Filipino Street Children – Close Encounters

Filipino street children, those that are homeless and live on the streets are unavoidable in any city in the Philippines, at least those that I have been too. They can be a source of irritation for most but there is some joy there. After all, they kids even if they are street kids. Last night I met a street kid that could speak English. So far we have not talked much I did gain a little insight into his situation and what it is like for him is likely to be the same for many more. I do not know if I will continue to try to talk to him though. You will see why.  I want to share what I have learned so far.

He and others hangout at a nearby Filipino quick service hamburger joint. A Fast food business named Angel’s. It is not a full service one like Jollibee, McDonalds or Burger King. I can get four tongue rash causing cheese burgers for 72 pesos which is less than $2. Not quite as cheap as the ten cent burgers we use to get at McDonalds or Krystal but very close to it.  I prefer to get Hungarian sausage though because I get less sugar filled bread that way. The hamburgers are rash causing, to me yes. It may be just a yeast infection but I do not think so. The buns are full of sugar, a problem for any diabetic in the Philippines. The bread is generally very high in sugar here. The burgers are spicy too so that might be causing it, I do not every add spices. It likely would not happen to you. A yeast infection is a problem for some diabetics as well as people with compromised immune systems but that usually shows as white covering on the tongue. Can be quite painful if it gets to that point. What I have happen is red spots and streaks and a sore tongue. I have been eating a lot of them and I do not react as strongly to them as I first did. The first night I got them, I ended up eating eight of them as I was very hungry at the time. Plus they were good. haha

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Rusty Ferguson Expat Life with Santa

The second half of 2014 was not a pleasant time for me. Financial distress each and every month, my pension just is not enough for me. And it was a mostly lonely time. Not completely lonely but mostly lonely. I met two good woman during this time and some real users too. For two months there was nobody at all. I was striking out at every turn. This period of time was not a positive period and I do not like to write articles where I feel mostly negative. I suppose however that is part of life and it can be part of your life even in what many consider to be paradise.  Even as I publish this, things are much improved and looking up for me but that does not change that the prior six months were not my happiest months on earth.

Oh I might have met some women that I have forgot. Might have had some prospects that I forgot. Some women I never forget, even after they are long gone. Some I wish I could forget but I cannot. In a few cases that now old Eric Clapton song “Old Love” sometimes reminds me of them. Some I do not really wish to forget even if it did not turn out well.

July, August and September were lonely months. No women really in my life. Didn’t see a woman for a couple of months. I was just strike out city. Then in October, there were three women in my life. Didn’t plan it that way and one of those I didn’t meet until November, I think. Beautiful girl but not a match.

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Expats in the Philippines Not Always the Playboys

Expats in the Philippines

It is easy to get caught up in stereotypes and I am better than many at not letting that happen to me. It sometimes seems that most Filipinos prejudge expats in the Philippines because of the few that make the headlines. Sometimes what they write on their blogs is hurtful and completely inaccurate. Expats and visitors do it as well. I once found a picture of me on someone’s website with a one word caption on it. Playboy? I wrote “Haha, I wish”. He took it down, it wasn’t meant for me to find. A few months ago, I realized that I too could be guilty of jumping to conclusions and, in fact, I was. Many misjudge this fellow and so did I.

He is from Australia and he can get a bit rough in his language especially if he’s had a few too many beers. He has cut back though and I do not even see that very much anymore from him. Besides that though, he had a lot of young Filipina running around with him. Some were obviously underage.  I thought he was defiantly up to no good.

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Lying Foreigners in the Philippines

Good Expat in the Philippines

Foreigners love to talk about scamming Filipina but rarely do they discuss the evil intentions and lying of Foreigners living in or visiting the Philippines. Probably if there were more women bloggers that would change. Maybe not, I wonder if Filipina would be willing to disclose their own personal experiences. I think that most would not. I wrote a lot about the less that golden women lately so here we go with an examination of the guys. There are plenty of scamming men in the Philippines and many of them are foreigners living in the Philippines.

Many of them take advantage of naïve Filipina. Young women that don’t have much experience with men. Many girls, especially out in the provinces don’t have any boyfriends until they are 18 and even then they tend to be scared to death of men. Some will sneak around and have a boyfriend at a younger age. A lot will. That’s completely normal. But generally, it is not accepted in most families until the girl is 18. There was a policeman that caught his daughter in a shed with a boy in Bogo City. The boy ended up dead. I don’t really get that, he was just behaving like a normal young man.

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Child in Public Hospital

One of the most difficult things about living in the Philippines is funding medical expenses. There is good and bad though. The good part is that the cost medical care in the Philippines is low. The troubling part is that in most cases, you will be required to pay for your medical cost before you check into a hospital or get outpatient treatment. It is up to you to file your insurance claims. I was probably seriously sick a few days ago. The symptoms were serious and if I had been in the USA and alone, I would have had to call an ambulance. What did I do here when I got sick in the Philippines? Nothing.

When the first symptoms showed its ugly face, I was not worried. Now when it happened the first time I was very worried. It was about ten years ago, maybe more. A large circular object formed in my vision. Unlike what many people get, this “floater” blocked most of my vision and didn’t go away in a second or two.

Most people think stroke, I know I did. Doctors at the ER told me “I don’t think this is in your brain but the blood vessels behind your eyes”. My eye doctor freaked out. Told me to call him anytime that this happens. My primary care doctor at the time treats me like a hypochondriac and told me there is usually no long term damage. In doctor speak that means virtually never.

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Haggling in the Philippines

Fake Rolex sold in the Philippines

Haggling in the Philippines is common in many shops. It is so common that it is never a bad idea to ask for “last price” even in large chain department stores. I don’t think I’ve done that in those but I probably should. It is so common here that you won’t be seen as foolish if you inquire and you might be foolish if you don’t.

Last week, I was walking down the street and someone wanted to sell me two Rolex watches. Of course, I assumed they were knock offs right from the start and said no. Since they were Rolex, I asked to see them. Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky. He showed them to me and said “P4,500” to which I scoffed and  walked off. He followed me though. Followed me all the way back to my hotel.

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Fugitives Hiding in the Philippines

People in Jail

Are there a lot of fugitives hiding in the Philippines? I ask the question because it is a common perception that there are many hiding here. Are there any fugitives hiding in the Philippines, of course there are. I think this perception is more common with Filipinos than with the foreigners that live in the Philippines. I often hear foreigners make comments saying someone is or probably is “Running from the law”. Most of the time, these foreigners are just doing what is so common, putting others down and complaining. With Filipinos, usually a Filipina in my case ask “What are you doing in the Philippines?” Now that question might be totally innocent but sometimes I wonder if they think I am running from the law.

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Cheap Electronics in the Philippines

Filipina with Phone

You can get cheap electronics in the Philippines.  I did just the other day, a Samsung One Note 8 for $75. Don’t get too excited though there is always a “but” and I’ll get to that later in this article. One of the first things you will learn is that electronics are more expensive in the Philippines and if you go to the malls and buy name brand products you’ll pay a lot more for them. I checked the price on a Cannon 7D and found that it would cost me about $1000 more here than it would at Amazon.  There is a five percent tax on imported electronics but that doesn’t explain the excessively high prices here and nor does shipping. After all, most of those products are imported into the USA as well as other Western nations.

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Living in the Philippines June and July 2014

Filipino Child in Cebu

What a month June was. My second month to be single in the Philippines. Things were looking pretty good for the first two weeks. I was still missing Jessie but she remained steadfast on her positions that had caused me to leave in the first place. Finally, I told her to let me know if anything changed and I began to move on in earnest. This is my Philippines expat journal for June and July 2014. I think it is one of the best ways to tell you what living in the Philippines is really like. It isn’t always fun.

I had a three promising Filipina that I had spent some quality time with, I was having trouble managing everyone in my little black book otherwise known as my phone. Of course, not everything in my black book worked out. Lots of the prospects were playing games with me. That’s only to be expected. Even one of the girls I met managed to use me. She was just trying to get home. She did, oh well. That’s the way it works sometimes. She said to me in her sweet little voice on the way out the door “Please don’t be mad” to which I said “Of course I’m mad, you just using me to get home”. At that point her hardened look was all over her face and I never heard another word from her.

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Ice Cream Vendor in Cebu

There are some things I don’t like about living in the Philippines. I will talk about those things in this article but first I wish to point out that I love living in the Philippines. I recently wrote an article about some of those things which you can read here.

There isn’t that much I don’t like and some of those things are only negative to me. They are not negative to most Filipinos. I do not see it as my place to try to change the culture of the Philippines. Frankly, I think that is absurd.

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