Gardening in the Philippines

With the severe drought in the USA, it is predicted that food prices will rise 10% or more world wide on into 2013. The Philippines imports a lot of wheat from the USA, together with soybean meal and beef. The prices will be higher in the days ahead.

Since 2009, when we moved to the Philippines, we grow some of our own vegetables. We now live in the city in a subdivision but we still grow potted vegetables and we grow some vegetables on the small strip of soil that we have in front of our house.

The good news is that we still have our other house and farm, located south of Bacolod about a one hour drive, and we recently began preparing for a larger garden.

Our  home garden

Initially, we planted long green beans and pechay, which is Filipino bokchoy. It is the rainy season now in our area of the Philippines, so it is a gamble to plant anything right now, so we will add more to the garden after September. Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Spanish onions and tomatoes are what we are soon targeting.
We have many free range chickens at our farm and we have two “chicken houses” that the chickens like to use when laying eggs. 

Chicken House


Someone trying to sneak in and rustle some chickens. Only joking! It is our niece, who was in the sugar cane field looking for some lost chicks who strayed off. No luck.

Orchids and Plants

My wife’s hobby.

More Orchids and Plants

The orchids in the background are growing on driftwood mounts. The nicer ones in our area can be sold for up to P5,000 each or a little more than $100 USD.

We raise sugar cane and rice commercially and we plan to increase our home production of vegetables.

It really is more fun in the Philippines!










Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready to Play

Fantasy Baseball! It is that time of the year again and this year’s MLB season officially began in late March with two games played in Japan between the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners.

Having an online Fantasy Baseball Team has been one of my past times or hobbies for the past 8 years. Fantasy Baseball gives me something to do while I am semi-retired in the Islands of Paradise, the Philippines. I also have more hobbies but more on that later.

I have three teams on CBS Sports Fantasy Baseball, which is my favorite site to have teams. This year, I have three teams.


After Week One, I am 1-0.


After Week One, I am 1-0.


After Week One, I am 0-1. Cute logo but  no win yet. Hopefully, in Week Two, I get a W for Win.

Ladies having a Fantasy Baseball Team is not so popular but there are a few who do. One of my leagues not only has a lady but a Chinese lady who has a team and she is a baseball fan.

ESPN and Yahoo Sports also have Fantasy Baseball Leagues, where one can join, draft a team, set a logo, set the team line-up and you are good to go.

I only join the Free Leagues, as I don’t join the Pay Leagues where each team owner puts up money in a pot and the Champion in October gets most of the pot. I play for fun!

I have been a baseball fan and have followed Major League Baseball since 1965. A long time, huh? I was 10 years old at the time. That was also my first year to play Little League Baseball. I was on the Old Dixie Chickadees, sponsored by the then famous fried chicken restaurant in Orlando, Florida. I continued playing and honing my baseball skills while I was growing up. In 1972, I attended the Cincinnati Reds tryout camp held in Gadsden, Alabama. Nope, I was not signed to a contract but it was fun and I tried. I gave it my best shot! I was too small, the scouts said.

During my adult life, I switched to softball and played every year on the team where I was employed. The last year I played, before hanging up the spikes was in 1996, at age 42. Yeah, even to this day I can still hit, I can still field the ball with my glove, I still have a rocket arm to throw the ball but man, that running is what gets me! Especially trying to lumber from First Base to Home or from First Base to Third! From Base to Base is not a problem.

One of my hobbies is giving tips to the Girl’s Softball Team at the Barangay High School. Hitting! Swinging from the waist with a bat and only using arm strength is not the way to do it. Weight on the back foot and putting the entire body into the swing is the key to power hitting. I learned the Charlie Lau theory of hitting when I was a college freshman. Even though I was only 5’4 and 128 pounds, I could launch a baseball or a softball a long distance. I am still 5’4 but now weigh 138! Not bad gaining only ten pounds over the past 39 years!

Fantasy Baseball is only one of my hobbies in the Philippines. I also enjoy writing about the Philippines and giving advice to other expats who plan making a retirement move the Islands of Paradise.

It really is more fun in the Philippines! My honeymoon with and in the Philippines has never ended, as each day still unfolds a new adventure. Bacolod, “The City of Smiles”! You gotta love it.