guimaras Joyful Preschool, continues to educate young minds as she tutors an adolescent charge early one Saturday morning. Alida’s institute of learning has grown from an initial enrollment of 19 pupils to well over 70 students in only a few years. She now has a waiting list, and along with her husband Joery, are planning to build a new classroom adjacent to the present structure to handle the increasing enrollment demands.
I was schlepping over to “The Compound” to visit our niece and nephew last Saturday. A scorching sun was handing me a shellacking but I had my trusty bottle of tubig (water) with me. Along the way, near The Shirven Hotel, I encountered a Philippines road construction crew on our island province of Guimaras. The guys took a break to mug for the camera as they saw me taking photos of the new highway improvements being done in our area. Here’s a few members of the crew in the following photo, one of the workers pretending to bash in the heads of his fellow co-workers with a shovel. Talk about violence in the workplace!
We’re house hunting in the Philippines. Sort of. In August 2014 we’ll be able to access our IRA account which currently provides the bulk of our monthly income. The money earned over the past few years from our investments will enable us to pay cash for our new home. No more renting. No house payments.
Lizard Poop. It’s not much of a problem in our Iloilo subdivision home as it was back at “The Compound” in Guimaras where we formerly resided. Of course, I’m not the one cleaning up the crap. My asawa, who asked me not to take her photo (see next picture), was busy the other day with a brush (that looked like a toilet bowl brush to me) cleaning out our windowsills.
Best place to retire? I would pick the Philippines, of course. I took an early retirement from AT&T at the age of 57. I’ve lived here for three years with my beautiful Filipina wife and enjoy a comfortable, fairly stress-free lifestyle. I’m enjoying my golden years as an old geezer in these treasure islands of the Pacific.
Recently, I’ve seen many a reference being made to “Filipino Time” and thought this would be a good time to delve into this tradition to help understand why being late for everything is considered the norm in the Philippines. Being married – so to speak – to the Archipelago (a Filipina) for over 25 years, I am all too familiar with the Filipino’s standards of tardiness.There are no standards really.
My new American expat friend "Jim" needed some help. In my previous post, I related a story in which my single amigo was having some difficulty in meeting some cute Filipinas of which Iloilo has an abundance. We were on our way to the SM Supermarket at SM City, and we decided to stop by the cosmetics counter so I could introduce Jim to a pretty pinay that had spoken to me earlier in the day.