The Philippines is more laid back, that is good for me. I’ve learned to be a little more laid back but right now, I’m not too laid back ha ha. I’m okay really but a bit irritated. This time of the year it is not uncommon for my doctor to be gone for a month or more at time. We ask him every time we go, “Will you be out of the country next month.” Sometimes, he is and I know to go back and get my Xanax prescription early or later. Sometimes he says no but then he’s gone anyway. That’s what happened this month.
On the second of October 2015, I sent myself money from my USA bank account to the Philippines. Just like I have been doing for the last seven years. The last six, have been to my bank account. Everything appeared to be normal but there was one early warning sign. I usually get notices on my phone that the money has been received. I never got that notice. I did get an email and my Xoom account showed the money transferred within 30 seconds which is also routine. My trip to the bank though, it was anything but routine. I tried to withdraw the money from my account and only got a message “Your transaction could not be completed.” I’ve never seen that message before. I checked the balance, Jessie was with me and she let out a gasp. I had sent myself almost 70,000 pesos and my balance was zero. What is worse, I have only 400 peso or about $5 USD in my pocket left.
If you’re an American or probably from most other Western nations, you are probably not going to like the way bills are paid in the Philippines. In short, you pay your bills in person. Not only are they not usually paid via postal service, you get up and go to each utility company and the bank to pay your bills. There are indications that things are improving. Things do often get better here. When I first arrived here in 2008, you could not use a foreign credit card at most stores. Now, at the larger retailers and many smaller shops you can use them. Often with a 5 percent surcharge but you do often have the option.
Paying your bills electronically, either via your bank or the providers website is practically, if not totally, unheard of. Even when you order something online you have to go withdraw money from your account and deposit it in their account. Then contact the seller and give them the information so they can verify and process your order.
I have been living in a Philippines hotel for the since May of 2008 which makes it 10 months at this time. In the Basic Expat Training manual, I do suggest that as an option. I always said that if I was single that is what I would do. That is exactly what I did. It has advantages and other than smaller size, I really do not see any disadvantageous over renting an apartment. In this article, I will go into some of these advantages in more detail and I will also talk of the problems I’ve run into.
Generally, you can get your medications from Pharmacies in the Philippines. However, some medications are not available here. Your doctor can usually help you find a substitute for most of those things. There may be a few items you just cannot get here. When that is the case, I order my medications from Canada or other foreign country and have those shipped her by Johnny Air Cargo.
There are some other details about pharmacies in the Philippines you might find interesting, sometimes troublesome and sometimes amusing. I probably have written about some of those on this website before but I am not certain.
I thought it was time to let people know about my new Filipina girlfriend. Her name is Jhen Dequilla Libo-on. She works here in Cebu City but is from Negros Occidental. I cannot yet say her last name correctly. I tried to learn but she was too busy laughing at me. I have run into that with Filipina before when trying to learn the language. I need to keep saying it and saying it until I figure it out. I hope she can teach me the language but I have my doubts. I don’t pick up languages very easily. Her English could be a bet better. We will get better at it though.
Jhen is an amazing, caring, giving love woman that does not need anything from me but me. I cannot tell you why she needs me. After a month, I still do not get it. I am twice her age, my health is falling apart, I am not broke but I am a long way from having enough money. She thinks I’m handsome, many Filipina do and I do not understand that either. I am not complaining about it though.
Men beating women really disgust me and I just saw it happen. Nothing I can do, I can barely breathe and taking a shower causes me extreme pain in my back. I do not talk about how bad my health is in detail but this time it is called for. Someone will stay say I should have jumped in. You are free to think so, free to be critical and I will consider you to be an insensitive moron. It also just would not be smart. Chances are high, I would be the one to end up in jail until I paid they guy off. The girl might lie for him as she is under his control. One of the reasons I got a gun permit when I lived in the USA was for that very reason. I would not last ten seconds in a fight. My heart is enlarged and my lungs are scared from Mixed Connective Tissue disease. I am not what this article is about.
This time it was a couple of Filipino wimps that think they are men. If the only way for you get what you want out of life is with using your fist on a woman, you are no man. I am not sure if you are fully human. I know that you are a weak coward that does not know how to deal with the stress of life and especially the free will of someone physically weaker than you.
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
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.
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.