The Positives of Aging


The US State Dept reports that there are more than 300,000 US citizens living in the Philippines. Many, if not most, are retirees. Being a Senior Citizen does not require a negative stereotype. Many never made it to your age and they are no longer on the planet but you are still alive and kicking!

In Manila, there is a US Social Security office, there is a US VA Clinic and the Philippine Retirement Authority offers the SRRV, Special Resident’s Retiree Visa.

Power of Positive Thinking

During my mid 20s, I discovered the Power of Positive Thinking. It has ever since gone hand in hand with my Faith. Fear and Doubt counters Faith. Negative Thinking counters all things Positive. I know there are limitations as we get older but there does not have to be many automatic limitations. We should do what remains within our comfort zone. It does not mean to take to a rocking chair and wait around to die!

I often wondered why many Senior Citizens remain very active into their 90s and others seem to shut down in their 60s and early 70s?

They Take a Licking and Keep On Ticking

In both the Philippines and in America, there are many senior citizen politicians, with some being around in office for more than 40-50 years. There are term limits in the Philippines but not in America, however, in the Philippines, many keep coming back to office when allowed to run for office again.

Fidel Ramos Photo

Juan Ponce Enrile termed out last year as a Philippine Senator at age 92. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is 80. Former President Fidel Ramos is 89 and he was on the campaign trail last year, campaigning for Duterte. Imelda Marcos is 88 and is a current Congresswoman of Ilocos Norte.


Recently watching a Tennessee Titans NFL game, I saw Dick LaBeau walking the sidelines of the Titans with a head set and holding a play chart. Dick LaBeau is the Defensive Coordinator and the Assistant Coach of the Tennessee Titans. Dick LaBeau was born in 1937 and he is 80 years of age.

A day or so ago, I saw author Mary Higgins Clark on Fox News, promoting her new book. Ms Clark was born in 1927 and she will turn 90 on Christmas Eve this year. Despite battling arthritis in her hands, Mary Higgins Clark is still writing.


One of my favorite Baseball personalities is Trader Jack McKeon. At age 72, Trader Jack won a World Series while managing the Florida Marlins. Trader Jack retired from Managing 2 years later but remained a Consultant in Baseball Operations. Six years later, at age nearing 78, Trader Jack returned to the dugout to manage the Florida Marlins just one more time. He said he did not need the job but he loves managing. Trader Jack McKeon will turn 87 this month, he is still following the game of baseball and he is still smoking his cigars. He is now retired in North Carolina.

There are many more examples of people being productive and active from ages 70+ to 100. A number of them have 3 or more chronic medical conditions but they do not let those derail them.

There are some negatives in aging but some can be turned into positives. There is no Fountain of Youth but positives can outweigh the negatives if the person makes that decision.

Many Filipinas often say…Age is only a number and there is much truth in their statement! You are as young as you feel.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

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All Around Bacolod: Sharing the Grandeur of the Philippines


February 2018 will mark the 6th year I have been publishing articles about the Philippines on my website, All Around Bacolod. My Vision and my Mission have always remained to share the Grandeur of the Philippines, especially about the Bacolod Area.

Who Reads All Around Bacolod?

Word Press has daily statistics that I can refer to as to where my readers and followers are actually located. Today, thus far to this moment, people reading All Around Bacolod are located in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. Yesterday, Russia and Australia made the list together with the mentioned 5 countries.

There are many people around the world who have not yet visited the Philippines. There are many others who have visited the Philippines, some have visited many times, and they have plans to live in the Philippines during their retirement years.

I do not mind expats living in Bacolod reading my articles, however, they are certainly not the base or core of my followers and readers. They are already here and if they get out of their houses, they should already know much about Bacolod City and about the surrounding areas.

The Bacolod Area is not the only location in the Philippines but it has been my home since June 2009. From 1986-2000, I lived in Metro Manila 2 times and I most annually visited, sometimes 2-3 times during the year. However, my experience in Manila is highly outdated and is no longer accurate.

More Than Beaches


Many beaches in the Philippines are very beautiful, however, not everyone likes the beach. Some expats prefer life in the rural mountain areas of the Philippines. Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto are the two mountain areas I am most familiar with in the Bacolod Area.


All expats do not like the beaches or the mountain areas and they prefer living in a large city in the Philippines. Some prefer many more choices to enjoy a vibrant nightlife, many more choices for great dining and many more choices to enjoy great shopping. The city lifestyle is for them!

Why I Chose to Live in the Bacolod Area

My wife is from the Bacolod Area, however, she did not pressure me to live here if I did not like it. After 3 extended visits to the Bacolod Area, 6 weeks each time, I decided that this is the area where I wanted to retire to and live in the Philippines. I have never regretted my decision!

Bacolod City was named this year by a panel of experts as The Model City in the Philippines. Previously, Bacolod City has been awarded as the Greenest, Cleanest and Most Livable City in the Philippines…several times.

In Bacolod City, there is great dining, with many choices of Cuisine and there is also great shopping. Education from K-University is excellent…if the right educational institution is chosen for attending. There are 5 Private Hospitals in Bacolod City. Overall, based upon the words of Filipino family and friends, the Medical Care in Bacolod City is very good to excellent, depending upon the Hospital and their personal MD.

Currently, there are 8 Shopping Malls in the Bacolod Area, which also includes Talisay City. A new larger Ayala Mall is under construction as I write.

Compared to the well known large cities in the Philippines, Bacolod does not have the traffic, crime or pollution problems. Bacolod is a mid-sized city and we feel it is a great place to raise our son.

The City of Smiles

Bacolod City lives up their reputation of The City of Smiles. The vast majority of the Filipinos who are friends, family acquaintances and among those I newly meet are very nice, extremely friendly and are eager to be helpful if needed.

The vast majority of the Filipinos in my circle and the ones I know on a more casual basis are originally from Negros Occidental. Not being critical of other Regions and the people from those Regions, I have found the Filipinos in Negros Occidental to have a very gentle character and a laid back lifestyle. I lived in the Southern USA most of my life and the Filipinos and their hospitality in our area reminds me very much of the people in both Alabama and in Northern Florida. The elderly are respected, God, Family, Flag and Country are loved and people are neighborly.

I have many wonderful Filipino friends in the Bacolod Area. People should do what they need to be happy and having many foreign friends is not a requirement for my happiness. There are only two foreigners living in the subdivision where we live…me and another American. We have not even seen one another since last year.

Moving to the Bacolod Area is the best move I have made.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

What Do You Miss in the Philippines?


While living in the Philippines, there is not much that I miss from the Southern USA. For the most part, items I cannot actually store buy, I can make at home.


If imported Grits are not available, I can buy White Corn and take it to the grinder to run it through several times to get the texture I like to make Grits. Imported Grits are not available year round in Bacolod and I have not seen the boxed Albers Grits in more than one full year.


Moon Pies! I have not had a Moon Pie in 17 years. Unless S&R in Iloilo sells Moon Pies, I doubt I will ever eat one in our area of the Philippines.


Slim Jim is another product I would enjoy but I have never seen them in the Visayan areas of Philippines where I have been.

Licorice is not available year round in our area.


On the social scene, I do miss going to a Honky Tonk with a live C&W Band and seeing Stetsons, Tony Lama Boots and the Honky Tonk Angels/Redneck Cowgirls with their names on the back of their belts, waiting to be asked to cut a rug out on the dance floor. However, I know those days are long gone and my Dance Card has done been punched.


I am not complaining because, overall, there is very little that I miss from the South, which I cannot get or see in the Bacolod Area. I see many similarities here compared to where I am from. There are many Filipinos here who love God, Family, Country and Flag. Many Filipinos still respect the elderly, they are friendly and neighborly. The Filipino Hospitality is much like Southern Hospitality.

I do not remember ever encountering many people in the Southern USA who are so unhappy, mean and ornery like I have met among the expat crowd in Bacolod. There are some nice expats here but there are also a number of crabby, grumpy, grouchy, ill-tempered and down right vicious expats in the City of Smiles. That is why I avoid most of them. Over time, even some of the expats I thought were nice could only put up a front for so long and out came their real characters and personalities.

Overall, I am certainly blessed and who could not love living among wonderful Filipinos in the City of Smiles?

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

What’s For Breakfast?


I have read all the medical reports about how important the first meal of the day is…for years. For me, the first meal of the day is not usually Breakfast any longer but it is usually Brunch.

Cooking for one person is not fun for me, although I do at times. Only for me.

If I have leftover Pizza or Chili on hand, I will eat one or the other for Brunch. However, I do not have leftover Pizza or Chili on hand everyday.

Cooking Oatmeal or Poaching an Egg to eat on toast is a snap for me but I often do not want to. So, I constantly look online for the good Brunch Recipes. I also take a stroll down Memory Lane and think about what I ate for the first meal of the day when I was growing up. Usually somewhere in the Southern USA.

Many Brunch and Breakfast Choices

Pascual branded Greek Yogurt is available in our area and I can buy it by the case at the distributor, Asia Brewery. Greek Yogurt, Chickpeas and Feta Cheese is a recommended Mediterranean Breakfast or Brunch.

An Over EZ Egg Sandwich on an English Muffin or on your choice of Bread, with Cheese and Mushrooms is another suggestion.

Scrambled Eggs with Tofu and Curry Sauce does not float my boat! No, I will pass on that suggestion.

Avocado, Tomato and Cheese Platter for Brunch is something I can get into.

Hash Browns with Refried Beans and Egg of choice sounds good to me!

I like Steel Cut Oats and I like Rolled Oats but I do not want to eat those everyday over the long haul. Most of the Quaker Oats I see in our area are overloaded with Sugar. No thanks for me.

A couple of days ago, I had a Cheese Omelet on a split Croissant. It hit the spot!


In South Carolina, I had Deep Fried Catfish with Grits and Cornbread, Toast or a Biscuit more times than once. Always good and I wish I could eat it on Saturday! Also She Crab and Grits.

I like Eggs Benedict and I make it but I leave off the Hollandaise Sauce. Purists may not like it but I am the one eating the Eggs Benedict and they can prepare it the way they like it.

Dried Fish with Rice, Instant Noodles, Rice with Corned Beef/Beef Tapa/Tocino/Longaniza/Hot Dog and Fried Egg remain popular among Filipinos in our area for their first meal of the day. Do not forget the Coffee! I also eat those, often referred to as Tapsilog in the Visayas to cover all, other than just Tapa.


I enjoy Lugaw and my wife makes great Lugaw. Yellow Rice with Boiled Eggs made into a Porridge or she will leave off the Boiled Eggs and add Shredded Chicken Meat. Both are good but my wife knows I never, never, eat Eggs and Chicken together.

Pan de sal with Peanut Butter is a local Breakfast that I enjoy. A Southern version would be Cornbread with Honey or Table Syrup…and Butter. What about Cornbread Apple Fritters?

I like the purple colored Salted Duck Egg with Sliced Tomato but my wife advised me not to eat this as the first meal of the day. I asked her why not and she just told me..It is not good for you!

I never had the Elvis Special, Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, deep fried after being dipped in butter. Or so the story goes, as I never had breakfast with Elvis!

I think Southern Cuisine has some of the best Breakfast and Brunch dishes, at least that I enjoy. I will eat Sausage Gravy over Biscuits even at supper time. I also enjoy Grits any time of the day or night. There is also Bacon Gravy over Biscuits.


If I have Biscuits, I will have a good Brunch or Breakfast or for any meal. The Dixie Special is a large Cathead Biscuit with Ham, Sausage Patty, Bacon, Scrambled Egg, Sliced Tomato and plain White Gravy. Now, we’re talking!

Whatta bout Ham Steak with Red Eye Gravy, Biscuits and Fried Apples?

Of course, Waffles, Pancakes and Johnny Cakes, aka Hoecakes, are good to me. The Native Americans in Florida had Fry Bread available, Corn as well, often with Gator Tail, Turtle, Raccoon, Bobcat, Deer or Otter.

Have a great Breakfast or Brunch!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere….all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Bacolod Jazz Fest 2017

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I send this out to all you folks in Bacolod City, the City of Smiles, and to all you folks in Negros Occidental. Some of you expats are mean little bastardos but we can’t do without you! Also to those of you who may be visiting soon, I have something for ya.

The annual Bacolod Jazz Fest will be at the L’ Fisher Hotel La Proa Grand Ball Room on Friday, February 17th, with warm up jam session beginning at 6pm. Tickets are now on sale at the hotel and they are selling quickly.

Anders Paulsson, recognized as one of the world’s best saxophonists today, is the headliner. Kat Agarrado and her band, Manila Blues Experience, will also be one of the headliners. Working Stiff, Manila’s Premier Jazz Fusion Band will perform, as will AMP Nonet.

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Classical Jazz, New Age Jazz, Latino Jazz, Reggae Jazz, Fusion Jazz and All That Jazz will be featured by a number of Jazz Stylists. Get ready, it’s gonna be Awesome!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

A Basket of Deplorables Propel Donald Trump To the White House

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In my article today, the cover photo is of several different baskets of design, colors and size. I did this for a reason. Diversity!

Last September, Hillary Clinton stated that half of Donald Trump supporters were a Basket of Deplorables. She went on to say we were racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islmaphobic. I’m afraid I got some bad news for Hillary. Her comments were part of the reason she lost the election. Hillary’s words propelled Donald Trumps to turn out at the polls and vote for Donald Trump as the next President of the United States of America.

Hypocrisy At The Highest Level

You see, the Democratic Party prides themselves in being Liberals and Progressives. Same Sex Marriage, Abortion, LGBT Rights, Civil Rights, Unisex Public Restrooms, Beholders of Atheists, Socialism are part of the party platform. However, if you do not support their agenda, you are a basket of deplorables. That is not democracy and  it is actually un-American.

The Republican Legislators in the 1960s are the ones who voted to push passage of the Civil Rights Act. Many Democrats were Segregationists and Racists, who voted against the Act. Fact Check it!

Look at the Inner Cities of America. With the first Black American President in office for the past 8 years, why are there still Ghettos? Hell holes in reality. With prostitutes and drug dealers on almost every street corner and where gangs control the turf. With unemployment among Black American and Latino males pushing 60%. Something is wrong with that picture. Democratic Party Mayors have ruled Chicago my entire lifetime! Same as in other large cities with large Black American and Latino populations. Time to change that and President Donald Trump will change it. It is one of his priorities. The Democrats want to keep Black Americans and Latinos down at the bottom so they will depend on them for Social Welfare and thus keep voting for the failed Democratic Party Ideology.

President Donald J.Trump will drain the swamp in taking on the Washington Cartel.. It is time for real change and no longer hoping you will have a little bit of change…in your pocket. Dream Big! Your future is only limited by your imagination. America will be great again! Americans will be proud again! America will be safe again!

Myths About Republicans

We are not all racists but racism exists within both parties. I lived in Alabama and attended high school 1968-1972 there. A number of my male classmates were racists. One of my female classmates was a very beautiful Black American. I liked her and talked to her a few times. I was confronted and threatened if I continued talking to her. I could not take on the KKK, so, I stopped talking to her and avoided her. As I look back, I realize, it was a form of Domestic Terrorism!

One of my friends in Cebu City, Trish, refers to herself as “the most beautiful Lady Boy in Cebu.” Her orientation does not cause me to not like her. I enjoy her company and even enjoy lunch with her from time to time. I am not ashamed to be seen in public with her, however, some people talk bad about me. I am not concerned about them, their misconceptions or their thoughts. I am a Maverick. If I like certain people, I like them and no one can tell me otherwise. It is my decision alone.

I have no problem with the religion of Islam. There are 2 Mosques in Bacolod City, where I live. The Muslims in our city are not Radical Islamic Terrorists. They are business people for the most part, who play a large role in community building and in nation building. God bless them!

I have far more Filipino friends than I have American or other expat friends in Bacolod City. I did not move to the Philippines to hobnob with foreigners. My Filipino friends are in all walks of life. Vendors, employees, farmers and in Govt. I never think of their status other than they are my friends. And you can believe that!

I have been a Born Again Christian since 1972, however, it is not my job to condemn anyone. If I like ya, I will be with ya. If I do not like ya, I will not come around ya!

In the meantime, I hope to see ya one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

The Contract With America

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Donald Trump pulled off the biggest political upset in history. I am reading all the sad comments and actual comments of hatred online toward Donald Trump since the US November 8 Election. Time to move on folks and accept Democracy in Action.

Yesterday, I watched the live speeches of both Hillary Clinton and President Obama. Both said the same thing. Americans and the world owe Donald Trump the opportunity to be a good President and keep an open mind. Thank you both for your kind words! Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is a happy camper. The relationship between Israel and the USA had deteriorated over the past 8 years due to the White House Agenda. Shame on them!

President Duterte of the Philippines congratulated President Donald Trump yesterday. Rody said he looks forward to an enhanced relationship with America, with mutual respect. Rody did not seem to like Obama! He and Trump will get along fine. I really do Bo-Lieve!

There was a big change during the last two weeks of the hard fought Presidential Election. Donald put it all together in his Contract with America and it was one reason the course of the election changed…if you believed the polls. I never believed the polls because they are corrupt and slanted in favor of the Democratic Party. This was to discourage people from voting for Donald Trump and “wasting” their vote.

Contract With America

I will outline President Donald Trump’s Contract with America. With a majority in the House and the Senate, President Trump has the perfect Mandate of the American People. All in!

Building a Wall to secure America’s southern border and Mexico will pay for it! Illegal aliens who are felons will be deported. Hundreds of Americans have been killed by illegal alien criminals in the United States. Illegal Drugs flow freely across the American Border to poison Americans and destroy their lives. Immigrants will be welcome, as long as they follow the lawful process to obtain a Visa. Sanctuary Cities, which harbor illegal aliens, will have Federal Funds cut off.. Hear that, San Francisco?

Obama Care will be repealed and replaced with a Health Care Program that is affordable and no one will lose their health insurance. The Affordable Health Care under Obama is not affordable. Who can afford a monthly premium of $1.400 per month?

The EPA Regulations will be abolished and President Trump will put Coal Miners and Steel Workers back to work again. Shale, oil, natural gas and coal will once again be developed from America’s own natural resources. Thank God!

The US Military has been depleted in terms of number of forces, ships, planes and other equipment. President Trump will restore the American Military to greatness once again. America’s adversaries will respect us once again and America’s friends and allies around the world will trust us once again.

The US Veterans have been mistreated, abused and neglected. President Trump will ensure the Vets receive the medical treatment and medical care they deserve. If a VA Hospital is too busy, the Vets will be able to go to any private medical health care facility or doctor for the care they deserve. No more waiting days for treatment. Hip, Hip Hooray!

Term Limits will be placed on politicians. No more fat cats sitting on their fat azz and doing nothing in the Senate or Congress for decades. All some are doing is collecting a paycheck! More great news.

Only Judges who will defend and honor the US Constitution will be appointed to the Supreme Court. No more Judges who vote on issues along Democratic Party lines to distort the Constitution. Many military have given the ultimate sacrifice in foreign wars to protect the Constitution. Too many policemen have been killed in America for doing their duty of protecting citizens and protecting human rights under the Constitution.

Trade deals will be re-negotiated or torn up, if not fair. This includes NAFTA.

The Iranian Nuclear Deal will be voided and harsh economic sanctions will once again be placed on Iran, with their assets frozen. Iran is the largest supporter of Radical Islamic Terrorism around the world. Including in the Philippines and in the USA.

Social Security and Medicare Benefits will not be cut and the programs will be secured in funding.

Personal Income Tax will be cut and Tax Regulations that strangle business will be lowered. This will create millions of jobs across the land!

ISIS will be destroyed once and for all. The Generals and the Admirals hands will no longer be handcuffed to a failed White House Narrative. America will win again!

Blue Lives Matter. Law Enforcement Officers will once again be 100% supported and not branded as Racists due to the actions of only a few rogue cops. Those cops will be prosecuted if they break the law but Law Enforcement will no longer be Bastardized by politicians with a leftist and liberal ideology.

The Democrats have abused Black Americans and Latinos in the Inner Cities for decades. The Democrats only want their votes and never do anything to get them out of the hell holes they live in, aka Ghettos! Donald Trump will rebuilt the Inner Cities, creating jobs, opportunities will abound, schools will be good again and crime will decrease.

There are more items in the Contract with America but I will stop for now.

Surrogate for Donald Trump

As a foreigner living in the Philippines, I am not allowed to meddle in Philippines politics, although I read about it everyday and know what is happening. Hello Senator Antonio Trillanes! How ya doing?

For the past year, I have been an active surrogate for Donald Trump, online and among expat communities in Asia. Donald Trump has the Mission, the Vision and the Ability to make America Great Again!

President Donald Trump overcame all odds to win! A biased media, Democrats, old guard Republican politicians who wanted Jeb Bush to be the nominee, hired thugs to disrupt his rallies, hired women to tell lies about him, demonstrators who wanted to shut him up, a rigged Washington system, rigged polls and the devil himself.

However, God has Blessed America Again! Hallelujah!

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

It’s A New Day

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Americans kicked over the table, stood up against the biased media, against both Party’s elite and they elected Donald Trump as the next President of the United States of America. Mike Pence is the Vice President of the United States.

I advised people weeks ago not to call the election yet for Hillary and the rigged system. Americans abolished the rigging. There is a real Patriotic Movement in America and America will be great again! Americans told the establishment, the special interest groups and the corrupt politicians that they are sick of them and they took their country and the White House back. God bless America! God bless Americans!

The Domestic Policies and the Foreign Policies of a Republican President and a Republican majority in the House and Senate will affect expats living in the Philippines. Donald Trump has the Trifecta! The perfect Mandate of the people. We The People!

Time to drain the swamp and build the wall!

Donald Trump’s Policies with the Philippines will affect the country, regardless of who likes it. There is a new Boss, who will be in the White House in January. Donald does not take crap from anyone!

Why Donald Trump Won

I have Filipino friends in the Philippines, who are journalists. I told them for months that Hillary Clinton will not win. Why?

Hillary’s Middle East policy while she was Secretary of State, set the Middle East on fire. Libya, Iraq, Syria and she supported the Iran Nuclear Deal, giving Iran nuclear weapons in 10 years.

Hillary Clinton ignored 600 email from Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi, Libya, asking for more security. What happened? Ambassador Stevens and 3 other Americans were killed by terrorists, including 2 Navy Seals. Hillary Clinton lied to the American people, including the family of the murdered Americans, by blaming the death of the Americans on a You Tube Video. Why? Hillary and Obama said Libya was a success and there were not any terrorists in Libya. Four Americans being murdered by terrorists in Libya did not fit the White House narrative, so initially, there was an attempt to cover it up. A Congressional investigation uncovered the truth.

Hillary Clinton received a subpoena from the US Congress to turn over all her email, which were on an illegal private server, not  a dot Gov email address as well. What did she do? Hillary deleted all her email and used Bleach Bit to erase any trace of the email. Hillary’s aides took hammers to multiple Blackberry’s to destroy them. All that is Obstruction of Justice.

While under an FBI investigation, Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, met privately on a plane with DOJ Secretary Loretta Lynch. Bribe? More Obstruction of Justice in the very least.

Hillary lied to the American People. She lied to Congress and she lied to the FBI. Perjury!

Donald Trump will make America great again. All the criminal politicians will be held accountable by the new Admin Attorney General.

The majority of Americans are not as stupid as the Democratic Party thinks they are. I hope all the celebrities keep their word and move from the USA if Donald Trump is elected. Good riddance and do not let the door hit you in the azz on your way out! Donald Trump is indeed elected as new President.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere, all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

It’s My Life: Philippines

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I really do not have any major regrets in my lifetime. I experienced disappoints, had a few heartbreaks when I was younger, made some mistakes along the way but I would not want to go back and do anything differently. I would not be willing trading all the blessings in my life that I have experienced to try to re-plan my life on my own. Everything has worked out for almost 62 years and will continue on that path.

God Has Made a Way

I am not religious but I am a Born Again Christian. Since 1972, I have been on a Purpose Driven Life, with Faith in my Divine Life Plan. When I look back on the disappointments, the few heartbreaks and the mistakes, I realize those were all stepping stones to get me to the right place in Life, where I am destined to be. At that very moment in time. Otherwise, I would have missed the boat or missed my last flight out of Miami. Many times, we have to be at the right place at the right time. If we are not, it can often be a life changing event, which influences our future greatly.

That is the way I see my personal life since 1972. Before that, my parents directed my life and made most of the decisions for me. They did not do badly, either!

My Philippines Connection

I would not trade my life in the Philippines over the past 30 years for all the tea in China or for silver and gold. My experiences are priceless. From Luzon, to Negros Occidental, to Panay Island to Cebu, I’ve had a wonderful life in the Philippines. Yes, I love this life!

Everyday, I engage in discussions about the Philippines on LivinginthePhilippines3 Yahoo Group and in person. Please feel free to join us and post questions about the Philippines. Join us in our daily, lively discussions about this wonderful country with beautiful people.

I think I have several more decades in life and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do for me.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Expat Complaints: Angry White Guys

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Over the years, I’ve heard many expat complaints from guys who are living in the Philippines. Sometimes, they have a valid point and a complaint of merit. Sometimes, their complaint is about something that really bothers them but other times, they seem to be on a witch hunt. Other times, I have wondered if they ever spent any quality amount of time here before making the move. If they had, they would know what they were getting into. No surprises!

Not finding a plumber or an electrician, who measures up to their expat standards, is one common complaint I hear. We have not had any plumbing problems to speak of during the past 7 years, other than an occasional clogged drain, which was easily fixed. We have not had any electrical problems in our houses. Occasional brownouts don’t count, as there is nothing we can do about those and most of us know there are brownouts in the Philippines.

Noise

I learned long ago about the Art of Making Noise in the Philippines. Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, there will be noise at one time or another. In some locations, there is constant noise! We are blessed in that there is not normally loud, disturbing noise in the Bacolod subdivision where we live. We know during the Festivals, we will hear music in the distance but it is not disturbing to us.

Even though I have not lived at the farm full time in 5 years, the crowing of roosters do not disturb me. For others, it may well be a disturbance. Chickens are most everywhere, even in some city subdivisions.

Get With The Program

Some complaints are attempts to change the Filipino Culture to suit the expat and that’s not realistically going to happen. At least not over the long haul. Such complaints will often fuel ill feelings and resentment from our Filipino family and friends. I am not here to change anyone and Filipinos are not trying to change me. We have mutual respect. They have their way of doing things and I have my way of doing things. Both sides with mutual respect.

Some expats do not know the taboos in Filipino Culture and some Filipinos do not know the taboos of various Western Cultures. I think for those living in the Philippines, it should be asked about, after all…this is the Philippines. Even if our wives never lived in our home countries, those who have been married to us for some time know about our Cultures. My wife has spoken up several times and said, “Don’t ask him that. It’s not polite.”

Just sharing recent and long time expat complaints I have heard. Some expat complaints are the same as they were 30 years ago. “Why are they speaking their language?”

I hope to see you one day, somewhere….all around Bacolod.

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~